Sunday, February 17, 2013

It's a...

On Friday night we went out to dinner to celebrate my birthday + Valentine's day, and most importantly - to find out the gender of our baby! We had an ultrasound Friday morning, and asked the ultrasound tech to write down the gender of the baby in a card I brought along. She told us when to look away during the ultrasound, assured us she was 90% sure (the highest % she gives) of the sex, wrote us a little note in the card, put in a revealing photo from the ultrasound, and sent us on our way. Friday afternoon flew by as we both eagerly awaited dinner that night.

When we got to the restaurant, it was really busy and we were wedged in at this tiny table with hardly any privacy. We decided to wait until the end of dinner, to see if the area we were seated in would clear out a little. We also wanted to build up a report with our waitress as we needed her to cooperate with us for our gender reveal plan.

As if God was "approving" of our plan, the area around us began to clear out, and we finally got the chance to tell our waitress we were finding out the sex of our baby that night and needed her help. She was THRILLED and went into overdrive to make sure our plan was executed perfectly - she was so much fun! We gave her the envelope from the ultrasound tech, two candles (a pink and a blue), and told her we were going to order dessert and we wanted her to bring out the dessert with whichever candle corresponded with what was in the envelope. She got right to work clearing off a better table for us to sit at (better lighting for photos), getting our dessert order in, and she even ran off with my cell phone so she could recruit a hostess to capture pictures of the whole thing. The longest 10 minutes of our life went by, and then this happened:

It's a boy! We couldn't believe it! We were both SURE it was a girl, and you can see we were really shocked - and thrilled! I not-so-secretly really wanted a boy at the top of the sibling line to be the "big older brother" to all the other kiddos. Needless to say, best birthday present ever (sorry mom and dad - this birthday better than the surprise party you threw me when I turned 16!). 

We managed to keep quiet for 48 hours until we could get together with our family to celebrate my birthday and share the news with them. We are very thankful our entire immediate family could be together, and extra thankful that so many of them generously gave of their time and energy to put together a wonderful evening. In keeping with the surprises, Kyle and I made gender reveal cupcakes and we got to watch everyone else be surprised!

Cupcake toppers - everyone got to pick which gender that they thought it was.

Kyle's family and my family with their gender guesses - most people thought girl!
(And apparently Zeke hates gender reveals...)

About to find out!

It's a boy!  The cupcakes had blue frosting on the inside.

Baby boy's first little outfit - thanks grandmas!

Giving it grace: We're completely overwhelmed with God's grace - and not because He is "giving us what we want". We're overwhelmed because in the midst of what is the happiest time in our lives - He is still pursuing us, asking us to stay tuned in with Him, calling our attention to bigger things, and disciplining us. He didn't just swing by, drop of this awesome present, and then ditch out. He has been faithful in revealing Himself to us through this miracle of life, keeping our minds focused on Him and how He is the giver of all good things, how He is the maker of life, and how He rejoices in the good gifts He gives. 

Before I was a Christian, I used to simplify God down to singular attributes: some days he was loving, some days he was cruel, some days he was real, some days he was a "good way to try to live." The danger there didn't primarlyy lie in what I was or wasn't believing about God's attributes, but that I was taking one attribute of God and making it god over my life and how I lived (which was ironic, considering I wouldn't even had said I necessarily believed God was real - a fact that makes my heart ache just typing it). Point is, God has many attributes, and they work in perfect harmony to encompass a perfect God. And our perfect God has perfectly been showing us how imperfect we are, and how much we need Him during this time - to love us, to rejoice with us, to guide us, to convict us, to teach us, to walk with us - and always. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Boy or Girl?

Today I am just past 18 weeks pregnant, which means I am in my 19th week of pregnancy (5th grade math finally paid off when I figured out that being 18 weeks pregnant is NOT the same as being in your 18th week!).
Kyle finally getting a turn with the chalkboard!
For those doing the math, yes this means we are due for our "half way there" ultrasound, which is typically when the gender is discovered! We are scheduled to go in this Friday (February 15th) and are praying that the baby will be in a good position to show off his or her little gender bits during the ultrasound. This is also the ultrasound where a handful of measurements are taken to ensure the baby is healthy and developing - so we are praying for positive results from those measurements.

Stay posted for an update after this weekend. The family doesn't find out until Sunday - and since most of you reading this are family - you'll just have to wait until Sunday!

Some bump updates:

Giving it grace: The second trimester has brought relief from the first trimester sickness and general daze of "what in the world is going on with my body?!", but it has also brought what I-not-so-lovingly refer to as the "decision" phase. Lots of decisions to be made - anything from the baby's name, to genetic screening, to what brand of diapers you should register for. A lot of these things are decided easily (and often times by simply deciding "we'll decide on that later"), and other decisions can't wait, like genetic screening as there is only a certain window you can do that in.

The best way I've found to cope with all the decision making is to distract myself with what needs to be done right now, and save the rest for later! In the past few weeks, we've been working round the clock to get our condo ready to house another human. This has included repainting, repairing, or reorganizing every single room in our delightful little shoe box condo. After almost a month straight of chaos, we are nearly 90% finished up. And now, we can actually start to envision having a baby in the spare room and start thinking about what we need to put in there so the baby isn't just sleeping on the floor at night (totally kidding, I know that's not allowed).

I've been finding reassurance in Psalm 139:13-16:
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Kyle and I whole-heatedly believe that God is the Creator and Ruler over all - including my womb, and the baby growing inside. To that end, we believe that this is God's child, and He has chosen us - Kyle and Stephanie - to raise him or her. Sometimes that terrifies me (hi, I still eat cookies for dinner, sleep with a stuffed animal, and cry ugly tears when someone makes me angry), but most of the time it comforts me knowing that no one cares more about this child more than God - no, not even Kyle or I. And we know that God is going to use Kyle and I to raise this child according to His will, and He will provide us with all the answers to the decisions we have to make. So for now, we are thankful that we can rest in that and not have to feel the pressure of the world mounting on us because we can't decide between cloth diapers or disposable (although I think we're going to give cloth a run for their money!).