The Week of Threes

It was the week of threes. At 33 weeks pregnant, I was 3 full weeks from birth week, had 3 more Makena injections to endure and had 3 final trips to make to the doctor. Our time as a family of 3 was drawing to its close.

8.26.19

“Our days as a family of 3 are rapidly approaching their end! I can’t say I’m a fan of pregnancy, so I will welcome that end and look forward to the joys and challenges of loving and parenting this little guy. Praying like ever he will not see the NICU like his sister. I’m feeling optimistic…

It was the week of threes. At 33 weeks pregnant, I was 3 full weeks from birth week, had 3 more Makena injections to endure and had 3 final trips to make to the doctor. Our time as a family of 3 was drawing to its close.

We started really pushing the bucket-list items we wanted our two-year-old to experience before we’d presumably bunker down a bit for the fall and winter. We took her up north to go canoeing, we had campfires, we took her to the toy exhibit at our public museum, an aquatic center, the local children’s museum, the community fair, a wild animal park… it was go, go, go.

It felt like we were really crushing the whole soak-up-these-final-moments-as-a-family-of-3 thing. And I had everything I needed in the nursery except the baby.

Really our only major downfall was still having not decided on a name. In the grand scheme of things, it felt like we were sitting so well. We’d overcome so much and appeared to just be cruising toward the peachy keen birth experience we’d dreamed of – though I can’t really say a repeat cesarean was ever truly a part of my dreams. But could this really be possible?

In the stats: 
Gestational Age: 33 weeks
Doctor’s Appointments: 10
Ultrasounds: 4
Makena Injections: 16

Expanding and Contracting

Babies born at 32 weeks usually do pretty well. At 34 weeks, a solid NICU team can do everything on the outside that mom can do on the inside for a baby. At 36 weeks, your chances of sending your baby to the NICU drastically decrease. Staying as far away from that NICU life as possible was my only motivation to stay pregnant.

8.19.19

“I’ve had some contractions, though nothing to cause me to go in yet. Kiddo’s moving around like crazy. Just 4.5 weeks until we get to meet him!

At 32 weeks pregnant, I was 4 weeks into a third trimester (territory I’d never traversed before), 4 weeks and 2 days past the gestational age we delivered our daughter at, and just 4 weeks and 4 days from meeting our son.

A natural planner, I crocheted my way to pregnancy-induced tendonitis making all the baby things I wanted for my son. I’d sewn a quilt, burp cloths, baby toys, etc. I stocked up on diapers and cute baby clothes when I found them on the cheap. Aside from having a name for our son (which is arguably one of the most important and challenging parts of preparation), I was ready.

I was also expanding.

Between the heat of summer and being pregnant, my body swelled up like a balloon and my morale deflated. Woof. With just 4.5 weeks to go, I could not imagine another 4 after that like a normal pregnancy. I’d already been contracting, but they’d been the kind of contractions where you drink a glass of water and lay on your side for an hour – not the kind where you rush to the hospital. And while I clung to this concept of staying pregnant as long as possible, I was also just very ready to not be pregnant any more.

Babies born at 32 weeks usually do pretty well. At 34 weeks, a solid NICU team can do everything on the outside that mom can do on the inside for a baby. At 36 weeks, your chances of sending your baby to the NICU drastically decrease. Staying as far away from that NICU life as possible was my only motivation to stay pregnant.

I started worrying that I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to visit my son if he was sent to the NICU. How could I go back after spending not only so many days, but so many of my darkest days there? I was counting on carrying as long as allowed, on the genetics that were on our side for the size of this baby, on the Makena Injections that would help me stay pregnant, on the pleas I made to God. 

Please, don’t send me back to that NICU.

We were getting so close to our goal – 36 and 4. I was finally allowing myself to feel a little optimistic.

In the stats: 
Gestational Age: 32 weeks
Doctor’s Appointments: 9
Ultrasounds: 4
Makena Injections: 15

27 and 5

With things going well, we began our weekly celebratory Starbucks on July 20. In 2017, we celebrated each new week of pregnancy with a s’mores frappacino. In 2019, we celebrated each week at/past 27 and 5 with a s’mores frappacino.

It’s like our pregnancies were already becoming sibling allied forces. Let’s make things scary. Let’s overcome some real crazy stuff. And let’s celebrate.

7.20.19

“Do I feel like this baby is ready to be born? Absolutely not. Am I ready to bring another baby home? Mostly, yes.”

