Send all the balloons!
And all the help!
This little nugget is a BOY!
Can you believe it? We’re so over the moon.
If all you wanted was the gender announcement, thank you for being here! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! You’re welcome to come back when I get normal with my emotions again which is probably never.
On the other hand, if you wanted to get into the detailed and emotional and borderline too deep perspective on all this (not that I know anything about that), then the rest of this post is for people like us. Carry on.
Boy vs. Girl vs. All My Feelings
I know in my head that it was just a 50/50 chance and everything, but you guys, in my heart, I was just so sure it was a girl in there.
The weird thing is that I say “I was so sure” and I literally don’t even know what it means.
Excuse me, I was so sure it was a girl? Exactly HOW was I so sure? Because I did the ring over the stomach trick and got side-to-side movement? Because I was craving orange juice? Because we had a girl’s name picked out? I had zero reasons to be sure, other than maybe a little bit of wishing and hoping and a vague gut-level superstitious feeling.
It’s all good and probably, on some level, normal to have a feeling like that. But then this happens: you get so locked into your hopes and dreams and visions of the future that suddenly you are 100% certain that there could only ever be a girl baby coming into your life, and anything else feels like a little bit of a straying from the plan.
So when we saw that little boy (repeat: BOY) moving around on the 20 week ultrasound, there was first that pure awe and joy and completely breathtaking adoration of his little squirming baby body (seriously, it’s all so incredible, this alien-like miracle process), and then there was the hold-up-oh-my-gosh-it’s-a-BOY moment.
The first thing I said to Bjork when we left the ultrasound room was a smiling but slightly panicked: wait tho I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO WITH A BOY.
Hello, Roller Coaster
At first, I felt sad. I felt like I was saying goodbye to the dream of the girl.
I know, I know. It was not a right or wrong feeling – it just WAS.
And I just had to sit with it for a minute.
As I processed through my feelings of not having a girl – saving that totally perfect baby girl’s name away for another little sweetie at some other time, and re-imagining my dream of dolls and dress up clothes all over my house with new dreams of trucks and cars and Legos – I realized that my feelings about having a boy actually had very little to do with our completely perfect baby who just happened to be a boy.
My feelings were about me.
And for the most part, they were not actually sad feelings.
They were FEARS. Fancy meeting you here, old friend.
As I talked this through with Bjork, I realized that at the root of my discomfort with having a boy was a fear that I wouldn’t know how to be a mom to a boy.
I mean, I still don’t know if I will know how to be a mom to a boy. I grew up as the oldest of three girls and that kind of girl life just makes sense to me. When I think about the boy life, my brain goes empty. Like… what do boys like to do? What do boys talk about and play with? And then come the insecurities: will I get excited about playing cars and trucks with him, or running around and playing baseball with him in the yard? Will I be able to relate to him as an adult?
Pause for a moment to say I absolutely recognize that I am making vast generalizations about gender. Of COURSE boys can and do play with dolls and kitchens and have tea parties. And of COURSE girls (my younger self included!) can and do like toy cars and playing baseball. And of COURSE every child is going to be their own unique self with their own unique interests anyway, no matter if they are a boy or girl.
But knowing that and believing it through and through still didn’t negate the feelings and fears that I had about my own abilities as I first imagined myself as a mom to a boy.
Thankfully, time is pretty great with stuff like this, right?
And so are those first baby kicks that I’m starting to feel, and the opportunity – yes, opportunity! – I have to wear maternity leggings, and the deliciously adorable baby lumberjack flannel and suspenders outfits that we picked out at the mall like the dorky first-time parents that we are.
He’s real, and he’s a boy, and thanks to the magic of time and re-framing and thoughtful conversations, I actually kind of like the idea of this new normal. Would I still love to have a daughter someday? of course, yes. But in the meantime, I am kicking my fears (and shame about the fears) out to the curb. No time for that if we’re gonna be Wholehearted around here.
Where I’ve landed in these last few weeks feels honest and real and grateful:
I thought this baby was going to be a girl.
We love our healthy, happy little boy so much that it takes my breath away sometimes.
We want him to be exactly who he is, which is a precious soul of unsurpassable worth.
Those three things can all co-exist.
He’s already asking us to grow as parents by re-imagining our ideas about the future, even if it’s a simple question of boy vs. girl. And even though it’s such a small thing, my answer, even with an admittedly large collection of fears and insecurities about being a “boy mom”, is YES a thousand times, yes, yes, yes.
We love you and we like you, Baby Boy. ♡ Thanks for teaching us how to be better at life.
I said it in the last pregnancy post I wrote, but it’s worth saying again:
To you mamas who have been there – I’m so glad we can share our experiences. and thank you for creating a space that is non-judgemental and welcoming of all.
To you mamas who are still trying to get pregnant or recovering from loss – we see you, we love you, we’re cheering for you and your babies. ♡
To you readers who are in a completely different life space altogether but still show up to be friends on the internet – umm, you’re the best. XO
I will be back to the blog after Christmas! In the meantime, I hope you have too many cookies, a little nap by the fire, and a classically great holiday weekend.