Gender Reveal | Meet Our Baby!

"what He desires, that He does.
for He will complete what He appoints for me,
and many such things are in His mind."
job 23
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My striking and courtly grandmother was the first and only child in her family.   After she married my tall, brainy grandfather she had a son, but he died suddenly at 10 days old.  Shortly after, she was pregnant again.  My mother was born, and was the living eldest in her family of six.  Three girls and one boy and two parents.  Though my mother was sure I was a boy (and my nickname was "Baby Moses"), she delightfully found out her first child was a daughter.

My childhood was spent far more in imaginary settings than in reality.  I was endlessly playing games and making up families and stories.  Dollhouse, Barbie and invisible friends were my favorite activities.  My imaginary family consisted of me as the mom, and my four daughters (dad had died in war.)  I had one Ken doll, but he mostly just sat in the kitchen while the ladies kept busy preparing for the ball or searching for the missing bunny rabbit!  Though I was athletic, I was a girls-girl to the bone.

And my mom and I were a team.  Just like she and her mom.  Grandma (Bacca, to me) and mom had the sweetest, best friend, mother-daughter relationship.  Bacca had an envious relationship with all her daughters - and all her daughters had first-born daughters (in fact, my two aunts only ever had daughters!).  But I always thought of my mom the way she thought of her mom.  I had friends who wished they had an older brother.  I never did.  I loved being the oldest, and I loved being mom's pal.  We would take the latest baby with us on weekend shopping trips.  I, and just I, went with her when she found Bacca was dying.  We flew cross-country while she was nine months pregnant, and while we were in the hospital parking lot, Bacca died.  We got off the elevator and were told the news by mom's sisters.  And I was there.  Not my dad, not all the other kids, and now not even her mom.

I'd take the baby so mom could sleep.  Mom never missed my games, mom taught me how to cook and loved to let me learn, mom tried to help me with fashion and I refused to heed her advice.  Mom went to Chicago with me before my first big trip "alone" after highschool.  Mom and I get ourselves into the most ridiculous debacles, and we're so similar: messy, unorganized, big-hearted creatives... we are full of ideas, love to relax and make things beautiful, but usually do things the hard way.  I spent a week in the hospital with mom nearly a year ago.  She was the first person I called when I got engaged, the only family member waiting up for me when we got home that night, and the most excited about wedding planning.  I had two must-haves for the wedding: to marry Caleb, and for mom to be there.  The day I found out I was pregnant, I ran upstairs to find my mom and tell her... literally ten minutes after Caleb and I found out ourselves.  Mom came with us to the gender reveal ultrasound yesterday, and we're planning on her being there for the birth (we both need her.)  And that's just how it is.
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In my mind, I always, mmm, wanted? No, I can't even say wanted... I think assumed.  In my mind, I always assumed that my first born and I would continue on what Bacca and mom, and mom and I shared.  It just seemed natural and how it would be.

When Caleb and I started planning our futures together, we both agreed we had a gut instinct that our first born would be a girl.  I was surprised when he said that, actually.  I thought he'd predict a son first. But he was oddly convinced we'd be a family of three: dad, mom and little lady.

After we actually found out we were expecting, we never even talked about "Do you think it's a boy? Or a girl?" it just was a girl.  All along.  We have a list of names we love, but one of the girl names especially seemed to fit this baby and we unintentionally started calling her that name.  When we announced at church that we were having a girl, a dear older man who has spoken into our lives through prayer and vision from the Lord, had a distinct picture of our daughter, and the phrase immediately associated with her was "what a joy! what a joy!"  I cried during his prayer for her - his prayer of not just being a joy to those around her, but having a deep and unnatural sense of God's joy.   Marked by stone-strong joy.
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As the weeks went on, I thought it'd be fun to do all those little tests.  The Chinese gender calendar.  The string-and-needle-test.  The cravings test.  The "way you're carrying" test.  Girl. Girl. Girl. Girl.  I had strangers stop me out in public and tell me I was having a girl, because of such-and-such trait or quality I apparently had.  I had a few friends tell me "I don't know, you're awfully confident, but I have a feeling it might be a boy.  Just because you're so sure it's a girl.  Little boy is going to prove you wrong!"  I'd honestly try to imagine what they would be like.

