I Totally Know That I am Having a Boy

Just after M found out the sex of the baby

“Are you hoping to have a boy or a girl?” 

I’d get this question at least once a day and my response was always the same.

“As long as it is healthy and happy, I don’t really care.” People would just roll their eyes – they wanted to hear “boy” or “girl.”

Then I started to really care.

For two months people kept telling me that I was having a girl so then I became attached to having a girl. At night I’d talk to my little girl “Hey Girl! Hope you had a great day today. Mama is super tired.”

Earlier this week, a friend sent me a direct message on Instagram about a study she was doing regarding the placenta. She asked if I would want to possibly be part of the study and as a result, I would have an ultrasound every four weeks and I would get more ultrasound pictures.

Helping out with medical research and getting extra pictures of my little one? It was a win/win!

Before long, the forms were signed and on Thursday I went to the appointment.

“Please don’t tell me the sex” I told the nurses.

“Thank goodness you told us because we would have totally talked about the sex in the ultrasound.”

My friend M was with me at the appointment. She was close by, knew I was at Sinai, and wanted to meet. As a nurse practitioner, M could look closely at the ultrasound screen and began speaking in what I could only describe as “nurses talk” to the other nurses in the room.

Then came some words that I finally could understand.

“So you can see right here the gender of the baby” said the nurse to M.

She zoomed in and printed out a pic for M. I still haven’t seen the picture that M has. I don’t even know if anyone wants an ultrasound picture that has been zoomed in on the genitalia.

“Oh my gosh. It is a boy” I said.

Both M and the nurse laughed.

“Why would you say that?” asked the nurse.

“Who zooms in on a pic and says that ‘you can tell by looking right there?’ It is a boy. You two are busted and now I know the truth.”

I watched their faces looking for a sign.

“I have the best poker face” said M. “You won’t find out from me.”

Just before I had my appointment for the study, I messaged my family and asked them what everyone was up to on the weekend. I explained that I was taking part in the study and was pretty sure they would be able to tell the sex of the baby during my ultrasound. My logical sister had planned that we would have a gender reveal party during Thanksgiving weekend (since we were all going to be together anyway). I knew that Thanksgiving would be WAY too long to find out and WAY TOO LONG for me to keep a secret.

My entire family was crazy busy. Everyone had at least 3-4 important things going on during the weekend. Somehow we all agreed that Sunday at 11:00 a.m. we could have our little gender reveal party.

Once M knew the sex, I realized I needed to know. When we walked out of the appointment I kept quizzing M and kept trying to get her to slip up on identifying the sex.

No luck.

Instead, she walked away with the picture and said she would tell my brother-in-law (who I am sure doesn’t care about the sex of my baby). From there, he would get a box and there would be both pink and blue balloons. He would put the corresponding balloons (pink = girl, boy = blue, super stereotypical) in the box.

Since Thursday, I have totally thought I am having a boy. On Thursday night I headed to bed and said “hello boy?”

Over the past couple of days, I have totally gotten used to being a boy Mom. I’ve started to envision attending his hockey games and being a hockey Mom early to the ice on the weekends (yes, again, totally stereotypical). Other women have told me about their connection to their sons and how there is nothing better than being a “boy Mom.” 

I also had a girl’s name picked out for my baby girl and was about 99.9% sure of it. Have tossed around a couple of ideas with regards to boys names but I just can’t settle down on one. Since Thursday I have been taking in every boy’s name. When I went to a restaurant on Friday, I started to listen closely to the different male names of the servers looking for some sort of inspiration. 

As a teacher, you are blessed with some incredible students and other students may be a bit more challenging. You also usually remember the names of the best kids and the kids that have given you a tough time. When I hear a name, I instantly think back to that student. So many beautiful names are out for me because of the connection to the good/challenging student(s).

As you know, my pregnancy hasn’t been the easiest (currently off work which I will get into another time) so this news has totally made me all excited about being pregnant again. To be honest, Thursday was one of my most favourite days being pregnant. As soon as I saw the little one, I felt this intense love.

It was so crazy to get such an in-depth look at all of the body parts. This is a picture of the foot of the baby that the nurse took.

“Are there two feet?” I asked completely frazzled.

“Yes,” said the nurse with a laugh. “I could only get a picture of the one.”

“Look at the cute face” said the nurse as she zoomed in on the face. “Would you like a picture of it?”

