Re: my mother in law’s insistence that the baby I am carrying IS A BOY because SHE WANTS it to be a boy…
Now that I think of it this isn’t a uniquely French phenomenon. Both my Canadian grandmothers made no bones about preferring their grandsons, and my paternal grandmother cried bitter tears of disappointment every time another one of us Bradbury girls was born (count ’em – three). Must have been lovely for my mother, but I digress…
As for me, I am convinced the glow-worm is a girl.
I come from a family of three girls, Franck and I have made two lovely ones so far…I figure we’re sort of experts at it, so why not capitalize on our expertise? I honestly think I would keel over from shock – well, I’ll most likely already be lying down on the surgical table when I find out, so I guess I will only be able to mentally keel over – if the glow-worm turns out to be a boy.
“So are you finally going to give Franck a son this time?” asked Franck’s good friend Nicolas during our last trip to Paris (yes, french men are known for their well-honed sense of political correctness).
“I don’t think I know how to make boys,” I answered honestly.
“I’m serious,” I said.
At every ultrasound Franck and I have told the doctor we don’t want to know the gender. My OB is not really the laughing type – he’s more like the silk-foulard wearing aristocrat type – but he does say with his own brand of exasperated amusement, “Do not worry. I am not going to tell you.”
Franck and I are probably so anxious to remind him because when I was pregnant with Camille, my doctor swung into the room after my ultrasound and exclaimed, “Oh! You’re having another little girl! Isn’t that wonderful!? My daughters are so close and it’s so much fun-“
“Actually, we didn’t ask to know the baby’s gender,” I interrupted.
There was a flustered rustling of the files in her arms. “Oh my goodness, I must have gotten you confused with the patient in the next room. Sorry!”
During my seventh month ultrasound two days ago, however, my suave french OB, for all his smug mocking of our frequent reminders that we wanted to maintain the mystery, seemed to experience a memory blip.
While taking his measurements, he positioned the ultrasound wand directly between the glow-worm’s little legs.
“You know what the gender is, n’est–ce pas?” he asked, clearly assuming we did.
“Non!” Franck cried. “Remember? We don’t want to know.”
My OB promptly sent the ultrasound wand flying off away from that part of the baby’s anatomy.
As I had nothing else to do at that moment but lie back and peer at the screen (you remain stark naked during ultrasounds in France, so let me assure you that any distraction is welcomed most heartily) I had a good look during the confusion. Let me just say that I didn’t see anything at all that would counter my hunch that the glow-worm is a girl.
But then again, do take this with a grain of salt; I was sure for both Charlotte and Camille that I had seen something (in retrospect probably their umbilical cords) and was convinced that they were both boys. I guess you could conclude from this that my ultrasound reading technique is not quite 100%.
So the mystery will continue for two more months; I am just fine with that.