Sugar and Spice

mood: ebullient | drinking: water
bean_shoes1

…and everything nice, that’s what little girls are made of. So they say.

(Although I remember being a little girl and I wasn’t always sugar and spice. There might have been a puppy dog tail or two thrown into my recipe.)

From the moment that plus sign appears, you find yourself wondering who this new creature will turn out to be. And “Boy or Girl?” is right up there at the top of the list of questions. It’s certainly the thing people most want to know, right after they ask you when you’re due.

Finally, we have an answer. The Bean is a bean-ette.

I made the ultrasound technician check, twice, to be sure there were no beans and frank hiding anywhere. She was quite positive in her diagnosis, though. “No suprises,” she assured me, “It’s definitely a girl.”

This whole time, I’ve tried very hard not to want a girl over a boy. Because what if Bean turned out to be sporting a penis, and then later he found out that his mum actually wanted him to be a girl? That would suck.

But let’s be honest. I’ve been stashing away girl stuff for a very long time now, just in case. I really, really wanted to have a daughter. bean_dress

Of course, there’s no guarantee that Bean will turn out to be the kind of girl who will even be interested in the trinkets and goodies I’ve been saving for her. But maybe, someday is good enough to go on for now.

The day before the big reveal, I wrote this poem to capture how I felt before I knew the answer to the gender question. I hope someday Bean will like this, too…

Heirloom Tomato
(week 19)

Wishful thinking will not change
the tint of your eyes
the grain of your hair
the Xs or Ys of chromosomes.

You already are whoever
you are going to be.

In a windowless room at the office
I lay on the graying carpet
and let a woman string a ring
on a strand of my hair.
She held it motionless
above the mound of belly
where you swim.

If it swung in a circle,
you would be a girl.
Perpendicular, a boy.

In my impatience to meet you
I have imagined a whole wardrobe
of bright cotton dresses. I have drawn up lists
of names. (The page for girls is longer.)

Your aunt has entered birth dates
into gender calculators,
all of which predicted
you will be my daughter.

But today the ring swung
in a line, not a circle.

I want you to know, now,
before we inspect you
with sound waves,
that you are loved
exactly as you are.

-Lo, amazed.

Blueberry, Kumquat, Lime, Apple

mood: impatient | drinking: vitamin water

bump

I’ve become quite familiar, over the last weeks, with the use of fruit as a metaphor for the ever-changing size of a fetus.

First it was beans, limas and lentils. Then we moved on to fruit. Now, at 15+ weeks, the being we’re currently calling “Bean” (because that’s what she looked like when we first saw her) is now the size of an apple. My bump, on the other hand, is the size of a large cantaloupe. Mmmmmmm. Cantaloupe.

In the weeks when Boy and I were keeping the secret to ourselves and a small group of friends, I wrote a few poems that I also kept secret.

But now that the cat’s out, I can share a couple with you…

Proof of life
In the space
where they say
a heart will grow

a tiny light flicks on
off-on-off-on
faster than
hummingbird
wings.

It’s been only me
in this skin
for so long.

Now suddenly,
strange alchemy.

I am just learning
to share.

(Written on January 20, after our first ultrasound.)

Week 10
On the way to the doctor’s office
I nearly convince myself you are dead.
(I like to prepare for the worst.)

Not for the last time,
you prove me wrong

because when we see you
on the Toshiba screen
you are standing on your head
and dancing.

You wave webbed fingers
and thrash your stumpy legs
to the thrum of your wee heart
as if you haven’t a care.

And you don’t.

The worry
is all mine.

I eat walnuts by the handful now
just to make you smart.
I switch to decaf so you’ll grow tall.

I lie awake obsessing
about unpronounceable genetic anomalies
that could ruin you.

I haven’t even gotten to the part yet
where you get a driver’s license
and a boyfriend in a rock band.

*****

-Lo, who has been told this is only the beginning.