Thursday, June 6, 2013

Baby Baby

I mentioned a few days ago that we had our sneak peek ultrasound at my 16-week appointment last Friday. This was just a "for fun" look to see if my doctor could tell the sex before the big, official anatomy scan at 20 weeks at the end of this month. This is what I wrote the night before the appointment:

~ ~ ~

We find out the sex of our baby tomorrow. Maybe. It's early, but my doctor said she'd look. I'm excited. I love the gender reveal- it turns the baby from "baby" to "my daughter" or "my son" and let's me work on a name and a nursery decor plan and just makes the whole thing a lot more concrete. We thought about not finding out this time, but the planning is the only part of pregnancy I enjoy, and this is the last baby I'm going to get to plan for. I want to know, I want to have a name, I want to have my new necklace with three kids names on it when I got to the hospital to have him or her. I love that by tomorrow night I might be able to start bookmarking nursery bedding and smiling I picture our little baby girl or boy snuggled in our arms in five more months.

And yet, for the first time, I'm just a bit apprehensive. I'll be thrilled with whatever it is. I would love another little boy. I think some of the most harmonious families I know have alternating sexes down the line. I wouldn't have to worry about Claire and would-be sister potentially hating each other like my sister and I did for a time. I could dig out Landon's adorable hats and put them on another chubby boy's round head. I would love another little girl. I would love for Claire and her to share the big room and have secrets and giggles and friendship. I would love to buy more ruffle-butted creepers covered in lady bugs and butterflies. I love both scenarios equally.

But both of those scenarios exist in my head. Particularly with this baby, this baby we talked about to death until we finally decided to stop pussy footing and try to do what so we clearly wanted to do. Hearts and wishes won over brains and logic. We made the jump, but only after picturing my sweet little boy third child and my sweet little girl third child so often and so clearly we had to try for him/her. Tomorrow, one of those pictures will come true and one won't, and as excited as I'm going to be about the reality, I think I'm going to have to mourn the loss of the possibility just a little. Especially since this is our last baby, and unlike my other two sonograms when I might still have another, this time if I find out it's a boy, I'll know I'm not ever having that second little girl. That has to happen at some point- whether it's baby #2, 3, or 5, but it's a funny thing to think about in the wee hours before I learn whatever this baby has been all along.

When I asked the kids what they would lake, Landon requested a brother, and Claire immediately topped that with a request for a "sister AND a baby." JP claims no preference and is probably just dreading the number of times I'm going to make him talk about names now that he can't put it off with "let's just wait till we know the sex" anymore.

~ ~ ~

And so Friday came. Our baby had pretzeled his/herself into a corner of my tummy, legs tightly crossed, happily showing off all 10 fingers, some nice long arms, a giant head, and steadily beating heart. After some moving around on my part and firm prodding on my doctors, she thought she might have gotten a clear enough shot to declare our baby a GIRL (squee!), but she's only about 80% confident in that assertion and advised us to wait to buy anything until our big ultrasound in a few weeks.

A girl. JP and I both smiled at that and then moved on to admiring her fingers and toes while calmly anticipating the next appointment that would confirm her status. I like thinking of my little daughter in there; I'm fine thinking it might soon be revealed that I'm carrying a little boy instead. Much like I've felt about everything this pregnancy, I'm just happy we did it, happy I'm pregnant, and not particularly anxious about anything- even the big gender reveal that drove me CRAZY with anticipation the first two times around. In some ways this partial reveal is the perfect way to go. It was a relief to find that I really was happy for either answer- so much so that I don't even mind that I don't know which one it is for sure. For now, both possibilities remain alive.

The one thing the ultrasound did do was send me on a flurry of girl baby name websites. We had three possible names for a boy- all of which I LOVE and each of which JP finds acceptable. We had NO names for a girl. Well I had jotted a few down, but not seriously. Now, after mining the depths of the internet and international baby name lists, I have three girl names that I love. JP likes one, tolerates another, and dislikes a third. My family has voiced dislike of all three. I still love them all. We'll see how they marinate over the next few weeks. The baby might be a boy and make it easy for all of us.

