Spoiler Alert: if you are in the extreme minority of people who do not want to know the gender of our baby, you should not read past the first couple paragraphs.
Yep, that's right, we know the gender of our baby. And yes, it's a little early (I'm 16 weeks along). I will do my best to keep the story of why we know short and sweet, and not provide too much information, since I know many of you are not interested in the messy details of pregnancy.
After some mildly concerning symptoms, I ended up going in to the doctor last week for an ultrasound, to make sure baby and all related equipment were ok. And yes - everybody is ok - it turns out I have a low-lying placenta (if you want to read more about what that is - click on this link). In summary, it is not a complication that needs to be worried about at this stage of the pregnancy, since as my uterus grows the placenta will likely be moved up and away from the baby's exit route. But in the meantime, the doctor recommended I take it easy - no lifting Zach, no exercise (ugh), resting when possible, etc etc.
So, I (Scott was with Zach while I went in) got the wonderful experience of being able to see our baby - moving around, arms and legs flailing all over the place, just the right size. And the heartbeat. The magical heartbeat. There it was - thank god. Baby was a-ok. And it turns out everything else was ok too, just that pesky placenta in the less than ideal spot. I had a regularly scheduled appointment today, and the doctor confirmed all is well and that while I should still avoid lifting Zach, and try to take it easy as much as possible, life can go on more as usual. And once again, I got to hear that wonderful heartbeat sound!
Anyway... while the sonographer was measuring body parts, specifically the baby's femurs, I thought hmmm, I'm no expert at reading ultrasounds, but I'm pretty sure the baby is not being shy about exposing a different body part. Scott and I had agreed that morning that if given the opportunity, our final decision was to find out the gender, so I asked. While the sonographer initially demurred, saying it was too early to tell, she very quickly laughed and said since it was so obvious, she could pretty confidently say (and point out what I'd already identified) that we were having a BOY!
A little brother for Zach!
A family of boys.
I'm going to be surrounded, and I couldn't be happier about it. Scott and I were both pretty neutral about what we had this time around, with Scott leaning a little bit more towards a girl. We both were curious what our little girl would be like, but also loved the idea of another little guy like Zach (even though we know perfectly well that this little guy will likely be nothing like his big brother!). But when we got the news, it just felt right. Another boy. Perfect.
We later agreed we're both glad that the gender of your baby isn't a choice - because how can you possibly choose?
So now we know what it's like to find out what the baby will be before he's born - and it's FUN!! It's so nice not to have to refer to him as an "it", to be able to imagine two little boys tumbling around in the backyard in a couple years, with the little guy looking up to his big brother to absorb all his wisdom. And it certainly makes it easier to talk to Zach about what's coming, to be able to speak concretely about his brother. I'm not sorry we didn't find out with Zach - thinking about that "it's a boy" moment in the delivery room still makes me tear up. I'm simply thankful we got to have both experiences.
And as far as preparing Zach for all the coming changes, we're working on it, and I think bits and pieces are slowly sinking in. When Scott and Zach got back from their breakfast outing yesterday, Scott gave me the heads-up that he had a talk with Zach about how he had to be gentle with me, not jumping on me, that I couldn't carry him, etc. Although I don't think he heard Scott telling me about it, a few minutes later Zach came up to me and said: Mama, I have to be careful with you, I can't run into you or hit you, because (long pause)... the baby might fall out!
I have to admit, I was about to turn to Scott with the "you told him that???" look, when Scott quickly jumped in and defended himself - he'd simply told Zach he had to be careful because the baby is so small - about the size of cowabungadee. This was one more example of what we've learned lately - that Zach likes to embellish stories. We're never sure when he's telling us what really happened at school or with the babysitter, and when he's getting creative. But the baby falling out?? Where does he get this stuff?
We also had an awwww moment yesterday. Scott had convinced Zach to snuggle with him on the couch and watch football, and at one point said "are you my boy, or someone else's boy?" Zach answered "I'm your boy daddy. But when we have the baby, he'll be your boy too!" Awwww... maybe he understands a little more than I give him credit for!