The last two weeks have been a pretty big deal in our house. We’ve hit just about every branch on the tree of shock, excitement, and anticipation.
Tom and I both love knowing the gender of our babies. I completely respect the folks who wait to found out, and I love that there are people who choose to wait for the surprise at the end. I think it’s exciting for everyone! That’s just not me- not because I need to plan or just have to know, but because of the connection it fosters between myself and my baby. I remember finding out that Abi Kate was a girl…. I think the love I felt for her multiplied by about 1000 and she immediately found her place in our home, even though she was only 18 weeks gestation. After we found out, Tommy and I prayed together and I remember him praying for her by name for the first time. I remember calling her by name for the first time… it just brings connection to me in a way that’s hard to explain.
This pregnancy has been very different for me than my past two pregnancies. I have wanted to connect to this child, and while I did love them fiercely the moment I read “Pregnant,” it has still just been different. I haven’t let my mind wander to the future. I’ve struggled to let myself dream over our baby. Even when I wanted to so deeply, my heart just wouldn’t allow me to fully let myself go in this child. I’ve had no fear that I would feel unconnected to our baby once they arrived due to a fearful pregnancy. I know better than that. I knew the minute that I would touch them and see them, it would be like they had been ours forever. And even if I struggled, I knew my body would take over and bond me to them through that crazy chemical cocktail of hormones that’s released upon delivery. I have been fearful, however, that I would look back on this pregnancy and regret that I didn’t feel that intense connection while I carried this baby. Because of that, Tommy and I opted to go for an early gender scan at 15 weeks…. Because I needed it.
I didn’t realize it at the time that I scheduled the appointment, but I actually booked it for Election Day. And really, that was just divine timing! The days preceding the election and even the days that followed were just plain discouraging to me on the social media front. What was disheartening was that a lot of it came from fellow believers. There just seemed like a general unkindness towards people who disagreed with each other, definitely not from a ton of people but just some. I was really bummed out by the regular and out-of-context scripture that I saw from both sides, (Really friends, if we actually believe that Jesus’ point in the Parable of the Rich Young Man was that it’s hard for rich people to go to heaven, then we have not only desperately missed the underlying message of the Gospel but we have also missed the nature of Christ’s teachings), the claim from individuals on both sides that they had a better understanding of Christ’s grace, service, and love because of who they were casting their vote for (I think the scripture says they will know us by our LOVE, not by our vote….). And afterwards, the treatment towards those who won or lost…. It just made me sad. I saw people from both sides mocking other believers for their response; and I saw people mocking the God that they don’t even serve (I’m sorry, I want to contain myself but I can’t…. This typically happened from the self-proclaimed “open-minded”…. And all I could think was, ‘Mmmm, yes…please tell me more about your tolerance and lack of judgment for those who believe differently than you.’ Blah.) All of this to say, I was SUPER relieved to be getting some happy news that had nothing to do with politics or presidents or opinions or controversy or anything of the like.
We drove out to a boutique in Clarksville that specializes in early gender detection. Long drive, but a fun time just talking with Tommy in the car. When we arrived, as I have been every time, I was really nervous. Tommy already knew I would be and understands me, so he prayed and we headed inside. One of the most exciting parts of this particular place is that they will live stream your ultrasound, so I had several friends and family watching it while we were! It added so much fun to the entire process. I’d prayed that as soon as the ultrasound came up that I would see this baby’s heartbeat so I wouldn’t worry. Sure enough, there was the familiar flicker, and I was extra grateful seeing as this baby was absolutely still. The ultrasound tech tried for a few minutes to get baby moving to no avail. This kid was sound asleep, which completely stunned me seeing as I drank a Mountain Dew on the way so that they’d be active! Seriously, my first caffeine in this pregnancy… the kid should be extra sensitive, right?! Nope. So, I went and hopped on a birthing ball for a few minutes to see if I could wake baby up. And sure enough, baby started moving all over the place. As soon as they started kicking their little legs I think I gasped, and inside my head I thought, “Oh. My. Gosh. A penis?!” She spent another moment looking and then I realized she was checking the cord flow, which really sent me thinking I had indeed seen what I thought I did. I asked what she was doing, and she confirmed that’s all she was looking at. She spent another minute trying to get another shot while baby wiggled all over the place and then she froze the screen and said, “Well, you guys are definitely having a boy!” I think Tommy and I both screamed and then just started laughing. I don’t think stunned even begins to cover it! We got to watch him moving all around, and once he started he really didn’t stop showing us his hiney. I think we had 8 different shots of his assertion that he is indeed male. Sure enough, my phone started dinging all at the same time with “BOY!! OMG BOY!!”
