When my husband and I found out we were expecting in the winter of 2011, I was calm-and-cool excited. Honey was over-the-moon excited. He had children from his first marriage and knew what to expect, somewhat. I did not. I wasn’t sure who or what was growing inside me as my abdomen swelled.
During a particular routine visit to my doctor, the assistant asked if we wanted to know the sex. Though it was fairly early, she could already tell what it was. A boy. Over the next month we scribbled down names and started looking at décor for the nursery. I’d even sneak a few items in while we were shopping. A baseball cap here, a pair of athletic shoes there. I mean, a couple outfits wouldn’t hurt, right?
The next month we visited the doctor for my regular check-up. Before the doctor entered, the same assistant arrived and prepped my swollen belly with the cold slime that I’d seen previously. “Let’s take a look here,” she said. She began dragging the wand across my torso. Back and forth. Back and forth. She stopped, then pressed a little further. She stopped again, put the wand down and started typing. “It’s a girl!” the screen read. My husband and I looked at each other, puzzled.
“I thought it was a boy.”
“Nope. There aren’t any testicles from what I can see.” She completely forgot that she had even seen us a month prior and predicted something different.
I didn’t know what to think. I’d already settled on a boy. I’d resolved that we would be knee deep in football games, barbershops, and comic books (my husband’s pastime). Unconvinced, I decided to schedule a 3D/4D appointment. After six weeks of waiting, our Sweet P was confirmed. She, was her.
At that very moment, I prayed to my God that our girl be almost everything I was not. As a child, I was shy, quiet and passive. I spoke up for myself, but I always wanted to say more. It was a task for me to make friends because I was afraid to talk. I never raised my hand or answered questions in class because I didn’t think I knew the answer. And most of the time, I did. In college it followed me. I was still shy. I avoided campus as much as I could. I didn’t stay in a dorm, I didn’t eat in the cafeteria, and I only visited the library when a major project was due.
Sweet P was delivered seven days after her due date. She was already on her own time, making her own decisions. At 10 weeks old, 11 pounds of adorable with a mound of dark brown hair, she wriggled over a body pillow and flipped over. On purpose. She squealed with excitement. She was determined, already. And I thought to myself, “Don’t be that parent.” The parent that thinks their baby is the next Olympian because they blinked their eyes twice instead of once. But I could feel her energy. Her enthusiasm was present and unwavering. She was so tiny that her feet would get lost in her onesies often. But they kept kicking. Her feet. Kept kicking.
Even now, Sweet P is assertive, friendly, outgoing, full of words, inquisitive, opinionated, personable, compassionate, and absolutely backs down to no one. Not even mommy and daddy…occasionally. She is everything she needs to be. Still in single digits, she is undoubtedly my alter ego.
This. All of this. Was my prayer.