7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 114)

January 28, 2011 | 91 comments

— 1 —

We had our 18-week ultrasound yesterday and found out the gender of the baby. It’s a GIRL! This will be our fourth girl in a row (only our oldest is a boy). What’s funny is that having boys is very common in my husband’s family, so when our first was a boy, all his relatives saw this as confirmation that we’d have an all-boy family. I even joked, “Wouldn’t it be funny if we had more kids and they were all girls?”, thinking of it as some outlandish possibility that would never happen. Who knew!

— 2 —

I admit that for a short moment after the ultrasound tech told me, I felt pretty disappointed that the baby wasn’t a boy. (I mean, ya know, after three girls in a row, I was thinking that a little change of pace would be nice.) Since I often write about how the hiddenness of life in the womb tempts us to see unborn life as less human than other people, it’s interesting to see it at work in myself. I mean, if you could open up some portal to the future and have this baby walk up to me as a four-year-old child and say, “Hi, mommy!”, the furthest thing from my mind would be a feeling of disappointment. I’d never come close to thinking, “Hmmph. I wish you were different.” And yet when “the pregnancy” — the hidden child I’ve never laid eyes on in person — turns out to be a girl, I had that feeling of disappointment. My own random, selfish desires supersede the dignity of who she is as a person. Interesting.

— 3 —

My trip to San Francisco was wonderful! A big highlight was getting to have a long breakfast during my layover in Phoenix with my friendย Leila, a blogger extraordinaireย and mom of eight.

She’s just as sharp and interesting as she seems to be from her blog. Our little meetup was really one of the best parts of the trip for me!

— 4 —

You were all so right: my library — nay, my entire life — was not complete without P.G. Wodehouse. Based on the overwhelming number of comments I got in response to #7 here insisting that I check out some of the Jeeves & Wooster books, I bought Carry On, Jeeves to take on my trip with me. I finished it in two days, and thus realized that I simply cannot get enough of British humor involving witty repartee with butlers.

— 5 —

My meeting with my literary agent went very well. We had lunch at an outdoor cafe right by the ocean, and I had a bowl of the best clam chowder ever made. I had hoped that meeting me in person might somehow inspire him to say, “You know all those huge changes I suggested you make to your book? I see now that you are a competent, intelligent person who knows what you’re doing, so forget about it! Just relax and kick up your feet, and I’ll start shopping it to publishers as is!” Umm. Didn’t happen. In fact, he made some good points that convinced me even further than these epic changes will make it a significantly better book. Sigh. Back to the grindstone for me.

— 6 —

The glacial speed of this book project is made more painful by the fact that it’s somewhat unusual these days. At least among people I know who write books. My friends Ann Voskamp and Rachel Balducci started writing their books around the same time I did, and theirs are already in print.ย A typical route these days is that someone signs a deal with a publisher based on a proposal, and then has a hard deadline for the completion of the manuscript. It can be pretty miserable hitting the deadline, but at least it doesn’t drag on forever.

My agent doesn’t want to go that route. He wants me to have as much time as I need to get this book polished to perfection, and only then will we call the publishers who’ve expressed interest — that way I’m not rushed by deadlines. God knew what he was doing when he set me on this route: I’m no Ann or Rachel, and I undoubtedly need much more time to craft my story into a great read. I think my agent is very wise. But yeah. I sometimes feel like banging my head into a wall and screaming “WILL THIS EVER BE DONE?!?!?!”

— 7 —

Speaking of books, I stopped by a small independent bookstore out in San Francisco. It was an interesting experience in the psychology of choice. I had far fewer choices at the small bookstore. I’d gone in to get a new Wodehouse book, and they didn’t have it. The horror! As a modern consumer used to getting whatever I want at the snap of my fingers, I was quite annoyed.

But I struck up a conversation with the friendly store owner, and he directed me to a bunch of exciting new books I wasn’t familiar with. I would have never discovered them if I’d been able to get the thing I had my mind set on; the lack of choices forced me to expand my horizons — and I’m so glad I did! (If you’re interested, I walked out of there with: The Man Who Loved Books Too Much; The End of Overeating; A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome; and some other British book involving butlers whose title I can’t remember.)


Below is a linky list if youโ€™d like to add a link to your own 7 Quick Takes post. (1) Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your post and not your main blog URL. (2) Include a link back here.


  1. Elizabeth

    Congratulations! This is going to make your son an EXCELLENT husband or priest. He will know SO much more than many other men on the market.

    #2- That is interesting. I’ve always wondered if some subconscious reaction would happen at the moments I find out my children are boys or girls and what that would be. The important part is you recognized it and reflected on it.

