Thursday, February 05, 2009

"It's a GIRL!!!"

That exclamation is becoming more and more rare. I miss hearing it at every birth, now that so many docs have in-office ultrasounds and clients bring their families to pay-per-view 3-D and 4-D ultrasound "Discover the Sex" parties. These days, the baby's birth is often pretty exclamations of "It's a BOY! or It's a GIRL!" any more.

For me, waiting until the baby is born to discover the baby's sex is one surprise that I truly enjoy. It's the best surprise in the world - more people should try it!

At the most recent birth - what a rush - we were ALL convinced that it would be a boy. But the parents hadn't wanted to find out the sex in advance. After two boys, I don't think mum, dad, doc, or doula couldn't even entertain the thought of this baby being a girl. There would have been too much expectation. They just believed they were having another boy, and that was that...

So, when baby came flying into the world after a whirlwind labour (yes, mum was chattering with us about boy names only half an hour earlier, and we were only in the birthing room for, what? nine, ten minutes? before the birth). I really did a double-take when I checked between baby's legs. "No penis...where's the penis?" said my mind. Dad had already seen that it was a girl, and whispered it into mum's ear.

"I can't believe it!" she cried. She laughed. "I'm in shock!"

No longer can she see herself as the "mother of boys". No longer can she call, "Boys!!!" when dinner's ready. Her own perception of herself changed with the realization that she had carried a girl for 9 months. In a moment, this new member of the family had changed the future.

We all looked in awe at this pink, bonnie girl, who tipped the scale at over 8.5lbs...and has a bottom lip that is already familiar with a pout that you can ride a bike on!

Yes, for sure..."It's a girl!" What a wonderful surprise!

(2/12/09 -  Tee! Hee!  She bought a PINK hug-a-bub for her baby girl, Paloma. So cool!)

- Jacquie Munro, Vancouver Doula


Bekah said...

Oh, I love the surprise, too! I have 6, 4 boys, 2 girls. Only the first did we know ahead of time. The second was our first girl and then we've had to wait nine years for her sister. I do not do ultrasounds unless for a specific reason. During my last pregnancy, reason arose in the form of symptoms of uterine infection at 39 weeks. I made clear that I didn't want the gender known during the amnio to diagnose chorioamnionitis. Afterwards, the doc referred to "he", and then tack on "or she". My sensitive pregnant mind figured that she knew and I was devastated. Happily, the fluid was clear and healthy and we went on with the pregnancy for a couple more weeks, until my beautiful little girl was born at home. So, the doc hadn't slipped at all. :)

Truly there is nothing like meeting your little person and then seeing for yourself what gender they are. I wish more people would try it! Being spoiled to have assisted a number of home births, I have shared in that surprise and joy from the other perspective, too.

Congratulations to your clients! I hope they enjoy all that pink and purple.

crunchycarpets said...

I have to agree that I loved the surprise with my two kids.

However..THIS one we sort of one to know...for many reason..we lost my last child at 26 weeks and he was a lovely little boy.

This pregnancy we are suffering EVERY test they can think of and so we will find out in a couple of weeks from the amnio.

Mainly it is good because we have one of each and thus have one of each set of clothing too...all stored away and taking up too much space!

Sooo cleaning out SOME baby stuff will help us a lot...

And introducing our babe to the older siblings too..they are in such fear after that loss.

Jacquie Munro said...

I think we all do what we need to do to keep our hearts safe. You're always the best judge. But, if all is well, I still love waiting to find out the sex at birth.

I have a lot of clients who have faced infertility, loss, stillbirth. They will often have an amnio done for their pregnancies, and have the lab tech write the baby's sex on a piece of paper, put it in an envelope, and then the couple can decide later if they want to know or not.

At least they can choose where they are when they discover the baby's sex and make it a day of celebration!

Rosie said...

We never discovered the cause of the only fetal demise I have attended as a doula. I only know that the couple had a family member who worked at one of those "pay per view" 4D ultrasound shops. So they often went to watch their baby play in utero. Afterwards, as you can imagine, I did a lot of research. is a good read. Jacquie, do you know of any studies on this? I figure if God meant for us to see our babies in utero he would've put a window in our bellies. The good news is this mom had a nice (accidental) unassisted home birth last spring and is pregnant again!

Jacquie Munro said...

Dr. Sarah Buckley talks about the dangers of ultrasound in her book "Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering". I've also been finding more info in academic neurology textbooks. I'll try to compile the info...

Jasmine said...

We absolutely LOVED not knowing the sex for both of our children. There's something to be said about that moment right after birth when you look into your baby's eyes for the first time and it doesn't matter what the sex is...all you know is that this beautiful little person is yours and you love them. With our first we both thought it was a girl (and we were right!) but with our second I could have sworn it would be a boy but secretly wanted another girl and felt guilty about when the baby was born and "it's a girl" sounded in my ears I was in total shock! Jacquie you may remember, but I think I kept saying "no way, no way!" over and over for at least a full hour ;)

meg said...

awww... that's one thing i love about attending amish and mennonite births. they do things so naturally and without the intervention of technology - so we always get to say, 'what do we have here?!' after the baby's born. :) thanks for sharing this post. it's lovely! and 'paloma' is one of my favorite girl names!!!

Christina said...

Aww, I'm so happy for Paloma's parents and their girly surprise. We waited to find out, even though it was very tempting to ask at the week 20 ultrasound. I'm the first-born daughter of a first-born daughter of a first-born daughter of an only-child daughter, and having girls first is just what happens along my maternal line. Most of the time I was convinced I was carrying a girl. My husband thought so too, enough that when he saw something that looked like testicles on the screen during the fluid check ultrasound at almost 42 weeks he didn't say anything and assumed he was misinterpreting. After all, when I was around 7 months pregnant he'd put his hand on my belly and said "all right, if you're a girl, kick twice, and if you're a boy, don't kick at all." and promptly been kicked twice. He even "tested" by giving the opposite instructions, and that time there were no kicks.

When the OB asked him if he wanted to tell me what we had just after the cesarean birth, he had a similar brief moment to yours, Jackie, and thought "is it a deformed girl?". He sort of tentatively said "it's a boy" and I let out a surprised but excited "oh!" I'm so glad we waited to find out, partly because while pregnant I secretly wanted a girl more and being surprised and discovering I was wrong was a really good start to parenthood. We adore our son and of course wouldn't trade him for any girl. (I wouldn't mind having a daughter next time, but I will truly mean it when I say I'm happy as long as the baby's healthy.)