The 21st week of my pregnancy was a very full one: finishing up my summer teaching, Gracie’s fifth birthday, my sister’s baby shower, and a Fourth of July/birthday party for 20-plus of our closest friends. But who cares about any of that–we had our ultrasound this week! Up till now, the male/female ratio in the house was even: four girls (mommy, daughter, girl cat, girl fish – hey Gracie came up with the tally!) and four boys (daddy, two brothers, boy fish). So we were curious who would “win” when we saw the ultrasound. Looks like we’ll have to go get another girl fish to keep things even around here, because Baby #4 is a boy!
The ultrasound was great, and Gracie got to come along with us to the appointment to see her new baby brother. She was pulling for a sister, but seemed okay once the big announcement was made. She was excited to see his little arms, legs, and feet all moving around on the screen, and it was cool that after four pregnancies, we actually knew what we were looking at and could point things out to her.
We told the boys when we got back to their Nana’s house to pick them up. Max was pretty funny about the whole thing. He’s been talking to my belly pretty regularly for the past two weeks, and has been insisting that the baby “told him” that it’s a boy. I was afraid of some serious issues if there turned out to be a baby sister in there, but after we revealed the big news, he just looked at us and said, “I know.” Like as in, “Duh, that’s what I’ve been telling you people for weeks; weren’t you paying attention?!”
Jack’s still a little too young to process the concept, but at least he’s finally figured out that “his” new baby is growing in Mommy’s tummy, not his own. For a while, we’d ask him where his eyes, nose, and mouth were, and he’d point to them; then we’d ask where New Baby was, and he’d lift his own shirt and point to his belly with a big grin on his face – close, but no cigar (but very, very cute!). Now he rubs my belly, gives New Baby kisses and hugs, and points to his little brother with pride when we talk about him. I think he’ll be a great big brother, at least until New Baby is old enough for the big boys to put him up to stuff. Then we’ll have to keep an eye on my ornery little Jack to make sure he’s not being a bad influence!
Everything else on the ultrasound looked pretty good. The baby is measuring right where he should for his gestational age, whereas the other boys were both a smidge on the big side at the 21-week ultrasound. All the internal organs until I breathed a huge sigh of relief after they all checked out okay.
The doctor was also pleased with my weight gain: Three pounds on the official scale in the five-week span (rather than 9, 11, and 13 during the same five weeks in my three previous pregnancies!). She also said that my blood sugar numbers looked good, with the exception of a very low reading on Gracie’s birthday. My theory is that between popcorn at the movies, then pizza afterward, I had a few more carbs than I was used to and crashed after processing them. I felt completely miserable, and discovered my low blood sugar when I checked out of curiosity. The doctor told me to just keep an eye on things, and to make sure I test my sugar levels if I feel yucky like that again. It’ll also keep me honest about carb counting and sticking to the gestational diabetes diet when misbehaving comes with the added deterrent of feeling sick to my stomach and ready to pass out!
Otherwise in the pregnancy, things are going well. My energy level is still pretty decent, and I find that most of the time I’m able to keep up with the kids and with projects around the house. I’m sleeping fairly well, and usually only getting up once a night if I get up at all. I wish the boys would let us sleep in past 6 a.m. every once in a while, but even after being up until 11 p.m. for fireworks, they were up at the crack of dawn. I’m starting to notice some occasional back pain, nothing that slows me down too badly, but enough that I make sure to throw on my sneakers when I’ll be doing lots of standing and walking around. I also totally look like a pregnant lady now when I try to hoist myself out of a recliner. What little abdominal strength I had is long gone, and I look completely ridiculous, but it is what it is, and will be like that for at least another 18 or 19 weeks.
Right now, we’re just thankful to be able to call New Baby a “him” rather than an “it,” and we’re thankful that so far everything looks healthy for our new little man. We were blessed to get a glimpse of cute little kissable lips as the ultrasound tech zoomed in and out on his face, and saw enough to believe that this one will look quite a lot like his brothers and sisters. It’s fun to see how this little piece of our family puzzle will fit into the picture we already have, and knowing his gender helps make the vision just a little clearer. Now comes the adventure of figuring out where all these precious children will sleep once he makes his appearance, and trying to figure out a name: Two things we’d been avoiding thinking about until after we found out what we were having. Procrastination time’s over and the clock’s ticking now – wish us luck!