"...and the greatest of these is love."   1 Corinthians 13:13

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Pregnancy: Part 4 - Beginning of Second Trimester / Gender Reveal

Hello all!

I left off last time with the end of the first trimester, so I will pick up there.

I was a pretty text book case as far as morning sickness and the 12 week mark. Immediately after I hit 12 weeks, my morning sickness pretty much subsided, as well as any of the other symptoms I might have been experiencing periodically. It was wonderful. I still had certain things that sounded better than others (Subway, mostly....I know, very odd), but for the most part, I felt great.

I definitely had more energy, too. I continued to run / jog and would often "forget" that I was pregnant. Besides feeling a little bloated, I wasn't showing, definitely wasn't feeling Baby W moving, and was eating pretty normally. It was pretty easy to just forget sometimes that there was a little human being forming inside of me.

But with each passing week, Rob and I grew more and more in love with our little one. We would often talk about what gender we thought the baby would be, and it was fun to picture our lives with a little girl or a little boy. We decided that we wanted to find out what gender the baby was, and we even decided to find out in front of our close friends and family. We began planning for our gender reveal party, and that kept us moving forward and anxiously awaiting that day. Rob really wanted Baby W to be a boy, and actually was quite vocal about that. I tried to urge him not to attach so much to the idea of it being a boy so that he wouldn't be "disappointed" if it was a girl, but that is really what he was wanting. I really had pictured us with a boy all along, but I was going to be thrilled if Baby W was a girl. Either way, we couldn't wait to find out!

I continued to take the weekly pictures (sometimes skipping a week or two, but really until week 20, there really wasn't much to see.

On March 13th, I got a BIG treat. It was my Spring Break, so I was laying in bed shortly after Rob had gone to work. I had read that some people can start feeling their baby kick as early as 15 weeks, so I decided to just hang out in bed for a while to see if I felt anything. I had felt little movements, but at that point, I couldn't for sure say that it was the baby. Since I was almost 17 weeks and I was constantly moving during the day with the kiddos at school, I wanted to see if I could feel anything while being still. Sure enough, after about 30 minutes of poking around on my stomach and laying still, there came a very defined push on my fingers from the inside! Immediately, tears streamed down my face. It all felt so real all of the sudden! I immediately called Rob, and he was bummed to have missed it, but he was so excited. 

Finally, Saturday, March 16th rolled around. We COULD NOT WAIT to get to our OB office for the sonogram even though Rob and I wouldn't be finding out until later that night at the reveal. My mom and Stephen came into town the night before and were a big piece of that day playing out successfully. They were going to be the ones that would find out the gender at the sonogram and would help us find out that night at the party. 

We arrived at the office and rode the elevator up. It was a Saturday, so there was no one in the waiting room but the four of us. The waiting was killing me. :) Finally, after what was probably only five minutes, the sonogram tech opened the door and called us back. In the room, we informed her of our plan for the reveal. She told us that she would not let the secret leak while we were in the room. She started the sonogram and just let us see our little one hanging out in the womb. Baby W was actually pretty quiet that morning, but would still squirm and move around. We just love getting to see sonograms, so it was a treat to get to share it with my mom and Stephen, too. My mom hadn't seen a sonogram since 1990 when she was pregnant with my little brother, so things have changed a lot. My step-dad, Stephen, had never seen a sonogram, and it was so neat to watch him as she scanned around on my stomach and he got to see the baby. 

I secretly kept watching the screen to see if I could "see anything." I really wanted to be surprised at the gender reveal that night, but it was SO HARD to try not to look for evidence when she was inspecting our little one. I kind of knew what to look for, but I didn't see anything that gave me an indication. I fully expected the tech to tell Rob and I to turn our heads when she did the "money shot," but after about 15 minutes or so, she said, "OK! You two can go on out now." She was absolutely certain that she had all of the information she needed. I was shocked, and kept asking, "Are you SURE you really know already? You don't need to focus in on anything??" But she was very certain. 

