The day had finally arrived; we were finding out if we were having a boy or a girl and I was surprised I got any sleep the night before, I was so excited! There are many milestones during a pregnancy- whether it is the weekly “Baby is the size of *insert fruit here*” milestones or the bigger ones like the ultrasound you get around the midway point to reveal the gender. Of course, this scan is not just for finding out the sex of the baby. It is also to record several measurements, check the brain, heart and make sure everything is functioning and growing as it should.
I drank the requested two glasses of water an hour before our appointment and when I was in the waiting room and not almost exploding from needing to use the washroom, I was nervous I hadn’t had enough to drink and it would make it difficult for the ultrasound tech but it all went very well.
We followed the tech into the room, he started to do the scan and he asked us if we wanted to know the gender. We said “Yes, please!!!”to which he replied, “Alright, because some people don’t want to know yet.” I explained that it was already driving us crazy and we would not be able to wait another four months. He proceeded to take 80 pictures of our little one. First we checked out the brain and you saw him taking measurements of the circumference, then we saw the diaphragm, and the heart beating away. I had to move on my left side, return to my back, move to my right side and then return to my back to help him get better shots of the kiddo. It was so neat to see the bones in the long spine (it actually reminds me of something you would see in Jurassic Park.. in the good/really cool kind of way of course!), the strong looking bones in the arms and legs and to see the tiny hands and cute feet. It was when he started to go back to the brain and then back to the heart that I got worried.
I knew to expect a longer scan compared to the first scan we had at 12 weeks for the dating ultrasound. There were a lot more measurements to take and with a moving baby, it is harder to get everything the tech needs so I knew not to worry when it was going on 30 minutes. It just started to concern me when he started checking things he had already checked and measured before without saying anything. Techs aren’t allowed to say if they think they see something is wrong since they are not the official doctors, so it made my heart race a bit faster. He asked me how far along I was and I said 19 weeks 1 day, he started nodding his head. I saw at the bottom of the screen that the baby was measuring 18 weeks and some odd days, and with the leap year, some of of the machinery/charts aren’t lined up the same so I knew the baby looked like it was on track.
When he was studying the heart, I knew for him to be checking the ventricles to see if they were all functioning as they should but as someone just observing, I had no idea what was good to see or what was “normal”. After what seemed like forever he turned the machine off. We were still sitting there having NO idea if he saw a boy or a girl, even after keeping my eyes open without blinking for what felt like an hour. There had been one shot he had taken where he put an arrow without indicating what we were seeing so I got myself ready for him to announce it’s a boy but he never said a thing.
He looked at us and said “I’m just going to go reevaluate some scans I took; I’ll be back right back, but I’m pretty sure you’re having a… BOY.” Jesse and I looked at each other and nodded our heads. While we were both hoping it was a girl and according to all of my symptoms (I know they’re not an actual indication of anything, but it was fun to see what the predicted) I was going to have a girl, we knew to prepare for a boy since they run in Jesse’s family. The tech looked surprised and asked us if we somehow knew already and we said no, but we knew to get prepared for that. He smiled and left…. without telling me if my part was done- so I lay there with all the gel spread over my tummy until Jesse asked if I could get cleaned up. The tech said I could but he was getting someone else to scan me so I would need to get new stuff put on anyway. That’s when I had hints of nervousness come over me all over again- was he unable to tell us if something was wrong so he needed a second opinion? After about 5 minutes, a woman came in the room and scanned me again. They were discussing the pictures he took, she kept nodding her head and said he got a few good ones and then she took a few herself. She finished it all very quickly and said Congratulations, our baby looks very healthy. What a relief! The tech looked at us, said congratulations and that I can get cleaned up and we can get on our way- no follow up ultrasound was needed. Jesse then confirmed with him that it IS a boy.
Boy, oh boy!
I will now discuss something quickly before I continue to talk about the rest of our gender reveal. I was unsure whether or not I was going to talk about it because I saw an article which revolved around it and the woman received such HORRIBLE comments in reaction to it (you shouldn’t be allowed to have kids, you’re going to be a terrible Mother, you don’t deserve a child, adopt if you want to choose etc), that I felt terrible for her. I decided to talk about it because I think a lot of women make themselves feel guilty over feeling a certain way and they think that they are alone when they are not.
