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My Birthday. My Baby. (It's a...)

baby fate Today is my birthday. I am now thirty-two. Not young. Not old. Somewhere in the glorious middle.

I'll take it.

And the plan, as always, was to post early this morning. But plans? As soon as they are made, imagined, hoped for, they vaporize. Chaos shimmies through order and the universe has a big old belly laugh.

Husband and I returned late last night from a weekend getaway to Napa. We didn't get home until after 11:30pm. We stayed up long enough for the clock to strike midnight. At which point Husband kissed me goodnight and floated an exhausted happy birthday, babe to my side of the bed. And then? Our girls, our precious creatures who we missed very much this weekend, woke up at 5:15am. Cruel stuff, I tell you. Over the baby monitor, Husband and I listened to their morning words.

"It's Mommy's birthday!" Toddler proclaimed.

"Yay! Mommy's birthday!" Baby replied.

Pretty priceless alarm clock. And so we were up. Barely functioning, but awake. We collected our babes from their room, suffocating them with the best of hugs. And our morning was underway. Promptly, we learned that our cable and Internet were out. Admittedly, I had a moment of panic, but then I surrendered and decided this was a sign to have a morning of unplugged family time. Grammy filled us in on her and Dad-Dad's weekend with the girls. We filled her in on the wonderful (and wild) wedding we attended. We drank coffee. Lots.

And then. Husband and I both took Toddler to school. A special treat. We stopped for a chocolate sprinkle donut. At school, we hung back and watched our big girl skip confidently into her classroom. We scattered goodbyes to our happy daughter and then we were off. Headed to our appointment just across the park. Yes, the appointment where I was to get an anatomy scan and learn the gender of Baby #3.

After some logistical snafus, there I was. In the chair, pulling up my shirt as a kind technician smeared warm jelly on my belly. My heart raced as an image appeared on the big flat screen. I was scared. And then it all happened so fast. The heartbeat. Loud. Strong. 151 beats per minute. Brain. Eye sockets. Nasal bone. Spine. Kidneys. Stomach. Arms. Legs. Fingers.

The heart. The technician spent a lot of time looking at the heart. I knew she was looking to locate four chambers. I was trying to locate four chambers. The image was grainy though. I began to panic. I could not see clearly. After what seemed like an eternity, she moved away from the heart. Got a great profile shot.

And then.

Then it was time to look there. Between the legs.

This, too, took some time. To get the right image. The right angle. And I was thankful for this pause. Because it allowed me a moment to think. To realize that it does not matter one bit whether I am having a boy or girl. I want a healthy baby. With a healthy heart and brain and body.

But then. The moment of truth.

The wand slowed. The angle was good. And we saw what she saw.

Our fate. Our baby.

"It's a girl!"

I cannot describe the jolt of joy that coursed through my body when she said this. I squeezed Husband's hand and turned to him.

"A girl! Another girl!"

And then the technician disappeared with her scan. She said the doctor would be right in to discuss our results. And, again, after what seemed like an ominous stretch of time, the doctor popped in.

"Everything looks absolutely perfect," she said.

And I got dressed. And walked out. Clutching the hand of my man and a stack of small pictures.

Of my baby. Our baby.

Our girl.

And so. Here I am. On my big day. Another soggy Manhattan day. Plugged in at Starbucks. Posting later than I'd hoped. Filling you in. Counting my lucky pink stars. Feeling exquisitely thankful for so much. Imagining a day this spring when she arrives. My littlest girl.

Today? A happy birthday indeed.

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Thank you all for supporting me through for the first bit of my pregnancy. For holding my virtual hand through the anticipation, the mystery, and now the relief and celebration. Yay for little Rowley girls :)

Before & After

My First Kiss