Like Rain on my Wedding Day

When I was pregnant with Archer I didn't know we were having a boy until at seven-months pregnant, unable to wait any longer to find out, I went to one of those strip-mall ultrasound places. I paid $150 to get one of those 3D videos where the baby looks like an alien rock-person and they insist on laying down some Enya tracks in the background of the "3D Experience" DVD.

Swear to God. I have a fifteen minute video of fetus-Archer with "SAIL AWAY, SAIL AWAY, SAIL AWAY" in the background. No offense to any of you Enya lovers out there and I'll admit, I used to rock the shit out of Enya in my playboy-bunny-sticker-on-lower-abdomen-tanning-salon days, but that was the 90's folks. And I was fourteen. Caribbean Blue totally suited my lifestyle.

Regardless, I brought the video home to show Hal so he could experience the joy of seeing his son's penis for the first time and would you believe? Once that Enya started blasting from our TV, Hal cried out in embarrassment, totally non-plussed by the whole experience and weirded-out that I brought such a thing home for him to view.

"Enya? Really?"

"What! It wasn't like I chose the soundtrack!"

"Just turn the volume down. That's our baby! That's our little boy!"

"Hmmmm.... Where did you go to get this thing done?"

"A place."

"A doctor's office?"

"Um. Not exactly."

It was the dicktor's fault. He didn't let me get more than two ultrasounds my entire pregnancy and I was desperate. I am the most impatient person on this planet that I know of and am unable to wait for anything or anyone. I'm one of those people who must know NOW. Surprises might be some kind of fun for most but for me? They're utterly stressful. I make lists. I listen in on conversations about TV episodes I've missed. I used to raid my parent's closets on Christmas Eve to find out what I was getting in the morning and to this day, I still read the last chapter of every book before I read its first sentence.

So, yeah. When it comes to knowing the sex of my baby, I have to know. I just have to.

I was thirty-minutes early to my doctor appointment this morning. I couldn't sleep last night. I even posted a "boy or girl" contest on my other blog, so excited was I. I had set aside an entire day devoted to a post-doctor shopping spree. I thought for sure I would 100% have a "boy or girl" answer this afternoon, which, duh! What was I thinking. (When am I ever thinking?)

Pointy and pregnant with ...

"Do you want to know what you're having today?" The doctor asked.

"Hmmm... Uh. Lemme think. Yesyesyesyesyesinfinityesyesyesyeys."

I pulled up my shirt and sat tight, my phone unlocked and ready to text Hal as soon as the doctor made his "here-ye!" proclamation. I watched the tiny black screen, my eighteen-and-a-half week fetus. It's little fingers. It's little toes. It's.... uh.... nothing between its legs.

"It looks like you're having a girl..." Doctor said. "BUT! Don't paint the room pink. It's not the clearest picture. You'll come back in three weeks and we'll use the ultrasound machine that isn't 80 years-old."

"But... what if..."

"I'd say, I'm pretty close to being completely sure you're having a girl..."

"But that's not... Oh. Okay."

I put my phone away, deflated. I wanted so badly to text Hal with "It's a... Something!" I wanted to badly to refer to myself as carrying a "he" or "she"... To share with the world and tattoo on my forehead for all to know and see. I wanted to be able to tell Archer, when I picked him up from school today, "DUDE! You are totally having a brother!" or "Guess who's having a sister-sledge?"... Instead, I went home waitlisted and infected with to-be-determined-itis, which, I'll be honest, was a total buzzkill.

I called Hal from the car, told him he probably might have a daughter but I didn't really know for sure because the doctor wasn't positive. I called my mom, told her the same and when I picked up Archer from school he gave me my first homemade Mother's Day present ever, so I didn't tell him anything, because I was too busy weeping like an idiot over his painted hands on a piece of construction paper.

"This is supposed to be a surprise," Archer's teacher had said. And it was a surprise. I had somehow totally forgotten about Mother's Day, which, sorry mom. Your card may be a few days late...

