I cannot believe that it has been over a month since our gender reveal. I've been meaning to write this (and send thank you cards) since the day after but time has just really gotten away from me. It's so crazy to me that Wednesday will be the start of the third trimester. If you haven't heard, we are having a baby boy and I am beyond excited to meet him. It's ridiculous how much love I have for him already and to know it will only grow from here....there are no words.
If you've seen our gender reveal video, it is pretty much the same as other gender reveal videos. There's the anticipation of the moment before, the pop of a balloon -or in our case the crack of a bat - and then the cheers of family and friends as the couple embraces looking so happy. The thing that has always struck me about these videos is how happy the new parents look regardless of the outcome. Sure sometimes there's the funny dad reaction to having a girl, but the mom is always just happy either way. So when we decided that we did want to have a gender reveal after all, I had so much stress about my reaction not being all sunshine and love. You see, I really wanted a girl. In hindsight, I'm not sure why and am actually a little relieved that I'm off the hook for girl stuff for now. But I think that I just got this idea in my head that I was having a girl and it just stuck, that was it. I was having a girl, I knew it. We didn't have a single boy name we liked, but we had her name picked out before me being pregnant was even a thought and even though it was early, I loved my daughter so much.
We wanted to have our reveal earlier on in my pregnancy, so at 10 weeks I did a commercial blood test through SneakPeek. On my lunch break I did a quick finger prick, sent them my blood along with my sister's e-mail address, and the plan was that my sister would be the only person who knew up until the reveal and Eddie and I would be surprised. Basically, we were going to do it the way these reveals are usually done. If you are not a crazy person like me, then I highly recommend SneakPeek. There can be so many benefits to knowing the gender so early on. If you are crazy like me do not do it. The moment I read about the chance of a false boy result due to contamination of the blood sample I could not stop fixating on it. I was so afraid that my girl was going to be incorrectly announced as a boy all because of some male DNA that floated through the walls of my office and into the incredibly tiny test tube. This would be a travesty and I couldn't risk the reveal being wrong! After considering this possibility it occurred to me that maybe the result would say male because it actually is a male I'm carrying and that was just too much to even consider. I imagined being surrounded by friends and family, seeing the blue cloud of powder emerge, and breaking down in tears in front of everyone (embarrassing) and explaining to my son someday why I wasn't as happy as I would have been if it were a girl (horrible). All of this was too much and I decided that I had to know.
Eddie had been saying that he wanted a girl (which I still am fairly certain is only because he knew how badly that's what I wanted at the time), but I knew he would be excited no matter what. So I approached him with my concerns but also mentioned that finding out together ahead of time would make it so much more intimate and special, especially with it being our first child. Once he was sure that I wouldn't regret finding out early he agreed. The next step was to get my sister on board so we gave her a call, and she was not on board. Her actual wording was that she was "sworn to the secrecy", which in any other situation would be great but this was not the time for her to be mega accountable. After a lot of begging and her coming to see us in person to make sure that Eddie actually wanted this too, she opened the email while sitting across the table from us, grimaced, and closed it. I knew then, but I needed her to say it. I asked if it was a boy and she nodded and I. Lost. It. I didn't think I would, I thought the worst case scenario would be me just not smiling as much as I should, but before I knew it I was full on sobbing. I was so sure it was going to be a girl, how as this possible? Then I thought about how there are people who would be so happy to even be in my situation and be able to have either and I felt guilty so I cried even harder. This went on for a while, the more I tried to stop it the more the tears kept coming. At one point Eddie actually googled "my wife is sad we aren't having a girl" in the hopes of finding some words of comfort for me, and if you know my husband you know that is the most Eddie thing ever. The thing is that I didn't want him to feel bad because he shouldn't, this should be a happy moment for him and I was ruining it. In times like this, I need tough love but the only person who I respond to tough love well from is my sister so it's very fortunate that she was there. I explained to her that I felt so guilty because parents always say they don't care what they're having as long as the baby is healthy and I didn't understand what was wrong with me that I couldn't share that sentiment. She looked at me and calmly informed me that the "I have no preference" sentiment was a bunch of BS. She said even if it's the smallest part of them that cares, of course everyone has a preference, but that doesn't mean they're lying when they say they'll just be happy with a healthy baby. My sister does not have kids so in hindsight, I don't know how she knows this or if it's even true but in that moment it seemed like a really good point. I thought about all the little things in life I said I had no preference on while secretly having a slight preference, and so how much more preference would it only be natural to have with something as major as a baby? This is not to say that people who say they don't care what the gender of their child is are lying or fake or anything like that, I do think there are people who are just excited either way. However, it did cause me to acknowledge that the pictures and short clips of happy gender reveal reactions I see on social media are not always the full story. I don't know what happened before or after that moment, and I don't know what's going on in their head. I was putting unncessary pressure on myself based off of something I wish I could say this solved my craziness and from then on I relished in the joy of having a baby boy, but this was only the beginning.
After the initial shock wore off and I started to warm up to the idea of having a boy, the room for error with the blood test crept back into my mind and I again became fixated on the blood test being wrong. I refused to get attached to a boy now only to have an ultrasound surprise me with a girl. So I convinced myself that I still did not know the gender. After a while I felt in my bones that it was a boy, but I needed to know, know. A very convenient detail in all of this is that I work at a pregnancy center, and during my 14th week our annual ultrasound training was taking place. The very last day of the training they still needed a model to practice on, so I gladly volunteered as long as they told me the gender. At this point I was well studied on male vs female anatomy on an ultrasound, and before the trainer even told me I saw it and I knew. In that moment I felt a wave of love. I saw the wide open future and potential and wonder of who my son could be. I felt the connection I was afraid I wouldn't - I felt love. This was actual love, not the love of an idea of something like I had experienced early on with wanting a baby girl, but actual love for an actual person I was carrying inside me. Going home that day to tell Eddie what he already knew was exciting for me, because I finally was at a place where I could meet him in his excitement. I remember going together to make our first "baby boy" purchase. At our 20 week anatomy scan at my OB's office they only further confirmed what we knew at this point, but the extra reassurance didn't hurt.
May 4th was our anatomy ultrasound and the gender reveal wasn't until the 19th. This was the hardest secret to keep. So many lies were told over these weeks to keep people guessing or throw them off that I started having trouble keeping track of who knew/thought what. I honestly felt silly doing a gender reveal still, and because I care way too much what other people think, I didn't want people to know that we knew because I didn't want them to feel like the whole thing was pointless. Ultimately, the whole thing was beautiful and my friends did such an amazing job putting together the cutest baseball themed reveal. What was cool about knowing was that we were also able to sneak in a name reveal.
It's almost cringe-worthy looking back on how much I stressed over the most pointless and uncontrollable things. I don't regret finding out the gender early, having that time to process through everything as a couple was great and now that I know how everything turns out okay and the world doesn't stop over a y chromosome, I feel like I would be able to be one of those "I don't care as long as they're healthy" parents the next time around (IF there is a next time.....don't get too excited mom).
Christopher Michael is so loved. I am so thankful for who he is already and for the plans God has for him. The lessons he's teaching me already are incredible, and I can't begin to imagine how many countless more there will be. I can, and will, write a whole separate post on how the biggest and most consistent lesson in my life has been letting go and accepting how ultimately God's plan will always be greater than my plan. A year ago having a child was the last thing on my mind, and a couple months ago having a baby boy was not fathomable, yet here we are. It's scary, exciting, and humbling all rolled into one. And as usual, God's plan is already turning out to be so much better than mine. It always will be.