My three big ultrasound days have been three of the best days of my life, and I can safely say that this last one takes the cake.
It being the last, it being a girl after two boys, doing an actual gender reveal instead of finding out in the ultrasound room, having the whole day off with Dave … the whole day was just pure awesomeness, and I want to remember it. The post just below this one has all of my favorite photos from the day!
Dave and I have long talked about taking a whole day off together while the kids went to daycare, and yet in 4 1/2 years, we’ve never made it happen, mostly because we felt guilty and we – mostly I – feel like we don’t want to miss out on any precious time with our boys. But we decided big ultrasound day would be a perfect day to take off together, so we finally did, and let me tell you, we looked forward to it for weeks!
We slept in a bit, me not getting up til a little after 6 (blargh to that being ‘sleeping in’ at this stage of my life!) and Dave staying in bed til 6:30. Shelly showed up at her normal time, just before 8 a.m., and we left the house by about 8:10 for our 8:30 appointment. She’d worn a pink shirt and commented on how I wasn’t wearing pink – she’s been saying since the day she met me that I was having a baby girl, and I kept telling her that she best be excited for a boy, too! It’s funny – her last family for whom she nannied for five years was two boys and a girl, with the middle boy named Ben. History repeating itself!
We got to the doc and they made us wait a painstaking 10-15 minutes past 8:30 before calling us in. I was on pins and needles! Our ultrasound tech, Mary – who I think also did Ben’s big ultrasound – asked if we wanted to know the gender and we said we wanted it in an envelope and she just nodded, as if a lot of people do it that way. She put the probe on my belly – and ah! There was baby! Such a thrill to see it finally, after only seeing it as a blob at 7 weeks. So incredible what happens in 12 weeks’ time!!!!
I craned my neck to watch as she located and measured everything in there over the next 45 minutes. We got to see baby’s beautiful little profile almost right away and I got a little teary – s/he was so beautiful!! At one point I looked over to Dave and said “It looks like a girl!” And I really meant it. The dainty little lips, the upturned nose – the features just seemed slightly more feminine to me than my boys’ had looked in there. Maybe that’s ridiculous, but I felt it was true.
The baby was moving SO much in there, and I said to the tech – “I can barely feel any of that still!” And she told me that I have an anterior placenta this time, which is why I’m probably not feeling as much movement at this point as I did with the boys.
She turned her screen away at one point to look ‘down there,’ and when she turned it back, I asked “do you know?” and she said “nope, baby isn’t really cooperating.” So she did more measurements and then at the end had me get up and pee to hopefully get the baby to move a bit. She looked again, and she was looking for quite a long time. I was getting nervous and she said “don’t worry, we’ll know.” I asked her if there are ever times when they truly can’t determine the gender and she said it was really rare. She said “I’m pretty sure I know what it is, I’m just trying to get a good picture for you.” The baby would just NOT open its legs! Once she had turned the screen back to us, I thought to ask “how sure are you?” but I didn’t want to hear something like “oh, I’m totally sure” since then I’d assume she’d seen a penis. So I kept my mouth shut, though now I wish I’d asked!
We got some awesome profile pics to take home with us, and she sealed the money shot in the envelope for us. We met with the doc a few minutes later and she let us know that baby was measuring right on track and looked great in there. Such a relief. That second appointment went fast and then we were off to Julia’s house!!!! I was riding high on the fact that I’d seen the baby and s/he was healthy, and my stomach was filled with butterflies on the 20-minute drive to her house. I said to Dave, these are our last few moments of not knowing how our family will turn out, forever! I didn’t want to admit to myself how much pressure I was putting on this moment, how much I was hoping to see pink when I opened my eyes.
We pulled in her driveway and she and Truman and Cece and Henry dog were all outside. We turned the corner into the backyard, and she’d put up a backdrop with her ‘baby number 3′ banner – so sweet! She took the envelope from me pretty much immediately and went around the corner to look. She came back with SUCH a straight face, I was so impressed, no matter what that envelope had said. Excellent poker face. I remember with her gender reveal, which held less ‘pressure’ in my head since she already has a boy and a girl and I really didn’t have a preference for what she was having, I looked in that envelope and saw ‘boy’ and I was just bursting, I had to literally bite my tongue because I was afraid I’d spoil it somehow! So she was a real pro.
