NEVER Use the Words “Tiny” and “Penis” in the Same Sentence

My husband took a vacation day yesterday because our 15-year-old is home from school for the first time in 2 ½ months, and our 13-year-old’s Parent/Teacher conferences took place in the afternoon.  Even while on vacation, he still had to participate in three conference calls, plus respond to numerous e-mail and voicemail messages, but he did join us for lunch as a family.

Immediately after the five of us sat down in a booth at a local diner, the hostess seated four of our 4-year-old’s previous gymnastics instructors right next to us.  After saying hi, one of them asked if my stepsons were my older sons, and I said yes.  Then I announced that I am pregnant with yet another boy, bringing my husband’s and my total to four.

All four women congratulated me.  One asked my due date.  Another said that she had just attended a baby shower in which every gift was pink—and how horrible it will be if the baby is, in fact, a boy, because we all know mistakes are made.  She stopped herself and said, “Well, you’re probably OK because if you see it’s a boy, you see it’s a boy.”

“Oh, we did IVF with genetic testing,” I said, “so we know it’s a boy because they tested the baby’s DNA.”

Today, I got confirmation, once again, that our baby is a boy during what I call a “mental-health ultrasound.”  When I had my 16-week appointment two weeks ago, my doctor recommended that I break up the 3 ½ weeks between that appointment and my 20-week one, making an interim appointment to hear the baby’s “fetal heart tones,” giving me reassurance that he is alive and well.  I lost my son’s twin brother during my eighth week of pregnancy, with no explanation for his death, so the doctors in my high-risk practice are sweetly trying to address my fears by presenting me with reality—my remaining baby’s beating heart. 

During today’s ultrasound, I found out that the bulge on my right, next to my belly button, the location in which I feel almost all of my son’s movement, the place that feels like a softball if I accidently turn over onto my stomach, is the little guy’s head.  She moved the ultrasound wand around to get a good view of his skeleton-like face, then typed “FACE” on her keyboard, which showed up in real time on the screen.  

I said, “Oh, so that’s his head.  That’s where I feel the most movement.”

“You know it’s a boy?” she asked.

“Yes, we did IVF with PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis).”  I then realized that she was just confirming that I already knew his gender before revealing his genitalia.  She showed me his penis, proof that he is a boy, as we knew, then typed “BOY!!”

She said that his feet are extended down, near the bottom of my uterus, then typed “BREECH.”  When I asked if his position is a problem this early in my pregnancy, she said no, that I “have a long way to go.” 

She showed me his pulsing heart, which, each and every time I see it, I find miraculous, and said that his heart rate is 167 beats per minute, which is normal.

Then, finished with the ultrasound, she handed me a towel so I could wipe the lubricant off of my stomach, then printed off three pictures for me—two “FACE” and one “BOY!!”

As soon as I pulled out of the hospital parking garage, I called my husband.  “Our baby is perfect,” I said.  “I have two pictures of his little skeleton face and one picture showing his tiny penis.”

“Honey,” he said, “Don’t ever, ever use the word ‘tiny’ to describe his penis.”

“Oh, come on, he’s just a baby.” 

“I’m telling you:  Never use the words ‘tiny’ and ‘penis’ in the same sentence.”

When reading my pregnancy books last night, I learned that, this week, our son is just five inches long from the top of his head to the bottom of his teeny “tush.”  So, every part of him is tiny.  But, apparently reality is irrelevant when referring to male genitalia, even the genitalia of an 18-week-old fetus.

So, I have learned my lesson.  Never again will I refer to the penis of any male person, of any size, of any age, as “tiny.”

Isn’t my husband adorable for already protecting our little guy’s honor?

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