Saturday, August 27, 2005

A pleasant surprise

“Mom, am I an accident?” Markus, sounding disturbed, asked me one day. “Kuya Gabriel said I was an accident.”

“No, you are not an accident,” I assured him. “God does not make accidents. You are a surprise. A pleasant surprise…” I didn't like to use the word "unplanned". Three of them were.

Markus seemed unconvinced. “Didn’t you always want to have a girl? Then why did  you have girl names for Kuya Gino?”

And for Mickey, and for Gabriel and for him. There were Sophia, Riana, Galadriel (yes, from LOTR), Mayumi, Kimmi…

“That’s because everyone guessed I’d be having a girl,” I said. Even my OB-gyne thought so in all my four pregnancies until I had an ultrasound. With Gino and Mickey, having an ultrasound was not yet routine at St. Luke’s Hospital. There was that element of surprise. When I got pregnant with Gabriel, she said it was something I needed to have on whatever month. New hospital policy. So I knew their gender beforehand.

“I had beautiful pregnancies,” I sort of boasted. OK, I boasted. And exaggerated.

Many people think that if you get uglier—darker neck, swollen nose, bloated face, etc--during pregnancy, it's a boy. The statement "You're having a boy" is loaded with a subtle insult about your appearance. To be told the opposite is therefore a compliment.

I was starting to reminisce and to conjure up images of my “beautiful pregnancies” when Markus interjected, “That’s nowhere near the truth, Mom.”

He has a nice way of bursting my bubble. The pictures in my head quickly dissipated. Then he gave his own idea of how to tell a baby’s gender, and it sounded as absurd  as those you hear from adults.

I have four boys and am very content. I might have wanted a daughter at some point in my child-bearing years, but today I wouldn't wish it. I don't believe in accidents. Believe me, Markus. You aren't one.

And neither are your brothers.

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