20 week anatomy scan, babymoon, & gender reveal

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my 20 week baby bump & the gorgeous view from our room.

Last Thursday, we had our 20 week anatomy scan. The next morning, we were booked to jump on a plane to Hawaii for our babymoon. I had just finished up a big push on a project for work, and I had been looking forward to this appointment and this trip for a very long time.

I arrived at the scan my usual bundle of nerves. Even though through this entire pregnancy, the milestones I felt I needed to hit to feel assured kept getting pushed further and further out (once we hear a heartbeat I’ll feel better, once we hit 10 weeks, once we get to the 2nd trimester….) having a healthy and normal prognosis at the anatomy scan would truly be a heavy weight off my weary shoulders. I couldn’t wait.

The scan went  almost completely perfectly. The baby was moving a lot, covering his face with his arms, hiccuping and fluttering about. All organs looked healthy and the baby is measuring quite big, in the 80th percentile. My cervix was over 4cm and was closed. They confirmed I have an anterior placenta, which disappointed me slightly since I want to be able to feel every little bit of movement as soon as possible. But I was thankful for no real placenta issues to be concerned about.

At the end of the scan, the doctor came in and told us that they saw a “bright spot” on the baby’s heart (technically called echogenic intracardiac focus). Apparently this has no impact on the health or heart function of the baby, but is considered a soft marker for Down syndrome. Because both of my first and second trimester bloodwork had come back so low risk (1 in 21,000), and the doctor did not see any other soft markers for Down syndrome  during the scan, she was not overly concerned, but did offer the MaterniT21 test to us. We decided to do the test, because apparently I’m willing to spend any amount of money in exchange for peace of mind. I’ve gone this entire pregnancy so far with a nagging, unsettling pit in my stomach that at any moment this could all get taken away, and have struggled so much to believe this baby is actually coming.  I didn’t want to spend the second half of my pregnancy continuing to carry those feelings. I wanted to release them and be done.

We left the scan a little unsure what to think, trying our best to reassure each other and keep our concern in proportion to what the actual risks were. The rest of the evening was hectic and included a trip to the emergency vet with my dog (she’s ok) and scrambling to get all our packing done for our trip the next day. But I felt unsettled, dazed, and overwhelmed with concern over my baby and my dog.

We vowed that we would use this vacation to take a break from worry.

It took about a day and a half of relaxing and exploring the beautiful island of Kauai, top down in our jeep with the sun and wind whipping our hair, but I finally released my nagging thoughts and worries and embraced all the things that make me happy and smile these days.

My husband had let the hotel know ahead of time that we would be celebrating our babymoon, so when we arrived we were inundated with congratulations. I was so overwhelmed at how beautiful the St. Regis hotel and the surrounding area was, that by the time we got to our hotel room I had tears of gratitude streaming down my face. I felt so grateful to be in this moment, to finally be celebrating our baby to be, and in the most exquisite way possible. And I felt so grateful for my husband, who spent two years traveling and often putting in grueling 80 weeks, but who’s hard work allowed us to book this extra luxurious vacation entirely on points. I wanted to soak it in and be in this moment forever.

But the next morning was the real pinnacle of our trip. We woke up before sunrise (I woke up at 4am out of sheer excitement) and drove to the east side of the island where the sunrise would be directly over the ocean. In my hand I had the envelope with our baby’s gender inside. I could hardly deal I was so excited. We got to the beach just as the dark started fading into light, and as we stood facing the ocean, I started opening the envelope just as the burning yellow of the sun started to crest the horizon.

We are having a boy!

My husband exclaimed, “I knew it!” and danced around in celebration. I laughed and freaked and hugged my husband. I felt like deep down I had known it too, although I always claimed to have no idea. But I also felt a little bit of shock and disbelief…at how real this was becoming and that I would be a mom to a little boy. I realized that in all my daydreams about become a mom I had inadvertently always pictured a little girl. Maybe it’s because it’s what I know, maybe it’s because I grew up around so many boys and longed for female companionship growing up. To realize I’d be having a boy instead gave me this whole new world to think and fantasize about, and that felt surreal, thrilling, and completely odd all at once.

