Thursday, May 22, 2008

Is that a soother you're toting or are you just happy to see me?

Well, so much for April showers bringing May flowers. The wet damp is keeping me indoors long enough to catch up on overdue baby news. The week we flew to Canada was eventful to say the least. Not only did we have a tour of the maternity ward where I'll be delivering if Mr Green's foot is heavy enough on the accelerator (no worries there, then), the following day it was back to the hospital for the 20-week anomaly scan. A few tense minutes waiting while one woman came out of the darkened ultrasound room in tears. Up until that point I must admit I had been so eager to find out whether Little Green was a he or a she that I hadn't stopped to brace myself against other, potentially devastating possibilities. We arrived for the appointment in such a haste that I'd left my glasses at home and had to watch the monitor through prescription sunglasses like some D-list celebrity. But the sonographer was non-plussed. (I guess he would be, in his line of work. I can't imagine being the day-to-day bearer of such extremely good and extremely bad news. Needless to say, he must get through some boxes of tissues in there...) Fortunately for us the news and the visibility were equally good. It never ceases to amaze me seeing the little being flipping around inside me like a fish. What a marvel modern science is, what an undervalued tour de force! All of the organs were on show, including the ones Mr Green couldn't help but notice. 'Is that what I think it is?' he said, and the sonographer confirmed his suspicions. So my instinct for the past week or so was right on the money. Wow. For the next couple of hours we sat reeling while the realization set in: IT'S A BOY.

I confess to harbouring an initial preference for a girl, if only because -- as I think is the case with most women -- I feel more attuned to what I know and can personally identify with. But shortly thereafter I felt elated about my little boy. How could I not? We were lucky to find out, though. Many hospitals have a staunch policy to refuse, no matter how you beg, to reveal the sex of the baby in case it leads to wilful abortion and infanticide. To think that some cultures still see girls as any less precious than boys truly makes my stomach churn.

But what of Little Green? Would he share our affinity for the natural world and all of its wondrous creatures big and small? Would he be a passionate artist drawing beautiful meaning out of meaninglessness? Or would he be an ambassador trying, in his own small way, to redress the many injustices and cruelties of this world? Whatever he does, whatever he becomes, I love him already, my Jack. (I know it sounds odd, but I can't help but feel like I know him - his Jackness - already, even though his name hasn't yet been 'formally' agreed upon with Mr Green Senior.)

No sooner was Little Green pronounced a 'he' did my mom host a baby shower in the North American tradition. The house was beautifully decorated in blue banners. Friends and family gathered en masse to play silly games, to eat and generally spoiled our bambino with lots of gorgeous soft toys and outfits. At this rate he'll be infinitely better dressed than both his parents. The day was topped off when my friend Josee presented us with the original canvases (see inset) she'd painted for the nursery following our dog theme, ensuring Jack has no choice but to be an animal lover! Another high point: the album my mother put together featuring baby pictures of both Mr Green and I which culminated in photos of us as a couple in love progressing to parents in the making. All I can say is if our love for the baby comes remotely near our love for one another then he will be a truly blessed little man. I only wish it were the case for every new life entering this world...

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