J came home from work recently and found me sitting on the floor of the storage closet, sorting through baby stuff.
“You’d better hope we’re having a girl,” he said, eyeing pile after pile of girl clothing. “Because either way, the next one is wearing all this stuff.”
“Yeah, right,” I replied, fingering the embroidered trim on E’s pink-and-white homecoming outfit. “Like you’d put a boy in any of this.”
We’re scheduled to find out #2’s gender next week. Yes, we’re peeking. I’m an obsessive planner, J doesn’t like surprises, and both of us figure we’ll have enough to worry about in the delivery room. I admire people who have the self-control to wait until the end--I’m just too type-A to be one of them.
When I was pregnant with E, I desperately wanted a boy. It never even occurred to me we’d have anything else. I come from a huge family of boys. Growing up, my dolls and stuffed animals were boys. Dog, cat, turtle--all boys. And even though I’m one of the girliest girls around, I still pictured my first perfect bundle dressed in blue and sleeping in a room filled with trucks and airplanes.
At my nineteen week ultrasound, J held my hand while we waited for the news. I was so prepared to hear “It’s a boy!” that the tech had to repeat herself twice before it registered. A what? Are you sure? I felt something I never thought I’d feel during my pregnancy: disappointment.
I hate the color pink. Princesses make me itchy. I wasn’t sure what kind of mother I’d be to a girl. What if I gave her all kinds of issues? What if she ended up hating me? And what happened to the son we were supposed to have, the one that would play soccer and ride mountain bikes with his dad? What on earth were we going to do with a little girl?
It took me about 24 hours to wrap my head around it. And of course, once I got used to the idea, I was excited by the prospect of reading her Eloise and having tea parties and going shopping for prom dresses one day. E came out the daintiest, most feminine of creatures--and she’s an absolute blast to have around. She loves crayons and reading books and snuggling, and dressing her is like having my very own paper doll. I can’t imagine the boy she would have been, and neither J nor I has ever wished she was anyone but exactly who she is.
All the same, I expected to care this time around. I counted down the days until we found out during my last pregnancy, but this time I find myself sitting back and enjoying the ride. Getting a girl when I wanted a boy taught me to stop expecting things to turn out the way I want them to. E is healthy, smart, funny--and she’s the child we were meant to have. Boy or girl, I have faith the next one will be just as right for us.
And in the interest of full disclosure…I’m not sure I’ll want to chase a crazy, rambunctious boy around the playground after a couple years of pushing a quiet, docile E on the swing while sipping my latte. Coloring books are quiet; train sets are not. I watch my friends wrangle their boys into high chairs and beg them to sit still long enough to eat, while E calmly munches carrot sticks and sips her milk. I’ll admit it, I’m spoiled. When she turns into a tween, it’lll be a different story, of course--but for now I’m enjoying my mini-me.
Does that mean I’ll be disappointed with a boy? Of course not. Little boys are adorable. I’d love J to have a son, and I still get excited about the prospect of painting the nursery blue and buying that first baseball glove. But another little girl would be just as amazing. It feels so good not to care.
To all the moms out there--did you find out your baby’s gender, or were you able to wait until the end for the big surprise? Were you hoping for one or the other? And are you wishing for something different for your second, or is two of the same good enough?