Back then a baby's gender was unknown until the doctor held the wiggly newborn and declared, "It's a boy" or "It's a girl." Although sonograms weren't available, there were all sorts of clues that people looked for to try to predict the gender, all of them, I'm sure, old wives' tales. Here are a few that I remember:
- If you're carrying high, it's a girl; low, a boy.
- If you're carrying in front, it's a boy; wide, a girl.
- Take a needle or a wedding ring and attach it to a thread or strand of hair. Hold the dangling needle or ring over the mama's belly while she is lying down. If the needle or wedding ring swings in a strong circular motion, you will be having a girl. If it moves in a to and fro motion like a pendulum, you will be having a boy.
- If your baby's heart rate is fast, you will have a girl. If the heart rate is slow, then you will have a boy.
The middle of the month passed without any signs of labor. Mom and Dad arrived a few days before Christmas, and we all joked that the baby would probably wait until Christmas Day to make its appearance. But, to everyone's disappointment, Christmas came and went without a new baby. It was a bitter-sweet Christmas for all of us. Sweet because Chris, who was nearly three years old, was really beginning to understand the whole Santa thing, and brought great joy to our Christmas morning. But bitter because, after everyone had opened their presents, there remained a pile of unopened ones, a sad and constant reminder that one expected guest had not shown up for the occasion.
My parents were staying through New Year's, so they were sure that they'd have that baby to hold and rock and kiss before then! But New Year's Eve, and then New Year's Day, came and went. No baby. Mom and Dad, having used up all their leave time from work, said tearful good-byes to the three of us, wishing there were four.
It was January 7, 1976, (almost a month late) when the doctor finally held up an 8 lb. 14 oz. squalling infant and announced to Dan and me, there in the delivery room, "It's a boy!" We named him Timothy Andrew (Timothy, from the Greek, meaning "honoring God"), and we knew immediately that he had been worth the extra-long wait!
Tim was probably the happiest and most contented baby that God ever made (not to mention one of the three cutest - Chris and Sweetpea being equal contenders), and he added a brand new dimension to our family. With two boys and a husband, I was definitely out-numbered for the next many years, but there really is a special bond between Moms and their boys that I treasured then, and still do now.
This year, since Tim wasn't able to come with us to Chris and Kelsey's home for Christmas, Dan and I delayed our Christmas celebration with him, and combined it with his birthday party (as I mentioned on Saturday night's post). Seems only fitting, considering that's the way it was on his first Christmas - delayed until January.
Tim, I'm proud of you and happy to be your Mom. My prayer for you, every day, is that you will continue to grow in wisdom, that you will live a fulfilling life on this earth, and that your heart will remain soft and be receptive to the Lord's will.
Happy 32nd Birthday!