Monday, November 15, 2010

Do you always find out?

I had a friend comment on my last blog post, and as I wrote my reply I realized it was long enough to be its own blog post.

She asked me if we always find out what we're having.  Here is our history:

We didn't find out with Micah, but the u/s tech said "Are you sure you don't want to know, I can really tell?"  LOL  We wanted to with Eden but the u/s tech said he didn't see any "boy parts" but felt they could still appear anywhere up to 28 weeks.  We did with Caleb, Zeke, and Josh.  With Zeke, Mitch wasn't able to be at the u/s, so I had her put a picture and the gender in an envelope for us to open together later.  With Malachi we decided not to find out.  That was actually a bad thing for me in the end.  I was really hoping for a girl, to be honest.  During one u/s while I was sick with a kidney stone, the tech asked if I wanted to know...I said no and she said "oh I'm glad I asked because it is right there."  Then she accidentally used the "he" pronoun.  So I was kind of tipped off, but still held out hope for a girl.  Everyone said, "Oh, you won't care once you have the baby in your arms!"  But I did.  And that came with a whole lot of emotional baggage, especially guilt.  So I decided there was no way I would pass up the opportunity to find out ever again.  When I found out Tirzah was a girl, I literally cried!  I thought I might cry if it was a boy...LOL.  I cried anyway.  This time it's not as big of a deal.  I "feel" like it is a girl, but I don't think that I would feel sad or disappointed if it is a boy.  Whatever the gender, I look forward to months to prepare for his/her arrival.  There will still be plenty of unknowns and excitement to go around!!  Like Caleb says, "You don't know what the baby will be like...if it will be nice or mean..."  LOL

I want to explain a little more about the guilt I felt over gender in the past.  I didn't only feel it with Malachi, but in previous pregnancies too.  You see, we sort of had this "agreement" that we would have 2 girls and 2 boys (and actually Mitch always said that he wanted 8 children...guess he is getting what he wants!).  We even had 2 girl names and 2 boy names picked out--Eden, Hannah, Micah, and Caleb.  So along came Micah, then Eden, then Caleb, and Ezekiel???  This wasn't part of the plan!  Oh well, by the time we knew that Zeke was on the way I wasn't really disappointed he was a boy, it was more that my pride was bruised.  I had pridefully declared he would be our 2nd girl.  So then baby #5 must be a girl, right?  I had to have a Hannah!!  Ok, so I was disappointed when he turned out to be a boy instead of a girl.  I remember whining a little to some friends on a message board.  One friend sent me a private message and asked for my mailing address.  Very shortly a wonderful package arrived in the mail with an adorable maternity shirt which proudly proclaimed my special boy package I was carrying.  It made me feel a million times better.  I quickly identified that my "issue" wasn't really with whether the baby is a boy or girl--don't we all wish for a healthy baby?

My issue was a wardrobe issue.  I wanted to trade in the blues and greens and frogs and turtles for pinks and purples and ribbons and bows.  After Joshua we considered just being "done".  Of course, I really still wanted another girl.  But there were some different kinds of seeds that God was planting in my heart.  These were an attitude of control.  Just as God is in control of the gender of our baby, God is in control of whether we even conceive a baby.

When I became pregnant with Malachi, I somehow had this thought in my mind that "this is it, I'm trusting God and he is going to reward me with the desire of my heart." doesn't work that way!  You can't manipulate gifts out of God!  Not only was he not a girl, but Malachi was a very difficult baby.  His difficulties seemed multiplied by the fact that he came on the heels of super-easy-going Joshua.  What?!  Why this?  It was a hard time of life all around (this was also during the whole move-to-Texas drama).

God has taught me so much through that.  Including that babies are special blessings no matter what kind of package they come wrapped in and no matter what our lives look like on the outside.  In the midst of chaos, there is peace in accepting one of these precious gifts.  Malachi is still not an easy child.  He came out crying and he has hardly stopped since (even this afternoon he spent 30 min in a very loud cry that left him hoarse at the end).  But he has a million-dollar smile that seriously makes it worth it.

I am filled with joy...God is teaching me to trust Him to fill me with the Spirit and to produce peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control.     

Wow, that was really long and I feel a little like I got off track from the original question...but if you made it this far, thanks!  :)  I was originally going to write only the first paragraph, but the rest of it just seemed important to follow.

Oh, would you like to know what happened to "Hannah"?  Well, my brother and his wife happened to find out they were having a girl a couple months before we found out that Tirzah was a girl...they named her Hannah. :)  It's all good--I really love the name Tirzah.  I'm glad we chose it.


  1. I love this post and I can relate. I struggle with the guilt too...I joked about never having a girl and I felt guilty dreaming of having a girl some day. (Who am I to make such a request of God? How could I not be happy with the blesinsg I had?) I had decided God was growing me with all these boys...and then...He gave us a girl and guess what...I love her to pieces more than I loved the boys and yet..there is something new and different about raising a daughter. I am looking forward to hearing you announce your newest blessing's gender. (hugs)

  2. I always find out. I just like preparing myself like you said. I agree totally with the qf thing- it's giving it all over to God, number, gender, personality, the whole works.

    Did I know you're in Texas? It would be fun to get together in real life sometime. Of course, it's a big state.


  3. No, we never made it to Texas. Mitch went down to Houston and taught there for 11 weeks before resigning and coming home to Minnesota. Our house never sold. :( That is a story I blogged about as we went through it, but perhaps some day I will blog about my perspective since then. I'm still trying to figure out what that part of our life was all about! :) We were so certain that God was telling us to move there, but then our house never sold. It was a confusing time, for sure! I'm still not sure what we learned from that.

  4. Just another one of those times when you should have listened to me! LOL When I was pregnant with VJ I said I HAD to find out... if we were having a boy I needed to prepare myself for a life of being outnumbered (because we kind of thought at that point IF we had more, it would only be one more), and if we were having a girl I wanted to buy lots of cute girly things because I literally had NOTHING for a girl. Honestly, I think knowing helps the other kids (and hubby!) to bond better with the baby before they're born. (Just my opinion of course. *grin*)

    Don't you love how God works on our hearts? I can't imagine life without any of my kids (though there are days when I'd love to give one or more of them up -- at least for a little while! LOL), even the difficult ones. In fact, I was just thinking last night (panicking a bit, if I'm honest) about the fact that J hasn't been a good sleeper EVER and how am I going to get ANY sleep with a nearly 2 yr old that doesn't sleep through the night and a newborn? Good thing God is my strength!! ")

  5. We had our own "Texas moment," only it was Orlando for us. I went back to read your blog last night about that time in your life. Thanks for sharing your story with us. It's been 10 years since the Orlando part of our story and I still don't really know why I had to move there nine months pregnant, give birth to Rachel, and then move back to MN when she was 2 weeks old! I'm certain there were life lessons in that six week period, and some days I feel like I'm STILL learning them!