“Oh no” I said. “The baby looks like an actual alien. Maybe next time?”

I can’t wait to have so many ultrasounds and to see how much this baby progresses month to month. I also can’t wait to find out the sex because then I might start thinking about what to buy him or what to name him. There are so many exciting things ahead.

On next week’s blog, I will share the sex of the baby with you and will be sure to take some pictures at the gender reveal party. Right now I am 99.9% sure it is a boy so we shall see! What do you think – boy or girl?


K and C by my side waiting for the doc

“Sarah?” asked the nurse.

“Yes?” I asked standing up walking towards her.

It was 12:57 p.m and my appointment was for 1:00 p.m. I had driven three hours back to Toronto from the family cottage for my appointment with my OB. The entire time I was away with my family my mind was occupied with the fact that my baby had a 5% chance within the first week (after my procedure) of not making it through the week.

Although the number seems low, stats hadn’t seemed to be on my side during my pregnancy since I only had a 15-20% chance of twins and yet I found myself looking at an ultrasound showing two babies at my eight week ultrasound.

About a week before my appointment I reached out to some girlfriends and asked if someone could possibly come with me to my appointment. My Mom wanted to come to the appointment but I felt really bad making her drive six hours with me during the day for the appointment.

This was one of my most crucial appointments and I knew I wanted to my Mom to stay at the cottage but knew I should probably have someone with me.

“So how have you been feeling?” asked the nurse.

“In all honesty I am not feeling well at all” I confessed. “I can’t keep any food down and I have no energy. Every day I need at least one nap for 1-2 hours and I am getting at least 10 hours of sleep per night. I am taking two diclectin but I am just so tired.”

“Why are you only taking two diclectin?” she asked.

“I keep weighing out the pros and cons of either sleeping away the entire day or not keeping any food down.”

“It is way more important for you to sleep during the day than throw up during the day” she said.

“But I am going back to start teaching in two weeks.  I can’t be too tired to begin the school year” I said.

“You may need a doctor’s note” she said.

Then she took my blood pressure.

“Have you had high blood pressure during your pregnancy?” she asked. “It is high today.”

“No” I confessed.

What she didn’t know was that I could feel my heart beating out of my chest. I just needed to know that my baby was okay. I just needed to hear the heartbeat.

My two friends that agreed to meet me at my appointment weren’t with me yet because I told them to come and meet me at 1:30 p.m. I had waited 1-5.5 hours to see an OB so I didn’t want them to be there all day.

I felt terrible. They were missing this. I also felt as though I needed to be alone for this. I needed to be able to totally shut down if there was no heartbeat.

“Now I want to hear the heartbeat” she said.

I went on the examining table and closed my eyes.

“I’ll be using the Doppler” she said. “I want to let you know that your baby is really small right now and it may take me a bit to hear the heartbeat. Please don’t be concerned.”

“Of course” I said.

As she ran the device over my stomach I wanted to get sick. Everything was coming down to this moment and I was absolutely petrified. How was I supposed to stay calm?

“I can hear the heartbeat” I said with a smile.

“It’s not actually the heartbeat of the baby” she said.  “It is your heartbeat.”

My heart was beating so quickly that she just kept picking it up on the machine.

“Deep breaths” I told myself.

The whole experience felt like at least 15 minutes but I am sure it was more like thirty seconds until I heard the heartbeat.

“That is the heartbeat of your baby” she said with a smile.

I burst into ugly tears and the tears wouldn’t stop. The baby’s heartbeat was the best sound in the world.

“I am so sorry” I said. “I am such a loser.  It’s just that I have been so worried about everything since my procedure and it has been so hard.”

I stopped myself realizing that I was making my confession to a nurse not a therapist.

“I am so so sorry” she said handing me a Kleenex.  “I am so sorry it took me so long” she said.

“It wasn’t you” I admitted. “You did an amazing job. It was just my nerves.”

“Are you able to sit up because I think we can move you into a room to see Dr. Snelgrove now ” she asked.

“Oh my gosh yes” I said drying up my tears. She left the room and I looked at my face in the mirror. My eyes were bright red and my face was blotchy.

I looked down at my phone.

“I am here” my friend C texted.

“There is a heartbeat!” I texted and then started sobbing again.

