My boys. My life.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Healthy Baby!!

On the way to my ultrasound I was still a tad nervous. I've felt pretty confident that we would have a healthy baby but that doubt the past 6 weeks has certainly been unsettling. To say the least. Reading sad stories about babies with certain defects either not surviving pregnancy or past a few days in this world has been heart-breaking. We knew full well we were not in the clear yet. Dr. Wheeler, the perinatologist (high risk OB dr), gave us maybe a 2% risk of having a baby with a defect when we were in his office six weeks ago. We were mostly at peace because the odds were so strong for us and that everything else about the baby at the previous ultrasounds looked fine. But still... 2% is still 2%. Scared us. Humbled us. We prayed so many times in the six weeks. This experience has certainly brought us closer to our Creator.

During the ultrasound the room was eerily quiet at first. The ultrasound tech took various measurements. Some probably normal - hard to remember from a couple years ago. But several also of the head/neck. Baby's ticker was beating away at a healthy 152 bpm. Dr. Wheeler came in and they both said things looked fine. He said, "I don't see anything wrong." He affirmed that 2% is hard to be objective about when it's your own baby. Gave me a happy pat on the ankle and walked out. I looked at my dear, sweet husband and realized this is what true relief feels like. This is pure joy!
The ultrasound tech continued to look over our healthy little one. Got to the tummy/legs area and I finally said something - something to the affect of, "We aren't sure we want to know the gender." She just kinda laughed and said, "I can't see anything." The baby was breeched position and sitting cross-legged on his/her feet. Then Dr. Wheeler walked back in. So I then explained that we just said we weren't sure we wanted to know, so not to blurt anything out if they see anything. He said, "All I see between the legs is a foot." Oh, I got such a laugh at all this turn of events.

A month ago I could NOT wait til Feb. 21. Just had to know what we're having. Our hearts changed since then and we debated whether or not we would even find out the gender. We concluded we would take a compromised approach - have the gender disclosed in an envelope to decide if/when later to open it. I had planned on laying this envelope in the baby's crib. I distinctly remember chatting with a good friend a week or so ago, saying, "Wouldn't that just be God's humor shining through if the baby wouldn't cooperate?!" I almost hoped it would happen this way, but had my doubts. Sure enough, it did. And I couldn't be more thrilled. When my heart changed on this, I didn't want to be in the position of making a decision.
It's so intriguing to me that had we not had a two-week window of question, this would have been our first ultrasound and we would have never even known different!! Also, had that been the case, we probably would have wanted to find out the gender and would have been disappointed to not find out. Instead, I was finding myself telling the tech - it's ok. Decision made for us. Really I was kind-of encouraging her to stop trying to get a look. It's such strong conviction to me that God is ALWAYS in control of every single detail of life and His ways are so much better than we could ever imagine. I would never wish this scare on anyone, but it has brought us closer to Him, taught us to trust Him more, reprioritize what really matters in life... it's impacted us and so in that way, it has been worth the questionable few months we have with this pregnancy.

Dr. Wheeler said if we really wanted to know what we're having we could come back to his office for an ultrasound later to find out. But no. This was a pretty obvious sign from God that we are supposed to wait this pregnancy. And we are 100% at peace with that. My only curiosity is those of you who have waited til birth to find out.... how did you prepare? Just curious to hear stories about what it's like to wait since this is completely new, unfamiliar territory for us.

Hard to really describe what this kind of joy and relief really feels like. It's amazing! It's humbling! Such a blessing! All I can think now is, "Dr. Wheeler, no offense, but I'm thrilled I won't be seeing you again or coming to your office again this pregnancy." I'm sure he doesn't mind one bit. :- )

Friday, February 11, 2011

Gender Anticipation

I can't deny it. I won't deny it. I want this pregnancy to result in a HEALTHY baby GIRL more than anything! The wait til my ultrasound is driving me a little crazy. We still have a 98% chance of a healthy baby. Good odds. I'm really at peace with those odds. The peace of mind will be good, though, obviously. This issue is #1 most important but since the odds are so greatly in our favor, finding out the gender is still getting a lot of attention in this house. Some would debate the calculated chance we have of having another boy, compared to a girl. I have read up on this and there seems to be much debate on this topic. Some would say that EVERY pregnancy is close to 50/50. And that having two of the same gender only SLIGHTLY (we're talking 1-3%) raises your chance of #3 being the same. Others would argue that it's more like a 75-25 split. I don't know who is right. I don't really care. From the get go, we knew having another baby would possibly result in a third son. We knew the desire to try for #3 being a girl would be there. We even considered a book and such (taboo) suggestions of how to conceive the gender you want. I went off birth control and we started investigating such means. We were going to pursue at least some of them. (I'll spare details.) We figured we had plenty of time. It had taken over a year to conceive Bryce (and on clomid, I will add) and 4-5 months (sans clomid) to get pregnant with Ethan. We had a small window (3-4ish months) to get pregnant this time as we didn't want to be due around my brother-in-law's wedding in September/October this year so I could still safely travel to it. So figured we'd just go for it and if it didn't happen in that window we would try again 5-6 months later. Without getting to pursue our methods, we soon found out we got pregnant right away. Yes, we know what causes that. ha ha ha. funny. Sorry for sarcasm. My point in explaining all this is God is bigger! He is bigger than statistics. Bigger than genetics. If He wants us to have a girl, He can make it happen. But He is also bigger than our plans and visions, too. His way is best. We know that. We trust that.

