On Not Finding Out the Gender of Our Baby


31 weeks! Single-digit weeks, people! Hold me.

I've always thought not finding out the baby's gender before he/she was born sounded so fun. That's what my parents did for all four of us, and I have had a handful of friends who have done it over the last couple of years. 

When I was pregnant with R in 2015, gender reveal parties were only really starting to be a "thing." Now it seems like everyone does them! I personally don't have any desire to host one myself, but I love attending them. 

For both R and J, Jordan and I found out together in the ultrasound room during our anatomy scan. We kept it a secret just the two of us for a few days until we could see our families in person to share the news. I loved finding out during the ultrasound! After we told our families (through a balloon pop for R and a colored streamer pop for J, both so fun), we texted/called other family and our close friends.

We have friends who have done it where the nurse writes the gender down on a paper, and then they go out to eat later and open it together. Other people give the envelope to a close friend and have them plan the gender reveal for the couple to find out for themselves in front of everyone at a party. Some people do the early blood test, and I've had friends go to one of those third-party ultrasound places and find out before the official anatomy scan.

There's truly excitement about finding out the gender of your baby whenever and however it happens. Everyone has their own preference, and there's absolutely no right or wrong. I don't regret finding out about R and J the way we did it, but I told Jordan that if we were able to have a third baby, I wanted to wait until delivery. I think it was a lot easier to make that decision since we do have one boy and one girl, and Jordan was totally on board. (Not that he really had a choice since I'm the one growing and pushing out this baby LOL ;) But I did want us to be on the same page about it.

Even though I always thought it sounded fun to wait, I also thought it sounded really hard to wait so long! Who is in there? What's his/her name? Nine months is a long time!

But guys, I'm telling you, this is the most fun ever! I love it! 

For one thing, it's so nice to not have people constantly asking me what the baby's name is going to be. We chose not to share the name with anyone other than immediate family for R and J, and maybe I'm just overly grouchy about it, but I found it so annoying that people acted so weird about us not sharing. Don't get me wrong, a lot of people were fine with it, but a lot of people also acted semi-offended we would dare to keep such a secret from them. Even strangers! Good grief. But since we don't know the gender, whenever someone asks what I'm having, I say "We are waiting to find out," and then people get so surprised that they don't even bother to ask if we have names chosen yet. It's the best!

It also seems like in general people ask me way fewer questions. I think they just get surprised I don't know and don't think to ask anything else. Like, I still do know my due date and how far along I am, but I rarely get asked about it!

I am loving the extra anticipation. Obviously you're excited and anxious and anticipating the birth of a baby either way, so I'm not saying it's necessarily more exciting this way, but it's just an added layer of fun. And since I'm emotional about all the things these days + mildly panicking about giving birth again (I cannot for the life of me decide if I want to get an epidural or not; that's another post for another time; also yes, I'm nuts. don't @ me. I know epidurals are the wonder of all modern medicine. I HAVE MY REASONS), it's nice to have the excitement and unknown of whether this baby is a boy or a girl to look forward to.

It's actually strange to think about people knowing the gender of their babies, and thinking about how we knew that R and J were a girl and a boy before they were born. A friend of mine is due a few weeks before me; she's having a girl, and she was talking about her baby moving and said, "She's been moving a lot lately." It took me a minute because I got so confused by the reference to "she." I said, "Oh! I forgot you know you're having a girl." That was so funny to me.

The last thing I'll say is that it's actually not as hard as I thought it would be. Unless you have a high-risk pregnancy and are going in for ultrasounds every week, after you don't find out at the anatomy scan, it's not like there are a ton of chances to change your mind. It's not like I have a picture hidden somewhere in my house or a word written down on a piece of paper, and I'm not going to take off work to head to our nearest Peek-a-Baby, so really now I just have to deal with it even if I wanted to find out!

This post is not an attempt to convince you that you should wait to find out the gender of your baby! Like I said, it's super exciting no matter if you find out at 10 weeks or 40 weeks. But I will say that I'm loving the suspense this time and recommend it if you're considering! It's so fun.

