Tuesday, July 24, 2012

my pregnancy with ember: the day we met.

(actually, I wanted to call this the night we met, before we met, before we really met. But I wasn't sure anyone would really get that.)


Let me start this by repeating myself.
I really like to repeat myself.
I do.

I'm not a crazy huge fan of ultrasounds.
As previously posted, we had our first with Ember very early and it was like letting out the longest breath that I have ever held. I don't regret doing it. But I wish it wouldn't have felt so necessary to do. I wish I had more peace about letting things be.

I knew for sure however, that we would find out the gender once I was far enough along to do so. And I will probably find out the gender for all the rest of my children as well. I would absolutely love to be someone who can wait until birth. Oh man, would I love it if I could do that. How stinkin' cool.
But I am not that person.
The temptation is too great.

And why? Because it was actually really, really, really hard at first to connect myself to my pregnancy. I wanted so much to disconnect actually, in case something happened. I had no promises that finding out the gender would change this for me, but I had a feeling it wouldn't hurt.

We have had two baby names, one girl name, and one boy name, picked out since my first pregnancy. So I knew that this baby was either Ember, or our boy name. What I didn't know, was which. And I was so desperate to know who this baby was.

I have all kinds of opinions about that, and ultrasounds, and 2d and 3d and 4d (my goodness). But it didn't change the fact that I was doing it.

I scheduled a 2d ultrasound to find out the gender for when I hit a little past 18 weeks. I was so insanely excited and nervous about this and the day seriously couldn't come soon enough. I had Neil take the afternoon off work, and planned for us to go have a nice lunch before hand (to hopefully wake up the baby and get her moving so we could see what we needed to see!).

I had A LOT of anxiety though. Well, 'cause it's me right? I find anxiety in the most calm of times. It's my super power. Ugh.
I have mentioned them before, but I have two nieces. One from one brother, and one from another brother. So everyone was pretty much thinking it'd be awesome if we had a boy. Some people were even saying, yep, it's a boy! They just knew apparently. I was actually hearing it from everyone, we were having a boy.

I honestly, never had a clue. I thought at first it was a girl. Then I thought it was a boy just because everyone was so sure it was. Then I started to get this whole, "what if it is a girl, and no one is happy about it?" thing going on. I suddenly felt, all this pressure to have produced a boy!

And if we're going to be perfectly honest, the thought of a daughter scared me. I'll blog soon about my years spent believing that I would never have children, or be a mother, because I was not going to be good at it. It's a whole other topic. And a daughter meant... well a daughter meant facing a whole lot of other fears that stem from my childhood. For some reason, no, actually, ok, for some good reasons (rational, true or not) the idea of raising a boy scared me far less.

On top of all this there was all the "is the baby healthy? is the baby truly alright? is the baby really even there?" Good grief I'm good about scaring the crap out of myself.

So I'd built myself into this anxious frenzy. And the night before the sonogram, as Neil and I were going to bed, I confessed about how stressed I was. To which Neil told me I was being crazy, as usual, and to just be happy that we would get a little glimpse at our baby. Whoever they were, because did it really matter anyways?
No. No it did not.
Dang his calm and cool... well, everything.

Now, this is the part I've only told a few people. And I actually stopped telling people at one point, because it didn't seem to register with others. Nobody seemed to get it. I'm not sure why. I felt vulnerable sharing it anyways, so I had no trouble just keeping it to myself.
But, this is my blog, and I don't have to deal with your body language, silent responses or negative reaction! Hooray!

I had a dream about Ember that night.
It was not a good dream, I don't usually have awesome dreams. They're usually pretty emotional somehow, pretty heavy. It wasn't a bad dream either, it was just... a dream. Some story my subconscious was telling me that night. Not good. Not bad. Just a dream.
I won't tell the entire thing, because I only remember parts anyways, and the dream was not a short one.
But for most of the dream, I was carrying around a baby. And I was desperate. I was holding her outward, like I was showing her to people. Literally every single person I came across. And I was saying, over and over and over again, "This is Ember!" "It's Ember!" And that wasn't even the entire focus of the dream, lots of things were happening, completely unrelated to my holding a baby, but all the while, I was holding her out, showing her and declaring her name.