Rob and I headed out, and my mom and Stephen stayed in to get the news. Rob and I waited on a couch down the hallway, and it was so crazy thinking that at that very moment, 3 people KNEW what our little peanut was. It was so fun. After a few minutes, they came walking down the hallway. My mom had tears streaming down her face, and I could tell she was just so happy. Our tech put a picture of the money shot in a sealed envelope and handed it to me. It was crazy to know that the evidence was kept secret by just a thin sheet of paper. Eek!

From there, the boys and girls split up. We had some errands to run in preparation for the party that night, and the boys did too. It was killer to spend the whole day with my mom and not try and get it out of her. Several times, she purposefully tried to throw me off, and I will say, she had me very confused going into the reveal that night. I was actually thinking Baby W was going to be a girl. 

For the reveal, we decided to fill black balloons and let our guests pop them to reveal either pink or blue confetti. Rob and I stuffed balloons ahead of time (18 pink and 18 blue) and then the afternoon of the party, my mom and Stephen went to fill up the appropriate set. They were labeled very clearly, but it was still nerve-wracking to think that something could really mess up the surprise. My biggest concern was that a balloon would pop early and the surprise would be blown. However, everything seemed to go off without a hitch until about 30 minutes before the party started. I was blow drying my hair and Rob came into the room. His face was as white as a sheet. "I know what the baby is," he blurted out, and I could tell he was so disappointed to have found out. I was so bummed, but tried to reassure him that there was a chance he didn't really know. He had gone to get ice in our SUV, the car that my mom and Stephen took to fill up the balloons, and when he put the ice in the back seat, he saw the box that the balloons had been in before they were filled up. I had sectioned the box off with a pink side and a blue side and clearly labeled each side. He said that he saw that there were balloons still left on one side, so he knew the missing balloons were what gender the baby was. My mom made an argument that the box had tipped over after they had taken the correct ones out and that they had just thrown the balloons into the box randomly, but Rob wasn't having it. He was sure he had found out, and we were both pretty bummed, but we wanted to move on still excited about the party (and I still wanted to be surprised)! Later, my mom went to Rob and asked him what he thought Baby W was based on the balloon incident. He told her that he saw balloons still on the boy side, meaning that Baby W was a girl. She just nodded her head, but tried to reassure him that that didn't mean anything.

Guests began arriving, and the excitement grew. It was so fun to have people in from out of town and a great mix of our Houston favorites. I thought the time would go by really slow before the big reveal, but it actually flew by. 

Sweet friends to help us celebrate :)

We put a chalkboard up so everyone could make their guess on wether Baby W was a boy or a girl.

I'm bummed we didn't get any shots of the backyard. We had tables set up with decorations out there, and really, most of the people hung out back there since that was where the grilling was going on. 

Finally, the big moment came. Rob and I went out onto the porch in case one of the balloons popped while they were being passed out. Outside on the porch, I began tearing up, just thinking that in just a few moments, our lives were going to take one of two different paths with our little one. Would we be spending hours and hours at ball parks with our son? Or would I spend years sitting at a dance studio or gymnastics facility cheering on our little girl as she practiced? Would I be buying jerseys or tu-tus? Pink or blue? The thoughts out on the porch circled around our heads as we wrapped our minds around what was about to happen. I told Rob that he was going to be a wonderful father to our child, no matter what he or she might be. After a few quick moments, we could hear that everything was ready, so we came into the living room. 

We made our way to the center of the room, Rob explained instructions, and then he counted to three. Everyone popped the black balloons, and BLUE confetti came flying out!! It was a BOY! :)  Rob was in shock!  I couldn't believe it either. :) It was so crazy to finally find out what the little guy was. It made the pregnancy feel so much more real, and I fell in love with him so quickly after finding out. Rob, of course, was just elated. He immediately was chest bumping with all of his friends. Oh, boys!

As soon as guests started leaving, we pulled out the DVD that the tech had recorded that morning. And sure enough, there were SO many times that you could see clear evidence that Baby W was a boy. But I am so glad that we didn't see ahead of time and were BOTH surprised that night. 

A few fun shots after the big reveal!

We can't wait to meet our BOY!!

More soon,