Friday, July 7, 2017

Should we relish anticipation?

Nine months. It takes nine months (or maybe a few weeks less if you're not counting the time you didn't realize you were pregnant yet...) to meet your baby after becoming pregnant. It's a long time filled with a lot of anticipation.

What will they look like?

Which parent will they resemble?

What will their little personality be like?

Will we have a boy or a girl?

Will they have hair?

Waiting to meet that little human being who you already know you love so much but haven't even held yet are some of the longest months of a person's life.

With modern technology, however, some of these question can be answered. With my first child, I knew that we were having a baby girl by the time I was 13 weeks pregnant due to a fancy blood test. At 20 weeks, I saw her little face in black and white via ultrasound. These days, a lot of parents are getting multiple ultrasounds, even doing the 3D ultrasounds at 35+ weeks to get detailed photos of their little babe.

We are expecting our second baby and we already saw the little alien-looking figure at 10 weeks. We plan to get an ultrasound this afternoon which will hopefully reveal a little boy or girl. We opted out of the blood test this pregnancy so we have had to wait a whole extra seven weeks to find out our baby's sex. It has been a long wait and I have several long hours ahead of me before this can be revealed. The anticipation has been fun but it is hard to explain just how unbearable it is at times. We would love another little girl so that our daughter has a sister near in age. But we would also love a little boy so we can experience a child of a different gender. We won't be disappointed with either sex, but the not knowing is harder than I expected it to be.

Parents who wait until the day of their child's birth to know the gender have serious patience. And some parents even opt out of ultrasounds (which are often seen as a necessity in today's medical care). These parents amaze me.

I lean more toward the "knowing" crowd. I want to know the gender and I want to see their little face at some point during the pregnancy, but I opt out of the later ultrasounds/more detailed ultrasounds.

Is there something I am missing out on when my baby is born? Some of the mystery -- the sex of the baby and having an idea of what their face looks like -- has already been revealed. I have been told by parents who wait to know the sex of their child that it is a magical experience. It takes an already incredible day and makes it 10x more intense.

I do not think there is anything necessarily virtuous about waiting. But I do think maybe in this information age there is something special about waiting.

Did you opt out of knowing your child's sex? What about seeing their face?

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