Thursday, May 10, 2012

More about Monday

{J. Kirk Richards}

For the sake of journaling, I want to write a little about Monday.  I thought I'd just pen it in my real life journal (that I write in very rarely), but then I thought you might be interested to know some of the details.

I spent most of the day like any other Monday--tidying, rotating laundry, and planning for the week.  Just before it was time to drive to the ultrasound, Taylor came home from work, the kids had one last snack, and I put on some red lipstick.  An ultrasound is a very glam event, or didn't you know that?

We quickly dropped Carter off with my mother and brought the oldest boys to the appointment with us.  I had already given Blaine a long speech about celebrating our baby, no matter what.  He had cried his head off at Carter's ultrasound, because it was a boy, and I told him he couldn't come if he was going to do that again.  We talked about what might be worthy of tears at an ultrasound--like the news that our baby wasn't growing properly.  I gave him some personal examples from our family and friendships, which he soberly empathized with.  He finally seemed to understand.

We waited just a few minutes before going in.  The ultrasound tech took just a few looks at the baby before sending me to the Anne Geddes poster-plastered bathroom because my bladder was too full.  When I came back in, she showed us the head, the brain, a little of the chest and belly.  Not far in, she took a screen shot of the femurs.  "So that's the bum and legs, right?" I asked.  And she confirmed and moved on, saying nothing of the gender.  I didn't say anything, but I was thinking, "I'm pretty sure that's a girl." Because listen, all of my boys have been spread eagle in their ultrasounds, and boy parts are quite distinguishable!  And there weren't any of those this time. 

The tech was proficient and thorough, pointing out the completely formed palate, nasal bone, aorta, kidneys, liver, three complete pinky bones.  I lay there on that bed with my arm behind my head, in awe at the screen in front of me.  I marveled that inside my body was a little baby, only as long as a banana, and less than a pound, but with a beautifully developing spinal chord, and four chambers of the heart, working together perfectly.  As in the three ultrasounds before, I was overwhelmed with awe and gratitude.  "This is miraculous," I thought.

The boys began to get a little squirrely, as the tech tried to get the baby to uncurl so she could get a look at the gender.  Finally she got it.  She looked at the boys and said, "Well guys, you are getting a sister!"  Blaine and Rog, sitting right next to each other, grinned and broke into applause!  It was the most precious thing I have ever seen.  They clapped and clapped as I told the tech how unusual it feels to hear anything other than "it's a boy!" at an ultrasound.

For the last few minutes, Blaine came and stood at my side, and wouldn't stop hugging me or rattling off the things we needed to go and buy.  First on the list?  "Mom!  We need some barbies!"

My phone had been ringing and signaling text messages throughout the ultrasound, and as we drove away, I turned it to silent.  I just wanted a little while to celebrate our new baby as a family.  Taylor drove us to Dairy Queen, where we sat out in the sun.  Blaine declared he now loves ketchup and mustard on hot dogs, and we were all sufficiently stuffed on blizzards by the time we left.  I told Taylor I wanted to go the mall to buy a little dress that we could photograph the boys holding to cleverly announce the gender.  As I started perusing the baby GAP sale rack, the little boys made themselves right at home.  I turned around to see that they each had their arms full of girly attire.  Roger explained that she would need much more than one dress, and Blaine had picked out at least four pairs of jellies.  In the end, we didn't buy a thing!  Even with my first girl on the way, I am too practical to buy what I really wanted, none of which was on sale yet.  We figured the picture we took of our daughter's personal shoppers would do just fine, and began sending texts to the family as we walked out of the mall.

As we drove to my parents' house to collect Carter, my mother called, and I realized my huge mistake.  I'd figured I'd wait to tell my mom until we arrived, simply showing her the pictures.  But when I answered the phone I was greeted by a panicked woman, sick to her stomach, wondering if we were in counseling after finding out horrible news.  It had, after all, been more than two hours since hearing from us.  When we pulled up to the house, I ran in to apologize, and my dad said she was upstairs.  Indeed she was--changing her shirt because she'd worked up such a sweat in her worry.  I should have known better than to cleverly surprise a woman who has lost two babies.  I felt awful.  She was quick to forgive, and we sat at my parents' for a while, talking about the news, and fielding text messages while the boys played with cars and trucks, vintage to my childhood.

The remainder of the day and evening included a stop to my brother's house, where 3 of their chicks had hatched out of their eggs just minutes before, and a bbq dinner with Taylor's brother and family in Ashland.  We continued to answer congratulatory texts and phone calls.  I think all the excitement overwhelmed Taylor a bit.  ("Why are people congratulating me that it's a girl?  As if I achieved something?")  It made me smile to feel the love of so many dears in our life.

One of my favorite text conversations was between me and Joan--Taylor's cousin and my BYU roommate and dear friend.  Among a million other things we have in common, Joan also has three little boys, whom she adores.

J: Maybe there is hope for me?!?!
A: You know it!!!!
J: Are you on cloud nine or what?!
A:Oh I'm thrilled but mostly at the 4 chambers of the heart, all the fingers and toes...
So excited to have a girl, but I don't feel much different than after other ultrasounds.  Does that make sense?
J: Totally get it.  I feel that way every time.
A: I mean I just lie there during the ultrasound totally overwhelmed!  It's so amazing.
J: It truly is.  Such a miracle!

And that's how it is.  I am excited to have a daughter.  Really excited!  In fact, Taylor is taking the boys on a father and sons camp out this weekend, and I keep thinking to myself, "Yippee!  Now I have a girl to party with on weekends like these!"  And of course I've already pulled my "maybe someday" girl clothes bin out of the closet and have quickly added a few items.  But it was less dramatic than I imagined.  I didn't cry.  There weren't trumpets.  I didn't see pink fireworks.  Maybe it was because I had gotten a peek at the beginning.  And maybe it was because, truthfully, I've had the feeling (no matter how hard I've tried to talk myself out of it) since the day I knew another baby was coming, that it was a girl.  (Having any inkling like that was new for me, so I'd shared that sentiment with almost no one.)  But really I think it was because it didn't need to be that dramatic.  Having a daughter isn't better, it's different.  Instead of a rush of excitement, I felt a calm sense of gratitude and utter amazement that God could build in me another child.  That is not something I take lightly.  

So that is the story of Monday.  We feel really excited, and really blessed.  Thank you, all, for your darling, sweet comments.  You are so kind and make me feel so loved.



Heather said...

I have loved following your blog since Bloom ended and I haven't commented before but can I just tell you how much I love this? Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I just had my 3rd boy 3 weeks ago (I lost a little girl half way through right before him) and I am so in love. He's healthy and arrived safely (despite a huge knot in his cord) which is all that matters. My desire for a daughter is different now. I would love one, but really, I just am in awe at the miracle of a healthy baby in the end. That's really all I could ever want :) Congratulations by the way! So excited for you!

families are forever said...

What a Marvelous Miracleous Monday!

families are forever said...

12 more years till she is with you at Girl's Camp! I hope it doesn't pass to quickly! enjoy every moment!

Megan said...

I really appreciate your understanding and view of this blessing. I think it will help your boys feel better about a new sibling to know that she won't be more loved or more anticipated than they were.

Nikki Douglas said...

Again, beautiful words. You are so right. Not better, just different. Not easier either. Just VERY different. And it's amazing to watch how different each child is--they were someone else's before they were ours. I try to remind myself of that often.

Avery and Brian said...

You have such a great attitude! I've been guilty myself of hoping for a particular gender, but you're totally right that it doesn't really matter. Congrats!