Friday, July 3, 2009


How are you?

It has been a long few weeks. Good things, scary things, More good though.

I need to jump into the here and now though. As always, I will return to the Our Story posts because I like getting all of this down, but I also want to talk about something that has been weighing on my mind, very heavily.

As I mentioned previously, I am pregnant. I am a little over 22 weeks and a few weeks ago we have our "big" 20 week ultrasound. By big, I mean we find out the gender. We find out how everything in the pregnancy is progressing. I have a Level II which is a 'high risk' one where they take and even more in depth look at the baby.

I had this appointment, June 18th, booked for over 2 months. That date lingered in my mind. I was sitting at my friend's wedding on April 18th thinking "two months from today...". Work documents, commercials, any talk about mid June my mind went to the ultrasound.

I haven't blogged about this yet, but at 20 weeks with Claudia was where things got very stressful. So that was always on my mind.

Enter June 18th. Craig and I both took the day off and headed to my ultrasound. We had a scare earlier in the week as well where I heard some fetal arrhythmia's on my home doppler. I was freaked out. I had talked to my doctor, they would make sure to do a fetal echo cardiogram on the ultrasound. They would figure it all out.

There we were. Me, on this table in a darkened room. A screen in front of me. The tech was all chatty. "Are you going to find out the gender?"

"Uh, yeah."

Gender? Great, yes, finding out the gender is fun. But what I wanted to tell her is "I want to find out if the baby is healthy."

Realistically, I know this ultrasound can't predict a healthy, living, full term pregnancy. I have multiple perfect ultrasounds with Curtis and we didn't take him home. But, in that moment I wanted to know everything is okay.

A few minutes into the ultrasound, she scans between the legs. Now, thanks to my years on baby message boards I have seen a lot of ultrasound pictures. Plus, I have had a boy and a girl ultrasounds. If given a clear shot, I can tell.

"That is a boy."

I was the one who said it, even before the tech got the words out. I saw it, and I do mean IT, clear as a day. No mistaking. Craig grinned and said "How did you even know what you were looking at?"

I don't care about gender. I honestly don't. But I was shocked. Hard core shocked. I was convinced the baby was going to be a girl. I had a feeling after we lost Curtis, not a bad feeling, but just a feeling I would only have girls. I did wonder, deep down, if this baby would be a boy. But I was fairly certain it was a girl. I didn't care. I had images of toddlers in matching Christmas dresses and teenage girls fighting over the bathroom.

The next hour the tech took all the measurements, telling me what looked good, what she was measuring. The doctor came in, started jabbering away, saying he looked 100% healthy and we had nothing to worry about. He also said some total jerky stuff like "Bad things don't happen twice." (um, why don't you talk to women who have had multiple stillbirths, then? Because there are women who have had this happen twice.) He also said it was "Better to have the girl first." Which just isn't factually true for us, we had the boy first.

But...I was in a good mood. The baby, in this moment, looked healthy. We found out the gender. We wanted to celebrate as a couple. So, I didn't say anything. Because this doctor I would never see again (he is not my doctor, he belongs to the high risk group). I just wanted the hell out of that room.

Craig and I carried on our tradition of going to pick out a few outfits. A boy. A boy. A boy. I hadn't allowed myself to even glance at the blue section of baby sections in years. 3 years to be exact. I had learned to avoid and head straight for the pink.

We told our families that night. They were very excited for us, my mom cried, my father in law jumped up and commented it was time we had a boy with the girl boom recently (Claudia and my niece who is 10 months) which led me to have mixed emotions. How would everyone had reacted if it was "another" girl? Would they have been AS excited?

I know I would have.

And then as we have told other people the last few weeks, I knew it would happen. The comments we would get.

"Now you have a girl AND a boy." Well, no. We have 2 boys and a girl.

"You are so lucky to get one of each!" Well, no. We have 2 of one and one of another.

"You will have the perfect little family!" No, we won't. Perfection is having all your children on Earth.

"So excited about the birth of your first son!" No, he is the second! Trust me. I gave birth to Curtis. I was there. I remember.

"When number two comes..." No, actually. Number 3.

"So great Claudia will have a brother." Now, I know she doesn't have a brother in a traditional sense, but once again...factually it is not true.

Craig heard something about his 'first' son as well.

And on and on and on.

I knew those comments would come. I cannot let them go. I am kind about them, I do not get on my high horse. But I will say "Nope, number 3!" Or "Well, we have a little boy who died, so he will be our second son and we are very thrilled he looks healthy."

But those little comments really bother me. I think anyone, anywhere with kids get gender comments. My cousin has 4 girls and I am sure she is ready to strangle the next person who does the "Hohoho, just you wait until the teenage years!" comments. Or my friend who is pregnant after having 2 boys who hears "I bet you are hoping for a girl this time!" I bet she wants to scream....she tried for a baby. Not a gender. Like she is going to ask for the kid to be put back in if it is not the 'correct' gender?

It is an odd sense of emotions to be expecting a boy after losing a boy. Like I say, for me it was a win/win situation. I WANTED a girl, because I wanted Claudia to have a sister, I wanted to see two little girls grow up together. Share that bond. Plus, I love our girl's name we had picked out. I WANTED a boy, to experience dirt and firetrucks (yeah, totally gender stereotyping here.) and getting to experience a son on Earth.

How could I *not* win in a situation like this?

One day, in the we are out as a family of 4 (please, please please...) some other people will see us and think "One girl, one boy...perfect little family" but we will always know that isn't true. Our family chain is forever broken. There is a link. A link between us and Claudia that is forever missing. I just hope and pray people realize that things aren't always what they seem.


Kristi said...

Well, as someone who hasn't been in your shoes (at least where it comes to losing a child this way) I think you should point out all of those things... "this is our 2nd son" and stuff like that. Because, though I'm sure the comments are well meaning, we don't have any idea how our words can hurt if someone didn't tell us. I know I much prefer someone saying, "I understand your meaning but I just want to remind everyone that we already have a son. Curtis may not be physically with us, but he is just as big a part of this family as any of us." No one could find fault with you for this!

And congratulations on another boy. I think maybe someone upstairs thought you were ready for another boy...

Hope's Mama said...

Congratulations on the ultrasound and healthy son growing inside you.
I fear the opposite, that after losing my little girl just over 10 months ago, I will only have boys now. I really don't mind though, just alive babies from now on please. I am pretty sure this wee one I'm carrying, almost 19 weeks along is a boy. We spotted a suspicious package at 12 weeks. We have our "big" ultrasound next week to find out.
Everyone is excited and thinks we are too, but I'm more terrified at this point, of all the bad news we could be given....
Nice to hear your voice again.

mrs. mari said...

congratulations on you 2nd son. claudia will know both of her brothers, and this new little one will know his big brother curtis.

i didn't mind the questions or assumptions from stranger (in line at the market, etc.) but the comments from family and friends just burned a hole in my mommy heart.


Ya Chun said...

yay! Another boy. glad everything is looking good.

i think people just like neat boxes. their problem.

Devon said...

i'm so there with ya...

we are having a girl after losing twin boys. we have a 2 year old daugther. and within hours of us finding out we were expecting another girl, the comments started...

for us, we do have 2 boys even though people can't see them. so its really hurtful.

i'm thrilled for my daughter to have a sister but i'm already getting "guess you'll have to have another..." um, i suck at pregnancy. not an option.

just wanted you to know i get it. thank you for echoing my heart. and CONGRATS! on your 2nd little boy.