Monday was a big day for our growing family. My wife, Patricia, had an ultrasound scheduled to determine the progress of her pregnancy. It was also the first time we'd be able to find out if the new baby would be a boy or a girl.
Now, the process wasn't anything new for us. We have two children; Garrett, 3, and Grace, who's 1½. That didn't stop it from being exciting, though. I don't know what it is...with both Garrett and Grace, it didn't really "set in" for me until I found out if new baby would be a boy or girl. Once I found out, the excitement and nervousness set in. Things became real.
With Garrett, both Trish and I found out he would be a boy ahead of time. However, with Gracie, I wanted to find out, but Trish wanted to be surprised. That posed a little bit of a problem. Could I, someone who is notorious for accidently "spilling the beans", keep a secret like that from my wife for 6 months? Would I slip up?
Well, we decided to try it. I had the ultrasound tech whisper the answer in my ear. We were having a girl.
I'll admit, it was tough not telling Trish. It was also tough not slipping up. More than a few times, I caught myself looking at little baby girl clothes at the store, or checking out pink-themed stuffed animals. At least a couple times, I inadvertently referred to Trish's baby bump as "her". To throw my wife off the scent, I tried some misdirection...picking out little boy clothes and toys and trying to throw a few "he's" and "hims" into the conversation once in a while.
In the end, I think Trish had a pretty good idea that we were having a girl, but it wasn't because I couldn't keep a secret. Instead, she said she was convinced this one was a girl because this pregnancy had been different that Garrett's...different cravings, more morning sickness, different moods. She said it was like night and day.
Well, this time around, with the third pregnancy, Trish wasn't sure whether she wanted to find out ahead of time, or be surprised. Again, I wanted to find out, but she really enjoyed the mystery and suspense of not knowing.
To make the final call, we asked Garrett his opinion. Now, I don't know how intelligent it is to base important life decisions on the opinion of a 3-year-old, but we figured we'd be safe in this case. We asked him several times if he wanted to find out if he was going to have a little brother or a little sister (he's become pretty notorious for changing his mind), and every time he said he wanted to know. So there he was, sitting in the chair next to me Monday morning, as the ultrasound tech told us he was going to have a little brother.
Garrett's face lit up. He immediately starting talking about "all the things I'm going to teach little baby boy." He rattled off a whole list--fishing, throwing a ball, doing summersaults, reading books, going swimming, tackling Gracie (we might have to step in on that one). He started picking out names on the ride home...among his favorites were Manny (like Handy Manny, Dad!), Clifford (apparently his little brother will be a big red dog), Scout (our dog's name) and Super Why (yeah, he watches PBS in the morning sometimes). While we may not end up consulting him on baby names, it was exciting to see him so hyped about having a little brother.
We had to explain that baby wouldn't be here for a little while yet...Garrett thought we'd be taking new baby home Monday. "The due date is Nov. 20, buddy," I told him. "He'll be here before you know it."