As many of you know, I have three sons, ages 11, 5 and 3. Ever since getting pregnant with my fourth child, my friends and family have cheerily and optimistically expressed that they hope I have a girl this time. Usually in conversations like this, I admit that I would love to have a daughter, but that I will be happy either way.
I have tried so hard this pregnancy to leave my heart and mind open to having a fourth boy. We talk about girl and boy names, and pray for our baby to healthy and strong no matter what the gender. I also thought of a cute way to reveal the baby’s gender to Casey, who is still in Utah and will not be home to enjoy the moment with us. I took just as much care choosing the boy package as the girl package, and truly want both choices to be exciting to Casey, and to all of us.
Late last week I decided that for this week’s Family Home Evening, I wanted to discuss with my family why it is good to have a baby brother, and why it is good to have a baby sister. We did this family night on Sunday evening (July 10) just before bed.
Kamren didn’t have anything to say, but Rigel, Jad and I had a lovely conversation. Later on the phone, I also asked Casey’s opinion. Here is what we came up with.
Why it is good to have a baby brother:
Rigel – I will play with him and be sweet to him. I will want to play with him outside on the trampoline, swing on swings with him, push him on the swing, and eat with him.
Daddy – The baby will help me be a better dad, helping me be more responsible, and diligent in giving the kids responsibilities. I will want to be a better priesthood holder and example if we have another boy. I believe that if God wants us to have a boy, there is a reason. I will be motivated to lose weight to keep up with all those moving boys. The boys will have fun playing with their brother, and Kamren will have an opportunity to be a big brother to a boy.
Mommy – We will not need to go shopping for boy stuff because we have what we need. The boys will have another automatic best friend. The kids will have a lot in common and will play together well. We will have another future worthy priesthood holder in our home. I will have another boy to cuddle with me, and to motivate me to do sports. God gives us who we need, so a boy will be wonderful.
Casey – I will have someone to play with and be a friend to, who I can help learn and grow.
Why it is good to have a baby sister:
Rigel – I will play with her in my room, play outside with her, push her on the swing, and jump on trampoline with her. I will rock in the rocking chair with her, be gentle with her, and have fun with her outside with Mommy.
Daddy – I will be protective of her as her Dad. Having a girl will help me to watch what I say more. It will be a great feeling to have a girl, and will be a new experience for me. I will get to do her hair and do girl things with her, like make up games, playing with barbies, and teaching her how to sew and cook (two things I am good at).
Mommy – She is a girl so it would be nice to have another girl in the house. It would be so fun to dress a girl, and have girl stuff in the house, like dolls, ponies, princess movies and books, tea sets, etc. We will be able to do the Young Women’s program and Girls’ Camp together, and talk about girl stuff with each other. I can tell her what I know from my experiences too. Hopefully the boys will calm down a little with a sister, and be protective of her and gentle with her.
Casey – There will be someone for Mom to play with. It will be nice to learn how to have a sister, and to be gentle with her. She will be someone to play with and be a friend to.
Having this conversation really brought me peace. It was interesting to me that Casey and Rigel generally had the same reasons why having a baby brother or sister would be good. I had no doubt my boys would be happy either way. Jad and I had more complex, and differing reasons as to why having a son or daughter would be good, but we had plenty of good reasons for both.
When I found out Casey was a boy, I was overjoyed because just the idea of having a baby was amazing. With Rigel, I was surprised he was a boy because I was convinced he was a girl, but I wasn’t sad. But when I saw that little boyhood in my third ultrasound, with Kamren, I admit I was upset and had to get the pizza buffet at Pizza Hut to recuperate. That afternoon, when I told Casey that my third was a boy, he was really upset. That forced me to think of the blessing having another brother would be, and Kamren has truly been such a cherished blessing in our home.
All three of my boys are precious to me, and I can’t imagine my life without them. I truly believe that God gives us the children we are meant to raise.
I woke up this morning (July 12) excited, but nervous. On the way to UNC Hospital, I told Jad I was more nervous than I was before going on stage for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang because this knowledge will help change the direction of our lives.
We got to our appointment a little early, and everything went very smoothly. It was only minutes until I was sitting in the chair, having warm goo put on my tummy.
Rigel, Kamren, Jad and I looked at the screen, and got to hear the baby’s strong heartbeat. After some measuring and looking around at vital organs, I knew the gender reveal was coming up.
I never took my eyes from the screen, and then as I saw the camera go between the legs, I heard the ultrasound tech say the word “boy.”
Confusion came over me as I looked again. I said, “I don’t see a penis,” right as she started typing “Girl” on the screen.
“It’s a girl!” I exclaimed, my voice breaking as tears started streaming down my face. She had been asking if my oldest was a boy, not telling me I was having a boy.
Jad got emotional too, staring at our baby girl in wonder. I could see his excitement as he thought of the possibilities of being the Daddy of a little girl.
We were both so happy, it was overwhelming. The rest of the ultrasound was dedicated to the health of our baby, with some cute pictures here and there. I loved how the tech talked about “her” feet and “her” stomach, helping us really live in the moment.
Rigel really enjoyed the ultrasound, and could recognize a lot of the body parts. I really think he will go into medicine someday. Kamren’s behavior consisted of moving around in boredom, and occasionally making sure I was okay (he is very protective of me.)
We had to wait for a few minutes for the tech to show the photos and information to the OBGYN on duty. While we waited, and noticed the boys acting crazy as usual, Jad talked to them about having a sister and about how they need to be gentle with her.
When the doctor came in to see us, she optimistically informed us that our baby is growing well and is healthy.
Knowing our baby is healthy is even more wonderful than knowing she is a girl. We beamed all the way out to the car.
Jad suggested that we say a prayer before leaving the hospital. I said it, and I thanked Heavenly Father with pure gratitude for the ability to have the technology to know the gender of our baby. I couldn’t control my emotions as I thanked Him whole-heartedly for the opportunity to raise a little girl. It was a sweet, Spirit-filled moment in our minivan.
We spent some more time together as a family before Jad went back to work. It was Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-Fil-A, so we took the opportunity to get free breakfast.
All the while, I anxiously awaited to hear Casey’s reaction to opening package A. I finally heard from him just before 10AM. He was quite tired, having just woken up in California, but expressed his excitement over having a little sister.
I had sent him two DVDs. In the Girl package (labeled A), was a triple feature of The Swan Princess 1, 2, and 3. I thought it would be cool to send a princess movie for a girl, and a prince movie for a boy. I sent The Swan Princess specifically because one time I suggested the boys watch it and Casey said, “Do we have to watch princess movies?” My reply was that someday he may have a sister, and then he will definitely be watching plenty of them.
On the back of the DVD was a little note card for Casey to write his feelings. He wrote: I am so happy to have a sister to play and be a friend to.
After talking to Casey, I was able to message the rest of my and Jad’s family with the good news. I have loved reading their responses.
My mom said: I knew it! I am sooooo excited! Congrats my daughter!
And she did call it. She told me before that she knew it was a girl because she had had a dream about her. I must admit that last night and this morning, I had a feeling in my heart that I would be having a daughter too. I love the way the Lord speaks to us.
My cousin, Lisa’s, reaction very closely reflected my own: …Even if it was a boy I would have been ecstatic!…She’s got 3 big brothers who’ll watch over her and protect her…I am so happy and excited to get a girl cousin! I am close to tears…
I love every person in my family, and I know that having the first granddaughter on both sides, and our first daughter, will be a great blessing to all of us. My heart is full today!