~ ~ ~

We didn't officially tell the kids I was pregnant. Since we thought we would find out the sex at 16 weeks I figured we'd just wait to tell them then, when everything was a bit more concrete. But Claire, as usual, caught on far quicker than she was supposed to. One day while we were sitting on the couch she took a critical look at my belly and said, "do you have a baby in there?!". To be fair she'd just spent about 30 minutes grilling my very pregnant friend and coworker about the baby in her tummy, so she was very baby/tummy focused, but still, my first reaction was to be offended-- I mean, what are you implying girlchild?! Then I remembered, oh wait, yes, I do in fact have a baby in there. So I confirmed, and she was THRILLED. Thrilled. So excited to get to see the baby, hold the baby, touch the baby. I tried to explain it would be a LOOOONG time before that would happen, but you don't control the Claire excitement train. Since that day three weeks ago she has asked about my baby at least 15 times a day. She tells everyone we see about the baby in my tummy. She puts the stickers she gets from her teacher at the end of her school day on my belly "for the baby." She loves the baby and cannot WAIT for it to come out. JP and I abandoned any attempt to hide our references to baby #3 and starting talking about him/her openly at dinner and everywhere else.

Landon, somehow, missed all of this. Until about 8 days ago when Claire was once again resting her cheek on my tummy and talking about the baby, and I saw something click in Landon's head. He turned slowly toward me, his eyes widening, and he said very slowly and with genuine shock, "Wait... we're having another baby?" When I said, why yes, yes we are, his eyes got even bigger and he said, "You mean you can just have MORE?!!"

I tried to answer that with a "well, yes, generally, but I don't think we're having any more after this one." He slowly nodded in response, clearly trying to process this BRAND NEW information.

Then, the next afternoon, when I was telling Claire to do something for the 10th time and I was carrying laundry and the oven timer was beeping and it seemed like a million other things were going on, Landon walked into the living room, took in the scene, and said with a great sigh, "Three is going to be a lot of kids mom."

Poor Landon, we probably should have consulted him before giving him another child to raise, but he did such a good job with the first one.

Boy or girl, it's going to be such fun, all over again.


  1. So cute. A friend of mine is pregnant and when I pointed to her belly and told my daughter (2.5) about the baby she stopped, looked over at her for a few seconds, and then ran over to her and started pushing up her dress, saying, "I want to see the baby!" Kids. :)

  2. Everything about this made me so happy.

    And, so far, boy-girl-girl has worked out ok here. :-)

    I also struggled with names for baby #3 when we discovered girl! -- babynamewizard is awesome (I actually did the 3 month paid service, but there is a book I didn't buy that's also apparently great) and I still read Swistle because I am a name nerd now.

  3. I'm living vicariously through you right now because originally we were thinking we would try for #2 this summer (putting our kids about 2 years apart) but it looks like I will be getting an amazing new job so we're pushing off pregnancy for another year. Everything about our decision makes entire sense but still, I feel like the blogosphere is exploding with babies and it makes my ovaries ache. Thanks for helping a girl out with your great posts. :)

    Have you checked out the site My husband and I found it to be VERY helpful since my initial list had a bunch of names like Oliver, Paul, Lydia, and Louisa and his initial list had a lot of names like Jamie, Ashley, Matthew, and Brandon (so, basically, all the names that were popular in the 90s when we were in schol). You put in names that you like and it spits out names with similar qualities. You could also put in Landon and Claire to see what it recommends for names that complement those ones. LOVE IT. Good luck with naming!

  4. I love Landon's reaction!
    We've asked K what he thinks about more siblings, and he says one is enough.
    That picture with Claire in the dump truck is adorable. I'm excited to learn more about baby #3 along with you!

  5. OMG, Landon's reaction is hilarious. Can't wait til he figures out he going to be outnumbered!


  6. Very cute post. (((Lanmand))) Having grown up without a sister, I was so envious of my friends who had sisters, older or younger. There is so much comfort in knowing that your sister will always understand...especially when inevitably, "Mom just doesn't get it!"

  7. "You mean you can have more?" Oh MERCY! That has me laughing my head off this morning!

  8. I am so happy for your beautiful family. I can't wait to read about it all as it unfolds. You're not helping my baby fever at all with this lovely post!

  9. ...the Claire excitement train.... love this! Great post!

  10. I love thos post!! We have a boy and two girls and it has been amazing!

  11. Oh my god, Landon's reaction slayed me!