Much in life’s stressful lately, and annoying, and sleepless, but here’s what’s awesome: we’re having a baby. That’s the coolest thing ever. I got to feel the baby kick for the first time (I mean first I could feel it with my hand on my wife’s belly) this week. That was awesome. Awesomer yet: I got to be at the ultrasound on Friday and see the baby swimming around doing a leg motion like riding a bike, bringing hands up to face like sucking a thumb, and swallowing. Very cool.

Awesomest of all: we found out we’re having a girl. My wife and I have talked about this a bit – it’s a bit funny to love someone so much who you haven’t met yet, but that’s how it is. It’s great to find out a bit more about her and I’m looking forward to meeting her eventually.

While a few days ago if anyone had asked me I’d have said “I’d prefer to have a boy” I’m in no way sorry we’re having a girl. It’s like… I love the baby exactly how she is and wouldn’t make her different, so her being a girl is perfect.

On the preference of genders, here was my rationale. I’ve had this conversation a few times and it seems to be pretty strongly gendered in terms of reactions. With men, the conversation and reasoning goes something like this: imagine having a teenaged son. Imagine having a teenaged daughter. Which is more frightening? The answer is having a daughter. With women, there tends to be a rejoinder along the lines of “we’re not as fragile as you think we are.” That’s totally fair. It *is* patronizing to say “gosh, men are so awful” and all that as a part of a preference in a hypothetical situation about whether one wants a boy or a girl baby. What I mean is, the reasoning process if taken very literally would go something like this: “patriarchy is so awful for women, it’d be better to be a man instead.” That’s stupid – it’s conceding patriarchal values out of an ostensibly feminist value system.

Other gender point – the pregnancy and baby gender stuff has been instructive in another way. I would never say that gender is a key piece of anyone’s humanity. At the same time, gaining a gender specific pronoun – our baby has become “she” and ceased to be “it” – has made her less abstract to me, more real, more of a person. I know this doesn’t have to be that way, but it was for me. Instructive about my own make up, I think.

Anyhow, what I prefer in a baby is my baby. I’m very excited to meet her when she’s born in the end of August. She’s the coolest.

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