Gender Reveal Ceremony


June 14, 2021

It was time for the Big Reveal: the gender of the new baby!


The girls were very excited about the new baby that would be coming soon. Cora immediately found that she herself was pregnant, which was a surprise to everyone. But as she pointed out, her tummy stuck out, so she knew there was a baby that was in there. She also knew, with a mother’s intuition, that it was a girl. The baby’s due date is in June. She is currently unmarried, unlike her sister, who has remarried several times and is now married again to her first husband, Lollipop, in spite of the fact that he is, quite clearly, a jerk. Annie is occasionally pregnant, depending on her mood.


The girls speculated on what their new baby sister would be like, and mainly focused on the gender. At first Annie was convinced she wanted a brother. She already had a sister. She needed to even things out and get a brother. Cora agreed with Annie. She generally agrees with Annie when Annie has definitive opinions about things, which is a wise course. I pointed out that a sister would be nice, too.

But then we read a beautiful book called “When the Sky is like Lace” which has three sisters in it. Suddenly the idea of Three Sisters became real to the girls, and they became enamored with it. Why have a brother when you could have another sister? So they decided to have a sister instead. The baby boy that had previously been in my tummy metamorphosed in a moment into a baby girl.  I pointed out that a brother could be useful – he could maybe be drafted to play the boy parts in our plays – but the girls were skeptical. A baby couldn’t be in a play. Yes, he would grow up eventually and then maybe he could play a prince. But it would be better to have a sister. Way better.

It was clear we needed to know the gender of the baby way in advance, so the girls could get used to the idea and there would be no disappointment the day I delivered.

We knew we had to have some sort of gender-reveal ceremony, but decided it had to be a low-key, nontraditional sort of gender reveal. The results came by email so we decided we would all open the email together. My OB’s office had already let me know that the test had not shown any chromosomal abnormalities, so it would just be a gender reveal email; there would be no bad news.

Peter and I didn’t have any ideas for a ceremony. We were trying to brainstorm something to make it a special moment when Cora made the decision for us.

“I want Stole the Queen from her Bed!” Cora shouted. “I want Stole the Queen from her Bed! Play that song!”

I considered. “That’s a good soundtrack for the gender reveal ceremony,” I agreed. 

“It’s a little dark,” said Peter dubiously.

“Whatever,” I said. “We watched Rosemary’s Baby the night before I went into labor with Annie. It’s traditional to be dark.”

“Play it! Play it!” Cora shouted.

“Play it!” Annie shouted.

Peter got the music set up. We checked to make sure the sound quality was good, and it was. Annie decided she needed to play along on drums, so Peter went and got a snare drum for her to play, which would have the appropriate aggressive military sound. We ran through the song once for practice while Annie practiced the drum. It was vital to get the drum beats right. It was an important ceremony.


Finally, after a grueling rehearsal that lasted about 3 minutes, we were ready for the big reveal. We started videoing (someday that baby will want to see this).  Cora pressed the “play” button on the Pirates of the Caribbean song. The tension was already growing.

The sound of thundering drums filled the room. A child’s voice singing, “The king and his men stole the queen from her bed… and bound her in her bones…”

Annie tried to drum along with the thundering drums.

When the booming pirate voices came in, we all sang with them, “Yo, ho… haul together… hoist the colors high! Heave ho, thieves and beggars; never shall we die!” while Annie continued to drum where appropriate. 

The sound of the drums was like gunfire. The tension was at a fever pitch.

As the song came to an end and faded away, I opened the email.

“Look at that, Annie!” I cried, pointing to a tiny symbol, a circle with a cross underneath. 

“It’s a girl!” she shouted.