A while back, I was chatting with a mom who was visiting our preschool class to see if our program would be a good fit for her family. I told her I have really enjoyed attending with my three boys.
"Do you know what you are having next?" she asked, nodding at my obvious baby belly.
"Another boy," I responded with a smile.
A deep, genuine look of pity immediately crossed her face, and she put a hand gently on my arm in comfort. "Aww. Did you think it was going to be a girl?"
A couple of weeks later, I took Bean to our beloved pediatrician for his 4-year well-child check-up. The doctor had three girls and then a boy, and actually promised me early in the pregnancy I would be having a girl.
When I told her that we were team blue once again, she exclaimed, "OH NO! That's the worst news I've heard all day!"
Sure, it was only 10:30 in the morning. But still.
As a parent, you have to develop a thick skin because everyone and their dog groomer has an opinion about the decisions you make. And usually? You are doing it wrong. But I must admit these kind of comments about the sex of my children (which I get fairly often) do sting.
Am I being oversensitive? Definitely. First, let's not forget that I have pregnancy hormones coursing through my body every minute, so I'm "oversensitive" like Mount Everest is "tall-ish." But it hits a cord deep in me. I spent painful years and months fighting to create this family. I did things I never dreamed I'd have to do, like give myself shots and remain on complete bedrest for nearly three months. The implication that I would be anything other than 100% satisfied with these children, being oversensitive or not, quite frankly makes me want to cry.
I know it's not intended like that, I really do. And I understand how pregnant women (fertile or otherwise) have hopes that they will have a child of a certain sex, at the same time as they are grateful for the baby and more concerned about his or her health. I own that this reaction is mine.
But is it that hard to believe that I am actually completely content to be the only uterus in my household? (Evey the dog has been... ummm... fixed.)
Even before infertility reared its ugly head, I knew from the moment I said "I Do" that I would only be producing male children. My father-in-law is one of five boys. My husband has two brothers and one sister -- a sister who currently plays ice hockey at her college and who only reached for dolls as a child when she needed to fill the stands for an imagined sporting event. But gender stereotypes aside, I remarked years ago to a friend who has two boys that I would surely be joining her in that club. I never had visions of tutus and glitter for my future, and I can't say that it really bothered me.
And enter infertility. I'm not saying that every woman who has struggled to conceive automatically lets go of any dreams she had of specifically raising a girl or a boy, nor that she should let them go. But I will say for me personally, staring down the reality that I would quite possibly never get and stay pregnant did make me more appreciative of the miracle when it happened than I would have been otherwise, and even less concerned with the sex of the baby.
Am I missing out on certain experiences because I will never have a daughter? Certainly. I will never take her shopping for a prom dress, and I won't well-up with proud tears when DH walks her down the aisle at her wedding. But there are plenty of other experiences that I will miss out on in life for many reasons -- like visiting the Moai head statues on Easter Island or performing stand-up comedy to a packed audience at the Apollo -- and I try not to dwell on those. Instead, I am excited about the four little men that I get to raise. I will never have to mow the lawn. I will never have to lift a heavy box or struggle to open the pickle jar. And can I get a giant "woo hoo!" for hand-me-down toys and clothing? Six people on one income is scary enough without needing an entirely new wardrobe for one of them. For another 10 years or so, I will be the main woman in their lives, and maybe it's selfish, but I think that's kinda cool. As DH said when we found out it was all blue for us, "These boys come from a long line of sons adoring their mothers." And the feeling is absolutely mutual.
So just to settle any question in your mind: I am not crying in the corner because I will (God willing!) have four sons. I accept that I will not own nice things and the things I do own will be broken, scratched, and chipped. When I feel the urge, I will buy adorable fluffy pink headbands for my friends' daughters. And no, we will not continue trying to have children until we get a girl. Ha! That question actually just makes me laugh -- I take it as a compliment that I look like I have any amount of sanity and money left for another baby.
Whew! Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. Now on to bigger things, like my belly. On Friday I will be 34 weeks, the point at which my doctor would not try to stop labor should it begin. And according to the mass opinion of strangers, it could begin at any moment. It's not an exaggeration to say that almost every time I leave my house, at least one person looks me over and says something like, "Wow! That baby will be coming any day, huh?" No, my offspring are just abnormally huge, thank you though. If I wasn't wearing DH's sweats, I would take a belly shot for you right now. I'll try to get one soon, on the rare occasion that I am actually wearing presentable clothes. According to my doctor, I have gained 32 pounds so far. She said she's not overly concerned about it at this point, as my starting weight was healthy (remember I had just finished that diet), but she did warn me to keep an eye on the gain. Yep, I'm definitely keeping an eye on it, thanks!
And finally, a few pictures...
|Linda, a long-time close family friend, came to visit from Michigan -- |
she's about to be a Grandma of twins herself! We tried not to scare her...
...too much. Muahahaha.
|"You distract her while I go through her purse!"|
|Gax shows off his new "Smile!" face.|
|Yes, he really does consider that a smile. And apparently so does Bean.|