15 February 2011

Pronominally peeking

I'm sure that in some people group this marks me as one of the worldly and selfish and foolhardy ignoramae, but I get ultrasounds when I'm pregnant. Often just one, but a few times we've had reason for a precautionary follow up. God has been very gracious to us and the results have always been good so that I am able to write here about a shallow joy: finding out if it's a boy or a girl.

I know that from time immemorial people haven't known until the baby is born, but I really like finding out ASAP. The day we learned our first baby was a girl, my husband said to me at home later, "When she's born . . . " and that "she" blew my mind. Not it! She! I hate praying for IT. I like to pray for HIM or HER. IT sounds too much like a thing to me. HE or SHE is a person.

I know we might not be able to see sometime, or we might be told the wrong thing, or we might even decide we don't want to know. Doubtless there's some argument about God's ownership of our children and the nature of trust and whatever else advocating the traditional mystery as the higher road. But I'm vulgar and I love the day the baby stops being IT.

20 comments:

Katy said...

so is it a boy or a girl?

Rebecca said...

I agree. Plus, if baby has a name, and you use it when you talk to people, I think it helps them remember that there's a baby, not just a "fetus."

Gauntlets said...

I find out, and I'm downright smug about it.

Jack said...

I profess that pronouns are not a pressing need in such prayers. When my wife and I pray for or even speak of our unborn baby, we simply call the baby "Baby."

I'll note that when explaining this practice, we try not to think at all about the Amy Grant song or that character in the wretched movie Dirty Dancing.

Untamed Shrew said...

We've done it both ways. If we'd had both genders in the first two kids like all the cool people do, it'd be a no-brainer because we wouldn't have to endure comments like, "I hope it's not another girl," and, "I'll bet you're glad it's not another girl."

Leah said...

We're on baby number six right now and we have only found out if it was a HIM or HER on one of them, and personally I liked the surprises better than knowing beforehand.
But it's just a personal preference, that's all. I never thought of it in terms of a high road vs. vulgarity, or trusting vs. not trusting God. It just seemed funner to me not to know until I held my new little son or daughter when in my arms for the first time.
So I suppose I'm just as vulgar NOT FINDING OUT, all for the FUN of it, with no higher purpose in mind.

Rachel said...

We (apparently) are in the not-finding-out-camp, mainly because I wanted to the first time and my dear husband loved being able to announce it to the world in the delivery room.

As far as the pronouns go, we know this really cool family that gives the unborn baby a nickname. So we've done that both times, and it helps us steer clear of the dreaded "it" word. :-)

MooreMama said...

I have a bajillion ultrasounds during pregnancy - do with it what you will. Some are medically necessary, but it's also my OB's (gasp! I go to an OB, too! A male one!) preferred practice. Most of my prenatal appointments consist of peeing in a cup, standing on the scale, blood pressuring, and an ultrasound.

So... we found out that C was a girl at maybe 14 weeks' gestation. K was/is a modest little girl and we didn't find out her gender until 21 weeks.

We do nicknames while they are in-utero (C was Wanda, and K was Ralphy), then name at birth. Then, sometime during infancy, they get new nicknames. :) C is now Chicken Little and K is now Baby Bear.

Rebekah said...

Katy, that baby bubble says "Gauntlets."

Jack, it's not the Dirty Dancing or the Amy Grant that would trouble me, but the impression that I'm stuck in some freaky feminist pronoun-free "liturgy." :D

Leah, EVERY parenting decision you make has to have a higher purpose. Otherwise how can you judge other people's parenting decisions?

Rachel, we also do in utero nicknames. Wait, do I know you? :D For some reason I still find myself needing pronouns.

Leah said...

EVERY parenting decision??? Oh my, perhaps I really should have made the oatmeal this morning instead of letting my kids eat Honey Nut Cheerios. Just knew that would come back to haunt me...

Okay, you're forcing me to plead "Lutheran" on this one - something like, "anything that doesn’t conflict with the general spirit of Scripture is allowable", or, in Luther's words, “Nothing ought to be set up without scriptural authority, or if it is set up, it ought to be esteemed free and not necessary." :D


(And I confess. The Honey Nut Cheerio thing was WRONG!
But I thank you God that I am not like other moms who let their kids eat Fruit Loops!)

Leah said...

I was glad to find out with ours. I don't object one way or another, my logic was "Meh, why not?" (Well, structured, I know) But once I knew it was a boy, I appreciated being able to use the gender-specific pronouns, too.

We kept the name a surprise until the end though. Mostly because we didn't actually decide until several hours after he was born...

Sue said...

@Leah - My son and DIL didn't want to know. Because "he" came 4 weeks early, it took them a day to make a final decision on the name - kid you not it was between Henry and Ishmael - thank goodness they went with Henry! (He is now 4 mos. and sweet as can be.)

When I had my kids 28 and 32 years ago, ultrasounds were not yet very common, and you seldom got the chance to know ahead of time. However, while I was in labor, the nurse at one point came to check how far along I was and said "Oh, my, I think we have a little boy here"!! He was breach. So we knew for about an hour before - that little hour's time was funny knowing.

Elizabeth said...

We decided not to find out for three reasons: 1 - I like surprizes. (If you'd like to remind my hubby of that, that'd be great! :))
2 - I liked to think of it as my prize after pushing the baby out - incentive, if you will.
3 - We got lots more gender neutral infant clothes that will be able to be used for any of our future children. It's true - I'm nothing if not practical and cheap. :)

Leah, I just had to LAUGH when I read your comment about Honey Nut Cheerios not being as bad as Fruit Loops. :)

Leah said...

Elizabeth-

The clothing bit is good. Most of it works just fine. However, my sister-in-law and I keep passing and forth the stuff because I think it makes my boy look like a girl, and she thinks it makes her girls look like boys! What can you do?

Rachel said...

Rebekah- Yup, we sure do know each other. :-) Through those brothers of yours. Let me know if you need more hints, as there are just a few Rachels in the LCMS.


We like having neutral stuff, too, although as soon as he was born I was dying to dress him all in blue!

Katy said...

Sorry, couldn't resist (and I told myself I wouldn't infer announcements from your posts last time I asked, but I did it again...)

Congratulations, Jack and Jenny. (I still nix "Wonder Boys" whenever Michael takes a trip to the video rental store.)

K said...

I actually wanted to know, but found satisfaction in irritating everyone else in the world who didn't understand why we didn't just find out. The benefit of annoying my neighbor outweighed the joy that would have come from being able to call her something other than it.

MamaOnABudget said...

I prefer the birth surprise, but that doesn't make my opinion superior. And I don't care if you see an OB, Family Practitioner, CNM or homebirth midwife - I've seen two of those in my pregnancies for different children. Personally, it doesn't bother me one bit what people think of my decisions - I know I'm not going against God by making any of them, and my husband agrees and is supportive - that's all I need.

We're nicknamers during pregnancy. When a pronoun is needed, I use "s/he" - pronounced shuh-he.

Rebekah said...

Wait, it's THAT Jack? I didn't know he'd admit to having seen Dirty Dancing.

Rachel, I'm tracking. ;) Hi!

K, your analysis is inspiring as always.

MOAB, shuh-he=good. :D

Katy said...

K, you could always find out, and then keep it a secret.