The sonographer at my doctor's office stands over me smiling and asks, "Will we be learning the sex today?"
I look down. Beneath the jelly she's squirting on me, the paper towel protecting my maternity jeans, and the stretch marks from my first pregnancy, there's a new baby, and this baby has a secret. I'm alone at this appointment; my husband just started a new job, and we thought it best that he not take the time off.
During my first pregnancy, my husband didn't want to know the baby's sex. Even though I was curious, I agreed that he was entitled to make at least one of the decisions over the course of nine months. His opinions on what I should eat or how much I should exercise were certainly not welcome. So I gave him that. Yet, at 16 weeks, in much the same position I am now, I was seized with the utter unfairness of my doctor knowing something so definitive about my baby while I remained in the dark. Right in front of my husband, I boldly asked my Israeli obstetrician in Hebrew the sex of my baby (my husband doesn't speak the language). And that's how I learned we were having a boy.