She also said he has very long legs
Covering his face
We were so excited and completely shocked all at the same time. We were both just certain we were having another girl. And honestly, Tommy usually has some strange ESP about what sex a baby is going to be-- and not just about my pregnancies! I think we’ve both always felt like we’d have several girls (there are no boys on Tommy’s side of the family, I only have a sister.) Not only that, this pregnancy has been identical to Abi Kate’s in every way with the exception that I’ve been more sick. (Really, whoever said you’re less sick with boys L.I.E.D. I usually never subscribe to most of the gender theories, but after being so sick with Abi Kate and understanding hormonally why girls can make you sicker-- that one just makes actual sense to me now). I’ve carried the exact same, felt him early just like I did with Abi Kate, the only regular ‘craving’ (and I use that term loosely) that I’ve had with both was Orange Juice, and even their heart rates have been identical at each check.
It took me about 24 hours to get my head around the fact that we are having a boy. We were thrilled but just plain surprised! I have a feeling he may be a lot like Tommy. He’s very still in comparison to Abi Kate. So much so, that I find myself freaking out when he doesn’t move as often as I like. Even when he is active, his movements are gentle and soft. In the ultrasound, he was laying on my placenta like it was a mattress with his legs stretched out before him crossed at the ankles (seriously this is exactly how Tommy sits on the couch). Abi Kate’s personality is very much like it was in the womb-- busy and intense. So, I’m interested to see if he will mimic his current disposition as well.
Most of our "It's a Boy" pictures looked like this--Abi Kate running away
We haven’t settled on a middle name yet, but we both knew immediately his name would be Abram. It is not a name that we had considered in the past. Not the name we just knew we’d use if we ever had a boy. Wasn’t even a name we knew the meaning of until after it had been on my heart. Instead, it is the name that came to me often during my first trimester…. It means “The Father of Many Nations.” For me, that meaning indicated a future-- and on days when I worried, the Lord placed his name on my heart and it would bring peace. (We did also have a girl name-- same story-- not one we’d planned on but purposeful meaning that comforted me… and even though we won’t be having a baby girl right now, I think we’ll probably save it for a future baby girl because we both fell in love with it the way we did with his).
My world is girly and feminine, so I have lots of learn and adapt for this new little guy. I’m glad to have a husband who is a perfect example of what I hope Abram will personify. I think my biggest concern at this point is just his relationship with Abi Kate. In all truthfulness, I felt like maybe I’d let her and him down because neither one would be having an immediate sibling that’s the same sex. Not that brothers and sisters can’t be friends or love each other-- I know plenty of little kids who adore their opposite sex sibling. I just want them to continue that in their future. My sister is one of my best friends-- by choice. We’re light years different, but I talk with her multiple times a day, choose to do things and hang out with her because I just plain like her. She’s my friend. I know plenty of sisters who are this way and plenty of brothers who are this way. But I think I only know one or two people who have remained very close to a sibling of the opposite sex…I know plenty of people that love their siblings of the opposite sex and like them a lot; but I really mean that they’d choose to hang out, choose to invest in their friendship regularly, want to spend time together, be involved in the daily ongoings of each other’s lives. I just want that so much for Abi Kate and Abram. There is something so special about holding a deep friendship with a person that you have a personal history with, someone who shares your genetic make up. I hope that Tom and I will be able to foster that in our home and that their hearts will always keep them molded close together, even as years pass and they become teenagers and then adults.
Much like I’d hoped, knowing that I’m carrying a boy, calling him by name… it has been freeing for me and brought with it the deep connection I was waiting for. I’m so glad we opted not to wait until 20 weeks. I love hearing him prayed for by name. I love talking to him by name. I love that I know it is Abram who is moving inside me.
And no, we don’t feel like because we’re having a boy our family is complete. The completion of our family has nothing to do with genitalia. Sorry. ;) We’re just incredibly grateful for his life. Period. We’re eager to welcome him into our arms and into our home, and we’re eager to fall in love with this sweet baby boy just like we did with his sister. He is the gift that keeps bringing healing to our hearts.