How and when did you find out the gender of your baby?
What do you think about gender reveal parties?

Chicago Weekend | 30 Weeks Pregnant


I took the day off last Friday and spent the weekend in Chicago with my family! This was a rather spontaneous trip for me. I decided to go and booked my plane ticket a little over a month ago, which might not be that spontaneous for some people, but it felt like it to me.

My parents were going with my sister and her fiancé, and I decided to tag along, and then my brother and sister-in-law booked tickets too, so it became a family trip, minus my other brother and SIL, and Jordan and the kids of course. Special online shoutout to Jordan for watching the kids and holding down the fort for the weekend.
For those who don't know, I grew up in a Chicago suburb, so I went into the city fairly regularly as a family and with friends. Chicago has always been and continues to be my happy place. I love being downtown, I love visiting all our favorite spots that hold so many memories. Jordan proposed to me close to The Bean in Millennium Park the day after Christmas nine years ago, and I have memories of day trips with friends and our annual Christmas Eve downtown to eat Italian food and visit Lincoln Park Zoo to see the lights.

Baby Bum is due to arrive in almost exactly 2 months, and I know I wouldn't be doing much traveling in 2020, so I am so glad I could make this trip happen. Since I joined the party with my parents and sister, I was truly just along for the ride. I took a 5am flight out of OKC on Friday morning, met my family in Dallas, and we all took the same flight to O'Hare. We spent the entire day downtown and walked a good 8 miles according to my brother's phone.
We stayed overnight at my grandparents' house (my mom's parents), and Saturday afternoon we went to visit my grandpa (my dad's dad). He's 94 and in a wheelchair and has a full-time caretaker.  Honestly seeing him made me feel really sad. Just sad about people getting older and about how beautiful my grandma had the house decorated every year before she died in 2011. My grandpa doesn't officially have dementia, but he was definitely slow to process and seemed at times confused about who different people were. But he cracked some jokes and sang a few songs; he still has his wit and an amazing voice!
Sunday we went to church and then to brunch. Afterwards we said goodbye to my grandparents and drove to the town I grew up in. We drove by our old house, walked around downtown, and stopped at a few of our favorite places. Then we headed to the airport! I flew from Chicago to Dallas, had a very short layover, and got back to OKC around 10pm. It was a fast, fun weekend filled with memories and laughter and great times with some of my favorite people. I only wish Jordan were there. It just wasn't quite the same without him!
My grandparents are in their 80s and walked all over Chicago with us! So thankful for their health and to have such wonderful examples of Christ and of marriage in my life.

*This is my dad, and we constantly have people refer to me as his wife! I posted on Instagram about it, and I got multiple messages saying people do this to them and their dad too! I mean it's not at all awkward or anything. WHY.

Thirty weeks pregnant is probably the latest I'd want to do a trip like that. It was a lot, and I had to pee all. the. time. I'm sure everyone was annoyed, including myself, but you can't tell a pregnant lady she can't stop and use the bathroom! I'm very thankful that I felt great for the most part, and everything seemed fine with Baby Bum. I enjoyed having a little travel buddy with me and just had such a fun weekend in my most favorite place.

p.s. books! I read Blake Crouch's new book Recursion this weekend, half on the plane the way there and half on the way back. Anyone else read it? What did you think? I liked Dark Matter better, but overall it was a great airplane book. I did get bored in the last third, though. I thought the first half of the book was better than the second half.

How I Feel About Pregnancy


Baby 3 from a couple of weeks ago.

I'm just a few days shy of 30 weeks pregnant, and I wanted to share a bit of a stream-of-consciousness post about how I feel about pregnancy. Not necessarily pregnancy at 30 weeks, but just pregnancy in general.

Recently I was talking on the phone with a good friend who lives in another state, and she said, "How is your pregnancy going? You don't talk about it much, so it seems like it's going pretty well." I honestly never really know how to answer questions about how I'm feeling or how I'm doing. 

