When the technician was taking this sonogram of my not yet born son the other day, she remarked he had long bones as she measured his femur. My first thought was something along the lines of longer thighbones=more leverage= World Championships 2035. We left the medical office clutching the fax-like scroll of images created by the ultrasound waves.
Sitting in the car, we stared at them like seers reading tea leaves, our minds with nowhere to go but into the future. When we got home, Stephanie scanned our favorite shot and printed one 4″x5″ for my desk. I then requested a wallet version of junior— at 26 weeks in utero. You tell yourself you’re not going to do stuff like this, but I guess mostly you do.
When my partner announced she was pregnant, one of the first questions to come up was would we decide to find out if it was a boy or girl or would we tell the sonogram technicians to keep us in the dark. Stephanie was certain in her desire to know, while I was pretty sure I wanted it to be a surprise, part of the natural wonder of the whole experience, just like it has been for thousands of years up until the last few decades. Briefly considered was the idea that she would be told and I would not. But of course there would be no way to keep that secret for almost half a year. It was the second sonogram at around 18 weeks where we found out our baby’s gender.
At that stage, the images on the computer often appeared as galactic swirls and blobs to an untrained eye, but when the young woman said Oh, see right there, I could see what she was talking about right away. Stephanie could not make heads or tails. There, said our tech, the boy parts! Stephanie was still seeing little more than an abstract black and white swirl, so I got up, strode over to the monitor, pointed at the appendages in question and said, rather loudly, Testicles, penis.
There is still plenty of wonder in the whole thing, not the least of which is having a snapshot of your son nestled in your wallet 3 months or so before his birth day.