It's A.....

(Look, if you just want to know immediately, you can scroll down a little bit and find out. If, however, you like torturing yourself with the delicious anticipation—and also know me well enough to realize that it takes me forever to get to the punchline of any story—you may want to read a hundred rambling paragraphs of lead-in first.) 


Back in January at my 12-week ultrasound, I made my appointment for my 19-week ultrasound, otherwise known as the fetal anatomy survey. Isn't that a fun name? The fetal anatomy survey? It sounds like it's going to be conducted by a team of highly-skilled geographers carrying clipboards and wearing those dorky camping headlamps. Or else by an earnest, smiling young Greenpeace worker—also, coincidentally, carrying a clipboard—who stops you on the street when you're on your way back from your lunch break and tries to shake your hand to guilt you into stopping. Excuse me, madam, can you spare five minutes for a fetal anatomy survey? 

Anyway, the main point of the fetal anatomy survey is to check that all your baby's parts are growing as they should—brain, heart, lungs, etcetera—and make sure that everything's in the right place. This is all very, very important and serious, of course, but most people totally forget about this part and replace it with an excited, high-pitched internal squealing because OMG I'M GOING TO SEE MY BABY ON THE TEEVEE. By "most people," of course, I basically mean me. I love ultrasounds. Who doesn't love ultrasounds? There's your baby, all cute and wriggly, swimming about in black and white on a screen! And the bonus part of the fetal anatomy survey, of course, is that you can—if you wish—survey one very important piece of your baby's anatomy. 

My fetal anatomy survey was on March 6th, which I told my mother back in January when I was home in San Diego for the weekend. "We can find out the sex on March 6th!" I said. She took down her kitchen calendar, flipped to March, found the box for the 6th, and wrote "SEX?" in large black letters with her Sharpie. Then she stood back and frowned at it. "Hmm," she said. "I don't think I quite meant to do that." 

From then on, all three of us—me, my mum, and my sister—started referring to the day of my fetal anatomy survey as simply "Sex March 6th." My sister even abbreviated it to March Sexth towards the end, which—being as much a fan of a good old portmanteau as the next gal—I thought was particularly inspired. 

Because we wouldn't get to tell our families whether Hamish was a boy or a girl in person, I wanted to find a fun, low-key way to surprise them over Skype. About a week before Sex March 6th, I sent out the following to my parents, my in-laws, and my sister Susie (my brothers were kind of like "eh, keep your arts and crafts, just tell me on the phone.") 

I put one of these paint strips in one envelope and labeled it 1, then I put the other paint strip in another envelope and labeled it 2. The only person who knew which strip was in which envelope was me. The two envelopes sat unopened on everyone's mantlepieces or kitchen tables for a few days until Sex March 6th, and then—once we'd got home from our ultrasound appointment knowing what we knew—we had separate Skype dates with each set of parents and my sister, and told them which envelope they should open.

As it turns out, it was envelope 1.

WHAT?! I know! I was totally, totally wrong. So much for a mother's special instincts, huh? Apparently, there's absolutely no mistaking it, though. Our little boy is...well, not what you'd call a shy one. 

Here's my twig, here's my berries. Believe me NOW, mother? Also, never put my genitals on the Internet again.

I am thrilled beyond belief to be having a little boy, although completely blown away that I was so wrong. I was CONVINCED we were having a girl, so it took a good few hours just to wrap my head around it. And yes, I did feel a little wistful for that online shopping cart full of bunny sundresses I'd have to return to the virtual stockroom of Baby Gap—thank goodness I wasn't convinced enough to actually buy anything—but an hour and a half later, I found the most adorable pale blue seersucker romper befitting of a young John F. Kennedy Junior, and I was all sundresses? What sundresses? and promptly started to outfit my poor unborn baby like a proper little 1960s schoolboy. 

Sean is similarly over the moon—we both stared at each other in wonder and surprise yesterday the first time he said "my son"—and has been gleefully announcing, having watched a little too much Downton Abbey recently, that he now has an heir. Both pairs of grandparents are overjoyed with the news, as are all assorted uncles and aunties, both those related to us by blood and otherwise. Most importantly of all, however, the doctor came in to see us right after the ultrasound and graced us with the five most beautiful words in the English language: "Well, your baby looks great." 