She asked T and C what they thought I was having, and I’m pretty sure they both said boy first and then girl, it was funny. We took a few pics and then it was time to close our eyes and have her put the appropriate cookie in her hands. I’ve watched the 15-second version of this video we took (that I put on Instagram) about 20 times and it makes my heart leap every time. We closed our eyes and waited while she took pictures with the cookies in our hands, and I said “I’m dying.” And when she started counting, I said “I don’t know if I’m ready!!” and boom, we opened our eyes on three and saw pink!
“Ahhhhh! It’s a giiiiirl!”
I squealed. I wasn’t sure how I’d react but wow, I was excited, even more than I thought I’d be! I just really couldn’t believe it. And Dave couldn’t, either! He was honestly convinced, I think, that he can only make boys. I look at the pictures of us after that moment and he has such genuine happiness on his face. He said and continues to say that he really didn’t care either way, and he definitely thought it was a boy, but I think he’s pretty darn excited that it’s a girl. I can’t believe I get to see him be the daddy to a little girl. I cannot wait.
Dave and I hugged and Julia snapped pics, and then I took a look at the ‘money shot’ – and I had no clue what I was looking at.
I remember when we did Julia’s gender reveal, I was the lucky first one to open that envelope – and C’s legs were spread wide and it was VERY clear that there was just nothing there! This one, though? Legs curled tight. And I see three lines – actually, I see two spots where there are these supposed three lines, and yet I don’t know which one is actually what I’m supposed to be looking for! And there’s this teeny speck of white in between the legs that 1% of me thinks, hmmm, could that be a penis? But I remember my boys’ money shots and the penises were VERY obvious. And I do trust the professional, she looked a long time! I just wish I could make it out better. I do think we’ll do a 3D ultrasound in another week or two – to see baby girl’s face and to just be darn sure it’s actually a girl in there!
I thanked Julia SO much for sharing in this moment with us, and then we were on our way. It was only 10:30 or so, so we decided to grab coffee at Starbucks. I was just bursting – we were having a GIRL. Dave got coffee, I got an iced vanilla latte, and we grabbed a comfy couch by the fireplace. I snapped a pic of our cups and he rolled his eyes at that. But hey, I wanted to document this day, and this moment.
We recapped the moment at J’s and talked a bit about what a new adventure it will be to have a daughter, and how it’s kind of a scary prospect to raise a daughter, how it’s a lot harder in many ways than raising boys. I had Instagrammed our ultrasound pic at the doctor’s office, and now I Instagrammed our coffee picture, and people kept commenting about how they were dying to know our news! Ha. It made me feel special, it really did, how so many people – both real-life loved ones and internet friends – seemed to really care about hearing who we were going to add to our family! As I said, such pressure when you have two of one gender!!
After Starbucks we headed to lunch. I had asked for recommendations on FB earlier in the week and we’d decided on La Merenda. I wanted someplace delicious and where I’d never been before, since we don’t get out to new places very often! We were the first ones there at 11:20 and had our pick of the dining room. We ordered four small plates in two rounds – goat cheese curds on crustini and pork belly crepes with truffle oil (THE BEST) and then pork tostada (spicy but so yummy) and a trout dish, which was my pick and the one dish that didn’t wow us. We were full so passed on dessert, but we really enjoyed our lunch!
From there, we went to register Henry for preschool, since it has to be done during normal business hours. I handed over all of our forms and we were out of there within about five minutes. We headed to the mall after that so we could hopefully find a ‘little sister’ shirt. We hit up Crazy 8, Gymboree and Old Navy, but none of them had anything like that. We finally had luck at JC Penny, and I bought our girl a “cutest little sister” onesie and a little romper with a bird on it, both in newborn size because, well, adorable! And because my due date is 9/2, so the weather will be warm for her for about five seconds before fall comes.
Party City was right by the mall, so we went and bought our 12 balloons – 10 pink and 2 blue, since I promised Henry he’d get a blue balloon either way, and obviously then Ben would need one, too. “Mom, I want a sister, but I don’t like pink. Can we do blue balloons either way?” Well, no buddy, but I can probably swing one blue balloon for you. ;)
I had thought we’d be rushed with all we wanted to do, but we left Party City and it was barely 2 pm – we were making good time! The weather was gorgeous and we talked briefly about finding a place to just lay outside, but there was no nearby park and we didn’t have a blanket or anything, so we settled on Barnes and Noble instead. We each picked out a couple of magazines and put two chairs near a window and just sat and read for awhile. I read an entire issue of US Weekly – such a luxury!
