People invariably express surprise and happiness when we tell them we are expecting. But almost seconds -- no, NANOSECONDS -- after that expression of joy and happiness is THE question. The big one.
"WHAT ARE THE SEX OF THE BABIES????"
And then, when they receive our response that we are waiting until the babies are born to find out the sex, generally we receive one of the following reponses:
1) Really? But how will you know what color (pick one: A) clothes to buy; or B) to paint the room?
2) Wow. I wouldn't be able to wait that long.
3) What's wrong with you?
Actually, I'm just kidding about answer #3. Only one person said that to me, and that was some strange friend of a friend of a friend who I didn't even really know.
Honestly, many of our closest friends and families have stated, "Good for you," or similar words of support.
A co-worker, who also waited to find out the sex of his babies, best summed up his support for waiting, when he told me, "It's one of life's last truly great surprises. Who wouldn't want to wait?"
Now, in saying Terri and I are waiting, we don't mean to imply that we are somehow less eager, less excited to find out the sex of the babies. We are.
It's just that for us personally, we just want healthy, happy babies. And that's all we're hoping for. Anything beyond ten fingers, ten toes, and everything else where it should be will be GRAVY. Absolute gravy. And we can wait for the gravy.
But all of the above is not to say that we haven't been tempted to find out. For example, we decided early on that if we found out in the natural course of things, we would be equally happy to find out.
Thus, we have not shielded ourselves from watching the ultrasounds, reading the reports from the hospital, etc. If one of the babies had decided to show themselves to us in all their glory, we would have been perfectly content to find out her/his sex.
(As of this date, through all the ultrasounds, our babies have kept their legs discreetly tucked together.)
Actually, about a month ago, we thought we HAD found out the sex of the babies.
Terri was reading the fine print of our April 1, 2005 ultrasound reports for both babies. In small eight-point font at the bottom of the report was a listing entitled "Fetal Anatomy."
There, amongst more innocuous words like "heart", "upper lip", and "stomach" were words which (we thought) spilled the beans:
If you're like me, it took you about 30 seconds to dig back into basic 10th grade biology and realize -- only females have a uterus and a cervix.
("Do I have a uterus?" I asked Terri at the time, cocking my head at an angle like a dog contemplating his reflection in a pool or water.)
Armed with this knowledge, we checked the report for both babies. Sure enough, both listed a uterus and a cervix.
Girls! Two girls!
The cat (supposedly) out of the bag, we proceeded to inform our family. One friend cajoled it out of me at work, and couldn't contain her excitement.
But them, a funny thing happened . . .
At our next ultrasound, on May 13, 2005, we told our doctor we had discovered the sex of the babies.
"How did you do that?" he asked.
"We read it in the report you gave us with the last ultrasound," was our reply.
"That's impossible," he stated. "We never disclose the sex of the babies in our reports."
"It's right there -- at the bottom." We showed him. "See," we said, pointing at the report. "It's says right there. Uterus. Cervix."
The doctor squinted at the report. Then he started laughing.
"That's YOUR uterus and cervix," he said to Terri, then laughing a bit more at both our expense.
It was only then that I noticed again the date on the report: April 1, 2005.
Our kids had pulled their first April Fool's Day joke on us.
So the wait for one of life's last truly great surprises continues. Thanks again to family and friends for their patience. (And keep those green and yellow colored gifts coming!)