Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Baby Ponderings

By the time you all read this, our family will be well on our way to knowing more about our precious baby #3 via our midway ultrasound (happening tomorrow morning!) Praise God for the blessing of technology to give mothers and fathers like us such wonderful information! My personal fears of spina bifida and anencephaly will hopefully be put to rest. Our desire to be able to call our child by name will be (hopefully) fulfilled. As I sit here thinking about it all, I begin to wonder—what would we do if we actually had to wait the 40 weeks before finding out the gender of our children? I say this, of course, tongue-in-cheek knowing that I am one of many spoiled parents privy to 21st-century technology.

It’s often scary to realize what modern medicine offers the greater world. With information gained through amniocenteses and alpha-fetoprotein testing, women daily are choosing to end the lives of their precious children. Are we feeding people too much? Giving them a chance to play the role of God with information beyond what they should know?

Thought-provoking questions, indeed. Yet I admit my husband, GG, and I still revel in the 20-week ultrasound. It gives us a chance to meet our babies visually, find out their gender, and call them by name. Greater information helps us feel closer to our children, more bound through the second half of the pregnancy and able to experience parenthood before the actual task begins. We realize that time with our little ones is not our own; every moment is a treasure.

Today I will learn if my growing family will still be male-dominated (4 vs. 1 and a male dog!) or if I will be joined by a precious daughter (to help me battle the raging testosterone!) Today will mark a new beginning for our family and dictate how the coming years will ensue. Will we continue to be overrun by trains and cars, the color blue and balls of every sort? Or will our lives take a turn toward pink, toward sensitivity (!) and all things girly? Perhaps the outcome of today will simply mean another life will be added to our family, enriching our family’s proverbial quilt with new colors and personality. Whatever the gender, whatever the outcome, I am for certain that in all things with our Lord, He will work it for the good.

In the spirit of Red’s post, we are thrilled to be welcoming another precious soul into the world, offering our children another chance to be siblings and to love without regard to self. Information-laden or not, we know we will be very blessed.

Ed. note: I am thrilled to write that we will be joined in August by another healthy baby BOY! Praises and thanks be to God! I guess this means our male-dominated home will have to foster a special devotion to the Blessed Mother! :)


Mary Alice said...

With my most recent pregnancy, the ultra sound changed my relationship with my baby totally. Naming this baby gave me a very strong bond with him, a bond which I think has really helped me now that he is part of my busy, busy world. We all felt that he was an old friend from the moment he was born, he was the first baby I longed for, the first one that I asked to hold right away. I was surprised at how much power there was in a name!

God bless you and your growing family!

B-Mama said...

Mary Alice, I couldn't agree with you more. Naming our children has been such a blessing to us during the latter months of my pregnancy. I especially feel that it gives GG a unique chance to bond with the babies, even though he's not directly interacting with them.

I would love to hear thoughts from others who have had great experiences with NOT finding out. Don't hesitate to share!

texas mommy said...

Yeah! Praise God for more healthy little boys! B-Mama, congratulations on your wonderful news. We'll have to share on what it is like being totally outnumbered by little men.

I really didn't want to find out the sex of our first baby (Mr. Incredible did) until I was pregnant. Then I really wanted to know everything and to, as you all said, meet our little one as soon as possible. This feeling was increased after losing a little one before we knew the sex. We love being able to name our little ones. I sent out an email announcing Dash's name at 20 weeks pregnant leading to much confusion that he was already born. Not born, but just as much a part of our family in utero! I think naming this little boy will help the other kids understand what is going on better. Dash already talks about his brother!

That said, there is still some romantic part of me that thinks it would be really neat to wait until birth to know!

Juris Mater said...

Well, in a few weeks I'll give you the report on how romantic it is to NOT find out when you incline toward finding out. (MaryAlice, didn't you have this happen one time?) B-mama, you speak our language in describing the wonderful reasons to find out, although I know it's a totally personal decision. We're 100% find-outers, but the ultrasound tech couldn't tell at our 20 wk ultrasound this time... so we're left waiting a few more weeks until delivery. I have to say the reality of another member of our family hasn't sunk in as much, and I don't care for people still referring to the baby as "it". I ABSOLUTELY LOVED knowing and naming and praying for and talking about our last two babies by name starting at 20 weeks, and it would mean the world to 3-year-old Bella to know who's in my belly. And the best comments I've gotten to console me this time at not being able to find out have been, "well hey, maybe it'll make you push harder in delivery." The jury's still out on whether a few less pushes will outweigh the joy we experienced in knowing the name of our last two precious babies 20 wks into the pregnancy.

