it has been well over a month since my last update, which is a bit wild considering all the progress i've made.  well, not me.  i haven't made any progress- as a mother or just as a person in general.  i've been staying the exact same, eating a lot of pickles and thinking about work 24/7.  i've also been listening to the read, which mostly makes me wish i were black and gay and capable of producing a better podcast.

nah, it's baby who has been doing all the work.  while i'm sitting around doing nothing more productive than collecting hinterlands' shards in dragon age: inquisition, my little fetus is going hard in the paint on that growth game.  vocal cords, intestines, fingerprints!  it's hard to believe that there are already unique fingerprints developed inside me- but hopefully not ones that will be kept on file in the federal prison system or something.

my last ultrasound took place at 12+1 during my first trimester screening with perinatologist dr. albert.  it was a long appointment preserved for posterity on a cool dvd in case anyone ever wants to watch a long ass grainy black-and-white movie of my uterus.  baby was not cooperating fully and seemed unwilling to roll into the ideal position for the nuchal translucency scan, so there was a lot of pacing up and down the hallways in between ultrasound takes.  during the scan, dr. albert informed me confidently that it looked like a girl- "percentage-wise, i'd say i'm between 80 to 85% sure."

"girl!" i told everyone in a frenzy.  definitely what we were hoping for.  enamored with our chosen girl name and getting carried away with mental projections of what a tiny, female, asian version of ian would look like, i sat through a blood draw for the progenity verifi non-invasive prenatal test.  over the next week, ian surreptitiously googled "daddy daughter matching leather jackets."

last week, wrapping up a crucial meeting at the new coppell clinic, my phone lit up with a familiar phone number.  it was only familiar to me because i had dialed it twice earlier that week, on some real eager beaver shit about the nipt results.  the medical assistant's news brought a surge of relief that extinguished latent anxieties i didn't realize i had- no trisomies, no sex chromosome abnormalities.

"do you want to know the sex?" she asked with a playful lilt.  "we can tell you if you want to know."

"yes, of course."  girl tho.

"it's a boy!"

i was lowkey braced for the contrarian news without really knowing why, and my immediate reaction was one of tempered disappointment.  i was just super hype on that girl name.

"we'll still use it," ian reassured me logically, with his characteristically indefatigable sanguinity.  "just a couple of years later."  he envisions four children for us.  i envision my body looking like a massive bag of trash what's been sitting in a hot landfill for a thousand years.  

but i realized slowly that aside from the name, nothing else i've projected for our baby really changes.  daughter or gay son, i would raise them the same way, with the same values, and ostensibly in the same clothes.  and it's not even a matter of feeling strongly principled about gender-neutral parenting.  it's just that the things that really matter to me about growing this child and releasing it into the world to bring value, happiness, and love to its environment has everything to do with strength of character and nothing to do with gender.

boy or girl, i'd still expect a dr. hoshut.  or president hoshut.  or cool rapper hoshut.