Have you ever heard of Team Green? I hadn't. Basically it's a term that has been coined to describe people that choose to wait until birth to find out the gender of their child.
For Daniel and I, choosing to wait to find out Isaac's gender just kind of happened. It started when I was sent to the high-risk OB appointment at 12 weeks. While we anxiously waited to learn what was going on with our baby, the high-risk OB casually asked if we wanted to find out the sex of our baby.
I was caught off guard by the question, surprised that we could find out the gender so early. At the time I made the split second decision to wait. Truthfully, I was still trying to grasp the fact that our baby was OK and that I wasn't going to miscarry. I think that with all of the anxiety of this pregnancy I just wanted something to look forward to, and a surprise gender seemed to fulfill that need. Thankfully Daniel agreed.
At our 19 week ultrasound, we once again agreed that we would wait to find out the gender until birth. We did ask the ultrasound tech to give us the gender ultrasound in a sealed envelope in case we changed our minds (which we didn't). Daniel put the envelope in his backpack and never opened it. Ironically we still haven't looked at that sealed ultrasound to confirm whether the gender was correct!
Over Christmas many of our family weighed in on the gender. Friends also gave us their opinions. The guesses leaned heavily towards girl. During the entire pregnancy I never did have a strong feeling one way or the other – though Jack was certain he was getting a brother.
The reactions we got from people really varied when they found out we were waiting. Everyone I knew (that had waited to find out gender) would tell us that it was one of the best surprises they ever had. Other people told us that they could never wait to find out, that there was too much to plan. The funniest reactions came from complete strangers – like the different check-out girls at various grocery stores that were appalled that I was choosing to wait. I mean, why would you wait when you could be out shopping for your little one? Why wait when there is technology to tell you the sex as early as 12 weeks?
Anyways, we stuck to our guns and continued to wait. This became more difficult when I had pre-term labor at 30 weeks. Following my hospital stay I had weekly ultrasounds and every time Daniel and I would remind the ultrasound tech that we didn't know the sex, then we would turn our heads away from the screen. Every week for 10 weeks, we looked away from the ultrasound. We were seriously committed to being Team Green.
When we went to the hospital for an induction, my nurse asked what I was having. When I said that we didn't know, she excitedly said that it would be a special treat for us and that the delivery team is always excited to be a part of the surprise. It's funny how things don't always go as you expect...
When I was rushed to the OR for an emergency C-section, only 3 hours after starting my induction, no one was thinking about the gender. They were focused on getting our baby out and cauterizing the bleeding in my womb.
Daniel watched as our baby was lifted out of me and quietly said, "It's a boy." There was no fan fare, no excitement. I could barely keep my eyes open. Team Green revealed that we were actually Team Blue and all I could think about was how thirsty I was.
I had waited 9 months for this surprise. I had told countless people that I didn't care if we had a boy or girl, as long as our baby was healthy. And when all was said and done, I really didn't care. I was thrilled that 9 months of anxiety and fear; of weekly appointments to make sure our baby was doing well, had culminated in a healthy baby. Sure a small part of me was a little sad that I wouldn't have a mini-me running around, but I am thrilled that Jack got the brother that he had been so sure he was getting. I look forward to raising our boys. And overall, the fact that our newest little boy and I are both home and healthy is something to be celebrated – even if we didn't celebrate in the hospital the way I had envisioned that we would.