Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pregnancy IV: Gender and Baby Shower

On to Part IV... if you missed the previous, read them here, here and here

     From the very first moment I found out I was pregnant, I was hoping for a boy. I guess this was for a couple reasons. One being that growing up I spent a lot of time with my much younger sibling (11 1/2 year difference), who happened to be a boy. He was my sidekick and we were together ALL of the time. I watched him grow and learn, eat and play; we had a very strong bond. So raising a boy is what I know most about. Two, growing up and still for the most part now, I was never very 'girly.' And although not a total tomboy either, I certainly never cared too much about what girls are 'supposed' to care about. I only ever played with Barbies because I liked building their houses. My true love was Legos. I never actually played with them though, I would just build them and set them up on my Lego land table. I was never into dress up or princess type stuff; if I was allowed to dress myself I would just grab two random things out of my closet and run off to go play. I also loved getting dirty. I used to love riding my bike through the potholes in the ally after it rained. Anywho..... point being I am way more comfortable with boys and boy stuff. I was scared to have a girl because I don't know anything about how to raise one. Girl babies are supposed to be dressed up all cute with bows and ribbons and pink (blah!) and I am just not into those things. I felt like I wouldn't be giving her a true girl experience if I didn't make her all 'girly.' I really worried that I wouldn't be the mom I should be to a girl because I didn't know how. And I really wouldn't want to rob her of being a true girl just because I didn't like those things. Luckily, my mom knocked some sense into me with some great advice that it would all work out as long as LOVE always comes first. What a smart mom huh? Not sure what I would do without that woman. I knew that I would love my baby no matter what the gender, but if I had a choice I still wanted a boy.

    During the first few months of my pregnancy everything pointed towards us having a girl. I was pretty positive I was having a girl for several reasons:
  1. Early on every dream I had about the baby it was a girl
  2. Most of the old wives tales indicated girl:
    1. Baby had a high heart rate 
    2. Dad gained weight 
    3. Craving more sweet things (RED MANGO!!!) 
    4. Stealing my beauty.. duh blaming that one on the growing fetus inside me
    5. Preferring to lay on right side
    6. Mood swings.. also blaming this one on that fetus
    7. Carrying baby weight all over mid-section 
  3. Chinese gender predictor chart said girl; try here to see if it was right for you
  4. Since I was scared to have a girl (as explained above), I figured that's what I would have so that I would be shown that I could raise a girl perfectly fine.
    My mom and step-dad had been encouraging us to not find out. It would probably be the biggest rush and most exciting thrill to be surprised by the gender at birth. Ideally, I would have loved to have waited, but in reality I knew that my OCD and anxiety wouldn't have allowed it. So we had planned to find out at our 20 week anatomy ultrasound. The ultrasound tech began by showing us all of the organs e.g., heart, brain, stomach, liver, lungs. I loved being able to actually SEE the little heart beating. She took pictures of everything she could and then asked if we wanted to know the gender. I hesitated because I knew that once I said yes, there was no going back... but then I jumped back into reality... duh... of course I wanted to know!! So she moved her wand to check it out and low and behold... the little stinker had its legs crossed!! No big deal... right... just move around a little bit... push on the stomach a little bit... I mean it can't keep its legs crossed forever.... can it? 

  Well I found out that the answer to that question is yes... well maybe not forever, but as long as my ultrasound took. However, the tech did say that she was pretty certain it was a girl because although the legs were crossed, she didn't see and boy parts sticking out. So at that point we were pretty convinced we were having a girl. We starting making a baby girl name list and encouraging each other that we would do just fine raising a girl; we realized that if God wanted us to have a girl, he would give us the love and wisdom to raise her the best possible way.

