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God has blessed me tremendously with an amazing husband, Doug, and two gorgeous little boys, Gavin and Joey. It has always been a dream of mine to have a large family but God may have other plans. I had a series of 6 consecutive early miscarriages when trying for baby #2. We are currently trying for baby #3 after our 7th miscarriage. I am faithful that God's plan is perfect, even when I am not happy about it. I love comments and meeting new followers so please don't be shy!

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Unwanted Abortion

When I had my first miscarriage I had to get my blood levels drawn every couple of days. I hated that each time I went to the lab, I had to look down at the piece of paper in my hand that read, "Missed Abortion." I know that in the medical community that the terms abortion and miscarriage are interchangeable, but there is nothing more devastating than to feel like my loss was an abortion. To me, and most of the world, an abortion is when the mother chooses to terminate her pregnancy. I didn't have any choice in this. I was having a miscarriage.

Since my first loss, I have become very sensitive to not just the term "abortion," but the fact that so many women were actually choosing to abort their babies while I, a very willing and able mother, couldn't carry to term the babies that I very much wanted. Many say that abortion should be a choice left up to the woman. After all, it is her body, right? I didn't get to make that choice? I have come to grips with my losses, but I still detest my losses being referred to as abortions.

I do think, since it is our body, that we should be given the choice. I believe that we have a choice every time we choose to have sex. I don't mean just "unprotected" sex because we know that abstinence is the only sure thing when it comes to avoiding pregnancy. If a woman chooses to have sex, regardless of birth control methods, then part of that choice is the potential that she may become pregnant. A result of pregnancy is becoming a mother, God willing. That is the choice that I believe every woman should be able to make.

While men should be a part of that decision before the fun begins, sadly they often choose in the moment and when that moment is over... "Uh... I didn't sign up to be a dad. This is your problem." I think that women (or girls) should take this into consideration when choosing to have sex. She is choosing, as she decides to take part in the fun, that she could be a single mom raising a baby on her own. You would think that that would take the "fun" right out of it.

I know. I know. What about when the woman doesn't get a choice regarding having sex? What about rape? This, while it may seem to be an odd time to bring up God in this discussion, is when I really look to Him. The odds of a woman becoming pregnant from a single sexual assault
are 2-4%. Based on the statistics for a couple trying to achieve pregnancy there is a 15 to 25% chance of becoming pregnant each ovulatory cycle. Based on a 28 day cycle a woman has approximately a 17% chance of being victimized on a day that could potentially lead to pregnancy. So with this information, one could estimate that odds of a woman becoming pregnant from a single occurrence of rape is only 2-4%. Factoring in the odds that as many as 40-50 percent of women have early miscarriages, often before they even knew they were pregnant, means that 1-2% would truly be faced with a pregnancy. So with those statistics in mind, God must really want that life to be created. Everything happens for a reason and maybe that child who is a product of rape is sent from God to our Earth to cure cancer or AIDS or some other currently untreatable disease. God doesn't make mistakes. Saying that women should be able to choose to abort their babies is quite likely what is preventing us from saving the lives of children, mothers, fathers, and spouses who are dying, waiting for a cure.

It saddens me that millions of babies are being killed by choice and then, there are women, like me, that have to walk around with a piece of paper that reminds them that they are unwillingly losing the baby that they tried for weeks, months, and for some, years, to create. In these cases, these women would chose life every single time. Guaranteed. I wish every woman would.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

If someone want to make millions of dollars almost overnight, they should invest their time and money into discovering a pregnancy test that can tell a woman almost instantaneously if they are pregnant. From my own experience and spending time on message boards, women spend a ton of money on pregnancy tests when they are trying to conceive. Some, including me, although I am a bit ashamed of my habits, will start taking pregnancy tests well before it is even reasonable to believe that one could get a positive pregnancy test. Even though we are all bright enough to realize that it is impossible to know if you are pregnant 2 days after ovulation, it couldn't hurt to try, right? Before I ever happened upon message boards dedicated to family and family building I had never heard of "IC" tests. IC stands for Internet Cheapy test. From the internet, you can purchase pregnancy tests that are less than a dollar a piece. I have only ever ordered tests from one site but while having cheap test to use may help quell the insatiable urge to pee on something, the results tend to be, at best, inconclusive. This is, unless, you are one of the strong ones who can actually wait for a full 12- 14 days after expected conception.

