On the Morning of My Ultrasound

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.”

Layne at 19 weeks in August 2012.

Layne at 19 weeks in August 2012.

 

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.

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The Passage of Time is Bittersweet

The passage of time is so bittersweet.

Most mornings, my child sleeps in. If I can get my act together, I have the opportunity to spend an hour or so with a strong cup of coffee and my laptop–getting some of my “work-from-home” work done to the soundtrack of ocean waves on the baby monitor.

This morning, I decided to do something that I have been putting off for some time: backing up my photos from my iPhone to my computer so that I could execute the long awaited software update. Last time I had attempted this, I hadn’t chosen to delete any of the photos after transfer and had (SOMEHOW) managed to upload a bunch more from my computer to my phone. Needless to say, I had long run out of room on my phone for updates and videos.

I didn’t expect the simple transfer of photos to be an emotional endeavor. I suppose I should have known better with my hormones all out of whack, but I didn’t.

As the photos transferred from my phone to iPhoto, I saw nearly two years of my life fly by in pictures, in chronological order. It was glib, almost, to watch 1600 photos fly by my eyes. Occasionally, one would linger on the screen for ten seconds or more as if to ask, “Do you remember me?”

I did. I did so well it hurt.

I remembered the first time my daughter was placed in my arms when I was wheeled back to my hospital room.

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I remembered every little smile and frown she made for the first several months of her life as they passed by on my screen.

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I remembered taking her to my grandma’s house, and later to the hospital and rehabilitation centers as her time grew shorter and shorter with us.

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I remembered the joy on my daughter’s face as she jumped in her rainforest jumper for the first time and how enthralled she was with the fenced-in “play area” I made her when I started to babyproof the house.

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The bitterness is in the tears I shed, but the sweetness is what made them fall.

As I watched her teeth seemingly pop out of her gums as the pictures passed, I also realized the ways that I have grown as a mother in 19 months. I have picture proof of many ways I have grown and changed as a first time parent: learning the reason for her non-stop screaming in the first few months of my daughter’s life, examples of incorrect carseat usage and our switch from disposable diapers to cloth.

Nineteen months is merely a snapshot in the timeline of motherhood. It has passed too quickly, but every moment was cherished. I have never, ever wished for any life circumstance that would not have included these first 19 amazing months with Layne (first two screaming months and all).

The path to motherhood is joyous. But with the joy, comes tears.

Redefining The Joyous Path

Layne's First Birthday Party

Layne’s First Birthday Party

To my few readers who have intermittently read my spaced-out posts, I apologize. I hardly would label myself a “blogger” in the traditional sense, but a writer through and through.

You see, while I wasn’t writing in this blog, I was learning. I was soaking up lesson after lesson in motherhood and tucking it away for…a rainy day? Perhaps. But with no rain in sight and with my daughter and I on day three of being home with no car, I find myself reunited with one of my first loves: the chronicling of this mom’s joyous path.

What is this joyous path? It is the growing collection of heartaches, triumphs, adventures and lessons learned since I day I discovered I was to become a mother.

And so, apologies aside, I would like to start where I left off with true determination and a better sense of organization. The blog opens again…