Thursday, January 12, 2012

Healthy AND Female

So here's the thing, which everyone around me already knows: I really really REALLY want a girl this time. It would be a huge consolation prize for me in this unexpected pregnancy sitch, if this little belly bump turned out to be of the female persuasion. I know some people think it's kind of horrifying to admit even to yourself, let alone out loud and to others, that you have a gender preference. But I'm all about brutal honesty, like how I admit that finding out I was expecting a kid a year and a half before I had PLANNED to have said kid threw me for a total loop. You wouldn't think a year and half would make such a difference, or that choosing to try to get pregnant vs. having it just happen to me would make such a difference, but boy did it ever. Maybe it reflects poorly on my character, this reaction- in fact I think it does indeed, but it's the truth and I admit it. I am working on it.

However, I do not think it reflects poorly on anyone to say that they are hoping for one or the other sex when they're expecting a baby, and I get really tired of people kind of half whispering, "Well, I always thought I'd like a boy first but..." then rubbing their belly and finishing sanctimoniously, "as long as it's healthy!" I always want to be like, "Er... can't you wish for health AND male genitalia? You know that health and penises aren't generally mutually exclusive, right?" Obviously I get what they're saying, but I just think it should go without saying. Of course I know you hope for a healthy baby MORE than you hope for a boy, but that's not what I ASKED, is it?

I also think we're all big kids enough to let it go unsaid and assumed that of COURSE once you find out the gender, whether at twenty weeks or at delivery, you either instantly get over it or actively work on getting over it. You embrace your child for who he or she is, and, especially if you have a religious or spiritual perspective, believe that this is exactly the child you were meant to have and you don't wish it any different for a second. I always think of what a friend of mine's MIL says, when asked if she ever wished one of her four kids, all boys, had been a daughter. Apparently she laughs and says, "Which one? Which one would I trade in for a girl?"

So yeah, whenever anyone asks me if I care this time, I answer emphatically, "Yes, I want a girl!" I want Adelay to have a sister, to enjoy that experience that I had (threefold!) and if it's not now, I don't know when it will be. Will I try again when she's ten or something? That seems too far apart. Honestly I had already kind of given up worrying about it, because I didn't plan to have another baby until Jameson was three or so, and Adelay would have been eight-ish, already seeming too far removed from this hypothetical sister to have much of a bond during their childhoods anyways. But now there is this unexpected surprise, and Addy will still be six-ish when this sibling is born. Six years doesn't seem so horribly far apart. Six years seems like a bridgeable gap.

Also, and I'm just going to be SUPER brutally honest here: the idea of three boys in a row, especially within five years of each other, makes me want to give up on my sanity altogether and just go ahead and preemptively schedule a psychiatric evaluation for about two years from now.

How about you? Did you start out wishing for a different gender/gender combination/birth order than you have now? Did you ever admit it to anyone? Did you struggle with it much if/when you found out you weren't going to get what you wished for?

20 comments:

Tess said...

I always imagined myself as a parent to a boy. In some ways, I still think I would be better at certain aspects of parenting a boy. I think it's fine to express a preference too, and never feel shocked when someone does (same with shock over BEING pregnant. I'm actually somewhat soothed by that).

Swistle said...

I LOVE discussions like this.

Kelsey said...

I was kind of hoping for another girl when I was pregnant with Michael, and I don't mind saying so. I mean, I LOVE Michael and there is something going on between us that is very, very different than my relationship with Harper and I think it is precisely because he is a boy. And, for better or worse, I don't view his behavior as such a direct reflection of myself because he is a different gender.

I also had visions of two girls sharing a room and us retaining an guest room. But OH WELL.

We found out he was a boy at my twenty-week US and I was thrilled. BUT part of the reason I elected to find out was that I worried about how I would react to news of having a boy and wanted some time to get over it - turns out I didn't need it that time, but who knew?

Lori said...

I always wanted girls, and being the middle of 3 girls myself, I was never going to have 3 kids, especially if they were the same gender. I was disappointed and scared when my first was a boy, but like you said I immediately started working on acceptance. Then my next two were boys and it just became funny, but I was ok with it while still hoping for a girl someday. Then I was told I couldn't have any more kids, so here I sit with 3 boys- exactly what I didn't want!! (And I had those 3 boys in just under 4 years, and yes, most days I do think I'm going insane!!!) I think everyone hopes for one gender or the other and that is just fine. Good luck!

