My first two babies I was dying to find out what I was having. The first because I wanted to start designing the nursery and the second because I wanted to know what kind of sibling my oldest would have since they would be only two years apart.
My first was a boy and my second was girl so I decided I wanted a surprise for my third. We had bins of hand-me-down clothes for each gender by this point and I had easy access to bedding thanks to Oilo, so all I really needed were some white Carter onesies (my favorite) and newborn diapers.
I had also been told that being surprised in the delivery room is a “once in a life time moment.” That sounded enticing and I surely didn’t want to miss out on that, so we did it. I was nervous the whole time my doctor would accidentally spill the beans, but he swore he didn’t know either.
We all thought for sure our third would be a girl. My mom even brought a cute pink take-me-home outfit for the baby during my labor, but alas, babies could not be more unpredictable and it was a boy. I was thrilled. In my experience, my son was hands down a million times easier to parent than my daughter.
The problem is that I hemorrhaged within minutes of the baby coming out so instead of having this amazing “once in a lifetime moment,” I practically threw the baby to my husband because I felt like I was about to pass out. Shortly thereafter nurses and doctors were running everywhere and jabbing me with huge needles so you can see my moment was far from amazing.
So this time around there was no question I was going to find out what I was having. First, I wanted no medical issues to stifle my moment. Second, this is my last and I’m dying to purge the un-needed bins of baby clothes. Third, my daughter is dying for a sister and I couldn’t bear to make her wait another 4 months. She had already asked me every. single. day. for 5 months straight when we would find out!
I had many talks with my daughter letting her know this is the ultimate: you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit. I even practiced with her. Each day for over a month I would say “Kennedy, it’s a boy” and she would reply with a monotone, bored sounding “yay.” As time went on she got better and she decided she really didn’t care. Especially since I promised her a girl dog (when the baby turns three) or a girl fish. I also promised her a pedicure date if it was a boy. I don’t believe in spoiling my kids and getting nails done seems like we are heading in that direction, especially since I didn’t get my first pedicure until the day before my wedding, but desperate times call for desperate measures so I bent my spoiling rule. So in the end she really didn’t care and talked about her nails and new pet more than anything else.
So the day came. We went to the ultrasound. They spent what felt like hours checking the heart, the brain, etc. Everything I care about, but not a 6-year-old girl who wants a sister. Then before I could think twice, I looked at the screen and saw two tiny legs spread eagle with a clear view of boy parts. It was most definitely a boy. My heart sank. I could not believe it. My daughter would never have a sister! My sister and I are 14 months apart so I’ve never known life without a sister. The one you can always call and practically go through each stage of life together.
My daughter who was sitting on her Dad’s lap, nestled her head into her Dads neck and hugged him tight, but within 5 minutes her disappointed had dissipated and she was her happy crazy self again. I on the other wasn’t so great and as my mom so eloquently told me “you obviously didn’t practice on yourself like you did with Kennedy.” It’s true. I didn’t practice. I really, really didn’t think I cared though. I love my boys and they are million times easier than my daughter who’s energy, whines, drama and negotiating skills can send you through the roof if you aren’t on your A-game. But the reality of having only one girl to go wedding dress shopping with, see get pregnant then have babies with, go to girl movies and dinner with hit me hard. This was it. I went from thinking my daughter is my wild-child to this-is-all-I-have. I had a 180-degree paradigm shift. I felt an urgency to start a scrapbook, documenting everything about her. Get her in dance, gymnastics, any girl sport… this was it. (Okay, my pregnancy may be making me a little hormonal and a tad crazy. But still! You get the idea.)
It’s been a couple days and the thought of being a boy mom has slowly sunk in. I realize there are millions of families that have only one gender and I’m so thankful now that I have at least one girl. I’m also glad I went through these stages emotionally before I had the baby instead of in the delivery room. I’m a wreck emotionally after I have my babies and I’m glad I could think somewhat clearly before the real post-partum hormones kick in.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go start that scrapbook for my daughter. Oh and the new pattern for this baby’s nursery! :)
Lucky for me she opted for a fish and not a dog (I've got too much on my plate to have a dog... even if it's three years from now). She named her Lily.