It was finally time for us to find out the gender of baby number two. We had the whole gender reveal planned! I stood there, with my family surrounding me, ready to pop the balloon that would give us our answer! An answer which, by the way, I was pretty confident I already knew. It’s a girl! I’m carrying differently, I’m sicker than I was the last time, and everything about this pregnancy is different from the last. Bring on the bows and flower print!
Except that it wasn’t a girl and we were having another boy. How do I explain what I felt the moment blue confetti rained all over my pink laden dreams? Oh I know, how about I list every emotion known to mankind – joy, sadness, excitement, disappointment, relief, frustration, surprise, fear, and every other feeling in between. I know that everyone always says “we’ll be happy no matter what as long as he or she is healthy.” And believe me, deep down those were my exact feelings, but on the surface, I just wanted my girl.
I spent the next few days mourning the girl we weren’t going to have. That may sound a little dramatic and maybe even a little insensitive, but to me that’s exactly what it felt like. Our plan has always been to have two kids. And so at the moment, I felt like my shot at being a girl mom was robbed from me. So yes, it felt as though I had lost the little girl that we would never have. I haven’t really talked about this before but I think it’s important for mamas to share their vulnerabilities and their stories with one another.
Those next few days were filled with thoughts of the mother-daughter memories we could have made, the hairdos I would never learn to do, and seeing as we were on our Disney trip when we found out, the princess experiences we would miss out on. It’s not a time in my life that I’m very proud of, but I’ve come to accept that it was ok that I felt that way. It was more than ok and it doesn’t mean I loved my son any less. In fact, I think the whole process made me love him even more. It was cathartic to go through the motions and in the end, I was never more sure of anything than I was of this: I was meant to be his mom.
The more I thought about it, the happier I became. I have such a strong bond with my first son and now I was getting another go around. Another chance at a mama’s boy. Another chance to be his first girl. And another little boy in my life to love on. The thoughts of what could have been were slowly melting away and being replaced by what would be! I was ecstatic to officially take on the role of boy mom and to give my Noah a brother. But it didn’t seem like the rest of the world shared in my joy.
It seemed that every time I told someone that we were having another boy, they apologized to me as if it were legitimately something they should feel sorry about. Look, I get it, the world is under the [misguided] impression that a family unit is complete when you have one of each sex. And for a while there, I was probably under the same impression. Now that I think about it, that’s probably where my want for a girl stems from.
The traditional boy/girl family is not in the cards for everyone. Not only is it not in the cards, but for some, it’s not even a desire! What makes one family happy and complete may not be the same for another. I know the comments are innocent and said with good intentions, but the bottom line is they are unnecessary. We don’t know what that person may be going through and how they are feeling about the situation. The announcement of a baby coming should be celebrated, no matter its gender!
As a mama to two boys, here’s what I can tell you. Ryan is my sunshine. He is my second son, but he is his own person and it has been a completely new and different experience. I can’t imagine him not being a part of our family. The brother bond that my boys are growing is precious. And most importantly, I am fulfilled as a mother to two, beautiful, sweet boys and my family feels very complete. And further, if we ever did decide that we wanted to try again (don’t hold your breath mom), I’d be praying for another boy! 😉 Of course, I’d be happy with either! But you get my point, my family doesn’t need a girl to be complete. We just need each other <3
So, public service announcement: the next time someone announces the gender of their baby, celebrate with them! No apologies. No questioning if they’re going to try again for the girl/boy. Just share in their happiness and celebrate the amazing miracle that is to come!