A Womb of One's Own

A Womb of One’s Own

               I know that we, as feminists, are supposed to accept everyone based on their personality and actions, as opposed to their gender.  But that didn’t stop me from deciding to find out the gender of our fetus baby.  My baby.  I’m planning on carrying my pregnancy to term, it’s a wanted and planned pregnancy, I’m going to call the spawn a baby, because when I think of it, I don’t think of it in its current state, I think of it as what it will be: my baby.

               For me, much of my pregnancy thus far was almost abstract.  Yes, I felt like utter crap, and yes, I was being notably emotionally volatile, but I had a hard time connecting all my symptoms to the concrete idea of a baby.  However, the last week has brought the pregnancy to an almost perfect focus.  I started feeling the kid move around, and we had our first ultrasound this week, where we saw the baby for the first time and found out its sex.  I say sex, because I subscribe to the belief that gender is mental, and sex is physical, and the two may not match up.  The decision to use even this simple wording is one I’ve seen send people into screaming freak-outs on pregnancy boards, so of course I want to use it as often as possible.

               I’m hard-pressed to identify what’s made the baby more real to me: feeling it respond to my actions (kiddo really gets moving when I eat or when the cat sits against my belly and purrs), or seeing him for the first time.  And oh my, was he ever a boy.  We were convinced it was a girl, everyone we knew thought it was a girl, but after three cups of coffee pre-ultrasound, he was energetic and active during the ultrasound, and there was no denying that I’m carrying my son.  Legs spread, fists pumping like half-price drinks night on Jersey Shore, lil’ dude was having his own party as me, my husband, my mom, and the ultrasound tech watched.  I admit there was a brief moment of disbelief when I saw we had a boy, but more importantly, we saw that his brain is developing normally, his heart has four strong chambers, and his limbs and organs are developing appropriately.

               Lil’ Dude (or Lil’ Ron Burgundy, or Dudebro) has gone from an idea to a person in my mind, a person who hears me curse in traffic, who loves it when I sit down to watch TV and pet the cat, who is currently flipping around because I ate a burrito for lunch.  The combination of seeing and feeling him makes him undeniable to me.  For the past five months, he’s been a silent part of my life, but for the rest of my life, he’ll be an undeniable part of it.

By Jessica Werner

Free-range librarian in Seattle. A sucker for happy endings, teen angst, and books that make me want to sell my possessions and travel the world. Incurable homebody and type A. Send love letters and readers advisory requests to

2 replies on “A Womb of One’s Own”

Ahhh, yet another reason I can’t imagine what I would do if I had children. I admire you, Ipo. I really do.

And I very much like what you had to say about gender being mental and sex being physical.

So little Dudebro likes burritos. Do you think he will also like tacos? You know how I feel about tacos.

The idea of politically correct speech for an unborn child is making me feel irrational. I can’t actually explain why, because right now all I’ve got is half formed sentences whirling around a central “Fuck that!”

So here’s a cute story instead. There is a sizable age gap between our sons and our daughter. They were eight years old when I went in for my ultrasound, and they asked why we had to wait so long to find out if it was a girl or a boy. I told them about how the doctors could take a picture inside my belly to see the baby, and they said they knew that, so I told them that we had to wait for the baby to grow big enough for the doctor to see if it had a wiener or not. There followed a stunned silence, and the expressions on their faces where absolutely priceless. They were trying so hard to figure out if it was OK to laugh because their mom just said “wiener” they looked like they were going to explode. :)

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