It was a hot July day. My husband was up north, taking part in his family’s annual summer vacation. My daughter and I stayed home, afraid to venture too far from our local hospital because in my last pregnancy, this was the gestational age I delivered my baby at.

27 and 5.

Two numbers, three words – they meant nothing to me until June 29 of 2017. And then they became a mantra because every doctor, every specialist, every neighbor, every extended family member, every passerby in the grocery store wants to know the gestational age your horrendously premature preemie was born at.

At first, they want to know because of how small she is. Then, they want to know because of how great she’s doing. And then, you want to remind yourself because of how miraculously she overcame so much in just one year of life.

Yet when pregnancy number two hit 27 and 5, it felt terrifyingly too early… as it should. Babies are not meant to be born that early. And we prayed hard for the 62 days I would be allowed to continue carrying of the 86 I should have had left.

With things going well, we began our weekly celebratory Starbucks on July 20. In 2017, we celebrated each new week of pregnancy with a s’mores frappacino. In 2019, we celebrated each week at/past 27 and 5 with a s’mores frappacino.

It’s like our pregnancies were already becoming sibling allied forces. Let’s make things scary. Let’s overcome some real crazy stuff. And let’s celebrate.

In the stats: 
Gestational Age: 27 weeks, 5 days
Doctor’s Appointments: 9
Ultrasounds: 4
Makena Injections: 11

Survivor’s Guilt

My husband and I were the couple who received the abnormal diagnosis that miraculously cleared up two ultrasounds later. Between ultrasounds three and four, we’d accepted our fate. While we didn’t want our son to be “abnormal”, we knew we couldn’t expect God to hand us miracle after miracle. We knew at some point it was our turn to stay in the muck and mire. And we also knew God would not give us more than we could handle.

7.13.19

“Baby boy is healthy! While we’re grateful for this last ultrasound’s results – no more echogenic bowel – Kevin and I feel, again, as though for some reason we barely squeezed by on the ‘good side’ of a bad situation while so many others do not. We are not immune to struggle, to tragedy, but here we are again. Who are we to deserve saving from strife? I never anticipated the level of survivor’s guilt I’d feel post-NICU with our daughter. And I never thought I’d feel it again with kiddo #2. Blessed, lucky… I don’t know what to call it, because I know neither would sound fair to those who are ‘less fortunate’…

We were at a place where we were praying for who/what our child would be, not against what he might face. We were, in a weird way, ready, but now we’ve been spared again. I don’t know why…”

In 2017, amidst an incredibly tumultuous pregnancy, my husband and I had been prepared to deliver a potentially terminally ill baby. We held on by a thread for 35 days before delivering said baby at 27 weeks and 5 days gestation, 12 weeks and 2 days shy of a normal, 40 week pregnancy. And then our daughter joined 7 other babies fighting for their lives in Area 11 of the NICU of our local children’s hospital.

For 69 days, we watched Oaklee’s roommates come and go. For 69 days, we envied the parents who were ushered in alongside 5, 6, and even 7 pound babies – those who needed little to no respiratory support and those who would be going home in a matter of days. For 69 days, we gave jealous smiles to the parents who brought in their car seats and prepped their babies for a homecoming. We wanted that good thing for us, too, and we eventually got it.

But in those 69 days, as our daughter got better and better, our hearts were wrecked for Oaklee’s roommates, too.

Shortly into her stay, we watched a baby come and go for multiple surgeries while his young, unmarried mom and dad struggled to be there to support him. Our hearts cracked open when we listened to his grandma sing Jesus Loves Me  as his tiny body clung to the life Jesus gave him – Little ones to Him belong. They are weak, but He is strong – was he not among the littlest of the little ones?

As Oaklee’s stay spanned days, weeks and eventually months, our broken hearts broke further for the families of the babies who had been admitted far before Oaklee and were still there. We began to know their names, their stories, if not from the run-ins in Area 11 or the pumping room or the cafeteria, then from the overheard conversations of nurses. Was there a light at the end of their tunnel?

And on the final day of Oaklee’s NICU stay, we entered Area 11 drunken with happiness but quickly sobered up, becoming flies on the wall as we silently watched every parent’s nightmare unfold. Why them?

