Week 19 – To know or not to know

The countdown to our 20 week scan is on and its very exciting but also quite scary for me. I’m not a fan of the name (anomaly scan) and as I’ve done some research about the purpose of this scan I’ve successfully managed to scare myself silly. It’s truly miraculous what’s happening inside me right now, and every time I see a baby out and about I want to high-five it – you’ve made it. The advances in medicine and the benefit of living in a country that gives your child the best chances of life are humbling.

Husband and I have been debating whether or not we want to find out the gender. I’m reluctant and he is eager to know. So we’ve given ourselves a few days to think about it privately and then agreed to have a discussion a few days before the scan. Interestingly, most young parents seem eager to know while the older people we speak to are keener on keeping it a surprise.

I know people say its practical to know, i.e. colours for clothes but I’m happy to keep my baby in whites and yellows – I’m appalled my the hideous gender divisions in children’s clothes, toys and book. I want my child(ren) to not feel the pressure to conform to any gender stereotype and just enjoy being who they are. Husband said he wants a little boy to play football with and in all honesty his response saddened me. He has grown up in a culture where men and women have very defined roles, and I know his approach and understanding to this has changed since we’ve been together, but the fact he thought he could only kick a ball with a son was disappointing.

I’m reassured by other women who tell me their husbands were also keen to have sons but as soon as their baby daughters arrived that changed. I have 2 older sister and 2 younger brothers, and had a wonderful childhood playing with them all. My sisters and brothers are the most important people in the world to me so I’d like my children to have the same blessings I did, I’m not bothered about the order they come in, but if it’s a girl, more then anything I want her to have at least 2 other sisters, just like me.

We’ve also decided to start thinking about names. We’re making a list of boys and girls names and will keep our top 3 of each. I don’t think a name can be decided until you’ve seen your baby; they have to look like the name (does that make sense??). My husband is Bengali and in their culture it’s apparently not appreciated to call a child a name that has already been taken by someone else in the extended family. In larger families this can be very restricting. Some of the names I’ve mentioned to his family have been met with the response “so-and-so is called that” and while I don’t want to offend anyone, the fact that I don’t know these people, and that they’re not necessarily in this country means that we’ve agreed to call our child what we think is a nice name and not worry about other people having the same name. I know this can be tricky, especially for people who live in an extended family or with lots of relatives near by, but I think a name is one of the first gifts you give your child and it will hopefully be with them throughout life. Make sure it’s something special and beautiful.

I finally experienced some “fluttering” this week, which was incredibly exciting. I would describe it as butterflies in the bottom part of your stomach. I’ve been experiencing it quite a bit during the night and especially as I turn. Unfortunately the husband cant feel it yet, but I’m sure it wont be long now until he can.

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