Life is so typical, isn't it? Contrary to plan. Books don't come out on their release dates. Husbands, after being out of work for six months get two job offers in less than a week. Little boys who don't talk decide to, suddenly, speak completely and fully in sentences AND then potty-train themselves. (Archer on his own decided it was time to use the potty last night after months of me failing as a potty-trainer. It was like a switch went off or something. Crazy!) I mean, isn't it all just so ironic? Like a free ride when you're already late and good advice that you just didn't take?

I think so, anyway.

In three weeks I go back for my 22 week appointment where the doctor will tell me "FOR SURE what we're having" or at least that's what I've been told. It isn't true of course. No one ever knows for sure anything. Ever. Like how I raided my parent's closet on most Christmas Eves only to find gifts that weren't mine. And how when I read the ends of books the words never mean anything-- prose without a pulse until I can re-read them again, in proper thematic order.

The most ironic thing of course is that, I am at my happiest going through life without the slightest clue as to what's really going on. When I can hope or dream or make things up. Winding up that Jack-in-the-Box, heart-beating with anticipation. Kind of like yesterday. Kind of like right now.

I'm also pretty sure I read somewhere that rain on your wedding day is good luck. So there's also that.



avb | 6:36 PM

Ever since the Fembryo post, I get the girl vibe just from reading your words -- I think it's your instinct coming through.

I better win that mix CD!


Anonymous | 6:38 PM

awww i LOVE this post! (I hate calling it a "post" because although it technically is, it's really your life and i hate reducing it to a post but anyway...)i didn't find out the sex of any of my three- i REALLY like surprises. but more than that i like the anticipation. i wish you good thoughts, a happy mother's day and a fast next couple of weeks!! ~jjlibra

Sara | 7:50 PM

Oooh! What a great post. It sounds pretty certain(ish). So yeah! but I can really relate to wanting a "for sure" answer.
About the potty training -- how exciting! Isn't it great when you see those trends in his personality? And you can say you know who your son is, better than any book, doctor or even another mother.

Anonymous | 8:16 PM

I'm with ya.' When I was pg I had a sketchy AFP test (which all turned out fine in the end, it was a false positive) and had to have an amnio. Now with that long needle THAT test better be 100% accurate! So my husband and I made a date for a family dinner and promised not to open the sealed envelope with the results until we were all together with our parents and everything. Of course I couldn't wait and held that enveloped up to a 100 watt bulb to read through the paper. There in tiny scrawled doctor handwriting it read "it's a girl!" and I wept there sitting on my bed doing what I promised I wouldn't do. I also wept 4 days later when we officially opened the envelope in front of everyone. To this day no one, most of all my husband, knows that I peeked.

Good luck getting through the next few weeks! And congratulations on maybe having a girl, like 80% sure, or maybe having a boy!

Mrs. Cline | 8:25 PM

rebecca, you are so great with your words! so excited for archer and his full sentences and potty training determination!

my vote is girl too, and we can't wait to find out with you.

Anonymous | 8:25 PM


dvl | 8:47 PM

you look awesome. xo


I had an ultrasound at 20 weeks and came home with a little print-out of a pixelated fetus penis. Not knowing was driving me nuts, but I couldn't really wrap my mind around it. The whole ultrasound experience was so surreal that I think I was genuinely surprised when he was born, boy parts and all.

Kristin | 11:04 PM

I just had my 20 week ultrasound for kid #2 on Thursday. We almost didn't find out what we were having - like at all, not even a guess. But then the little bugger moved & made my life a lot easier.

Another impatient parent, much like yourself, I know that feeling in your stomach when you're about to leave the office still in pregnancy limbo. Yeah & that's not the kid kicking you, either :)

I hope the next few weeks fly by for you!

Anonymous | 11:16 PM

what does your tattoo say (read?)


Unknown | 11:39 PM

Dude, I'm so confused! I guess that makes two of us (?). Damn but I love you. I mean, seriously...people who enjoy surprises kind of scare me. (Yes, I'm a control freak. But sometimes life SHOULDN'T be interesting, IMO!) XO


I picked two winners, yes! I posted them on my SFTB blog and honestly, I just randomly picked two people with links on their comments! One girly-guess and one boy-guess. I will be having more contests, soon, though. And more frequently now that I know how popular they are! You guys are awesome!