    Now I need to read Wodehouse…

  2. Jill

    Congratulations on ANOTHER girl! As for the book, it will be done when God is ready for it to be done. Until then, happy editing!

  3. Holly Rutchik

    Wow. First off, Congrats on what must be a healthy baby girl! What a blessings. Second, that you for the honest reflection on learning the gender.
    This summer I asked you to pray for us to have another baby on your retreat. And, indeed, we have been blessed with another pregnancy, our 3rd child, our 3rd girl. We are happy, but of course if we were given the choice I am sure we would have picked “boy.” I just read your first reflection to my hubby and we could not agree more. It is so important to be honest, and even thought we know what we believe about such things, doesn’t mean we should stop praying for our OWN hearts to grasp it even more.

  4. ex-new yorker

    Ever since my first pregnancy, I have been determined not to embrace my emotional preference for one sex of child or the other. I don’t want to embrace it before conception because God is going to give me whom He’s going to give me, and certainly not after conception when the child already exists. That said, every time my unembraced emotional preference has been for a girl. The time it was least strong was with our third. Our first and only girl ๐Ÿ™‚ I had gotten so used to sons. The time it was strongest was probably a toss-up between with our first and with our fourth, since having a girl was such a delightful new experience and wouldn’t a sister close in age be nice for her? Honestly though, I strongly refused to embrace my own feelings about this before or after finding out, and I’m so glad. I’m so glad he’s a boy because *he* is a boy. Maybe the gift that he is is more apparent for him not being drawn up to fulfill my daydreams, but God’s better plan.

    This isn’t meant to be some lecture about you admitting to feeling disappointed for a short moment. So did I. It was the memory of that very feeling that had me whispering “I don’t want anyone but you!” when he was a newborn and feeling it much more strongly than I’d ever felt a shred of disappointment.

  5. Angie @ Many Little Blessings

    Congratulations on the baby girl!

    I appreciate your reflection about gender (and disappointment). When I was pregnant with my first, they didn’t get a good look at the gender (at an ultrasound at 19 weeks), but told us the baby was a girl. Of course, you can guess that he wasn’t a girl. Because of a problem at 32 weeks, they did another ultrasound and found out we were having a boy. I was crushed! For three months, we thought we were having a girl.

    Then, I felt really guilty. I have infertility problems and we had to deal with a lot of heartache while trying to get pregnant. And then here I was – fussing over gender. I was really sad for a week or two, until someone told me to realize that since we had thought for so long we were having a girl, it was almost like we lost that baby we thought we were having. We could be happy for the “new” baby we were having, but all of those plans and thoughts we had about a daughter were gone. Once I felt like I had permission to be sad, then I quickly got over it.

  6. Leila

    #2… Oh, boy, I have had similar feelings about my last three or four ultrasounds! My last girl was born over 16 years ago. The next five babies were boys. So, it goes: Girl, boy, girl, boy, boy, boy, boy, boy. I think (hope??) it’s normal to want to change it up a bit, although now I am so happy at this pack of brothers that it makes me giddy (for them, especially!). I can tell you that my girls always hoped for one more sister, and by the last pregnancy, even the boys were rooting for a girl! My husband actually groaned a tiny bit at the ultrasound reveal. (Don’t be too hard on him… he pictured himself as an aged old man going to sporting events in a wheelchair.) However, as we all know, that smidgen of disappointment gives way to great excitement and the joyful realization that we wouldn’t have it any other way! Our baby boy is so beloved by all. We don’t want him to be anyone else. ๐Ÿ™‚

    (But I get you.)

    #3… That was a total highlight of my year so far!

    #5… Did someone say clam chowder?! {drool}

  7. Elisa | blissfulE

    This is one reason why I don’t have ultrasounds any more. After living in Egypt and people were all boy, boy, BOY, I thought… actually, God knows best and me finding out and telling people before the baby comes just gets them showering either their approval, or sympathy, or disappointment on me. I just take the babies as they come now, and that forces everyone else to as well.

    “and some other British book involving butlers whose title I canโ€™t remember.” This made me laugh! Hope your new book did, too. ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy Friday!

  8. Ciska @ This Journey of my Life


    Don’t worry about the book. It’s good your agent makes you rewrite big parts. Don’t forget, once it’s printed, it’s printed and you can’t change it anymore. Imagine how you would feel like when you’ve published a book that you aren’t completely happy about. And I know you were happy with the book when you handed it in to your agent, but, believe me, you’d feel different once it was printed. Good editors make their writers change a lot!

