“I would infinitely prefer a daughter. If I had a son, I would leave him at the A&P or some other big advertising place where somebody who needs a kid would find him and he would be all right. … A daughter would be drawn to me. A daughter would want to help me.
Girls are infinitely more complicated than boys, and women more than men. And there’s no doubt about that. We just don’t like to think about it. Certainly the men don’t like to think about it. I have lived my whole life with a dream daughter.” –Maurice Sendak
It’s strange, the things one imagines of an unborn child. Will she sport my freckles, her father’s mouth, or her paternal grandmother’s blue-blue eyes? Will she be smart, shy, stubborn, silly, and/or otherwise character-filled? She’s been a mystery for so long, it seems, and yet she’s getting more real every day: she has a bedroom now, complete with a bed and curtains and an overfull bookcase. This is more than my bedroom has–we’re still looking for the perfect curtains, after 4.5 years of mis-matched and stained hand-me-downs from our past house. She has a car seat and a stroller and a plush rocking cow. She still doesn’t have a name.
Ever since a couple of weeks ago, when she was breech (she’s since flipped), I’ve become obsessed with trying to identify her various body parts through my torso–a strange and frustrating practice that leaves me frowning and jabbing myself in the belly, awkwardly, and at random moments throughout the day and night. Somehow this internal examination makes her more real, too; I’m now not only interested in how she’s doing in there: I have become increasingly concerned with what she’s doing in there, and how on earth she’s going to come out.
One of my best friends gave birth last Tuesday, 4 weeks early, to a healthy little girl. She had a less-than-comfortable pregnancy, especially toward the end, and I’m glad she’s out of the woods now, and into those new and different woods that I have yet to experience. When I received the first text from her husband that she was going into labor, and then saw that first (only, thus far) blurry picture of be-hatted little Kira, I felt oddly impatient for my own daughter. Even with her head and knees correctly or incorrectly identified through my torso, the reality of my own child has always been in question. I very much want to see her in person, to touch her and hear her to make sure she’s really real.