The big question everyone wants to know when they find out you're pregnant: Do you know what you're having? No, I don't. But hopefully I will in less than 12 hours. The anatomy scan ultrasound is scheduled for a bright and early 7 am!
It's funny because people keep saying "oh, I'm sure you wouldn't mind either way." And while I think that this will ultimately prove true, I do have some anxiety over the issue, anxiety that is proving artistically fruitful as you can see in the monologue below. A few friends and I are participating in the SWAN Day (International Women Artists Day) festivities here in Pittsburgh and are putting together a monologue performance art piece that will be part of a larger performance show at the end of March. As it turns out, all three of our pieces are revolving around motherhood and--surprise, surprise--guilt.
So read below. Some of it is exaggerated for dramatic purposes and poetic license, but the anxiety is oh so real. And don't judge me too harshly. I anticipate that I'll be feeling very different in a mere 12 hours.
Do you know what you’re having?
Do you know what you’re having? Is it a boy or a girl? Do want to know what you’re having? When do you find out what you’re having? Are you feeling a “mother’s intuition” yet? Boy or girl? Boy or girl Boy or girl?
Answer: Yes, no, maybe. Assign to whichever question you feel fit.
I’d like to say that none of this matters. Of course I want a healthy, happy, sweet little bundle when this is all said and none. But does it matter? Yes. A lot. Because…well…oh hell, just shame me now. Just do it. Call me names—hypocrite, back stabber, an awful mom already. Make that horrified look that I know you’re all gonna make. That gaped-mouth, wide-eyed, nose-crinkled in distaste look that all grandmother’s seem to have perfected and that we will all perfect someday. Just shame me now.
Great? Are you done? Because here’s my real answer to your question: I am TERRIFIED of having…a…b..b…b…baby…baby…baby…girl!
But why does it scare you? All you gotta do is put em dresses and tie pink ribbons in their hair! Doesn’t a boy scare you even more? What’s so wrong with having a girl? I have a girl and I love it! Are you crazy who wouldn’t want a girl???
Answer: Because I know what it’s like. I know what it’s like to think that pink, frills, pearls, and ruffles are the only way to express my femininity. To obsess over my body. To obsess over my body becoming my mother’s body (check—that’s happened). To spend countless nights on my knees going “Dear God, It’s me, Alyssa. When will I get my period?” To spend weeks upon weeks of my life cursing God for giving me my period as I curl up into a ball on the floor in pain. To dream of being a princess only to realize that Prince William is never going to come to America, we are never going to find each other at University, and that…damn…he’s now officially taken. To weep over loves come and gone and then go right back out there and do the same thing over and over and over and over.
Who the hell would want to go through that? And do I really want to go through that all again in this mini-me whom I’ve created? But, I mean, I guess we’re still alive, right? If we can do it, so can the she who is maybe in my belly? Maybe?