It’s a funny thing when it is clear that our plans are not God’s plans.
I really enjoy finding out the gender of a baby of mine while I am still pregnant. I know there are strong opinions on this, and I honestly don’t look at it very strongly (so chill, people – I know there are “so few surprises in life, etc, etc”). The reasons I like to know are not really tangible ones, such as knowing how to decorate or which clothes to buy. I just like bonding beforehand with a name and prayers geared toward this specific little person growing within. Really I see it as a surprise if I find out while pregnant or if I wait until baby is in my arms. Either way, it is amazing.
We have done it both ways. We have found out with two, and with one we waited. This wasn’t by choice. We wanted to know with all of them, but one of them didn’t show us. I only wanted to have one ultrasound in the middle of the pregnancy, so when that one ultrasound didn’t reveal who this person was, we waited until she was born. I found it interesting and slightly humorous how many people are quick to insert, “Good for you for waiting!” into the conversation before I explain that we wanted to find out but couldn’t.
And so here we are again. This time around, I knew there was a chance we couldn’t find out because it has happened to us before. I had my mid-point ultrasound only to have the tech say, “I’m not really sure.” He guessed after that, which wasn’t really necessary because I already knew I wouldn’t bank on anything he said after his first statement. Ha. Well, that wasn’t what we were hoping for. We were all pretty excited to hopefully find out who this is kicking me from inside, but alas the mystery remains.
What struck me though was our reaction. My oldest cried. My other two didn’t really know what to do, and my husband and I were quiet.
All this time I had told the Lord that I was thankful either way. If this was a boy, hooray! If this was a girl, praise the Lord! You see we have three girls, and I absolutely love having three girls. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a boy, too, though right? But was I really content either way?
Early on in this pregnancy my husband and I both sensed that this is the last baby the Lord will give us biologically. I have always wanted to adopt, so now we are praying about that in the future, but I was shocked to feel this way. I knew that saying, “How ever many the Lord gives us…” meant not only how many, but also how few. But still. I didn’t really expect to hear this from the Lord when I found myself pregnant this time.
So maybe that is why I was having a little bit more of a struggle with the gender question. And maybe this is why we were not permitted to find out who is in there. There was more heart work to be done in our family. I went to the Lord with this to ask Him what the deal was with my heart. I wanted to really be content, but I realized I needed His help. I still didn’t think there was anything wrong with wanting a boy, but I realized that my reasons were not based on an eternal perspective.
My oldest, who has been praying for a brother for over two years, was also struggling. What a great time to learn to trust the Lord with His ways, His will, and His timing while also learning to be honest with Him and each other about how we feel.
So we found a girl name we love, since we were fresh out of those, and we continued with a boy name we already had had for years, and we saw the Lord help us become excited and truly content either way. I really can honestly say that now.
Well then it was time to visit my midwife’s backup physician (I deliver at home with a midwife, but the backup is there just in case I need to go to the hospital or something instead). I knew he would want to do a quick ultrasound before signing me off to reasonably have a home birth, just in case. This time I was okay with it because I thought that maybe we could find out the gender!
Didn’t happen. There was a miscommunication with the staff, one of them tried to call me to come in earlier even though I never got the phone call or the message, and the ultrasound tech left before we got there. So no ultrasound.
I found this funny.
We were again made to wait. I’m supposed to go back a month before I’m due for him to conduct that desired ultrasound on me. That’s two months away and a month before we will meet the baby anyway. And so we wait.
I know God’s timing is always best, and I know He has a plan in this, and in the scheme of things it really isn’t that big of a deal to know or not know the gender. I am thankful to know, however, that whether I am holding another beautiful and precious girl sometime around mid-April or if it will be my first son’s cry I hear it will be just as miraculous and wonderful. I also know that our family is now ready to welcome this new baby with thankful hearts that are full of love and joy.
Honestly, it’s kind of nice to also not have to hear people’s comments like, “Oh well, another girl,” or “Finally a boy.” I have to admit that these comments and many others annoy me and don’t help our family as we trust the Lord and strive for thankful and content hearts.
In the meantime I continue to see the humor in the situation, too. I am not in control. Thankfully this is true, and I will rest here and wait and enjoy these kicks and punches until whenever it is I know who is throwing them from the inside. Either way, to God be the glory. His gifts are always good.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7 NIV)