Sorry to spoil the surprise, but it's a girl

  • Palm Coast Observer
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I had been to ultrasounds before, but it was a new experience to see it through the eyes of my three kids. We gazed at the monitor mounted on the wall at the doctor’s office last week. Like magic, a trapezoidal window of black-and-white digital snow suddenly came to life. Instead of static, we saw a person. Sort of. Eventually, this will be the kids’ youngest sibling, the fourth McMillan child.

“What do you see?” my wife, Hailey, said, as the ultrasound tech skated a magic-wand-like instrument across her womb.

Grant, 7, tilted his head to one side to get a better angle. “Something with horns and a snout,” he said.

“Maybe it’s the baby!” shouted Ellie, 4.

The image twisted, as the wand gave us a cross-sectional view of the heart, which looked remarkably like a halved green pepper.

“It looks like a human, except it has two layers of toes,” Grant said.

Jackson, 10, was excited about seeing something recognizable — an arm. Then he said, “It’s punching itself.”

“It’s waving at me,” Ellie said. “It’s like, ‘Hello, my big sister!’”

The unborn child was likened to a dinosaur, a dragon and ghost. Grant added: “I can’t tell what’s the baby and what’s not.”

But fortunately, the kids weren’t traumatized too badly, and they were excited to learn the gender. Would it be a baby sister or a baby brother?

Thanks to Pinterest, nothing in life is simple anymore. Instead of just blurting it out, you’re now supposed to throw a party and reveal the gender in some kind of elaborate way. For example, bake a cake and inject pink or blue frosting into the center; when everyone has had a chance to guess, you cut the cake and everyone cheers for joy no matter what color the frosting is.

My wife bought a bunch of cans of Silly String (actually a generic version, Goofy String) for our party. At the appointed time, with friends gathered around, the kids grabbed their cans of string. The tension was incredible for everyone (except for Hailey and me — we already knew) until the moment of Silly-Goofy truth: Pink!

All jumped for joy, as rubbery, chemical-rich string got stuck in everyone’s hair and clung to the grass like spider webs.

Now, we can stop referring to the baby as “It.” Officially, a baby girl will be added to our home in November, and we couldn’t be happier.

I’m not sure if Ellie will be able to wait that long, though. She keeps asking, “Can we go to the hospital to see if the baby is ready?”



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