My First Christmas Present

The schedule of ultrasounds has changed since I gave birth to Jared.  Or at least, that is how my obstetrician tells me.  With both Jared and Luke, the first important ultrasound did not take place any earlier than 16 weeks into the pregnancy.  Now, my doctor tells me that the crucial time to do the first thorough ultrasound is between 11 to 13 weeks.  He insisted that this is the important window in discovering any possible early defects in the development of the baby.  However, it is also too early to find out the gender of the baby.

My doctor also insists that it is important to have an ultrasound for each trimester.  So, I was going to have to wait until the second trimester ultrasound to find out if I was having a girl or a boy.  During my November check up, my doctor said that we should probably go ahead and schedule the second trimester ultrasound for sometime in December. 

“Maybe the middle of December sometime…what do you think?”

I looked up at him sheepishly and said, “Well, my husband is going to be in the U.S. during the first week of December.  It would be nice, if he could return with specific clothes for a baby boy or a baby girl.  But doing the ultrasound then would be too early, right?”

The doctor scratched his head for a minute or two and looked at his calendar.  He starting thinking out loud about how many weeks pregnant I would be at that time.  By the end of the first week of December, I was going to be 22 weeks pregnant. 

Finally, he said, “Alright, how about the first day of December?  Then, you can call Stephen in the U.S. and tell him what to bring back down.”

I was completely thrilled to hear the news and began to count down the days to my next ultrasound.  The weekend before December 1, Stephen and I put up the Christmas tree and pulled out our Christmas music and our Christmas decorations.  So, I really felt like I was in the Christmas mood when I went to see my doctor for the ultrasound.

I tried not to act too antsy or impatient as he went through the routine process of checking the baby’s head, face, legs, arms and vital organs before checking the area of gender discovery. 

“So, what do you think it is?” he asked me as I looked at the screen of a squirming little body with its legs spread wide open. 

I wasn’t sure what to assume.  It didn’t exactly look the same as Jared and Luke, but I was afraid to get too excited. 

“It’s not a boy?” I asked lamely.

“It’s a girl!” he told me confidently and then typed “xx” on the screen.

I could hardly believe it was true.  “Are you sure?” I asked him. 

He pointed to the screen to show me where obvious male organs were missing and where you could clearly see that the child was a female.  My heart leapt. 

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love both of my sons very much and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.  But I had felt for many years that God was going to bring a daughter into my life and that I was to name her Grace.

And there she was on the screen.  She will be our little “GEM” because her initials (Grace Erin Meier) spell that word.  Jared and Luke already refer to her as baby Grace.  I don’t know if Luke really understands much of what is going on, but I think he will be a wonderful big brother when our little GEM comes into the world in another three months or so. 

As my doctor finished the ultrasound, he said what a pleasure it was to do my ultrasound and that everything was “immaculate” with the baby’s progress and growth.  I felt double blessed.  Not only am I expecting a daughter, but she is healthy, as well.

Cristina poses at 25 weeks of pregnancy on Christmas eve.