Today we had an ultrasound.
Let me back up before I get to the meat of the story and say that bedtime tonight for the kids was the stuff of which parents' dream. Remi laid down, blew me a kiss, and said goodbye as he put himself to bed. This is a relatively new routine and our house and it seems to be hit or miss. What doesn't change is how often he rolls in his sleep, which means it is time for him to be on his own. I had a gut feeling (usually what I go by), and they both do so well with routine.
Before Remi waved me off in a daze of oatmeal-for-dinner induced slumber, we collectively prayed with Aiden, gave her a couple of Highlights with which to fall asleep, and let her decompress. The benefit of Remi's tiredness is that I was privileged to do something every parent of 2+ children longs for: I got to quietly open Aiden's door, check if she was still awake, and read her Highlights alongside her until she said, "Can you leave now so we can both get some sleep?"
When I was pregnant with Remi I remember savoring the time I had with Aiden, maybe even more so than I had previously attempted. Our routine was good, we flowed well together, and I knew there was a clock on it. Tonight was that way- and what an emotional, sharply realistic, and peaceful end to the day of the last ultrasound we may ever have.
We have had three very different ultrasound experiences. With Aiden my oldest (4), we were waiting with bated breath to find out what our first baby was going to be. I'll be brutally honest, I cried in the car. Not tears of joy, but of the selfish desire for a boy and only a boy. WAS I WRONG or WAS I WRONG!? My daughter is best-case-scenario of any scenario you can imagine. Remi's(1.5) ultrasound was vivid, no mistaking that he was a boy. We got to experience that with my sister and Aiden together. This time wearing masks, unable to bring family or friends, and waiting in our car until we received a text that our appointment had arrived, we weren't sure how it would proceed.
We had decided not to find out what we were having. We have one of each, and so long as Raisin (not the real name) is healthy, nothing changes how we love. Yesterday, sitting on Aiden's disc on her swing set while the kids played together I asked Matt, "If this is 100% up to you, what would you decide?". His response, "I would want to know. My physical body doesn't change, and this is one of the few ways it feels real to me".
Instantly I not only felt a moment of selfishness and lack of consideration, but also this deep desire to give him the greatest depth of 'real-ness' that the spouse of a person carrying the child could have. So we changed our minds.
And today the baby held its knees to its chest and crossed its ankles until the very end of the exam.
We saw fingers move, legs and toes kick and wiggle, a heart beat beautifully, and a mouth open and close multiple times. I've never seen a baby move so much on an ultrasound- it was like a short film I could watch over and over.
One long hour later, the tech confidently revealed to us (something I have felt for a while) that our final baby is going to be a girl.
I never thought the love for my second would rival the love for my first, and it doesn't.
They are on completely different planes- and yet the grow in tandem with one another, weaving through different stages and milestones and characteristics. To fathom that one more thread could be interwoven at it's own pace, with completely different traits than the two before not only baffles my mind, but it leaves me overwhelmed.
I feel transition coming, the same way I can hear the wind in my woods before I feel it. But right now, I'm just in awe of the way the leaves are moving, breathing deep while I have this peace after bedtime- holding my belly and talking to this baby girl.