I don’t mind so much if an expectant mom (or dad) hopes for a baby of a certain gender. For example, let’s say that a mom has six boys and finds herself expecting baby number seven. I think it is fine for her to “hope” that baby seven is a girl. But, let’s say that it is revealed that baby seven is a boy. The only appropriate thing for mom and dad to do now is to be happy about boy numero siete and hope for a perfect and healthy baby. I do mind when expectant moms (or dads) are disappointed or bitter if their baby is not the gender they “hoped” for.
I have felt this way for a long time. Long before I had Megan, long before I lost Jack, and…well, right up until I found out I was expecting Jane. You see, I found myself feeling very hypocritical when we discovered we were pregnant with baby number three. I hoped and prayed that the baby would be a boy, and even cried tears of disappointment at the very thought of having a girl. I convinced myself that I was having a boy, and long before any ultrasound, I was already calling him and “he” and envisioning our life with a son. I justified my mindset by believing that if anyone had the right to want one gender over the other it was me, the woman who buried her first son and so desperately wanted to raise a little boy. I wasn’t proud of the way I felt; in fact I was ashamed. I was so anxious when we went in for our ultrasound at nineteen weeks. My mind begged the doctor to proclaim the baby a boy. Of course I was having a boy! I wanted one so bad!
I was thrilled when our doctor did, in fact, announce that the baby was a boy. I was especially glad that I didn’t have to become the ugly person who was upset that the baby wasn’t the gender that they had hoped it was. So glad I didn’t have to become “that person”, I began to prepare for my second son.
As the weeks went on, I began to realize just how silly it was to think that having another girl would upset me so. I told myself that I would have been thrilled if it was a girl; not really knowing if I was just thinking that because I now “knew” that I was having a boy or if I really felt that way. A part of me did ache for another daughter though, and I wondered if I would ever get to raise another little girl – after our boy was born, of course.
I hesitate to publicly admit this, but I grieved pretty deeply when our thirty-four week ultrasound showed that our baby was, in fact, a girl. Honestly, I was very happy to be having a girl. I wasn’t the disappointed and hypocritical monster that I thought I would be, but I did grieve the baby boy that wasn’t to be. I admitted on my blog that the revelation caused me “some heartache” but not even Adam saw the true depths of my sorrow. He wasn’t home the day I once again had to pack up all the baby boy things. He didn’t see the tears I shed as little Jack’s items were once again packed away…unused. He wasn’t even there the day I decided to take down the little boy nursery and replace it will all things girl. For weeks after the ultrasound, I had many private meltdowns. How badly I had wanted to raise a little boy, and once again I wasn’t going to. I was devastated.
I am not afraid to admit this now, because the moment they placed Jane in my arms, all thoughts and hopes and longings for that little boy were gone.
Jane is now two weeks old. I can not imagine a sweeter, calmer, more peaceful baby. She is an absolute joy. She brings me so much happiness. More than I ever thought possible. I truly believed that only another little boy could heal my sorrow. But Jane has come into my life and wrapped her arms around my heart in a way that I never expected. Only now do I fully realize how unimportant the baby’s gender is. I am not sure why I have been entrusted with so sweet a gift, but Jane reminds me each and every day that God loves me and He wants me to be happy. I thought that only a little boy would make me happy.
I am so glad that He knew better and gave me my little girl.