Matt and I found out in the beginning of November, and I spent the rest of the month learning how hard it is to keep a secret when everyone knows that you know, as well as making 34 trips to craft stores making these gender reveal poppers. We popped them with our families near and far over Thanksgiving (thank you Facetime) and were so excited to finally share the news with everyone! Since then, baby boy has received tons of love, gifts and belly rubs…and possibly a decided name. :)
Thank you to our family and friends near and far who made the above and below moments so special! And for continuing to clean blue confetti and sequins out of your lawns/carpets/corners of your houses. :)
Before we even talked about talking about getting pregnant, I knew I was one of those people who wanted to find out the baby’s gender. I always figured that there were enough surprises that came with pregnancy, birth and growing a human…why not at least plan for one of the big ones?
So of course, once I actually was pregnant, finding out the gender was one of the biggest benchmarks set on the horizon. At my first doctor’s appointment, my doctor explained to us that we could either find out around 12 weeks with a genetic test (that also tests for any possible health issues in the baby) or at 20 weeks with an ultrasound, as the baby’s gender parts (is that a noun? Gender parts?) would be fully developed by then.
While the idea of having a genetic test early on seemed important, it also scared the shit out of me. We could either find out that the baby had zero risk of developing any sort of health issue or disease, OR find out that he/she is at risk and how high the chances were for him/her to be affected…and have to analyze this reality throughout the rest of my pregnancy. After going home and talking about it for a few days, Matt and I both decided that since genetic risks were not something that would impact our decision to have the baby, and that finding out the chances for an assortment of issues could cause my pregnancy to be full of stress…we were going to pass on taking it. And, on a lighter note, just wait until 20 weeks to find out the gender!
From the very moment the pregnancy test (and the 10 that followed) showed two lines, I had felt that the baby was a boy. I don’t know if it was because I always thought I would have a boy first, or because I grew up surrounded by boys or because I really, really wanted a little boy…but I just had a feeling. I tried not to give into it along those first 20 weeks, as there was an obvious even chance that it just may be a girl! To which I would also be thrilled about, of course. But something told me that this little bug was certainly a baby boy.
20 weeks certainly came faster than expected, and just like that, here we were driving to the doctor’s office on a Tuesday morning for my ultrasound. This appointment was at a different medical center and with a different doctor, as this ultrasound was to be a lot more in-depth. At 20 weeks, they take a deep dive into the baby’s development so far, measuring his/her neck and spine, as well as examining the brain, heart and organ development to make sure everything is on track and growing properly. And of course, in our case…discover the baby’s gender. I was so nervous leading up to this appointment because of all of those things – I wanted to badly for our baby to be perfectly healthy, and the thought of them finding something irregular made my heart drop. I also was super anxious to find out the gender to see if my gut feeling of a boy would be correct!
Matt on the other hand, was semi-convinced that it was a baby girl. For as long as I can remember in our relationship, he has always told me that he wanted a “little me” that would run around our house, have crazy curly hair and would totally have him even more wrapped around her little finger than I did. Although, as he now liked to remind me, he really didn’t care one way or another, as long as the baby was healthy. Can’t argue with that!
The practitioner did a very detailed scan of our little baby, showing us his/her heart cavities, brain development, spine, kidneys, etc – we must admit, half the time we had no clue what exactly we were looking at – and to our relief, confirmed that everything looked great! The doctor also came in to do a scan of the baby, and the only thing he saw that needed a follow up on was my current low-lying placenta (typing out “placenta” gives me the heebie jeebies, so I will for SURE spare the details on that for all y’all). But the baby was perfectly healthy and on track for development!
So now came the big moment. We told the nurse and doctor that we wanted to find out, but that we also wanted an element of surprise for the two of us to share. We asked that they write down the gender for us and put it in a sealed envelope for us to take home and/or rip open within seconds of leaving the doctor’s office. The nurse told us that she was going to type out the gender on one of the ultrasound pictures for us, and so at a certain point she asked both of us to close our eyes and turn our heads away from the screen as she examined “the area.” Since I knew she was typing out the gender, I also hummed to myself so I wouldn’t be able to hear the number of keys she typed. :)
She handed us the envelope as we left, and it was like being handed what you know will be the best Christmas gift ever but also one that you kinda enjoy dreaming about and therefore wonder if you should rip open the paper now or let your anticipation build up even more and open it when you think it is the right time to open it.
Does that make sense to anyone else, or am I really that crazy?!
Before this appointment, Matt and I debated on when and where we would find out the gender. I knew I wanted to do a big gender reveal with our friends and family over Thanksgiving, but didn’t know if a) I could wait that long to find out myself and b) if I wanted to find out along with everyone else. Matt argued that finding out the gender together, just me and him, would be a very special moment between us that we will always remember…and then re-live again when we shared it with the world. The more I over-analyzed it, the more I sided with him. Plus…was I really kidding myself that I could wait three whole weeks until a larger reveal at Thanksgiving?! That envelope would certainly be ripped open at 3 a.m. when my will power caved and I couldn’t bear the anticipation any longer.
So…we were going to find out right after the appointment. Alone. Together.
Matt had to travel for work later that night, so we decided to go out to lunch right after the appointment and open the envelope then. But then on our way to lunch, Matt just HAD to suggest waiting to open it until that Friday night, when he would be back home and would have the whole weekend to celebrate the news together. As we pulled into the parking lot of Kerbey Lane, I sat defeated, now considering having to wait three more days. But right when we parked, Matt grabbed the envelope, said “why would we wait?!” and started to open it. I FREAKED OUT.
“OH MY GOSH YOU ARE OPENING IT OH MY GOD, WE ARE GOING TO FIND OUT HOLY SHIT SERIOUSLY THIS IS HAPPENING AND YOU ARE REALLY DOING THIS ARE YOU SURE” (I sort of blacked out, but I think this is along the lines of everything I blabbered.)
He took out the ultrasound pictures, looked at them closely while tears filled up his eyes and a big ol’ smile took over his face. He handed me the pictures, which read “I’m a Boy!” in small little white letters on each. Complete with arrows pointing to the boyness.
(Sorry, Baby Izzo…the above pictures are a bit revealing, I know. First of many moments I will completely embarrass you!)
Without even realizing it, I was also covered in happy tears. We hugged for forever, looked at the pictures, hugged again and finally pulled ourselves together enough to go inside and eat. While I originally said that we should open the envelope in the restaurant, I am SO glad we didn’t, as the wonderful emotional scene we would have caused may have put us on the local news. I KNEW it was a baby boy! I brought the pictures into the restaurant and Matt and I continued to look at them and say “BABY BOY!” over and over again. It will forever be one of my very, very favorite moments in our relationship.
Since that moment, I have been able to envision life with baby much more than I had before. Something about knowing that he is a boy has helped make this whole thing very, very real for me (as my mom responded with “honey, if it ain’t real by now you are in for a very big surprise”) because now I could fully picture everything. I can see his little closet full of little boy clothes, and all of the cars and trucks and baseballs and footballs that will most likely start to fill up every corner of our house. I can picture what a wild man he is going to be (especially from his nonstop movement in my belly), and how Matt is going to be the absolute best father a little boy could ask for. I can also feel the crazy mama bear attachment I will have to him, and can only hope he will be a total mama’s boy…at least until he is a teenager. :)