What if this baby is a boy?  Wow.  It never really crossed my mind.  And I couldn't even begin to grasp that.  What if Little Clementine Joy Girl is... a he?  Trying to imagine that felt like trying to imagine Little Clementine Joy Girl being a fox, or butterfly.  I really want boys... in fact!  I'd love to have six boys after this first girl!  But, that's just not who was in me right now.  Between dreams, memories, desires, predictions, and plain ol' gut instinct, Caleb and I have always known she's our "she."

After basketball a few days ago, I was talking to one of the moms and she asked if I knew what we were having yet.  I responded, like I always do, "We haven't had the ultrasound yet, but I know it's a girl."  We talked for a few minutes about when she was pregnant with her first baby, and how she knew it was a girl.  "Actually, before I even got married I knew, and felt like I had it on my heart from the Lord, that I was going to have three daughters.  And I knew my first three were girls.  I couldn't really explain it, but I just knew."  I got a little misty, and felt heart-tugs "Yes! She knows what I'm experiencing!" (Oh, and she ended up having five daughters!)  Before Behr Kless was born, "we all" knew he was a boy.  Becca "knew" for years before she was even pregnant, and had even bought baby boy things! (Though, to be fair, I think she had one or two girl things... just in case.)  The first Kless baby was always "he" in my heart and mind.   We could never have fully imagined or prepared for Behr, but in the ways that we could, he was exactly "who" we were all picturing.  I know my mom often didn't have a strong feeling one way or another (and she waited to find out what it was when she gave birth), but I've been sure.  100% sure.  Just as much as I knew Caleb was "the one" for me, I knew this baby as a girl.  I would have been more shocked to find out the baby was a boy, then to find out it was twins or triplets.  In my heart of hearts, deep down deep, for maybe no rational reason.  I would probably even get a little offended when people would "tell me" I might be wrong ;)  But, how could they know and feel what I knew and felt?  They couldn't.  And that's okay.

I couldn't sleep much the night before last, and I was counting the hours until we got to go see Baby Love's face.  It took forever - like waiting for the boy you like to text you back.  But, time never stands still.  It always moves forward.  And it was finally time to (hopefully!) get the medical proof of what we've known in our hearts.
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Without further ado, our baby:

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Yup.  I was dead wrong.

When I saw that blue paint, I think I lost my breath.  The only thing that even comes close to comparing my shock was the feeling I had when Caleb proposed:  SHOCK.  I was very happy when Caleb proposed - very!  But at first, what I immediately felt?  Shock.  Surprise - but, like, more astonishment.  Lightning bolt, this does not feel like my own life, I think I'm going to open my eyes in a few seconds and wake up, WHAAAAT?!?!  My response to proposal shock was instant and hard tears.  Turns out that was my response for Baby Boy, too ;)  I cried the whole drive.  And kept saying "I'm shocked.  I'm just so shocked.  I feel dizzy.  And like this isn't really life.  I'm shocked.  There is NO WAY."

Then the shock turned into sadness.  Hear me out on this.  I was not (am not?) sad that we're having a boy, but rather, I was emotional that it wasn't a girl.  Literally decades of hope, imagination and instinct were proven wrong ;)  And it felt like I was missing someone.  The firstborn daughter I thought I not only had but who I also knew ("better than anyone else!") was "gone."  Yes, yes, I know she was never there.  But in my heart she was.

Caleb sees he's never seen me this emotional.  I had to go coach practice and was shaking when I arrived at the gym, trying to play it cool and not burst into tears in the middle of explaining 70-overload and breaking half-court traps.  Throughout practice I'd feel the little twists and spins of my baby inside. My mind kicked into auto-pilot "Hey girlie!  I love to feel you!"  Then I'd remember.  Right.  No.  Buddy!  Hey... little... guy.  I love to feel you, too!  Er, YOU.  Not "too."  Just you.  I love to feel you.

