Our Day at the Ultrasound

Our Day at the Ultrasound

“Do you want a boy or a girl?” Susan asked.

“I just want the baby to be healthy”, I lied. I rubbed my swollen belly.  The ultrasound was in a week.

I secretly desired a girl.  I knew that if I said that, the conversation would go down a path that I didn’t care to explore with this friend.

I wanted to dress my baby in pretty dresses, put bows in her hair, and teach her to be strong and beautiful.  I imagined her as a young girl in ballet recitals with pink tutus twirling and kicking high into the air with her pointed toes.

Susan has three boys and they constantly wrestle and yell.  She takes her boys to basketball games and plays soccer with them in the backyard.  I couldn’t imagine her as the mom of a girly girl.  I feared she would see my desires as shallow and the silly daydreams of a mother-to-be.

At the ultrasound, the radiologist took forever taking measurements without saying a word.  I began to get worried that my little peanut wasn’t developing right.  My husband was looking at the little monitor like he understood everything on there.  Maybe he did, he seemed to have a little smirk on his face.  I squeezed my husband’s hand and he looked at me.  Noticing my fear and tension, he spoke up.

“Um, is everything okay?” he asked.

The doctor cleared his throat and straightened his tie.  In that split second, I realized that I really did just want my baby to be healthy.  Finally, he broke out into a big smile and said, “Everything is just fine”.  “You have two healthy looking boys here.”

What?  Did I hear that right? Two boys? The rush of emotions was too complex to comprehend.  While my husband whooped for joy and hugged me, I just stared at the screen.

“Are you, are you sure?” I stammered. I felt relieved, overwhelmed, ecstatic, disappointed and scared all at once.  I heard a mental door slam as the daydreams of braiding hair and tea parties were stomped out. A void took its place.

The doctor gave me a wry smile at having his competence questioned by a half –naked woman, lying flat on her back, with jelly all over her tummy.  But he is accustomed to the scenario and dutifully explained and showed the 4 chambers of both hearts, the measurements of 2 heads, and finally the full profile of two complete babies.  Sure enough, I saw two penises.

This was real. I was going to be the mother of two baby boys in five months. By the time I was cleaned and dressed, I was coherent enough to smile, hug my husband, thank the doctor and walk out with a plastered smile on my face. As my husband started calling people and tweeting our big news, I could hear the pride and excitement in his voice.  Had he been secretly hoping for a boy?  Was he just relieved that the babies were healthy?  Why wasn’t he freaking out at the thought of twins?

Slowly, a new daydream began to form.  I imagined the boys playing cars together on the front lawn.  I saw them dressed up in baseball uniforms, practicing before the big game. I heard my future self, teaching them how to treat a young lady.  My heart swelled with pride at the fine young men I was raising. Okay! I was ready for this adventure.

I called Susan.  As I gave her the news, my husband glanced over at me.  He could hear the genuine excitement in my voice and gave my hand another squeeze. We decided to go celebrate by going to a baby store and pick out our wish list of strollers, car seats, and cribs and room décor.

As I walked down the aisles looking at sports themes and dinosaur themes and train themes, I decided having boys would be fun. My husband and I discussed the merits of each theme and item.  I was falling even more in love with him every minute.

“Sweetie, sweetie… Tiffany”


“Wake-up. The ultrasound appointment is this morning. You have to start drinking water to get ready”. As David showered, I thought about my dream.

In the car, on the way to the appointment I asked my husband if he is hoping for a boy or a girl.  He shrugged and said, he is just hoping for a healthy baby.

“Really?”  I prodded.

“Well, a boy would be kind of fun.  I could take him fishing and camping and show him how to change a tire.” He replied.

“You could do that with a girl too”

“I could, I guess, it wouldn’t be the same though. What do you want?”

“I just want a healthy baby too.” I said truthfully.

I told him all about my dream.  We held hands and walked into the doctor’s office.

“David, there’s something you should know. You know my mom is a twin.”

“Of course…”

“Well, my cousin has been doing some genealogy research and discovered that there has been a set of twins in every generation, except ours, for the last 100 years.”


Just then the doctor opened the door and introduced herself as Dr. Murphy.  She was very chatty and cordial and explained everything she was doing.

Then she stopped and said “um, do multiples run in your family?”

“Yes” I answered.

“Well, it looks like you are going to be the proud parents of three little girls. They all look like they are developing just fine.”

David and I both looked at each other and then Dr. Murphy and we started laughing.

What else could we do?


What happened when you went to the ultrasound?  Did you secretly hope for a certain gender or twins?  Share your reaction to the news.





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