Sarah said...

Kelsey- Oh I know. I am already very impatient for the twenty week scan, and it doesn't even matter that much logistically- until the addition is finished, there will be no nursery to decorate or anything, just a co-sleeper to set up and some blankets and onesies to wash. But I feel that if it is a boy, I want to give myself every extra minute possible to accept and embrace it.

Jess said...

There are a few people on Twitter who mention this occasionally (Jonniker and Temerity Jane come to mind, but I know there are more I'm not thinking of at the moment) who frankly admit that they wanted one sex and got the other. I had a very slight girl leaning--what I always say is that if I'd had to pick, I'd have picked a girl, and I think that accurately sums up the level of desire. When the ultrasound tech told us it was a boy I was shocked, and then I waited to see if I would be disappointed, but I wasn't. I was surprisingly thrilled. So that worked out well.

Now that I have a boy I can't imagine having a girl. Not just this time but any time. I just feel like a mom of boys. We only plan on one more and I am already convinced that it will be a boy, even though it is still quite a ways from even being conceived. And the only thing that makes me sad about that is that we have an awesome girl name picked out and I suspect we'll never get to use it.

Lisa @ Trapped In North Jersey said...

I desperately wanted a boy with my first (which I got). By the time my daughter showed up (third), I was excited about having a girl.

What did surprise me was how ambivalent I felt about getting pregnant accidentally (with my daughter), even though we had planned to start trying three months later. Getting pregnant was never far from my mind, and I had a start date all planned out, and yet I felt blindsided when it happened before my predetermined start date.

Mrs. Irritation said...

I love your brutal honesty. & why be ashamed? There isn't anything wrong with wanting one gender or another. I think it's natural. It would be wrong if you were cruel to a child not the gender you originally thought you wanted.

I always wanted a girl. I was an only child and had no idea what to do with a boy. Worked out for me. Fingers crossed for you.

d e v a n said...

I desperately wanted my 3rd to be a girl, and cried after the u/s when I found out it was a boy. It's not that I wasn't happy that he was healthy, of course, but I was momentarily shocked and disappointed. I got over it quickly of course.
I also wanted my 4th and last to be a girl, but had pretty much convinced myself that I would be having another boy. I would have been fine with it, though a little dream of having a daughter would have been lost. I really couldn't believe it when I found out she was indeed a SHE!

bluedaisy said...

I didn't have a preference for my firstborn (a boy) b/c it was kind of a clean slate, you know? My second came along just over a year later...and I really hoped my 2nd would be a boy (he is!). It was not planned and I figured if my firstborn had a sibling so close, it might be kind of nice if they were the same gender. (Sidenote- a radiologist actually accidentally let it slip that #2 was a GIRL at an ultrasound, so I spent 2 months thinking I was having a girl which I was just slightly disappointed about--then baby BOY was born and no one was more surprised than me). For the 3rd, I liked the idea of "my 3 sons" but then little girl was born and I was thrilled! Like Kelsey mentioned, she brings out something different in me as a mother & it's cool to experience parenting both genders. This is a great topic of discussion :)

Giselle said...

Being from a family of all one gender, I wanted that. So I didn't really care what the first one was...but I wanted all subsequent children to be the same. I didn't understand the brother/sister relationship.

So of course I had a boy and then a girl. And I freaked out a bit about having a girl and of course by the time she arrived I was thrilled.

When I got pregnant with my big surprise when Lily was 9 months old, I was open about wanting a boy. I just felt bad for my tiny middle child and wanted her to be special by being the only girl. I got VERY negative responses for expressing that view. Like, I had to take a post down off my blog about it, because people were so angry.

I just wish you'd read my blog back then. :) You totally get what I was saying... ;)

Tracy said...

We wanted our second child to be a girl, so badly. But, mainly out of convienance. My first two were 16 mths apart, so it would've been handy if they could share a room/clothes/etc. But, he wasn't a she. We did have a little bit of a grieving process after the u/s. That's okay. Because, like you said, I wouldn't trade him for the world. With #3, I truly just wanted a baby that would stick in there for more than a few months. I went back and forth on what gender I prefered. Some days a girl, and some days a boy. #4, I really wanted a girl again. For the same reason you said. I wanted Olivia to have a sister. I never had a sister and felt like I was missing out. ;) I had people comment "well, you already have each gender, so you shouldn't care." But, I did. Its not like I was saying I wouldn't love it if it was a boy.