After practice we road over to Target to get the goods for our "sweet treat announcement."  I cried all through the aisles.  I little boy jumped out of the popcorn section and said "wa-la!"  Caleb laughed and whispered to me "We're going to have a little guy like that!" as we passed him.  I cried more.  Praise Jesus irrational crying is pretty much the most normal part of being pregnant.  It's just what happens when you feel anything, and it makes it very very hard to know what you feel.  "Are you sad?"  "I don't know!  I don't think so!"  Caleb was perfect and told me that it was totally alright to be disappointed, it didn't make me a bad mom or mean that I didn't love my son.  It just meant I was really taken off guard, so crying is normal.
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After we told my family, my mom and I just sat there, dumbfounded.  The best way I can describe it would be if someone came up to me and handed me smooth, grey, brick-sized stone and told me "This is your pet puppy!"  I'd be like "Um, no.  It's not a puppy.  It's a... rock."  "No, no!  It's not a rock!  It's a dog!"  And then, all of a sudden, the rock starts wagging a tail and jumping around and licking my arms and it's somehow definitely a dog.  Even though - THAT GUY HANDED ME A ROCK?! HOW DID IT TURN INTO AN ANIMAL?!  It basically felt bizarre.  "No, it's not a boy.  It's a girl." "Well, actually, it is a boy." "No way." "Yes way." "Oh wow, I guess you're right.  It is a boy.  Wow.  How'd that happen?!" ;)
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So now, almost 24 hours later, I've settled into the idea and reality of my son a little more.  When I feel baby doing his flip-turns, I think "Aw!  He's getting some morning exercise in!" I have looked at his sonogram pictures dozens and dozens of times.  His full lips, his rosy nose, his jaw just like daddy's.  His super long legs, like grandpa and Caleb.  His huge ribcage, just like me.  His perfect set of man-shoulders and boyish, lifted chest.  His big feet - and big self!  He's already measuring larger than his due date ;) He does look like a little boy.  Caleb even said so before we knew.  He looks like Caleb.
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I read Numbers 13 and 14, with my boy in mind.  "Caleb quieted the people... 'The land, which we passed through is an exceedingly good land.  The LORD delights in us, and He will bring us into this land and give it to us!... do not fear the people of the land.  The Lord is with us; do not fear them.' ... Then the Lord said 'Caleb has a different spirit, and has followed me fully."  Known for his loyalty, devotion, his companionship.  For his incredible power of observation, for his fearlessness despite all odds, his whole-heartedness and sureness of God.