So if you are of the variety that wants to know if you are expecting faster, sooner, with less guess work then you have to get ready to pay for the quality tests. First Response Early Results are good tests that often give you clear answers. It is worth the money if you don't want to spend the better part of your day deciding if what you see is a true positive, true negative, a figment of your imagination, or just wishful thinking. Then there is always the sure thing, the digital test. It is great to get the answer spelled out for you, unless of course it has a NOT on it. That part stinks.

So back to my idea of getting rich quick... If a woman will spend up to 40-50 dollars a month to test repeatedly to find out if she is pregnant, then imagine how much she would spend to know, for sure, immediately after intercourse. I am willing to guess that 75 dollars would fall out of my hand in an instant. Maybe more.

Doug asked me today why I was feeling so anxious. I couldn't find the words to explain how I just wanted to know... NOW... if we were pregnant. I used IC tests over the last few days (much too early) just so I could satiate my urge to test. Then, today, when I felt like I had waited long enough, I spent the big bucks on a name brand test. And, after watching the test dry and staring at it in every light possible, I see nothing. I know it is still early but if only someone out there would come up with the miracle of all pregnancy tests I would be in a much happier place. I would either know to start taking my Welcome Womb or get geared up to try again next month. Could someone reading this who knows people in high places please put this on a suggestion card. It would save me, and tons of other couples, a lot of headaches for two weeks out of the month.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I Think I'm Losing It

A couple of months after Joey was born I realized exactly how unshapely I had become. I had lost quite a bit of weight from breast feeding around the clock but I was looking more like Jabba the Hut than a proud new mom. Since Doug and I had agreed that we were not going to wait long before trying for baby #3, I wanted... rather... I needed to do something to get into shape. Quick.

I had seen a sign on the side of the freeway that read MMA Fit- Train Like A Fighter. Considering that at one point or another during what I will call my "youth" I had a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and had a job for a couple of years as a bouncer at a night club, I thought that this would be right up my alley. I looked at the website and, while perhaps a bit intimidated by the photos of well built men and skinny ladies, I decided that this was just what I needed to whoop my behind into a shape other than dumpy.

My first week or two I knew instantly how much a 10 pound baby destroys your stomach muscles. I could barely start many of the exercises let alone hold them for the 30 seconds, 60 seconds, or other incredibly impossible amount of time the instructor would call out. I would lay there feeling like a fish on shore. My body would curl up, my eyes wide open, panting, and searching for someone else's gaze to commiserate with my sheer exhaustion.

After a couple of weeks of what many might call masochism, I started to feel stronger. I noticed that the jeans that I had crammed my body into a couple of months postpartum, would actually pull up without me doing that hip shimmy thing. A few weeks after that, I shocked myself by going to the bathroom and when I was getting ready to pull up those same jeans, I realized that I had pulled them down without unbuttoning or unzipping them. I pulled them down like maternity jeans!

I still have a lot of work to do to get to my ideal weight but I feel so much better about the possibility of becoming pregnant now. I will be starting off lighter than I did with either of my children. And, if it should take me a while to have a happy and healthy pregnancy, I will just be that much healthier when it does happen. Thanks so much to MMA Fit!(Facebook)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Traditions Make Memories

Since my mother holds the title of Chef and Hostess Extraordinaire we don't try to compete when it comes to hosting for the holidays. We do want to make sure that we contribute to the festivities and decided that we would have my parents, my brother and my sister in-law over for a light lunch on Christmas day before the Christmas dinner extravaganza that my mother would put on. We agreed that on the menu would be veggies with a low-fat version of spinach dip (substituting Greek yogurt for the sour cream and using 1/3 fat cream cheese), fresh fruit with a low fat fruit dip, and turkey and garlic hummus on our very own fresh baked bread.
On Christmas Eve we ground the 3 1/2 cups of wheat flour that we needed for our bread. We went to church that evening, had dinner with my parents and returned home. We tucked the boys in their beds and got to work on our bread. We ensured that we had everything that we needed and thank goodness we did since otherwise we would have been having bread-less sandwiches. Not to mention, that would be a whole other tradition that I don't think we wanted to start.
I worked at the stove mixing the wet ingredients to 120 degrees while Doug worked at the table mixing the divided dry ingredients.

We then mixed them together to form the start of the dough.
While the recipe called for a mixer we used a very special mixer that we call "Doug" on medium for a few minutes. And then added the remaining flour and kneaded the dough until it became smooth and elastic.

