Red Lights :: Baby Sweets' Reveal

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I remember distinctly just how excited I was upon waking the day of Ezra’s anatomy scan [aka 20 week ultrasound]. Somehow, I had shaken the pregnant-after-a-loss anxieties and I was just happy, exuberant and yet somehow relaxed. Such was not the case the morning of Baby Sweets’ ultrasound. Sunday night, I kept occupied with several last minute “reveal session details,” and somehow found myself sewing quick mittens out of red fleece until 11:30pm . . . which turned into anxious thoughts that kept me up until well past 12:00am.
Because no one carried what I was looking for . . . And, I'm too anxious to sleep, I'm seeing mittens for the boys. This is why I plan an elaborate reveal, getting lost in the details keeps my mind off of the "what-ifs" of a less than healthy baby.So um, those reveal pictures tomorrow am are going to be a *little* chilly. @ginazeidler I KNOW you love me. #babysweets

The alarm sounded at 5:15am and Tony and I were groggily up and at ‘em for the day. In a flurry of activity, we got the vehicles loaded, bodies dressed and out the door. Unfortunately, with snow and traffic, we ended up running behind.

I ran into the hospital to check in and my whole concept of the day’s progression was put off track when the receptionist came back to the front after conferring with the ultrasound tech, informing me quickly “You’ll have to reschedule.” Ten minutes. Ten minutes. Where could we have picked up ten minutes to have not been late? I started getting upset immediately, refusing to take the rescheduled appointment. All I kept thinking was that if the hospital hadn’t of lost my original appt time, which was at 8:00am, we wouldn’t be in this situation. We wouldn’t have had to leave the house before 6:30. I turned into one of “those people” and was very firm that I wanted an appointment that day. No one budged. Almost on the verge of tears after speaking with scheduling, I left the lobby. Tony followed me out, but then said he was going to go back, “Just to talk with someone.”

Talking with someone turned into him asking to speak with the ultrasound technician, who very unhappily obliged. Tony stated our case, why we were upset about the original lost appointment, that we had both had to take time off of work and that we’d had to arrange child care to which the ultrasound technician finally threw up her hands and said “Fine, I’ll take you over my lunch!” Now, with time and perspective, we know that it wasn’t her fault. We know that we were the ones who were late. We wanted something to be done to remedy the situation, but at no point were we rude, exhibiting un-Christ like behavior, or ask her to take us over her lunch. We did still end up feeling like “those people.”

So, with a rescheduled ultrasound at 12:00pm, we left the hospital to join the boys and my Dad for breakfast, followed by killed time at Target and the toy aisle, followed by Ezra napping in the Jeep and Tony and Isaac heading off for the mall. When Isaac fell asleep in the car though, Tony just decided to drive around for awhile before coming back for the rescheduled ultrasound that we were early to. Again handing the boys off to my Dad, who thankfully had a very flexible schedule yesterday, we walked in for me to check in for the 2nd time. Since leaving earlier in the morning, I think it ate at both Tony and I that we acted unlike ourselves to be so forceful. At that point, I think we were both just as nervous for how awkward the scan could go, so much as whether the baby was healthy! Thankfully, we brought full arms of appeasement via small gifts from Target for the receptionists and the ultrasound tech. When she greeted us, you could tell she had resolved to be curt, but professional, until I handed her the gift and subsequently choked up in thanking her and apologizing. Both were extremely well received and she said “I’ll just say thank you, and we’ll leave it at that.”
New game plan, breakfast with the boys and my Dad, rescheduled ultrasound at 12:00pm, reveal later in the afternoon. #flexible #myhusbanddidntmakefriendsSoooo we showed up EARLY with gifts for the rescheduled ultrasound. #babysweets #heartisinmythroat

With that behind us, I laid down for the ultrasound and immediately started to cry when she showed us both hemispheres of our Baby Sweet’s brain. With both Ezra and Baby Sweet’s, it’s the brain that gets me going, followed shortly by viewing all four chambers of the heart. While my loss was early, it doesn’t lessen the fact that I understand how absolutely miraculous each and every healthy pregnancy is. It never ceases to amaze me.

It’s interesting, how so many people love how I “creatively” announce my pregnancies and find out the sex, while just as many seem to hate it. It’s seen as over the top and ultimately narcissist, which I’ve never understood, as it’s personal and intimate to us. Instead of finding out with a stranger in the room, we get to find out together, as a family. Tony loves going along with it and helps in any way he can, as it fills our time leading up to the big ultrasound. And while the reveal is focused on the gender, it allows us to forget about the what-ifs the ultrasound could discover until only a little window of worry is open. We know that the ultrasounds sole purpose is as a diagnostic tool to determine health of the baby, not the future paint color of the walls of the nursery.

