Anatomy /anomaly scan is done and all is looking well. All very average in fact. Never have I been so happy to be get results bang in the middle of the normal curve. Especially after I’d kept myself awake far too late last night reading about anencephaly, etc.
Not that I had any legitimate anencephaly concerns – I’m pretty sure something that major would have been flagged at previous scans, but y’know … this was “the big one”. We got the good news that Bubble is showing good tone by opening and closing her fists, and generally moving about well.
I didn’t correct the sonographer when she asked if we wanted to know Bubble’s gender as opposed to sex, as opposed to genital configuration. Because … I knew what she meant, and I don’t always feel like that’s a legitimate fight, I guess. It aggravates me more on forms and stuff, because that’s where you want to get pedantic and it’s feeding into systems etc. And also because, yes, we do want to know.
I have been reading lots and lots and lots about gender-open parenting /gender-neutral parenting and those parents who go so far as to raise “Theybies” where they don’t reveal their baby’s genital configuration to anyone outside immediate family, or not even to immediate family. I guess the idea is that the gender-socialisation of infants is so subconscious and so immediate that there’s no way of avoiding it once someone knows about your kids genitals. the assumptions will just come.
This is probably true. And it’s interesting from the described reactions (and even my own reactions) that it seems we find it hard to function in a gender-vacuum. Much and all as I personally feel like I exist in a gender vacuum, that’s not how society treats me and a whole lot of my life-experience is refracted through a female-gendered prism.
But all the same, I don’t think that path is for me. I think it has its own issues and I guess I feel like one of my parenting tenets is to “do the least harm possible”. When it comes to gender stuff the world is so fucked up about it that I think it’s impossible to navigate the path of life without experiencing some cuts and bruises and scrapes from whatever you’ve been assigned (or not assigned). I just also happen to feel that choosing the “theybie” route has potential for added harm too.
Maybe it’s just my own ingrained attachment to the binary, having been so strongly socialised that way, but I can’t escape the feeling that there’s harm there – in the lie, maybe, that “it doesn’t matter” what gender you’re assigned, or the lie that society doesn’t notice. Because society hella notices and I guess I find the greatest value in being honest about that from the time they can see it – which is like preschool age, I think. “Yeah, have you noticed that lots of people think pink is only for girls? What do you think about that?” and opening up that discussion and preparing them to defend whatever their own interests are against the slings and arrows of outrageous societal norms.
I think there’s a parental agenda involved in saying “my baby has no gender (yet)”. But then again, I suppose there’s probably a parental agenda involved in just about every decision we make for our kids.
Look, it’ll be fine, right? So long as we keep listening and talking. No matter what kind of a person you get you’re going to have to do that.
It did make it feel all a little more real though, and now we have to have loads of name discussions. We aren’t really on the same page with names. There’s none I’m in love with right now, although when the twins were growing inside of me, I kept feeling like we’d a million options for “girl” names, and now I’m not so sure.
I guess time for list-making and then just decision making.
Right, I’m ready to do the day now, I think. Well, it’s nearly lunchtime, so not as much day left as one might hope, but I’ll do my best with it all the same.
I’ve had a cup of green tea which has chased away the worst of the sleep-lack cobwebs and I’m feeling a bit perked up by the cautiously optimistic news from the scan and the fact that our neighbours are willing to meet about house stuff this weekend.
It all feels a bit doable right now.