Halfway There

Tah-Dah! We are twenty weeks people (twenty-one by the time this posts), and therefore halfway through this thing called pregnancy!

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Us at 20 weeks

My morning sickness is almost completely gone! I’m finally starting to gain weight. I stuff my face with spinach, eggs, and avocados. I still have an aversion to butter (most dairy actually), toast, and white flour tortillas.

Last Monday, Timothy and I went for the BIG ultrasound. They call it an Anatomy Scan, and they measured and checked out our baby from her adorable head to her sweet little toes. She’s healthy and beautiful and I’m on target for my due date of August 18th.

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Daddy’s favorite picture of his baby girl

Even before I met Timmy, whenever I pictured my future family there was always a little girl there. I pictured boys too, sometimes lots of them, but even in a family with 6 kids, there was always at least one little girl. Sometimes she was fair, sometimes dark, sometimes with blonde curls, sometimes with two brown plaits laying against her shoulders. She was sporty. She was a fairy princess. Her nails were dirty from digging up worms. She hated mud and slime. No matter what form she took, she refused to leave my imagination.

I had a laundry list of worries walking into that ultrasound, but the one that upset me the most was, “what if it’s not a girl.” Yes, it mattered more to me that the heart and brain and feet and hands were all looking healthy and strong. I say “upset me,” because I didn’t want the baby’s gender to matter to me at all. I prayed so many times, “God, just let me not care. Please, give me peace.”

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possible early evidence of thumb sucking?

Looking back, I think he answered that prayer the first time around. I think he was telling me, “Rachel, stop worrying, because I’m giving you your girl,” but I was too scared to believe that it was His voice speaking and not just my own desires. My mother-in-law later said to me, “Maybe God gave you that desire, because he wanted you to have it.” God didn’t have to give me my little girl. He chose to. He has control over the whole cosmos, and knew which soul to put in my womb because he has a purpose for her life.

One of the wacky theological teachings I heard a lot growing up was a kind of “be careful what you ask God for,” strain of belief. Ask God for patience, He’ll give you trials. Ask God for contentment, He’ll burn your house to the ground. But the HUGE thing always missing from these sermons was the truth that God isn’t sitting on his throne rubbing his hands together with glee because you’ve asked for the wrong thing, like a cosmic genie who grants your wish for a million dollars by handing you your loved one’s life insurance policy. True, ugly things will happen to us, but as I learned through my miscarriage, by His grace those ugly moments are never too much to bear.

Whatever he takes, he replaces. Sometimes materially, sometimes with more of Himself. Either way, he will satisfy.

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I prayed for God to take away my desire for a girl or to change my desire to meet his plans for my life. He answered my prayer. He kept my desire there, strong as ever, and waited for me to take hold of the peace he offered me because of the ernest nature of my prayers. I never took that peace, but at least now I’ve got the lesson.

And a baby girl. 😉

Tiny Dancer

It started with the flu then turned into a cold then became vomiting three days before I could miss my period. We took the first test five days early. It was negative. I cried.

Then it was the day my period was due and I’m fudging my way through my French final in the seat closest to the door in case I have to flee to the bathroom to throw up. I couldn’t remember anything I’d studied and barely cared that I might screw over my 4.0. All I could think was, “I’m pregnant. No, I can’t be pregnant. Am I pregnant? Nuh-uh. There’s no way I’m pregnant.”

I’m pregnant.

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They had trouble finding the heartbeat with the doppler at my nine week visit. I’d told myself that was possible; I’d read it a dozen times. I didn’t truly start to panic until the midwife began to ask questions like, “are you sure you’ve got the timing right?” They’d asked that last time, right before they laid a consoling hand on my foot and said, “I’m afraid this isn’t a viable pregnancy.” Then she palpated my uterus and added to my agony the words, “your uterus is enlarged but not nine weeks enlarged.” I could feel what was left of my courage melting into the exam bed and leaking out my eyes.

As they’re rolling in the ultrasound, I’m fighting through the flashbacks, trembling and deep breathing so I don’t hyperventilate. They found the baby quickly. As they’re zooming in, I’m waiting and hoping for them to say it.

“I see a heartbeat.”

I lost it. I was choking and crying. My husband whipped out his phone to video it for me so I could see the heartbeat blip on the screen, because every time I moved they lose sight of the baby.

Just as he hit record they all gasped and began to coo, “the baby moved.”

I’d been calling him a little tyrant because of how incredibly sick I’d been, but he changed my mind with that one little twitch. I felt like he was saying, “I’m fine Mommy. Now tell these people to stop pressing that thing down on me. I’m trying to sleep dammit.” In fact, the more I watch the video, the more it looks like he’s batting away the sound waves and rolling over to get away from the camera. Sassy little mite.

Here he is. My tiny dancer, with a heartbeat.

Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand
And now she’s in me, always with me, tiny dancer in my hand

Hold me close now tiny dancer
~ Tiny Dancer, Elton John

Cuddle close, my sweet tiny dancer. Mommy and Daddy love you so much already. ❤

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DISCLAIMER: I’ve been calling the baby “he” but we don’t yet know gender. Just in case you’re reading this as a family member and decide to prematurely buy him a “Mommy’s Little Man” onesie, there is still a 50% chance she will look funny wearing it. 😉