A while ago I alluded to some disappointment that I felt when I found out our secondborn was a boy. Friends know that I was also disappointed to find that our firstborn was a girl. I know- I’m impossible to please.
I’m going to expand on that a little, mostly because I felt like the exception to a lot of mom-rules when it came to gender disappointment. And maybe there are other exceptions out there, like me.
Our firstborn is a girl. Gender disappointment number one. Our firstborn was SUPPOSED to be a boy. The big brother. The protector. The one who could weather the storms a bit, paving the way for whatever siblings came next.
Well. That didn’t happen. Chicken Little is a girl.
So I dealt with some feelings of mild disappointment. Sort of like “Huh. That’s not what I wanted. This is different.” And then I got used to it and was excited for our little girl, in all her little girl-ness.
Then pregnancy number two happened, and I was convinced I wanted another girl. A little sister for the Chicken. Best friends! A bond that would last forever! Seesters!!!!
Like we have done with all of our pregnancies, we had a sex party to find out the gender. We invited people over, dressed up in their pink or their blue, then opened the envelope from the ultrasound for the big reveal. My husband and I didn’t know what we were having until we opened the envelope with our friends. I wore pink, he wore blue.
My friends knew I wanted a girl, and I am probably just as happy that there was no photographic evidence of the moment when I found out we were having a boy instead. (Then again- I am that person who freezes up when I have to open presents in front of others, no matter how excited I am about the present. I just get that self-conscious face on me and look weird).
Once again- disappointment. This time was heavier. Like, I seriously thought our second child would be a girl. And seriously wanted another girl. I had maybe one ounce of mental and emotional preparation for things not turning out this way.
Mothers everywhere can speak to the power of maternal guilt. That feeling that, no matter what, you can/should be doing something different and better for your child. You can imagine maternal guilt rearing its head in full force, as I dealt with feelings of disappointment over my not-even-born-yet little boy. He had done nothing wrong, and I was already disappointed in him! What kind of mother feels this way…
Here are few things I heard or read on the topic:
“I was so thankful to have a healthy baby that I didn’t care what the sex was.”
“It took a while to get used to the idea, but by the time he/she got here I was so excited I forgot about how I had wanted anything else!”
“Once I held him/her, I forgot all about those feelings of disappointment.”
Here is where I was the exception to so many rules I heard: My feelings of disappointment did not evaporate when I found out that he was healthy. Or as my pregnancy progressed and I got used to the idea of a boy. Or (and this is a doozy) when he was born and I held him and got to know him. This was the moment when I should have crossed over in utter adoration toward my precious little boy, forgetting that I ever wished for anything else.
Nope. Still a little bummed. Not gonna lie.
Did I love him? Yessss. Did I thank the Lord for him? Yes. Did I feel so thankful that he was healthy and lovely and ours? Yup.
But I still felt disappointed that he was not a little girl.
Holy smokes it is hard to even write that because WHAT KIND OF MOM FEELS LIKE THAT?
Anyway. It was a process. I love our little Monkey and these days I am so infatuated with him it is sort of ridiculous. I have to restrain myself from grabbing him all the time and messing with him. He’s just so cute and endearing.
But it took a while to get over my initial disappointment. I had these great ideas about what it would have been like! Sisters!!!!! Besties for life!!!!!
I know disappointment can coexist with peace and with love. And all of that was mixed in there together. I just had to be patient with the process. And believe what I would tell my daughter, when she (frequently) said that she wanted a sister: “God knows what is best for our family. He has someone really perfect in mind for us.”
Because- ohmyword. That little Monkey really is perfect for us. I’m so thankful for him. I wouldn’t trade him in for a thousand little girls.
(Not like you can even do that. I mean- he’s not a used car. But you get what I’m saying.)
My two oldest really are besties. When we drop the Chicken off at preschool, the little Monkey usually says “I miss Sister. I want to play with her”. (I will refrain from spelling out phonetically how he pronounces all of that, even though it’s so cute you will throw up from the cuteness.) They crack each other up and can play together for hours on end. They share a room and will talk nonsense until they fall asleep, then they start again the next morning. Also- Chicken shut Monkey’s fingers in a drawer the other day. (Totally on purpose. Just figured I should add that for the sake of keeping it real. It’s not all sibling bliss).
So. I might hide this post one day and file it under “over-sharing” and “why did I say all of that” but for now I’ll put it up and let it ride. Currently filed under “I’m glad I got what I got”.