With pregnancy#1, we chose not to find out the sex of the baby. I remember the 20-week ultrasound, the one where they look at everything in detail, being difficult. The gender information was right at the tip of my fingers, a turn-of-my-head away, and I chose to wait.
But after that point, I wouldn't have done it any other way. It was so worthwhile to experience that intense excitement after the exhaustion of delivery, leaning my head back on the table, holding my breath until someone said "It's a GIRL!" Especially when everyone had me convinced it was a boy. And, secretly, I enjoyed not knowing the gender because it frustrated a number of people in my life who like to plan... tee hee.
This time around, we made the choice to find out the gender at the ultrasound. The decision was primarily made in response to practicality... you know, it is easier to paint the room, buy new clothes, and prepare older sister for what lies ahead. But even though everyone does it, knowing the gender of baby number 2 feels a little like cheating to me. I feel like I have read the last page of a book prematurely, or eaten from the Tree of Knowledge. Perhaps I glimpsed a little more than I should have, but there is no going back. This piece of information is branded in my mind.
Of course I am excited to know, and was determined to adore whichever gender God chose for us. But it is strange how a single piece of knowledge can set you down a specific path. As if, prior to knowing, your destiny was unwritten. Once your eyes have been opened, you not only see the path you will set down upon, but you can also see the paths you will not be taking. I am not trying to be dramatic, comparing myself to Eve in the garden of Eden, but I imagine that when she ate of the Tree of Knowledge that her eyes were opened not only to who she was, but also to who she wasn't. She was filled with disappointment that God had been trying to protect her from. Hence the fig leaves.
Fortunately, disappointed does not describe me. I am actually quite excited, and to accompany that excitement, I now have a distinctly gender-specific picture of what my future holds. I couldn't be more overjoyed to have a future FULL OF PINK!! (unless, of course, I had waited another 20 weeks or so to find out the gender at delivery... then I would have been over the top!)
There she is... WELCOME BABY GIRL!!!
Unfortunately, we did not come home with any cute profile shots. We only have strange skull-baby to show off. But I figure as long as she comes out with skin, she won't be nearly this scary.
Here are the girl parts... yep, I had trouble seeing them too. On the left are her buns, with 3 little lines marking her labia. The smaller dots in the middle are her feet or knees.
Annike believes she has known all along that a baby sister is coming. We have tried to convince her that she would love a brother too, and that she knows many nice boys (Papa, Jameson, her grandpas). She emphatically wanted a sister and is quite pleased that God put one in my tummy for her. Sisters are a special breed of human. I am glad she gets to have one.