I am strange. Most of my friends and family members will attest to that without hesitation, but once you hear this statement you’ll likely agree: I LOVE to be organized, clean, and tidy. I hate procrastination because I despise the feeling of being unprepared. Of course, being the wife of a United States Marine, I should be a pro at expecting the unexpected; I know I should just take a few deep breaths and go with the flow. The Marine Corps has tried to teach me that lesson many times now, but I’m still not very good at it. I’d much rather ensure that everything is clean, organized, and ready well before a deadline. So, when my doctor told me that our upcoming little one was going to be a girl, I, unsurprisingly, began preparing immediately.
Our first child is nearly four years old, and I have almost four years worth of pink little girl apparel and gear stashed away. After the gender-revealing ultrasound at about 19 weeks, I began the tedious task of digging out those adorable, frilly (and mostly pink) items, washing them, and putting them in the nursery where they anxiously awaited the new arrival. I didn’t just physically prepare for a daughter, but I began mentally and emotionally preparing myself for another girl as well. Visions of raising sisters danced through my head, as I never had a sister. I envisioned little slumber parties, tea parties, and all the girly moments to go along with them. Needless to say, when the ultrasound I had at 36 weeks showed that those little girl parts very well could be little boy parts, my over-organized brain whirled! The ultrasound techs were unable to give me a clear picture of the gender, but the little bits we saw looked more boy than girl. I was very prepared to have a little girl, but now that the gender could not be concluded, I had to begin re-preparing!
This meant physically and emotionally making some changes. All those little dresses and pink sleepers had to get shoved into a “maybe” box, and I began to frantically collect every gender neutral blanket, article of clothing, and bib I could find. I found that my stockpile of gender neutral everything was fairly low, as we had found out the sex with our first child as well. The baby shower I’d had during my first pregnancy provided lots of pink and purple, but not so much yellow or green. Borrowing from friends and family, shopping, and reorganizing became a priority to me. I felt so unready! Emotionally preparing for the possibility of a little boy was just as difficult. I had spent months dreaming of another little girl, and I just wasn’t sure, at first, what I’d do with a little boy! I’d always wanted a boy, but having prepped myself for another daughter, I felt I had no time to come to grasp with how to raise a son! My daughter required some re-preparation too. I had to explain that the doctors might’ve been wrong about the baby being a little sister, which was very confusing to her. It took quite a few conversations for her to grasp the concept of the baby’s gender now being a surprise.
I’m now 39 weeks pregnant, and the baby could arrive any day. Although I still feel like I have a list a mile long of things I should be doing to prepare for the baby, I do feel better about the situation and not quite so overwhelmed. It took about a week or two of frenzied organization, psychological reshuffling, and emotional soul-searching, but I am now excited about the surprise gender of the baby, and I feel well prepared (and excited) at the possibility of raising a little boy. I have no doubt that the Marine Corps will continue to try and teach me to expect the unexpected, but, perhaps this is the lesson that will finally teach me that it is sometimes better to just go with the flow.
Have you ever been surprised by ultrasound results?