Girl or Boy for Baby No. 2? We’re Going to Have a …

Girl or Boy for Baby No. 2? We’re Going to Have a …

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The week that we found out we were expecting Baby Morgan No. 2, I took to the internets for a refresher course on when we might find out the gender. (As always, Google finished my sentence. Oh, Google, you know me so well.)

To our surprise, we found out at 12 weeks. We happened to have two ultrasounds that week—lots of extra tests for those of us experiencing “advanced maternal age” pregnancies. The first tech said she could tell us the gender with 50% confidence. I chuckled. I could have told you THAT without the million-dollar equipment. Two days later, the second tech came to the same conclusion, though she was bold enough to label the ultrasound.

Still, we were not convinced. We kept telling people, “We think we’re having a—”

“Why do you only think?” they’d reply. Of course, that made me think. See, my online search in week 5 told me that we probably wouldn’t find out the gender till around week 18, so to find out in week 12, a month and a half earlier, well, that was a bit of a surprise.

Or maybe we weren’t ready to accept the answer.

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Silence Is a Rare Thing Indeed When You Have a Newborn

I started this post, my first in almost three months, just after 10 a.m. on a Saturday. I got to sleep in a bit, sleep being a relative term. It’s the first time I’ve felt like writing even though I experienced one of the most memorable moments of my life: the birth of my first child. (That’s not entirely true—I *started* a half-dozen posts, but none came to fruition.)

This morning, the house is quiet and peaceful. Not clean, mind you; it looks like a baby registry blew up in our living room. Just peaceful. Friends and family have stopped dropping by quite so frequently. My parents, after having gotten their baby fix, left for home. We’re in between visits from my father-in-law and mother-in-law.

The kid finally settled down to sleep after another restless night and mom, wisely, grabbed a nap, too. But here I am, enjoying a quiet house, my mind suddenly coherent enough to put two sentences together.

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Why the Baby Registry Scares Me to Death

I didn’t know what to expect when my wife and I walked into Babies R Us last weekend. I didn’t expect it to scare the bejesus out of me, but that’s exactly what it did.

I’m familiar with the whole registry thing. I’m a big fan. Before our wedding, we loved taking the bar code scanner gun thing and zapping china and crystal and blenders maybe an item or two that we’d actually use on a daily basis, and let our adoring friends and family buy them for us.

So maybe I expected the same with the baby registry. My wife and I, with magical scanner gun in hand, twirling through the aisles and zapping everything in site. Stroller? Zap. Pirouette. BabyBjörn? Zap. Arabesque. Diapers? Zap-zap-zap. Plié.

There was zapping, but no dancing. Instead, a statuesque father-to-be gawking at a grand wall of Tommee Tippee baby bottles.

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Naming Rites: Deciding What to Call Our Kid

Picking a name for our boy is proving to be tough stuff.

Truth is, we were always more firm on the girl name, because it had significance in both of our families. From early on in our courtship, we had that much ironed out. (Was it an odd conversation to have while we were dating? Maybe. “You’re putting the cart before the horse,” my mom would say. But it was fun for us to think about.)

We had a boy name, too—still do—but I was never as solid about it. I figured there was no sense in laboring over a long list until we knew for sure what we were having.

That brings us to now, when we know what we’re having, and that business about laboring over lists.

I’ve looked at classic names and traditional names (there’s a difference?) and I’ve even looked up the 100 most popular boy names of 1880. (No. 1? John.)

I have to admit, it seems a little strange to be perusing names from a book or online list, like I’m trying to decide what to have brought in for lunch. Then again, how else are we going to know?

So far we’ve got a fuzzy set of criteria. Easy to spell. Easy to pronounce. Easy to understand. Nickname sounds as good with “Morgan” as the full name does. Won’t set up the kid for a lifetime of teasing. (I realize I could offend just about every boy and parent by going into great detail about which names we don’t like and why, so I’ll just leave it there.)

Eh, maybe I’m putting the cart before the horse. We’ve got four months to figure this out.

Do you have a good resource for baby name research? I’d love to hear about it.

Oh Boy! Today I Discovered I’ll Have a Son

This morning, while my wife held my hand in the ultrasound room, her on the table and me in the chair, I was preoccupied about finding out whether our baby was male or female. I had gotten so single-minded about it that I began to think it was the only reason we were there.

But as our technician searched around my wife’s belly with the ultrasound wand and found each angle to capture the good stuff—head size and shape, spine development, arm and leg length—and as each time she said it looked good and healthy, I became very aware how significant all this was. I said a prayer when she counted five fingers and five toes—actually, when she counted toes at all. I said a prayer when she said our baby was average. In our technician’s world, average is very good.

All of the amusing stories about fatherhood and all of the real or perceived tall tasks that lie ahead of me as a parent faded far off into the distance. None of it mattered today.

My boy appears to be healthy. For that I thank God.

Whoa Moments: Pivotal Points Early in Her Pregnancy

In about an hour, my wife has an appointment with the ultrasound technician. After four and a half months—really, since the second we starting thinking about having kids—we finally get to find out if our little IT is a girl or a boy. (That is, as my friends point out, if the baby cooperates for the camera.)

I am readying myself for this, the biggest “whoa” moment in a string of “whoa” moments.

“Whoa” moment 1: My wife telling me she was pregnant. We had been trying for a year and a half, so it was big news.

“Whoa” moment 2: Telling family and close friends. We got to relive the happy news over and over again. My wife was on the phone with her mom like 2 nanoseconds after we found out. No surprises there. I chose to wait a little longer to tell my folks. I knew they would be in town for a visit about a month after, so I told them then. For the rest, we adopted a “when it feels right” mentality. I knew it was OK to go viral when my wife posted something on Facebook.