But I digress, over and over we heard how all of the measurements looked good and lined up, pounding in that indeed, there was again, a healthy baby. We didn’t give her any indication which sex we were hoping for, but had just asked that she not share with us. Instead, I had printed two pictures, clearly labeled “It’s a boy” and “It’s a girl” for her to pop into a sealed envelope. At the end of the ultrasound, once all of the required measurements were taken, she asked Tony and I to look away while she tried to get an idea of the sex. Baby Sweets wasn’t too cooperative and the tech tried for around 5 minutes to get a better view. She said at the beginning that she had a “pretty good idea,” and then quickly stated, “Yup, I know it now.” This led Tony to believe Baby Sweets was a girl and for me to only more firmly believe our third boy was on the way.

As we wrapped up the ultrasound, we again thanked her for taking us. She again asserted that the gift was unnecessary and that led to us thanking her yet again! I was just beside myself that we had a third healthy baby! Such an amazing blessing!

My Dad took the boys to Target for a 2nd time during the ultrasound and we met up for lunch, each boy sporting a new toy . . . Ah, Grandpa. :) We ate lunch before I took off for my follow up appointment with my midwife, which aside from her and I both thanking God for a healthy baby, was largely uneventful [which are the best kind]. 
I'm so sorry friends, trying to update as I can! We have a HEALTHY baby! God is SO good. Now waiting on my midwife, we get to know the sex soon!!! #babysweets

I was in and out within 35 minutes and found myself leading a caravan to the tree farm for the reveal session . . . finally, only 6 hours after originally planned!

Thankfully, Gina and our friend Julia were both able to still make it at the later time, with Gina shooting a session in between. I was slightly concerned that the tree farm would dislike our shooting during business hours, opposed to the original time that we’d discussed which was before they even opened, but the owner Neil seemed pleased we were there and didn't seem to have a single issue with our plans . . . small generator and all.

So, we set off to find our tree location. Tony, Gina, Julia and I, a rag tag bunch of Minnesotans with too many layers on to count to compensate for the 15F weather. We made short work of decorating the tree, before I set off to dress the boys in their outfits [ie layers, lots and lots of layers]. It was my favorite kind of busy, the kind that keeps your mind full, until before you know it, you’re standing with your family, in front of your best friend and Dad, ready to find out the sex of your 3rd, and for all intents and purposes, final child.

Unfortunately, not everything went as planned . . . you know, kind of like the entire rest of the day, and my poor sweet, happy hearted Ezra could.not.stand.the.cold. Nothing would soothe him, so we decided to just go for it. We stood, our family of 4 ,in front of that beautiful Christmas tree and I had no clue whether red or blue bulbs would be shining when I opened my eyes. I listened as Gina, Julia, my Dad, Tony and Isaac counted down from 3, but I wasn’t ready when they stopped. I didn’t gather myself, I didn’t reflect, hope, wish, anything. I just opened my eyes and for a moment must have completely lost myself, because I forgot what I was looking at. I thoroughly believe there was a look of confusion the first few seconds my eyes were open, because I just couldn’t comprehend: RED. Red lights. Red lights meant a girl. A girl? We’re having a girl? Typing this I still can’t believe it.

So many people have said comments to me over the course of this pregnancy and even yesterday, even comments on this blog, regarding my “always wanting a girl” or “trying for a girl” or anything somehow related to the assumption that given my having two boys, I would most certainly hope to have a daughter. I think I’ve finally pinpointed why it irks me so. It seems to short change God. It doesn’t acknowledge the definite heart change of the magnitude only He can swing that has occurred to only recently open my heart to a daughter. I really wanted three boys. No, this has not been my dream since I was a little girl, as domesticity and mothering were not roles I desired to fill, but since marriage, since Isaac, that is what I envisioned, a mother to three sons. I thought I understood her, that mom, she felt safe to me. I can without a doubt say it was never my dream to have a daughter. I hope I’m accurately describing the condition of my heart and my hopes, because it’s why I want to explain to every single person who seems to give me the knee jerk reaction that I “must be thrilled,” that while yes, I am overjoyed [which is a work of God], I’m also recovering from the loss of my original dream. I was so convinced it was a 3rd boy, while I spoke of hoping for a girl, I was already planning what my future looked like as a mother of three boys. And then there's just facing the fact that there are women, desiring a daughter, desiring a son, desiring any baby and here I am with the guff to lay it out there that this wasn't what I envisioned.  It’s a very confusing mix of emotions. 

And well, what everyone wants to actually see, the pictures. Gina Zeidler and Julia Prichard were troopers, especially considering the weather, let alone the schedule changes. Gina is my dearest friend, the one who has taught me how to be a friend. I treasure these images so much! I can't explain the shock, but the pictures can!


