Our girl.

Friday, August 22, 2014

via Instagram @whitneynewby
When we walked into the dimly lit ultrasound room, my heart pounded. The view conjured difficult memories of our 20-week ultrasound with Liam, which involved a solemn sonographer and phrases like "genetic counseling."

Yesterday's sonographer was methodical, but also reassuring, and for that I was grateful. She worked her way through each of the baby's systems, measuring what she needed and explaining herself along the way. "There are the four chambers of the heart. And do you see that dark line that's shaped like a candy cane? That's the aorta."

When it was time to reveal the gender, she found the appropriate angle and paused the screen.

"It's a little girl!" she smiled confidently, and took my breath away. Shawn and I looked at each other through happy tears.

We hadn't expected a little girl. Not for weeks, at least. It had been a more difficult first trimester than with Liam, but I chalked it up to international travel, a stressful move, and chasing a toddler in 95-degree heat. Anyone who saw my growing belly in person would comment, "Looks like another little boy in there!" and when I pictured the next few years of my life, I could only picture two little men.

But I wasn't disappointed at all. Just stunned. Of course I knew a girl was a possibility, it just felt much less likely.

A few hours later, Shawn and I headed out on a date to celebrate, and as we sat down to dinner he asked, "So what are you most excited about?"

I mentioned a few things: seeing Liam as a protective big brother, seeing our daughter love her daddy, sewing clothes and headbands for her, choosing her name. And then I looked at Shawn and said, "But I'm scared." I'm scared to raise a daughter in 2015 and 2025 and beyond. A daughter in a world where women are objectified in mainstream media, where the innocence of girlhood is stolen too quickly, where there's such a thing as "twerking." I know I'm raising a boy in that same culture, but boy-raising somehow seems less tricky. Less fragile. I want our daughter to be strong and brave and refuse to be trampled on, but also gentle and modest. I want her to feel safe, and I know that's something we won't always be able to provide for her.

I'm so glad we're in this together. That she already has a daddy who will take her on dates and teach her what it means to be treated like a lady. That she has an extended family who already loves her fiercely and will show her undeserved grace. That she has a church family who will undoubtedly shower us with support. That she has a God who we pray will save her soul at an early age, who loves her more than we can fathom.

Today, when I saw her squirming around on the screen and felt her little jabs - and when I heard that this baby who I've just begun to know and love is a "she" - all of a sudden, she couldn't have been anything else. It was always her: my daughter.

12 comments:

  1. Congratulations!!! A little baby girl will be so sweet. :) And you are going to rock out at sewing all kinds of cute and feminine things for her! So happy for your family!!!

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  2. Congratulations!!!! A blessed girl! I have always thought the "perfect order" would be boy then girl, so she would always have a big brother to protect her. Liam will be a fantastic protector! So excited for y'all!

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  3. Congratulations! All I can say, having one daughter and getting ready to welcome our second, I definitely can understand your worries. When we first found out we were having a girl the first time, my heart panicked a bit. Because this world we live in, so tricky to navigate with girls...not too mention having to make peace with my own past. Thankfully life so far has proven to be overflowing with His goodness and I can't imagine not having girls. God is so good to walk alongside of us as we navigate...

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  4. Congratulations!! So much of this resonates with me - our firstborn son was 16.5 months when our second was born - we chose to have the gender be a surprise this time around but I had just kept picturing another little boy. The second she was born and I held her in my arms though I thought, how could she be anything but a little girl! It just felt so right :)

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  5. Congratulations! Such happy, happy news! We do our very best as parents, remember that (|'m raising two girls in this crazy, twerk - obsessed world) and our parents had similar fears for different reasons. Do your very best, and pray, and our girls will be just fine.
    All the best to you and your family!
    Kathleen

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  6. Hooray! We're having a January little girl, too! And yes, we're apprehensive, too - and praying that God will give us all the strength and wisdom we need as parents to make the very best choices for our children. Blessings to you!

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  7. I know what you're getting at, but I think boys are just as tricky. I'm constantly thinking about how I can raise my son to respect women. To recognize their objectification in the media and call it out. In some ways, it's harder, because the way society views women does not directly affect him. But he needs to care anyway. What a great and wonderful burden parenting is. Congratulations to you all!

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  8. i just realized i read your post and didn't congratulate you! congrats! i have no idea what it is like to switch gears to knowing you're having a girl after a boy (being a mom of four boys myself). know that there are lovely families doing their best to teach young ones how to be kind, gentle, and thoughtful young men in this awfully in your face rough world. just like you are, obviously. :) i'm so excited for you! :)

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  9. This makes my heart so happy- Congratulations! I look forward to reading posts about your parenting and how the Lord leads and tucking those gems away for the future!

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  10. I am thrilled you are having a girl! That is awesome. As a mom of three little girls, I can identify with every fear you described about raising a girl these days. Now that my oldest is 7, I am even more vigilant with what influences I allow to come into our home. Homeschooling has solved so many of these problems, but the minute we step outside our own doorstep I feel like we are assaulted with messages contrary to the Bible on a daily basis. Pray like crazy!

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