Many years ago I bought a book at the bookstore. How To Choose the Sex of Your Baby.
I had three boys. I was going for baby number four. I knew this would be my last shot. My husband was 39. He made it clear that he was finished having babies at 40. I knew that at the beginning of our relationship. The pressure was now on...I believed that I would end up with twin boys at this rate.
I read the book. I did EVERYthing it said to do. Without going into too many crazy details that would keep this from being a "family friendly" post - I will tell you that conceiving my girl was becoming more scientific and scholastic than anything else.
One of the staples of conception for a girl hinged upon ovulation. Determining your ovulation date was critical. The thought process behind the madness was the Shettles Method. He believed the Y bearing sperm faster swimmers but die sooner. So you want to have more X bearing sperm near the released egg at the time of conception. Dr. Shettles believes that you have intercourse often up until 2-4 days prior to what you have deemed your ovulation day. Then wait until after ovulation before resuming protected relations. The problem with this thought is that it can make conceiving more difficult in general since you are seemingly avoiding the day of ovulation.
But we went for it. I took my temperature every morning before my feet hit the floor. I charted and tracked. After a couple of months, I felt comfortable with my numbers and predictions. We decided to give it a whirl. I remember feeling uptight. For all intents and purposes this would be my last pregnancy for many reasons. Therefore my last chance to have a girl.
So on Day 10 of my cycle we tried to have a girl. I tried to remember all of the words in the book. All of those dos and don'ts. But honestly, much of it, became a fog. Once again it was just my husband and I as it had always been. The scientific approach far out of my mind.
After this day, we were to cease relations. But anyone who knows a woman trying to conceive, knows that soon emotional feelings take over and the desperation to get pregnant can begin to overrule logical thinking.
It was Day 12 of my cycle. I really began to worry that I wouldn't get pregnant if we continued to do the deed so far ahead of ovulation. I also worried how I had not followed all of the instructions from the book. I wanted a do over. I tried to coerce my husband into one last time on Day 12. I will never forget his words,
"Let's just let it ride and see what happens."
So we did.
A few short weeks later I found out I was pregnant.
A few short weeks later we had the first sonogram. Everyone at my ob/gyn office was waiting on pins and needles. They had front row seats to my 3 boys. They knew I had bought the book. They knew I had actively tried for a girl.
The sonogram tech was the same wonderful woman who had pointed out little boys to me. The same wonderful woman who had to be the bearer of news each time there was no heartbeat. We had been through so much over those 5 years. Here we were again.
She felt confident it was a girl. She called in my ob/gyn. He agreed. Looked like a girl. There were all sorts of cheers and claps. But also much hesitation. .
Over the course of the months, I think they put me on the sonogram table four more times. Just to check and be sure. No one wanted to be wrong.
We painted the room peach. With a white picket fence. My brother came and painted all sorts of woodland creatures around the fence. Birds, squirrels, caterpillars, lady bugs, bunnies...I bought material from Laura Ashley and made tulip covered curtains. We picked our her name easily and bought her initials to hang on the wall. We purchased a brand new crib as three boys had done some serious damage on it. This one would be white. The bumper pads yellow gingham.
My best friend threw me a surprise baby shower for my fourth baby. For my girl. Everyone was so excited to buy pink! The excitement was palpable for everyone.
It was the Thursday before Mother's Day weekend. I had an OB appointment. After my examination, my OB wanted me to drive directly to the hospital. I was 4 centimeters dilated and completely effaced. He knew that I literally could go into labor at any minute. He knew that the baby would come fast. He knew that it was my 4th child so all bets were off with how fast it could be. He knew that I lived an hour from the hospital. He knew how bad the traffic could be on the Washington Beltway.
But what he didn't know?
The next day I was to be escorted by my 3 year old Son #2 to his Mother's Day Tea at his preschool. It was not acceptable to go to the hospital just yet. I had a date that I needed to keep.
So we struck a deal. If I didn't go into labor over the weekend, I would meet him at the hospital Monday morning and they would begin the induction process at 8 am.
I attended the tea with Son #2. Big as a house!! It was a lovely tea and I still look at those pictures remembering the conscious decision I had made.
I waited all weekend...
Monday morning we met at the hospital. They set me up in my room. Hooked up the IV. Started the pitocin. My OB turned to walk out of the room and said,
"I'll send the anesthesiologist in right away."
Calm as a cucumber I replied,
"Take your time. I am fine."
He looked into my eyes and reminded me that I was already over 4 centimeters. When the pitocin kicked in I would be in very active labor.
I laughed and shrugged it off.
He hadn't left the room for 5 minutes.
I turned to my husband with that first contraction and said,
"Oh No! Go get the anesthesiologist NOW!"
I had never started labor like that. Right in the middle with immediate intensity. Typically you work your way into that. I'll never forget that first contraction. It completely rocked my world.
After laboring for a fairly short time, I turned to my husband and said, "I need to push."
He laughed and informed me that I didn't.
I said it again. "It's time to push."
He calmly reiterated, "The nurse just checked you. It's not time."
I NOT so calmly responded, "Go tell them. Now."
He chassed out the door and I heard him say, "She says she needs to push." He said it with just a hint of sarcasm.
But moments later there was a flurry of activity. Everyone bustling around the room preparing for the arrival.
I think I pushed three times. It was so fast. So easy.
Then it was here.
Beautiful. Tiny. Pink.
The announcement read:
"God's most beautiful thoughts bloom into children...
...our new blossom.
Born May 16, 2000 at 12:46 p.m.
7 pounds, 14 ounces
20 inches long
So glad we let it ride.
Happy 11th Birthday today to my only girl!
"I never thought through love we'd be, making one as lovely as she. So very lovely made from love." ~ Stevie Wonder