  9. Kerrie

    1. Congrats on a girl!

    2. We found out the sexes of our children at our 20-week ultrasound, but we didn’t get too emotional about it then for either of them. Which in retrospect was pretty good. But, while giving birth, as in when the doctor was telling me to push, the thought crossed my mind that the ultrasound tech was wrong all those weeks ago and that I was going to have a boy, not a girl. Then, I thought about what were we going to do about a pink room with pink clothing. After the doctor put my little girl in my arms, I felt guilty about my previous thoughts. Later, I told my husband – who then admitted the same thoughts crossed his mind!

  10. Kassie @ Secret Vatican Spy

    Congratulations!! Will be praying for y’all. My niece was just born this week so I have all kinds of baby fever!

  11. Julia at LotsaLaundry

    I LOVE small bookstores, mainly because the owners have read what they stock and can recommend good stuff. There’s a different brain process that goes on when you browse through books than when you select them on a screen (even when you’ve ‘looked inside’). You’re more open, and it’s more experiential than cerebral.

    But maybe that’s me. The only stores I actually enter these days sell either books or shoes. And I only go into shoe shops because it’s less frustrating than buying something that doesn’t fit and sending it back.

    Glad you had a great trip.

  12. Tami Boesiger

    It seems to me the slow pace of your book deal is God’s way of accommodating your life. Can you imagine the pressure it would have caused to have some strict deadline in the first weeks of your pregnancy? Truly His plan is best for us, huh?

  13. Jan

    Congratulations on your news, and trusting all will go well.
    Of course in my day, we did not have ultrasounds and the sex of the baby in advance.

    I do remember some wonderful Jeeves books, many years since I delved there.
    Blessings, Jan

  14. Anne B.

    Congratulations on another girl! As the mother of four sons in a row and then a daughter, I smile whenever I hear of families that are off-balance in one sex or the other. All families are interesting and beautiful, but something about those that lean in one way or the other always makes me smile!

  15. Kathleen@so much to say

    I’m already working on a good attitude about whichever gender God decides to bless us with…assuming he *does* decide to bless us again…b/c I don’t want to feel that stab of disappointment. I have 2 boys and a girl, but my daughter has Down’s and that makes the experience quite a bit different from the typical “girl” experience, and oh, how I want to have that experience just once!

    As for the book, I sympathize, although in my case, it’s the novels that are glacially slow, fit in as they are around the real paying writing gigs. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Martianne

    ongrats on the baby and good luck with the book. All in time andwith blessingsl.

  17. Michelle

    Congratulations on your baby girl! You know, I had three girls first, then a boy. Now we are pregnant with our 5th (by the way I asked you to pray for our discernment on whether we added to our family back when you asked what we’d like you to pray for)…anyway, now that we are pregnant with our 5th and will soon find out the gender of our baby, I find myself pondering how I will feel if it is another girl. I know in my heart, I hope for a boy for my son to have a brother close in age. But I also know I wouldn’t be disappointed in a girl down the road…your reflection on how you felt was very much like I felt when we found out our third was a girl and I remember thinking how odd that was and praying I wouldn’t feel that way in the future. Alas, I”m human, and I very much was excited when #4 was a boy…and have no clue how I might have felt if he had been a she. But as you point out…fast forward a few years and surely I’m not going to care one way or the other with that respect.

    Way to keep plugging along on the book. I can’t imagine even though I wish I could. I can’t wait to read your book.

  18. Liesl

    I have all sisters – and I remember hoping that my youngest sister was a boy – because I wanted my dad to have a son! But thankfully, we’ve got some tomboys in the family! Congrats on the little girl!

  19. Mary @ A Simple Twist of Faith

    Congratualtions on your baby girl! I have girls, and they are lot of fun, most of the time! I love your book suggestions. So little time, so many books…

  20. Lisa @ Cheerfully Chaotic


    I was sad/disappointed with my first when I found out I was having a girl and not a boy. I felt really guilt about that at first. However, I realized that what I felt wasn’t disappointment about having a girl versus a boy. It was sadness at the lost possibility. Before we found out, we had names chosen for both a boy and a girl: Henry or Clare. When I thought about the unknown child in my womb, I thought of the baby as BOTH Henry and Clare– it was like I had two babies in there. I imagined their separate lives and imagined what each one might look like. When I had the ultrasound that determined the gender, I lost the possibility of one of those babies, which seemed nearly as painful as if I had truly been pregnant with twins and lost one. I was thrilled with my girl, but ached for the boy that wasn’t there *anymore*.

  21. Pam

    Thanks for the link to Leila’s blog last week — I’ve appreciated her writing and her welcoming attitude!

  22. The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time

    Congratulations on the ultrasound. As someone who will never have a child (we adopted), the joy of being pregnant so much trumps the gender. Of course, I wouldn’t trade a thing in the world for our little Dudette.