I was 27 years old. I’d felt that God had brought us to the border of death only to bring us all the way back to health and happiness and “normalcy”. He gave us everything we wanted and prayed for in a situation where statistically we should not have gotten everything we wanted and prayed for. I was 27 years old, and I was facing my first bolus of survivor’s guilt. 

I didn’t just passionately want the good thing for my daughter. I wanted it for her 7 roommates, too. And for the 70 other babies in that NICU. And for the other 15 million babies born prematurely every year.

I have no regrets for praying hard that God would heal my daughter – that He would make her not just survive, but thrive. Like any parent, I wanted the best for her even when it felt like that meant relying on a miracle. Our miracle came true. And while I prayed for the babies who occupied the 7 other isolettes of Area 11, I can’t say the same for all of them.

And I don’t understand it.

Then, just two years later my husband and I were the couple who received the abnormal diagnosis that miraculously cleared up two ultrasounds later. Between ultrasounds three and four, we’d accepted our fate. While we didn’t want our son to be “abnormal”, we knew we couldn’t expect God to hand us miracle after miracle. We knew at some point it was our turn to stay in the muck and mire. And we also knew God would not give us more than we could handle. We were ready to love our son. We were ready to let him be a light in this dark world in whatever fashion that might look like. 

But we were spared again.

And I don’t understand it.

At 29, my second bolus of survivor’s guilt.

God, I want the good things for us all.

In the stats: 
Gestational Age: 26 weeks, 5 days
Doctor’s Appointments: 9
Ultrasounds: 4
Makena Injections: 10

Is It ok for Me to be at Home?

But by the 21st of June, we’d entered into new territory. I was living at home in a stage of pregnancy where I’d lived in the hospital last time. Though I probably didn’t need to, I felt like a time bomb once again. But this time, I wasn’t down the hall from the nurses and doctors who could help me. I was a 25 minute drive away.

Oops, sorry for the delay – coming off from the COVID quarantine and heading right into a last minute decision to buy a house and move this summer. 2020 is truly the craziest.


6.21.19

“We’re 5 days past the day we landed in the hospital with Oaklee. It is crazy and emotional and stressful…”

Just over two weeks past the diagnosis of an echogenic bowel in our son, we’d already found peace in the unknown there. We’d gone through the same phases of shock we’d been through beginning the day we landed in the hospital with our daughter when they told us everything that would probably be wrong with her if she were born that day.

Shock, grieving, mourning, depression, acceptance. We felt all the feels.

When it comes down to it, though, here’s our thing about “disabilities”. We believe in a purposeful God. If God had wanted my daughter to be blind, for example, like the doctors told us she probably would be, he would have done that. And we would have survived. We would have figured out how to do life with a blind child. Would it have been easy? My guess is no.

And if God wanted our son to be “abnormal”, we would figure out how to do life with whatever that might look like, too. Would that be easy? Probably not.

But by the 21st of June, we’d entered into new territory. I was living at home in a stage of pregnancy where I’d lived in the hospital last time. Though I probably didn’t need to, I felt like a time bomb once again. But this time, I wasn’t down the hall from the nurses and doctors who could help me. I was a 25 minute drive away. With our daughter, I went into labor for my first time at 22 weeks and 6 days. The doctors and nurses reversed it 5 times before I delivered my daughter on the 6th time. 

If I went into labor now, with my son, what could be done? What would it look like? The whole point of only carrying to 36 weeks instead of 40 was so that my body wouldn’t have to go into labor and risk a uteran rupture on account of my previous classical cesarean section. How fast would things move? Would I be ok? Would my baby be ok? Is it ok for me to just be living at home right now?

In the stats: 
Gestational Age: 23 weeks, 4 days
Doctor’s Appointments: 7
Ultrasounds: 3
Makena Injections: 7

What Will Be, Will Be

I look forward to holding our son. God can make his body however he wants, and what will be, will be. But my hopes and dreams for this boy are big, and I just wish I could keep him safe…

6.14.19

“Every day we’re farther away from last week Thursday, we become more and more at peace. I’m worried each next appointment will just make us worried again if we don’t soon get good news. I look forward to holding our son. God can make his body however he wants, and what will be, will be. But my hopes and dreams for this boy are big, and I just wish I could keep him safe…”

In the stats: 
Gestational Age: 22 weeks, 4 days
Doctor’s Appointments: 6
Ultrasounds: 3
Makena Injections: 6

The Only Way Out is to See it Through

I found myself unable to pray for a miracle. I couldn’t expect God to pull us out of the muck again, brush us off, and send us on our way. It felt too insensitive to those who’ve been on the other end of our situations – to those who are also asking the question, “Why me?” So instead of a miracle, I prayed for something manageable. I didn’t need things to be easy, I just needed the strength to manage whatever was to come.

