Around the time Benji turned the curve of his reflux issues, V started raising the prospect of another child. To give him some credit, he is a hands on and excellent father who is clearly besotted with his son. It is also quite possible he was on some testosterone-fuelled spread-my-seed high. Or crazy. Most likely all of the above.
Needless to say, I gave him a good shouting and told him quite firmly that if there was another child was to be had, I was going the adoption route. Never mind that the first few months of Benji had me suspecting that I was not adoptive parent material. There were times during those exhausting months that I was this close to losing it (some would say lost it) and I was functioning on pure instinct. I could no longer be sure that those instincts would kick in with an adopted infant.
As a sweetener, V promised me a baby girl as our second child. I rolled my eyes and told him to shut it.
Then, I got pregnant. In between blaming V for his carelessness (of course it was all his fault, though once the pukeyness subsided and I started falling in love with the baby there was less blaming), I reminded him he had promised me a girl. Very confidently he said: “I guarantee it will be a girl…50 %.” That earned him a thwack.
The first scan I had in which the baby was no longer just a blob, I crossed my fingers and toes. And let out a breath when no penis was in evidence. The doctor said he “suspected” a girl but could only confirm at 20 weeks. V looked triumphant as if he had singlehandedly (dickedly?) managed some spectacular miracle.
After that we fell into the dangerous trap of thinking of the baby as a girl. We referred to it as ‘she’ and then sometimes caught ourselves and looked sheepish. I had also come to believe in my bones that it was a girl. For one, the pregnancy felt different. And then, there was the encouraging non-sighting of penis.
My 20-week scan was the definitive moment. And voila I met my daughter. She looked different from Benji, more like me, more peaceful (ok not like me) with (sigh) my nose. I guess the Universe does know what it’s doing after all.
V of course is acting like he is some kind of super-spermal genius who can will chromosomes into the correct gender configuration. “I told you, didn’t I?” he has taken to swaggering. I am inclined to be indulgent. I have my daughter, don’t I?