    How fun to have found a new author! I love it when that happens.

  23. Melissa Spence

    Congrats on having another girl. My husband also comes from a family of all boys who have boys. So when we were pregnant with our daughter we were in shock – she was the first girl after 4 sons with 8 grandsons!

  24. Nichole@40daysof

    Congratulations on another girl! Boys are crazy!

    I picked up a P.G. Wodehouse book after seeing it on here. About to start it…

    Have a great weekend!

  25. Judy

    What a beautiful photo!!!
    I loved these Quick Takes!
    Truly, you are one of the most interesting writers on the internet!

  26. Kristin

    Congrats on another girl! We too were told we were having a girl. The UltraSound tech actually said something about going to Vegas and laying money on it. When we told our son about this, he took to some SERIOUS prayer ~ He prayed every day, all day long. He did not want a sister.
    God sure loves my oldest boy… we welcomed a baby boy to our lives that year!

  27. Sarah in Ottawa

    Congratulations on having another little girl!!

  28. Megan

    Congratulations on another girl! I love having girls! ๐Ÿ™‚ You know what though, I don’t blame you for being disappointed, and I don’t think it says anything about how much you value your sweet baby or view him or her as a person. I think that feeling a bit of disappointment is simply our will dying to the will of God which is never easy!

    We always find out the sex of the baby because for us it makes them a more concrete part of our family. We name the baby, announce the name, refer to him or her by name all the time, and when we sign cards from our family, we always sign the baby’s name too. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I will be so excited to read your book! It sounds like you have a good agent. ๐Ÿ™‚

    So amazing about meeting Leila! You both look beautiful! ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Donna

    Congratulations on little girl number 4!! I have 4 little girls myself and I admit that we were HOPING for a little girl with #4 because we wouldn’t have to move bedrooms or buy all new clothes or toys — we HAVE girl stuff! I love what a little team they are (sometimes) and I’m excited to see how they’ll be as young adults — I hope they are as close as sisters can be!

  30. Stephanie

    I echo the congratulations! How exciting. I’m also impressed with your thoughts in take 2. That’s really interesting and well thought out.

  31. Doris

    Congrats on having another girl! They are exciting. I come from a large family of grils and can tell you that no one is as good as a sister or two! I remember feeling the same way when finding out about my last two babies.. I acctually convinced myself they were going to be the opposite if what they are! God knows the members in your family and the order they will come into it. I will continue to pray for healthy Mommy healthy Baby!

  32. Charlotte (Matilda)

    My own random, selfish desires supersede the dignity of who she is as a person. Interesting.

    Don’t be so hard on yourself! Not all desires are selfish desires, sometimes a feeling is just a feeling. We have to acknowledge our feelings as expressions of our soul, but it’s how we choose to act on them that counts more. I remember, when my third child (second daughter) was born and we found out she was a girl, I was thrilled that my daughter had a sister and disappointed my son didn’t have a brother. And if she had been a boy, it would have been the other way around. How silly was that? But I don’t see it as an insult to the dignity of who she is. I see now, God’s greater plan… my son is a very solitary individual who doesn’t need companionship as much as my older daughter does. Truth be told, she is also a little flighty and needs the cool head of reason her younger sister provides. I had no way of knowing that when she was born and they were only 2 and 1.

  33. regina

    Oh can I relate. I feel a great relief reading your post and these comments. We had B, then G and at my ultrasound, for pregnancy #3, we found out it was twins, and somehow I was disappointed because it was two girls. I have felt such guilt for that disappointment, because now I look at them and know I wouldn’t have it another way. God constructed our family just the way it should be. My husband and my son, however, constantly say the next baby, BETTER be a boy. How can I live up to that? I almost agree with them, but what’s the point ๐Ÿ™ My husband wants to adopt a boy, so my son will have a brother, but I want another baby!! It’s hard to trust God sometimes when we think we know what we need, but ultimately He KNOWS what we need.

  34. Margaret in Minnesota

    Yay for girls! Yay for boys! Yay for babies babies babies!!!

    (I had two boys and then three girls. When I became pregnant with our sixth, I wanted a girl because I thought she would be better off with having three sisters in close range. Surprise! We were given Baby George, and I felt a flash of disappointment when he was placed in my arms.)

    (A flash, mind you.)

    (Quickly replaced by incomprehensible and lasting JOY.)