  Maybe I should have taken it as some sort of sign that we weren't able to find out the sex at the 20 weeks ultrasound; maybe that sign was that we should listen to my parents and not find out. Maybe.... but then the tech told me that she wasn't able to get all of the heart pictures she needed so we would have to get another ultrasound in a couple weeks. If that was to test my willpower against temptation.... I clearly FAILED, because at that second ultrasound at 24 weeks I again said yes when she asked if we wanted to know the gender... and this time I had no hesitation. The build-up of having the ultrasound, not knowing 100%, and then waiting another four weeks was just too much. Naturally, during that four week waiting period, I did a lot of gender ultrasound picture "research." I could have probably gotten my ultrasound tech certification for all the hours I logged. Point being, I knew exactly what the girl and boy parts looked like in an ultrasound picture. So when she put that wand on my belly and I looked over at the screen, I knew in an instant what I was looking at! I knew Mark didn't have a clue what he was looking at, but I didn't say anything; I wanted to see his reaction when she said "It's a boy!" I think we were both shocked, really shocked at first. We had a hard time actually believing it.
    Over the next couple of days as it began to set in, we grew more and more excited. So it was complete torture to have to wait to tell everyone until the weekend. I wanted to wait because I had had plans to take gender announcement pictures and didn't have time to take them until Saturday morning. So that morning Mark and I went out into our backyard for a little amateur photo shoot; just him and I and an iPhone. That night we told our parents, and then the rest of the internet world with these pictures: 

  I had my baby shower in June at about 32 weeks. I decided I wanted to have just one big shower for all family and friends: we invited people from my mom's side of the family, my dad's, my step-dad's, Mark's side, and our friends. I went with a green and brown jungle theme. I thought it would be really cute and I had originally wanted to do his room in that theme. Unfortunately, I really didn't get a lot of pictures from the shower, but here are a few. 

The sitting tables had brown table cloths with palm tree center pieces, confetti, and streamers. The food tables had green table cloths and brown 'dirt' (the paper grass used for baskets). My mom and aunts made all the food and my cousin made cupcakes. I don't have a picture but it looked super cute and all tasted delicious.

My mom made these party favors: trail mix inside of the blue bag tied with blue ribbon. I wish I would have taken a picture of the gift table. I was so blessed with all the gifts for Myles. He was so spoiled with lots of cute clothes, blankets, pacifiers, diapers, wipes, a tub, toys, and LOTS of books (per my request).

This was the front entrance table. I framed a few pictures: the first is Mark when he was little, the second is me when I was little, the third is a picture from the gender reveal, and the last one is two ultrasound pictures of Myles at 20 weeks. We also did a door prize where everyone that came put their birthday on a piece of paper (shown in the picture) and whoever had a birthday closest to Myles' due date won. Mark's grandma won for closet before in July and my friend Katie won for closest after on September 5th.


We also had everyone decorate a plain white onesie for Myles. My step-dad cut out cardboard to put in between the layers of fabric so they wouldn't stick together and then people used fabric paint to make a custom onesie just for baby boy. I made the sign that said "Please show baby Ham how much you care, make him a onesie he will love to wear" and credit for the baby drawing goes to Mark. I hung a couple in his nursery and kept the rest for keepsakes.

Here is me opening a present. It took a long time to open them all and at 32 weeks, I was definitely tired after all that. While opening presents we played present Bingo. I made Bingo cards for everyone that had different types of gifts that are typically given at a baby shower.  Every time I opened something on the card guests marked it off, then when someone got a Bingo, they won a prize. I liked it because it kept people entertained while I opened gifts. We also played a "Price Is Right" style game in which people had to guess the price of certain baby items like diapers, wipes, onesies, soap, etc. The last game we played went with the jungle theme. I made a list of animals and people had to match them with the female, male, and baby name of that certain animal, e.g. Deer would be matched with doe, buck, and fawn. Unfortunately, that one was not very fair because I had a guest that was in Vet tech school at the time (I did not know this though lol).

             A few shots of Mark and I                                   My mother and I

This is one of the invitations my very talented aunt made

All in all I had a great shower. So many people came out to celebrate and love on Myles. To know that he was so loved even before he was born brought (and still brings) so much joy to my heart. More than anything else in the world, I want Myles to know how much he is truly, honestly, and deeply loved. One day I will show him this and he will see that from the very day we knew of his existence he took over our hearts in such a way that we would never be the same. Even as I am sitting here writing this and he is sleeping in his crib 5 feet away from me, I can't imagine how I could possibly love him any more; and yet when we wake in the morning I somehow love him more! My father and I had a special bond over something he would always say to me and now I will pass it on to Myles:

"I love you more today than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow."
My words to love by

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