When Clancy was working in the interior southwest, the largely immigrant population had its plusses and minuses from a doctor’s perspective. On the plus side, they were actually among the best behaved of the patient populations she had. They had low rates of drug use, almost always showed up for appointments that were made, and in the overall had healthier habits than most of the other groups she had worked with up until her current job. On the downside, they were bad about establishing and seeking prenatal care, there were language barriers, and some non-progressive attitudes towards gender preference.
They wanted sons, not daughters. They also tended to be much more fixated on this than virtually any other group. With nearly every visit, there would be questions about gender, when they could find out the gender, and so on. It drove Clancy absolutely nuts. They’d sometimes ask if the gender was known before Clancy had the chance to tell them that the baby was healthy.
She was disinclined to know the gender of her child prior to this experience, but it actually reinforced it. She’s 38 weeks pregnant, and we still don’t know one way or the other. My personal preference was that I didn’t want to know until or unless the doctors knew (which they would find out) but I’d want to know at that point. However, she’s the one carrying the baby around in her belly and the extra five pounds (which, okay, isn’t a lot but it’s somehow a very solid give points), has dealt with the morning sickness, and so on. She doesn’t want to know, then I don’t want us to know.
The interesting thing about this is how common it appears to be in the medical professional or at least the obstetrical profession. While almost everybody outside of the hospital I know already knew the baby’s gender by the time the baby arrived, three-quarters of her colleagues said that they, too, didn’t want to know.
I don’t know if it has much to do with Clancy’s history of parents obsessed with the matter. Or, having dealt with such a wide variety of prenatal health that there eye is on that more important ball, but it does seem to be a thing. I also wonder if maybe, when you deliver babies, there are so many fewer mysteries that you kind of hold on to the one you have.
Not knowing the gender is tough, in some respects. My friend’s wife is kind of mad at us for not knowing because she doesn’t know whether to make bows for the baby or not. People who want to buy us stuff don’t know whether they should do so in pink or blue. The vast majority of baby stuff comes in one or the other. Oh, and we have no gender-neutral pronoun. We refuse to call him or her “it.”
We’ve become fans of the color green.