Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
So, now there is this enormous fire surging across a part of Southern California because someone’s gender reveal party included a smoke bomb that exploded into blue or pink smoke and then set fire to the surrounding chaparral. In the first place, if you’ve ever lived in SoCal you should know never to use anything flammable out there in the brush. It’s just a fire waiting to happen. I haven’t lived in the area in 25 years, but we called it home from 1974 to 1996 (with a couple of years in the middle up in western Idaho). The native plants catch on fire. Do not do things that might cause one of those fires. Sigh…
I also wonder when the “Gender Reveal” became a “thing?” We have five children, born between 1976 and 1984–all of my prenatal care was at the Navy Hospital in San Diego, because this was during my husband’s active duty years. (Yes, yes, it was considered somewhat of a bizarre thing that we would go on reproducing after we had the first two: boy, then girl. But actually, we intended to have six. My body just let me know that five would be plenty.)
The first child was totally routine: went to the hospital, had the baby, came home a few days later. What wasn’t routine was that when the doctor announced, “It’s a boy!” my husband’s response was “I know!” You see, he had his own special Gender Reveal ability. During each of our pregnancies, he would just state suddenly, one day, that he knew what the gender of each of the babies was that I was carrying. And, by golly, he was right every time! The only time that he wasn’t certain, I was the one who had the “revelation” — one night, about seven months into the gestation, I looked at our two sons playing with toy cars on the living room floor, and for a brief second, I saw three little boys. I turned to my husband, and said, “This is a boy! I just saw him!” And, sure enough, our third boy, fifth child, was born two months later.
I don’t know why we could do this. During my third pregnancy, I was introduced to the technology that today is a routine part of prenatal care. We had traveled up to Wyoming for Thanksgiving with our two little ones (the baby being only eight months old) and while we were there, I realized how much my younger brother and sisters (ages 14, 16, and 18) could use my help with the milking and chores. At this time, my father had been diagnosed with the leukemia that would end his life in six more years. So, my husband and I made a plan that I would stay on the farm with our littles until Spring because one of my other sisters wanted to move from her home in another state and live near my parents and help them out. Also, by summer, my other younger brother, aged 21, would be back home from his missionary service, and he really wanted to be a farmer.
So, there I was again … milking, feeding cattle, cleaning barns. It was fun to spend time with my parents, and my littles loved all the attention they got from their aunts and uncle, and especially Grandma and Grandpa. My husband flew up from California to spend a week with us at Christmas, and bring me some more clothes. We had a lovely visit and “celebrated” our reunion after not seeing each other for a month. Then, I went down to see him for his birthday in January. At which time, I went to the Navy hospital OB-GYN clinic to have a little test taken.
See, I was still nursing the baby. But, I was also having symptoms that were quite familiar from two other times when that Little Test was positive. This was so long ago that there were no Home Tests. Sure enough, when the doctor doing my exam asked when I’d last had a menstrual period, the date was two calendar years before. Yup. I was nursing; the baby was only nine months old! Well–there goes that Natural Birth Control theory right down the drain. Three children in three years. That’s what we were looking at. Which was a shock, but perfectly okay! We were going to have number three anyway–the child just chose when, instead of us choosing.
When I returned to Southern California in April and went in for a check-up, the very nice OB-GYN was taken aback by my dates. He then suggested that there was a brand new technology that he could use to determine the age of the baby growing within me. He said it was something like submarines used–a version of sonar, where they could get a view of the child to show on a screen and it would help determine how many weeks/months the pregnancy had progressed.
At the time, my husband’s duty station was the submarine base in San Diego. He maintained all the electronic, computer, and hydraulic systems on a very sophisticated trainer that was used to teach sub crews. I knew all about submarines and sonar and electronics, etc. My first response to the OB-GYN was “I don’t want you to shoot sonar waves at my baby!” But, it was a new thing, and the doctor really, really wanted to try it out. Plus, the usual data–my last period–was of no use. However, I was adamant: No sonar! And, come on…I knew when conception occurred: two days after Christmas, my old bedroom, 10:30 p.m. Duh. It was the only time it could possibly have happened.
I won. He didn’t get to “shoot sonar waves” at my baby. And Mr. CowGirl announced a couple of months before she was born, that she would be a girl, and of course, he was right again.
This daughter grew up to be a registered nurse and worked in Labor and Delivery in a big hospital for a few years. She always had The Very Best Story Ever about finding out the gender of a child before birth. No “sonar waves” for this mom!Published in