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The room that I am in is dark, only remotely lit by a computer monitor and a machine that throws off a few colored lights. I am lying down on my back as a pillow props up my head. The elastic waistband of my pants is folded down under my large, round belly and my shirt is hiked up to my chest. Cold and goopy gel is squirted on my belly and an instrument moves around on top, searching for the baby that moves around inside of me. It is the day of our ultrasound.
I always pictured myself as mother of a little girl. But in life, things have a way of working out the way that they are supposed to. For baby number one, we heard, “it’s a boy.” Having no children, we were thrilled. I safely tucked away my list of favorite baby girl names until I might need them again. Next came baby number two. I was convinced that this baby was a girl. Once again, we heard, “it’s a boy.” This time I had to ask, “are you sure?” The ultrasound technician pointed to the screen at the indicator. “Yes, see?”
Thinking that would be our last child, a brief sadness came over me in that dark room. I would never buy little girl dresses. I would never play hours of Barbies. I would have no one to pass my jewelry and beloved wedding dress down to. Then the reality hit me that I was already a horrible mother to my unborn child. How could I possibly be sad that my baby is who he is? It was then that an image flashed through my mind of my two little boys on Halloween dressed as Batman and Robin or Ernie and Bert. Two little boys less than two years apart in age. They would be best friends. Once again, happiness filled my heart.
By baby number three, everyone except for me believed that my baby was a girl. Relatives began to buy us baby girl clothes. But they would all need to be returned for something blue because for the last time, “it’s a boy” was again what we heard. I knew in my heart that I was having another boy and did not feel the disappointment that he was not a girl. Maybe it was my mind’s way of preparing itself. Or maybe I was so used to the male dominated dynamic in our household that another boy was all that I could picture.