Birthday Bacon

A little over 12 years ago I was pregnant with my third child, my husband’s first. Things were not going entirely smoothly, so the doctors performed regular ultrasounds. During the second ultrasound we were asked, “Do you want to know the baby’s gender?” Brian and I both responded with a resounding, “YES!”.

“Let’s see here, I need to get the right angle. Ok, there it is. You are having a…<drum roll> GIRL!”

I responded, “HA! My sister was wrong. It’s a girl.” See, my sister has this uncanny knack for predicting a child’s gender in utero. She was so sure I was pregnant with a boy, she had already bought a little matching hat & onesie set covered in blue stars.

The ultrasound technician’s prediction solved a problem for us. We had settled on a girl’s name but had zero ideas for a boy. It was decided, Annika Marie would arrive soon. My husband even sent me this email shortly after we got the news:

AnnikaEmail

(yes, I printed this email, cut it out, hung it near my computer, and kept it all of these years)

Subsequent ultrasounds did not change that determination, so we proceeded in setting up the pink and purple nursery. It had been 8 years since my family had a newborn around, so they were beyond excited to buy oodles and oodles of baby girl clothes. I was proud of my level of organization.  All of those gifts were washed, folded, sorted by size, and placed in the nursery. We were ready. The only thing left to do was bring home our baby girl.

On the morning of August 18, 2002, it was clear that our day had finally arrived. I packed, showered, did my hair, applied a little makeup, and set my fantasy football draft order (in case I wasn’t discharged from the hospital in time for my fantasy football draft. Priorities.) While most of this was going on, my husband ran around in a state of half panic, half uncontrollable excitement. I thought he’d go off the rails when I sat at his computer to adjust my player priority for the draft. I thought his head would explode when my water broke on his office chair as I was wrapping up that task. Oops, sorry honey.

The baby wasn’t in a huge hurry once we arrived at the hospital. I watched two full Chris Farley movies before things really got going. There was only just a split second of alarm when the cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck, but the doctor managed to get the situation under control very quickly. Just a couple of short minutes later Dr. Carlson announced the delivery, “Congratulations, you have a healthy baby boy!”

<insert screeching record sound>

WHAT?!?

I looked that man square in his eyes and said this, verbatim (sorry about the language, I was REALLY surprised), “You better be f^*#ing kidding me.”

Then I looked at my husband’s face. His mouth was half agape/half smiling. His eyes were wide with shock. “No joke. He has a penis.”

Brian was so thrilled. Both his parents and mine have told me that when he walked into the waiting area to announce the big news, his feet weren’t even touching the ground. They had all brought pink gifts. They all left immediately to exchange those gifts for blue ones. Despite the fact that we never had agreed on a boy’s name and hadn’t even discussed one in at least 4 months, we didn’t hesitate to name him. He just looked like a Brandon. Guess what he wore for his newborn picture… yeah, the onesie and hat with the blue stars that my sister bought before we thought he was a she.

Brandon Michael Page

So my super organized preparedness was out the window. The girl clothes, which had been liberated of their tags and already washed, were all packed away. (They did not go to waste, however. A couple of short months later a friend endured a horrific tragedy. Without going into too much detail about that, she needed those baby girl clothes. Those clothes needed a baby girl. It was meant to be.) My then eight year old daughter, Kylie, moved into the pink and purple room. Brandon moved into Kylie’s more neutrally colored room. We adjusted swiftly. Our family was complete and our hearts were full. Boy, girl, it didn’t matter. We had a healthy baby.

Today that baby turns 12 years old. He has a big heart and an old soul. He’s kind, considerate, and full of hugs. He is cautious and smart, clever and funny. He loves bacon, cooking, riding quads, fishing, music, movies, and bacon. Yes, I know I said “bacon” twice. He likes it twice as much as he likes anything else. Seriously, here is a close up of that shirt he’s wearing in the featured image:

P1000462

Happy birthday to my sweet, adorable, fun, smart, bacon-loving SON, Brandon!

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