6.9.19

“Lots of tears these past few days. We’re a little bit mad, a little bit sad, a lot scared and just so, so confused. Why? Why do we have to worry our way through a pregnancy again? It feels like there’s a target on our backs. It has me questioning so much…”

On June 9 of 2017, I found myself asking the big questions when things continued to spiral out of control in our first pregnancy. I wondered if we were missing what God was saying to us. I wondered if we weren’t supposed to be parents of biological children. I couldn’t fathom such a rocky pregnancy leading to a healthy baby for no good reason.

On June 9 of 2019, days after the diagnosis of baby boy’s echogenic bowel, it felt like I’d landed right back in that dark place. Maybe God had, indeed, been trying to tell us something with that first pregnancy when he took us to the very border of death before bringing us all the way back to a healthy family of three. 

“Today, we’re proceeding as if this is all going to smooth over. But the reality is that it might not. We might not have a “normal” child. We might not have a healthy child. We might not have a child… is it too much to ask God to spare the life of yet another child for me?” 

I felt as though God had given me a life’s allotment of miracles back in 2017 when he saved my daughter from “the sickest of the sick”, when he brought her back from the border of death, breathing life into the lungs that weren’t ready for life and growing her 2lb 12oz body into a healthy baby. It felt foolish in 2019 to hope that things might just clear up again, that we might walk away from an abnormality, unscathed, as a family of four. Why should I deserve another miracle? 

Our love for our growing baby didn’t waver once from the moment we found out he may have some health issues. But what we saw immediately was a different future for our family. We wondered how much of our boy’s first few years would be consumed with doctor’s appointments. We wondered if he would ever be independent. We wondered if this would prematurely take his life. 

I found myself unable to pray for a miracle. I couldn’t expect God to pull us out of the muck again, brush us off, and send us on our way. It felt too insensitive to those who’ve been on the other end of our situations – to those who are also asking the question, “Why me?” So instead of a miracle, I prayed for something manageable. I didn’t need things to be easy, I just needed the strength to manage whatever was to come.

“We will play the cards we’re dealt, but please, PLEASE, let this be a manageable hand.”

We entered into yet another season of heightened worry. On the outside, we were brave. On the inside, we were broken hearted. But the only way out was to see it through.

In the stats: 
Gestational Age: 21 weeks, 6 days
Doctor’s Appointments: 6
Ultrasounds: 3
Makena Injections: 5

That 11-Letter Word

Post-poke, things got weird. Nurse N’s non-verbal communication changed as she told me – without looking me in the eye and while keeping her hands busy over paper work and organization – that Doctor H wanted to quick check in with me before I left. We made our way to an examination room I’d never seen before, and I sat there subtly on edge as I waited.

6.6.19

“I left what was meant to be a two minute appointment 45 minutes later and sat in the parking ramp while I broke the news over the phone to Kevin. Again, we question. Again, we worry. Again, we cry. My heart hurts so bad. I want to believe this is nothing, but only time will tell.”

Four Makena Injections in, on June 6 I headed back to my doctor’s office to pick up my next set of injections and be administered one. I drove the 20 minute trip downtown, parked in the parking ramp and made my way up to the office to meet Nurse N for a quick poke before she’d send me home with my goody bag of my next three injections. 

But post-poke, things got weird. Nurse N’s non-verbal communication changed as she told me – without looking me in the eye and while keeping her hands busy over paper work and organization – that Doctor H wanted to quick check in with me before I left. We made our way to an examination room I’d never seen before, and I sat there subtly on edge as I waited.

Doctor H walked in with the words, “Oh Mandi, why can’t anything just be easy for you in pregnancy?” I honestly still thought she was just referencing the inconvenience of coming downtown every four weeks to pick up my injections, but then she reminded me of my repeat ultrasound just three days prior to this visit. 