I woke up completely floored. I wouldn't say that it made me feel any better. It sort of bothered me really. I just couldn't make sense of it. My dreams are never completed and seem to have very fractured events. Trying to put the entire thing together just wasn't working at all, but trying to figure out my part with Ember was also confusing. I just couldn't seem to understand the very simple message I was being sent.

And looking back, well, actually, as soon as we had the sonogram, it all made perfect sense. And my favorite part is, that I wasn't going around saying "it's a girl!". I was going around saying "it's Ember!". This wasn't even about a girl or a boy. This was about who she was. I don't think I could have named Ember something else even if I wanted to. Because, it was Ember. Plain and simple.

(A sidenote: I remember before I started seeing my midwife, I was being seen at clinic by a nurse midwife there. When asked about predicting gender, she said she really believed in dreams the most. I always thought it was interesting, to hear someone who worked in a medical establishment, say that.)

When we got to the sonogram office, Neil and I were both, I think, a good mix of nervous and excited. We were waiting on a couple before us. The office was nice. I plan on using them again. The receptionist had us give her our boy name and girl name for the dvd and photo envelope. I remember her raised eyebrows when I gave them to her. I actually had to write them down because she kept messing up the spelling. I wanted to say, "I know, hippie names..." but I just smiled and ignored her.

We went into the room, got comfortable and got started. The sonographer's first question to us was what we wanted, a boy or girl. I said I didn't care. Neil said, a boy would be cool. And literally, the words came out of his mouth, and the lady said, "well, you've got yourself a girl!". Ha. Ha. Ha. I think you could have knocked Neil over with a feather. And I just.. well, I suddenly realized, "of course! of course! of course it's you!" And nothing, not a single thing, that anyone had said about boys and gender and any of it, even mattered. Because there she was and of course it was Ember. And I never felt another anxious feeling about it. I loved that I was going to have a daughter, and I loved what it meant for my life and her life.

My pregnancy with Ember: finding out it was Ember...

The rest of the sonogram was quick and relaxed. She flipped to 3D a couple of times, when Ember was in a decent position for it (the later in pregnancy, the fatter the baby, the cuter the 3D. It can looks downright freaky if you catch a younger, less fat baby in a strange position). I'm not a huge fan of 3D, would never do one of those 3D or 4D sonogram sessions that are so popular, but there is one image from the quick 3D view that the sonographer captured, that I love:

my pregnancy with Ember: finding out it was Ember.

It looks like she's all snuggled up against me.

When we left the office, I think both Neil and I were a mix of shocked and high on life. And I don't mean shock as in we couldn't believe it. There is just something about that moment that suddenly makes so many unknown things a little more clear. Just a little, but enough to make you start really thinking and planning and dreaming.

That day completely changed my life. It was the beginning of many life changing days.

When I look back on the dream I had, when I think about my pregnancy with Ember, so much makes sense. Knowing and living with my Ember now, it all just fits. She's strong, this girl. She told me, before I even saw her up on that screen, who she was. I was questioning and questioning and she did her very best to answer. And I've learned very quickly from her, that it isn't what she can or can't  communicate. She's constantly communicating. It isn't her fault, that I'm ignorant to how and what. She's got all this, and I'm the one learning the ropes. How to trust and understand her. But I could go on and on about this...

Ah, this post is so long! And it's the one I've been dying to type out. The one story I really just had to tell. I'm not good at editing myself, especially with stuff like this. (I know that these long, rambly, personal posts aren't so popular in blogland these days, but I am who I am. And I will ramble on.) So, hopefully you read through this whole rambly, emotional, sometimes completely borderline kooky post, and still love me for it.

I love me for it.
And I love Ember for it.


  1. I <3 these long and rambling posts... they are perfection.

  2. What a stong and beautiful woman you have become...keep on blogging

  3. I'm starting to be a big fan of those dreams too- I remember being absolutely convinced that we were having a girl after I had a dream about her, but tried very hard to convince myself otherwise because of how things go in this family. Getting close now so we'll see how dreams match up to reality in terms of the birth which is what I dreamed about. Looking forward to the next installment ;)

  4. I think dreams are so amazingly powerful. What an awesome experience to meet your daughter in your dreams first. She always was Ember, and she always was supposed to be yours. Love you friend. <3