Then we made the dough into the shape of a ball and placed it in a greased bowl and left it to rise for about an hour.
While we had been prepared for a very long night I am not sure that we realized exactly how long it was going to be. As a result, while we continued to follow the recipe and formed the dough into two loves and let it rise again, somehow we forgot to take any pictures. But after baking the loves for about 45 minutes this is what the results were.

The bread turned out quite tasty. It was a bit on the dense side but worked very well as tea sandwiches. Overall, I think our Christmas lunch was a success and created fond memories of our first bread baking Christmas.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Potty Training Fast, but Not Easy

Shortly after finding out that I was pregnant with Joey I realized that if there were going to be any major changes going on in Gavin's life it was time to get them underway long before the baby came. First we started with the "big boy bed". He hadn't ever tried to get out of his crib but since we were planning on using it for Joey, it was time for bigger and better things for Gavin. That was a remarkably easy transition for all of us. Thank goodness!!! One major change down. One to go. It was time to go potty.

A number of moms on various on-line locations had made reference to the 3 Day Potty Training Method. From reading comments I had a vague understanding of the premise of this method and thought, "Why not? It can't be that hard if everyone is doing it." So, after checking out the site, I ordered the E-Book. A few weeks later, after Gavin turned 2 I decided it was time to read the book and bite the bullet. That Sunday night I read the E-book, which is a really easy read, with every intention of starting the next morning. I really should have read the book a few times in the days leading up to our start date but, I had already made up my mind that Monday was "the" day. No more diapers for us.

On Monday morning I followed the books directions to a T. Perhaps I should say to a "P"ee because I think Gavin must have peed 30 times and not one time did a single drop touch a potty. I knew that it was to be expected since I hadn't really even attempted to get him on a potty in the past but, sheesh. This was not going well. On Tuesday, I had a new lease on the potty training situation and was feeling confident that it could only get better. By Tuesday night it had gotten better but only slightly. Very slightly. It had become a battle of wills. I knew this was in direct violation of the book's directions but I just knew that he had to go potty but he didn't want anything to do with sitting on it until the dribble would start. Then the dribble would be promptly followed by a scream and before I could say, "OK", he would be standing in a puddle screaming and crying. I, wanting to avoid this situation, would try to make him sit on the potty which only led to more screaming and crying. After Gavin had gone to bed, I turned to Doug and just started crying. Not just a tear or two, but full fledged sobbing, complete with a snotty nose. I explained that I just didn't think I could do it anymore. I couldn't put Gavin through it. I couldn't put myself through it. It just was too early for Gavin to be potty trained. Doug, in his always rational and soothing manner, reminded me that the book is called the 3 day method. If it was supposed to work in 2 days they would have called it that. He also reminded me that the book says that some kids get it on day three and some it may take a few extra days to get it completely. I agreed to give it the third day before throwing in the towel.

On Wednesday it was like I had a new kid. I am not exaggerating. It was like I put him to bed as a frustrated, confused, diaper wanting toddler and when he woke up a light bulb had switched on. The day wasn't without a few accidents but he was totally understanding what we were doing. I suddenly felt less like I was doing something to him and more like I was helping him with something.

I can honestly say that since Day 4 to the present I can probably count the number of accidents he has had on one hand. And now, just shy of his 3rd birthday, he is nearly independent in the bathroom. He does still need help with wiping and if his pants have a snap but all in all, he was potty trained in 3 days! Next to natural child birth, this may have been one of the toughest things I have ever done but it was so worth it in the end!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Think of Eternity

About 5 years ago when Doug and I were just dating he was showing me how to use my new PDA. You know, it was one of those devices that people used to keep appointments, meetings, phone numbers, etc. long before the blackberry or iphone. It had the ability to "beam" meetings or other information from one device to the other and the item that Doug "beamed" me was a reminder to "Think of Eternity". When I saw it appear on my PDA screen I asked him what that was, thinking maybe it was a book he was reading or some TV show I hadn't heard of. He just explained that he put that on his PDA to remind him to do just that, think of eternity.

I always knew that Doug was a deep thinker but I was almost intimidated by the fact that he had a daily reminder to think of eternity. But, this event was now on my PDA and I saw that line, "Think of Eternity," every morning. I challenged myself to do just that. At first when I thought about eternity it was almost overwhelming. At the risk of sounding like an idiot, an eternity is a really really long time! My 98 year old grandmother has been around longer than anyone I have ever known personally. I wonder if her life has seemed like an eternity. Ninety-eight years is a really long time but when I think of my 34 years of life I don't think of them as being that long. High school doesn't seem all that long ago. When I find myself reminiscing I often want to say that it was "like 10 years ago when..." then I realize that it was closer to 15 years ago. Sometimes 20. Actually, my life hasn't felt like a long time at all. Hopefully, I am still just in the beginning half of my life but even if I live to be 90 I don't think I will feel like I have been around for more than a blink in respect to eternity.

