I was looking so forward to Christmas this year. Hopefully I would be out of the morning sickness phase of my pregnancy, and starting to finally really “show” my baby bump. I knew that my family had already bought some baby-related Christmas presents, and I couldn’t wait.
But mostly, I couldn’t wait to find out what Baby P was. I had laid everything on the line that there was a little girl inside me, and just about everyone else agreed. There were a few times when I would daydream about “her” and I would stop myself and think – but I know it’s not a girl. I felt like I was debating or reasoning with myself; I felt so strongly that it was a girl, that something inside told me to doubt myself. I also thought God knows how stubborn I am when I think I’m right; I bet this is a boy just to show me to stop trying to plan every detail of my life.
So we decided to go ahead with the 4D ultrasound, just to find out the gender. Our appointment was set for Monday December 19th, and I was counting down the hours. The plan was to have a copy of the ultrasound picture with the baby’s name on it for each of our family members, as our fun little way of announcing the sex. I was so excited to see the look on everyone’s faces; they all thought that we were waiting until after Christmas to find out.
Just a small hurdle, the only thing standing between me and Christmas break was a few final exams. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, and the start to what would be the semester when I was due to have the baby. Of course, a few final exams meant late night studying and increased stress. So I decided to space out my exams, which initially were scheduled all on one day. My body could hardly take being at school for 9 hours at a time, let alone braving 3 or 4 exams in one day. I spaced them out, one a day that week. Thankful for such understanding professors, I didn’t mind that kind of schedule.
Monday morning I woke up around 5:00 am with the strangest sensation. My stomach was rock hard on the left side, and I could feel a rounded object up against my abdomen wall. My heart stopped beating for a second, unsure if what I was feeling was normal or not. I woke Jake up, and told him that I was scared something might be wrong. At the same time, I was excited that I was most likely feeling our baby for the first time. Just to be safe, I called the doctor that day and described what had happened and how it felt. Sure enough, they reassured me that I was feeling our baby, despite me only being 16 weeks pregnant, due to a full bladder and my petite body frame. I was ecstatic!
I went to sleep Tuesday night with mixed emotions; it had been a long day. Tuesday included an exam, a stressful situation during my toddler class at Acro which required me to diffuse a furious father, and trying to study for my next exam on Wednesday morning. I was also happy, because I had woken up again Tuesday morning feeling the same thing I had experienced Monday morning. I couldn’t wait to see if I would feel it again Wednesday morning, and throughout the rest of the week.
I got up Wednesday, threw on some sweats and headed to take one of my last exams for the semester at UNCC. I was chipper that morning, especially when normally I felt like I had been drug up a mountain in the mornings. On my way to school, I made sure to text message Jaime Gatton and get some details squared away for our “gender reveal” photoshoot. We had decided to allow Jaime and our photographer Pam to surprise us with the baby’s gender: the doctor’s office would call Jaime with the baby’s gender, and she would then fill a big box with either pink or blue balloons. Pam would capture the moment that we saw the balloons on camera, and we would always have the emotions of the moment we found out our baby’s gender on a photo. I was so excited, and surprised that Jake was going along with the idea. It was only 5 days away, but I was prepared with a to-be-embroidered stocking that would be our baby’s first personalized possession.