  35. Katie "Wellness Mama"

    Congrats on another beautiful girl! We just found out we are having a girl too! We must be due around the same time.
    That is so funny that what you said in jest about having all girls after your first is coming true. My husband and I met on a pro-life walk across America, and became good friends along the way. He always mentioned that he hated Texas (in his defense, he had to walk across it!) and never wanted daughters after staying with a family with a lot of very talkative and beautiful girls. We joked him the rest of the walk that he would probably marry a girl from Texas and have nine daughters (a good Catholic number, and enough for almost every sport). I joked him of this too, and now I laugh because I am from Texas… Always makes me wonder if we will have nine daughters in the long run.

  36. Christy

    Congrats on the baby girl, and on the book coming along, even if it’s slower than you’d like. I’m so excited to read it when it comes out! ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. Jamie Jo

    I’m off to make my post now, but wanted to quick comment that we, also have our first born a boy and 4 girls in a row. I felt the same way you did when you initially found out. I love them all, and love each baby whether a boy or girl, but am thankful for that ultrasound to prepare me for any disappointed feelings. So interesting, all we really care about is the health of the baby, but having a boy after so many in a row would be so different and fun….but so is having another girl!

    Anyway, congratulations!

  38. Julie @ The Corner With A View

    Editors put just as much heart and soul into their books as well, so remember that he’s probably going through the process too ๐Ÿ™‚

    Yay for Bertie Wooster!! And meeting up with blogging friends, always a joy to put a face and voice to the words!

  39. 'Becca

    I have to wonder if ultrasounds actually encourage that feeling of disappointment because they tell you the gender of your child at a moment when you aren’t hormonally primed to attach to that child with overwhelming adoration, the way you are immediately after giving birth; you’re finding out at a time when you aren’t supposed to know. To me, invading the hiddenness of the womb with ultrasound just because we can, because we’re impatient to know as much about the baby as possible and “check if anything’s wrong”, seems contrary to trusting God. If God wanted us to see and know all about every baby at that stage, the uterine wall would be transparent, right?

    • Jill

      I have to add to this (as a Labor/Delivery RN): Ultrasound just to find out the sex seems shallow to many people, but an ultrasound to check the general “health” of a baby could, in fact, save the life of that baby. Imagine if your baby needed surgery immediately after delivery, or the baby had some other anomaly that makes it incompatible to life after the womb. I’d rather be prepared for that and have a plan in place rather than hope for a good outcome on delivery day. A friend of mine delivered a baby who had a fatal heart defect (and other problems). He lived 6 hours and thanks be to God (and their ultrasound), they were aware that this would be the outcome and were able to prepare their other 4 children before this child was born. Saying God would have made the womb transparent if He wanted us to know the sex is a little unreasonable. That would be similar to saying that all births should be vaginal since God didn’t “make” our abdomen the place of choice for delivery. Either way, God has created these beautiful children for us to enjoy. He also allows ultrasound technology to advance so we may be able to enjoy “seeing” these children a few months early! Not to mention that women who may be seeking abortions may choose life after an ultrasound indeed reveals to them that there is an actual baby in the womb.

      • 'Becca

        Jill, you do have a good point about being prepared for a birth defect that can be identified by ultrasound. That can be helpful. However, I know several mothers who were advised at the 18-week ultrasound that a measurement was unusual and indicated possible risk of spina bifida or Down’s and they ought to have amnio to further investigate; all of them refused amnio because of its risks to mother and baby, and all of their babies were completely fine, but they worried needlessly.

        God didn’t make our abdomens the normal route of delivery, and that is why all births should be vaginal UNLESS there is a really good reason for a C-section. Similarly, I think it’s fine to look into the womb when there is a really good reason to suspect something is wrong, but we are not meant to look in there just because we’re too impatient to wait and see what God gives us.

        I can believe that there are women whose opinion on whether or not their embryo or fetus is “an actual baby” is changed by seeing an ultrasound image. I doubt that that happens anywhere near as often as women using ultrasound to detect a health problem (or, in some cultures, undesired gender) and abort for that reason. The fact that God has “allowed the technology to advance” doesn’t mean God wants us to use that technology in every possible way.

        You know, Jennifer’s announcement here essentially says, “I got my doctor to look inside my private parts so I could look at my unborn child’s private parts, and now I am telling the entire world what they looked like!” That’s really very weird. I don’t mean anything against you personally, Jennifer, because this is standard behavior in our culture now, but I do think it’s weird and don’t understand how it meets Catholic standards of modesty.

  40. Ann

    #7 Thanks for the recommendations – keep them coming! I find it refreshing that you can also enjoy secular books. At first, I read the title of the second book you mention, The End of Over-reading – and I was very intrigued.

    have a great day!

  41. Libby

    Oooh, baby girl! ๐Ÿ˜€ Fantastic!

  42. Tracy

    Congratulations on another beautiful baby! And a girl – you are indeed blessed.