I poked my head out of the room to try to find C amongst all of the patients waiting to see my doctor and my friend C was running towards me looking absolutely frazzled.

“You told me 1:30!” she said.

“I am sorry” I said noticing that it was only 1:10 p.m.

We hugged and I sobbed again.

Moments later another frazzled person came running down the hall and it was my friend K who had somehow found the admin assistant (down a random hallway) who helped K to find my room.

“I am so sorry” I said. “I had no idea my appointment would be so quick. I am so sorry you weren’t here for the heartbeat.”

“Group hug?” my friend asked.

We all hugged in the small hospital room and moments later Dr. Snelgrove entered. He brought a doctor in training with him who resembled Gigi Hadid.

“It is a party in here” I laughed as there were now five of us in a super small room all crowded together.

Dr. Snelgrove explained that the heartbeat of the baby was great and he asked me to start taking four diclectin a day. He also told me that I could take gravol as well on days where I found it extremely hard.

“4 diclectin + gravol means that I will sleep forever” I admitted. “What about work?” I asked.

“Let’s try this out and if you need a note, you need a note.”

By 1:37 p.m. I had met with the doc, heard the heartbeat, got my blood pressure checked twice (the second time I was totally fine), and got a new prescription for 270 diclectin. I felt terrible that I had made my friends take off work and come all the way to my appointment.

We sat on a bench outside the Ontario Power Generation Building (where my doctor is located) and spent about an hour and a half catching up.

Amazing news at the appointment!

“I love you ladies so much” I said to my friends. “Today could have been a really difficult day and you both showed up and were totally there for me.”

I could start to feel the tears coming to my eyes.

What started off as an extremely anxious/difficult day turned into a day of complete joy and excitement.

Now it was time to celebrate. Now I could tell everyone (aka the people not following my blog).

As soon as I found out I was pregnant I bought a beautiful shirt with the word “Mama” on it. It sat in my closet and there were a lot of times where I thought I’d never be able to wear it. Sometimes I felt as though the shirt was staring back at me and mocking me. Something inside me told me that I’d one day be able to wear it.

After my appointment I felt as though it was really time to celebrate being a Mama and I was finally ready to let everyone know (especially the people not following my blog) that I finally had achieved the goal I had always wanted in life – to be a Mama.

Thank you for all of your kindness and well wishes during such a difficult time. Nothing brings me greater joy than being able to share such positive news.

Photo by Nina Polidoro Photography
Shirt by AshCo.XO

First Ultrasound: Not At All What I Expected

It was 9:30 a.m. and the sun was already beating down on me. I had just stepped out of my apartment and I could see my Mom rounding the corner with a huge smile on her face.

“Today is the day” she said as she gave me a hug. “How are you feeling?” she asked.

“Incredibly nervous and super excited” I said with a smile.

I ordered an Uber and we stood outside in the heat talking about what we had been up to the past couple of days. When the Uber arrived, I felt relieved to just sit down. Had no idea I’d be this nervous to go to my first ultrasound at 8 weeks. My legs felt like jelly and it was nice to just sit down and relax.

Our drive was bumpy and my Mom was telling me all about going out for dinner the other night and the server that they had.

“You know. The dinner was exceptional but I think it may have been the servers first time serving.”

I couldn’t concentrate on what she was saying. Instead I was watching the time, watching how the Uber driver was darting inbetween traffic, and I was just trying to focus on my breathing in order to stay as calm as possible.

“What would you like from Starbucks?” my sister J texted me. She was kind enough to make sure that she changed her day at the office so that she could come with us. She had been to so many appointments and it was so beautiful that she could come to this one.

“Just water” I said feeling so thirsty.

The Uber driver finally dropped us off at the fertility clinic and I was excited to show my Mom that this was the place I had been attending for almost a year. It was also a place where I went for about 30 appointments over that time.

“This is it” I proudly said to my Mom.

We went into the elevator and I pressed seven. “This is really starting to feel real” I said. “It also makes me somewhat sad as this will most likely be the last time I come to this clinic.”

When the elevator doors opened nobody was in the waiting room.

“This is so odd” I said to the receptionist. “Where is everyone? It is a weekday.”

“It is eerily quiet right now” she said with a laugh.

My Mom and I sat down for a couple minutes before I was told that I could get changed into a hospital gown. My Mom got to come with me and suddenly all of the places in the fertility clinic that I had described in my blog were coming to life for my Mom.

