Well, hi.

Remember that time we found out we were having a boy? Not so fast. Turns out, even in this digital age, doctors are still fallible and sometimes get it wrong. Like with us.

We think.

Michael and I went to the doctor for the 24-week pregnancy check-up a few days ago. We were super excited because I knew that our doctor wanted to send us for a 4D ultrasound, the insane kind where you can see pictures of the baby and get an idea of what the little one will look like. (I know many people don’t have them done in the States but they are affordable here and, for our doctor at least, part of standard prenatal care.) Dr. Denis doesn’t actually have the equipment to do a 4D ultrasound at his office but sent us down the street to the nearest hospital, where a local doctor would perform the ultrasound. Before that, though, he wanted to take a look himself with his own machine.

He lingered over the ultrasound for an unusually long time as Baby Greg was being uncooperative and shy before finally saying, “Well, there are three lines… and that means girl.”


Denis’s equipment is not top-of-the-line and he never got a clear look so he told us he couldn’t be sure, but we ought to know after the 4D ultrasound. So down the street we traipsed, hearts aflutter. The local doctor took a half hour to confirm that our little one was developing properly, checking every bit of baby from the brain size to tiny fingers and toes.

(Y’all, it blows my mind that there is truly this tiny person inside of me… mostly developed now and just growing and maturing until this summer when we get to meet. It is truly a miracle, every single time.)

baby greg

But back to the 4D ultrasound. After a thorough examination of nearly everything the doctor said, in English, “It’s finished!” and told me I could get up. The nurse from our international doctor (she accompanied us to the hospital and knows this doctor personally) leaned in and whispered to him, “Do you think you could check and see if it’s a boy or girl?” The doctor looked at us and said, in broken English, “You know the government tells me I cannot do this.” But, because he knew we were foreigners and wouldn’t abort if it was a girl, and because he has a relationship with the international doctor’s office, he agreed to let me lay back down and take a quick peek.

He put the wand on my stomach and after about 15 seconds of investigation, said “F!” (for female) very quickly. I asked him in Mandarin if he was sure and he looked for another little while before saying, “Yes, I think so. 80 percent.” When I asked again, the doctor quickly changed it to “70 percent sure” and took the wand off my stomach, finishing our appointment. Michael and I both had the feeling that he did actually know but was uncomfortable telling us this in front of the tech who was also in the room. There may also have been some deep cultural fear of disappointing us as the reason for laws forbidding ultrasounds is parental disappointment (and sex-selective abortions) in the case of baby girls. We returned to Dr. Denis’s office and he told us that the nurse had spoken with the doctor and also thought that it was a girl.

So here we are! We are excited about this little girl but there’s still a seed of hesitation in getting too carried away with planning… just in case, you know. It’s also been strange to wrap our minds around the fact the little boy we’d been praying for these last two months and had even named is not the child to be. It’s a good strange–I will love being a mom to a daughter and Michael has already told me she is going to be a Daddy’s girl–but there’s an odd emotional aspect to changing our expectations for this child. It actually makes me even more thankful because I know for certain we truly couldn’t care less whether this babe is a boy or a girl: we’re just thankful she is coming into our lives.


4 Comments on “Schwoopsies”

  1. Anna Uzzell says:

    um, oh my goodness! what a roller coster! that is so crazy. very excited to meet baby g!

  2. ally says:

    I’ve thought about this so much the last few days! That’s a lot to process. I’ve loved calling our babies by name in utero and have definitely become attached to what I’ve expected them to be, so I can imagine this whirlwind for you all. Looking forward to hearing your girl name! We’ve decided on ours 🙂

  3. Stella Crosby says:

    Dear Beth and Michael, I am here with Carla after delivering at 34 weeks. It truly is amazing how perfectly formed they are even as young as yours. We are amazed when we look at sweet Bennett who will soon get to come home from NICU. Whether boy or girl, Jeremiah says about the L. “before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” That is comforting whether boy or girl, early or full term. Can’t wait to meet the little one .

  4. Beverly Perkins says:

    As the mom of boys and a girl and the grandmother of 5 girls and a boy….I can honestly tell you, either one never stopped being a miracle and a blessing. Looking forward to seeing you and sharing the excitement in person….. Love and Congratulations!!

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