Oh crazy surprise boy, we did not "decide" to have you or make you.  God did, centuries ago.  He planned you, and then He made you.  And He made you you.  A boy.  A firstborn boy.  A stubborn boy ;)  Our boy.  I don't know much about you yet.  You're a flipper and spinner, not a kicker (I don't know what that means for real life, though.  I'm done with my instincts!).  You refuse to wake up if you're still sleepy.  Goodness, you had me laughing at the ultrasound.  There is no way you were actually staying asleep with all the poking and prodding.  At first you were making crying faces and had your mouth wide open "yelling."  But then you "flipped" into a ball, with your long legs STRAIGHT over your head so we couldn't "get in" and see you very well.  You held that position perfectly still for almost an hour, with the occasional good hard kick when the probe got too close to you.   We, obviously, think you are very cute and look kind of like a kitten in some of the 4D images.  The tech was pretty impressed too (and she TOTALLY is not impressed with all the other babies she sees), "Wow, you have a very cute one.  Such a cutie."  Psh.  Yeah.  That's my kid.  My son.
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You'll be the big brother to the rest of our children.  When they think "family" they'll think of you.   Both dad and I are the oldest in our big families (your family!) and we can confirm: having little brothers and sisters is the best.  You'll get to know them before they know you.  You get to be the hero in their eyes, and the boss. (Muahha.)  You get to love on them, and see how much fun it is to bless the little guys.
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Your Maryland uncles will teach you all about sports, and your Oklahoma uncles will teach you all about country life.  They know how to build airplanes on the farm! ;)  Dad (and I, but especially dad) can't wait to show you all the best places to set-up a fort, how to catch a fish and how many things you can make out of sticks.  We're even working on a house for you right now.  A real house.  But that story is for a different time.Photobucket
Oh man, you're gonna do all sorts of things to make us smile and shake our heads and thank God you came into this world.  If you're affectionate like your ol' man, I wouldn't be surprised if you're a bit of a flirt.  Don't worry - we get it.  Kissing is a blast.
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Ah!  This is so much fun!  I hope you come up with some crazy costumes.  And think you're Butch Cassidy or a snake or, like my brothers, an entire sports team all wrapped up in one-person (including referees and coaching staff.)
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You're welcome to be as adventurous and curious as you want.  There's only one rule: you can't die.  Okay?  I already love you too much.  You have to wait until you're a fat old man.  (Also!  I'm a cool mom - I'll let you adventure barefooted.  I love being barefoot.)
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Speaking of old men, we're going to teach you to be a gentleman.  "Gentle" and "man" are a fantastic pair of words to combine.   Your father is both of those.  Be like him, okay? Deal?!  You're already going to be the best old chap, I can tell. 
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But before you can get to "old" you have to get through "young."  Goodness gracious, some little training-bra wearing, wide-eyed toots is going to have a crush on you.  I hope you're clueless for a while ;) but that you enjoy (and not waste) your "young."  I'll help you out with the whole outfit thing, dad has you covered on the how to treat a lady thing, but you're going to have to go elsewhere for dancing tips.  We're just no good.
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We've been talking about playing with our kids since the weekend we met.  We are just dying to play with you.  Dares and pranks and races and stories and the whole sha-bang. 
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I have to admit, there is something about a happy little boy.  Nothing in the world quite like it.  We're going to do our best to give you lots to smile about, but I have a hunch you're going to be the one giving us reason to smile.
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I have a lifetime of words to tell you.  I won't bore these poor blog readers here with it all.  But as I wrap up this post - this post I never thought I would be writing - you're doing some great somersaults in me.  Even the process of putting this post together has given me such a vision for being mama to a little boy, mama to you.  So now I'm crying unshocked, unsad, un-missing-"someone"-else tears.  I'm crying happy tears.  I'm so happy you're you and not who I thought you were.  I've never been more pleased to be more wrong.
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You have five great-grandparents, four grandparents, 18 (including Joel in heaven) aunts and uncles, and two splendidly in love parents waiting for you.  Grow grow grow, and we await the day we formally welcome you to your family.
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What a joy! What a joy!

Comments

  1. OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY! :D

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  2. Yay!!! SO exciting! I, personally, have always wanted an older brother, although being the oldest is best. :) You guys are going to raise such wonderful little boys (and girls!). So excited to "meet" him!

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  3. THIS POST. makes me cry. i am so so happy for you. :)

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  4. what a joy!

    amen! crying happy tears for you all. I had a hunch you were having a little boy. buuuuut I had a hunch that my mom was having a girl for the last three boys she had, so that doesn't say much about my hunches. ;)

    ohhhhhh. you three. I am just so happy for you. :)

    this is a beautiful post full of such happy, heartfelt, honest thoughts. I can't wait to watch you two become parents and love your littles just from your words and photos here, and hopefully, in real life as well. know that I'm praying for you guys and your family. :)

    muuuuuuch love! h

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  5. Ahhh! So so happy for you Kristen! :) Your faith and trust in God (and Caleb's too) is beautiful, and I am just so excited for you and your journey with your little boy! :)

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  6. Congratulations!! :) Little boys are so much fun, you will love being a momma to a boy!! Blessings!

