|Baby Raya standing on her head in full somersault position. (Head is bottom right, torso curving up along the right side, legs and feet across the top.)|
Shortly after we found out I was pregnant, I calculated that on Christmas Day, I would be 18 weeks pregnant to the day. Since 18 weeks is typically when you find out the baby’s gender, my husband, Nick suggested I find out a little early and give him the news as a Christmas gift. This idea didn’t last long, though: he decided I would ruin the surprise because I can't keep a secret.
A word to the wise: don't tell a pregnant woman what she can't do.
Nick cooked up a plan for me to go in for a sonogram and "look the other direction" as the ultrasound tech determined the gender. The tech then would circle "boy" or "girl" in a card, put the card in an envelope, seal it, and not tell me.
The funniest thing to me about this plan is that my husband actually thought I would go through with it. I'm the one who was nauseated for 13 weeks straight. I'm the one that's already gained 15 pounds even though the baby only weighs about 8 ounces at this point. And I wasn't about to look the other way at my first opportunity to see this baby's "goods."
So I did what any red-blooded expectant mother would do: I happily agreed to Nick's suggestion and hatched a plan of my own. Last week, I snuck away to a clandestine doctor’s appointment and learned we're having a girl.
Nick has not been shy about telling everyone he knows he wants that he wants a baby girl. I think he pictures her as a miniature version of me who he can spoil hopelessly.
I could hardly wait for Christmas to come. I wrapped a little white Onesie with pink and red trim that reads: "I love my Daddy." Directly underneath the Onesie was a little red and black gingham dress that Nick had tried to buy two months ago. At the time, I wouldn’t let him buy it – I was barely eight weeks pregnant and we hadn’t even heard a heartbeat.
We spent Christmas morning at Nick’s parent’s house. I brought the gift along with all the other family gifts. Nick ripped off the paper, opened the lid, and took out the Onesie and the little dress. He held up the dress and started cheering.
It was a Christmas for the record books. I suppose it may be a few years down the road – when our little one can appreciate Christmas – before we can top it.
Rachel Raya is a PR manager for Texas Health Resources who is 18 weeks pregnant and addicted to peanut butter banana smoothies from Central Market.