Better than Christmas!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Awhile back I got it in my head that I wanted to do something special to celebrate knowing Baby Love was healthy and to discover whether our future had any pink to come. Once it was in my head, of course it began to take hold in Tony's imagination as well, but we just couldn't quite agree or pull the trigger. I completely understood Tony's anxiety regarding trusting someone other than the ultrasound technician to deliver the details to us. It was a lot to consider when it was perfectly safe to see the baby's parts on the ultrasound while the technician confirmed what we already saw, just like we did with Isaac.

Finally though, Tony consented to having a small cake made. I'm sure you've seen or have heard of this idea, to have the sex unknown to the parents but written in an envelope. This envelope is then given to the baker who whips up a cake with either pink or blue layers, but nondescript frosting. The sex isn't known then until the couple cuts into the cake. We thought we would just do this at home, our little family of 3 1/2 and at least it would give me something to take a picture of!

For a few weeks after we had agreed to do this, I just couldn't shake the nagging thought that we could do something different. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the cake idea, but it's just been done. I'm sure this largely stems from the fact that it's the dead of winter and I haven't had the opportunity to be very creative recently, so I just kept digging at it like a problem that needed solving. Pink and Blue. Pink and Blue. What items could give us this combination? I don't even recall anything triggering it, but it was clear as day: blueberries and strawberries. Logically on pancakes, because our appointment was bright and early in the morning.

When Tony consented to this idea, the hunt was on. What local diner would be able to accommodate this request? Unfortunately so many restaurants only seasonally use strawberries and I was growing more and more apprehensive as my search list dwindled, until finally the Highland Grill! My eyes immediately spotted their Strawberry French Toast on their online menu and I quickly called to confirm it's availability. We. were. set.

But I didn't even know how sweet it would be. I called Gina to dish on my idea once the strawberries were found and she offered me something that I'll cherish forever, for her to photograph the reveal. It's so funny to me how quickly Tony has acclimated to our photographed life, because I can still remember his hesitation doing a photo session after we were married. Why? He kept asking? We aren't engaged. We aren't pregnant. No one does this. But we do, and without hesitation he happily agreed to have Gina tag along.

The final setting of the stage were the Blueberry Baby Boy and Strawberry Baby Girl photos that I used on the blog on Monday. And with that, there was nothing left to do but wait. And suddenly the busyness and the planning gave way to fear. Everyone kept asking if we were excited and boy were we, but I clung to that excitement with all of my being, because if I didn't ride that sense of impending joy I knew that my anxiety would overcome me. Because I knew we were going back there. The extra wide door that we pass every time we have an appointment at the hospital. The same ultrasound room that we found out that we lost our little February love. That same little one who very well could have been born this week, with a due date of February 21st. And that my friends is a lot to think about in close proximity to desperately wanting to hear that your Baby Love is healthy.

Yesterday morning I was up like a, I don't know, no comparison seems to adequately describe, because I honestly haven't been this excited for Christmas in years. I quickly text Gina "Better than Christmas!" with details on our game plan to meet at the Highland Grill close to 10:00am. We left the house at 7:09am. Exactly 9 minutes after we'd wanted to, but still on track to drop Isaac off at my in-laws before hightailing it to the hospital. Traffic was dicey, but we made it at exactly 8:02am. I'm not one to squabble over 2 minutes, the day was already off to a beautiful start.

And then, there it was, the extra wide door. No sooner than I sat down, there she was, Joan the ultrasound technician. Calling me back through the portal. I hadn't eaten the M&M's I took from Isaac's Valentine's Day candy to encourage Baby Love to move seemed to be my only logical thought. All of my body went rigid as I passed through the doorframe, wishing Tony hadn't run back to the car for the envelope that I forgot. I really needed to be holding his hand in that moment. Very quickly though I was in position on the exam table and was having almost uncomfortably warm gel squeezed onto my belly. Joan was a fast talker and a fast mover, so thankfully without much time for sad thoughts Tony and I were looking at Baby Love on the screen.