And . . . just getting into it! When we opened our eyes!




"You're going to have a little sister Isaac!"   

"See Isaac? Red lights!"



Smiles all around!



Linnea said...

So very excited for you! A girl!! And also, thank you for sharing your confusing mix of emotions over this - I believe I do understand what you're saying. Only God can open your heart up to a dream you would not have considered on your own, and I think you're doing a beautiful job of resting in Him, His timing, and His plan for your family.

Unknown said...

Love the reveal and your sweater!! = )

Amy said...

Congrats, what an amazing blessing! I can see where you are coming from, having just had a 2nd boy who I love to pieces, I can see myself with 3 boys myself. I've always wanted boys and people constantly ask me if we are going to 'try for a girl!' If we decide to have a 3rd, it's not up to us what we have :) Congrats, again!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, I love this. I love all parts of it. I'm so sorry that you had such a rough morning with the ultrasound and having to reschedule and such.

I really love that you take such joy into planning a fun reveal for each child. We found out in the ultrasound room with the technician nonchalantly saying "it's a girl." I felt like we couldn't process it how we wanted to being in that dark, cold room.

I think I might do something fun with revealing her name, since we're keeping that a secret.

I love that you have such a dear friend in Gina, a trait that can be hard to find!

Erin said...

Oh Leah, I definitely cried reading this and looking at the beautiful photos!! Love it - what an amazing reveal. Frustrating that the day didn't go quite the way you planned, but it makes for a good story :)

Totally get what you mean about the mix of emotions. I get irrationally annoyed at people who say things to me like "oh, you have a girl and a boy, how perfect! Now you can be done!" !!!!!!!!!!!! I mean, I probably AM done, but not because of the sex of my children!

I AM just so excited for you to experience being a mama to a girl. Such an amazing journey, drama and all :)

Jeannie said...

Wow... I'm speechless. You have written this so eloquently; and beautiful.

These pictures..are breathtaking. Such beautiful, pure emotion...simply amazing.


Emily - 10.25.08 said...

This post spoke so much to my heart. When I saw your picture on Instagram, my initial thought was it was His plan and that is why you were opening up to thoughts of your family with a girl. It will be such an amazing time for the whole family. I can tell you from being married to the middle son of the same line up as your having, she is going to be so spoiled by her older brothers.

Your reveals have also shown me you can find out outside of that ultrasound room and still find out.... Our reveal was such a letdown because the tech just said its a girl.... Looking forward for time number 2 so we can enjoy it a little more.

Congrats! What a little blessing you have on the way.

Kristal said...

Awesome pictures. I love the emotion in them! And red and blue christmas lights! Such a great idea.

Also, I can definitely relate to the excitement for one gender, but also sadness for not having the other. I have always wanted a girl, but having a boy definitely made me think I could be a boy only mom. I was/am SO THRILLED that Miriam is a girl, but I would have loved a boy so much too. And now, I have no idea what to hope for in future kids...both are so awesome, how can you choose?!

Congrats, guys!

Kristal said...

Also, as someone who waits until the very end to find out gender because I think it should be a big deal and a big moment, I COMPLETELY SUPPORT your elaborate gender reveals. :)

Julie S. said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. So beautifully put. I am sorry your morning didn't go as planned-- I would have been upset, too! To make all those plans that involved others and have to rearrange--that's tough. Your friends and family are amazing! :) Congrats again, my friend! Little girls are a lot of fun!

Erin said...

Crying all over the place at this and what an AWESOME, wonderful reveal with the Christmas tree - I love it!!!

I also love your take on the mixed emotions. Whatever you get, it's sort of the loss of the other, even though any child from God is the hugest blessing on Earth.

I'm so happy you're getting a girl, though, and I already cannot wait to "meet" her and get to know her through the internet as I have your other kids. ;) She's going to be one lucky lady being born into your sweet, loving family!

Many congrats!

Lindsay @ la vita dolce said...

oh my goodness this is the sweetest thing in the entire world. i love this post!!! what an amazing special way to reveal the gender of your baby. i love it!!! :)

Megan said...

So many tears... they just don't stop spilling out of my eyes!

I can relate to so much of what you said... and your PRICELESS REACTION!? Oh heavens. I love it all.

I am ecstatic for you, sweet friend! <3

Megalamode said...

Awww, congrats Leah! I had a girl first, and then 2 boys. It's amazing how your heart is different for each of them. Love your heart!

The Best of Both Worlds said...

An amazing story! The pictures are amazing!!! Congrats!!!

Roksalanna said...

Beautiful photos and words to match!

