Monday, February 28, 2011


I’ve discovered recently that most people have a strong opinion one way or the other when it comes to finding out the sex of your baby. Invariably a short while after getting the question “How far along are you?” someone will ask Hannah, “Are you going to find out the sex?”

Eventually, everyone finds out the sex of their child. I don’t anticipate waking up one day and saying, “Hannah, our kid is about to start school on Monday, maybe we should ask the doctor if it’s a boy or a girl.” The real issue is not if, but when. And that, for many people, has become an ethical choice.

This morning my wife had three cereals on the table when I finally lumbered out of bed, and I could decide on Frosted Mini-Wheats, Frosted Mini-Wheats with fruit in the middle, or Life cereal. When I grabbed the Life cereal, I was delighted that she didn’t look at my bowl and mutter, “Heathen.”

That was merely my preference. I could have just as easily picked the Frosted Mini-Wheats. But finding out the sex of your as-yet-unborn baby is not a matter of preference, but ethics. If I find out at week 20, I have committed the following sins:
1)      Peeking. Like when my older sister took me on a raid of my parent’s bedroom one year to look for Christmas presents, this is just wrong.
2)      Faithlessness. As if God doesn’t know the sex of my baby? Can’t I trust Him to care for it, grow it, and bring the pregnancy to completion without having to have all the facts?
3)      Dullness. Didn’t God weave some mystery and suspense into the whole process called pregnancy and childbirth? Deuteronomy says, “The hidden things belong to the LORD your God.” That includes the gender of my as-yet-unborn child.

But there’s another side to this ethical dilemma. There are plenty of people on the other bandwagon ready to pounce on the sin of not finding out. Here are their reasons:
1)      Irresponsibility. If I could find out 20 weeks (~4½ months) before my child is born, I could register for all the best boy or girl clothes, toys, pillows, towels, diapers, cribs, high chairs, etc. way in advance. My child should not have to suffer a gender identity crisis the first few months after its introduction to the world.
2)      Uncaring. Do I really want to tell my child, “When I started dating Mommy, I wanted to find out everything I could about her. When I found out you were coming, I decided to pass on the details?”  I don’t think so.

To answer the question, “Are you going to find out the sex?” the answer is “Yes.” Hannah and I are going to go in for that ultrasound and find out the gender (assuming our as-yet-unborn child isn’t shy). We didn’t decide to go this route because we don’t trust God, and we didn’t pick it because we think it is wrong to wait until approximately 2 seconds after delivery. We just want to know.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Letters (emails) from Family

2/22/2011—Russell Wencl (Dad)

Hello, Andrew!

Mom is going to tell Grandma Westover that Hannah's pregnant tomorrow night at church. I hope you were able to tell everybody you wanted to already. I sent a note to my family, so I will forward their responses to you guys as I get them. This will be the first "Wencl" child since Derek was born. Kind of cool, isn't it! We're excited for you both. Now you'll have to get a "family" vehicle since you sold your truck!

I hope you have a good day at work after such a long weekend. I'll write you again sometime.

Love, Dad

2/21/2011—Aunt Lorna Staska (Dad’s sister)

Woo Hoo!............................How exciting!

What a nice surprise!  Once they start coming, they just don't quit!

Hope all is going well for Hannah and baby!


2/21/2011—Aunt Janet & Cousin Jessica Radtke (Dad’s sister and niece)

Hi Russ and Nancy and Alyssa,

Congratulations of the news of a new grandbaby. Jessie said this will be the first great grandchild that has the Wencl name.

We are doing well and seeing Mom almost every week. She usually has something she wants me to do or pick up for her.

We just went through the storm that gave the Twin Cities 12-18 inches of snow.  They even had a snowplow stuck for 20 minutes. We also had rain and freezing rain in the middle of it, so the roads are pretty slick. Now we have 35 mile an hour winds, so everything is blowing around.  Good news! It is headed your way. I bet sledding would be lots of fun.

Well, I suppose I have told all the news I have.

Take care and stay warm.

Janet and Jessica

2/21/2011—Aunt Karen Hommedahl (Dad’s sister)
Russell & Nancy,
Congratulations on the wonderful news!  The picture was priceless; I don’t think I have seen an ultrasound for a baby that young!  We know how happy everyone must be. We hope and pray that everything goes well for Hannah’s pregnancy!

Making the Announcement

On Friday, February 18, we had our first ultrasound, giving us an estimated due date (September 23, 2011) and a way of calculating which we we’re on. Each Friday marks the start of a new week, so we will be 10 weeks pregnant on February 25.

On Sunday, February 20, we got a phone call from Deborah, Hannah’s sister, telling us that she was going to be baptized next week and asked us if we could come up. Hannah told me that she couldn’t visit home without telling everyone that she’s pregnant, so we decided to let everyone know two weeks before our planned announcement.

Sharon was happy, and I was surprised that she didn’t start crying or anything. She said that Mike teared up, and Deborah was excited. We talked on the phone for a while until the phone indicated that my sister was trying to call.

We ended our conversation and called Alyssa. She asked what was up because Deborah had called her and told her she needed to call Hannah right away. At least Deborah didn’t call my parents before we did. We told Alyssa and called Mom and Dad. Amy and John were over, so we waited while my mom’s agonizingly slow computer came to life, downloaded the photo attachment, and finally saw the ultrasound from the 18th.

Again, no shrieking or crying, but certainly surprise and excitement. The phone was passed around the table, and Amy told me that Mom wouldn’t have to look at Facebook photos and guess anymore.

That evening we put the picture of the ultrasound in my Bible at the beginning of Nehemiah. We visited our friends Santos and Roksana to talk about “something important.” At the beginning, we sat across the table and I said, “We really like serving at Enfoque, but we think that we need to begin reducing our involvement. Our reasoning for this is based in Nehemiah.”

I passed Roksana the Bible and when she opened it I got the shriek I was looking for all day. Santos and Roksana were excited and hugging us. We talked for a little while and then went home.

The excitement of telling everybody is beginning to wear off even as it has just started. Soon we will have little to do but wait patiently for the next ultrasound.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Evening Sickness

My wife is in her sixth week of pregnancy (by our calculations) and has begun having morning sickness. Except she's fine in the morning. The wave of nausea hits her in the evening, sometime around 8:00 or 9:00. Since we aren't planning on telling our families until Friday, March 4, we have to figure out a way to keep this a secret.

But right now keeping this a secret is not the biggest thing on our minds. Hannah is feeling ill. I can't help her beyond getting her cereal like Life or Honey Bunches of Oats (she likes that better than crackers for some reason). She wants to go to bed early, and as I sit here typing this she is already under the covers in the other room.

Today was fairly uneventful. We played cribbage together and I got skunked. Typically I beat her. Yesterday she beat me for the first time in practically forever and today she skunks me. In all the times we've played together, I've never skunked her. Yet what would normally be cause for celebration (it's the little things that make the big moments) is muted and muffled by the nausea.

I wish for this time to pass. But it is necessary, and it is even a good sign that we have a normal pregnancy. Hopefully her winning streak in cribbage is a temporary thing too.