In olden times, when a nattily attired man in a three-piece suit, a monocle and a top-hat would indiscriminately place his seed into the fairer sex, finding out the fetal gender that resulted from their sepia-toned lovemaking wasn’t an option. A lot has changed since the 70’s, however. Now, medical science allows us to not only learn our baby’s sex far in advance, but also whether our child will be born with physical abnormalities (flippers, for example), or maybe even whether or not the mom might be pregnant with the ghost of Adolf Hitler.
Truly, we are living in amazing times.
Some people, though, are hardcore non-believers who spit in the face of science at any given opportunity. They refuse to discover the sex of their baby until its—LOL—being pulled from the vagina by a doctor, who then, if movies have taught me anything, screams, “IT’S A MOTHERFCUKIN’ ________, YA’LL!” before popping a bottle of Cristal and doing the Electric Slide. (Note: I only watch Madea movies.)
People who don’t find out the sex of their unborn child are scary and weird, and basically, an affront to all of the hard-working science doctors who make up the backbone of our society.
Speaking of backbones, my child’s looks great. You know, according to the medical professional who we saw last week. We were there figuring out the baby’s sex, as intelligent, reasonable people are wont to do. She shot lasers at my wife’s stomach and said, “Well, it has an outstanding spine. Just perfect. And if you want to look away for a second, I’ll figure out if it’s a boy or a girl… okay, yep. It’s very clear.”
I asked how often she gets the sex wrong—whether my child’s hoo-ha or woo-woo was clearly defined. I’d heard horror stories about misinterpreted results… families torn apart be reckless deductions, unused baseball gloves discarded like yesterday’s spent Cristal bottles.
“Oh, I’ve done 25,000 of these,” she said without a hint of hyperbole. “If I’d gotten one wrong, I’m sure I would have heard about it.”
She assured us that the baby’s genitals were QUITE visible, and that my child was definitely NOT a hermaphrodite. Then, she wrote the sex on the sonogram photo and placed it into an envelope, which I immediately tucked into my pocket without looking.
See, we didn’t want to know right then. Apparently, there’s this thing perpetuated (sponsored?) by Pinterest (working in conjunction with Facebook, Friendster, MySpace and… Xanga?) where you figure out the sex, but it’s not a doctor making the proclamation in a sterile room while your wife’s stomach is still covered with residual belly-jelly. Instead, you take the sex-document somewhere and devise some elaborate plan so that you can then surprise others—most likely friends and family—and be surprised yourself.
Some people have a balloon maker (haha—like THAT’S a fucking thing) make a box full of balloons that are either blue (boy), pink (girl), or fire-engine red (hermaphrodite, probably), and then they seal the box, and then the couple takes the box of balloons somewhere and opens it. CONGRATS! YOU’RE HAVING A BALLOON! everyone then proclaims gleefully.
I’ve also heard of people having a balloon (again! balloons!) filled with colored glitter, and then popping the balloon to reveal the gender. CONGRATS! YOU’RE HAVING A STRIPPER!
We went the most traditional route—and by “traditional,” I mean, “the one that allowed my wife to have cake because she’s totally pregnant and FUCK YEAH, CAKE”—and we took our envelope to the local mom-and-pop bakery, Hy-Vee the supermarket. We requested that the sweet old lady in the Cake Department make us a gender reveal cake, and MAN ALIVE, she knew exactly what we were talking about. She took our example (a picture printed from Pinterest, natch), and promised to have the cake ready the following evening.
The next day was an absolutely impossible exercise in not phoning the bakery and screaming, “WHAT COLOR IS THE INTERNAL LAYER OF ICING, SWEET OLD LADYBITCH?”
But I made it.
That evening, we took the cake—the top read, “IT’S A…” (get it?)—over to my wife’s parent’s house and we all had a cookout. And as we scarfed down our delicious burgers, we all kept our eyes on that goddamned cake. Once the burgers were finished, we gathered round. Everyone fired up their phones, ready to capture the joyous moment. My three-year-old nephew tried to attack the cake with a spoon, because you cannot sit a three-year-old in front of a cake for any reasonable period of time and not expect that to happen.
And then we cut the cake.
The rest is a bit of a blur; maybe it was the gravity of the moment, or maybe it was the four beers I’d had (I was nervous, goddamnit, lay off). Thankfully, the videos tell the tale. There I am, my mouth opening and closing like a fish who flopped out of the bowl and isn’t long for this world. There’s my wife, screaming and crying and shrieking like an old witch’s ghost. And then, tears. Everyone crying. Everyone hugging.
The frosting was…
We were all overjoyed for our own particular reasons.
A girl assured my in-laws that, no matter what happens with our sexual reproduction going forward (or the mating habits of my sister-in-law and her husband), they’ll at least have one granddaughter.
My wife had been secretly hoping for a girl all along, so, score.
And as for me, I was happy for practical reasons. Knowing that we’re having a girl allows me plenty of time to begin crafting my own tampons, and reading up on menopause, an affliction that, as I understand it, affects most females.
Thank you science, for helping us to be better prepared.
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