Re: my (waist) tattoo-- that's a post in its own, I do declare. It says "only the truth dressed up as fairytale"... adapted from a line in Anais Nin's House of Incest. And then there's a daisy kind of above the text with its petals falling down the side of my hip/thigh situation.

It's a great tattoo (I think) but has an even better story that I will eventually share and absolutely be laughed at because of.

Elissa L. | 12:11 AM

oh man. We went through the exact same thing with our daughter. I wanted to know so badly. We had our first ultrasound and they couldn't tell. We had a second ultra sound done where they looked for over 45 minutes and they couldn't tell us. I was in a car accident while I was pregnant was in the hospital overnight and they couldn't tell us for sure. I even was a guiene pig at an ultra sound tech school where clumsy kids got to practice measuring and taking photos. While the on the other side of the classroom some dude was getting his kidney looked at. Even then they could only tell us we were about 80% certain it was a girl. So even though we had good odds we still had to decorate the room in neutral colors and buy yellow clothes and come up with 2 names. And when the doctor said "Its a girl" we were only 20% surprised

Brooke - Little Miss Moi | 1:17 AM

Meh.. it's a girl. I was told at an ultrasound at 14 weeks that it was "not 100% sure but probably" a girl, "but don't count on it". Then had the 3D scan at 18 weeks and it was a girl. Well, hopefully still is... I had an ultrasound on Thursday (I get one every time I go; hey, I live in Ukraine, I need to make sure everything's ok!) and it was still a girl...

pamela | 7:36 AM

ahhhh, the let down! i'm 39 weeks and though i feel like i'm 100% certain it's a girl and have told everyone "her" name (yeah, cause i can't wait for anything either) there is still that teeny-tiny possibility that the dr. that sees hundreds of these every day is not right! but, i know it's a girl! right...? :)

Backpacking Dad | 8:37 AM

If you really want to know if you are having a boy or girl:

Take an egg and attach a piece of string to it (with tape or something).

Have your husband dangle this stringed-egg over your belly for 30 seconds, trying not to rotate it.

Fry egg, over-easy. If the yolk breaks when you flip it, you're having a boy. If the yolk stays contained you're having a girl.

Nah. I'm just kidding. You'll just be having eggs for breakfast.

Jonathon Morgan | 9:52 AM

It's totally a girl. I can tell from here.

Anonymous | 11:16 AM

If it is a girl, will you use the name Colette that you picked out for Archer in the event he was a girl?

If not, at least share with us you top 10 list!

Mary | 2:01 PM

i think its a girl!!!!!!
i linked to you on my site.

Rachael | 5:35 PM

Argh! That was one of my giant fears when I was pregnant- that the baby wouldn't cooperate and I'd have to wait until it was born to find out if it was a boy or a girl! I will keep my fingers crossed for your next ultrasound!

Anonymous | 5:44 PM

I think it's going to be either a boy or a girl, it's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is knife. I find out my baby's gender (hopefully!!) this week. It will drive me crazy if I get a probably, maybe answer, it's like a free ride when you've already paid!!

Julie Marsh | 6:25 PM

I had to know too, with all three. And with the last one, he got it wrong early on. I'm still changing gender pronouns in old blog posts.

Anonymous | 7:45 PM

my friend liz painted her room pink at a definitive ultrasound.

will's room is now blue. just sayin.

(mad props to haljazeera)

BOSSY | 9:08 PM

Bossy hopes you deliver your heart's desire.

mo-wo | 10:22 PM

You are a pretty surprising non-suprisee. We'll stay tuned.

And, 'ray Hal! Maybe he'll take both jobs and make up for lost time??? Just kidding of course.

Rowena | 6:52 AM

They say we are given the challenges that we need to move forward with in life.... maybe that's why no one can positively tell you girl or boy. It's a challenge to your inner surprise-peeker.

They weren't positive with my girl, either, but I think that's just hedging their bets. It's probably a girl. But to be safe, pick names for both.

Rowena | 6:53 AM

OH! And Happy Mothers Day!

karengreeners | 10:45 AM

It's a girl baby.
happy mama's day.

Anonymous | 1:17 PM

A very belated congrats on your second. I'm feeling a one-of-each vibe, but I'm remarkably wrong about these things. I had one of each and they are glorious, and different, and maddening. Happy Mother's Day!