All that said, I have dreamed since a little girl of having both a boy and girl. One of each. It's what I had growing up. It's what I saw for my future family. And after two boys, I long to have a daughter to do girl things with. Tim and his brother had a wonderful upbringing. Scouts. Sports. Boy stuff. Etc. I would love to have a daughter to do girl things with. I think the different dynamics (father/daugther, father/son, mother/son, mother/daughter) are all extremely special and unique. When Ethan's pregnancy was as rough as it was, I was convinced I was done having kids. Until we learned he was a boy. After his ultrasound, I cried. I wanted a girl so bad, but almost as badly, I never wanted to be pregnant again. Time heals. The second he was born, I was in love. I did overcome my disappointment - my vision for life was different than the outcome. Obviously a childhood dream and adult reality probably seldom go together. The intense desire to still experience what it's like to have both re-entered the scene. Our family just did not feel complete. Whether #3 is a boy or a girl, I think Ethan was a boy for a pretty obvious reason. God did not want us to stop at two kids. He had more in store for us. I would have been ready to tie things up (or snip) if Ethan had been a girl.

Fast forward to present day. We have a little over a week until our ultrasound. We have debated whether to find out the gender. And I still wonder. At least in that office. (Might have the big news concealed in an envelope or something and to learn the gender in the privacy of our own home.) I won't deny it. I think I will be in tears regardless of what we find out. Either overwhelming, intense joy, or disappointment. I don't want to open this up to psycho-analysis of me. Unless you have experienced the intense desire to have one or the other and the desire is unfulfilled (or I definitely know - any kids at all - which I know is WAY different than this), I don't think you truly know what this feels like. That part is slightly frustrating to me - how few people I have who can truly relate. Even if we go back to our grandmas. All our grandmas experienced both. My mom had one of each (obviously). My aunts have all had both. On Tim's side, his mom had two sons (yet two miscarriages. We have never heard if the genders of the two miscarriages were ever known). His aunts all had both, except one (who had two boys). On the cousin/sibling level (this generation), my brother and sister-in-law have two of each. On my mom's side, one of my cousins has a girl and two boys. Another cousin has two boys and they are thrilled. They only wanted boys. On my dad's side, there's a lot of experiences of both. (There is also some infertility which makes me feel bad for writing this.) On Tim's dad's side - they have had both. On his mom's side - all girl children. One is an only child right now. The other are two sisters. All this to say, family probably has a hard time understanding where we're coming from - for the most part.

I would not trade Ethan or Bryce for the world. I LOVE THEM TO PIECES!!! Three kids feels like a good fit for our family. So there's a finality to this. Tim and I BOTH hope and dream of having a little girl. And if it's not to be, we will deal with that. We will love this child NO MATTER WHAT. That goes without saying. We know we are beyond blessed regardless. Having Bryce and Ethan, along with getting married, have been the absolute best things that have happened to us. This baby will certainly add to that regardless. To be completely honest, I often feel undeserved of such blessings. God's grace can be difficult to understand and accept sometimes. Like I said, I hear of infertility and losses during/after pregnancy and absolutely cannot fathom that. So it's hard to feel like we're fortunate enough to be sheltered from the bad stuff. And I know I should be grateful simply to have a healthy baby. To have had three of them. There's just an unexplainable void for a little girl. And if the void is not filled by a daughter, we know God will fill it. He WILL meet our needs/desires, one way or another.

I do feel like all signs point to having a girl (and there have been signs but I won't share those now). However, since I was soooo much more sick during Ethan's pregnancy, I thought he was going to be a girl. So I don't want to set myself up to expect a girl and be disappointed. So every day now I am trying to prepare myself to find out we are having boy #3. In doing so, I am going to make a list of pros/advantages to having a little boy. I don't want to be disappointed to hear we are having a third son. Obviously it wouldn't be his fault. So I am trying to emotionally and mentally prepare myself for that outcome so I can still be the best mom possible to him. And if we hear it's a girl instead, well.... yay!


1. SONS ARE PRECIOUS! Nothing quite like them! Seriously. These boys melt this Mommy's heart daily.
2. Son #3 could possibly relate better and play better with Bryce and Ethan. Not that a daughter wouldn't, but get what I mean? And likewise, maybe the boys would relate better/enjoy more a brother as compared to a sister. Obviously, they (and we) will love child #3 regardless. That goes without saying.
3. We have boy clothing out our ears here. (Bryce and Ethan's sizes/seasons didn't match up for the first year!) Though I would want this baby to have some of his own special clothes/toys/etc., we are physically prepared for boys in this house.
4. Speaking of toys - no need to "make room" for a whole different kind of toys.
5. Would save $$$$. We would use the same crib bedding/decor as we used for both Bryce and Ethan. We wouldn't need the new bedroom stuff, new/different baby blankets, bibs, sleepers, CLOTHES, etc. It truly would save a good amount of money.
6. Having another boy would possibly affect Ethan less. If we have a little princess instead, we would love all our children to the moon and back of course. But I could see the middle child issue being more obvious for Ethan if we get the daughter we dream of. Being conscious of that, if we do have a girl, we will make extra effort to make sure he doesn't feel middle child syndrome issues.
7. We would get to contemplate boy names. We are 100% set on a girl name (have been since Ethan's pregnancy). So getting to discuss names again would be fun.
8. So many say/think that Bryce looks like Tim and Ethan looks like me. Who would son #3 look like?
9. Raising boys to be responsible, thoughtful, strong, loving, Christian men is true privilege. Hopefully we will mold them to be wonderful, loving, Christ-centered husbands someday to someone else's present-day little princess. That's a priceless gift in itself. And to be wonderful daddies someday, too - like their incredible daddy.

Who am I kidding? I still want a girl. But I want my attitude about having son #3 to be as prepared and positive come Feb. 21 as possible. So I will continue to think positive thoughts and pray about this big day.