Our baby. Our baby boy. Honestly, how about that. 

(PS: Did anyone spot the unintentional clue in the 19 weeks picture? We took that right after we found out. We didn't mean to get the overt phallic imagery of Coit Tower in the background, but we were secretly sort of pleased that we did.) 

Mar 07, 2013

Delicious anticipation indeed! What a thrilling post! I had to try very hard not to scroll down immediately. Loved the envelopes idea.

I was convinced - positive even - we were having a boy and so we were. We're now almost 20 months into his life and, from my experience, boys are great. Fun times ahead when changing his nappy.

PS. Totally overlooked the 19 weeks clue but it was really ingenious!

Mar 07, 2013

Holly how lovely!! So exciting- I couldn't wait, I had to scroll down (sounds a bit weird from a stranger but oh well!) I actually was thinking it might be a boy. You know the old wives tale- when a stomach is pointy rather than overly rounded, its most likely a boy. Don't think its true, but I went with it anyway!

Congratulations again- he will be one loved little boy :)


Mar 07, 2013

Yay! I totally did not catch that clue!

Your baby will be the best dressed (and most traveled) kid in San Francisco! (Stripes! Argyle! Yankee shirts! Newsboy hats maybe?)

How awesome is it that your son's first possession is a navy blue sweater? Maybe deep down inside you knew?

Mar 07, 2013

A boy!! How wonderful! I have 2 of these and they are the very best, so much fun and so loving of their mummy. I admit, sometimes I pin them down and force them to love their mummy, but that's normal, right??

I am so happy for you, it really is the best news

Savvy in San Francisco
Mar 07, 2013

Congratulations! I wanted a girl first so badly because I was afraid that I would have all boys, that I started crying when she said we were having a boy. Carlos didn't know what to do and just rubbed my arm sweetly! I was sad and excited all at the same time. But just like you as soon as I saw the adorable plaid pants and sweater vests at Gap, I knew I would be okay!

Mar 07, 2013

Congrats you two! Boys are SO! Much! Fun! Seriously, insane amounts of silliness and fun.

Mar 08, 2013

Congratulations Holly! So excited for you.

I also felt sure I was having a girl and it took me quite a while to get used to the idea that it was actually a boy after our scan. I wasn't disappointed exactly (I had wanted a boy first) but it really threw me as I'd been so convinced.

I was really glad we decided to find out the sex as it would have been much harder to deal with the surprise after 9 months of thinking it was a girl!

Someone said to me that she loves having a boy because "my daughter loves me but my son wants to marry me"!

Mar 08, 2013

Congratulations Holly. It's so sweet how in the ultrasound picture caption you called yourself mother. For me it took a while for the word to sink in!
@Bellie I'm convinced the pointy stomach thing is true. When I was pregnant every single person seeing me told me I was having a boy because of how my belly looked and they were right!

Mar 08, 2013

How wonderful to be having a boy! I don't have kids but I have a gorgeous 2 yr old nephew and he is the best. You are always so full of great ideas - those paint swatch cards are useful for anything these days but I would never have thought of using those or the envelope idea. Can't wait to see all the nursery decorating now.

Mar 08, 2013

I read slowly again this time and didn't cheat. :)

A boy! How wonderful. Boy clothes are adorable, don't listen to anyone who says otherwise. I will put my 2yo son's skinny jeans up against any bunny sundresses.

Mar 08, 2013

See this? This is my huge smile in Minneapolis as I have been stalking your blog waiting to hear. Yay!!!! Congrats to all!

Mar 08, 2013

Congrats! And just think! You already have a name picked out for wee Hamish! Or... have you picked out another name?

Mar 08, 2013

A BOY! Yay! Now you need to go read this gorgeous post by Jennie, which given the timing now seems like it was written just for you.

Mar 08, 2013

Yay, a boy! I was going to link to Jennie's post too - that's funny. I love my two boys, they are some kind of awesome. You will love it!