To make it VERY clear, what was most important to us, was that our baby was growing and HEALTHY. That is all anyone truly wants. Many parents find out something isn’t forming correctly or there are heart issues etc at scans like these and if that is not the case for you, it’s truly a blessing and all you care about is being grateful that the baby is okay. However, some women lean towards one gender or the other and when they find out that they are having the opposite, they experience gender disappointment.
I will be completely honest- I wanted a girl more than anything. I grew up with a Sister, I have two nieces (and one nephew) and since I already have my Step Son, I REALLY wanted a girl, as did Jesse. I knew the chances were slim since boys run through Jesse’s family, so leading up to the appointment, I didn’t even want to think of girl names. I wanted to only decide on one if it was in fact a girl. We chose one a few days before the scan anyway randomly, and at times, I really felt like it was a girl. We had the name for our Boy chosen since the very beginning but if I had a girl name chosen this whole time and it turned out to be a boy, it was like I was losing a girl that I never really had to begin with. I know that may sound silly and many people don’t understand and that’s okay. The article which I referred to earlier (I can’t find it now that I want to share it, I’ll keep looking though!) actually helped and made me really think about it.
WHY was I wanting a girl so badly? I took the time to ask myself the question and I came up with: girls are just what I know more and I am honestly worried I won’t bond with a boy like I would with a girl. I love my Step Son but he’s not MY biological son and while the bond we have is VERY special, it is not an indicator of how my own child will feel toward me. My Nephew is an absolutely sweet, gentle little boy who I love very much, and I kept thinking of how great having my own Son would be but then I think of how my Step Son plays rough with Jesse and how it’s time they have together to play but it’s not something I involve myself with. I could, but it is not my style of play, I don’t find the “fart jokes”funny- it’s just something I don’t relate to and I think the worst feeling in the world would be being unable to relate to your own child the way you would like to. Like I said earlier, all of this may sound ridiculous to some people and that’s fine but while getting prepared for the BOY result I looked around online and saw that these feelings are very common yet no one wants to talk about it. It can go as far as the parent getting depressed and rejecting the baby they are having. I am nowhere NEAR feeling that way. I actually reacted a lot better than I thought I would. The article I read said, if you’re feeling a certain way after the scan, let the true emotions show- it’s okay. If you’re upset, cry it out and let it all flow through you. If you hold in your feelings, it won’t help anything and making yourself feel extra guilty will make things worse. Get it out of your system and seek support if that’s what you feel that you need. Don’t feel bad about feeling bad- whether your feelings are amplified due to the hormones or whatever the case is- you’re allowed to feel a certain way even if some may not understand.
When they were doing our scan and I thought something may be wrong with our child, the fact that something might not be okay was all I could think about. I wasn’t focused on it being a certain gender. All I cared about with my entire being was that I was providing a safe, healthy place for this baby to develop in. Finding out it was a boy and that he was okay- yes, it made me cry but not from disappointment. I was relieved and it just felt so good to know he was doing okay and we can finally put a name to the little one. They say once you give birth, any feelings toward gender or anything else disappears instantly and I am grateful that I didn’t have to wait another 4 months for that to happen. I felt completely grateful right away after my scan. It feels right to talk to my belly and say “Hi Liam!” rather than “Hi…. he/she/you/baby” etc. I am so excited to have a Son.
After our scan, we headed to my Mom and Dad’s to tell my Mom the news. In the car on the way, “Beautiful Day” by U2 was on the radio and it suited the day perfectly. I’m not a huge U2 fan at all, but we left the hospital happy and excited with the sun shining on a warm day. We got our blue balloons (I got to see one of my friends while buying them too! It was so nice to see him since I haven’t seen him in such a long time- it was extra special) and announced the gender to my Mom with the balloons. She was appropriately and coincidentally wearing blue shirts so the photos we took almost look like she planned her outfit. It was very special to share the day with her this way.
The photos we took are right below (Thank you, Mommy/Nanna).
Overall, Baby Liam is healthy, and we are so very excited to meet him! To everyone who guessed the gender or who has sent congratulatory comments to us, whether on Facebook or on Instagram, THANK YOU. I am always overwhelmed by the response we receive and it fills my heart with joy. Liam is very lucky to have so many loving people surrounding him as am I.