My body seems to handle pregnancy pretty similarly regardless of the baby's gender or my age or any other factors. Until our 18-week anatomy scan with J, I thought he was going to be a girl only because my pregnancy had been so similar to R's. All things considered, there's really nothing I feel I can complain about, and nothing all that notable to share, and so I just don't really talk about it all that much.

I have standard morning/all-day nausea for the first 10-12ish weeks, but I never throw up. My feet don't really swell. I don't get heartburn. My blood pressure stays well within normal ranges. I don't have gestational diabetes. I gain the recommended amount of weight. So far I haven't gotten any stretch marks.

My symptoms, as they were, are basically your typical pregnancy complaints. I get out of breath walking across a room. I constantly feel the urge to pee even if I don't really have to go. It's hard to stand up from sitting or lying down. My hips are sore. I get leg cramps sometimes. I randomly feel nauseous until I eat something. Sleeping can be uncomfortable. And there are other complaints too. Truly all of those things actually are frustrating and can be painful, but when someone asks me how I'm feeling, it's easier and seems less whiny just to say I'm feeling fine.

Physically, I don't struggle as much as I know some people do. Mentally and emotionally is where I have a really hard time.

I constantly struggle mentally with anxiety about the baby, and I struggle with controlling and processing my emotions about basically everything. It's not that I enjoy being morbid, or even that I try to be morbid on purpose, but I'm so aware of the fact that my baby could die at any moment. Obviously anyone could die at any moment, but it's the stories about people losing babies before they are born that really get me. Jordan tells me not to read stories like that, but I don't seek them out! They find me somehow, and then I can't stop thinking about it.

Just a few days ago I was looking up the hashtag Fresh48 on Instagram to get ideas for what I should wear for our hospital pictures in February, and there was a photo with that tag that was someone sharing about her baby who died at 37 weeks. They went to her regular appointment and the baby had to no heartbeat. So then for the rest of the day I was all weepy thinking about that happening to that sweet mama and also freaking out about that happening to me. It feels like things like that pop up all time when I'm just trying to innocently look something up.

This is my third pregnancy and my third baby. Not everyone can say that. When I went in for my first ultrasound at 9 weeks, the nurse asked me, "What number of pregnancy is this?" I said three. Then she asked, "How many living children do you have?" I said two.

For some reason, I feel like the Lord has given me a sensitive heart toward those who struggle with infertility and miscarriage and loss of a baby. And I'm very aware that there are many women who aren't able to answer questions about number of pregnancies and children without sadness because the numbers don't add up like they should.

The reality is that although the percentages sit in favor of pregnancy and childbirth ending up just fine, there are so many sad stories of women losing babies, and I don't take it for granted that it seems at least so far that I'm able to have healthy, normal pregnancies. I've personally known three people who all delivered early within months of each other and were in the NICU for an extended time. One of those is one of my best friends. I have close friends who have had multiple miscarriages and friends who tried for years to get pregnant at all. I honestly do not take one single day of carrying my babies for granted.

I truly don't feel like I have anxiety to the point where I need medication or anything like that. Don't get too worried about me! I'm a verbal processor and don't actually think it's even possible for me to bottle up emotions to the point where anyone should be concerned. But I also realize the fact that I do struggle mentally and emotionally with pregnancy more than I do physically. Some of that is also just because I enjoy being in shape and enjoy doing things and going places, and physically speaking, I just can't do things like I am used to being able to; it's a difficult mind-set adjustment.

Truthfully, pregnancy is just so hard physically, mentally, and emotionally. That said, I love how nice and accommodating everyone is. I think it's such a fun and exciting time, and I actually do miss it when it's over, while in the same moment I just wish it were February and the baby was here safe and healthy already--and always with the knowledge that my baby might not actually get here safe and healthy in the end.

So how am I doing? How am I feeling? I'm tired in all the ways. I'm grateful. I'm anxious. I'm excited. I'm nervous. I'm truly taking one day at a time and doing my very best to trust Jesus with what comes after that.

"In your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." - Psalm 139: 16 (ESV)