Monday, October 15, 2012

Dreaming in Colors of Pink and Blue

"Just how sure are you?" Brian asked.
"97%," I replied confidently.
"Wow... that's just going to make it easier for me to laugh at you when you're wrong," he smirked.  I gave him my side smile and raised one eyebrow to indicate that I was surely not going to be wrong on this one.

It was a treat to be traveling alone together in the car on a weekday morning.  We wove our way through the traffic and lights on our way to the OB's office where the ultrasonographer had my name next to his 9:40 appointment.  I've been looking at pink quilts and bedsets for over a month now.  Planning the hairbows and little tights with darling dainty shoes.  The gender check would just give me ground to rub in that I had been right all along.

"I know," I admitted, "I used to roll my eyes when people said they knew - but now I get it."  I halfheartedly tried to defend my position, but knew I couldn't really explain how I knew - just that I did.  Mother's intuition, I guess.  Plus, the pregnancy has been almost identical to McKenzie's pregnancy and almost nothing like the boys'.

I swung my water bottle by my side as we strolled into the office and then laughed with the check-in lady about the slow computers.  Soon I was lying comfortably on my back and welcomed the warm gel as it squirted onto my belly.  Our ultrasonographer was a military man, turning 50, and just back from Afghanistan.   Talkative, a bit boisterous, and gave off enough self-confidence to somehow make you feel both comfortable and on guard.  The lights went low and the magic wand began making it's way around the bulge that held our baby.  There she was!  Our baby!

Measurements, measurements, measurements.  Head.  Brain.  Heart.  Stomach.  One kidney.  Two kidneys...

"Okay, getting close to gender now, so be careful where you look if you don't want to know!" The ultrasonographer slid the wand down the baby's body to measure the leg bone.  After several ultrasounds in my life, I've become pretty good at recognizing what I see, and that first pass through the leg bones brought a smile to my face.  Looks like I had the proof I needed to start shopping for tights and hair-bows after all.

He finished measuring the leg bones and said, "Alright, let's see if we can get a good picture of the gender here... ... oh! that's a great picture!" He froze the frame and sat back with his arms folded across his chest.  "Any guesses?" he asked.

My jaw dropped.

"I... was... wrong!" I said.
"Ha!" Brian said simultaneously.
The ultrasonographer laughed.  "I see that all the time," he said.  "Parents don't actually care what it is... they just want to be right!"

I was in a state of shock for the rest of the ultrasound.  A boy?  We're having a boy!  I was so sure, though... a boy!?  After the ultrasound, Brian was kind.  He didn't rub it in at all.  Instead, he pulled out his ipod touch and started sifting through boy names.  "Alister?"  "Ammon?"  "Aaron?"  "Acopotalus?"  We laughed at some, sneered at others, and thoughtfully nodded our head at a few.  Hadn't we been though this before?

The rest of my day was spent blowing up blue balloons, streaming blue streamers, pulling out all the blue blankets and stuffed animals I could find and arranging them all over the kids' room.  In big blue letters I spelled out
B O Y !

and hung it from the bunk beds.  All the blue animals rested on the top bunk, pointing their faces towards the door to welcome the kids home from school.  Stepping into the hall to take in the room, I smiled, locked the door from the inside and shut it in front of me.  In bold letters I made one more banner:  Boy or Girl? it read, and strung it on the outside of the door. 

After the kids scrambled off the bus, they weren't even halfway through the yard before they started yelling, "Do you know!?  Do you know if it's a boy or a girl?!"  
"I do," I said calmly.  
"WELL?!?!?!  What is it!?"
"I can't tell you yet."
"Whyyyyyyyyyy?" they whined.
"Because Daddy wants to be here to tell you, too.  He will be home in one hour.  But I'll show you part of my surprise right now."  I led them down the hall to their locked bedroom door.  They jumped up and down at the banner outside as McKenzie read it out loud, "Boy or Girl?"  I explained that their room was decorated in either all pink or all blue, depending on whether it was a brother or a sister joining our family.  After trying the locked door, the anticipation seemed to melt their legs right on the spot and they crumbled to the floor with exaggerated moans of agony in having to wait 'a whole hour' to open the door.  Knowing we'd get nowhere on our homework in that state, I piled all the kids in the car and took them to the library and the grocery store to pick up the new books on hold and to get dessert for the missionaries we were feeding that night.  But mostly to kill the hour a little quicker than sitting in the house, staring at the door, would feel like.  