We left there before 3 and ran our other errands – the grocery store for juice boxes, soda, ice cream, etc. for the evening, and Papa Murphy’s for pizzas, where we bought four family-size pizzas – yuuuuuum. I texted those who were coming – “Please come hungry! We got lots of pizza plus there’s cookies and ice cream!” My mom and Amanda later said this ‘tipped them off’ that it was a girl – that my itinerary for the day (oh yes, there was an itinerary, and I shared it with them just as an FYI, ha) only called for three pizzas, but that I must have just been so excited to be getting a girl that I said what the heck, let’s get four pizzas instead! So silly. ;) In reality, we did the math in the car – 16-18 people who’d be eating – and we decided three pizzas wouldn’t be enough!
We were pretty pooped by now from all the go-go-go of the day. We got home and slyly backed the car into the garage so we could fill the box with the balloons without the boys seeing. We went inside and Henry excitedly said “Mom, we have a surprise for you!!!” I came in and around the door – and Shelly had decked out our dining room in all kinds of cute baby decor for our gender reveal. There were balloons, streamers, boy and girl rubber ducks and stuffed animals, and a gorgeous bouquet of yellow roses. I couldn’t believe it! I hugged her and said lady, that was seriously too much! Too sweet! But she was excited and wanted to help make our day special – she is really something!
She’d asked me earlier when she’d get to know, and I knew I couldn’t send her away without telling her, so I pulled up the pictures that Julia had sent me on my phone and showed her the one of us holding up the cookies – she was of course so excited but held it in because I told her I didn’t want Henry picking up on anything! She texted as soon as she got to her car, saying “I knew it!!” and congrats.
We had about 45 minutes of downtime before people were to arrive. Dave snoozed on the floor in the living room and I hung with the boys. Ben had a real hard time with not being able to have a cookie yet! I finally gave in and gave him half of one. Then everyone came over – Andrea and kids, Mom, Julia and Nate and kids, Dizzy and kids (and a little bit later Andy, too) and finally Amanda and Mark and Owen. They rushed in at 5:29 – I had told everyone to be no later than 5:30! – and I said you just made it!
We all went outside then for the big reveal. On my way out, Amanda and mom both smiled and said that they knew it was a girl by the way I was acting. I told them they BETTER be happy if they saw blue. I brought the box out from the garage and shielded it with my body while I untied the string, since it was pretty easy to see inside. The boys stood next to me, Dave stood to the side, taking a video with my phone, and everyone else stood near the street. I opened the box and scooped the balloons out since they were kind of jammed in there. Pink, yay! They all cheered and then I went and gave hugs. There were tears. It was really sweet.
I never even looked up into the sky to watch any of the balloons float away. I had taped two on a string to the bottom so we’d have them for photos, but somehow those flew away within a minute, too. And by the time I actually thought to look at the box, it was pretty much demolished, with all the wrapping paper strewn about my yard. The kids had gone to town on it and I hadn’t noticed. Ah well.
We went inside and ate pizza and cookies and ice cream. Dave called his parents and we texted our siblings so they’d know before we put anything online. Mom gave me a little girl gift, a sleeper and a bib (she’d bought a boy gift, too!) and Julia gave me a teeny little elephant romper that I’d given her for Cece. Friends left around 7 and mom left around 7:30, and I took the boys upstairs to get ready for bed while Dave cleaned up a bit downstairs. Then we both got the boys to bed and, completely exhausted, came back downstairs. I blogged and took a bath and headed to bed with dreams of a little girl dancing in my head. ;)
The next day I brought celebratory doughnuts into work and enjoyed the congrats from my coworkers. As with the day before big u/s day, I had a pretty hard time focusing on my work, and I left by 3:00 since Kelly had a doctor’s appointment to go to, so it was a nice, short Friday. Dave went to his brother’s for the evening so it was just me and the boys. We went to the library, then to the park, then had a pizza picnic in the living room. I gave them a bath and read them stories and put them to bed. I reflected on the fact that these were officially ‘my boys,’ that the door’s officially closed on the three boys idea. It’s crazy, especially since I think more than half of me thought that that would end up being how our family turned out. I love so much that they are getting a sister, though. Every time I say something to Henry about how he’s getting a sister, he gets a big smile on his face and says “just like I wanted!”
It’s so cute, and I’m so happy for him. I’m so happy for all of us!