As soon as Katie found out she was pregnant, we both knew we’d find out the sex. We had talked about it from the first date (I’m not kidding) and it had always been without question. So you can imagine my surprise when Katie suggested, what if we don’t?
I was angry. Like she was trying to take something away from me. I told her I was “open to talking about it”, which meant I was dead set against the idea.
The problem is, we were surrounded by other pregnant people who weren’t finding out. Up until this point I had felt hard pressed to find anyone who still waited, and now it was the complete opposite. To make things worse, they all had perfectly sound reasons for waiting. “It’s the last surprise left in the world” one of them nicely put it. That reasoning seemed to work for most of our friends, but I couldn’t help but think that I’m surprised every morning my alarm goes off. Surprises weren’t something I felt were deficient in my life.
Besides being surrounded by incredibly patient pregnant people, there were two other strange contradictions. I truly didn’t care if it was a boy or a girl; I would be equally happy with either. The other is, while I was so adamant about finding out the sex, I was simultaneously declaring how I didn’t want anything to be gendered. If that was how I felt, then why did the gender matter? I didn’t know the answer, but without guilt trips or coaxing (although I had some planned), Katie agreed she would like to find out too.
It’s a good thing, because right as the ultrasound tech asked us if we were finding out the sex, I saw a noticeable extra appendage hanging out between the legs. We were having a boy.
That’s the moment I realized why I had to know—for me, it made it more real. I know there are many types of boys, so knowing the sex doesn’t put him in a specific pipeline to be an athlete, or fix cars, or be a mathematician. But in a position where I can’t feel my body change to prepare me for all of this, it was an important step towards feeling the weight of this life change. The weight of possibility.
Ever since that day I have spent my time daydreaming and narrowing the name pool to only those that work for boys. It’s one of the few things I agree can be gendered. My life feels simple and it’s all because I know which pronoun to use (not that the decision to use gendered pronouns isn’t also complicated, but I’m saving that moral dilemma for another day). The only thing I have to fight against at this point is making sure I don’t make everything pink.