It’s a……!

 The best laid plans in life, sigh.

A few weeks ago I had two great intentions:
1) To write more frequently on the blog
2) To stay surprised about the gender of Baby #2

But then life intervened, handing me a giant smackdown in the form of flu and massive anxiety. I’ll explain further.

After a wonderful pre-Valentine’s Day dinner with TC, we came home to a very sick boy. With the expertise and speed of a torero, TC lifted a bucket to Jack’s mouth just in time for him to empty the entire contents of his stomach. It was one of those ridiculous parenting moments in which you look at your spouse in stupefied awe, wondering how bucket holding could suddenly become sexy – forgetting about those days before kids when life was decidedly less messy and more traditionally romantic.

That evening marked Day 1 of what would turn into a week-long battle with the flu. Fever, body aches, relentless sneezing and coughing. Add to that one very troublesome ultrasound. At my 20-week appointment, I thought my biggest problem would be holding my tongue to ask the gender. But as life likes to remind me every now and then, health is the only thing worth worrying about. It is, after all, the thing of most value.

The doctor had discovered a rare abnormality with the baby’s brain called an arachnoid cyst. As I learned from my very thorough reading of the internet (such a no-no, I know!), the prognosis on these things is very mixed. We were referred to the specialists at Children’s Hospital and went in a week later for a day of extensive testing. 

When I say that week of waiting was hell, please remember that it was also a fever-induced nightmare. Without clear cognition to distinguish normal concern from full out panic, I aired on the side of full out panic. Logically, I recognize all the pitfalls that accompany the degree of fetal testing given to pregnant women in this day and age. When I was pregnant with Jack, the technician at our 12-week ultrasound noticed that his bladder was too large and suggested we terminate. This brought on a similarly stressful period of waiting that concluded ten days later with one extremely complex medical diagnosis: he just had to pee. 

After all we’ve been through already, however, the anxiety was fiercer this time. I wondered how much more we were capable of surviving, particularly in the face of all the joy this pregnancy has brought us. Fortunately, I did not have to sit on these tough questions for long. The extraordinary team at Children’s took wonderful care of us, providing us with some answers the same day as our testing. The baby does have a cyst in between layers of the brain, but fortunately for us, the cyst is small and not affecting the development of other parts of the brain. It’s about the best news we could have hoped for and while we continue to monitor it, we’ll be praying hard that this cyst disappears.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how much of this journey to share. The health of our baby is a very private affair after all, and not something I wish to discuss with strangers. But I also believe there are a lot of pregnant women struggling silently with uncertainty and anxiety, and there’s really no reason for those struggles to remain silent. This is our reality and though it will change over time, there is no shame in admitting what’s hard.

So, on to the light-hearted celebrations. Given the amount of poking and prodding this baby will endure in the next four months, keeping quiet about the gender no longer seemed practical. With total delight, tonight we shared with Jack that he’ll soon be expecting….


We are over the moon, jumping out of the seat of our pants, can barely contain ourselves excited! And luckily Jack feels the same way (whew!). So, for now, we’ll continue to hope hard, love big, and anxiously await for this special little baby girl to join the family.

Oh, and we’ll eat cake. Lots of cake.


17 thoughts on “It’s a……!

  1. I’m so strengthen and inspired by your strength and resilience. I’ll keep my prayers lifting your Fam up as always and praying for this new bundle of joy. You will all be just fine


  2. I cried with joy when I read your announcement that you were expecting a baby. I have never been so happy for someone I don’t know but your family’s journey and story touched my heart from the moment I first read about it shortly after the attack. The only thing of which I am certain is that your baby girl is a fighter…she’s showing her bravery from the very beginning and she is strong and courageous like her amazing family. Sending good thoughts and prayers to you.


  3. Congratulations on this happy news, and I’ll be praying for continued positive news. And shout out to the staff at Children’s. My four-year-old was in and out of that place his first year (including a stay in the PICU). They are truly doing God’s work.


  4. Abby! This was posted by my cousin — and then I realized it was you! I am Carol Gs mom: so have followed your journey through her
    So very thrilled for you and I wish nothin but the very best to you all. Little girls are the best!!
    Love and hugs
    Lynda Guy


  5. thank you for deciding to share this news. you’re right, so many women are struggling with hearing things like this, and while digesting the scary possibilities as you see tons and tons of photos of smiling, healthy, happy babies on facebook, it’s easy to feel isolated and alone and doomed. very brave of you, and very generous. thank you.


  6. “Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake.” (from Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz)
    Congratulations! All the best to you all.


  7. Hi Abby,
    I too have never met you, but followed your story since we live in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Just so you know, my daughter was diagnosed with the same thing at 20 weeks. The specialists wanted to do more testing.
    I went to see my regular OB the next week. He was an older man who had been in this profession a long term. He tapped me on the forehead and sternly said, stop worrying! Your baby is fine. Sometimes technology shows us too much! He was right. My daughter is perfectly healthy.
    Good luck to you. Your strength is inspiring.


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