When I was pregnant with my first, everyone I talked to was anxious to know what I was having. I had decided near the beginning of my pregnancy that no one outside of immediate family should know the gender of my baby before the baby shower–lest I be showered with gender-specific clothes and not receive any of the essential items that I was hoping others would buy for me instead.
On the day of our mid-pregnancy ultrasound (about 19 weeks), my husband came with me and he held my hand. When we were asked if we wanted to know the gender of our baby, we adamently answered in unison, “Yes.” I was pleasantly surprised when the technician revealed that our Little Moore was actually a girl. Somehow, I had imagined that she was a boy and didn’t think I would have a girl until a subsequent pregnancy. Perhaps it was the lack of morning sickness that led me to think that it couldn’t have been a girl, but all of those thoughts faded with a smile when I realized that I would be the mother to a firstborn daughter. I had also prayed that God would allow me to have both genders as a mom, but especially that He wouldn’t give me all boys (there is nothing wrong with all boys, but I am totally the mom of a daughter!). As an excited mother-to-be, I had already picked out her name long before I knew who she would be: “Layne Blythe” or “The Joyous Path.”
Flash forward nearly two years to the day (today!) and I am going to another maternal/fetal medicine office to get a mid-pregnancy ultrasound. This time my husband is unable to get the time off of work to come with me, so my mom is coming to watch my daughter and offer support.
Before I became pregnant with this baby, I decided that I didn’t want to know the gender during my next pregnancy. There are so few surprises in adult life (and I am rarely surprised), and I want to know what it feels like to be able to meet my child for the very first time on the day of his or her birth. When Layne’s birth was disappointing (not Layne, but the birth itself), I vowed to do whatever I can to avoid another c-section in the future. I changed to a midwife who supports women who want a vaginal birth after caesarean, I started to revise my birth plan and I have prayed and prayed not to go through that experience again. However, I know that birth is its own animal. I can do everything right and still face a situation that is completely out of my control. I want to know that on the day of my son or daughter’s birth, if I am wheeled down the hall to undergo another painful surgery, that I have a surprise left to enjoy. I want my husband to be able to announce to the room and to the parents, “It’s a boy!” or “It’s a girl!” I genuinely want to be surprised.
However, ultrasounds are a glimpse into the womb not afforded to my parents’ generation. It is like a movie trailer with the most interesting topic I have ever seen. It is like watching the future unfold inside me–a sneak peek into the rest of my life.
I desperately want to know if I am having a boy or a girl. I want to know that God is giving us a boy so that I will be assured that our family isn’t all girls. I want Caleb to have a little buddy to follow him around. I want a little man to dress in mini-man clothes and learn about all things boy.
I want my daughter to have a sister only two years younger than her so that they can share playmates, clothes and little league teams. I want another little girl to wear the hundreds of adorable girl outfits that I packed away with tears in my eyes as my daughter outgrew them. I want a “second daughter” much like I am the second daughter.
Short of twins (which I am not having), I will not get both of these with this pregnancy. God already has filled one of the above scenarios, and most likely it is way more in depth than I have summarize above. Knowing the outcome brings excitement, relief and months of planning. Not knowing, however, brings wonder, hope, and anticipation.
Today I may not find out the gender of my baby (unless it is unavoidable on the screen), but I will learn that my baby is healthy and growing according to schedule. This is all I can hope for as a mother. God has the rest all planned out.