Motherhood & Words

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been feeling so, so crabby. I’m living with a number of activity restrictions that, in combination, make me feel crazy. I mean, you take no exercise and no sex and shake that up with no red wine, and how would you feel? It doesn’t help that I’ve been working—and worrying about work—a lot lately, which is annoying because it’s not my writing/teaching work, but my pay-the-bills work.

I’d also been worrying about my ultrasound, which was two days ago. I was anxious about what kind of news we would get, and I was also crabby because I felt I had been coerced into the genetic counseling session that went with the Level II ultrasound. D. and I had decided against the blood tests and amnio and all that extra stuff, and I felt that I was now being forced into the counseling session against my will. The receptionist just kept saying, “Well, it goes with the ultrasound, and you are of advanced maternal age.”

I’m 35, people—not exactly elderly. But whatever, I agreed. I was, however, feeling quite petulant about it all, and I realized that it was a distinct possibility that I’d be a bitch to the counselor. I was relieved that D. would be there to pinch my leg if I got out of hand, but it’s generally not a good sign if I sense my bad behavior before I start behaving badly.

Well. The genetic counselor was lovely. I couldn’t have conjured a gentler, more soft-spoken, understanding woman if I’d tried. Really. Why had I been so worried about this? And she made an interesting connection between my grandmother’s two miscarriages and stillbirth (my mom is an only child) and my blood clot. I’ve been thinking about my grandmother and her pregnancy losses a lot lately, but I hadn’t made a real connection. The counselor suggested I have my blood tested for a clotting disorder that could be genetic. Very interesting.

And the ultrasound itself was such a relief. No signs of chromosomal abnormalities. No new blood clots. And the baby—a GIRL!!—was kicking around as if she was at Jr. Olympic try-outs. You go, girl.

I’m actually thrilled that it’s another girl. A boy would have been fine, of course. A healthy, full-term baby really has been the goal, though people don’t seem to believe me when I say that. It’s odd how many people just assume that I want a boy because I already have a girl. It seems so old-school to me. But I really never imagined myself as a mother to boys. Odd, I know. But there you have it.

Stella has been wanting a baby sister and insisting that the baby would be a girl, so I thought she would scream and/or jump up and down when D. and I told her, but she just smiled slightly and said in her best teenage voice, “I already told you it was a girl, mom.” Duh.

Posted in


I have been teaching creative writing for almost twenty years. Reading about other women’s lives and experiences has expanded my world. To be able to walk in someone else’s shoes, whether it’s for a moment or an hour or a few days, is an incredible gift, providing me with insight into the human experience. It takes courage to write your truths, especially if it doesn’t seem as though anyone cares, as though anyone is listening. Let me tell you: your stories matter, I’m listening, and I’m here to help you find the heart of those truths, to get them down on the page, to craft them, and to send them out into the world. Together, we will change the world, one story at a time.


  1. Melissa on October 18, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    Oh, Kate, I’m so glad it was all good news! And I’m glad for Stella that it’s working out as she expected. After our last girl was born, our older girl said, “Thank GOODNESS. Because I was NOT going to take another little brother.” 🙂

  2. Ines on October 18, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    Congratulations, Kate. A girl! what a blessing….

  3. coarse gold girl on October 18, 2007 at 6:02 pm

    Glad to hear everything went so well. Stella’s comment made me smile as I remembered my elder daughter saying the same thing, behaving the same way, when the doctor told us, 100% that my youngest was going to be a girl!

  4. wordsbymary on October 18, 2007 at 10:53 pm

    Hey Kate,
    Great news that everything seems fine on the US! I can relate to that bill paying stuff…every month when I sit down to pay mine I have some really good “free floating anxiety” (I call it) hanging around for what seems like days! Yikes!!

    And…genetic counseling can be very informative. It is interesting to learn about anything new in the medical realm, I think!

    Stella sounds like she’s going to be telling you a thing or two (like how to dress, etc) when she hits her teens. My sister ended up with three boys, ages 10 – 5; now that was a handful (I’d take the girls!).

  5. Mandy on October 19, 2007 at 3:11 am

    Great news, Kate!
    You know, my nephew was very insistent that he would be getting a little sister. He too was unimpressed when it was confirmed by adults.

  6. **camera shy momma** on October 19, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    sweet relief! sorry for the crankiness though, all those restrictions would make me cranky too! 🙂

    sounds like stella has known all along, i think she’ll be a great big sister!

  7. Mardougrrl on October 19, 2007 at 7:09 pm

    Oh, congratulations Kate!

    A decaf herbal tea, on me. 😀

  8. Sheri on October 20, 2007 at 6:28 pm

    that’s all great news, kate. hang in there (ugh!). and looks like you’ll have a lot of fairdos in your future.
    i always thought i would have a girl sometime, but apparently not…

  9. Bryan on October 21, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    It’s interesting you say you didn’t imagine yourself a boy’s mother, Kate, because I’ve always thought you’d be a good boy-mom. You’d let him be as much of a boy as he needed to be without anybody getting hurt. The upside for you is that you’d get to enjoy some of that mommy worship that so many boys endulge in, but you’re not the type to let the kid develop mommy issues (although I’m starting to wonder if sometimes dads are as responsible as mothers are for boys with mommy issues).

    So anyway, congrats on the girl. You’re pretty good girl-mom, too.

  10. K on October 21, 2007 at 3:48 pm

    What Bryan said. I don’t see you being one of those sweaters in May, sharp intake of breath at the soccer field collision Moms.

    Glad everything went well.

  11. Beth on October 21, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    Great to hear the u/s went well.

    I think I might be de-lurking. Hmm … well, I’ve very much enjoyed your blog these last several months.

  12. Sari on October 24, 2007 at 3:37 pm

    Congratulations Kate!

    I’m so excited for you. And for Stella. When my sister and I would fight brutally, my mother would say, “you’ll later be glad you have a sister.” And I was.

  13. Emmie (Better Make It A Double) on October 27, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    Sorry to be so late in saying this, but I’m so happy for you. You’d be a great mom to any kid, I think.
    P.S. -I never imagined myself as a boy mom really, and sometimes, like when they’re trying to PEE ON EACH OTHER in the bathtub, I still can’t believe it! BTW, my boys are still talking about Stella – they have this whole narrative going about “and then Stella’s mama said Stella!, but she did not get a time out, because she shared”. Very cute. N makes O be Stella. He even asked me to braid O’s hair.

  14. Andria on November 16, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    Hi Kate! I found your blog online.

    I, too, was really weirded out by how many people thought that, because we had a daughter, we’d be devastated if we didn’t have a son next. I ALWAYS pictured myself having 2 girls in a row, and maybe a son after that — like for extra credit! 🙂 Now, I am of course thrilled that we’re having a healthy baby and it’s fine with me that he is (apparently) a boy, but when we had the ultrasound and Dave and I were walking out to the car, Dave actually admitted that he felt almost a tad disappointed that we weren’t having another girl. It’s just odd, because I bet no one would believe him.

    Anyway, we are like you and honestly just hope for a healthy baby. (It’s not like you have a boy or a girl, really– you have a Stella or a Nora or an Arlo or a whoever…) But I had to reply to your thoughts on the gender-expectancy thing because we felt it so strongly, too!

    I see I have a lot of reading to do to catch up on your blog. I’m so happy I know about it.