At first Aaron and I said that we would wait for the birth to find out the sex of our impending offspring. The outcome either way didn’t matter much to us, the thought of the surprise was a bit thrilling, and we’d likely avoid overly-gendered clothes and toys, at least for a while. But as it does, curiosity got the better of us. That, along with the overwhelming excitement and frequent and distracting unknowns happening around the wedding, and this whole year really, persuaded us that the opportunity to wrap our heads around something a bit concrete should be taken.
My 20-week mark fell the week of our wedding, and the maternal fetal medicine
folk at Texas Children insisted the anatomy scan be done at this time. So another wedding week
“to-do” was added to an already extensive list. We scheduled the ultrasound for the morning of Wednesday the 19th of October, a couple hours before we were due to leave Houston for the Hills of Texas to begin the long and wonderful process that was our nuptials. I had a midwife appointment on Monday the 17th, which revealed a 20cm fundal height (right on target), a 6lb weight gain from my assumed baseline, and vitals exactly where they should be. Things are looking excellent.
Aaron’s folks were in town for the wedding, my folks were in town for the drive, and Aaron of course was attending, all of which means I had a full entourage in the ultrasound suite (which was luckily about the size of our living room). It was actually really great having everyone there to share in the joy and wonder of the scan. Getting to peak at babe’s adorable profile, little feet, hands, tummy and wiggles was almost too much. Aaron’s father Bob, a radiologist by trade, happily lead us on a little tour of some tiny anatomy, and also served as our designated sex-spotter / piñata-stuffer. We asked the tech to keep the sex secret and ask the rest of us to look away while documenting it. It took about 45 minutes to complete, and the physician who reviewed the results came in and told that everything looked nice and normal. My pre-wedding frenzied brain could relax a tiny big.
After a whirlwind of last minute errands and impressive car tetras both sets of parents and we began our caravan to Marble Falls, to the property we’d rented for five days to host our wedding.
To create this scene Aaron and I picked up this gaudy tropical monkey piñata the local absurd party/animal feed store (Arne’s in Houston) and stripped the blue and pink flowers from two plastic leis in bizarre honor of our Hawaiian Honeymoon. Because candy also needed to happen, we also stuffed her with some some boozy chocolates to amp up the motivation and the irony. Grandpa Bob, who knew the sex sneaked away while dinner was being prepped to stuff the monkey with either the pink or blue flowers.
A couple of friends and two sisters-in-law joined us by the evening time and after dinner, but before dessert, it was time for swinging. A bridesmaid and another future aunt joined in on FaceTime.
Blindfolded, Aaron and I both took swings while groomsman Sam tugged it out of tantalizing reach. Then both sets of grandparents took turns doing damage. Finally, future Aunt Laurel dealt it the blow which revealed in a slow downward drift three pink plastic flowers. A girl she is! Thank heaven.
Even though the whole “gender reveal” concept seemed a bit hokey and plays into a binary contrivance we had a lot of fun picking out and whacking at a piñata, and sharing this experience and news in real time with friends and family. It was a sweet little event which kicked off a fantastic 5-day wedding weekend in the Texas hill country.
*Gender ≠ Sex. These are not interchangeable. Sex is determined biologically. Gender is a cultural construct which will reveal itself in due time. Here we’ve revealed the sex of our child. Just had to include that.