We’d been told we needed a repeat ultrasound due to the inability to get all of baby boy’s measurements at our early anatomy scan. But apparently, we needed it because they suspected there may be a problem. In the anatomy scan, they detected an abnormality of the bowel. In the repeat scan, the abnormality was repeated…

Baby boy was diagnosed with an isolated echogenic bowel. In laymen’s terms, he had something in his bowel at a time when babies should not yet have anything in their bowels. What was it? We didn’t know. But what could it mean? It could mean a few things. Echogenic bowels are a marker of both cystic fibrosis and Down syndrome. Baby boy’s case being isolated, we had no other markers to indicate which, if either, it might be, and in fact, it could still mean nothing at all. 

I’ve taken in bad news from a doctor before. Coincidentally, almost exactly two years prior to this date, I had one of the most notable doses of bad news in my life when I was told my water broke with my first baby at just 25 weeks gestation. I knew I needed to ask questions while my resource was standing right in front of me, but I was so blindsided by the news. Doctor H pressed forward, and explained my very limited options:

  1. I can enter into a whole season of genetic testing on me, baby, and even my husband if necessary to foresee our fate and decide where to go from there.
  2. We can wait it out and go through yet another repeat ultrasound to see if anything changes.

I hadn’t even left the examination room before I knew my temporary answer. I asked Doctor H, “What’s the point of doing the genetic testing now if it won’t change how we love this baby when he’s born?” I wanted to believe things would clear up before another ultrasound, and we wouldn’t need to have used this time to educate and prepare ourselves to parent a child with a disability. But if I’m being honest, I didn’t believe that. What gave me solace was knowing I had enough time remaining to go back on my decision and get the testing if I found I couldn’t wait it out after all.

I stood stoically at the checkout, trying to schedule another repeat ultrasound – one that was not noted on my checkout form. My heart clenched when the administrative assistant asked why I was having another ultrasound and if the doctor did, indeed, order it. I quietly spoke into being, “There was an abnormality…” As tears threatened my eyes, I scheduled the scan, rushed to the elevator and all but ran to the shelter of my van in the parking ramp.

An abnormality. That 11-letter word. Again. Why?

I texted my husband, asking him to step out for a phone call. When he called, I broke the news to him as I broke down. Meditating on this new news and our uncertain future, I drove back to work and attempted to finish my day as planned. 

We began the process that night of sharing our news with our inner-most circle – a rip-the-bandage-off approach. We re-iterated our situation again and again for our parents and each of our siblings. Here’s what we know. Here’s what we do not know. Here’s our plan. We’ll keep you updated. By the last conversation I’d become immune to the pain this news was causing me. I was emotionally exhausted. It was time to sleep. It was time to move forward.

In the stats: 
Gestational Age: 21 weeks, 3 days
Doctor’s Appointments: 6
Ultrasounds: 3
Makena Injections: 5

“Redemption”

I didn’t want to be told how strong I was during my first pregnancy when I was cracked to the very core on the inside yet smiling on the outside. And I didn’t want to be told how redeemed I must feel during this second, presumably much safer pregnancy, when I was terrified.

5.30.19

“Everyone says what a ‘redemptive’ pregnancy this must be since it’s going so well, but pregnancy is not about me. I’m facing significant risks to my body to bring this baby into the world. If it were about me, and it was redemptive, I wouldn’t be so terrified. I’m not scared of what happened last time. I’m scared of what could happen this time…”

Is there anything we crave more than redemption? The happy ending, the eradication of past hurts, the relief, the good vibes, the resolution – we want it so badly, and we want it everywhere. Alleviate poverty. Fight hunger. Free the captives. Find the missing. Cure the cancer.

Our hearts long for redemption.

Yet I struggled to see pregnancy as a place for redemption.

Don’t take my past pains from me. Don’t take my scars, my hurts, my experiences, the things I’ve learned. They make me who I am and they’ve shaped everything I know and believe about my ability to safely bring a baby into the world. 

I didn’t want to be told how strong I was during my first pregnancy when I was cracked to the very core on the inside yet smiling on the outside. And I didn’t want to be told how redeemed I must feel during this second, presumably much safer pregnancy, when I was terrified. I knew too much and too little at the same time. I knew what could happen, but I’d gotten through that before. What I didn’t know was what would happen if a body – one that’d been vulnerably cut before, one that couldn’t even risk carrying a baby to full term – went into pre-term labor again.

When my doctor suggested Makena injections, I didn’t have to think twice before saying, yes, please, let’s do it. They are precautionary, and potentially unnecessarily so. They are expensive. They are a pain to get your hands on – a process that includes probably close to 100 phones calls between your doctor, your insurance company and a specialty pharmacy. They are a pain when physically administered – an experience that must be observed religiously on the same day each week and is meant to happen at your doctor’s office, creating weekly appointments. They are such a nuisance.

