Last Wednesday, after Kate got out of her last (half) day of kindergarten, we all went to the ultrasound office to see our baby on screen! Most importantly, Baby is developing right on track, with no defects or anomalies found. Our quad screen also came back clear a few weeks before, so that's good too.
Love the cool spine picture. Teeny baby curled in a ball (well, a "fetal position" by definition!) I'll spare you the creepy "Skeletor" face pictures!
We also found out Baby's sex (since I'm such a planner, I just have to know!) and planned for a little party with the grandparents that evening. The whole concept of a "gender reveal party" (or even a "gender reveal" as a thing beyond a phone call or text sharing the news!) wasn't even around when Claire was in utero four years ago! (As a colleague quipped, "A gender reveal party? In my day, that was called a strip club!") So, while it feels a little silly to make such a huge deal out of finding out a baby's gender (or more accurately, a baby's sex, since sex is what's in your pants and gender is what's in your brain), I do like the idea of doing something for this baby that is so indicative of the time—like a time capsule of "here's what was trendy when you were born!"
So while I went to the midwife after the ultrasound, Matt and the girls went to a party store to buy silly string in the stereotypical color. I'd made pink and blue cupcakes and logged our "guesses" on a chalkboard before the ultrasound, and the grandparents enjoyed the fun moment, followed by a nice dinner at our house.
We'd all guessed "boy," and dressed in blue that morning accordingly. Other family members and Facebook friends weighed in as well. Matt has been hoping for a boy for a long time (to spare him the time commenting on this post, let me say on his behalf that he loves his girls like crazy and really just hopes for a healthy baby), and the girls went back and forth practically every day with their guess. My philosophy was "just assume it's a boy, and then you're either proven right or pleasantly surprised."
In the big moment, we girls sprayed BLUE silly string on everybody! It's a BOY!
I confess, even with my mental preparation, I was kind of in shock for a while after finding out it's a boy. I just love having girls, and having THREE would have been awesome. My midwife said, "I just had a woman in here who has three boys and just found out she's having a girl—and her face looked just like yours!" So I guess the shock is normal. And most of my withdrawal is superficial: dresses, bows, baby headbands . . . but I also just kind of resent the (millenia-long) cultural assumption that boys are better, that you need a boy to "carry on the family name," or that there was shame for women (and men) if they didn't produce a son, or any other such nonsense.
Not buying into any of that, I'll love my boy for who he is, and he'll be an awesome little person! It's still crazy to think about us having a little boy in the house. Even our cat is a girl, and poor Matt's held the sole Y-chromosome in the house. Even among the guest kids we've had in the house, only one has been a boy, and that was just for one week's respite care (he never, ever sat down, but I'm trying not to assume that is true of every boy!)
We haven't settled on a name yet, but my itch to plan is getting a little scratching through clothes-buying, sketching the small changes I'll be making to update the nursery, and pinning baby stuff on Pinterest. (Here's my "It's a Boy" board, if you're interested :) It's always interesting to see what new baby gear gets invented even since one's previous child was born. An infinity scarf that unfolds to a nursing cover? A special sling for the grocery cart? A training urinal that hangs on the side of the toilet? Pretty cool.
Most of all, I'm just looking forward to cuddling a teeny new baby this fall!