Boy or Girl?

We don't know yet. But we may know soon so I just had to write this before we found out. Having a baby is already joyous (if terrifying and exhausting), I wanted to write an indulgent post reveling in possibly our last week(s) of not knowing (I can understand why some want to wait til the birth but there is just no way in hell we can stand not knowing for that long).

When everyone thought Rockstar was a girl (even after he came out)...

We found out Rockstar was a boy pretty late in the pregnancy. His legs were crossed every time we tried to take a peek, and my gynea has strong feelings about using even the traditional ultrasound for anything as "frivolous" as knowing whether to go blue or pink. Nothing we "tried" could get him to give up the goods - no amount of wriggling on my part or bouncing the ultrasound wand on my gynea's part. But it did increase my confidence in amniotic fluid's ability to cushion a lot of movement from a 16+ week old fetus haha. (Btw friends, colleagues and the office tea lady do not make things easier, with their "Ooh just look at the shape of your belly, it's a boy right? Right???" bla bla.)

Ever notice that after you tell random aunties what you're carrying they are always "I knew it!! Because <insert some theory about your skin/ shape of belly/ goodness knows what else - what's the most insane one you've heard?>" So. Let's see. Before we find out what's in there let's have a little fun (with a little sidetracking along the way), shall we?

In all my anal-ness, I was careful not to form a preference until I knew what we were getting, and then conveniently I was rabidly delighted at whichever we got. (Hence my "Sure or not sure or not sure or not???" at my gynea when she eventually announced, like 5 or 6 months along, that Rockstar was irrevocably male.) I may not have a preference, but I'm dying to know. For all the things I wanted to say to Rockstar/ Rockstar, Too, that I couldn't sort out in my own head til I knew what we were getting. Did God think a girl would suit our family dynamic better, or a boy? How about 2 boys? How much furniture are they going to tear up with the dog? Is Kings going to be even more of a pushover this time round? (Ay, his own friends ask me this ok... He manages, but honestly Kings has to dig deep to show tough love. And Rockstar is a very straightforward, strong-willed, un-manipulative boy.)

We deliberately didn't ask Rockstar which he'd prefer btw, just asked him to guess... We shall pull the ole' Oh WOW! It's a boy/girl!! You were hoping for a bro/ sis, weren't you?? You got what you wanted! Yay!"

Last time round, I was "grateful" for a boy (when I already knew Rockstar was a boy) because I thought they were "easier" to raise. I figured, as an over-generalization, if my "starter-child" (and I say this because I was the worst kind of absolute beginner with children) was a girl, that would be like going over the deep end when learning to swim: You have to be more careful in the sense girls are more sensitive to erm, "criticism" when you scold them. If they are more sensitive and emotional, they're also more manipulative (simply because they are more perceptive).. Then there are boyfriend issues, body/weight issues and even more issues when making friends. I have a BBC girlfriend in the UK who tells me her friend has to figure who the most popular girl in school is and invite her home for tea so she'll get along with her daughter, thereby reducing the chance her daughter gets picked on. (I think they were like, 4 years old.) 

I could understand that (though 4 seemed a bit young), bearing in mind growing up I'd been sensitive, insecure, hungry for approval from other tween/ teen girls, thereby making me fair game for those delightful proverbial Mean Girls experiences - complete with "Slam Books" where they say bitchy things about you having no breasts or butt and sleeping around. (Well, the sleeping around bit was obviously not true). Navigating this as the parent of a girl, when I'd sucked at "surviving" it (i.e. not letting it get to me when I was growing up) had seemed overwhelming when we hadn't even planned on Rockstar's pregnancy to begin with... But honestly I'd have figured some other thing to tell myself if Rockstar had turned out to be a girl...

Now, during this pregnancy, people have been guessing "girl"! (Btw Rockstar's guess is "Potato! Hee hee.") Because my skin broke out quite a bit this first trimester, whereas it didn't with Rockstar. Because I felt much more nauseous and fatigued (this btw was my gynea's speculation - I countered by saying the type of morning sickness I had did not vary, only its severity, albeit to a very large degree.) Because I'm temperamental now (and struggle not to let it affect me on a daily basis) - I get emotional (and btw I'm not someone who gets affected emotionally by PMS etc, in fact hormones have pretty much never made me this emotional before, this pregnancy's pretty trip-y, like I'm on something). Because I can get rabidly happy simply from fulfilling a particular food craving (usually chickpea curry, some other curry, scallops, or caviar. In fact certain foods aren't the only thing that makes me so unexplainably happy, more later - I mentioned trip-y, right?)