Fine For Now said...

I have a friend who after having a boy, girl, boy, decided with her husband that he would get the snip. After baby #3 turned one she deeply regretted it. She desperately wants a forth and wants it to be a girl. I find the honesty refreshing.

Now that I'm pregnant with #2 I have a preference for both me and my husband. He's is such a manly man that I just know he would love having a boy! He says he wants another girl, but maybe (like me) he's saying it so he won't feel disappointed. I am leaning towards another girl. It's familiar. But I find myself thinking of it as a he, just on case.

I hope you get that girl! It's so even. Two boys! And two girls! Everyone gets a brother and a sister! Everyone is close enough in age to have a close relationship! Fingers are crossed.

CAQuincy said...

I always wanted a boy. But I wasn't too disappointed when my first was a girl. Then I got my boy the second time and all was grand. Then we got another girl, of course.

This fourth time, we wanted another BOY. We wanted Keith to have a little brother. But upon finding out that it's a girl (and this is the first time I've actually found out at an US instead of at birth), we were both, "Yup, it FIGURES!" and then went on our merry way. I am fine having a girl, but I just really would have preferred a boy.

Three girls seems way too emotionally chaotic--and BUSY since I'm so heavily involved with Girl Scouts with them! And Keith is so wonderful with the little boy across the street, I just know he would have had a ball with a baby brother. Then I remember that the age difference (7! 10! 12! years!) means that they won't have too many years all together anyway. Makes me a bit sad but also a bit relieved. Breathing room!

And I do like hearing about the surprise pregnancies, too. Especially since it's now happened to me TWICE. I so get not quite being ready yet! And I don't think anyone should be embarrassed to admit it!

Nowheymama said...

We did hope number four was a boy, more for his brother's sake than our own. It would have been fine either way, of course, but it is fun to have two and two.

bananafana said...

First one I really didn't have a preference, I just really really wanted to have a baby. The second time around I had a slight leaning towards having another boy since everything about having our first had been so great. I don't really know what I was thinking though because we were only planning on having 2 and I definitely wanted a girl at some point - you know, ballet shoes and tea parties and all that (I grew up with 3 sisters). So glad she was a girl - we get all the fun girly stuff and way fewer trips to the ER so far . . .

jen(melty) said...

I never had a preference.. and no one believed me. They all pressed and pressed and said surely I must have thoughts on the matter.. I never thought I'd have boys, and my daughter was way more awesome than I ever imagined a kid could be and once she was born I really truly did not have any preference, though I had hoped I'd get to experience one of each, but if I had 3 baby girls they would have been awesome too... and NO ONE BELIEVES YOU when you say that :)

Fran said...

I wanted a boy first. I really did. And that's what we got. Then of course, I wanted a girl and was mildly disappointed when I was told he was a boy on ultrasound but that didn't last long and I would not trade him for any girl in the world. For our third (and final) I wanted a girl with all my little heart and I was given one. So I don't have any issues now. But I don't think there is anything wrong with admitting a desire for one over the other as long as you don't carry it on to after your son-that-you-wished-was-a-girl is born and you put him in dresses or something LOL Not saying anyone would do that, of course ;)

LA and BD said...

I love this post!

We were TRYING to get pregnant and I was still shocked to find out I actually was.

I've had several people ask if I had a preference and then sort of chastise me for saying my preference. Which...then why did you ask me??

I always wanted a girl. I had an early feeling that this one was a girl, but I was never sure if it's because that's what I wanted or if it was because she was actually a girl.

We found out on Friday that she is, indeed, a girl! And yes, I would have been disappointed if she were a boy.

Jules said...

I wanted a boy but kept it to myself. I did all those silly "Google" things like the Chinese prediction chart that if you conceive on this date - and your this sign you will have a boy. I remember knowing - already have had 2 girls - this would probably be a girl when we had the amnio done. The doctor said he thought he saw a turtle and I pretty much called him a liar and waited 2 weeks for the results. I still had not even said to hubby "I would really like a boy" - when the results came back it was a boy I was floored... Now that I was going to have a boy, what was I going to do differently just because he was a boy not a girl (besides change the friggin cover on the bed cause every time cold air hit his wang he peed like it was his civic duty!). But it's different to want something as "simple" as a certain sex, to experience all sides of raising children. Kudos to you for being open about that desire, even though we know no matter what the sex, the baby has a loving home and mother to be brought into.