Mar 08, 2013

He *is* a Hamish, after all!


Mar 08, 2013

A big congratulations! Raising my little guy is one of the greatest gifts I've ever been given.

They are a lot of fun and actually...very, very sweet!

Mar 08, 2013

Aw, congratulations! If it's any consolation, I was completely wrong when I guessed the gender of our first too!

Tragic Sandwich
Mar 08, 2013

Congratulations! A little boy--how exciting!

For what it's worth, I was wrong about Baguette, too. I just knew she was a boy, but when we got the results from CVS testing, she totally wasn't.

Mar 08, 2013

So exciting!!

Kim L
Mar 08, 2013

Congratulations! I must admit to checking your site multiple times yesterday hoping for the big reveal. As a mom of 3 boys, I must admit boys are a heck of a lot of fun. Loud, messy, sometimes miss the toilet bowl FUN.

Mar 08, 2013

Yay for little boys! My baby boy is now a huge, freaking almost-8-month-old, and I couldn't imagine having a little girl. I also felt the girl vibe when I was pregnant but was obviously very wrong.

Since they don't make a ton of cute boy clothes (compared to girls), you will probably get all of the practical and necessary items you register for. My cousin had a little girl a month after us and had to scramble to buy bottles, baby monitor etc., because almost no one bought from her registry and got tons of pink frilly clothes instead!

Staci Magnolia
Mar 08, 2013

I held a piece of paper up to the screen and read line by line in the event that my eyes jumped ahead before I wanted them to. A boy! A boy!
Thank you for sharing, what a lovely Friday morning read!
Continued health & happiness!

Anna Louisa
Mar 08, 2013

Hooray hooray!! I'm so glad - partly because I'm sure I'll have a boy at some point and need your example of how they can be just as aesthetically pleasing as girls ;)

Mar 08, 2013

Congratulations! As a mom of 4 boys, boys are GREAT! Just loud and messy. :)

Mar 08, 2013

Congratulations! Boys make wonderful offspring. I feel expert on the subject as I have three. Ha! Although I am done having children, I really enjoy reading about your journey into parenthood. It brings back the sweetest memories and fills me with happiness all over again for you.


Mar 08, 2013

I was stunned (and a little sad, I mourned the tutus) the day we found out we were having a boy. But boy (!) is he amazing and now I can't imagine having it any other way. Congrats, you two! An heir!

Mar 08, 2013

Congratulations - I'm so happy for you both! Such a creative way to announce it - I love it!

Mar 08, 2013

I sort of figured you'd have a boy because you were so sure you were having a girl. My friends that were all absolutely positive one way or the other always ended up having the opposite. Congratulations on siring an heir first try!

Girls terrify me (mostly because I remember how bitchy I was as a teenager) but so do boys (because i've heard stories of my husband as a teenager). I figure we're in for a wild ride either way!

Mar 08, 2013

How exciting! Congratulation! Don't know why I was convinced it's a boy as soon as you announced you are pregnant. Boys are the best (I have one). :-)

Mar 08, 2013

Congratulations! Boys are sweet and fun and wonderful and they LOVE their mommies. Congratulations! I have three lovely boys and consider myself a good mom and I have never known before they came out whether I was having a boy or a girl. I apparently have NO motherly fetal intuition. I knew that I was madly in love and would do anything for my baby; that appears to be all that I needed to know. :-)

Mar 08, 2013

I wondered about the possibility of a boy when you pinned the gray elephant fabric, instead of the coral I pinned for you, and then chided myself for being gender normative. The academics, we sometimes over think things. ;) The wonderful thing that no one ever told me about little boys is how very much they love their Mothers. My boy is ten now and is the sweetest, most affectionate thing.

Mar 08, 2013

Take it from the mother of four of them: Boys are the bomb. You are going to love this.

Mar 08, 2013

Congratulations, Holly, on finding out that your Hamish is truly a Hamish! Reading your baby- and non-baby-related posts is such a treat. Please don't stop blogging.

