Tonight I attended a party that will always rank in my top 10. It was small (only 4½ guests) but extraordinary. The younger generation would call it a “Gender Reveal,” but the rest of us would just say, “We learned the sex of the baby!”
Since Birgitta’s last doctor appointment 3 weeks ago, we’d been eagerly looking toward today’s ultrasound. They said we’d discover if the baby was a girl or boy, and Birgitta was bursting with anticipation. By the time she was on the table, we were all giggling with expectation.
Louisa had driven from Chicago to get in on the fun and had told us about Gender Reveals. Birgitta said, “Why don’t we have one! It’ll make a great story for the baby some day.” And so the Reveal was scheduled for after dinner.
We planned to ask the ultrasound tech to keep the baby’s gender a secret from the girls, but to let me know. Then, after the appointment, I’d bake a batch of cookies, decorating half with blue sprinkles, half with pink. After dinner I’d hand Birgitta a cookie with the baby’s correct color on it, thereby revealing the gender.
During the hour-long ultrasound we were reminded of the medical purpose for the test: to check each organ, measure bones, confirm the due date, and amass baby-data for Birgitta’s doctor. Learning the sex would come last, if at all.
With strained patience we all studied the fuzzy black and white computer screen, squinting in an effort to make sense of the tech’s comments. “See that dark spot? A kidney. And that bright one? The knee cap.” Complicating the process was a busy Baby Nyman, all four limbs continually in motion.
We ooohed and aaahed over glimpses of a hand, a button-nose, a rib cage. When a tiny foot came into view, the tech said, “See those five toes?” We did, asking how big they were. “Well,” she said while measuring, “the entire foot is one inch, so you can imagine the toes!”
When reveal-time came, the girls turned from the screen, and I leaned in close. But baby kept us guessing. “The legs are tight together,” she said, bobbing her scanner up and down on Birgitta’s tummy. “C’mon, little one. Let us see!”
Ten minutes of persistence paid off, and when she said, “There!” I couldn’t tell what I was looking at. “I’ll show you,” she said, and with her keyboard she spelled out the sex on her screen. I was ready to squeal, learning the baby was the gender Birgitta was hoping for, but managed to quietly say, “OK, I’ve got it,” and the image was quickly erased.
At home the girls poured over name books while I decorated cookies, and by dinnertime when Mary arrived, I’d managed to hold the secret without giving any clues. Finally the time came to give Birgitta her special cookie. I’d plucked one from the bunch and wrapped it in tin foil for this important moment. Handing it to her you’d think we were about to announce the winner of a Nobel Prize.
When she peeled off the foil, she screamed with delight, putting both hands to her face in shock. The sugar was pink! And she was carrying the little girl she’d hoped to have.
Thank you, Lord, for this child of blessing. Although Birgitta is carrying her, she’s really all yours.
“The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul.” (Proverbs 13:19)