But hopefully you’ll get to the end and wonder if they were the difference or not.

My doctor was gracious enough to send me home each quad (the injections came in packages of four – a month’s supply – requiring you to call to start the process of obtaining the medicine over again five times to get your full 20 shots from weeks 16 to 36) and let my nurse of a neighbor administer them. Praise be to God for my neighbor who saved me from approximately 16 trips downtown by agreeing to stop by each Thursday night and poke me. Some women get approved to have the equipment and medicine shipped right to their house so they can administer the injections themselves. Not approved for that, I had to slip in under the radar and take a mysterious looking goody bag home each month from my doctor.

I was so terrified of going into pre-term labor, that I think I would have done anything my doctor suggested. Makena injections felt so simple, so I chased them with very little physical exertion and definitely no questionable “can-you-do-this-if-you’re-pregnant?” moments. I was about one step away from putting myself on bedrest.

So did I feel redeemed? No. I felt terrified. 

In the stats: 
Gestational Age: 20 weeks, 3 days
Doctor’s Appointments: 5
Ultrasounds: 2
Makena Injections: 4

Blue Moon

Pregnancy ultrasounds have never been an exciting thing for us. Our first experience was with a wheely-cart-toting-not-an-ultrasound-tech doctor we fled to when things turned south in pregnancy number one. Our first true experience was in an emergency room just shortly after that when we’d incorrectly assumed we’d lost that baby due to circumstances. Every ultrasound following those two – for our first pregnancy and this one – was set in an environment of held breaths, somber looks, and silent pleas to the Lord.

5.9.19

“The littlest nugget is a boy! The ultrasound went very well. There is no previa, which gives us hope that might also avoid abruption. That means we just have to get by without pre-term labor (or, of course, any other complications). We’re remaining optimistic, but we’re not oblivious to the risks here. We need this kiddo to stay in until the 36 week c-section. Anything sooner would be considered an emergency and most likely result in a NICU stay… again…”

Pregnancy ultrasounds have never been an exciting thing for us. Our first experience was with a wheely-cart-toting-not-an-ultrasound-tech doctor we fled to when things turned south in pregnancy number one. Our first true experience was in an emergency room just shortly after that when we’d incorrectly assumed we’d lost that baby due to circumstances. Every ultrasound following those two – for our first pregnancy and this one – was set in an environment of held breaths, somber looks, and silent pleas to the Lord.

“Please, don’t let things be worse in there.”

With no reason to believe anything might be amiss, we still went into this ultrasound with a palpable level of anxiety. On this day, we would learn what our baby’s environment was like in there… and we’d learn our baby’s gender.

Having switched to a private practice for this pregnancy, our doctor understood and felt our anxiety. She brought us in three weeks early for our anatomy scan to either calm some nerves or get an earlier warning of what was to come depending on how things looked on the inside. Switching to a private practice was one of the best decisions we could have made. Our ultrasound tech on this day, not sworn to secrecy by a hospital system, quickly shared that she didn’t see any signs of previa or abruption. With relief, we watched our nugget wiggle and squirm as she took measurements and pointed out the hands we would hold, the heart we would hug, the toes we would tickle.

And then she sent us on our way with a sealed envelope that held an indication of baby’s gender. The envelope all but on fire in my hands, we went down the hall so I could receive my first Makena injection, waited at the checkout, walked silently to the elevator, and immediately began gushing our guesses when the doors closed and we were alone for the 20 second ride. The doors opened and we walked to the parking lot where we then decided there was no point in waiting any longer.

As we sat in our van, I slipped my finger into the envelope and pulled out the anatomically explicit photo that answered our prayers – a boy. While Kevin and I had both said we’d be fine with either gender, our hearts were honestly yearning for a boy. A boy could complete our family. A boy would give Kevin the son most men long for. A boy would give us the world from a new perspective. We drove home and took our suppressed giddiness back to work before celebrating that night with Oaklee over Blue Moon ice cream and blue balloons. 

A boy. 

Our baby was a boy.

And my body was being good to him unlike it was for his sister.

We were over the moon. 

In the stats: 
Gestational Age: 17 weeks, 3 days
Doctor’s Appointments: 4
Ultrasounds: 2
Makena Injections: 1