Anonymous | 6:41 PM

i'm the same way about surprises, but the hubby was adamant that he not find out. if i would have found out and told my sister, who told her college roommate, who told her mother's uncle, who told my husband, i would have been in deep doo doo, so i waited. it really was fun to be surprised in the delivery room. i liked it so much that i've been surprised 2 more times. i'm 26 weeks pregnant this week with surprise number 4 and am VERY tempted to ask to see the u/s pics, but will stay surprised.

kittenpie | 6:58 PM

I am so bad about surprises, too, I always want to give Misterpie his presents early just so I can see if he likes them . I certainly don't even understand why you would want to wait!

But even with Pumpkinpie, when they had a pretty good view, they said, well, it's about 80%, but NOT seeing something is not as certain as SEEING something, so...

But I can tell you - I know you told me that you think boys are the best, but me, I LOVE having a girl. Either way, it sucks waiting.

motherbumper | 7:50 PM

I have a love hate for surprises - but mostly a love. It was torture not knowing what I was having with B but at the same time, I was proud I could resist for so long. It's the one and probably only time that will happen.

Here's hoping you find out next time.

Anyhow, I had missed the Enya reference at the beginning of the post and thought that your Archer U/S dvd had Style Come Sail Away in the background which would have been... weird.

dillyweed | 12:12 AM

Ok, I'm 30 weeks pregnant now with baby #2 and when we went in for the 'gender determining ultrasound' around 17 weeks, she said "It looks like a girl, but I won't know for sure until you come back in a few weeks." I was in agony.
So we paid the $80 and drove to some place in Burbank/Glendale area and had the 3D ultrasound done. The lady spent the entire time hunting for the 'parts' - in the end she determined GIRL.
Worth every penny of that $80.
Then we went to Roscoe's for Chicken and Waffles to celebrate. Nothing like a bunch of greasy food after 4 months of puking! :)
Hope you find out soon. IF you want the name of the place we went to for the 3D ultrasound, contact me. k? (they were great)

Anonymous | 9:33 AM

I recommend a little Diet Coke and a few M&Ms b/f the next u/s. That should be enough sugar and caffeine to ensure that LO is doing flips and spreading her legs.

Maternal Mirth | 10:17 AM

They said the same thing to me ... I heard "it LOOKS like a girl" (at 14 wks) "but don't get too excited yet."

FYI - it WAS a girl. And we just love her.

I am thinking GIRL!!!

Anonymous | 11:29 AM

The same thing happened to me...almost exactly! The doctor said, "I think it's a girl but don't paint the room pink." Turned out it was a girl. Which I found out by going to one of those non-medical-reason ultrasound places because I'm just as impatient as you!

Anonymous | 11:30 AM

PS: My DH got me your book for Mother's Day. Borders was sold out so they're mailing it straight to my house. Can't wait to read it! I guess that bookmark that said "Book Courtney Wants to Read" was a good enough hint!

Marie-Ève | 12:52 PM

Isn't it ironic... Don't you think? A little too ironic (OK you get that I get the superb Alanis reference).

Congrats on the baby/book combo (I just devoured it (uhh, the book) a few weeks ago while my toddler was napping.) I'm totally using Archer as his fashion inspiration btw.

I still think it's a boy...

Shawn | 1:12 AM

The Joy will be perfect either way ... but clearly making a statement early on about who's calling the shots around your crib.

So, my guess? As a mom of two of them: a girl. : )

Congrats! Sort of.

Stephanie Wilson she/her @babysteph | 5:12 AM

It's so exciting either way- I just found out we're having a girl, too. I had a feeling with mine and I had a feeling you were having a girl, too!


Anonymous | 6:36 PM

Your post made me feel like I was pregnant again - especially the picture. I used to do that - take pictures of myself.

Yep. Sounds like it's a girl. With my son, the doctor knew right away b/c his you know what was RIGHT THERE. So funny.

I just ordered your book. Can't wait.

Anonymous | 7:36 AM

My scan is next week and I AM FINDING OUT!!

cskoczek | 1:33 PM

i could not stop laughing at the playboy sticker on my lower abdomen tanning booth days, i totally did that too! thanks for the laugh.