  43. Nina

    Oh, Jen, congratulations! See, God knows what He’s doing….! He is matching up all of those girls to my three little boys in a row—-;)

    Hey, when that book is published it will be all the more appreciated and relished by all of us. Take care of yourself and babes.

    Where did you have the Clam Chowder?

    Have a beautiful day, you.

  44. Kara

    Congrats on the baby girl!!! I have no boys, so I’m a little terrified of ever finding out that I would be having a boy. But, I’m a little jealous that I haven’t had my u/s yet and you have! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m sorry your book writing journey has been difficult, but I just know that it will be amazing! I can’t wait to buy it and read it!!

  45. Gina

    Whee! I love baby girls. Boys are precious too, but there’s just something about girls . . . ๐Ÿ™‚

    So glad you enjoyed Wodehouse! My favorite is “Jeeves in the Morning.” I think it comes rather late in the series, but with this series it doesn’t really matter; any one of them can pretty much stand alone. Among non-Jeeves Wodehouse books, my favorite is “Spring Fever.” The Psmith books (“the p is silent, as in pshrimp”) and most of the Blandings Castle books are also great fun.

    • Gina

      (Forgot to mention that “Jeeves in the Morning” is also known as “Joy in the Morning”; you might be able to find it more easily under that title.)

  46. JoAnna

    Congratulations on the new baby girl! How fun!

  47. priest's wife

    you know this: girls ROCK! I have 3 girls and one boy ๐Ÿ™‚ My last (medical problems) is a sweet girl- and -yes- there was a twinge of disappointment. But now, I wouldn’t have it any other way. But you know this, too.

    Prayers for your health!

  48. Rachel Balducci

    A girl! I’m going to mail you a big box of giant hairbows.

  49. Colleen

    A girl! I’m hoping my 5th baby is a girl (we have three boys and one girl so far). If mine turns out to be another boy, let’s switch, ok?? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  50. chris

    Glad you like Wodehouse. I might have had to stop reading this blog if you didn’t. Good choice. ๐Ÿ™‚

    By the way, I think you need to read this:


    I think the address says it all, but you should also know I’m the mom whose son sent you the roadrunner suggestion for your scorpion problem last year.

    Congratulations on your baby!

  51. Monica

    Warm congrats on your 4th girl!

    I’m curious which bookstore you went to in SF…local girl here. ๐Ÿ™‚

  52. Katie

    Congrats on another girl!

  53. Hannah Elise

    Well, this is my first time participating in Conversion Diary… probably due to the fact that I’m just getting back into blogging. ๐Ÿ™‚

  54. Rebecca

    Congratulations on girl #4. My husband is the only boy of 5 children and I can attest to the fact that it helped make him the awesome husband that he is!

    And I am so jealous you got to meet up with Leila!

  55. Nancy

    Congratulations on your girl! And I have a lot of sympathy for your new “opportunity” to be patient with your book . . . we’re in the middle of an adoption, waiting for child #4 and it’s taking f-o-r-e-v-e-r. So the next time you’re banging your head against the wall, please know that you have company. ๐Ÿ™‚

  56. David Marciniak

    God bless you! I have five girls…and four boys. May God bless your children with faith and joy.

  57. Jesse

    Congrats on another baby girl!

  58. Magdalena

    Congratulation Jennifer! God bless you and your family!
    Today I finished my first 7 Quick Takes Friday – in German! I hope thatยดs OK, too.

  59. Not A Minx

    How do you style your bangs so perfectly? I love hanging bangs but getting the styling down was the bane of my existence!

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      I think I just got lucky — my bangs just naturally seem to drift that way. ๐Ÿ™‚

  60. Maiki

    I’ll offer a more positive view of your feelings — maybe incorrect. We relate to human beings as persons, fundamentally, and humans are either female or male persons, not purely spiritual persons. We relate to people in this way because they have bodies, and they are alive. So, even in the womb, we relate to the future child as a human person. Your imagination and wishful thinking related to your unborn child as a male person, and you found out that this person whom you love was not male, but female. Love seeks understanding, and correcting incorrect understanding is jarring.

    If you did not think of your unborn child as a person, maleness and femaleness would not concern you. But the image of the human person includes these characteristics, so it is inescapable from how we relate and ultimately love that person.

    Congratulations on girl #4!

    (can you tell I’m reading JPII/Theology of the Body stuff right now?)

    • Jessica


      Just read your comment after responding to Catherine’s below. I am a big fan of Theology of the Body–my husband and I listened to Christopher West’s Crash Course in the TotB before getting married. I think it’s important to keep in mind that while male and female complement each other well, some people are born with both male and female parts, and those who consider having a clear gender as part of humanness can treat intersex people very badly (as less than human) as a result. Just something to think about.

