Week 20 Recap: It’s a….!!!

What an incredible week!! My mom flew in from Tennessee on Thursday and was able to attend the 20 week ultrasound with us. It’s always an amazing treat to see our baby on that screen. You spend so much time thinking and dreaming about the little one, that getting this glimpse makes all the more real. There was so much wiggling (again!) and so much growth since last time – the length of a banana now compared to the size of a peach in week 13. I’m trying hard to wrap my mind around how we’ve made it to the halfway mark already and semi-wishing I could slow things down just a little. We got a healthy report back for this point, which was a huge relief for me. Since the beginning, I’ve worried (probably a little too much) about all the things that can and do go wrong and have spent many a moment in prayer for a healthy, happy baby. Even though neither of us have a gender preference either way, we’d always planned to find out. But as the day approached it felt more and more bittersweet knowing that the abstract days were coming to a close. For a split second I thought about backing out but since we had a reveal party on the books later that evening I knew deep down the planner in me couldn’t wait that long we had the tech write the baby’s gender and place it in two envelope’s – one for the party store, the other for us (in case the party store lost it – I need something for the baby book!)

Since Alex was leaving town the next morning we’d planned an outdoor reveal soiree for later that evening on the same rooftop where we celebrated events like this and this, which seemed fitting given our love of theme parties. (I knew I didn’t want to find out in the doctor’s office, that just felt too sterile and hospital-y for such an incredible event.) So after the appointment came the mad dash of prep like wrapping our balloon box, explaining to the store associates what we needed without having the surprise ruined, a last minute grocery store run, and an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction. (I had purchased the most beautiful blue silk dress shortly after I found out I was pregnant hoping that it would accommodate the bump later in the the summer. Since we’d decided to wear the color of the gender we suspected and my feeling all along was boy, I was dead set on this dress. However, the zipper had other plans. It wasn’t the bumps fault, just shoddy construction, and after tugging and trying as hard as the three of us could it finally snapped and I was left scrambling for a back up outfit. I guess it’s good practice for when the baby spits up on a future planned ensemble…)

We arrived at the party with what felt like minutes to spare and as our friends trickled in I became more and more anxious with each passing moment! Soon we would know if a sweet little boy or precious little girl would be making us a family of three.

But first, snacks. 

And socializing. 

Pappa pops the champagne in preparation for the reveal. 

Our friends donned diapers with their gender picks, Team Girl…

and Team Boy.

And the moment we’ve been waiting for… 
It’s a ……….

Words can’t explain how amazing it was to share that experience with my Mom and so many of our friends. Though I initially wondered if finding out the sex early would take away from the actual birth day moment, after experiencing such excitement and outpouring of love that night, I have no regrets. From the thoughtful little gifts (unexpected, unnecessary, but so appreciated!) to the loads of hugs and cheers immediately following, my heart is full with love and warm with the thrill of it all that won’t soon be forgotten. We knew we wanted something visual to share with the loved ones who couldn’t be here, and I hope this makes them feel part of the festivities. Celebrating in the spot that’s housed so many wonderful memories, in front of the skyline that’s been our home for nine years, could not have been more meaningful. One day, I can’t wait to share these pictures and video with our little one and remind her how much she was loved before we’d even met her.  
This is where the pictures get a little blurry because they’re screen shots from video. 

To say I was shocked would be the understatement of the year! 
Since the very beginning I just *knew* it was a boy. From boy-leaning old wives tales to the way we kept referring to the baby as “he”, having a girl never entered my mind, even though we would have been happy either way. People would ask if we wanted a girl or a boy and when I’d say I honestly had no preference whatsoever, just healthy, they’d act bored and basically accuse me of lying. But I’ve felt/feel so honored to be able to be part of this miracle, and hoping/doing all I can to grow a strong babe, that it felt too selfish to wish either way. I believe we’ll get what we’re meant to have and if it’s one baby girl, two of each, or three of the same, nothing could change my mind about that. However, even as I write this a few days later, I’m still getting used to all the pink. I guess I had four and a half months of thinking blue so it might take some time to convince my mind otherwise. But I couldn’t be happier. 
A daughter
Alex will adore her. 
And I can’t wait to share shoes with her. ;)

Kisses, baby girl! 
P.S. The night after the reveal I felt her first “kicks”. Although I’d been feeling bubbles and flutters for a few weeks, the midwife had asked the day before if I’d felt any biggger movement yet and described the early sensation as “being punched through a pillow”, which I hadn’t. But at bedtime the next night, little tap, tap, taps from within started and I was melted. It feels exactly like being punched through a pillow, if you imagine the tiniest fist possible coming from the sweetest of babies, pushing on the softest of pillows. Yeeep!  Lying in bed at the start of a new day, or end of an old one, feeling her wiggles and seeing parts of my tummy move up and down on it’s own is my new favorite thing. It’s our little moment and it’s so surreal! 
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