Scan Results, and Dealing with Difficult Feelings

Whoops – I was supposed to post over the weekend, wasn’t I?  I apologize for my tardiness, but I had a rather chaotic weekend, and, as it turns out, I had too much to say about our results to just make a quick post about it.  I decided to wait to write until I had a reasonable amount of time to ensure that I didn’t rush through it.  So, here I am.

I am finding more and more to like about my hospital as time goes on.  Sure, it sucks that it’s such a long trip and my husband keeps having to swap shifts at work to attend them with me (and every visit is $20 in parking and another $10+ in gas), but they treat us so well that it’s hard to be annoyed or upset by it.  It’s just money, after all, and you can’t put a price on a healthy baby and a safe pregnancy.  So, once again, my husband was allowed to sit in on the whole scan with me, and I was kept amused/at calm by chatting with him and watching him watch the screen.  I guess our baby was being an acrobat, because I kept seeing him smile at things that the baby was doing during the scan which gave me the impression that things were going well.  It was a long scan, taking nearly a full hour (and I was told to get up and walk around at one point to try and get them to move), but our tech eventually had all the pictures she needed and sent us back out to wait for the results.  Like our last tech, she was nice enough to leave a photo up for us to snap before we left.  It’s quite the beautiful profile, if you ask me (but I might be a tad biased).

Jellybean 19+1Another great thing about being at a high-risk clinic is that they process your results almost immediately.  Whereas I had to wait several weeks to discuss the results of my scan with my midwives the first time around, the results of this scan were processed and brought to us about 45 minutes later.  Our OB went over them and told us the news we were most hoping for: baby was looking perfectly healthy and happy, and we had no reason to suspect anything at all was wrong with him/her.  Woohoo!  With appointments concluded, we got a copy of our report (the gender was on the second page, which we hadn’t looked at yet) and headed home to do a gender reveal shoot with a friend of mine.

For our reveal, we decided we wanted to do something that was both a little bit silly and not too expensive.  I originally wanted to do a paint fight, but opted for the less-messy option of a silly string fight.  We gave my photographer friend the report with four cans of silly string (two pink and two blue) and told her to give us the correct colour of string to spray one another with.  It was a lot of fun.

Without further delay, here’s the reveal we posted on Facebook.  We’re excited to announce that we are expecting another boy!

Reveal Strip Final(Yes, that second shot is me hiding my face after being sprayed in the mouth.  Silly string does not taste great.)

Here’s where we move on to the difficult feelings part.

I wasn’t honest originally when I said that I had no hopes for the gender of this baby.  With both of my pregnancies, my husband and I have both been in agreement that we would really love a little girl – not that we wouldn’t be happy with a boy, but we both thought we’d have a blast with a girl.  While I’m not 100% on his motives (aside from the fact that little girls are adorable), I think that I mostly craved a girl because I wanted to draw a parallel between my baby and myself.  I had a crappy childhood and have been tomboyish for as long as I have been able to make the decision to be, and my inner girl has been fighting to get out for the last few years.  With it comes the desire to dress something up in cute little jelly sandals, frilly skirts, and pretty hair berets.  (Never mind that this is contradictory to my gender equality impulses… the heart wants what the heart wants.)  I also figured that, since I knew the types of experiences I would have liked to have in my childhood, I’d know how to give a girl a better upbringing than I had got.  I wasn’t so confident with a boy.

Anyway, my desire for a girl was even stronger this time around, because I had myself convinced that a girl would be easier to process because it would be a lot more different.  Not that I think it would be without its struggles, either, but I dread the heartache and sorrow that will inevitably come from putting a different little boy to sleep in the onesies and blankets that were meant for Brock.  We wouldn’t have bought a new stroller or bassinet or anything for this second child, so I’m sure those moments would still have stung regardless, but I’m now worried about how it’s going to feel to spend the first few months watching this boy use everything that was meant for his big brother.

There are lots of secondary fears, too.  Of the four families that make up my husband and I, two of them are extremely boy heavy (one on each side), one is pretty evenly split, and one favours girls a little bit.  I’m now battling concerns that we’re never going to end up getting a girl because, if all goes well (knock on wood), we’re only planning to have one more child after this one.  I suppose that the order of the children doesn’t matter so much, but I do really hope I get the opportunity to raise both genders at some point, and right now the odds aren’t looking to be in my favour.  At the same time, if it had been a girl, I’m sure I’d still be wondering if the next would be a boy, and worrying that my only chance to have a boy had passed with Brock, so there’s really no winning in this category: neither answer would really have pleased me.

I spent the first 24 hours or so after getting the news feeling really upset, and the main reason I felt upset was because I had the audacity to feel disappointed.  Our baby looked happy and healthy, and I knew that was the important takeaway and what I should be most concerned with – and it was – but I also have residual anxiety because I remembered being similarly, mildly disappointed when we found out Brock was a boy.  When we later lost him, I blamed myself for every bad thought or feeling I had ever had towards him, like somehow occasionally being a little disappointed by his gender or complaining about backaches made me lose him.  Now that I was having thoughts like that again, I was somehow convinced that my disappointment was going to find a way to kill this baby, too.  Not only was I sad, but I was anxious and upset with myself for daring to be anything but happy.

My advice to you, now that I’ve had some time to sort through my feelings?  Feel how you need to feel!  Don’t put yourself under unnecessary stress by believing ridiculous things like these.  If you feel sad, don’t repress it, and for goodness sakes, don’t feel bad about having feelings, even if they’re not the ones you wish they were.  Pregnancy after loss is a plenty scary and treacherous path without us adding artificial worries to it.  Complaining about a sore back, stretch marks, or feeling a little disappointment over the gender of your baby is never ever going to affect the outcome of your pregnancy, and even though I rationally know that, I still got hung up on it for a while.

I have mostly conquered my disappointment today (it was mild to begin with), and am having an easier time focusing on the good feelings today.  I am mostly relieved that everything is looking good, and even if I do have occasional lapses, I know that I have another 18+ weeks to work through any other feelings that might come up – and, of course, that I’m going to love the heck out of this baby when we meet, regardless of their genital configuration.  Gender doesn’t mean a whole lot of anything, anyway, in the long run. 🙂

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