SO happy to hear the news, both from Texas Mommy and B-mama, that they're outnumbered 4 to 1. God knows what He's doing entrusting boys to you two... this world desperately needs holy men, and the Church desperately needs more priests. God bless you ladies!

Anonymous said...

I'm one who didn't find out (with our first and only so far), and I didn't even get any ultrasounds done either! (I had a home birth too, so now you're probably thinking "granola alert!") At first it was hard for me because I wanted to make sure the baby was ok, but then I figured I wouldn't do anything different whether he had twenty toes or ten. My hubby and I bonded with the little one because we had a nickname from early on that we used every time we talked to or about the baby, and the nickname still is used affectionately by us and other family members occasionally. Maybe it will be confusing for kids awaiting the arrival of their sibling, but I'll cross that bridge when we come to it! Anyway, we both felt very close to the baby in utero and loved keeping ourselves and everyone else in suspense!! I'll never forget the look on hubby's face when he saw that he had a son seconds after baby was is forever etched in my memory.

The reason we didn't get ultrasounds was due to (known and unknown) risk factors involved, which we felt was greater than the necessity. Has anyone else out there opted out, and if so, why?

Kat introduced me to your blog and I'm a regular visitor now. Thanks, gals, for all the encouragement I get from reading your postings and comments!

Anonymous said...

This is Mary Alice's husband writing:

We didn't find out with our oldest, PT, and it was an amazing surprise to have a boy. We tried to find out with our second, but she was uncooperative and they couldn't tell. (I told Mary Alice, "If they can't tell, then it better be a girl.") With the twins, we were able to find out both.


Right Said Red said...


A big congratulations on a healthy baby AND on another little boy to add to your family. What a crew you will be! With 3 little men, you now have no excuse not to have a priest! Texas Mommy, same goes for you ;-)

We always find out the gender, as our first baby had anencephaly and the only time we had with her alive was during my pregnancy. I was a little hesitant to find out the gender, but once she was diagnosed with anencephaly, I had to know the gender. It was so wonderful to know our baby was a girl, give her a name, and grow to love her as our Therese. After knowing the gender on my first pregnancy, I could never have another pregnancy and not know the gender. Just my personal preference.

As far as u/s goes, I'm pretty granola, but I believe strongly that every pregnant woman should have at least one u/s. There are many medical issues that can be diagnosed via u/s and the doctor or midwife can actually do something to help the baby--for example, spina bifida. While I shutter to think that people use u/s to terminate pregnancies, overall u/s are very good. In addition, I don't know of a single study that has actually shown u/s to be dangerous--but I'd love for our readers to link to one if they come across it. I did hear once, during my Bradley class, about a possible study claiming u/s babies were more likely to be left handed, but when I asked to see the study, my Bradley instructor was unable to actually show it to me.


Maria said...

I didn't find out the gender with all three of my children. Both my husband and I love the surprise, and I always figured that anything that helped distract me during labor was good. I'm so excited to discover the gender during labor that it really is a great mood-booster. Well...the epidural might help, too. :)

Since the birth of my second child, my daughter Lucy, who had hydrocephalus, I've been very pro-ultrasound. There are conditions that can be treated prenatally or you can at least begin to prepare yourself for treatment post-birth.

However, after reading numerous stories from parents of other children with hydrocephalus, I have been horrified at the number of them who were told to terminate their pregnancies at their ultrasounds due to a diagnosis of hyrdocephalus. Hydrocephalus is a treatable condition with a generally limited effect on the child! If this is such a widespread practice with a treatable condition like hydro, I seriously shudder to think how many parents are being referred for abortion at their ultrasounds. Obviously, an ultrasound is a morally neutral procedure, but it can be used for grave evil as well as good.