In March of last year, we learned that my partner was pregnant. Along with the rollercoaster of emotions that entailed, we were also met with innumerable recommendations. Some of which, to my gringo ears, sounded completely bizarre, to be frank. “Don’t go out during an eclipse, or else your baby will be born with a cleft lip.” “Always wear something red to protect the baby.” “Put on a safety pin to ensure it reaches full term.”
But more than anything, as seemingly everywhere else in the world, advice and divination nearly always revolved around gender. “If your back hurts, it’s a boy.” “If you eat chiles, it’ll be a girl.” “If you don’t have much morning sickness, it’s a boy.” “If you have heartburn, it’s a girl.” The guessing game of gender seemed never ending and always pointing toward different conclusions, along with the constant questioning of what we, the parents, wanted: a girl or a boy.
Finally, about three months into the pregnancy, the obstetrician could make an “educated guess” that we were going to have a boy. Amount of chiles being eaten or not, this guess was later confirmed by subsequent ultrasounds. I wish I could say that my response was one of disinterest. Rather it was one of both joy at the thought of having a son, accompanied by the worry of knowing too many men (along with myself) and hoping my son wouldn’t be like them. But a third thought pervaded my thinking and continues to prod at me to this day: what does it even mean that this child is a boy?Continue reading