“This is where I sat when the women all coached me on what to do before my first ultrasound” I said.

“I am here! Where do I go?” texted my sister J.

My Mom knew she would get lost if she went to find J so I just went out in my hospital gown.

“This is so exciting” she said as she followed me into the room with the hospital gowns.

“Sarah?” asked the nurse. “Have you had a chance to use the restroom?”

“I will go right now” I said remembering that every time before an ultrasound I had to empty my bladder.

“Your family can follow me” she instructed to my Mom and sister.

“They get to actually go in?” I asked.

“Of course” she said.

It was so exciting walking into the room with the nurse, the ultrasound equipment and seeing both my Mom and sister sitting on chairs.

“Are you ready?” asked the nurse.

“Great it is an internal ultrasound” I laughed. There is nothing like something going inside of you as you look at your Mom and sister.

“Take her picture” instructed my Mom to my sister. “We need to remember this.”

“Really?” asked my sister laughing.

“Of course” I said with a smile.

The probe was inside of me and my Mom, sister and I just started catching up about various family members and how everyone was doing. I could hear that the nurse was taking pictures and it was taking a bit of time.

From what I had heard from other people regarding ultrasounds, the nurse would not say anything so I didn’t expect to hear or see anything.

“Do you want to look?” asked the nurse.

My Mom and sister stood up and came closer to the screen. I stared closely at the screen.

“Is there a baby in there?” I asked. “Please just tell me a baby is in there and that the baby is okay.”

“Look at this” said the nurse. “If you look close enough you can see the heartbeat flashing on the screen.”

I saw it.

It was beautiful but also made me feel something I did not expect – absolute and total fear.

This was not like the movies. I was supposed to have my belly out and we were supposed to hear the heatbeat. We were supposed to all scream with excitement and I was supposed to start crying tears of joy.

It wasn’t happening.

Instead, I felt this intense feeling of protection.

When I first told people that I was pregnant, they would say “congrats Mama” and I didn’t get it. Yes I had something instead of me, but I totally didn’t feel like a Mama.

Now, looking at this heartbeat I finally felt like a Mama. It was a feeling of so much joy but it also felt like all of this weight being added to my shoulders.

Things were changing.

There was no denying it. I was no longer single independent Sarah anymore. I was a Mama who was going to do anything for that little baby. My needs didn’t matter anymore because all I cared about was making sure that little one was protected. I was going to sacrifice and do anything so that I could to be the best Mama that I could to that little heartbeat.

With that image on the screen my life had completely changed. I was now responsible for something so great and now every single decision in my life would be made thinking of that little heartbeat before my own wants and needs.

“Here are the pictures” said the nurse printing out the pictures of the ultrasound.

“Thanks” I said laughing at how there was really not that much to see in the image.

Yet one thing was for certain – that tiny little seed had a heartbeat and my life was transforming infront of me. I would do absolutely anything for that little seed.

After being in the room we saw my fertility doctor and I thanked her for everything.

“You are now graduating from the clinic” she said.

“I feel like I need a graduation song” I said thinking of Vitamin C’s graduation song that plays at literally every graduation of life.

“Do you want me to play a song on my phone? “asked the other nurse in the room.

“It’s okay” I laughed. I knew that even the words by Vitamin C would be too much at that moment. It was super emotional and I knew that I’d burst into tears.

Mount Sinai Fertility made me feel at home for the past year and it made me so sad (and happy) to be leaving and graduating from the clinic. The nurses had helped answer every single question I had ever had. They had called me and given me life-changing news. My fertility doctor (Dr. Jones) was also the most compassionate, empathetic, intelligent woman. She always had this calming nature and was there to support me through everything.

As my sister, Mom, and I all left I couldn’t help but notice that the waiting room in the fertility clinic was completely full. There were hardly any seats available.

My heart sunk and I just wanted to reach out to everyone there.

I also felt guilty that I was holding pictures of an ultrasound and that other couples had been trying so hard and for so long without their pictures just yet.

“Magic happens here” I thought. “Don’t give up.”

We pressed the elevator to go down to G and I couldn’t help but become very sentimental about leaving a place that gave me so much.

Thank you Mount Sinai for everything and thank you for giving me a little heartbeat inside of me. I promise to make all decisions based on what is right for the little one and to be the best Mama that I can possibly be.