I don’t remember if I’ve written about this yet, and, frankly, the last year has blurred in the rear view at this point. I teach junior high and it’s almost mid-December, so I’m lucky just to remember yesterday clearly.
The Electrician and I know what we’re having.
Yes. We know the sex of Alfalfa Sprout. We also know the sex of Broccoli Sprout. Auntie and Uncle Pelican are also in the loop. That’s it. Very much top secret.
With a twin pregnancy, there are many, many ultrasounds, and ample opportunities to confirm the sexes of the children. So, we’re as sure as a person can be until their actual birthday who we’re expecting.
We’ve picked their names. For a few weeks now, The Electrician and I have been referring to our babies by name. I got all crafty and made plaques with their initials to hang over their cribs. It all makes my heart so warm and fuzzy.
Our sprouts are fraternal twins. They are the joyous result of both embryos that were transferred to Auntie Pelican’s stellar uterus digging in and hanging on. Because they started as two separate embryos, and did not split from a single embryo like identical twins, there are four possible scenarios for the sexes of our two babies.
People sometimes have questions about why we’re keeping the big little news a secret. After all, I’ve written about the nitty gritty of infertility and the magic of gestational surrogacy out in the open on the internet. We discuss our surrogacy quest openly with anyone who asks for more details. It seems strange, perhaps, that the last two bits of information are classified for now. Top-level, if they aren’t from your sperm or your eggs or in your uterus or your wife’s uterus, security clearance.
First, why did The Electrician and I want to know? We are in the incredible, unique situation of technically being parents but not yet having our children living in our house. Auntie and Uncle Pelican are in their seventh month of extreme babysitting a few neighbourhoods over. They’re rocking it, by the way.
I felt that knowing more about our growing blessings would help me feel more connected as their momma before we meet in person. It helps me to be more prepared. I’m not talking about which section(s) of the baby stores we find tiny clothes in or what colour to paint the nursery. That stuff is superficial. I feel more inwardly prepared to mother our babies because I know more about them. I miss the unspoken connection that happens between the woman and a child she’s growing, but, in our own way, we feel more engaged in the whole process. Our babies don’t literally kick me in the bladder at two a.m. (have I mentioned my hero wears maternity pants?) but they are very real to me. I see them in my dreams. We have conversations in my head. I can already imagine their first Halloween costumes.
Folks are also very curious about why we are keeping the secrets at all. Humans who love us want to get started on their shopping and celebrating. I love knowing that we have people in our lives who care that much.
I suppose it is rational to think that if we know if we’re having boys or girls or one of each we will want to share that information. Gender reveal parties are a thing right now. I am not opposed to families throwing parties or spilling the news before birth. Not even a little bit. New humans are amazing and I’m always up for puns and cake.
Here’s the thing: infertility treatment and (especially) third-party reproduction are processes where a couple surrenders all their privacy. We have been constantly required to share very personal information with an impressive list of strangers. The most intimate cells in our bodies were discussed and magnified, tested and examined further. My phone keeps life interesting by surprising me with interesting autocorrects like “fallopian tube,” “ICSI,” and “ovulation.” When you can’t have babies the old-fashioned way, that’s just how the game is played. Doing what had to be done to get where we are is worth it.
Since our beloved little ones were literally conceived in a dish with an audience wearing lab coats, we’re giving them and ourselves a little privacy until they arrive. Science is astonishing, but it’s flat, devoid of emotion. On a quest where everything else is out in the open by necessity, we opted to keep these two little gems of information just for us.
At 31 weeks and 2 days, the excitement at our house is approaching dizzying heights. I’m surprised we’ve managed to avoid slips. Holding to our decision and keeping the news secret is clearly the right choice for us, or it would have escaped by now.
To all those marvellous humans who are rooting for us, for our twins, and, of course, for the incredible Pelican family, please accept our heartfelt gratitude. The finish line is in sight.
I can’t wait to never sleep again.