I'm 17 weeks pregnant now, and we had our gender reveal party the other day!
I'll get to the part you're all dying for in a bit. First, let's spend a minute in my preggo brain.
A few people have asked me what it was like to find out I was going to have a fourth kid. I answer a little tongue-in-cheek, “I mean, what was it like when you found out you were going to be a parent? Multiply that times four.”
In all seriousness, though, the moment of truth is a little different when your hands are already very full.
Before fining our I was pregnant with the first kid, I thought I had the flu for like two months. Denial, much? We definitely weren't ready. I'm not even embarrassed to admit that. Nobody's ever ready for the first kid (according to a survey by e.p.t., 45% of women said their pregnancy was unplanned). No matter how much planning goes into the process, there's never a perfect time to turn your whole world upside down! I remember Nate and I buying the test together. We both agonized and set a timer and stared at the thing, dumbfounded as that little plus sign appeared. It was promptly decided that I should chug some more juice and pee on twelve more sticks.
That was unnecessary.
With babies two and three, I got creative and surprised Nate with clever little announcements. By the time number four came along, though, things had kind of come off the rails. He's the one who ventured a guess that I was pregnant this time – simply based on how sick and cranky I was acting – and sent me out to get the test.
Someone had to stay home with the three little goofballs!
The grocery store was crazy that night and I had to track down four different employees to help me locate the pregnancy tests. Eventually we were all traipsing through the aisles together like comrades on a tracking mission. It turns out that this particular store keeps them in a locked glass case behind the register, along with the condoms. I started envisioning a desperate teenager coming in here to get stocked up for his first romantic rendezvous, reluctantly gathering his own little condom-seeking entourage. The thought made me giggle, and after chugging several water bottles on the way over it made me have to pee to the point that I seriously contemplated taking my newly-purchased test into the store bathroom and just getting straight to it. I didn't believe it would be positive, anyway.
“No, no,” I scolded myself. “This isn't the movie Juno.” Truth be told, though, nearly half of women surveyed by e.p.t. said they took the test immediately after buying it. Glad I'm not that out of the ordinary.
I sped home and did my thing in the hall bathroom without much fanfare, watching the test turn before sticking it in Nate's face abruptly. After trying to have a fourth kid for over a year, I'd honestly given up on the idea. I think I'd become kind of…detached. Numb, resigned to the idea that we were simply unable to have any more because truth be told, maybe we couldn't handle it.
My mind hummed loudly and I looked at the hole put in the wall by one of our three boys and muttered something lame about having to give up the playroom if we had a girl. That's when Some Boy stumbled out of his room bawling loudly.
“I had a bad dream!!!” He yelled unintelligibly about a plane and a rogue propellor and clouds.
That's pretty much how things continued for the next few months. We alternately went into deer-in-headlights mode and then honed in on varying details of life. I did my best to not puke on anyone or wallow too much in my hormones. My friends have been hugely supportive. I think that's the real difference between baby number one and baby number four. You find your tribe somewhere in the midst of all these human beings, and they know how to keep you afloat in uncertain times.
Which is how we wound up here. At my dear friend Kim's house. Kim insisted that our final baby should be celebrated in his or her own special way with a gender reveal party.
I was just stoked that someone else would entertain my family for an afternoon.
She figured out how to drain several holes of their contents and fill them back with dye that we collectively chucked at a board to figure out the baby's gender.
It's a boy!
People often debate about finding out gender before birth. For me, it's been really positive in helping me connect and prepare for this child. Eventually I started feeling the baby move in my belly and trying to picture his face, contemplating his name. I rediscovered the elusive bond that drives parents to go to great lengths and provide for their families. That connection pulled me out of my numbness, helped me get back on my feet and get excited.
To me, that's the real moment of truth. That spark of recognition. The feeling of parenthood.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of e.p.t. The opinions and text are all mine.