18 December 2014, by Tan Yi Lin
When people came to know that I was carrying a girl during my pregnancy with Coco, some would inevitably quip, “First baby – doesn’t matter if it’s a boy or girl.” Inherent in that statement was that gender would matter when it came to subsequent children.
Worse, some would say outright, “Never mind. Can try again for a boy next time.” One of my colleagues even insisted on dispensing advice on when to have sex so as to guarantee that we’d have a boy. “Sure work one,” she affirmed, “that’s what I did with my husband.” Mmmkaaaay. Ugh. Enough info already.
When I was pregnant with Claire, people continued telling me that I should have a son. Behind forced smiles, I joked that children were not MacDonald’s Happy Meal collectibles – we didn’t need to collect the full set of different characters in the series.
The most memorable (not in a good way) dig came from a stranger who at first glance, appeared to be making friendly conversation about my bump. “We’re having a girl!” I proudly beamed.
“Never mind. Hope for a miracle okay? Maybe the scan was wrong. Maybe next time you scan, it will be a boy,” came the response.
Wha…t? I was so taken aback that I had no come back for her.
Hope for a miracle? As if the growing foetus inside was nothing short of one?
Poor Claire. To be dismissed as a disappointment before she was even born.
With the birth of our second daughter, the comments on gender kept on coming.
“So how? Going for no.3? A boy?”
“Are you going to try for a boy?”
“Have one more lah – a boy!”
When we shared the happy news of our third pregnancy, it was a question begging to be asked, “Congratulations! So, are you hoping for a boy?”
I didn’t mind if people were genuinely curious and if they asked politely. I replied that I would be equally happy to have a boy or a girl. Honestly, I would.
But yet, people would insist on me wanting a boy.
“I HOPE for you that this baby will be A BOY.”
“I WISH for you that you will have A BOY.”
“You don’t mind another girl?! No, no, no! You MUST have A BOY!”
“Your pregnancy symptoms are different this time round? You MUST be having A BOY!”
I finally blew up over the last statement and retorted rather forcibly, “NO. IT. DOES. NOT. MEAN. THAT. I’M. HAVING. A. BOY! STOP SAYING THAT I’M HAVING A BOY!”
The commenter beat a hasty retreat. For good. Never to speak a word on the gender of my baby again.
I’m into my 14th week of this pregnancy. Normally, the earliest that we would be able get any hint of the baby’s gender during a scan would be between the 15th and 20th weeks.
This time around, we opted to do the Harmony Prenatal Test – a blood test that can detect Down’s Syndrome and other major birth defects as early as 10 weeks into the pregnancy. Some people have questioned why even do the test if you know you’re going to keep the baby – no matter what. Well, unlike the first two pregnancies where we had a wide bandwidth of resources to handle any birth complications, with two young children to care for now, we just want to be more prepared – both in terms of caregiving arrangements and finances.
Health-wise, 2014 has been a disappointing year for us. That said, we are thankful that the girls have emerged unscathed and that CoughSexTM delivered us with a surprise third pregnancy. We are also glad that the results from the Harmony Test are clear.
The thing about the Harmony Test is that the health of the foetus isn’t the only thing that the results can tell. You can also tell its gender.
Come June 2015, we will be parents to a total of three little girls.
Dannie’s so blessed to be loved and taken care of by four beautiful women for the rest of his life!
Recently, I jokingly told a colleague that see, this is what happens because Dannie wished to be always surrounded by beautiful, young, girls. The grandfather of two admonished me, “No need to make excuses! Every child is a gift. Girl or boy. They are all blessings.” Wise words indeed.
May the New Year bring all of you the joys and blessings that you deserve. Thank you, always, for following our stories and sharing our lives through this blog. May 2015 be a wonderfully happy and healthy year for all.