i first felt the baby in my tummy move on dec 9. it was ever so faint and i suspect i only caught it because i knew from the baby books that it was supposed to happen right about that period and so i was on the lookout.
for days, i had been ready to pounce on every little quiver in the general area of my protruding stomach and declare it ‘first baby movement,’ but when it finally happened, it felt so unlike what was described as a ‘hello kick’ by the books that i stamped down my declaratory urge and decided to file the feeling away for future confirmation. if that was a kick, i thought, my child has no hope of becoming a professional footballer.
and indeed, based on his movements since, it seems that sports prowess-wise, the child did inherit his genes from me. or maybe he’s just the introverted, non-enthusiastic kind (still courtesy of me, thank you).
still, every time i felt him move, i excitedly grabbed alvin’s hand and placed it on my tummy, eager for him to share in the wonder (and really, let’s be honest here, the weirdness) of having something *human* squirm inside me. it is only during pregnancy, after all, when an incident like this wouldn’t send a woman running to the emergency room for an x-ray.
despite my diligence, my husband would feel nothing and i would end up disappointed — until a few days ago, when after almost one whole month of feeling left out, alvin finally turned to me, palm on my belly, eyes wide and with a huge grin on his face.
big day yesterday. very big day.
first, i survived *and* passed my oral glucose tolerance test, so yay to me! (for those not in the know, the ogtt entailed three, three!!, blood extractions, and needles and i, let’s just say we’re not very good friends.)
second, i had an abdominal ultrasound. the sonologist squirted cold gel onto my tummy, laid the transducer on it and with absolutely no warning, matter-of-factly announced that there was a penis-and-scrotum combo inside me. my brain immediately went into shock.
i was going to be the mother of a boy. a boy! i know nothing about raising boys! AND WHAT ABOUT THOSE CUTE LITTLE DRESSES AND SHOES THAT I WILL NEVER GET TO BUY?! WAAAIL!!!
soon, alvin was in the room wailing right along with me. whenever we spoke about having and raising a child, the one constant thing was that that child was a daughter; we didn’t worry about our child getting someone pregnant, our scenario was how to handle our make-believe daughter’s teenage pregnancy. (*not* by having her marry whoever got her pregnant, in case you’re interested.)
after a while, the wailing in our heads subsided enough for the image on the ultrasound screen to sink in: there was our son, contentedly sucking on his left hand, penis straight up in the, um, amniotic fluid.
it was surreal, both the image and the fact that the tableau was somehow happening inside me.
after we’ve been handed our session’s official report and a thermal paper copy of our child’s crotch, alvin and i got ourselves each a can of coke (we badly needed the sugar.) and numbly walked up and down the hospital halls. once in a while, we looked at each other, shook our heads and said in wonder, ‘a boy. we’re going to have a boy. imagine that.’
when the sugar finally hit and we had enough energy to dial, we decided to let family members in on the news. naturally, the first person i called was a-ko.
me: a-kochami! ang anak ko ay…boy! (i’m going to have a…boy!)
a-ko: boy ‘no! haha! sabi ko na nga boy e! (a boy! haha! i knew it was going to be a boy!)
me: ha? pano mo alam? (how did you know?)
a-ko: kasi hindi ka masyadong blooming e! haha! (because you’re not ‘blooming’! haha!)
honesty like that, you only get from the person who raised you.
friends assure me that i was getting the better deal. i would save a lot of money, one pointed out, because there wouldn’t be a lot of cute clothes to buy. boys are low maintenance, numerous people said, they practically raise themselves. just give him something to break and he’ll be happy.
my favorite though, was what a good friend said in an attempt, i assume, to raise my spirits: boys are easy! they don’t have to smell good or be clean all the time!
i admit i’m still trying to wrap my head around the idea of giving birth to and raising a son, but i think of his father, who is one of the sweetest, kindest, most patient and most wonderful person i know, and i am certain having another alvin in this world can only be a good thing.