“Whoa” moment 3: The first ultrasound appointment. We got to see our little “nublet,” to see the heartbeat going wild in the grainy moving picture. That little life starting to take shape—indescribable.

“Whoa” moment 4: The first doctor’s appointment. We heard the heartbeat on the doppler machine. It was like a game of Pac Man going on in my wife’s belly. Weechu, weechu, weechu, weechu, weechu.

Finding out whether IT is a boy or a girl will be a “whoa” moment for obvious reasons.

It will set in motion a chain of events that will change our lives forever. We’ll know which name to go with. We’ll know which color to paint the baby’s room. We’ll know which clothes to put on the baby registry.

But beyond that, I envision my life will fast-forward infinitely before my eyes in one direction or another.

  • Will I be playing army in the living room … OR dress-up?
  • Will I sign my kid up for soccer … OR, well, soccer? (OK, bad example.)
  • Will I be conducting “the talk” myself … OR will I say “Go ask your mother”?
  • When my child starts to drive, will I be paying an arm and a leg for insurance … OR just through the nose?
  • Will I get to tell my son my secret for throwing out a runner at second base?
  • OR, speaking of second base: When my daughter starts to date, will I need to buy a shotgun?
Our little “nublet” at 9.5 weeks.

Girl or Boy? Tomorrow We Find Out What “It” Is

When our friends or our family members or our servers at Applebee’s find out we’re pregnant, the most common response is “So … do you want to find out if it’s a boy or a girl?”

“Yes. Yes, we do.”

But you and I both know that’s not the last of the questions.

“So … which one do you want?”

That answer—not so simple.

I’m the oldest of three boys. My loving mother has said that she really wanted a girl. Just one. (Sorry, Mom.) I have always held that I would provide my mom with all the girls she could dream of.

At a Coyotes hockey game a couple months ago, I saw a girl a few rows in front, maybe 18 to 24 months old, bedecked in a Boston Bruins hockey warm-up and jersey. I melted. I thought, I want to have a girl so I can totally put her in hockey gear!

Then there’s the father-daughter bond. That can’t be discounted. It’s a lot of responsibility to be a strong, stable role model in a girl’s life as she grows up. I know that. I believe I will be ready.

Does this mean I want a girl? Not so fast.

As I said, I’m the oldest of three boys. All I know are boys. Grubbing-in-the-dirt boys. Needing-stitches-every-other-weekend boys. What I’m trying to get at is that I’d very much be in my element with a boy.

Our pastor spoke recently on the Book of Matthew, which spends half of the first chapter recounting the lineage of Jesus. Without getting too biblical, Matthew lists 40 fathers who had boys who became men who had boys who became men who had boys, the last of which was Jesus. I don’t know why this particular religious lesson touched me, because the desire to have a boy isn’t necessarily religious. But it accessed a part of me that hadn’t been accessed before, the ingrained inclination to pass down my name. I know, I know—if I have a daughter, she would always be a Morgan, too. I’m painting in broad strokes here.

Then there is the fact that I want to put a baseball and a glove into the crib of my baby boy and raise him to become what I wasn’t: a professional baseball player. Ah, I jest. Or do I?

All this wondering ends Thursday, when my wife has her appointment with the ultrasound technician. We finally get to find out if our little IT is a girl or a boy.

“Honey. Guess what. I’m pregnant.”

My wife gently nudged my lifeless, bedridden body. “Honey. Honey,” she said. “Wake up.”

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

“Honey.” Nudge. “Guess what.” Nudge. “I’m pregnant.”

“Oh, hey,” I said all quiet, twilight-sleepy-like. “That’s great.”

And she was off.

There was the news we’d been waiting to share for a year and a half. We’re pregnant. WE’RE PREGNANT! Our first child. Although I didn’t exactly shout it in all caps at the time. I might have even dozed off again.

A few minutes later, after my mind had a chance to wake up and fully grasp what I’d been told, I joined my wife in the guest bedroom and gave her a hug and a kiss. She was already on the phone with her mom.

That day ended one journey, our journey to get pregnant. And it was a journey. I hesitate to call it “infertility,” but that’s what it was. We couldn’t get pregnant for trying. Eventually, after a year-plus, we started using over-the-counter ovulation kits, continued with doctor-advised tests and finally turned to prescription medication. The medication did the trick.

That day also began a new journey, the wonderful, miraculous and very mysterious world of pregnancy, and laid the foundation of a thousand more journeys to last the rest of our lives. I’ll do my best to journal those journeys.

My wife is 17 weeks along now. More than four months. We knew about the unwritten rules of telling friends, family and strangers and decided to just let people know when it felt right. It must feel right these days. My wife posted this on her Facebook page last week.



She feels great. She looks great. I can’t believe she’s already four months along. She’s thinking about maternity clothes, but she doesn’t need them yet if you ask me.

The baby sounds great, too, according to the doctor and the Doppler he used at our last appointment. Seeing our little “nublet” on the ultrasound at our first appointment and, later, hearing my baby’s heartbeat are moments I’ll never forget.

This is the best time of pregnancy, say our doctor and friends who have been pregnant recently, because she’s not tired all the time like she was in the first trimester and she’s not yet weighed down by a bowling ball strapped to her stomach like she will be in the third trimester.

This is also the time of pregnancy when we’re starting to realize that this is happening, and it’s a bit overwhelming thinking about everything we have ahead of us. Buy baby furniture. Buy baby clothes. Buy diapers. Buy a stroller. Buy a car seat. Buy a highchair. Buy a baby bottle and a baby pacifier and a baby rattle. Clear out the baby room. Find a place in the house for all the stuff that used to be in the baby room. Paint the baby room. Hire a professional artist to do the mural in the baby room. You get the idea. Oh heck, you’re probably nodding with approval because you’ve already been there.