The halfway mark! Although a little over halfway for us, as this baby will be arriving before 40 weeks because of our history. So this baby should be arriving in 17-18 weeks… wow.

We had another anatomy scan this week, to get a closer look at what was too small to see at 16 weeks, and the consultant confirmed that everything still looks good. She also double-checked the sex, though we were pretty sure last time – a baby boy! A little brother to Dottie.

"Little Brother" bodysuit with ultrasound image - Issy's Bump Day Blog, Week 20: (Over) Halfway There

Author’s Personal Collection/Issy Jorden

To be honest, I knew this baby would be a boy before we even got pregnant.

I remember saying to Tom in the early weeks after Dottie was born, “I think we’ll have another baby soon, and I think it will be a boy.” Maybe I was manifesting, hoping desperately to make it true with my words, or maybe it was one of those strange feelings. (Tom claims that I couldn’t actually know this, but some of you will understand the strength of a mother’s intuition.) And when I did fall pregnant, the physical experience of the first trimester was so different from Dottie’s pregnancy that I knew, deep down, it was a boy. To have this confirmed was a relief. As much as I long to bring home the baby girl that we should have done last summer, and use the soft pink and frilly clothes waiting in her nursery, a second baby girl would have cut deeply. I deeply admire those of you who bring home rainbow babies of the same sex as those you lost. I can only imagine the ache, the comparison, the longing for the babies that came before. Or maybe for some this is the preference, to use all the things you prepared, to not have to repaint nurseries or buy different clothes.

For me, these two pregnancies so close together already have me feeling like it is one long stretch, the world’s longest pregnancy, still waiting for that baby to come home. A baby brother to Dottie marks a distinction: our second child. Not a replacement for the first. A son and a daughter in our family.

So, with this news, I made some small steps.

We have a dresser stocked with baby clothes, untouched since last June, with pink frilly onesies and a ‘Born in 2023’ vest. I knew that the time would come that I felt ready to look through it, and it did, so I didn’t have to force myself through pain. I looked through all the clothes we had ready for Dottie, some hand-me-downs, some carefully chosen brand new. I took the most special and put them in a separate box, to always be Dottie’s clothes. And the rest went into a bag, ready to be given away to someone else’s baby girl. Then I went online, clicked on the ‘baby boy’ section, and ordered some clothes. Just a small selection, a gesture, defying my own fear that tells me not to prepare for this baby. And we continue to hope that this baby boy will make it home, to wear his ‘Little Brother’ onesie, and to learn about his sister.

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