A pregnant woman walks into my clinic, wanting to do an ultrasound scan. So I ask if there are any specific indications, any feature in particular the requesting doctor needs to see on the scan. She says, “Oh, nothing in particular; I just want to be sure of the general health of my baby.”
“Okay, let me switch on the machine, and we’ll get to it in a minute.”
As I get out of my chair, she asks, “Doctor, will the scan show the gender of my baby?”
I sit back down.
“Madam, I did just ask you if there was any specific characteristic you needed to see on the ultrasound. It could probably show the gender of your baby, but might I ask why you want to know?”
She says she wants to know what colors/types of baby clothes to buy. (Oddly, multiple women have given me this answer, while some admit frankly that they/their husbands want to know.)
Babies usually wear onesies in their first few months of life. Is knowing what color or type of outfits to buy for the baby really a pressing need?
I completely understand wanting to know, for knowing’s sake. What throws me is when a woman who has had 3 or 4 girls comes in for an ultrasound scan, hoping to see a boy. (It’s never been one with 3 or 4 boys, hoping for a girl.) What is she going to do if I say, “Congratulations, it looks like you’re having a girl”? She certainly cannot terminate the pregnancy, as the laws of my country forbid abortion unless the life of the woman is at risk.
What happens, then? Does she harbor disappointment and regret about the gender of the unborn child? Go home and tell her husband, “Sorry, the doctor says it’s another girl?”
When I get to having kids of my own, I’d rather be pleasantly surprised when they hand my newborn baby over and say, “Look at that, you have a bouncing baby boy/girl.” Baby clothes can wait till I have an actual baby in my arms- the shops won’t close down when I go into labor.
Would you want to know the gender of your baby before its birth? Tell me all about it in the comment section.
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