Mar 08, 2013

So exciting! Boys are super fun! xoxo

yours truly, melissa
Mar 08, 2013

Congrats a million times over! :)

Mar 08, 2013

Congratulations, a son, a brother. I always wondered what it would have been like to have had an older brother (I am the first born in my family). If you have more children, an older brother to protect and look after them is a keen thing for them to have! I'm not a fashion hound, but I have two children of each sex, and I have a lot more fun shopping for my sons. They are way more "appreciative" of my fashion sensibilities. I'm very happy for your news of a healthy, growing, little human being!

Mar 08, 2013

Ahhhhh!! Little boys are just the greatest! So, so happy for you, and cannot wait for the cutest little guy to wear his little romper.

Mar 08, 2013

Yay! We're having a boy too, and I too was totally wrong! I didn't want to rain on your mother's instincts (hey, maybe yours are better than mine!) but I was totally shocked when they told us. Congratulations and yay for blue!

Stephanie S
Mar 08, 2013

Yahoo! As a mom of a particularly adorable 16 month boy, I can tell you that you will absolutely LOVE it!

Mar 08, 2013

Our friends just had ably and found matching swi trunks for baby and dad. I know I get sundeesses for my daughter it matching swim trunks made me wish for a boy next time around congratulations!

Mar 08, 2013

Congratulations! Boys are the best, but I am biased since that is all I have. My son is 6, and it just gets better. The other day, after answering my question, he winked at me. Winked at me!

Definitely read Jennie's post that was linked above. She captures having a son with perfection.

Chris G
Mar 08, 2013

Congrats!!!! A boy!! A healthy baby. A friend who also has two boys shared this with me. Boy n. a noise with dirt on it. That about sums it up. They are wonderful and always love their mommas and protect them. I was doubly blessed. Girls are wonderful too nice a quiet for the most part but watch out for puberty and teenaged angst.

Mar 08, 2013

Congratulations! I have 2 boys and a girl. They are all amazing! You'll have so much fun either way.

Mar 08, 2013

Congratulations! I have 2 boys and a girl. They are all amazing! You'll have so much fun either way.

Brianne Joy
Mar 08, 2013

Congratulations!!!! So exciting. :)

Mar 08, 2013

Hooray for little boys! I was also convinced I was having a girl, and we didn't find out until he was born. I was really surprised considering I had 2 girl dreams and everything.

Mar 08, 2013

I was thrown off by the tart craving...thought for sure you were going to have a girl.

Boys are fun! Just remember to point the peen down when putting on a diaper and all will be well.

Mar 08, 2013

A BOY!!! I had guessed girl, but I guessed boy for myself and so I'm officially 0 for 2. At least now you won't have that nagging worry about Kate Middleton 'stealing' your baby name mere weeks before you give birth (yes, this is actually something I have spent time thinking about. Because I am insane.)

Huge congrats to you, Sean, and Baby Hamish!

Mar 08, 2013

I was totally going to scroll down, but that first paragraph convinced me not to. A boy, how wonderful!! Did you read Jennie at She Likes Purple's new post ( perfectly timed and perfectly written! I'm assuming you did already read it, of corse :)
I feel like I was the only person reason your blog to NOT have seen it coming when you announced you were pregnant, but I'm glad to see I'm not the only one thinking you were going to have a girl, and I'm so SO excited for you! You would be a great mom to either, but I just think you are going to be the best little boy mom!

Mar 08, 2013

That's just wonderful! I got a nephew before I got a niece and I was worried that he wouldn't be as cuddly and loving as I imagined a girl would be. Boy was I so (delightfully) wrong!

Best wishes and lots of love to you!

Megan @ Pink O'Clock
Mar 08, 2013

Aww, happiness! Congratulations, Holly and Sean!

Mar 08, 2013

Oh my gosh! Was I the only one who did a double take when I realized that "both sets of grandparents" are acutally your parents!?!? On one hand, this is a rather obvious statement but on the other, it just seems like a momentous shift in the family order in such a positive, awesome way! Congratulations!

Mar 08, 2013

yay! yay!!! boy! Is it silly that I picture him with a wee british accent??

