I'll be honest, I debated for a long time (seven weeks to be exact) if I should write this post or not.
I like to think this little bloggy-blog of mine serves a dual purpose: to keep friends and family updated on our little lives and as a baby book of sorts for my kid(s). I want to be able to share this blog with my children, to look back at photos and stories that tell about their lives, about our hopes and dreams for them, and all those details that get forgotten in the business of living.
So I never wanted our next child to look back and read this post and feel as though he wasn't wanted or loved or cherished dearly from the very beginning. But I think it's important to write these feelings down, if for no other reason than that I want my sons to both know that emotions are meant to be FELT, not ignored - processed and felt and then we can move on.
Yes, it's a he. Baby Brother, Boy #2, arriving in January.
To tell the truth, I still feel just a little choked up when I think about having another boy. I desperately, desperately wanted a little girl, a daughter. I hoped and prayed and wished for a girl.
And then the ultrasound tech announced, "It's a BOY!"
And I felt an almost instantaneous crushing sadness, a grief that was simultaneous with joy. A boy? But I wanted a girl! I was so sure it was girl! But another boy will be fun! But we wanted to be done having kids after this one - will I ever be able to have a daughter? And then guilt...the incredible guilt at feeling disappointed.
Guilt because - especially after losing our baby last year - we are finally having a healthy baby...I shouldn't care boy or girl. People suffering from infertility would commit murder to have this beautiful baby boy - how can I possibly feel disappointed when I am actually so blessed? Am I ungrateful, horrible person? Can my precious baby son feel my disappointment, is he going to think he wasn't wanted? What would others think of me if I confessed my less-than-thrilled feelings?
Truly, Cole has been the most amazing little boy I could ever have dreamed of. He's wonderful. And the thought of another fun little boy truly IS exciting... if only it wasn't my last chance for a daughter. This is our last pregnancy, it was my last chance to have the daughter I always wanted.
More important than pink, more important than sewing and crafting and painting toenails, is the simple fact: In our family, Chris' best friend is his dad. My best friend is my mom. Not that we're not close with our opposite gender parent or anything - we both have wonderful close relationships with them. But nothing, NOTHING compares to my relationship I have with my mom. And I desperately wanted that same kind of friendship and closeness with my own daughter.
Cole loves his daddy more than anything. Several times a day he'll announce to me lovingly, "DADDY IS MY BOY. I LOVE DADDY." Chris is literally his hero, his favorite playmate, the person who matters to him more than anything (unless he needs his bum wiped. Then, of course, only I will do). While I love their beautiful relationship and take so much happiness in the thoughts of future boy bonding time like campouts and sports events, I feel a little left out.
I will never make my daughter's Halloween costume or throw her a girly birthday party. I will never french braid her hair. I will never go prom or wedding dress shopping with my daughter. I will never watch the tears in her daddy's eyes as he gives her away. I will never hold my daughter's hand while she's giving birth to a grandbaby. All the dreams and hopes and plans I had for a little girl were gone when we heard those words: "Its a boy."
And yes, I'm grieving for that loss. I always, always thought I'd have a daughter. I couldn't wait to see Chris holding a precious baby girl in his strong arms, to have that relationship enhance all our lives.
Having had some time to reflect, I have started to get a little excited. Boys truly are fun (and probably easier than girls). I'm blessed with an incredible and wonderful responsibility to raise two amazing boys into good men - kind, loving, tolerant, respectful men. The world needs more good men and it's a privilege for me to be a part of the process. Chris and I have discussed possibly having adoption be a part of our future, which would be nothing but positive for everyone involved.
I know that once Baby Brother arrives, I will love and adore him for just who he is. I will revel in the joy in his uniqueness from his big brother. I will anticipate all the growing love we will have for him. I will watch my three boys (one big and two small) wrestling on the floor and shake my head.
But yes...I do wonder if I can truly feel as though our family is complete without the little baby girl I always dreamed of.
Right now, I'm working hard to remind myself that life will unfold just as it should. Even though I am struggling with disappointment right now, there is a plan at work - I'm just not seeing the whole picture right now. Maybe we're meant to adopt a beautiful baby girl who wouldn't have a loving home without us. Maybe we're meant to use our time and resources and parenting in a different way than I had planned. I'm trying to trust and keep my heart open to all possibilities - and most importantly, to remember what a miracle this baby boy is and how much we all love him already.