So when I do die, as we all will someday, I know that I will spending an eternity either with God or in hell. If my lifetime is just a split second in the realm of eternity, an eternity in hell is a huge deal. I know that I have made mistakes in my life and before I thought of eternity, my thoughts were more along the lines of , "Gee, I hope I don't go to hell for this." Now, seeing as how God tells us what we need to do in order to spend eternity in heaven, how incredibly stupid would I be to chose to disobey him or pretend like God doesn't care what I do. It isn't just a matter of hanging out in a dark evil place for a while like a really bad summer camp where after what may feel like eternity, your parents show up to take you home. God isn't going to take me out of a time out and tell me how naughty I have been and then welcome me into heaven. I need to do exactly what he has told me to do. I need to do it consciously and with Him in my heart.

I don't claim to know the answers. I don't even know that if I died today that I would go to heaven. I do know that I am so very thankful that my husband beamed that message to me to think of eternity. I hope that anyone that reads this takes just a few seconds to "Think of Eternity." Maybe it will change your perspective, as it changed mine.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Table For Five?

Since I was a little girl, like most other little girls, I always wanted to be a mom. I do remember thinking that being pregnant would be quite scary. Not because I would be responsible for another life but for the fact that there would be a human living inside of me for 9 months, kicking me the whole time. Then there was the issue of needing to push that human out of a very small hole. How frightening. Little did I know how much I would love being pregnant.

I won't pretend like I enjoyed throwing up routinely. I didn't particularly like the hip and back pain especially when trying to get some rest. Also not a big fan of needing to go to the bathroom more often than those people on the commercials with urinary frequency issues. Along those lines, I also didn't enjoy having to clench every muscle I had when I sneezed to prevent peeing myself and needing to carry extra underwear, like my 2 year old, in the event a sneeze snuck up on me. What I just can't seem to get enough of is the awareness of the amazing miracle that is taking place during a pregnancy. The fact that 2 microscopic things came together and forms a human being complete with functioning organs and limbs grown inside of me. Then we get to meet this little person that is part of us. To me, it is just almost too profound and thrilling to put it into words. Just miraculous.

So, while most families these days would be finished after having two children I just can't imagine living the rest of my life without getting to experience pregnancy again... at least once. I certainly have my hands full with two children but I am eager to expand our family. Since my cycles have returned to pretty close to normal we have actively started trying for number three.

With as much as I want to have more babies I must admit that I fear getting pregnant. I am so hopeful that my history of recurrent miscarriages is behind me since discovering the Welcome Womb, but my rational brain also reminds me that just because I had a successful pregnancy using the herbs, doesn't mean the herbs are what did it. Could have just been coexisting variables but I truly hope that wasn't the case. Nevertheless, even if I do have to go down the road of miscarriage again, I know that the journey is so worth experiencing the miracle of life again.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Look Out! Big Baby Coming Through!!

A few days before my due date and scheduled induction I had an ultrasound that had estimated Joseph to weigh 9 pounds 11 ounces give or take a pound. My first thought was of course that I was very much hoping for the “take a pound” as opposed to the “give” part of the technicians comment. I was thoroughly planning for a delivery with no epidural or other pain relief but that number scared me. A lot. I first called a dear friend of mine who I knew delivered a 10 pound baby with no epidural AND she was induced so I knew I needed a pep talk. She assured me that I could do it and told me about a phrase that her husband repeated to her that helped. It was, “You can do anything for a minute.” I went home and prayed that I would go into labor on my own. I didn’t.