Unknown said...

It all came together beautifully despite all those hiccups!!! Loved everything...the story, the reveal, the pictures. Makes me heart happy :)

YOU'RE GOING TO BE A GIRL MOM!!!! AHHHH!! (Welcome to the club ;))

Kier said...

Beautiful post, Leah. (Although I was slightly let down that it did not include a Beta fish....).

I look forward to your reveals, so creative, inspiring and truly captures the emotions of the moment that you can relive for years.

Maybe you could do this for a living... :)

Kelsey said...

I love this post! So excited for you to have a sweet girl to join your family. Love all the emotion in the pictures, they had me crying in the car while reading the post last night and Kevin laughing at me! Makes me even more excited for our ultrasound in a few weeks! Enjoy this wonderful time!

kari said...

I'm so excited for you friend. I love this.

Rose said...

So excited! :o)

You are going to be a great mother!

But the real question is...did you cut down that tree right then and take it home? I totally would have done that, decorations and all. :o)

Betsey said...

The photos are beautiful. The last picture is priceless! Congratulations! I never use to be assertive, but I've found that motherhood gave me a little more courage to ask for things when I need them - and you had a need that day!

Mrs.HVK said...

Love it all!! Congrats so happy for your family!

Megan said...

Congratulations! I'm happy that you get to experience the joys of being a mom to both boys and a girl. Your pictures are beautiful.

Love the family outfit coordination in the photos and your sweater. Would you share where it's from?

Laura said...

The pictures are beautiful, your family is beautiful, and just so happy for you and little baby sweets!

Julia Goolia said...

I've been waiting to see the reveal and I am obsessed!! I didn't think I could be more impressed than your pancakes, even when you told me that this reveal might top the other one. I just didn't believe you;) But the nostalgia of Christmas time is SO perfect----love the shot of you crying right along with Ezra. So perfect.

Congrats again, mama. I am over the moon for you about this.

SarahKL said...

The PICTURES!! Oh my... I should have checked your blog BEFORE I did my eye makeup! :) Happy tears over here! I love your sweet expressions and all the excitement!

Sara said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. I am so incredibly happy for you and your family. I'm sorry your morning didn't go as planned, but it sounds like you have wonderful family and friends that made the day/reveal go off with a hitch, even with all of the bumps and hiccups along the way. :-)

I completely understand what you're saying about the mixed emotions. In my case, just because I have one boy now, people automatically assume I want a girl the next time around. Maybe, maybe not.

Jill said...

I absolutely adore the way that you write and document such a great event in your lives! Not to mention the fact that this pictures are just stunning! We don't cut a tree or buy a real tree for our house so I've never experienced a tree farm... but good lord is this place just darling!

I'm excited for your little girl, but I can hear you when it comes to always thinking you'd be a boy mom. Daughters are great and remembering my on-going relationship with my mom... makes me more and more excited about having a daughter, every day. That relationship will be awesome some day and I cannot wait for it. My relationship with my son will be totally different, but I'm grateful to experience both.

You're such a great mom and you guys are your dimples just kill me!

Congrats Leah! This is really such a joy and I'm so excited for you!


Molly said...

I love the pictures. So great! Wonderful idea with the lights!

I can totally understand being excited about a girl but mourning the loss of the other as well. I can't imagine what it would be like for someone to tell me I was having a girl. I really want a third boy. But I'm sure you get used to it real quick! :)

Chelsea said...

Oh my gosh, Leah. This is the second time now that I have full out sobbed tears of joy for you and your family and this reveal (first when I saw your reveal on Instagram). Just so much pure joy from me to you. You and your family are truly amazing people and I am so excited and happy for this new part of your journey, a healthy baby girl!! Congratulations!

czarownicagosia said...

Those pictures make me smile :) Congrats again!

Katie said...

Congratulations Leah! And maybe you have already thought this and it goes without saying, but consider you already are a mom of 3 boys with your sweet Josiah. God just opened your mind to bring in a 4th child and welcome a sweet baby girl. :)

I know what you mean about being a mom to a girl. As an athlete and not growing up as a defined "girly girl", having a daughter is so much fun. She is louder and messier than my boy and can take pushes and hits like no other. Also, how sweet to see your boys take her under their wing. I always envied my two boy cousins who had a little sister. They cherished when she was young and took her out on "dates" when she was older. Their wives joked about how they were never nervous to meet their mom...but instead, their sister! ha! Congrats again. Have fun! I'm excited to see what name you come up with!

J. said...

Aw, this was so sweet. These photos do such a great job of capturing the emotions. Congrats! Having a girl is such fun :)

W said...

These pictures are so incredibly sweet. What a memory to treasure.


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