When I found out I was pregnant this time, one of the first things I did was calculate my due date. Then I counted backwards to see when we’d find out the sex of the baby. I figured the anatomy scan would be around the same point I had Annabel’s, which meant we wouldn’t find out the sex until January. I was a little bummed that we wouldn’t know before Christmas…and then I vaguely remembered that the place we’d gone to for our extra ultrasound with Annabel said they could determine the baby’s sex as early as 14 weeks…and my wheels started turning. I would definitely be far enough along to have an elective ultrasound before Christmas. I made an appointment for Dec. 23rd and made a plan to surprise everyone with the baby’s sex as a Christmas present.
At first I considered going alone and surprising Mike, too, but I quickly scratched that idea. I wanted him to be there with me, and I also wanted Annie to come. She’s not allowed in Dr. Risky’s office and she’s been so desperate to see the baby, and I knew Mike would want to be there for that, too. So a few days before the scheduled ultrasound, I told him my plan and he was all in. We waited to tell Annie until that morning. She was BEYOND excited. She picked out her clothes herself:
She wasn’t thrilled that I made her wear pants.
When we got to the ultrasound place, Annie was jumping up and down with excitement. Even though she’d seen plenty of still ultrasound photos of The Acrobat by that point, I was a little worried that to her, “seeing the baby” meant seeing an actual baby. So I explained that the baby would look a lot like what she’d seen, except the baby would be bigger and moving. “It’s not going to look like a grown baby like your friends’ babies – not yet.” She looked at me, “I know, Mama.” Like duh.
I hopped up on the table and the tech squirted the gel on my belly and got to work. Annie was fascinated. She looked completely serious and kept switching her gaze from me to the screen. “What’s she doin’ Mama?” The tech was really sweet and started explaining everything so Annie would understand it, which we really appreciated. I thought Annie would get antsy, but she was completely mesmerized the entire time.
After a few minutes of moving the wand around, the tech asked us if we wanted her guess, or if we wanted to wait until she was certain. I’d seen enough by then to know, so I told the tech to go ahead. I looked over at Annie, and she was bracing herself:
“I think it’s a boy….wait, yes, it’s definitely a boy. I’m certain.”
I kept staring at Annie. “Annabel! It’s a boy! You’re going to have a baby brother!”
Her mouth dropped open as if she was stunned. She was quiet for a moment, processing the information, and then she said, “I will be the princess, and he will be the prince!”
That night, when I sat down to read Annabel a bedtime story, I felt her prince kick for the first time.