It's nearing the end of the month. It's that time where I start to freak out about how much I haven't updated and start thinking if I don't do it now I might get too scared to ever do it again, so you end up with everything in a one long entry of the month kind of thing. What bothers me about it this time is how much happened in September that the internet doesn't know about; it doesn't know September 2009 has been one of the most fulfilling months of my life.
This month my husband and I learned we're having a boy! I was only 16 weeks along at the time, which isn't too early to find out, obviously, but slightly unusual as it's not typically a scheduled ultrasound. Our baby is difficult, however, and has yet to let the doctors or midwives find his heartbeat with a fetal Doppler, so I've actually been the scared but happy recipient of an ultrasound at every single prenatal check-up thus far. The fact that they have not been able to find the heartbeat via Doppler doesn't frighten me so much anymore because I know there are quite a few factors coming into play; like all of that fat on my abdomen I was in the process of losing, but never became completely rid of, or the fact that my uterus has been slightly tilted, though evidence is showing it to be straightening up a little more each month, and lastly, I seem to be carrying my baby a bit higher than they anticipated because they search my lower abdomen with the fetal Doppler to no avail, but have no trouble finding his heartbeat almost along side my belly button in the ultrasound.
Anyway, back to my 16 week check-up, Jon and I are giggling to each other and making cracks about our stubborn baby (because what else would our kid be?) as the midwife is unsuccessful at finding the heartbeat with a fetal Doppler for the 4th appointment in a row. I verify with the midwife that I'll be able to have an ultrasound done today to make sure everything is okay and she assures me I will. Ten minutes later, in the next room, I pulled the elastic of my dress pants below my belly and my shirt up to my chest while the ultrasound technician spread gel across my abdomen and Jon sat quietly at my side. The technician computed my name and due date into the machine, flipped on the sound, and Jon and I were listening to our baby's heartbeat for the first time. It was fast and steady, like the sound of a running horse's hooves, and it was the most beautiful sound in the world. Jon and I smiled at each other and I thought for sure life couldn't get any sweeter than that moment. But to my amazement, the conversation took a quick and unexpected turn right then. It went a little something like this:
Technician: "Were you planning to find out the sex?"
Kate, after turning to Jon for permission: "Yes."
Technician: "Well, did you want to know today?"
Kate: "You can tell now?!"
Technician: "Oh yeah! It's a little early, and sometimes I have trouble telling because of the position the baby is in, but this one is easy. Look..."
She turned her wrist and tilted to a new angle that had us looking up at our baby's butt.
Technician: "See that? Your baby is not shy. It's sitting spread eagle! And do you see that thing there? Between its legs?"
Kate: "Oh yeah. That's a penis!"
Technician: "Yep, you're having a boy!"
I can honestly say, with all of my heart, Jon and I would have been perfectly happy with either a girl or a boy. After 4 years of trying to get pregnant, the only thing we really, truly wanted was a healthy baby, but in that moment, in the realization that I was looking at a penis and in the technicians announcement, I felt a wave of calm wash over me, like this is exactly how it was supposed to be all along. If I was forced to have a preference it would have been a boy, and when I looked over at Jon and saw him grinning from ear to ear, and perhaps even sitting up a little taller, I knew he felt the exact same way.
We are having a boy. That short, simple sentence sends shock waves of happiness and excitement through my entire body every single time. We are having a precious little boy.
September 2009 also goes down in history as the month I traded in my muffin top for a belly that more resembles a tortoise shell and is almost just hard. I've started showing. I've passed through that awkward, is she fat or is she pregnant stage and moved on into the she's oh so pregnant cuteness stage. Maternity clothes have become my best friend and I never enjoyed shopping for clothes more. I spent the majority of my adult life shopping in the plus size department and scowling at the maternity clothes across the aisle because for some annoying, unfair reason the maternity clothes were so much more attractive than the "fat girl" clothes. Needless to say, I've been admiring the shape and clothing of pregnant women for a very long time and even though I managed to move out of the plus sizes last year, I'm having a fabulous time shopping across the aisle this year.
Another fantastic thing about this month has been letting myself let go a little. I know I said a long time ago that I just needed to relax and stop fearing everything that could wrong with this pregnancy in order to have a healthy one, but I've had a really hard time listening to my own advice. The fear is overwhelming. The idea of coming so far only to lose it all is terrifying. Knowing that I didn't even have to do anything wrong or stupid in order to lose everything I've grown to love was crippling. I waited for the bottom to drop out for two whole months, but it never did. Instead I went to appointment after appointment and was greeted with an ever growing baby, and then this last time I was greeted with a growing baby boy.
I've finally started breathing again. I realized the other day that I am one week and two days away from being half way through my pregnancy, and I think, I really do think that God is going to let me have this. He's really and truly letting me have this joy, even though I was so sure he wouldn't.
It started off timid and slow as I began sniffing the flowers when no one was watching, but it didn't take long before I began filling my lungs with the beautiful aroma. I'm not just sniffing the flowers now--I'm basking in them--rolling around and laughing and bathing myself in their sweet scent. I'm letting myself enjoy every remaining moment of this pregnancy, because you know what? I'm growing a precious baby boy with fingers and toes and a heart with four chambers. I'm finally willing to accept this for what it is; not a cruel joke, but an amazing, breath-taking miracle.