"It's a girl."
You could have pretty much knocked me over with a feather when the doctor said that to me. I mean, really and truly - my legs were wobbly and everything.
And it wasn't because we had been told it would be a boy and it was wrong. It had just become an unspoken agreement between my wife and I that we were having a boy. After all, I was one of three boys, my brother had two boys of his own... and our baby had been tracking bigger all during my wife's pregnancy.
During those 41 weeks (our daughter was a week late), I used to joke with people all the time that "My family only makes boys" and that "if I have a girl, I'm screwed" because I had no reference point for how to raise a girl. My wife, also one of three, has a younger brother and sister and seemed a little less trepadacious about having a girl, but still... we just thought "boy" all along.
The funny thing is that, all throughout the pregnancy, I stubbornly refused to find out the sex of the baby. I had always said that having a baby is one of life's few, true surprises - if you choose to not find out, you really won't know what you're having unil that magic moment when the doctor says "it's a..."
Even when I asked my wife to marry me, I was reasonably sure she would say yes, mostly because we had always talked about it and we were living together, etc. But this was a true surprise. And one that I would never have spoiled, no matter what.
I know how to raise a boy. I'm a little out of my depth when it comes to a girl. And the truth is, I love that.
Because now my daughter and I get to find out how to grow up together.