And it was beautiful. I can't really elaborate. There's no need to say more. It was just beautiful to be with our baby and bask in knowing Baby Love was healthy for almost a full hour. Joan tried diligently at the end to have Baby Love turn so that she could give us a profile shot, but it was just not to be so. Honestly, she seemed to care more than we did. She could have insulted Baby Love at that point, but having already said that baby was healthy, we still would have been glowing!

In quick fashion she tidied up our envelope, in which I'd placed a Blueberry Baby Boy and Strawberry Baby Girl photo, by tossing the picture not applicable and with that we were on our way to my appointment with the midwife. My blood pressure and weight gain were still "gorgeous," she took note that I still wasn't in maternity jeans, but called me out on my "cheater jeans" because I bought them in a larger size. Our only question of the day was regarding her opinion and hospital policy towards birth photography and my day just continued to get better! Birth photography has been cleared! And on that note, we basically skipped to the car to pick up Isaac and fly low to the Highland Grill. Just as we approached Tony made the comment that he hoped we didn't get a "brain dead server."

And finally, we were there. With Gina, one of my dearest friends. And it was happening. I had a healthy baby. A healthy baby who we were now going to know the sex of. Blueberries or Strawberries?

Gina had already prepped the waitress that we were going to be doing photos and just like I'd hoped the place was deserted at 10:30am, just between the breakfast and lunch crowd. I approached our waitress and asked if she was ready for our hoopla. I began by saying I was 20w pregnant, she immediately cried out "I'm a doula!" And with that I started tearing up, just as she readily did as well. We were just so blessed. I mean, are you kidding me, out of all of the servers, we had a doula to help in our special reveal. She. was. amazing and over the moon excited to participate! After I explained the envelope and what they would be looking at we sat down for a few pictures.

Isaac had me absolutely convinced with his persuasive and consistent answering of "Sister, girl, girl name" and finally strawberries! I really prepared my heart for a daughter.

Isaac wasn't into guessing though. He just thoroughly enjoyed eating ripe berries! But really, who can blame him?

One last set of pictures . . .

And suddenly, it was time.

They were blueberries! Blueberries! Blueberries!

Brothers. My son gets to have a brother. I get to have sons. Tony gets to be a role model for another little boy.

They were really blueberries. And with that I had to cry and laugh and kiss with my husband, all while Isaac happily munched on any blueberry he could get his hands on.

And with that, as Gina so perfectly put it on her blog post, we celebrated, with more pictures. :)

We're basically goofy excited at this point.

Everyone has asked if I guessed blue, had a premonition, had a change of clothes for pink or if I just straight up looked at the card, but if you know me, you know that even if they had been strawberry pancakes, I'd still have been wearing blue!

And with that, the phone calls were made to Grandpa's, Grandma's and of course, my brother. I can only wonder if he will again be Uncle Wee Wee.

God has blessed us.

Sometimes I wonder why, but there is no doubt of His hand in our life and the blessings He continues to bestow. This day will forever be ingrained in my mind and I will cherish it forever. Gina, you have no idea how grateful I am for your gifts and friendship. I will be thankful for both till the end of time.

Tony and I are going to have another boy. Another describes a sense of knowing and yet, the only knowledge I have is that we don't know how much sweeter life can get.

ps:: Gina's post [same images, as they are her's] can be found here. Be warned Kleenex should be on the ready.


Audrey said...

I was wondering if you would eat the pancakes when they came! haha I guess I have my answer with the last pictures!

Marie said...

That is so wonderful! What a lovely story and how exciting to have a brother for Isaac. :-) You have such a beautiful family!

Unknown said...

One word: AWESOME! I hope my next one is another little boy :)

Schmei said...

That last picture left me with a lump in my throat. So much love!

Congrats on being outnumbered! :-)

Jill said...

This is so awesome! How great to have a photographer friend to go along with your little project! Such great pictures that you'll always have as memories!

Congrats on your baby boy!

Molly said...