But really at the end of the day we're slowly getting to We're Pregnant - Hurray! Wonder What We're Getting <rub hands with glee>. Whichever we are blessed with is what God feels is the best fit for our family. (Hence I really don't have a problem with everyone speculating I'm carrying a girl based on various old wives' tales - if I'm carrying a second boy doesn't that debunk quite a few myths?) But here were a few comments I did mind:

"Are you having any more children? Would 4 be too many? How about having a girl, this time?" (Sure, we'll get right on it, but just in case it doesn't work out, can we settle for a puppy? It doesn't even have to be a real one, then you get to go really wild with the colors and everything... In fact, who cares about the laws of nature, how about one of those 3-eyed aliens from Toy Story.. The Joneses would be impressed.)

"You will want a girl. Girls take care of parents better in old age." (Uh, why do you assume Kings and I will need taking care of in our old age? We happen to want to take skiing lessons instead. Note to self: make sure you're getting enough calcium.)

"It's only normal to want a girl. You already have a boy." (I will have you know aforementioned boy has expressed preference for a potato. So there.)

"Oh, your first is (a very) small (child). Let's hope this next won't be!" (Ok, that wasn't about b or g but it totally pissed me off anyway. And btw that was said to me by a doctor, not some yakkity old auntie I met on the street.)

Am I hormonal? What is wrong with these people, can they not go incubate something in their own uteruses? Or get a uterus?

Sometimes... Just the thumb ain't enough...

Anyway, let's see. Whether there's anything at all to all the speculations flying around. Hormones are a weird, wonderful thing.

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About Aileen

I blog about living and raising my son in Hong Kong - where toddlers have entrance interviews, parents keep test score spreadsheets, private school debentures can trade for more than half a million USD. Raising Rockstar's the most important thing I'll ever do. We show our true colors by the choices we make in bringing up our children. My blog is a message to my toddler son, about what the world and his parents are like today - for when he becomes a teenager and knows everything.
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  • Yvonne Teh

    Such a great pic of a way much younger Rockstar… and yes, I can see how he would have been mistaken for a girl then… 🙂

    • Aileen

      Hi Yvonne, nice of you to drop by 🙂
      Yes he had a few serious “girl” phases in his early years and I also think he looks really girly in that photo.. Take lotsa pics (plus switch on the “date” setting to show on the pic/ take note how old your baby was when you took each pic)… When we looked back at the pics we could really see his face change so many times!! No matter how much you look at their face daily, you will still not notice how many changes unless you really take the photos and compare

  • Joyce Lau

    We have the opposite problem. All the aunties / mommies, in the park always think Chloe is a boy, even when she’s clearly wearing girl clothes — like pink dresses, or things with ruffles or sparkly bits. Even after I tell them she’s a girl, they will slip up and say “liang jie.” Sigh. Apparrantly it’s because she’s “fat,” has a big round head and no hair!

    I also heard the opposite thing from girlfriends — they all say that girls are easier to care for than boys. They communicate earlier, hit baby milestones earlier (sleeping through the night, first word, etc), and are gentler and less rambunctious. But I don’t know if any of these generalizations are true.

    • Aileen

      Haha we would dress Rockstar in serious boy stuff and said aunties wud disbelievingly ask “Are you SURE that’s a boy??” One member of the older generation even felt the need to take a peek during a diaper change. Apparently it is possible I want a boy so badly I will pretend an “obvious girl” is a boy?!

      Not sure about sleeping thru the night ie I hadn’t heard that one, I know girls who still don’t sleep thru the night, just as I know girls who toilet trained later (but I have heard the generalization girls toilet train earlier)… Rockstar was not an early talker unlike girls his age, tho he talks a lot now (maybe partly because when I quit my job I got so appalled at the quality of his care that I did some intense talking activity with him daily for a good 5 months)… He was an early runner/ jumper/ cycler/ skater and a yes real rambunctious and seriously physically exhausting to handle. 

      As I said, had I had a girl first child I would found something else to tell myself. Bet I wouldn’t be the only one, we rejoice in the blessings we receive 🙂

  • zmun2

    Baby Rockstar is so very cuteeeeee!! 

    • Aileen

      Yeah but he was seriously screaming his way thru his early life.. Ironically we have very few pictures of the screaming because we did NOT feel like taking pictures at the time!!