January 23, 2012

The Story Behind The Gender Reveal

Now that I've had a couple days to process, I thought I'd share the story of Friday's reveal...

I had ordered the cake earlier in the week, and we picked it up after our appointment on Friday afternoon. We wanted it to be a moment with just the two of us when we found out, and since my mom lives with us, that ruled out cutting into it at home. So from the bakery, we drove to a neighborhood park not too far from our house and walked to a ramada overlooking a small lake. (Well, technically to most of you it would probably wouldn't even qualify as a small pond, but we don't have much water where we live, so our perception of the size of a body of water tends to be a bit skewed.)

Anyway, it was a pretty setting. I had put R in charge of gathering the necessary supplies, and he had grabbed the cake-cutting knife and server we had used for our wedding, along with paper plates, etc. We cut it like we cut our wedding cake - both of our hands on the knife. I stared at the ceiling of the ramada as we sliced into it, but he had the camera in his other hand, so he was taking pictures.

When we pulled the knife out, I was expecting to see crumbs. There were no crumbs, but there was some of the filling on the knife.

My reaction was, "It's pink??!?"

I won't post the first picture he took of my face, but let's just say it's quite the expression. It's not that I was unhappy, it's just that we've known for 8 years (since our first adoption certification) that it would be more likely we'd wind up adopting a boy. We were/are open to either gender and any race, and the adoption professionals all told us that because of that, we'd most likely be matched with a boy. And the first two of our three matches were boys. (In the third one, which we were only matched for a few days, the gender wasn't known until the baby was born, and she was a girl.)

Because of those matches, we bought boy stuff when we were preparing. And the friend who gave us most of the baby furniture we have had two boys, so it's boy-themed. And of our normal embryos, 9 of them tested male and 6 tested female. And Kiddo has very long feet.

And so, because of all of that, my brain has been completely in boy mode for most of a decade.

So seeing pink was quite the surprise. I kept looking at the cake and saying "It's still pink!" Finally, after about the fifth time repeating that phrase, R said, "Yeah, I don't think it's the kind of thing that really changes over time...or with exposure to air."

He was great, as usual - he was able to wrap his head around the fact that it was pink right away.

Then we packed up, headed home, and invited his parents over for dinner. We had told them and my mom about the cake plan a while back but hadn't reminded them lately.

After we ate, I mentioned that we had dessert. They were kind of surprised, given that I'm supposed to be limiting my sugar intake. We had them close their eyes, and then R brought out the cake, which we had left in our car.

Their reactions were pretty funny. I video taped it, and we may think about sending it in to America's Funniest Home Videos someday.

R's mom's first reaction was puzzled: "Why is there a piece missing??" When I told them to look at the color, she said, "Piiink?" slowly and looked at us questioningly.

Then it dawned on my mom, who literally started screaming (no exaggeration) "It's a girl, it's a girl!" and pounding the table. Then she reached for the phone and began calling people, saying, "Oh my God, (friend's name), it's a girl, it's a girl! I've gotta go, gotta call more people! Bye!" There are some people on the East Coast who were probably awoken from a sound sleep (it was 11 p.m. there) and thought it was a prank call, because she bypassed the traditional niceties, such as mentioning who, exactly, was calling... :-)

For me, the surprise has worn off and now I'm just excited. But I do still think of things every once in a while that make me nervous.

For example, R was a Boy Scout, and his dad was a troop leader. Since I envisoned us with a boy, I also envisioned R being the troop leader. On Saturday, the thought occurred to me - can dads accompany Girl Scouts on camping trips? Apparently not.

"So you mean I'm going to have to learn how to pitch a tent and start a fire by rubbing two sticks together??" I asked him. "You know I'm not good with fire! I can't even light a basic match without burning myself!"

On the other hand, I have some serious skills when it comes to sniffing out a good deal on a hotel. Can't I just teach them how to make reservations instead?


Anonymous said...

Dads actually can camp with girl scouts and can even have an adult girlscout membership if they want. They just need their own tent and there has to be moms there too.

Anna said...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!! Oh, I am so LMAO right now. I've been pregnant twice. The first time, when we found out the baby was a boy, I was seriously confused. We had a girl's name picked out, we wholeheartedly envisioned us having a girl. I forgot "boy" was an actual option. That pregnancy did not end well, but I did get used to the idea that a boy could be okay.

My second pregnancy was again... a boy. I resigned myself to the fact, just grateful that he was healthy. Well, nearly 6 years later, I love that little guy with all my heart. I'm glad he is the way he is and I can't imagine anyone else. We've finished our baby-making efforts and I'm saving all the little girl things for my cousin, should she have a girl in their IVF future.

So, I know what you mean about expecting one and getting the other. Congratulations on your daughter! I know you and R will be wonderful parents, and I am so happy for you all :)

kikisf said...

LOL!!!! That is so funny.We were the same. We called our baby he so much that my husband's family thought we were holding out on the gender. We both really wanted a boy. My husband wanted one to play sports, carry on the family name. I wanted one because it would be less work for me and I wouldn't have to share bathroom space or deal with my daughter hating me. Boys tend to resent their dads more than their moms. But we have a girl and honestly after all the crap I have been through to get pregnant I am happy as long as it is healthy! Just even the fact that it is my egg is such an unexpected blessing I am beside myself. That being said we both were a little stunned when we found out it was a girl.

Silver said...

Aw - such a lovely way to find out/reveal the gender! I had wanted a girl for ages (like most recurrent loss/IF folk, a baby of any kind was fine, but I kinda wanted a girl). I had had a very strong feeling through the pregnancy that I was carrying a boy, which was confirmed at our 20 week scan. I wasn't sure at all how I felt, but as time went on I got happier and happier, and now I can't imagine anything else but wonderful, lovely, fantastic HIM! You are going to love that baby so fiercely that gender will be utterly irrelevant.

Libby said...

Oh, your mom is hilarious. Sounds like she is going to be a fun grandma :)

And you know, there aren't many good surprises with IF, but finding out you are having a girl when you were expecting a boy is a very good surprise! I'm excited that you're excited! I'll just have to wish you luck with the whole girl scout thing because that is not my gift either!

Wiley said...

This will make a great story to tell her someday too! I think the cake method is really fun too. THat said, I don't think I can ever wait a minute longer than necessary to know gender ;-)

Sue said...

So excited for you!!! I know it's been forever, but I've been dying to hear how you are doing!!!! Yay! I am partial to girls;-)

SassyIfLady said...

Awesome!!! Congrats! With a house full of boys myself, I'd welcome a little girl...shopping partner for later in life! :-) Love the post!