At the ripe old age of 37 and approaching my third trimester of pregnancy, I am what the medical community refers to as “advanced maternal age.”
This is the badge of honor you earn for being pregnant when you’re 35 or older, and it comes with the following perks:
- An acronym! (AMA – and don’t you worry one bit about the fact that doctors also use AMA to refer to “against medical advice”)
- Extra ultrasounds as you reach your due date to make sure your placenta doesn’t start to “degrade” too early
- A strong encouragement to subject yourself to ALL THE TESTS EVER INVENTED
Because of that last perk, at 12 weeks pregnant, I took a blood test that screens for chromosomal abnormalities.
All results came back normal. Phew.
But the test has another feature. Instead of having to wait for the typical 20-week ultrasound, this blood test can tell you the gender of your baby.
A full two months early!
You can opt not to find out, of course, but we checked the gender box to find out.
Here’s Where It Gets Sticky
First, you should know that we have two girls – a 7-year-old and a toddler who will turn 2 in a couple months.
In the last few weeks, friends and family and strangers have been asking the question that you get constantly when you’re visibly pregnant:
“Do you know what you’re having?”
I’ve answered a few times, but most of the time I say “no,” even though we do, in fact, know the gender.
Why Would I Lie?
It’s not because we’re disappointed. Not at all.
We’re super very much a lot extremely excited to meet the newest member of our family.
But when we’re out and about with our two girls and someone – a stranger or a friend we haven’t seen in a bit – asks what gender we’re having, and we tell them…
They get a look in their eyes.
And I can’t bear to see that look again.
If it’s a boy, you might hear something like “I bet you’re happy to finally get a boy!” Which is a bit of a slight to our two wonderful girls, who are standing right there.
If it’s a girl, you might hear “Maybe you’ll get a boy next time!” Same slight.
I know these are just things you say when you’re making small talk with a pregnant lady – and shoot, I’ve probably said them myself before.
So I can understand the comments. It’s not that I’m offended.
It’s just that look I can’t take.
Disappointment? Sympathy? I’m not exactly sure what it is.
But Here’s the Thing
The loss we experienced last year completely changed our perspective on pregnancy.
Our little one seems to be as healthy as can be, and we feel so incredibly grateful.
But we also know that the world can throw you a curveball at any time. Just because your fancy blood test came back normal doesn’t mean a damn thing.
And because of that, all we can do is choose happiness.
Even the smallest shred of disappointment over the particular method our little one will learn to use a toilet one day?
5 Questions to Ask a Pregnant Woman – Instead of the Gender Question
You never know what that pregnant woman has gone through to get to that point. Maybe she’s had five miscarriages before this pregnancy. She might have lived through the torture of a stillbirth at 37 weeks. It could be this was her last egg from years and years of IVF treatments, and it just so happened to stick this one last time.
Even if she’s had an easy journey to this pregnancy, pretty much everyone asks the gender question, so she probably hears it 20 times a day.
It’s harder to find tips on which questions to ask a pregnant woman that would put a smile on her edema-stricken face.
So if you want to ask something a little different the next time you run into a pregnant lady, try one of these questions instead:
- How do you manage to look so awesome when you’re pregnant?
- What do you need help with? (Also great options: Can I carry that for you? Would you like my seat? Can I buy you a cookie?)
- Do you have any family or friends who will be here to help after the baby’s born? (If they say no and seem a little worried about that, it’s the perfect opportunity to offer your help!)
- Are you redecorating a room for the baby’s nursery?
- Can I bring you a meal after the baby’s born? Or how about some freshly baked cookies? (Can you tell what this pregnant lady has on the brain?)
This Little Baby of Ours
The funny thing is, I actually do want to scream our news from the rooftops!
We are incredibly excited to meet our newest little one, and knowing the gender has helped us connect with the bean even further.
We have a name picked out, and the girls refer to their newest sibling by name already.
And after we learned the gender, I found myself listening to the song Far Away† by Ingrid Michaelson several times a day.
I will live my life as a lobsterman’s wife on an island in the blue bay.
He will take care of me, he will smell like the sea,
And close to my heart he’ll always stay.
I will bear three girls all with strawberry curls, little Ella and Nelly and Faye.
While I’m combing their hair, I will catch his warm stare
On our island in the blue bay.
In other words…
WE’RE HAVING A GIRL!
Before you go, get my FREE cheat sheet: 75 Positive Phrases Every Child Needs to Hear
What are your best go-to questions to ask a pregnant woman? Share in a comment below!