Oh yes, there was an actual ultrasound that went along with our fun gender reveal, too. It was on Thursday afternoon and we dropped Truman off at Lori's for the scan that day. I drank the recommended amount of water (freaking 24 ounces) but instead of slamming it in 30 minutes I was a rebel and took 45 minutes. I am so wild this second time around. Still had to pee like a mad woman but not the point of tears, like I was with Truman's scan. The tech asked us right away if we wanted to know the sex, and we said yes but we wanted him to write it down and not actually tell or show us during the scan. He asked us to turn our head within the first 5 minutes of the 45 minute scan and we had to do that a few more times throughout. Do you know how difficult this was for two Type A planners?? But the tech said he knew the sex, printed out the ultrasound picture with the sex on it, and placed it in my little envelope right away. He gave us a 99% chance of being correct, and with Truman he'd given us a 99.9% chance. This made Nate assume that this baby must also be a boy, because if it was a girl the tech might not have been so sure. But I left that ultrasound thinking this was all girl because I could have sworn the tech said 'she' once after he'd seen the private parts. So both Nate and I left that room feeling 'sure' that we knew the sex, and we both had different guesses.
Of course, there was a lot more to this ultrasound than just getting the money shot: a heart with four chambers, heart rate of 158, a 'beautifully perfect' cerebellum without any extra fluid on the brain or extra nuchal fold at the neck to indicate Down Syndrome, a straight spine, good kidneys, bladder, lungs, an umbilical cord that is appropriately placed, a good placenta and cervix. I cannot tell you how relieved I feel after this scan, although I still wanted to hear that official 'everything is normal' statement from my OB's office. I got that call on Monday and let out an audible sigh. As Nate says, I can't ever just relax and be 100% happy, always have to worry about something:)
Baby girl was a little stubborn with her positioning, just like her big brother was. The tech said that only one out of ever 20-30 babies give him a hard time with getting the right measurements and both of my kids (!!) made him earn his money. Both times the tech thought I would need to return for a second scan but the babes turned at the last minute and give him what he needs. This child was moving around just fine but definitely preferred to be balled up, just chilling in the fetal position. So.In.Love.
Here is my reveal post with Truman. He was in the 58th percentile for growth, and 13 ounces. This baby is in the 70th percentile for growth, and 14 ounces. I think it's astonishing how different these two kiddos look already, but I know these scans aren't exactly high-def.
Before the Big Reveal:
I couldn't sleep the night before this big reveal. I was wide awake from 2:30 am until 5:30 am just dreaming about what was going to be in that box (plus thinking about switching Truman to a big boy bed, and whether or not we would get this house we want so badly). In my heart I really thought this baby was a girl, but I never had that true 'gut feeling' until after the ultrasound. And on our drive out to the photoshoot the next day, I was counseling myself to not feel disappointed if blue balloons flew out of the box. Obviously, another boy would be amazing because it's what we know, and Truman would probably love a little brother 2 years his junior. But for some reason, I started to get really attached to the idea of a little girl this time----one of each in our little family. Frills and pinks and a mother-daughter relationship that would surely make my life seem even more fulfilled. I tried to stay focused on the bottom line: that any healthy baby would be whole-heartedly welcomed and loved, no matter what color of balloons we'd see.
The details of the shoot:
Way back in June or July, I found this pin on Pinterest--yes, before I was even pregnant this time. I just knew that if and when I got my chance again, I wanted to do this gender reveal with balloons in a box. Once I was pregnant again, I remember sending the link to my friend Erin, asking her if she wanted to help out with the logistics of the shoot. She happily accepted and proceeded to be even more excited about it all than I was, if that is even possible. I asked my friend Dizzy to help with the shoot as well, and she shot the video for us. After showing Andrea the link to this idea, she jumped at the chance to be our official photographer. We were all set, and then the emails started flying.
I decided to give Erin the golden envelope that contained the 'money shot' ultrasound picture right away---literally, as soon as we drove back from the scan, I met Erin at Lori's (since we were both picking up our boys at that time anyway) and forked it over. Talk about having something burn a hole into your pocket---I am still proud of myself for not even peeking a tiny bit. I also gave her the box that I had decorated and some cash for the balloons. Erin then looked at the envelope that night, and ordered 15 helium balloons in the appropriate color to have ready for Saturday morning. She also told Andrea the big news with my permission, so the two of them were a part of some secret society and were about to pop with excitement. Dizzy chose to stay in the dark about the color of balloons because she is way more zen than the rest of us, and isn't even finding out what she is having, but was still really excited for me to find out 'early.' I didn't feel weird or jealous that they knew before me, just really happy that I have friends who care so much about this type of thing and love me despite/along with my desire to be a little dramatic. I won't get all mushy on you here, but these three girlfriends of mine have seen me through some really dark moments in the past year and I don't know if I could be as nearly-sane as I am right now without them. End of girlie-mush.
Nate, Truman, and I arrived at this little bike trail that Andrea had picked out for the shoot on Saturday morning. The three girls had already gotten there to set up shop with the box and 'spare' balloons for a little 'what will it be?' shoot before hand. And then, the magic happened. :) The only thing I would have done differently would have been to use a bigger box. I really wanted 15 balloons to fly out but only 6 could fit into my tiny box I made. What can I say, I don't estimate size too well. But if I picked a larger box then it would have been harder to fit in Erin's car and Truman would have been much shorter than it during the reveal, so whatever---I guess 3 balloons flying out, then 3 more after that is just fine.
I can honestly say that this reveal was full of so much anticipation, an extra 2 days of waiting (which, for a couple that has NO desire to wait the full pregnancy to find out the sex, that was a long time!!), and such wonderful support from my friends that it sort of felt like a dream. I was nervous, yes, but also just so darn happy to know what we were having that it didn't even seem real.
Here is a little video I made so we could show our parents and friends/family how awesome the reveal was in real time, and I actually re-did it to add a few of Andrea's pictures into the mix after I received those. I had to use the song A Thousand Years by Christina Perri because I heard it right in the beginning of this pregnancy, when everything was incredibly uncertain, and I immediately started balling hearing these lyrics. I wanted so badly for this little baby to stick around for the ride but at the time it just seemed like a far off dream. And now we are over halfway done with this pregnancy and we have a healthy baby girl to meet in a few more months. This was such a special day and I get chills watching this video every time (maybe a little teary, too). Perhaps you are with me on that one.
When those pink balloons popped out, all I could think was,' Yes! Thank you, God.' And then, 'Truman is getting a sister!' A few tears were shed, but not as many as I had anticipated because I think I was just in such shock, it didn't even hit me for a few hours. I called my parents and Memaw, and we did a mini-reveal with left over pink balloons in the box for Nate's parents when we got home. I know that this sort of big production for a gender reveal isn't something that everyone wants to do, but I can definitely say it was one of the most amazing experiences we've had. It was absolutely worth the wait of those dreaded two days between the ultrasound and reveal.
Pink balloons. Sigh.