But I also felt so, so happy.

Having a boy lit a spark for my husband, who is now feeling a connection to the pregnancy in a whole new way. He couldn’t stop talking about his mini-me, and all the activities they will do together, and letting every stranger who walked by know our news.

I also realized how amazing it was to get five undivided days together to process, talk, and daydream about our future son. The rest of our trip was lovely, with poolside reading, exploring beaches and canyons and hikes, complete with indulging in daily Hawaiian shave ice, but the glow of our gender reveal made the trip carry an aura of magic to it.

On our last day, as we stopped for lunch before heading to the airport, I received a phone call from the doctor’s office. Our MaterniT21 results came back normal. I blinked back tears, and had a silent moment of gratitude that I didn’t spend our entire trip twisted and stressed about the ultrasound finding.

Our little boy is healthy as can be.


holding the envelope with the gender inside!



it’s a boy!!


that gorgeous sunrise

that gorgeous sunrise we’ll never forget

47 thoughts on “20 week anatomy scan, babymoon, & gender reveal

  1. I’m so happy for you. Getting to 20 weeks after previous pregnancy losses is a big deal and to know that everything is fine must be such a huge relief. Wishing you a completely uneventful full-term pregnancy!


  2. Eeeek! A BOY! Congrats sweets! And I used to live on Oahu, so we were married there (at the Bayer Estate) and then had a little honeymoon at the St. Regis on Kauai–that place is magical ❤
    So happy to hear all your hood news and your pics are beautiful! XOXO


  3. Such fantastic news all around. I’m so happy to read this and so glad you and you husband enjoyed such a wonderful babymoon. Mothering a little boy has been the singular most rewarding experience of my life to date (I’m sure I’d say that if he had been a girl, too, but I can’t so I’m saying this). Congratulations on your healthy little fellow.


  4. So wonderful. I’d been waiting for this post and so exciting to now know you are expecting a boy! Lance and I stopped by the St Regis on our trip to Kauai a few years ago and it looked heavenly. Sounds like a perfect babymoon spot!


  5. Hooray! So, so happy for the three of you. That vacation looks absolutely wonderful, too! I felt a lot of similar things on finding out our baby is a boy – I had always pictured being the mom to a little girl! But of course by now, I can’t imagine it any other way. Congrats and I hope the second half of your pregnancy goes wonderfully!


  6. Oh My goodness!! First of all congrats on all the wonderful news! Healthy baby boy!! (and the dog is ok too) It sounds like things are really coming together and falling into place. I am so glad you guys got to go on a babymoon. I hope more than anything when we finally get pregnant that we get to do that too! It sounds like yours was so special and you look beautiful! Just perfect! I am so happy for you!! It has been such a nice thing to follow your blog. We are actually back to trying this month after my surgery so I am keeping my fingers crossed. Can’t wait to see your progress!


  7. Awesome! Congrats on your little man 🙂 I too didn’t start to “relax” until half way through the 2nd trimester. I’m glad you let yourself soak up your vacation and time together as a couple!


  8. I cried reading this as I re-experienced the joy of finding out we were having a second baby boy and felt the same worry and panic at the potential for a chromosomal abnormality. I am sitting and trying to wait patiently today for the results of the MaternitT21 and for our level 2 ultrasound tomorrow morning and this post gave me so much comfort and hope. I’m so happy for you and your husband as you start your path to parenthood…it is the best thing in the world and I’m sure you will appreciate it even more after your long journey to get there. Glad to have found you in the blogosphere! 🙂


  9. Congratulations! I am new to your blog but I have to tell you I am so happy that I discovered it. So many things you have written about I can relate to and that is so comforting. Thank you for putting your stories, feelings and personal moments out there. Good luck to you and your little family. 🙂


  10. You look gorgeous. I had a big smile by the end of this post. I felt scared throughout my entire pregnancy with Little Man, the innocence had been taken away after all, but remember that you can be scared and brave at the same time (((hugs)))


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