A few days later, on Thursday July 15th, 2010, we went to the hospital at 7:30 am. I got the IV , Pitocin started and the monitors put on and since I was really hoping to not be strapped to a bunch of things, I asked the nurse how long I would have to be monitored. She looked at me like I had lobsters crawling out of my ears. I explained to her that I wanted to be able to stand up and move around. She side stepped the question by telling me that she would ask my doctor. A few hours passed and my husband and I just chatted a bit, watched some TV and kept everyone posted about my status, or lack thereof, via phone calls and text messages. My friend, Michael, came to take pictures in the early afternoon although my contractions were still easy to tolerate. I had been checked a couple of times and I was only dilated to 2 cm. After my contractions started to pick up to the point I was grimacing and asking my husband to stand by me so I could hold his hand, I was checked again. “A good 2 ½!” he said. I couldn’t believe that was it. I thought for sure I would have had more progress than that. It was then that I asked the resident about getting out of the bed and moving around seeing as how the hospital bed couldn’t possibly be any more uncomfortable. He gave me a very sympathetic look and explained that it was not looked highly upon by the hospital to move around during labor. He even explained how it is actually better for getting labor to progress by using gravity (blah blah blah - I knew this… hence me wanting to move!) but they still don’t do it. So when my OB stopped in an hour or so later she told me she was going to break my water and put in the internal monitors. I thought for sure that would mean a bit more freedom in the room. She broke my water and inserted the internal fetal monitor and left telling be she would be back later to check on me. So, while the contractions were starting to really pick up I still wanted to move. I asked the nurse again about moving around and she told me that I was to not move at all since the baby’s head wasn’t engaged and if I moved the cord could come down first. So Greatttttttt! Stranded in the awful bed for the rest of the day.

My labor was really picking up and I was starting to zone out during my contractions. I was watching Judge Judy (4 o’clock or so) or rather staring at the screen between contractions. There was a case between two lesbians and the one woman’s last name was Massengill. That was the last time I recall laughing until after Joseph was born.

The contractions were getting tougher and tougher to breathe through. I had started to really need to focus, squeeze Doug’s hand, and the sweating started. They checked me and I was only at 4 cm. I was still determined to deliver this baby with no pain relief and so Doug started reminding me, with every contraction, “You can do anything for a minute.” That reminder seemed to be coming faster and faster with less time to recover. It was now about 6 o’clock and I was feeling as if I couldn’t go much longer. The tears started coming and the pleading with Doug to remind me that I was going to do this pain free this time but I would certainly get the epidural next time. So, the nurse checked me again and told me I was dilated to 7 cm. That is when the real tears started. Only 7!? I felt as if I had been in labor for days in that atrocious bed. I turned to Doug and said, “I need something. Something IV. Just so I can rest. I am too tired to do this.” He asked me several times if I was SURE that I wanted drugs. I said I was so very sure, so he told the nurse when she came back in the room. She looked at me with a face I will never forget. “Aw, honey. We can’t give you anything IV after you are 5 cm.” I was so devastated thinking that I was just going to lose my mind when the next contraction started. A few contractions later the nurse asked me if I was feeling any pressure. I thought about it for a second and realized that I was feeling some pressure. It was only a few contractions later that I started feeling an uncontrollable urge to push. I was sitting up on my left hip and telling the nurse, “Oh! I am pushing!?”

She quickly tells me not to push and she is going to check me. She checks me and tells me not to push because I have a bit of cervix left and it could damage my cervix if I push. At that moment, my body didn’t give two craps about my cervix because despite every effort to not push, I was pushing. The nurse made a call and this is when the controlled chaos began. I remember her saying to whoever was on the other end of the phone, “I have got a woman here who is really pushy.” My first thought was, “I am trying to be nice. I don’t want to be that pushy lady that doesn‘t listen.” Then I realized what she meant by pushy. The nurse had her hand between my legs and was holding the baby’s head. That was terribly uncomfortable. I was still on my hip looking over my shoulder at the faces coming in the room. They all looked puzzled and nervous. I heard one person ask another, “Where is the doctor?” and the other answered, “She said she would be here in fifteen minutes and that was fifteen minutes ago.” At this point I didn’t care who caught this baby, I was pushing him out. Now. I was still announcing to the room that I was pushing and everyone in the room would answer back, “Don’t push! Don’t push!” to which I would answer with an emphatic, “IIIIIIIII’M PUSHING!” I was looking over my shoulder periodically to look for my doctor and was thrilled when I saw her frantically scrubbing her hands at the sink. They put the stirrups up and I put one leg up, then the other. I saw the doctor slide into position and I went ahead and pushed with everything I had. This time I heard my doctor’s voice chiming in with everyone else, “Don’t push!” Then I swear I hear the doctor exhale in defeat when she said, “Okay just one little push.” Then, the next thing I knew the weight of Joseph’s body was resting on my stomach. I couldn’t believe it. There he was. All 10 pounds 3 ounces of him. The instant pain relief I felt coupled with the reality that I had just delivered my second son was euphoric.

My nurse awarded Doug the “Best Coach Ever” award. He was very proud of that award but I was prouder that he stayed right by my side and helped me through what was so challenging, yet so rewarding.

