Truth is as much as I wanted a surprise for my first two pregnancies, before the glow-worm came onto the scene I was always convinced that I would absolutely want to find out for my third baby.
To be honest, I thought the sheer pressure to produce a boy after my two lovely girls would be unbearable, and I thought knowing the baby’s gender would help everyone around me process the reality so as not to taint that magical moment of the baby’s arrival.
And in France it is no problem at all finding out the baby’s gender during a pregnancy if you are so inclined. In Canada they have banned the practice on and off over the past few years (and I’m not sure whether it’s on or off at the moment). Besides, if you have an uneventful pregnancy you only get one ultrasound at 18 weeks. If the baby’s not in a good position, you’re out of luck.
Not only do french doctors have no qualms about revealing the baby’s gender, but you also get a whopping 5 ultrasounds throughout even the most routine pregnancy in France, so there is ample opportunity to find out if you want.
Still, when I learned that I was pregnant this time around nobody was more shocked than me to realize that when it came right down to it, I really didn’t want to know.
Franck was of the same opinion. He asked the only question he absolutely needed answered before the doctor had barely brushed my stomach with the ultrasound wand when I was only seven weeks pregnant.
“There only one, right?”
Once he was assured that we weren’t expecting twins or triplets, whether it was a boy or a girl didn’t really matter. He maintains that as a planned C-section tends to take much of the surprise element out of a birth, it’s very nice to keep a bit of mystery in there until the last possible second.
I didn’t think I would agree this time around, but I do. My friend Joelle (she of the fabulous vacation rental in Montparnasse – check it out http://www.latelierdesbeauxarts.com/ ) always says that pregnancy is the only time during your life (unless you’re one of those rare ones who are pregnant with boy / girl twins) when you can entertain the possibility of both a boy and girl child at the same time. When the baby actually arrives, no matter what the gender is, there is a certain sadness that one of these imagined children vanishes.
As the French tend to be much less subtle about things, I encounter many people in a day who insists that I must want a boy, and in the case of my French mother-in-law, that the baby I’m carrying IS a boy and MUST BE a boy, because SHE WANTS it to be a boy. Yet still I don’t feel the urge to find out. I just figure their expectations are their problem, not mine.
Hark! Is that maturity calling?
To be continued…