Here’s a conversation I have just about every day:
“How many months pregnant are you?”
“Really?! You look so small. We (Asians) get so much bigger than you foreigners.”
(at this point, I always think – really? But I never say anything)
“Yes, I’m due the first week of January.”
“You’re definitely having a boy. Definitely.”
(at THIS point, I have to decide if it is worth it to explain that I know I’m having a girl. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. With Macy, everyone said I was having a boy too. I think in this culture of only having one child, people may feel like they have to tell you you are going to have a son. And now that I already have a daughter, surely this one must be a boy.)
“Well, actually I’m having a girl.” Smile.
“A girl?! No! It’s a boy. Definitely.”
More smiling. “It’s a girl.”
Confusion. “How do you know?”
(when you have an ultrasound here, you’re not even allowed to look at the screen and the father of the child is often not allowed in the room. It is illegal for the doctor to tell you the gender of your baby. This is because of the one child policy. Since they are only allowed one child, most parents hope for a boy – sons are supposed to take care of their parents when they are older and kind of serve as their “insurance” and “retirement package”. Girls, on the other hand, will get married and leave. This is an older belief and is fading somewhat in the cities, but is still pretty instilled.)
“I went to another country and the doctor did an ultrasound. She told me it was a girl.”
From here, I can get several different responses. Sometimes I hear, “oh, in this country that is illegal.” Or “No, it’s definitely a boy.” Or my favorite – a woman peered at my stomach and said, “I can’t see clearly.” I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. She seemed seriously disappointed that my belly wasn’t see through.
At least it’s a good conversation starter. 🙂