    • 'Becca

      If you did not think of your unborn child as a person, maleness and femaleness would not concern you.

      I’m not sure there’s any connection to whether you think of the unborn child as being a person RIGHT NOW. During my pregnancy, I was very open-minded about what I might learn about fetal personhood because so many people had told me I wouldn’t be pro-choice anymore once I experienced pregnancy. I felt a connection to the creature growing inside me, but I didn’t perceive it as a person until a specific, sudden point 15 hours before he was born. Prior to that, there was this creature who I knew intellectually was a FUTURE person, and the gender of that future person did concern me; I did a lot of thinking about our future together and wondering if it WOULD BE my son or my daughter. I didn’t know until he was born, and I felt that was a good decision, but I did think about it.

  61. Catherine

    I just wanted to add a different perspective to the baby gender thing. . . When I was pregnant, the baby refused to co-operate during the ultrasound so we didn’t know the gender. My husband and I didn’t really mind. It was a little inconvenient, but we just bought unisex clothes for the layette and our other baby stuff was all bought used so it was whatever color it was (we figured the baby wouldn’t care).
    Anyway, you would not believe the reactions we got from friends and family! People constantly pestered us to go back and get another ultrasound! My mother-in-law would sometimes call two times a day and ask if we knew the gender yet! It was beyond strange.
    I still have no idea why everyone was so vested in the sex of our baby! When I told strangers I didn’t know the sex, I would always add “we tried, but the baby wouldn’t cooperate” so they would stop looking at me like I was an alien.
    Maybe some people just need to know the gender before they can really appreciate that there’s a human being in there ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Catherine

      Oh, and congratulations!

    • Jessica

      I’m not surprised–our society is heavily entrenched in organizing ourselves and each other by gender. It’s the reason people frown upon going against gender norms, get uncomfortable about not knowing someone’s gender, and can be downright hateful toward those born intersex.

      When I was born, my mom had a blue blanket to wrap me up and take me home in. The nurse was horrified that she would take home a little girl in a blue blanket. Funny because blue used to be considered a feminine color (http://www.salon.com/life/broadsheet/feature/2010/02/22/power_of_pink/index.html).

      I think you hit on a really interesting point–“Maybe some people just need to know the gender before they can really appreciate that thereโ€™s a human being in there.” This may be why intersex and transgender people are treated so badly–anyone who doesn’t clearly fit into one gender is seen, by some people, as not fully human. And that really saddens me.

  62. S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen

    First time Quick Takin’ on the new blog! Isn’t P.G. Wodehouse just the best?

  63. Katie

    Grats on girl #4 ๐Ÿ™‚ My first 3 were girls, we just assumed we didn’t make boys! My husband didn’t believe the u/s tech when she said #4 was a boy.

  64. Kimberlie

    I love PG Wodehouse. I am so glad that you discovered him. I don’t know about you, but I find his books laugh-out-loud hilarious. Do tell what over British novels you have found involving butlers.

    Congratulations on another girl!

  65. Erika

    Congrats on another girl! I have an 8 month old girl and am enjoying her so much.

    I might have to check out the Wodehouse books you mentioned. Although, they sound like a series, and I am in the midst of a very long and cumbersome (but immensely entertaining- it’s “Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon) series that I discovered from a free Kindle book and was immediately addicted. I’m afraid that British butler humor will have a similar effect on me! Will have to check it out, though.

  66. Christian H

    Congratulations on the baby girl! I’m sorry you don’t have a recepient for boy hand-me-downs, though.

    Part of the joys of having eclectic reading tastes is that even major chains do not carry the books I want. There is a certain pleasure to ordering books, and there is also a pleasure to browsing through cozy little bookstores and accidentally finding the most bizarre and fascinating things.

  67. Sue

    Congratulations on your sweet girl! I am also the fifth child, fourth girl, with a big bro as the oldest. Oddly, my BFF is also named Jenn and has the same, one boy, and then four girls (and she also married into one of those “we never have girls” families) – and I am the godmother of the fourth girl. For what it’s worth… (not much, I know).

    And, thanks to your book suggestion request I also have procured a copy of my first Wodehouse book, and hope to start it this weekend.

  68. Roxane B. Salonen

    Jennifer, did you know that when you are trying to avoid pregnancy with NFP, it’s more likely you end up with a girl, because the girl sperm are more efficient long haul, and boy sperm are quicker. In other words, the further from ovulation conception happens, the higher chances it will be girl. If you want a boy and there is a next time, give it a try the closer to ovulation. I know this sounds very scientific and not enough leaving it up to God’s will, but trust me, God’s will will still prevail. But seriously, this sort of works, and I’ve read that it’s fairly accurate.

