On November 6, 2013 by Kunle Barker

You might be surprised to learn that I’m actually looking forward to our 20-week scan, or at least I was until Mummy Bean mentioned that the good doctor was unable to see Kidney Bean’s face at our 18-week scan. “Why – is that I problem,” I ask. “I don’t know,” replies Mummy Bean. “What, you think our baby doesn’t have a face? Why wouldn’t it have a face?” I ask in a very high-pitched panicky voice. Mummy Bean immediately realises what she has done, she has inadvertently awoken my inner panic. Luckily, we are only ten minutes away from the actual scan so she just ignores my constant questioning about why she thinks Kidney Bean won’t have a face.

Unlike the last scan, we arrive in good time and more importantly at the correct location. As we sit in reception, a small Thai lady enters the waiting room carrying a large brown folder and calls out Mummy Bean’s name. I recognise her as the same midwife from our 12-week scan and immediately remember how angry she made me when she was poking Kidney Bean with that bloody sonograph head. I take a long deep breath and decide to forgive and forget and follow the midwife and Mummy Bean into the examination room.

The scan proceeds without incident apart from the midwife having to tell me to sit down on three separate occasions as my head was blocking her view of the monitor. I couldn’t help it, it was so exciting, I could see our little baby and every time I recognised a leg, arm or saw a movement, I automatically rose to my feet and walked over to the monitor to get a closer look.


As you know, two weeks earlier we had already received the all clear at our emergency scan, and within minutes of this scan the midwife confirmed that Kidney Bean did indeed have a face, so, for a change, I was really relaxed and enjoying the scan. The only question to be answered was the gender of our baby. Try as I might, I couldn’t make out any sexual organs, no matter how close I stood to the monitor.  To be fair, a few moments earlier I had mistaken the umbilical cord for Kidney Bean’s spine, so what the hell do I know? Then the question came, “Would you like to know the sex of your baby?” Without even giving Mummy Bean the chance to process the question, I blurt out: “Yes, please.”

Kidney Bean is a girl! We are both over the moon but unlike Mummy Bean, I am not surprised, I’ve know for weeks that we are having a girl. Around the twelfth week of our pregnancy I had a series of dreams about Kidney Bean and in each of them she was a girl and talking to me. However, the weirdest thing was that she was literally the size of a kidney bean and in one dream, I was carrying her around in my iPhone, don’t ask! After the second of these dreams, I was convinced we were having a girl; Mummy Bean was less convinced of the prophetic powers of my dreams but, try as she might, she could not dissuade me from my belief that Kidney Bean was a little girl.

As the midwife announces that we are having a girl, still staring at the screen, I wipe away a tear from my right eye, turn to face Mummy Bean and the midwife and say, “I know, I’ve already met her.” Mummy bean rolls her eyes and makes a ‘shush’ face, but she also knows the significance of the events that have just unfolded. I’ve always attached an almost supernatural significance to my dreams and until now, Mummy Bean has been able to dismiss this as hocus-pocus and coincidence. But now Mummy Bean knows she will have to hear the story about how Kidney Bean came to me in a dream to tell me she was a little girl, for the rest of her natural life.

We leave the hospital and take a short walk into Notting Hill. London, on days like this, is the most beautiful city in the world. It’s a great day, mid-August, the sun is shining and we are both delighted and so happy. We have always been a happy couple but this is different somehow, the news that Kidney Bean is a girl and is healthy has somehow brought us closer together, has somehow made us feel even more in love.



One of the fantastic things about knowing the sex of your baby is that you can buy clothes and we can’t resist so head straight for the baby clothes shop in Notting Hill. My enthusiasm is stopped in its tracks by the economic reality of shopping in Notting Hill, even for baby clothes! I walk out in disgust as the shop attendant tells me the price of an outfit I saw in the window, which costs more than the outfit I’m actually wearing. I love Kidney Bean, but if she wants a £200 sheepskin waistcoat, she is going to have to get a job.

Luckily, Mummy Bean is aware of a second-hand charity baby clothes’ shop called FARA on the same road. I take little convincing and head across the road narrowly missing a speeding Range Rover. As soon as we enter, our enthusiasm is refueled and we start shopping. We ration ourselves to two outfits each and I choose a faux fur white jacket with little bear ears on the hood, I know it’s a cliché but I couldn’t resist, it’s just so cute. Mummy Bean fears that if I am left in complete charge of her wardrobe Kidney Bean is destined to spend the first year of her life dressed up as a series of fluffy animals.

Mummy Bean is much more sensible and buys two lovely and non- animal- related items of clothing. A white linen jump suit and a beautiful pink Liberty print baby-grow. It’s a wonderful afternoon and as we walk from clothes shop to clothes shop there is a sense that we should have had a baby years ago.

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