Sixteen weeks today. Feeling like shit. Horrible headaches that make me nauseous, general feeling of being woozy and light-headed much of the time. This pregnancy is kind of a doozy. Cooking Henry was relatively easy, I've come to find out. Things that are keeping me from lying on my bathroom floor and simply moaning: I'm developing a cute little beer belly; I'll feel movement soon. I felt Henry flipping around for the first time at around 19 weeks and, if it's true that you feel the second pregnancy sooner, then I'll feel something or other in the next couple of weeks. One pick-me-up coming in the very near future is the big gender reveal. We went to a Peek-A-Crotch ultrasound center at 16 weeks with Henry and, true to form, will be doing it again this week.
I find myself thinking about gender so much more during this pregnancy. There are two reasons for this. First, when I was pregnant with Henry, I was so totally sure that he was a boy that I didn't really feel like I needed to think about what gender was living inside me. Because basically, I knew. So when the ultrasound tech swiveled around to show a prominent set of twig and berries, it just didn't feel like a surprise. I was elated - I had grown genitals out of petri dish emulsion, J's sperm and my egg - but I felt like I'd known the whole time. This time I don't have that gut feeling. The pronoun "she" wanders into my head quite a bit but that's not the same as the feeling I had with Henry. I've dreamed about having this baby several times and each time, the gender switches. Equal ticks in the girl column and boy column.
This ambiguity keeps me thinking about the gender but more so it's the future picture of my family. I think I'm done after two. It was hard to get here and I can't imagine my body will keep responding well to IVF hell. What's more, I don't think I want to be pregnant a third time or have a third child. I want parenting to be a man on man game. Children should not outnumber adults or it's total anarchy. J doesn't feel the same way - he'd like a third, he's one of three kids - but that's a discussion for the future. A discussion in which he doesn't have a uterus and doesn't pee a little when he sneezes. (I know. Kegels.) When this topic does come up, he asks me if I think that his youngest brother, was a mistake. Um, what? The question is not, "Should we eradicate all third-born children from this earth?" My answer to that question is, unequivocally, "No, they can stay." It's hard having completely irrational debates. I don't mean to shrug off J's hopes and dreams for our family, I just know that the onset of the second trimester isn't the time to make sweeping decisions.
I had this little moment of clarity the other day regarding the gender. It's totally sappy and not really like me but it's made me excited and given me a sense of calm. We're just finding out who's meant to be cooking in there. I told you. Sappy. But I'm pregnant and cried while watching a 2015 Cubs highlights reel. Sappy is my thing right now.