    Nevertheless, oh, to have another girl! After Boy, Girl, Girl, Boy…and then Boy…I’d be ready for pink again if given another chance. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Babies are wonderful, and you’re right…you will be undoubtedly pleased with your little angel when she’s here. I get why you were disconcerted by your thoughts, though. The honesty is refreshing. But your blog has always had that probing air about it; it’s how the whole thing started!

    On to other things, I still remember when we got to meet at the catfish place and discussed our books. Well guess what? Mine isn’t published either; I don’t even have an agent. I am quite envious of the position in which you find yourself. You can always compare yourself to those who are faster to the draw, so to speak, or two those who are even slower to the draw. It’s all relative. I’ve come to a place of peace about my own work and also feel it may need more time. I just wish I had someone to guide me like you have had. So really, count those blessings, and let’s keep praying for each other regarding this endeavor.



  69. Roxane B. Salonen

    “two those?” I hate when I find my typos…argh!

  70. Nancy (n.o.e.)

    Your seven takes reflect a very very busy week, Jenn! Congrats on the baby, and so glad to know she’s a she. I’m in with my post just under the wire… but am so very grateful you host this each week.

  71. Marie

    Congrats on your girl.

    Because I know my tendencies, I refuse to find out the gender when I’m pregnant. When strangers ask, I tell them I don’t know and that I like surprises. Most of them accept it, but I got really annoyed with the woman who kept trying to make my children each state a preference. With the last two, people look at the older ones and say “I guess you’re prepared either way”

    I do like surprises, but I also know my tendency to overplan. If I don’t know the gender and hence the name I really don’t know anything. This keeps me in the right mindset: the baby (whoever it is) will come at a time of its choosing, and have the personality God gave it. It will be a night owl or a morning bird, a snuggler or a pusher-awayer, a mommy-only or a love-bug. None of it I can control or predict. “Mommy, after the new baby comes, will we do x, y or z?” “I don’t know, we’ll have to see what kind of baby we get.”

    Getting gender-neutral stuff the first time around has really paid off as I’ve been blessed with a large family. The toddler moves out of the nursery when I find out I’m pregnant and then the new baby moves in – no redecorating necessary. You only need a couple gender-neutral outfits at the hospital and then you can send someone shopping or open up the correct storage container.

  72. Betsy

    For excellent British repartee with butlers, have you read Dorothy Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey?

  73. Melanie

    Warmest congratulations on your baby girl! And sincere thanks for your honesty. Even when I was on death’s door in the OR and the nurse told me my SON was born, I felt a tinge of disappointment because my instincts told me I was pregnant with a daughter. And the feeling came even though I knew I would not have a chance this side of heaven to enjoy his presence further. Selfish desires do sneak in when you least expect! I find it interesting too.

  74. Elena

    So nice to meet someone with four girls – to even out my four boys!! Little women – you are going to have so much fun!!!

    When your son is married, his wife will not have to break him with the late night tampon runs. He will know what that time of the month means and probably which brands are best! God has a special plan for him.

  75. Lacia C

    Congratulations Jennifer! I can’t wait to receive my copy of Envoy magazine, hopefully it arrives soon!! Looking forward to completion and publication of your book too, it will all come together.

  76. Rita

    Jen- Congratulations on your baby girl!! I am right there with you= 1 son and 4 daughters!! My reaction was very much the same, disappointed about not having a son. I LOVE having 4 girls! I really dislike other people’s reactions about the gender of our children. Anyhow, many blessings to you!!! rita

  77. Christine

    Congrats JEN!

    Praying for your family and that precious baby girl. You are so blessed.

  78. Sarah Oldham

    Congratulations on another girl! I love that you are so open with your thoughts/feelings … God is good! And, thank you so much for the many book suggestions. I’ve never read Wodehouse myself, but now you’ve piqued my curiosity.

  79. Maria E.

    The only problem with your seven Quick Takes is that there’s only seven!!!!! How about 70 Quick Takes!!!!! I promise ill read every single one!!!!!! I always get to the end way too soon…

  80. cecilia

    Congrats on the baby girl!!!!!

  81. Wsquared

    Congratulations, Jen!

  82. Joel Schmidt

    Hi Jennifer,

    Congratulations on Girl-baby Fulwiler #4! This world needs more girls and young women who understand and embrace the dignity of their femininity, which I’m confident yours will. Perhaps, it’s why you’ve been blessed with them. Regarding the book, my 5-year Ph.D. dragged on for almost 7 due largely to a rather tough and demanding yet supportive major prof, so I know your pain. I only made it through by spending a lot of time in adoration and having very supportive and understanding wife.


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