So I promise that I have another mouth-watering cake post coming up (I know that it’s mouth-watering, because I just finished taking the photos and I almost drooled on the camera). But before that, I have to write this post, which is less fun, and a lot more embarrassing.
For the past few weeks, Andreas and I have debated whether or not we should find out if the baby I’m growing is a boy or a girl. At first, I was all for having a surprise, but as the ultrasound got closer, and I realized more and more how much easier it would be to gather all our baby-things if we knew the sex, it was pretty tempting to find out. We were at a standstill, but the lovely woman from MontgomeryFest acted as a tie-breaker, and we decided we’d find out! We wanted our friends and family who are far away, and excited about the coming baby, to be able to feel more “a part” of what’s happening.
So, the scan was scheduled for Friday, and after a late night on Thursday, I woke up at 4am. And couldn’t go back to sleep. I spent the morning baking cake in a half-stupor, only staving off a severe case of the grumpies because I was excited about our afternoon appointment. Andreas came home early, and we set off for the hospital. When we got there, the waiting room was rather full, and we waited a bit longer than usual. When they called our name, we went into a sort of strange room, where a student was going to do the first part of the scan, and her teacher, the second half.
Now, I had planned to tell Andreas ahead of time that if they don’t offer to tell us the sex, or ask if we want to know, that he would need to ask. I know myself well enough to know that I would have a hard time speaking up, especially when I’m on a table with goo on my belly and a stranger prodding around. But in my sleepy stupor, I’d forgotten to tell him. Now, when I get overtired, I don’t just get grumpy (although goodness, do I get grumpy), but I also get anxious. While they were doing the scan, showing us all the heart chambers, and the halves of the brain, I was taking it all in, and filing it under “things to be grateful for” in my brain, but I was also desperately trying to get up the courage to ask about the sex. I couldn’t seem to find the right Danish words, and I sent Andreas some pleading looks, but he mistook them for beaming joy or something, because he didn’t say a word. I was so anxious, I was practically paralyzed, my mouth just wouldn’t move. I couldn’t ask.
The woman tried to get some good photos (although the baby had its head buried somewhere around my hipbone) and then wiped off the ultrasound wand, and told me I could dry off my belly. Andreas and I were left alone for a few minutes, while they filled out some paperwork, and I could finally spill what I’d been dying to tell him the whole time. Turns out, Andreas forgot to ask. He just completely forgot that we could probably find out the sex today. He asked when they came back, but they said that they don’t look unless we ask, which we hadn’t, so we thanked them, and went on our way.
When I get tired, I’m also prone to overreacting, which I promptly did, as I tried in vain to hold back my tears on the way back to the bus stop. I knew that I was being ridiculous. We had a healthy, perfect-looking baby, and I hadn’t even been that set on finding out the sex until a few days before the scan. But I knew, at the same time, that I wasn’t crying because we didn’t know if Baby Us is a boy or a girl.
I was crying because I felt helpless. I felt vulnerable and cowardly and really out of my depth. I felt like “how am I going to be a mother here? I can’t even speak to people here.” I was mad at myself, and so frustrated about my anxiety. Even now, when I’m not overtired, and I’ve had plenty of time to get over the disappointment of not knowing, it brings tears to my eyes. I know that I’m incredibly lucky. I have a perfect-for-me, loving husband (who totally understood why I was crying), who I get to live with and see every day. I get to live in the Magical Land of Denmark that enchanted me from the moment my plane touched down three years ago, and we have a baby on the way–something I’ve dreamed about since I was small. I know that my life is wonderful, and I’m incredibly grateful. But that doesn’t mean it’s been very easy, or that it will get a lot easier anytime soon.
It’s just discouraging when I feel like I can’t get over my anxiety enough to do a “normal people” thing, like asking a simple question. Some days are better than others, but the bad days are still just as discouraging as they ever were.
The good news is, that even though my anxiety doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, my writing skills are improving a lot with the class in Danish grammar that I’m taking these days! Hopefully in a few weeks, I’ll continue with this class, and also start the one to help me prepare for my big Danish test that’s coming up in May! Crossing my fingers to get into a daytime class!