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Week 22: Up close and personal

The highlight of this week was without a doubt my second trimester ultrasound. (That’s the big one!) Lee and I got to see some seriously amazing close-ups of our bitty bean. Honestly, I think I was in awe the whole time, complete with my mouth hanging open and whispering “wow” every two minutes. We saw Birdie’s spine,...

The highlight of this week was without a doubt my second trimester ultrasound. (That’s the big one!) Lee and I got to see some seriously amazing close-ups of our bitty bean. Honestly, I think I was in awe the whole time, complete with my mouth hanging open and whispering “wow” every two minutes. We saw Birdie’s spine, brain, arteries, stomach … even the four chambers of that little heart pumping away. It was incredible to see this small person who really is just that—a miniature human with working parts.
IMG_5038The one thing we did not see was any indication as to whether this baby is a boy or a girl. I thought I might cave mid-ultrasound; I even held my hand over my eyes just in case I had any temptation to peek. But I didn’t! Looks like we’re keeping this kid’s sex a surprise until delivery day.
I thought it would be hard to choose not to know because up until this appointment we couldn’t have known if we’d wanted to. But it wasn’t. When we left the OB’s office, I told my husband that I actually can’t wrap my head around KNOWING at this point. I still have half of this pregnancy to go, and part of me feels like knowing would make waiting all the more excruciating. I guess I’ve linked KNOWING that information with HOLDING my baby in my arms, so there’s no turning back now. We’re in this for the long haul!
I get mixed reactions when I tell people we are waiting to find out the baby’s sex. Some say they can’t imagine not knowing or they like to plan ahead way too much to have a surprise. And I can completely understand that. I am a hard-core planner/organizer, so I get it. (I think that’s why I was wondering if I’d change my mind.) But when I meet other parents who waited, the smile that spreads across their face as they tell me how exciting it was just makes my heart jump. To be clear, I’m not saying that everyone should wait. I’m just saying that’s what feels right for us, and that’s how any mom-to-be should decide how and when to find out. It’s bound to be a special moment regardless!
For those who are curious as to why we chose to keep Birdie’s sex a surprise, here’s why it appeals to us …
There’s so much we know, so it’s kind of nice to have something we won’t. We know some pretty intricate details about this little bird’s development. As labor approaches, we’ll be up to our ears in information, from positioning to height and weight. Most of our preparations and big decisions will have been made, like creating a birth plan (though who knows how that will play out) and finishing the nursery. So my husband and I wanted to have something unknown to look forward to … besides seeing and holding our babe for the first time, which will, of course, be pretty epic.
It’s fun to guess. I have no clue as to whether they’re a guy or gal in there, no mother’s intuition, no strong gut feelings. I do have an inkling that Birdie might be a girl, but that might be because SO many people keep telling me Birdie is a boy. (I can be stubborn.) Lee and I spent way too long parsing and trying to decode the doctor’s “hmmm” and “I think I’ve got it” from the ultrasound, but—again—that was fun for us. We’re not hoping one way or the other, so whatever hunches or old wives tales people have to share, it’s entertaining to hear them all.
It has curbed our spending. This wasn’t a deciding factor, but it has been a nice perk. I don’t know if I should be buying knotted headbands or snappy suspenders, so I’m sticking to gender-neutral basics. (That’s kind of our preferred style anyway.) I think shopping for a few boy/girl specific pieces will be a fun way to pass the time when I’m cooped up with a newborn on maternity leave. Plus, whenever we decide to have Baby No. 2, we’ll have a well-stocked wardrobe to pull from.
Dad has a special moment that’s all his. Lee and I might be having the same baby, but our experiences leading up to the day we become parents are wholly different. I got to feel kicks first, and I still feel way more of them throughout the day (something he admits he’s a bit bummed about). I’m sure this kiddo will recognize both of our voices, but mine might be more familiar because, at the moment, we spend every second together. I want Lee to feel connected and a part. I love that (if all goes according to plan) he will not only know if Birdie is a boy or girl before me, but he will also be the one to tell me. That’s something that will forever be his and only his.