Mar 08, 2013

I admittedly stalked the Pinterest feed of your sister knowing that she probably wouldn't be as careful as you. I'm fully aware of how creepy that makes me. Unashamedly too, it seems.

Many congratulations, Holly and Sean. As the mother of three sons, I can attest to the joy and adventure they add to life. Happy seersucker shopping!

Mar 08, 2013

Congratulations! Now, I know what a bargain hunter you are, so I wanted to share this find - in case it is anywhere near what you're looking for: cribs at Walmart. When I was looking, I liked nothing better than theist expensive, modern- looking one I fell in love with at Oeuf. Then I found the Baby Mod collection at Walmart (search their site for "baby mod"). We went with the "Olivia" crib and changing table. I used it for my first (a little girl that is now 3) and now for my newest, a son that is 9 weeks.

Best of luck to you! I had a ball decorating my son's room!

Mar 08, 2013

Congratulations! Now he can really be named Hamish!

Mar 08, 2013

Boy!! I was convinced with both my pregnancies that I was having a girl. I have 2 boys. And I can't imagine life without them!

Mar 08, 2013

Huge congrats!

My boy is a 5 and a half month-old bundle of fun and I can wholeheartedly echo the sentiments above - boys really are the bomb, and oh my do they love their mamas. But I've been so surprised by how much boy-ness was there right from the start - throw your Judith Butler out the window and be amazed.

By the way I gave birth in SF and can highly highly recommend St Lukes if you are at all interested in low intervention birth. The surroundings are less pretty but they take incredibly good care of you and I don't yet know anyone who had an unplanned C section there. They also do group prenatal care if you're so inclined which was a great way to meet other mamas to be. Hypnobirthing childbirth prep with Rachel Yellin was also great and I think most of our moms' group met through that connection in the end.

Also plus one for Walmart Baby Mod crib/dresser. Love ours.

Looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds. Enjoy that gorgeous glow!!!

Mar 08, 2013

Congratulations! How exciting for you both. Now the real planning and shopping and fun begins. : )

Mar 08, 2013

Yay, it IS Hamish! And yes, not just a son, AN HEIR. At least this is how you must introduce the baby to Sean when he meets the baby after you've given birth.

Mar 08, 2013

YAY! So excited for you. Now we can both be like, "What are we supposed to do with this penis?"

Mar 09, 2013

Boys are awesome. I don't have a girl to compare to (and probably wouldn't say it if I did), but boys rock.

BUT, forget about saving for college. Save for your grocery bills when they are teenagers. They will eat your paycheck if you put it between two slices of bread with a little bit of mayonnaise and mustard.

Mar 09, 2013

Congratulations! I really enjoy your blog, by the way - you have a nice way with words :)

Mar 09, 2013

So happy to hear that you're baby looks great, boy or girl! Loved the paint strips!

Mar 09, 2013

oops... YOUR baby!

Mar 09, 2013

You do everything so cute!

Anyway, I would write more but my last 2 comments got eaten by the spam filter :( <3 congrats!

Mar 09, 2013

How wonderful! I'm also expecting a boy, and my wistful shopping cart deletions were adorable Zutano rompers and sundresses with matching hats. One day, I hope.

We have a similarly brazen ultrasound photo. Ours has a helpful arrow with the legend "boy." It's unmissable.

I can't wait to see what you do with the nursery!

Mar 10, 2013


If you watch A LOT of Downton Abbey you might want to go back on those sundresses - in the late nineteenth century Victorian boys wore dresses when they were babies. Best of both worlds!

Mar 10, 2013

Hamish is a Hamish! All the congrats being sent your way, and even better Hamish looks healthy! Which is really important.

Mar 10, 2013

Oh my gosh, congratulations!!! Boys are so much fun! You're going to love it.

Mar 10, 2013

I am over the moon! Good luck falling asleep now, lol! congrats Holly and Sean!

Mar 10, 2013

Another subtle taken as a hint, of course...all of your "week" numbers are blue!

