Monday, September 28, 2015

Our gender reveal shower & why I cried...

My little sister Hannah called dibs on throwing us a gender reveal party pretty much the minute I announced I was pregnant. As it got closer to the date of the party, we realized it would be much more convenient for everyone involved if we combined the gender reveal with the baby shower for the whole family. With these details set, all that was left was to wait for my anatomy scan at week 20! 

Shane and I had no preference on gender -- we'd honestly be happy either way -- but we were getting excited to find out if for no reason other than to help us pick baby name ideas. Girl names were coming easier to us, but we were having trouble picking out boy names. Plus we're both terrible at waiting for surprises. With the advancements in prenatal testing and ultrasounds, I don't know how anyone is able to hold back until the birth of the baby to find out! Some women say they "just know" what their baby's gender is, but I had no inkling whatsoever. Most old wives' tests were useless, since my baby bump was barely showing. The ones I could gave me 50-50 results of boy or girl. I did take an online "ancient Chinese" gender prediction test, which said I'd be having a boy, but considering all it asked for was my age and month of conception, I was hesitant to put stock in the results. 

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I'd been having weird pregnancy dreams for months, a common symptom, but a couple weeks before the scan I had one that felt so real. I dreamed that I was walking into my baby shower with my mom and sister. I walked through the door and saw my Granny Opal sitting on the couch. 
A little background: Granny Opal was my mom's mom. We lived near her growing up, and she took care of me and my sister every day after school, so we were close. She died of cancer in 2008 just a few months before our wedding. By the time the doctors found the cancer, it was so spread throughout her body that they weren't sure of origin but suspected it started as colorectal cancer -- what my mom's dad died of when I was a little girl. I helped drive her to chemo appointments, held her hand when she cried as they'd take blood, and towards the end, I helped take care of her at her home. She was the glue that held my mom's side of the family together, and her passing was hard on us all. While I was so glad that she'd gotten to know and love Shane over the previous six years we'd been together, I couldn't believe that she wouldn't see me get married or have children. 
Granny Opal with my sister Hannah

So back to the dream...I walk into the baby shower and see Granny Opal sitting on the couch. She didn't say a word, just sat there and smiled at me. I stared at her, confused. Even though it was a dream, I knew she shouldn't be there. I kept wondering how she'd gotten a day pass out of the afterlife to come to my baby shower. The more I stared at her, I noticed something strange. She was wearing a pink outfit. This may not seem like much, but her absolute favorite color was blue. Just about everything in her house was blue, and all her favorite clothes were blue. I knew she wouldn't wear pink unless she had a good reason. 

I started to think that maybe this wasn't just a dream...maybe it really was her, visiting to let me in on the secret that I'd be having a girl? 

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Shane and I didn't want to know boy or girl until the big reveal at the party, so my sister came along to the ultrasound with us. She got to watch the ultrasound tech reveal our baby's gender, and then she had to keep it a secret for two whole weeks until the reveal party! She did tell two friends, who she swore to secrecy, but try as they might, no one else was able to get it out of her. I still don't know how she did it! Shane and I were also dying to find out and waiting two weeks seemed like such a long time! 

The day of the shower came around and I was a ball of nerves. You'd think I would be happy since it was party day, but I was in a pretty grumpy mood. I wrote it off as pregnancy hormones and general party nervousness. I put on my pink and blue tie dye t-shirt (which we'd made special for the occasion) and a smile, ready to at least pretend to be having fun. 

Our "boy or girl, no clue!" photo. 

There's a baby bump in here somewhere, we swear! 

We decided to do the reveal first thing, as none of us could wait throughout a whole baby shower to find out boy or girl. 

It's a GIRL!

After the box opened and those balloons came out, I kinda went into shock. After a few moments of letting it sink in, I burst out into tears. 

Can you believe that in the weeks leading up to the shower, I completely FORGOT about the Granny Opal dream? All of a sudden I realized why I had been so nervous all morning...I wanted so badly for the dream to be true. Not because I wanted a girl more than a boy, but because I wanted so much to feel that she's still around and watching over me, Shane, and our baby. And I think she is! 

Now that I've cried all that my eyeballs can handle for the day, here are some other adorable pictures from our shower :) 

We had pink and blue beads and tiny glittery cowboy hats so everyone could wear their guess! And of course we had to make some tie dye onesies for baby Sweetpea while we were making our t-shirts! 

Isn't that watermelon baby the cutest thing ever? And my mouth is watering remembering those delicious macarons. The pink ones were filled with raspberry and the blue had lemon cream filling. Yum! Piggy banks and rock candy sticks made cute and tasty table decor. 

Pink and blue food is a must, right? You don't even want to know how many of the Sweetpea (that's the baby's nickname) onesie cookies I ate...we got to bring home the leftovers and there were a LOT. The delicious pink and blue chocolates and Oreo truffles were made by my Aunt Sandy, the gracious host of our shower :) 

Everywhere you looked, there was something cute and adorable to get you in the baby mood! My mom and dad spray painted a ton of flamingos for cute yard decor. We had clotheslines of tiny newborn sized onesies. And that in the middle? Just the cutest baby shower game trophies with tiny polymer clay pea pods made by my super crafty little sister (we actually all forgot to play the games, whoops! so we just handed them out at the end of the shower). 

With my parents in our photo booth. From the mom Tanya, my sister Hannah, me & Sweetpea, Shane, and my dad Paul. 

Shane with his dad Steve, his mom Debbie, and his grandpa Kelly. 

The secret keepers! The only three to know what color balloons would pop out of that box. From the left...Taylor, Christina, me, Shane, and my sister Hannah. I still don't know how you all managed to not let it slip! 

And of course a group shot with the whole gang! We felt extremely blessed to have so many family and friends who were able to come celebrate with us. Little Miss Sweetpea is one lucky lady and she can't wait to meet you all! 

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All photos are thanks to the wonderful Megan at Break the Mold Photo in Knoxville, TN. I'm so glad my mom thought to have a photographer come to our really helped us enjoy the day and not worry about having a camera ready!