Daddy came home while I was in the middle of sauteing onions.  I turned off the stove at the eager request from the children (and husband) that 'now' was the time to open the door.  Brian held the kids back a bit and, grabbing the video camera, I unlocked the door and carefully let myself in to capture their faces as they opened the door.  I sat in the bedroom alone for only 10 seconds or so, but it was enough... my brain quieted from the hustle of the day and, for the first time, I let the joy touch my heart that we would be welcoming another son into our family.  Joy in the truth that my kids love each other so deeply and were already in love with this new baby.  Joy at the excitement radiating from my husband.  "Alright!" Daddy's voice came from outside the door, "Open it up!"  The doorknob rattled just before the door swung open and an eager bolus of children stumbled into the room.

"Well," said McKenzie pulling up short, "I guess we're having another boy!"
"Boy!" said Carson.
Miles was living on the excitement of the other two children as he had, in fact, helped me decorate the room and knew exactly what it looked like inside.  But you wouldn't have known it from the surprised and excited look on his face.  Bright eyes, mouth half open, curls dancing on top of his head as he bounced up and down, mirroring his older brother and sister.  "I'm a boy!" he kept on saying.

That night I felt a deep, deep sense of gratitude.  Gratitude so intense that I left the house to go for a walk at 11:00pm and called my mom to talk about the day.  We talked for almost two hours and, at 1:00am, I crawled into bed next to my sleeping, warm husband.

So grateful for that man.  So grateful for my happy kids.  So grateful for the anticipation of our new, little son.  Yes, a girl would have been fun but, after all, now I don't have to worry about finding a way to organize more hairbows... or spend time finding little tights, or dainty shoes....  My last thoughts before I fell asleep were of McKenzie.  I had been so worried about how she would take the news (it was quite clear from early on that she and I were both cheering for a little sister), but she was so delighted... I even heard several heartfelt giggles from her as she told Grandma.  I thought of our book club... of the many nights I've lay in her bed (long after the boys are asleep) to talk about life.  Hooray that I get to keep that special girl to myself for a while longer - perhaps forever - as my only daughter. 

And, man, do I love raising boys... 

 (as long as they aim properly)


  1. The last line made me laugh! Congrats! I'm getting so impatient to find out... ironically enough, this is the ONE month I don't get any extra ultrasounds out of my whole pregnancy! We'll find out on the 30th.

  2. YEA!! Congratulations!! I spent most of this blog trying to figure out if you were writing about a dream you had or a real experience (due to the title, I guess). Then I re-read it when I knew it was real. I am SO excited to have a girl, now, but at the same time, I miss holding a sweet little boy like I have done the first two times. They are all wonderful. And, tell Kenz, if she never has a sister, that brothers make for pretty great friends when you grow up.

  3. Congrats Linds!!! We are so excited for you guys!!!!

  4. So exciting! And I will be fascinated to see who this little boy turns out to be, since your kids are each so unique! What color hair? Straight or curly?? Sober or smiley??? It will be fun to find out...

  5. Congrats, I was pretty sure Ty was a girl as well and boy do I love that little boy.

  6. Anonymous2:48 PM

    Congrats Lindsay. I was hoping for a girl but would have been happy with a boy if it turned out to be a boy. To me, boys are harder to deal with when they are babies. Well, I know Parker was harder any way. I was happy when we found out we were having a girl.I just wanted a healthy baby as I am sure you feel the same way.

  7. Congratulations! Little boys are great and yours are super adorable!

  8. Congrats Alders! Funny how things work out, isn't it? ;)

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  10. Linds, you are too fun! The most creative thing I could come up with for that would have been... I don't know... writing a letter or something.

    And by the way, being the only 'opposite gendered' sibling is pretty fun. As a matter of fact, I hear it makes you special... ;)

    Oh, and I love the "Laughing and Smiling" section on the side! I'm glad that you're doing that again!

    Love ya!