The old wives tales are great. I’ve heard them all: if the heartbeat is low, it’s a boy; if you carry high it’s a girl; if you hold a needle on a string over your belly and it goes in a circle, it’s a boy – if it goes in a line, it’s a girl; in the ultrasound if hand is between legs boy, and if mouth is open its a girl.
I paid attention to all of them for scientific purposes. Our first heartbeat at 8 weeks was 172. Four weeks later it was in the 140s, then stayed there almost every other visit. As my belly grew, I felt it was low, but people kept telling me I was carrying it high, so the Peltier girls were probably going to add another girl to the growing volleyball team.
Just a reminder: I am the oldest of four girls. So far, we have three granddaughters in the family. I absolutely adore my nieces. They are all very different and absolutely beautiful. But since my birth, this town of Rayne has wanted my Dad, or the Man as his granddaughters call him, to have a boy. He was the oldest of 10 and was kind of a local legend during his high school years. He had the “golden toe” and held the school record for longest field goal from 1974-2002.
For years people have made quite a debacle over the fact that my father has no male offspring. I know he loves all of us girls very, very much. For some reason, people assume he would love a boy even more. I say they forget that we are still Peltier girls, which means that we are tougher than most boys (This fact did not fare too well for me during my dating years).
The day prior to my appointment, we tried the needle trick. I did not tell either of the holders what the outcome meant, so they would not have any influence. When my godchild Malorie held it over my belly, it went in a circle. When Jon held it over my belly it either remained relatively still or went in a line. Needless to say, that didn’t work too well.
All we had to do now was wait 12 hours.
My mother picked me up at 8:56am to bring me to the appointment. Jon was going to meet us there. Mim, as her granddaughters call her, had been there for my sisters’ ultrasounds. I remember when my parents, sisters and brother-in-law packed into the small room to find out what Ellah was going to be. Everyone was pretty happy that day when we found out she was going to be a girl – no disappointment.
I reminisced on the way to the appointment. I remembered how I had said years ago to my younger sisters, “Meggan, I let you graduate college first. Jordan, I let you get married first. Caitlyn, I’ll let you play a collegiate sport first. But I am going to have the first grandson.” Each time one of my sisters got pregnant, I wondered if my declaration really was going to come true. So far it was.
One of Caitlyn’s roommates told me that the trend in our family was girls and I would just follow that trend. I told her that she must not know me that well because I tend to be the one who naturally goes against the apparent rhythm.
We didn’t have to wait long in the waiting room. My dad ended up showing up and right as he did they called my name. Jon stood up the entire time with his arms crossed (he would tell me later that it was because he had his fingers crossed). The technician went through images of the head and stomach. The heart was beating perfectly and the baby wouldn’t stop wiggling. It must have been the cup of Community that I had. Everything seemed to look healthy and my nerves were just fine. I almost didn’t want to know the gender, but Jon was pacing and I knew we couldn’t wait much longer. Finally she made it to the genitalia and the shot was unquestionable. It’s…a…boy.