Today was the day of your 20-week appointment, a day I’ve been thinking about and dreaming about for weeks. Everything gets really real after this appointment, in large part because we no longer have to wonder if you are a boy or a girl. I haven’t said a whole lot about this day, but I had really convinced myself I was having another little boy. Your heart rate was the same as your brother’s, I’ve felt the same, and you are a constant mover, much like Cruz was at this stage. I imagined two little boys running around and even purchased a few boy things when I had the itch to shop. And although I’ve always dreamed about raising a girl, with girl talks and shopping trips and white eyelet dresses and long braids in the summertime, I was happy, content, and so thankful for you, no matter what we found out in that ultrasound room.
Beau and I had plans to not find out right away – to have the ultrasound technician write boy or girl on an envelope and seal it for a fun little surprise celebration that night. This little quest made today’s ultrasound visit one of my very favorites not only because the tech thought we were pretty funny going back and forth, but that we seemed to be in there forever until we finally both caved and decided there was no way we could wait any longer. With Cruz, we knew right away. The moment she stuck that little camera on my belly his boy parts were there for the world to see. I kind of assumed it would be that way today; however, you were moving like crazy, making it pretty hard for her to see anything at first. Before too long, you held still and she was able to measure a perfectly healthy, adorable little 11 oz. person. Your heart rate was 140, you had your little hands up by your face (we counted ten fingers and ten toes), you were opening and closing your little mouth, and blinking your eyes at us. The nurse commented on your great lips, your cheekbones, and your long skinny legs. She kept calling you a ‘he’, but said she did that with everyone. While she measured and documented, we talked about Cruz, argued about whether to find out or not, and watched in complete awe of your little self on that screen.
Finally, we decided we couldn’t wait and requested we know then and there. By this time, Beau and I were both convinced we had seen the proof, only he thought he had seen ‘girl’ and I thought I had seen ‘boy.’ The tech laughed and said that one of us was right and in moments, surprised us both by announcing that we were having a sweet little girl! We were surprised, a little speechless, and I think both feeling incredibly overwhelmed with the thought of bringing a baby girl into our family. Immediately, you had this identity to us and we were so excited thinking about you! Well, I guess I should also say that we were a bit nervous too, especially your daddy, who immediately started fast forwarding to walking you down the aisle and letting you leave the house with a boy! He was so funny and I was overjoyed thinking of how cute he’s going to be with a little girl.
The rest of the week, I felt like I was walking in a dream. The night we found out, we wrapped a pink balloon in a box and had a little picnic in the back yard of the Hearst Center. Since we couldn’t wait for the surprise, we made your Grandma hold out until she saw the balloon herself. She had a feeling it was a girl all along, but the tears in her eyes made it more real to her, too. The rest of my family followed suit, and we celebrated our pink surprise with some pizza at Mulligans. The next day, I made little cupcakes with pink sprinkles and surprised my colleagues at our faculty meeting, and this weekend, we have plans to tell your dad’s family our news.
It’s a weird, beautiful thing bringing babies into the world. I’ve had so many different emotions the past few days as I think about what our family will look like in January. I was talking to Mom the other day as I was trying to sort out my thoughts, telling her my reasons for being happy with either a boy or a girl. Her response to me was simple:
“Well, that’s why we’re lucky God gets to decide.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about that the last few days, so glad that some of life’s best treasures and greatest surprises aren’t really up to us. The older I get, the more I learn that when I leave things up to God, His hand is really all I need.