I was convinced this time would be different. I was sure I was having a girl. The Chinese Gender Prediction test, the ring test, and every other gender test I found on the internet said it would be a girl. I even tried to tell myself I was having a boy because I wanted a girl, but no matter how much I tried to prepare myself for a boy, my heart screamed that I was having a girl.
With my first, I knew, as we walked into the obstetrician’s office, that it would be a boy. Was I disappointed? Maybe a little. This time, I felt heartbroken.
Everyone says it doesn’t matter what gender your baby is as long as the baby is healthy. Yeah, yeah, I know this, of course. But, if I hear that phrase one more time, I might scream. I’m so grateful that the prenatal testing says there’s less than a one percent chance of a chromosomal abnormality in our baby. That doesn’t change the fact that this could have been my last chance to have a girl.
I love my son to death, but I wanted to experience having both a boy and a girl. It’s not about bows and frills or tea parties and dress up (you can be sure that my son can choose any of those options, just as my little girl could have chosen to be the first female American Ninja Warrior or refused to wear dresses at all). It’s that I wanted to be my little girl’s confidant. I wanted to share a mother-daughter bond, like I share a mother-son bond with my four year old. I feel like I am mourning the loss of a different motherhood experience that I wanted.
I’m grateful I didn’t do a gender reveal party. It would have been for everyone else’s sake rather than my own, and deep down I knew that I wouldn’t be able to hide my disappointment if I found out in public that we’re having another boy. I have so many emotions going through me right now, but I do know that none of them are wrong. I feel guilty that I’m not as overjoyed as I was the first time around and that I’m hung up on what I don’t have rather than what I do have, a healthy baby boy. I feel optimistic that my boys will grow up to be the best of friends – Maybe I will be a kick butt mom of all boys.
My husband seemed surprised by my reaction. He’s been telling me for weeks not to get my hopes up, but, hello, I’m an emotional pregnant woman! There is no controlling these emotions or expectations. I’m even dreading the return of Grey’s Anatomy because I remember how much I cried the last time I watched it while pregnant. So far, I’ve only told my closest friends and family, and, of course, they responded with the typical, “Congrats,” but I feel like I can’t share my true emotions out of fear of being judged. I don’t think I’m alone in this.
Moms everywhere put on a brave face when they leave the doctor’s office at twenty weeks or open the box full of balloons revealing an unexpected color. Yes, we are overjoyed to be having healthy babies, but we can experience a lot of other emotions, too.
I just want moms to know that there is nothing wrong with disappointment, and if anyone understands that, it’s probably this mom of all boys. Like morning sickness and heartburn, it’s probably temporary. No matter what emotions I am feeling now or in a few months, I know I will be deliriously happy when baby boy number two gets here.