Mar 1 2015

Gender Reveal

Although I secretly-just-a-little-bit hoped Al would botch his interview, he didn’t. He aced it. The Company extended an offer that was confusing for us: while one component was much worse than we expected, another was more promising than we had ever thought possible. After a great many arguments discussions, it became clear that he wouldn’t be able to live with himself if we didn’t at least counter. So we countered. And now we’re waiting.

Yesterday, we took a break from all that to focus on something that should be even more important: our second child. With Peaches, we didn’t find out if she was a girl or a boy until the day she was born. That surprise was cool, but we thought we’d do something different this time: a gender reveal, with only a few immediate family members and our best friends. (By the way, I am aware that the PC thing is to refer to the baby’s “sex” now, not gender — and in everyday conversation I adhere to this — but a “sex reveal” still sounds a little bit disturbing at this juncture.)

There were three main reasons we chose to find out this time:

1. I wanted to be PRESENT for the surprise.
My labor and delivery with Peaches was so fast and furious — no time for an epidural, even! I’ll have to tell you the story sometime — that I’m pretty sure I went into a mild state of shock. Maybe this happens for everyone, at every birth, fast or slow. But all I know is that when Al announced, “It’s a girl!”, I was so dazed that I didn’t even care. I didn’t even remember that we didn’t know. This time, I really wanted to know how it feels to be there for that moment.

2. A big sister is a game-changer.
I was getting tired of talking to Peaches like, “When your little brother or sister comes, he or she will be so much fun to play with!” and “Do you want to say hello to your little brother or sister?” and “Look at Mommy’s belly! Your little brother or sister is in there, and he or she is growing!” No. I need to consolidate my minutes. Ain’t nobody got time for sentences that long, especially when you’re repeating them to a toddler eighty-seven times a day. I needed something definitive.

3. Peaches loves balloons.
We’re fairly strict parents with high expectations, but we do occasionally like her to be happy. 😉 A box with bundles of balloons soaring out was sure to rank pretty high in the This-Makes-Her-Smile department.

I hunted down this 30 x 30 box and ordered some stickers for it from Vineyard Vinyl. I also stockpiled some pink and blue decorations — cheesy, but I kind of loved it.

gender reveal decorations

The day of the reveal, we wrestled the massive box into our car and headed to Party City, where we handed them a sealed envelope from our doctor. We had to leave the store for half an hour; when we came back to pick it up, the employees crowed, “Do you want us to tell you? C’mon, let us! Ready? It’s…a…”

They were clearly joking, but we bailed with a “Nohere’syourmoneyokaythanksbye!”

With friends and family gathered back at home, we let that sucker sit in front of the fireplace, all taped up, for as long as we could stand it. Finally, when all that was left to consume was dessert, we slit the tape and set Peaches up on a stool behind the box. Al and I each grabbed a side and pulled. Baby #2 is a…
gender reveal box with balloons


I know it’s totally cliché, but we honestly would have been excited no matter what. The glass-half-full side of me is like, “Woohoo! We’re going to have one of each! I’ve always wanted to have a son!” And the half-empty side is like, “Damn…it would have been cool for Peaches to have a little sister so close in age. And what are we supposed to do with the seventeen tubs of dresses stored in our basement?”

The important thing is that he’s healthy, of course, and it’s really nice to officially be able to call him a he. Peaches rubbed my belly this morning and said, “Hi, boy! Hi, baby brudder!”

I pray that they’ll be close no matter who they are, and no matter where our family lives.

About Melissa

Melissa Bowers is a high school teacher from Michigan who (reluctantly) moved across the country when she was six months pregnant. Her days used to be filled with great works analyses and discussions of intricate film and literary techniques, but they are now consumed by two spirited children and the desperate urge to write ALL THE THINGS -- which generally occurs a paragraph at a time whenever the kids happen to nap. Since moving to California, her work has been published by Writer's Digest and The Writer, and her articles are regularly featured on The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, and others.

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