Before I get to the exciting part, the “gender reveal,” I’ll tell you all a little story, ’cause blog.
So with our first child, a son, we initially elected not to find out the gender until baby was born. Because in the words of my grandpa, “If God had wanted you to know ahead of time, he’d have given you a window into your uterus!” Oh, Gramps… you make me laugh. The time came for our 20 week anatomy scan, and since I wasn’t obsessed over which gender I was going to have (because let’s just be honest- biologically speaking, there’re only 2 choices.) I could instead focus on the health of the heart, lungs, brain, kidneys, liver, etc…which in my opinion matter more at this point in regard to the overall health of the child rather than which manifestation of the family jewels presents itself. That along with an overwhelming majority of my husband’s side of the family having only boys (5 generations) as well as a gut feeling, I was pretty sure I knew I was having a boy anyway. But it’s nice sometimes to have a little suspense and pageantry in life.
Our plan was foiled when we got to the ultrasound and the tech was so excited at how clearly visible everything was, she blurted out, “IT’S a BOY!!!” without asking whether or not we wanted to be informed. Granted, if we were paying attention at all to the screen, as my husband was, it was clearly visible our child was male.
That said, I decided to have a little fun with this pregnancy. We went in to the ultrasound wanting to know the gender. When the tech asked us our preference, I told her my husband could look/know, but I wanted to wait to find out. So, she alerted us accordingly so I could avert my gaze and maintain ignorance, and she printed out the picture for my husband to reveal to me later. As we were leaving the hospital, I decided I wanted him to tell me in song what the gender was. Our history together as a couple began with music- we met each other at a high school choir festival/musical theatre performances through mutual friends. So, what better way for my husband to share this awesome secret with me than by singing it!? (He has a beautiful tenor voice, btw)
The parameters which I set forth were, 1.) He had until the end of the day to come up with a song in which the lyrics would refer either to a girl or to a boy and then sing it to me. 2.) There had to be some ramp up to the reveal- it couldn’t just be the word, “girl” or “boy.” 3.) He had to sing the whole song.
Evening came, and I patiently awaited the revelation. We first solidified our name choices (we had been unable to agree on a girl’s name) and then he played music. The song began and I have to admit shame here at my ignorance of Styx music, I didn’t know the verses to the song as it began to play, but the music was familiar, even though I couldn’t place the lyrics in a gender specific context.
As he sang, the anticipation grew steadily more intense until he came to the revealing phrase…”Madame Blue”! Baby #2 is a GIRL!
I was so excited! Not only because he enjoyed the challenge my method presented him, but at the uniqueness of the lyrical reference to femininity (and also the cultural relevance) of the song he chose. Back before I knew I had conceived, I was holding my son, putting him to sleep one night when I looked at his sweet face and was hit with regret and guilt of the time I wasted with resentment and depression during postpartum. I prayed for God to forgive me for not seeing how beautiful my baby boy was during that period of time and for not appreciating motherhood as I was blessed to experience it at all with all of my previous health issues. I vowed to give my role as a mom to the Lord for His glory and prayed for a second chance. Then, in that silent moment, I heard a still small voice tell me, “You will have Astrid.” Astrid had been the name we called “savesies” on after we had found out we were having a son the first time. I knew from that point on, 1) that I was pregnant (would’ve been about 2 weeks at that point.) and 2) the child conceived would be a girl.
Now, I have no empirical evidence to prove that experience. Only the fact that despite paternal genetic trends, we conceived a baby girl. And I had that “gut feeling” from the beginning that the baby was female. The beginning of my pregnancy with Astrid was so drastically different than with my son (Titus) that I was sure it was indication of differences in hormone levels- I was less sick, I was gaining weight in weird and different places, and my skin actually glowed this time! HAD to be a girl.
I mention that experience only to speak to the fact that God heard my prayer, and answered it more perfectly than I could have ever imagined. He took me from a place of deep depression and spiritual darkness as I recovered from giving birth to my son and drew me back to reliance on Him, and renewed in me a commitment to my family; to be a wife that honored God and my husband. And to be a mother who found joy in raising two wonderful children- my heritage, my legacy, my gifts from the Lord. It’s in Christ I find my strength, in the darkest times, and also in the beauty of life which he shares with us. Through Jesus I’m able to experience joy in the midst of worldly circumstances that make people question the sanity of bringing children into the world. But my peace comes in knowing that God is sovereign, Jesus Christ has won the victory over evil, and my salvation is secure in the heavenly places (1 Peter 1:3-9)
So as encouragement to you all, learn from my failures- rest secure in Jesus Christ alone and know that the Lord of the universe thinks enough of you to answer even the smallest of prayers, especially in those times when we come to Him humbly with a broken heart and wounded spirit.
Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!