Sunday, August 16, 2009

It's A...

When you're having your first baby, whether you're waiting until birth to find out the sex or you find out via ultrasound, you have tons of time to daydream about who that baby is going to be. Is it going to be a boy, a big brother to protect the girl you may have later? Or maybe a girl, to teach her younger brothers how to stay in line.

I remember I was convinced Ava was a boy (mostly due to the fact that I got a Happy Meal and they gave me a boy toy...I thought it was a sign), although I was not at all surprised when they told me she was a girl. My entire family has girls in's not the everyone has a lot of kids, but rather that the kids they do have are overwhelmingly of the female persuasion. Everyone took the news that she was a girl in stride, happy, but not surprised. John, though, was wrapped around her little finger from the day she was born.

When we found out we were expecting again, five short months later, I just assumed it would be another girl. When we were told that Jace was actually a boy, it was shocking. Almost no one in our family could even conceive of a little boy (no pun intended!) , and every time we told someone, we invariably got that same reaction: "I just can't believe it!" In fact, I had very limited ultrasounds during that pregnancy, and I was relatively sure that my boy was going to come out a girl. Despite my paranoia, he did in fact turn out to be a boy.

When we started talking about another baby, then actually got pregnant with said baby, I went back and forth over what sex I "wanted" it to be. A boy would be great for Jace...they'd be 18 months apart. But it would be so nice for Ava to have a sister...we decided we'd just wait it out and find out in the delivery room. That worked out really well for us until the night I was suddenly thrust into the high risk category during a routine ultrasound. After that, it was bed rest and non stress testing, ultrasounds galore, and it turned out to be impossible not to find out. Another boy. Two boys! In a family of girls, it was unbelievable.

Then came Seth. I remember wanting him to be a boy so badly I could feel it, not to replace Eli but because I had a visceral need to cuddle a little boy. For some people who have lost a child, it's easier to have one of the opposite sex. But for me, I had to have a boy. When I was first pregnant I would hold my best friend's baby Fisher, who was supposed to be Eli's best friend in training, and just pray I got a chance to cradle a boy baby again. At fifteen weeks, I got my wish, and found out that Seth was a boy.

Now I'm the mom of one daughter and three sons. With Ava being the oldest, and growing out of the stage where I get to dress her up in cute outfits, more interested in choosing her own style, and the three boys coming right in a row, sometimes it feels like I never got a girl at all. It's all been cargo shorts and polos, crazy curly hair and leaping off couches without a care.

When I got pregnant this time, there was really no question in my mind. It would be another boy, of course. Why wouldn't it? We'd had three boys in a row. John and I were sitting up one night talking about whether or not to find out, and he started laughing and looked at me, then said "You do know it's another boy, right?" I laughed and agreed. It would be fine, another boy...we have everything we need, and our boys are cute and fun. Seth would love having another brother. In fact, every time we talked baby names I automatically went over my boy list, assessing whether any of them felt right this time around.

Last Wednesday morning I was getting ready to go to my OB appointment and I heard about a newborn who was in a coma. Her parents had never been able to see her awake and alert, and they might never get the chance. I had been so torn about finding out...I tried to talk to John about it but he seemed basically uninterested in coming along to any ultrasounds, and suddenly in the midst of all this, it seemed so important to know. We can't be sure of anything in this world, and sometimes I feel like that lesson has been hitting me over the head for a few years now. It suddenly seemed monumentally important to know who this baby was, right away. John and I have always said that after Eli's death, we would not go into any pregnancy without knowing that the pregnancy might be all we got with that baby, and that it would be enough for us if that was God's choice. I didn't want to wait until January for this baby to feel like a real person to me.

At my appointment, my doctor was taking measurements and such when he asked if I had any questions. I asked him if I could see the sex of the baby. He started to look for it, then asked if I wanted to guess. He paused, and I told him that I'd rather have him get in the right area, then let me tell him what I thought it was. He laughed at that and agreed, saying he didn't get a lot of requests from parents to read their own ultrasounds. As he was zeroing in on the area, my heart was pounding and I saw it...the same thing I've seen the last three times around. Another boy. I'd been right. John had been right. We were destined to be a family of boys with one princess at the helm. It was strange, the mixture of contentedness and regret. Obviously, in our situation, there won't be more babies.That entire thought process happened within a split second of seeing the screen.

I looked at the doctor, then back at the screen, and realized that he hadn't even stopped moving the probe around. Finally he stopped and froze the screen and looked at me expectantly. I looked back, expecting confirmation of what I'd caught a glimpse of.

It didn't look right. For a moment I thought something was wrong. I looked, then looked again. It was like I was trying to decipher something written in code. Finally, I looked at him, and said "That doesn't look like a boy."

He laughed and said "Is that your scientific guess?" and I looked back again quickly.

"It is a girl?" I finally said, blushing, positive he was going to tell me I needed to stop trying to do his job for him, that I couldn't even tell what sex the baby was. Instead, he just nodded.

"It's a girl."

He wouldn't have said that if he wasn't positive. He has a guarantee. If he is wrong, he'll repaint the baby's room. Literally. Before I could stop myself, I blurted out something that is still slightly embarrassing to me.

"Thank God!" Then I was worried I'd offended him, so I explained that I was just feeling so thrilled and that I'd been convinced it was another boy, which was fine, totally fine! But obviously after 3 boys it would be nice to have a girl not that I cared, was so shocking I just kept talking and soon I could tell he was feeling uncomfortable, but he's been with me for three babies now, so I think he's used to me talking too much.

But anyway, the point is, it's a girl! Ava gets her sister and I get one more time around of totally overdoing the boys and sparkles, the tutus and girly fluff. Not to mention that fact that Ava was my only pregnancy that went to term (technically), the only baby that has come home from the hospital with me. Finally I don't have to worry about wimpy white boy syndrome! It makes me feel hopeful. It's hard for me to think of a baby boy and not immediately flash forward to the NICU or the morgue.

So, we're over the moon here. Ava and Jace are both completely thrilled and I'm sure Seth would be too, if he knew what the heck we were talking about. Jace's current name pick is Bindi the Jungle Girl (and no, just Bindi is Not An Option). When I told the kids, Ava's mouth dropped open and she said "Finally, a sister!" It's given us all a big morale boost.

For the record, the reason I didn't post about this before now is because John was out of town and I wanted him to be the first to know. But his reaction, verbatim, was "That's interesting.", so I'm pretty much okay with letting everyone in on it now. Who knows. Ava did wonders for her Daddy, and maybe this baby girl will, too. I hope he can get to the point where he is excited about her arrival.

But in the meantime, we sure are! I can shop the baby girl section at Target again, and get those ridiculously froofy headbands where the flower is the size of the baby's head.

This is so awesome.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...