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  7. OMG
    ALL THE CONGRATULATIONS

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  8. yesssssssssss. cry cry cry. laugh laugh laugh. dance dance dance. p.s. you should send this to home depot for a paint commercial. you would make millions, m'friend. ;) plus also...just plain YAY! :D

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  9. KRISTEN. Can you pleeease write a blog post some day that DOESN'T make me cry?! ;) You and Caleb are special, beyond words. So excited for you. Much love.

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  10. OH MY GOD!!!! I'm still crying of happiness for you and your families. Congrats :)

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  11. Congratulations :), I was the eldest and I had to wait 12 years for a sister with 4 boys in between !

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  12. Kristen! Oh, Kristen, I am so excited for you two! You are going to be SUCH a great mama of what I am convinced will be the greatest little boy. Ahhhh. And yes, I totally teared up in that video. And I'm sitting in the middle of the library, so I had to control myself a little...and that was hard. I'M JUST SO HAPPY FOR YOU. :):):):)

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  13. ps a few years ago, a friend was CONVINCED that her fourth child was a girl but they chose not to find out...and then when "she" was actually a "he" she cried and cried because she'd wanted a daughter. don't feel bad about crying, mama. :)

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  14. Kristen, i was SURE i was having a girl.i bought all girl things. No one could convince me it was a boy. When layton came i was in shock! How could i possibly have a boy??? And he was huge! And had big bent hairy ears and oh my! His head was super coned! I was terrifiedi was the FIRST mother to NOT love her newborn baby! It didnt take long tho (couple mins) tk absolutley whole heartedly fall in love with my son! Youll hear me tell anyone today, boys are thd best! They are loads of wild and crazy fun, just what caleb and you need! They are the sweetest cuddlers with their mamas and oh man i could go on forever! I SO hope this next baby for me is a boy....i LOVE lil boys and i KNOW youll feel the same!!! They also give the sweetest kisses! As im writing this now my son keeps tapping on me saying "mama! I look at him then he gives me a kiss!" They are soooo sweet! I LOVE MY LIL BOY! Congrats on your son! And your video made ME cry! Thsse pregnancy hormones...... :)

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  15. My goodness, you just have such a way with words. I am so very happy for you and Caleb and cannot wait to "meet" your little man on the blog!!

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  16. Ah, I just can't come up with the words for this. So exciting, so joyful. And now you'll have the story to tell him. :-D

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  18. This blog hit very close to home for me. When I was pregnant with my second, I KNEW I was having a girl. I already had one daughter, and I dreamed of giving her a sister. I literally had dreams I was having a girl. I had a girl name picked out. I was ready to break out all of the tiny pink clothes and blankets. I was so anxious and afraid to have a boy, that I thought God was going to give me a girl.
    I have never been so thankful to be wrong. The first day or two of finding out I was carrying an Asher rather than an Audrey, I mourned a bit, in the midst of my excitement. I was sad that my daughter was not going to have a shopping/boy-crushing/dress-wearing sister. I was afraid to go into unknown territory. But God quickly replaced my fear with a strong love and excitement for my son. I am infatuated with this child, and he is just the sweetest thing. He and his sister love each other so much and play so well. I LOVE having one of each. God was so so kind to give me what I thought I did not want.
    Boys hold a very special place in a mama's heart. I know that you and your son will have a sweet relationship, beyond what you can imagine. You are going to be an amazing mom to a boy (you already can play basketball, so you are one up on me there!) I am so so thrilled for you!
    He just turned one this week. Here is a post I wrote to him:
    http://dianadroppings.blogspot.com/2013/01/a-letter-to-asher.html

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  19. This post is so heartfelt, & honest, & wonderful, & it pretty much made my cry. I'm so happy for you!! This is going to be a wonderful, wonderful year -- I can feel it! ;)
    May your little bundle of joy bring you many blessings! <3

    eve @ essence of eve

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  20. Anonymous24.1.13

    Congratulations! I'm sure that you and Caleb will be the best of parents to your little boy. God bless you as you await your little one's arrival!

