So a lot of people have been asking me how exactly my mom knew before we did about the sex of the baby. I figured I would explain the entire story here. From the beginning I knew I was going to find out the sex of this baby. We did not find out the sex with either one of the boys, we wanted it to be a surprise. This time around though, I wanted to be a little bit more prepared and have the room decorated and clothes ready to go. We talked about doing a gender reveal with both of our families present. I knew that 20 weeks would be towards the end of June and that would be around when I would have the ultrasound that can tell you the sex of the baby. We figured we would have a barbecue with both of our families and do the whole “cutting of the cake” to tell us the sex of the baby.
I had a doctor’s appointment when I was almost 13 weeks, the day before I was to go for my 13 week ultrasound. She explained to me that there was blood test that I could have done that assesses the risk for chromosome conditions such as Down Syndrome and can also tell you the sex of the baby. We chose to have the test done (for a number of reasons) and they explained to us that we would have the results in about 10 days. We then realized we could know the sex of the baby a lot sooner than we previously expected. So our family barbecue plan came into question because we would know the sex a lot sooner and we were not sure we could wait it out for our original reveal plan.
Eric had been training for the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon for months and we were talking about finding out at some point during his race day. We knew my mom and some of his family would be there the day of the race. My dad and brother would not be there but they said they did not mind if we called them to tell them once we knew. We started hashing out the different ways we could do it but we both wanted to be surprised. My mom suggested that we give her the results and she would make us a sign and hold it up once Eric finished the marathon. We immediately said yes (I am not sure she realized how difficult it was going to be for her).
I received the phone call with the results on May 15, 2014. I had signed off that they could leave the results of the genetic testing on my voice mail but that I did not want the sex of the baby left in the message. As I listened to the message I held the phone at a distance when the woman said “And we do know the gender if you would like to call us back and find out”. I was a little scared they would forget and leave that part in the message. They also let me know that my Doctor’s office would be receiving a copy of the test results so I could also contact them if I had any questions. I called my Doctor’s office the next day and spoke to my favorite nurse that happened to answer the phone. I told her our whole story and that I wanted to see if they could write down the baby’s sex and put it in a sealed envelope for me. Then Eric or I would pick up the envelope and give it to my mom (if we could without peeking that is). The nurse then offered (with my permission) to just call my mom and tell her to make it easier on everyone. So she did! My mom sent me a text a bit later telling me the nurse had called. I started thinking about the fact that my mom knew and wondered if I was going to be able to tell just by her voice, facial expression, or body language. When I picked the boys up that day after work, it was like nothing had even happened and she gave no clues either way. I then decided I was going to have to forget (or at least try to) that she even knew or I would never get through the next week (Eric’s marathon was going to be Sunday, May 25th).
So we all just put it out of our heads that she knew and went on with our daily lives. Eric was stressed between his job, us traveling with the boys in the car for 8+ hours, the weather on race day and running a Boston Qualifying time for his race. He had plenty to distract him. I was also stressed about packing for the trip and the boys and how they would do in the car for that long, so I was focused on other things too. We drove up Thursday night and the boys were AWESOME! I was amazed by how well they did with long car ride. I was not even as good as they were :)
We spent the next few days checking out the sites (Vermont is absolutely beautiful), eating yummy food, and getting Eric ready for his race. Sunday morning was gorgeous. The sun was shining and it was about 54 degrees. We found a great spectating spot where we knew we would see Eric between miles 2/3 and then again between 9/10. We were standing in the sun and it got very warm, very quickly. You could see the runners already sweating when they went past us at miles 2/3. I started to worry for Eric because he does NOT do well running in the warmer temperatures. He sweats ALOT and I knew it would take a toll on his race eventually. He passed us the first time and he was right on target with his time goal (he had to run a sub 3:10 to qualify for Boston). We hung out and then he passed us again going in the other direction between miles 9/10 and still looked great and was smiling. After he left we walked over to another viewpoint where he would pass us between miles 15/16. I received two texts alerts, one for the 10 mile mark and one for the 13.1 (half-marathon) mark and he was averaging 7:07s/7:09s which was in his target pace range. Where we stood at miles 15/16 was smack in the middle of a very long uphill ( almost a mile long) and it is rough. As Eric came up the hill ( still on target time-wise), I could see the heat taking a toll on him. He was soaked in sweat and looked a little tired. I told him to stay strong and we would see him at the finish. I was worried but had faith that he could still finish in under 3:10.
We found a great spot in the shade near the finish line and parked the double BOB stroller and let the boys out to play. They were having so much fun cheering for the runners and running around. There was a DJ and we listened to the announcers bringing in the finishers: first the hand cyclists and then the male and female winners. I then received an update for Eric’s 20 mile split and it said he was averaging 7:24s. I knew then that the heat had gotten to him and he was slowing down. I was still hoping for a comeback, but then just started praying that he would finish safely. His qualifying finish time gap came and went and there was no Eric. As his wife I was upset because I knew how long and hard he had trained (through the crap of the winter that we had), and how badly he wanted to qualify. As his coach I was frustrated because his training was spot on and I really believed that he was going to qualify. I started questioning my training plan for him. Did I do something wrong? What could we have done differently? Was it the weather? These are the ramblings of a runners mind.
I finally saw him round a corner of the course and knew he would be coming down the finishers chute. I smiled and cheered for him but knew he was upset about his finishing time. As soon as he passed me I started crying. Partly because I knew he was upset, but also because I was so relieved he was okay. You see so many stories of runners collapsing and having issues with the heat. I just needed to know he was okay.
I went over to the exit tunnel for the runners and waited for him. And waited. I could not find him at all. I decided to go back to our families and wait for him there. When I returned, he was already there! I am not sure how he passed me but he did. SO, now for the reveal. Eric’s father and his girlfriend, Eric’s brother (Brad), my mom and the two boys were all standing around. The people that knew that my mom was about to show us the sign were: Eric, me, my mom, and Brad. We did not tell anyone else because we did not want people asking questions or trying to get my mom to slip. I looked at Eric, Brad (he was going to take pictures of our reactions), and then my mom and we all nodded at each other. My mom pulled out the sign and uncurled it and I immediately screamed. “It’s a Girl” was scrolled across the bottom and I was absolutely shocked. Everyone was yelling and crying. I said to my mom, “How the hell did you keep this is a secret?” She has hoped I would have a girl each time I was pregnant so I know how excited she must have been to know that I was having a girl! I give her so much credit for keeping it a secret. She did awesome! Love you mom!! See the pictures below!
We were very surprised. I was pretty sure it was another boy. We are beyond excited to meet this little princess. It is the first girl on both sides of our families in quite a while!
Eric is healing and slowly getting over the race. We will try again for that BQ, and I know he will do it!
Stay tuned for a fall race preview as well as more about my running and pregnancy.