Today we did something we’ve never done before–loaded all the kids into the minivan and headed to the doctor to find out the gender of our fourth baby.

You may have some questions: why find out, when the surprise would be so much more rewarding when we actually met the kid? what was the gender? and (also my personal question) why bring three other kids to a doctor’s office to sit still during what turned out to be a very LONG medical procedure?
One answer: guilt. Even though our kids don’t realize it yet, this baby will turn their worlds upside down. WE realize it so we’re (mostly subconsciously) making sure they feel very part of its birth. On the way to the doctor, and while waiting for TWO HOURS, we played our millionth round of “Everyone guess if it’s a boy or girl!” So far the count was that M., me, Catie and Sam were all guessing boy–although Sam could have been confused that we were asking if HE was a boy. Ellie was sticking with girl (same risk there that she didn’t understand the question, even after asking her every day for the past three months).
As I stretched out on the table and the u/s tech warily watched Mike wrangling the kids, I felt the weight of the fact we really had never done this before–experienced the excitement of finding out the gender, that is. We didn’t with Catie, wanting to have a “real surprise.” Although in retrospect the real surprise with Catie, our first, was how much work a baby is and how absolutely in love with her we were. Sam and Ellie’s pregnancy was high-risk and Dr. Kershon (Houston neonatologist that we absolutely love) was more concerned one twin wasn’t taking the other’s rightful placenta space or nutrients than telling us the sex. He did tell us at about 15 weeks that we were expecting a boy and girl, but there was no excitement in the procedure. It was a true side note to their health. High risk pregnancies are so tense that it’s hard to act excited about anything–even the news we were having one of each–a beautiful boy and girl.
And that was the good news yesterday too. As the kids sat (relatively) quietly sat on Daddy’s lap, the tech announced we’d have another boy–rounding out the Hergenrader Halfsie, right down the middle, two boys and two girls. As a friend of mine observed, “You’re like the Brady Bunch, without Greg or Cindy. Or Alice.”
Praise the Lord that Sam has a little brother, Ellie doesn’t have competition with a little sister, and Catie can stop worrying about who will share rooms. Yes, I’m guessing a baby boy will be the perfect addition to our family.
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