Sunday, November 12, 2006

Decisions, decisions

Week 21We're scheduled for our 20-week ultrasound tomorrow morning (Monday). If the peanut is in the right position, the ultrasound tech should be able to determine its sex! But we're still completely up in the air about whether we should find out.

I always swore that I would not find out the baby's sex. I *love* surprises, and what could be a bigger surprise than that? And I like that not knowing seems to require of the parents a noble unconditional acceptance of the little one, no matter what s/he turns out to be.

But I've been surprised to find myself just itching to know anything I can find out about the peanut, to start unfolding the mystery of who this little person will be. It meant the world to get a first glimpse of him/her at our 8 week ultrasound, and then later to hear its heart beating steadily away. I've loved feeling the fluttery movements that started recently. And I can't wait to see the peanut again tomorrow.

Finding out its sex has certain practical advantages. We could settle on a name. I could get started on a few really cute gender-specific knitting projects. But the main thing about knowing the sex - which could be both an advantage and a disadvantage - is that it allows you to take the mental leap to really imagining what life will be like with this child. And while on the one hand I'm eager to make that leap, on the other hand it could lead us to set expectations or create a mental image that doesn't jive with reality.

One thing that I think really helped us during our hike of the Appalachian Trail was that we were wholly unable to set any sort of mental expectations about what it would be like. Neither of us had ever spent much time on the east coast, and we certainly had never tried living in the woods for half a year. So each day was a new discovery and we learned to take it as it came, both the good and the bad. I can't help but wonder if we'd be best served by following that same approach on this journey to parenthood.

But then on the other hand... I'M DYING TO KNOW!!!


Xena said...

Hold out, Heather! Hold out! We get very few surprises anymore in life. This would be a great time to have one!

Heather Marie said...

Well as you can see we were WEAK! We CAVED! But even though we know the sex, I feel like the rest of the baby's personality is still a complete mystery. There are still many surprises to come. :)