Our beautiful baby boy, Joseph William was born on July 15th at 7:09 pm.

Friday, January 14, 2011

33 Weeks and 39,000 Feet

I knew that my brother and his fiance were planning a wedding but I just didn't know when. Nor did they. I would ask and ask and their response was always a season, never a month, let alone an actual date. So when I was about 8 or 9 weeks pregnant they announced that they had chosen a date. When they said the date I was quickly doing the calculations in my head... Mid May would put me at 33 weeks. In most cases this wouldn't be the biggest deal but given that we are in Ohio and the wedding was in California complicated matters.

At first Dr. Nanapaneni wasn't going to let me go at all until I pretty much told her that I would be going barring any signs of early labor. She finally conceded that "they DO have hospitals in California I guess." I did my homework and made sure I was familiar with the hospitals both in California and in Colorado, where we had a layover. So, in May, we boarded a plane.

Flying pregnant was no treat. Flying pregnant with a 2 year old, newly potty trained, who had never been on a plane before, was like a reality show challenge. I was cramped and uncomfortable but taking Gavin to the bathroom at least 20 times was a real task. He would walk gracefully down the aisle to the bathroom. When I would open the door he would instantaneously burst into tears and scream, "NO!!!" We figured out after about 7 attempts that he didn't like the potty because it "isn't a white potty." He did finally go pee but only after he must have realized that he simply couldn't hold out any longer. After we got past that first time in the bathroom hurdle you would think it would be smooth sailing but, alas, it was not. This continued the entire flight. Up the aisle to the bathroom. Screaming and crying all the way to the seats again with me waddling behind and my belly nearly knocking people in their heads.

After the longest trip ever, we made it to California and really enjoyed spending time with family from all over the country and meeting our new family from California and Oregon. The wedding was probably the best wedding I have ever been to. It was a gorgeous location, much like stepping into the pages of a bridal magazine. Especially for a small town girl like myself who had only been to church weddings followed by a reception at a banquet hall. We had a blast and while I looked forward to sleeping in my own bed again, that meant getting on another airplane.

The return trip was much better since we managed to get Gavin to take a couple of naps. Between that an the inordinate amount of honey wheat pretzels, the trip was much more peaceful. Thank goodness.

I was now clearly in my last trimester and now I had to start going to the doctor twice a week for non-stress tests and ultrasounds due to elevated HCG numbers earlier on. While I argued if there was really a need, Dr. Nanapaneni warned me that the risk of IUGR (Intrauterine Growth Restriction) as it related to elevated HCG was worth watching out for. The last months of my pregnancy flew past as I went to the doctor twice a week. By the end, I was ready.

As Long As She's Healthy...

As time went on I started feeling better and better about the pregnancy. The next milestone that we had all been waiting for was finding out the gender. I had toyed with the idea of having it be a surprise but Doug really wanted to know so I gave in without too much tugging. I had an appointment on the 13th of February when I was 18 weeks to have an ultrasound and hopefully find out the gender. Since Gavin's birthday was the next day I decided that I would have the bakery make a cake in either pink or blue so that when we cut the cake everyone, except Doug and I, of course, could learn the gender at the same time.

I know they say that every pregnancy is different and that you can't compare them to determine gender but because I was having so much morning sickness, totally different cravings, and just feeling different, I just knew this baby was a girl. According to every old wives tale, Chinese gender calendar, and online quiz, my baby was all girl. So I laid on the ultrasound table anxiously waiting for them to scan the goods! I watched the screen intently and when she began looking at the genitals, it was obvious. My baby girl had a penis. She was a he.

I was thankful that I had gone to the appointment alone. I managed to smile and say, "That is totally a penis." when the technician asked me if I saw what she saw. But, in my head, a totally different dialogue was going on. "A boy. Okay. It's another boy. This is not what I thought I was going to hear. But what about the girl? Oh, my mom is going to be sad that she can't make pink dresses with frills and lace. I think Doug will be happy with another boy." This very unenthusiastic conversations with myself lasted throughout the remainder of the appointment as they told me that everything was healthy and normal on the ultrasound. That was great news, but he was still all boy.

I started driving home and actually cried a little. I knew it was ridiculous to be crying but I just felt so let down. Then, like a light switch flicking on, I started getting really excited. I started thinking about how much fun Gavin was going to have playing with a little brother. I thought about how close they would become and how much I just loved being Gavin's mommy that being a mommy to another little boy was going to be just as much fun. It may have taken a little while but, Oh my! I was having another boy! How exciting!

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