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  21. I am one of three girls. Both of my older sisters have five daughters between them (no sons). I only have female first cousins. So, three guesses who almost fell off the OB/GYN table when she was told she was having a boy?? I TOTALLY get the whole shock feeling. "How could I have anything else" I thought. Well, ten years and TWO boys later, I couldn't be happier. Sons are so loving and sweet, and oh, do they get over being mad FAST. Congratulations! You are off on such a fun ride!

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  22. Awuh! I'm so excited for you. My hunches are usually pretty accurate. With my aunt and mom, I've usually guessed correctly. I had a feeling you were gonna have a girl though, I just did. Crazy how God works, huh? I'm sure y'all will be like the coolest parents ever! I can't wait to "meet" your little guy someday! Maybe even in real life too ;)
    xx | Natalia.

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  23. Anonymous24.1.13

    Oh my gosh I was sooo surprised!! But I already love that little boy to DEATH!!! I will be the BEST Snyder Aunt!!
    -Shannon

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  24. So strange and wonderful to hear your voice on that video -- reading your blog and following the life you share here makes me feel like I should know what your voice sounds like! Congratulations on your sure to be beautiful, happy, bright-eyed baby boy!

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  25. You're going to adore having a boy. He will steal your heart like you cannot begin to imagine yet. You will fall in love with him in ways ... Well like how everyone says you'll love the hub more as time goes on and you think how is that possible!!??!! Yeah it'll be like that. :)

    And I simply have to take your word on how un-shocked you would be if you found out you were having "triplets or more." :o) When the doctor said TRIPLETS to me, I couldn't have been more shocked. Couldn't. :o)

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  26. Congrats Kristen and Caleb! For the record...the doctors told my Mom I was a boy until 2 weeks before I was born :)

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  27. Congrats, Sweet Kristen! Baby Boy is blessed to have a mom like you.

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  28. Love this post......so excited for you and Caleb!!
    Emily

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  29. I've been following you while you were single and 'babyless'! I'm so happy for you!! It's been fun watching your life unfold and waiting for the boy to come!!

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  31. AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!! :D A boy!!!! Oh happy happy day!!! I'm so excited for you two!!!

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  32. i'm tearing up right now and i'm grinning from ear to ear. a boy?!?! sososo happy for you and caleb. God has blessed y'all so much! cannot wait until this little guy is born. ;) lots of love being sent to you and your husband, kristen! just asdfghjkl. i can't even express myself in comment well - if i saw you in person i would scream and jump and hug you. babies are awesomesauce. :)

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  33. this is absolutely stunningandbeautifulandfabulous perfect. CONGRATULATIONS! :D

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  34. We went in for our first ultrasound thinking we were finding out the gender, and found out we were having one of EACH! Most traumatic day ever. It took me about a week to feel happy about it. It takes an adjustment when the unexpected happens, but my twins were the best thing that even happened to me. Your little boy will hold your heart in those tiny hands of his, and when you look at his face, you won't be able to imagine how he could have been anyone except himself, perfection.

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  35. Oh, Kristen, your words bout y'all's son make me look forward to being a wife a mother. I've ALWAYS wanted to get married and have kids, but I've never really LOVED babies (of course I always knew I'd like 'em when they were mine :) ). But just recently I'm learning to truly LOVE babies! They're just people that are small! And the way you talk about y'all's baby has been SUCH an encouragement! You're not just talking about being "pregnant", you're talking about having a PERSON inside of you! And sure, taking care of kids is hard, but it's SUCH a privilege and it can be FUN! Hooray for God teaching me to love what I need to love :)

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  36. First of all, congratulations!!! It's so funny because as I was reading this, I thought it was MY story. I found out 2 weeks ago I was having a boy after everyone and myself and my fiance CONVINCED we were having a girl. I am an only child so my mom and I are bestfriewnds and it was the same with her and her mom. So it was a shock for us but extremely happy nonetheless. Congrats again :)

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