Today is the day that you find out the sex of the child. There's an ultrasound scheduled where they'll catalog everything about the baby they can, and in the middle of the measurements they slip this crucial bit of information in. The one [you've]<everyone| been waiting for since you first found out there even was a baby. [[Continue|Intro1]] (click: ?everyone)[(replace: ?everyone)[everyone has]]Partly, they are asking for any information to contextualize this. You want it too because all you know is that: - It has a [heartbeat]<heartbeat| (click:?heartbeat)[around 145, the heartbeat of a resting cat. Will it get along with your cats?(set:$hb to true)] - When you saw it on the last ultrasound it had [one hand to its mouth and another tiny arm raised in the air]<rockstar|. (click:?rockstar)[It looked like a rockstar and you wondered if it was going to be a musician.(set:$rs to true)] (live:1000ms)[(if:$hb is true and $rs is true)[(replace:?continue)[[[Continue|Intro3]]]]][]<continue|If you're having a son you wonder if it'll be too rambunctious for you--in the same beat you remember how crazy with energy your nieces have been too. You wonder if he'll be expected to be into sports. Frankly, you wonder if his life is going to be a repeat of yours. Sheepishly you remind yourself that this is a new human in a new time. You hope that he becomes what he's supposed to become. (set:$maleVisited to true)[[Continue|Choices]] If you're having a daughter you are done. You're already a pushover and if your experience with your nieces is any indication, your daughter will get whatever she wants. You wonder if she'll be like your wife, or like your female friends? You remind yourself that she will be a new human, in a new world. You hope that she becomes what she's supposed to become. (set:$femaleVisited to true)[[Continue|Choices]] One thing is for certain: you commit to loving this child. You will look upon it with [love]<love|(click:?love)[(replace:?love)[undying love(set:$a to true)]]. You will try your hardest to not [screw up]<screwup|(click:?screwup)[(replace:?screwup)[completely screw up(set:$b to true)]]. You will never [rest]<rest|(click:?rest)[(replace:?rest)[fully rest again(set:$c to true)]]. (live:500ms)[(if:$a is true and $b is true and $c is true)[[[The nurse pulls up your child on the ultrasound|results]]]]They are looking for that first iota of information that will shape the beginning stages of its life. They are asking if the gift should be pink or blue. If the closet full of items they're on the cusp of offering you will be acceptable. It's overwhelming, but it takes a village, and you are immensely happy with the village you've been blessed with. [[Continue|Intro4]]They look around, measure some things. You can barely stand it, but the nurse is calm and is working quickly. She points out some things, takes some pictures. You hold your wife's hand. [["Look, there"|results2]]The nurse has stopped the screen and is telling you to look at something. This feels like the big moment, but you have no idea what you're looking at. [[Your wife squeezes your hand. She is a scientist after all and knows what she's seeing as soon as the nurse does|results3]].And the nurse says "It's a girl!" at the same time she adds ["ITS A GIRL!"]<girl| to the ultrasound. (click:?girl)[<img src="itsagirl.JPG">] [[You and your wife are crying|results4]]Now that you have that parameter in hand, you turn to the next thing—life is littered with all sorts of next things when it comes to a child—calling your parents, your family. On the way home you stop to buy an outfit for her. Holding it up it seems [impossibly small]<small|. (click:?small)[How can you fit the entire universe in a piece of cloth that size?] You wonder if she'll grow to hate all the pinks and [purples]<purple| in that aisle, or if she'll embrace the sweet sassiness of it all. (click:?purple)[You can't help yourself. You buy her a onesie with a pattern of purple hearts and smile at your wife. <img src="http://chrissalzman.com/salzbaby/purplepattern.JPG"> [[Continue|Final]]]Hail, adventurer! You are in a forest clearing. It's dark. [On the ground is a [lamp]<lamp|.]<ground| (click:?lamp)[(replace:?ground)[]You have taken the lamp. The light in the lamp is low, but there is a knob to adjust the height of the flame. [[Turn up lamp|BrightForest]]]You turn the flame of the lamp higher and make out a signpost in front of you. [Read Signpost]<signpost|(click:?signpost)[(replace:?signpost)[The signpost has two arrows on it: To the North is labeled [[Boy|boy]]. To the South is labeled [[Girl|girl]]]]You go deeper into the woods. There is nothing there. Well, maybe there is something... [[Advance deeper into the woods?|DeeperWoods]]The path opens up and there is light streaming through the trees. You turn off the lamp and see a piece of paper on the ground. [[Pick up paper|Paper]]<h2>How would you like to learn about the sex of our child?</h2> [[I just wish you'd tell me!|StartDirect]] [[I'm feeling serious and reflective|StartSerious]] [[I'm feeling silly|StartSilly]]We're having a girl! <img src="salzbabyprofile.JPG"> [[Okay, let's try one of the other ones|Start]]With each of the new facts you gather about your baby the world constricts and expands. You feel like you've been granted membership into shadowy support clubs that exist in the periphery of normal everyday life. They are happy for you when you are [happy]<happy|(click:?happy)[ (you are often so happy for no discernible reason)]. They are there for you when you need [advice]<advice|(click:?advice)[ (you need so much advice)]. They seem to have an unending supply of useful baby things that are gathering dust and will save you so much [money]<money|(click:?money)[(replace:?money)[time]]. [[Continue|Choices]]You think about what you want and what knowing will change and how it will effect how you raise them. [[What if it's male?|male]] [[What if it's female?|female]] (if:$maleVisited is true && $femaleVisited is true)[[[You'll love it regardless|love]]]You look at the ultrasound of your little baby again and again. It doesn't seem real, but it is. You wonder if you'll have time for something like this ever again. And if she ever reads this if she'll be embarrassed, touched, annoyed, or [[some combination of the three|Final2]]. For months people have been asking if you're going to find out. They have asked in many ways: "are you going to find out the gender", "is it a boy or a girl", "what sex is it", "what do you want?", "are you going to wait to be surprised?" To this last one you want to answer, "everything has been so far, let's get this one out of the way as soon as possible." [[Continue|Intro2]]The nurse points out the tissues. You repeat the revelation to yourself. You feel relived to know. [[A daughter|results5]].They keep measuring parts and pictures of your daughter. Marking off kidneys, bones, ribs, the spine. Everything is otherworldly and awe-inspiring. That little bundle of appendages and bones is your child. Your daughter. The little person entrusted to you to help grow into the person they'll be. [[Continue|Next]]The darkness seems to be fighting against the flame of your lamp. There is movement in the shadows. Then a rush of wind! You are eaten by a grue. [[Return to the start|StartSilly]]Flipping it over you see an [inscription]<inscription|. (click:?inscription)[<img src="itsagirl.JPG"> [[Wow, a girl!|GirlFinal]]]Yes, it's a girl! She looks like this: <img src="salzbabyprofile.JPG"> [[Return to the Start|Start]]Her dad, the sentimentalist. <img src="salzbabyprofile.JPG"> [[Take me back|Start]]