As we grow older, our visions of the future change from careers to marriage and then family. I come from a family of four and am the younger of two girls. As the younger sibling, I always wanted my older sister to play with me. But, like most big sisters, she didn’t always want me hanging around, bugging her and her friends. So I figured the only way to solve the problem, would be to have a younger brother. I already had a sister who never wanted to play with me (or so it seemed at the time), so maybe I’d have better luck with a brother who would have no choice but to play with his older sister. Alas, I never received the baby brother I always wanted; I even asked Santa for one once. His response was to ask my parents.
For my psychology class senior year of high school, we were asked to describe our lives ten years in the future. We wrote it down on paper and sealed it in an envelope, not to be opened until ten years had passed. I have absolutely no idea what happened to that envelope, but I do remember some of what I wrote: I was married to an architect (why an architect, I have no clue!) and we had THREE lovely children, two girls and a boy. I was certain that I would have three kids, so everyone always had someone to play with (okay, okay, that’s not always what happens with three kids, but that’s how it played out it my head!)
As time went by and I put some serious thought into marriage and family, I knew I wanted a family of four and really wanted two girls. Then I met my husband who was on the same page as far as the number of kids he wanted to have.
By the time I was pregnant with my first child, I would tell people that I really didn’t care if it was a boy or girl, as long as the baby was healthy and had the right amount of fingers and toes. But deep down I was really hoping it was a girl. When we went for the final ultrasound we knew we wanted to know the gender, and I was thrilled to learn it was a girl. Now I could relax knowing that I got the girl I always wanted!
My daughter is now three and I’m pregnant again with baby number two. My husband and I have been trying really hard to mentally prepare our daughter for this big change. Some days she’s excited to be a big sister. Some days she tells me we should send the baby back. Other days she tells me that I am, in fact, not having a baby, but instead I’m having thirty baby turtles, a bunch of skunks, and a few hedgehogs (and who knows what else)!
She is not completely unfamiliar with pregnancy and new babies. Over the last year her auntie and a good friend of ours both had little baby girls. So when asked what she thought her mommy was having, a boy or a girl, she was very adamant that I was having a girl because in her own words, “Girls have girls and boys have boys.” Okay, I see the three-year-old logic in that! She was also very adamant that we name her Minnie Mouse.
Well, leading up to that most anticipated ultrasound, we tried to prepare her for the possibility that it might actually be a boy, but that was just nonsense to her! I was also trying to prepare myself for the idea of having a boy, just in case.
This time around I really, truly didn’t care if it was a boy or a girl. But the idea of having a boy was going to take some getting used to! My only experience with pregnancy and raising a child has all revolved around having a daughter!
The day finally arrived, the day we’d find out if our second, and last, child would be a boy or a girl! After checking out the baby’s heart and other body parts, the technician went in for a look between the legs, and clear as day (even to my untrained eye) we saw that we were indeed having a boy! Leading up to this discovery my daughter was looking forward to seeing a picture of the baby’s gender bits so we thought she’d get a kick out of actually being able to see a pretty clear image confirming it was a boy. But the response we got was not really what I expected! After looking up at the screen and realizing that the baby was not a girl, her face fell and her disappointment showed as she said, “But I wanted a baby sister!”
The fact that we were having a boy didn’t really come as a shock to me; I had a gut feeling it was going to be a boy. All my friends and family who have boys say they are so much fun and are, ultimately, easier to raise than girls. But that being said, I am not really prepared for what this means! I feel like I’m entering no man’s land and everything will be different: body parts, emotions, attitudes, levels of energy, and of course, a totally different birds and bees discussion will be required.
But, since there’s not much I can do about it at this point in time (or ever, really) I’m just going to have to brave the storm and embrace the differences that baby boy will bring to our family! And I hope that my daughter isn’t too disappointed when we come home from the hospital with just one little baby boy and not an entire litter of wild animals!