What an amazing memory to have with all these photos of the reveal. I love the idea. Love, love, love.

So happy for you. I know you don't know how great it is to have two boys. But You are going to LOVE it.

And p.s. you're going to save a crapload of money ;)

Sky said...

Beautiful photos, what a great moment. I am so pumped for you guys. I don't want to be a creeper since we're not friends IRL, but I would love to make a little something for your baby love.

Bekah said...

oh my gosh too cute!!

Anita said...

This is quite possibly the sweetest way that I've ever seen a reveal done. I can't stand it - so much love, so much fruit, so many blueberries! Very happy for you!

Megan said...

I cry everytime I look at these pics and I'm pretty sure I've looked at them more than 10 times.

So so so so so so so happy for you my beautiful friend!

Meredith said...

I cried all over again, and I already saw the photos on Gina's blog!

Seriously, what a BLESSING. God is so good, always.

Jeannie said...

What a fantastic idea. I've never seen or heard of such thing... How wonderful to have captured this with photos... Photos to cherished forever!

Congratulations again Leah!!

Julia Goolia said...

chills again, and that blasted lump in my throat!

jen @ homeinthecountry said...

Aww! This is so sweet! Such a cool idea for finding out the sex! Love the pancakes - and the pictures!

And I can totally relate to that walking-into-the-place-where-you-last-found-out-the-most-horrible-news-of-your-life feeling... That happened for me, too. SO SO glad to find out that baby is healthy!!!

Lauren said...

wow...these are beautiful. congrats you guys!

Anonymous said...

I've heard of the cake idea for revealing the sex but this, this is a fabulous, fun, unique and totally family oriented way of revealing. I admire your creativity!

Congratulations on a healthy baby boy! :) <3

Anonymous said...

The waitress was a doula?? Wow wow wow. And birth photography - can't wait!!

These pictures are so amazing and special - they almost make me want to find out genders beforehand. :)

A.E. said...

this post was such a treat. just a real treat. im grinning in the cafe like an idiot! im so happy for you and your family. i cant wait to experience what you all are!

Genavee said...

What a perfect idea!

Newlywed Next Door said...

Congrats on your HEALTHY baby Boy! I'm so happy for you, Tony, and Issac! :)

Mrs. Southern said...

LOVE! LOVE! LOVE this idea! You are so creative, beautiful and one blessed mama!

Unknown said...

I have to tell you, I absolutely love the cake idea, but this was SO creative and so sweet! What a blessing to have someone capture the moment for you!

L.C.T. said...

Absolutely love this post. How creative!!! Ah I love it :)

abby said...

So so fun!! And good choice on Highland Grill :)

Joi said...

Congrats, Leah! What a fun way to find out...and the pictures are STUNNING!

Julie S. said...

This is just an amazing idea- I love it! What a fun way to include Isaac! :) Congratulations!

Unknown said...

You can tell I'm preg too when I'm crying about this post. Glad you're having a boy and what a fun way to find out!

Anonymous said...

Love this idea. We never find out the gender until the birth, but if we would, I would want something spectacular like this. Congrats on your baby boy!!

Megan said...

I stumbled upon your blog, and this post just has me tearing up! What a beautiful and creative idea and to capture it all so beautifully with these photos is something that can be cherished forever! My husband and I have been married two years now, and I started to try to expand our family. I just can't wait until it's our time and I'm trying to practice patience knowing that there is a larger plan for us.

Thanks for sharing your story!

Meggy from Chasing Davies

Miss said...

what a GREAT way to find out! I love it...we don't have a single time photographed of finding out what we were having...I SO wish we would have!!

you will LOVE having two boys =)

Moda said...

Your family is beautiful! Congrats on adding another boy to the family1 I´m sure he´ll be as handsome as his big brother!. I love the idea and I love the pictures. I wish I had such pretty pictures of my family, they really make your memories seem even more special. May I ask what type of camera do you use or what type of lens? Thanks And congrats again, you are truly blessed but I´m sure you already knew that, lol.


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