Mar 11, 2013

How lovely! Congrats to you both! Hamish it is then ;) Right?
My firstborn is a boy. Oldest boys are a DELIGHT! (at least, mine is). You are going to have so much fun!

Camels & Chocolate
Mar 11, 2013

Apparently, I have zero instincts, too, because I was CONVINCED Hamish was a she. And now I'm giggling over the Coit Tower reference I missed and applauding your subtlety.

Mar 11, 2013

Yay!! Congratulations! As the mother of one very cute, very cuddly and also very ornery little boy I am so very excited for you. My first child was/is a girl and we found out at 20 weeks and we were excited, but it really didn't matter right? That's what everyone says. Then when we had my son we opted to not find out the sex. We would be happy either way.

I'm just going to tell you...there is something magical about a son. I love my daughter and I wouldn't trade her for anything. She's my mini-me. But there is just something about my boy that I can't put into words, but I find it hard to put him down at times and that's getting tough because hes THREE.

Watch out. That little boy is going to melt.your.heart. over and over again.

Mar 11, 2013

Little baby boys are the best, in my opinion as the mother to a little baby boy!! Maybe we are predisposed to think we will have girls- because I thought so, too, and when my doctor said "boy," I had a very brief moment of shock and sadness. I quickly recovered, but then my husband suggested the names Annakin or Luke. Once we got past that business, it was so much fun hunting for cute boy stuff. You will need to hunt. Little boys are so sweet. Congratulations!!

Mar 11, 2013

Regular reader, infrequent commenter here.
Had to write in because I'm due exactly one week ahead of you (and living in SF and a first time mom-to-be AND obsessed with the ideas of giraffes in the nursery). I'd suggest we become best friends immediately but you are probably going to hate me because I've had a ridiculously easy pregnancy so far--no nausea, no weird cravings, no crazy pains, no food/smell aversions, nothing. I had some bone crushing fatigue from weeks 5-9 but then it was gone. So suddenly and so early that I was "that girl" who demanded an emergency pre-Christmas appt with my OB, convinced the baby was gone. And yes, I got the "so, you're here because you feel good?" line...which I deserved.
I'm somehow suppressing every one of my (many and rampant) tendencies and not finding out gender. My mother is horrified. I can't even explain why, exactly, except that the surprise sounds fun and since this may be my only one, I kinda wanted the surprise. And yes, I had to ask my husband to remind me why I wanted to wait as we headed in to our 20 week scan.
I've made a secret Pinterest board (have yet to go fully public with the pregnancy, but planning to do so this week) and am repinning you like crazy.
Anyway, just a note to say congratulations to you and your husband--what a fun and crazy ride this is! If you ever want to meet a random stranger (but fellow pregnant lady) for a drink (it's pretty much just water these days for me; cranberry and club soda if I'm feeling sassy) to commiserate about the aspects of pregnancy perhaps better left unblogged about, shoot me an email!

Mar 11, 2013

Oh, and our belly nickname is Danger. So random, but it really rolls off the tongue (as in, "whoa, Danger is on the move after that meal."). As a result, I'm feeling boy (and think of him/it that way in my head), but perhaps that's just the outgrowth of a weird moniker.

Mar 11, 2013

I'm having a boy too (due a week before you!). I've been loving your pregnancy updates so far, can relate to everything you're saying, and was very excited to hear you're having a boy, too! Can't wait to hear how the next four months go.

Mar 12, 2013

Congrats on finding out about sweet baby boy! I've been a longtime lurker since finding your wedding invites a couple years ago and love following your pregnancy updates.

The bright, wooden letters are great! Can't wait to read more.

Mar 12, 2013

boys are just the best, truly! my son Eliot, now 2, holds my face in his hands and gives me kisses, telling me i'm "a nice lady".
as for the name, i really think you must stick with hamish now!

Mar 13, 2013

I just knew it was a boy! Y'all are going to have sooo much fun! I've sighed over the cute little dresses since having my son five (and a HALF, as he insists) years ago, but nothing is better than my boy. Congratulations!

May 19, 2016

Keep on writing and chniggug away!

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