It's a boy!

I never understood why anyone would want to refrain from finding out the sex of their baby at the 20 week scan, and yet most people I spoke to told me to keep it as a surprise.

Forgive me, but I think for any woman, getting pregnant in the first place is a big enough surprise.

Even if you've been trying for the last year, chances are the first time you see those two blue lines, it's going to be a little bit of a revelation unless you're so in tune with your own ovaries that you can tell the second you get knocked up.

I can be a little bit of a control freak, surprises bring me out in hives and I wanted the choice of baby names to be halved - I was adamant that I wanted to know whether we were having a boy or a girl.

Until the days in the run up to the scan. I've made no secret of it on this blog that I didn't exactly take to pregnancy like a duck to water.

I spent Christmas morning crouched on the bathroom floor, retching and moaning 'You tiny dickhead!! This is not an example of goodwill to all men!!'.

Whilst I'm sure the perfect parent brigade would take serious offence to a mother calling her unborn child a dickhead, and I'll admit that it wasn't my most maternal moment, I stand by the fact that if you're allowed to mutter obscenities under your breath whilst your child turns maroon in Tesco whilst screaming for Pop Tarts, you can have a moment when you're throwing up on Christmas morning instead of scoffing Terry's Chocolate Orange and listening to Bing Crosby like the rest of the world.

I'm still a decent mother and it's likely that one day my son will laugh heartily at that story, before stealing my bottle of Hendricks gin for a house party and I'll call him something far worse. I'm not too worried about it tbh.

Safe to say, for a while there the baby felt like an alien instead of a person. And then somewhere in the middle of the second trimester, suddenly it became a baby. A pink, cute, genderless little baby; a happy, kicking creature lurking around somewhere in my belly that was suddenly on my team.

The scan drew nearer and any excitement of finding out what we were having had started to fade. I felt like I was going to miss the little androgynous jellyfish that I'd come to imagine, I felt like I was going to miss the idea of it being either a girl or a boy. I felt like the day before the scan was our last day before that chapter ended.

Sam suggested we waited until the birth to find out, if it was bothering me.

If anything, the idea that those feelings might arise straight after labour when my child is actually there, as opposed to a flickering image on a screen was even worse. You hear about the endorphins and adrenaline taking over as soon as you see your baby, but I was scared it wouldn't happen to me and all I'd think about was missing the other child that could have been.

So we got to the hospital and of course, being a product of Sam and I and therefore genetically-speaking, a bit of a pain in the arse, it took three attempts, a walk around Tesco, a cupcake and finally me rolling around on a narrow bed like a whale in a cardigan before we managed to get a decent look at the little guy.

We told the sonographer that we wanted to know the sex, and she asked if we had any last predictions.

'Boy.' I told her.

I mean really, it can only go one of two ways but the general consensus among friends and family was a boy, with no other scientific evidence or reliability than 'Well, I just think it is.'

She confirmed our suspicions.

So we looked at him and there he was.

The following 24 hours went pretty much how I imagined they would.

Make no mistake, I am completely psyched to have a son. But I missed the idea of a little girl.

Whatever you're having, as soon as other people find out then that sex is infinitely the best because it's yours, and yet the more I heard about how special and wonderful little boys are, the more I felt protective over the little girl that could have been, defensive that she was equally special and wonderful.

It's an unusual feeling, but I hear it's pretty normal. When we came to the baby's clothing department, suddenly all those beautiful little dresses and mermaid pyjamas and sparkly shoes were things that I had no reason to buy, and as I reluctantly shuffled over to lime green t-shirts with dinosaurs on them and Iron Man socks, I missed my potential daughter again.

Think about most TV shows and movies you've seen... when the couple find out the sex of their baby, there's instant squealing and hugging and crying.

For me, it was more 'Right. That's that then.', because I was sure I already knew. Call it a hunch or mother's intuition, but I just knew, so when we went for the scan, really they were just confirming knowledge that I already had. It's a very human thing, to wonder what could have been and it isn't something that you ever expect when you find out the sex of your baby. I fully expected the movie scene, squealing and hugging in front of the sonograph screen as opposed to the reality, quietly walking back through the hospital corridors with the baby pictures in our hand, both silently pondering.

It doesn't make us disappointed, or mean that we'll love our baby any less - it's just an odd sensation to know, and then that's it.

But like most unexpected parts of pregnancy, it passed and we stopped wondering about the girl and now spend most evenings batting Oscars and Teds back and forth like it's baby name Wimbledon.

#pregnancy #gender #baby