Here I am, sitting on the brink of 33 weeks pregnant, and I’ve found myself in one of those situations again. Which many IVF mom’s know all too well. Do I act surprised and overwhelmed with joy that my fourth child ‘turned out’ to be a girl?!?!
I find myself to be a rather open book anyways, in all aspects of my life. I disclose too much at times, to a fault, but that is just my nature. I am the person who would shout from the rooftops that I did IVF and I got my girl!, however, it’s not really a subject matter you shout from the rooftops. And I’m found in that predicament of telling a stranger we did it, or not telling them. And strangely…while pregnant, in what seems like the longest 10 months of your life, this topic comes up more times than I actually gave any thought to until I had to field the question in my mind all the time.
At ultrasounds…do you know the sex of the baby? Yes, it’s a girl. Then baby girl pops up on the screen and theres the situation presented, yet again. The ultrasound technician says, yep, it’s a girl, here’s confirmation. Now, here, this is the point in which I have to make a decision…do I pretend I’m relieved because they could have made a mistake at the last ultrasound? Or do I tell this perfect stranger, there was no doubt it was a girl, because we went through IVF to get said girl? I’ve done both, and both give me a weird feeling inside. This last time I decided to pretend, and I said something like, oh thank god, since her room is already pink. And the tech said oooohhhh, are you just so excited to have a girl?!?! There it is right there…that question….’oh how lucky you are to have three boys and now have your girl’ or ‘how excited were you when they told you it was a girl?’…crickets…I play along, fake smile and mutter something about being SO excited…but it feels wrong. I’m lying. I’m excited, yes. I was excited, yes. But, I knew. I did it with purpose, intention. Faking that is exhausting. And that is with complete strangers…people I will more than likely never see again.
Then there’s the flip side to that…divulging too much info and making people feel uncomfortable or making yourself uncomfortable. Same instance, a medical professional is asking you a question and somehow it gets around to the gender of the baby and when they ask that very same question, that’s been asked 100 times before, I don’t lie. I tell them I did IVF to get a girl and yada yada yada. Some shake it off like you said nothing at all, and move on to the next thing…some say they had no idea you could do that, and others say how great it is. For whatever reason, this makes me feel weird too. I’m legit shocked how many people in the medical field know nothing about IVF, especially OB’s, and women’s health providers. Just yesterday I got an earful from a nurse who told me how great she thinks IVF is and how she doesn’t understand why people look down on it and all that goes with that topic, and I nod my head in agreement but feel strange inside. Should I have opened pandoras box with this stranger and told her that? Who do you tell? Who don’t you tell? I think it’s an age old question that only mothers of IVF treatments will understand.
I’m still left to try to dodge the awkward feeling and discomfort I feel when someone says those things to me. Maybe the age old question for me will never be answered. I’ll just have to wait until she’s born to start answering the question all over again when strangers see our family of 6, majority boys, with a little baby girl in the mix….and ask the very same thing.