When we went to the anatomy ultrasound for our second baby and they told us we were having boy #2, my husband and I were overjoyed. A little brother for our first son to have and at only a year and a half apart, in our eyes it was like having a built in playmate and forever best friend. We already had a name chosen, and on that day he was forever known as Gabriel, our precious baby Gigi, and we felt overwhelmingly blessed to have our perfectly planned new family of four. I was SO excited to announce the news of both our pregnancy and the gender at the same time (I waited until over halfway through the second time around) publicly to the world. So as you can imagine it came as an extreme surprise to me that when they heard our announcement, many people had some “interesting” comments (these are direct quotes):
“Two under two? Welcome to hell!”
“Wow… two boys. You’re going have your hands way too full.”
“This next one is going to be a devil – has to be, since your first son is so sweet and happy.”
“Awwwww (insert annoying sad face). Well, you’ll have to try for a girl next time!”
Well shit. I was shook by these comments quite frankly; in my naive mind I was feeling so lucky to live this blessed life I’d built for myself and have a beautiful new baby that the gender really didn’t impact me that much. When I found out he was male I felt only good and positive things about it; I was excited to give my oldest a brother, and embraced the whole “boy mom” idea with exuberance. But the comments kept coming, and strangely there was rarely a positive comment about there being a second child that was the same sex of the first.
People didn’t understand that the gift of having a child alone was more than enough for me. There are so many out there who can’t find love, a good relationship, or even a partner to make babies with. The very fact that this human was able to be created because I found the love of my life was a celebration alone. I also wondered if these people realized how difficult it was for others to conceive babies at all. There are so many struggling with infertility or in the adoption process that would kill for any baby – boy or girl; black, white, gray or some shade in between – just to have one to call their own.
Or for those who didn’t know me that well – like clients who would see my growing belly and gave their opinions – perhaps I did have a little girl at one time… and I miscarried her. Perhaps she was a loss. Maybe after that experience I was just grateful to not lose anyone or anything, and was holding onto my blessings for dear life. Or maybe I had been through so much pain and heartache in the past that just having something light and joyful in my life was more than enough for me. Perhaps.
The list of reasons that these comments are unnecessary goes on. I also got a few remarks along the lines of “Oh well, two boys is OK – as long as they’re healthy at least.” Actually, no. To me it’s OK either way. I’ll love my baby even if it isn’t healthy. Even if it’s sick and suffering and not perfect and needs extra care, because that is what being a mother is about – loving and supporting your child unconditionally, regardless of their health, their struggles and especially what body part is tucked between it’s legs.
My girlfriend (who’s on her 4th baby and has experienced all the obnoxious and unwarranted comments already) explained it to me like this: people seem to have this idea that the perfect family includes one mom and one dad who got married first, had 2.4 kids (which is impossible BTW?) – a boy and a girl – have one dog, a picket fence – and that’s it. There is nothing in between – that is the “million dollar family.” But that just seems a bit silly, doesn’t it? Mainly because it’s 2018, and we live in the wonderfully evolving world of the ‘new normal’ – where we can finally be open, honest, and admit that none of us are perfect, and that there is absolutely no family that is ‘normal’. To be honest I know of happy families that have two dads and two sons; a mom, dad, stepdad and four boys who work beautifully together; a mom, dad, and three step sisters that have the most wonderful, happy, and well adjusted children, who are all enjoying their childhood immensely. I also know some who come from that “million dollar” family unit who currently need a shitload of Paxil, alcohol and therapy to just get through the day. Maybe I’m crazy but I believe that the sexual anatomy of the people included in your household doesn’t navigate how perfect your family is going to be – the members who participate in it do.
I’d like to also add that gender disappointment for pregnant women is real, and quite common. A huge reason for this is the pressure and expectations that society gives us to deliver the perfect family – which truly just doesn’t exist. I have friends who have gone into a pretty big slump when they found out the gender of their baby; there are a lot of expectations, wishes and dreams that women have for the family they are building, and when it doesn’t go as planned it can be devastating at first – before you get to actually meet and love that beautiful baby in real life. Read these words: if you’ve felt this way, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. It doesn’t make you a bad person, and doesn’t mean you won’t love your baby. As pregnant women we are enormous balls of hormones and are allowed to feel whatever they need to feel to get through the whole “growing of an entire human being” process. However it is NOT OK or the job of anybody in someone’s life to say anything but positive comments about the sex of a person’s child, how many children they have chosen to have, etc. A pregnant women needs to hear nothing but “congratulations, what a blessing!” Because that’s what a baby is. No matter what. End of story.
I’m not sure if my family is complete quite yet – I must say that I love my two boys more than life itself and feel incredibly blessed and fulfilled. However my husband and I always said we wanted a big family, and let’s be real – as hard as this gets these little beasts are adorable, and I know I’ve always got more love to give when it comes to children. I may have another baby someday (in a while guys – give my uterus a break!) but I won’t be “trying for a girl” or “trying for a boy”. I will merely be trying to hit the lottery again, and thank my lucky stars that God has blessed me with another miracle. And if it’s a little boy, that’s great – if he’s half as cute and fun as my other two, I will be the happiest boy mama in the world. And if it’s a little girl that’s great too – I’ve got a lot to learn in the ‘raising young women’ department, but I’ve also got a lot to teach. Just as long as I have them, and love them, and they love me – that’s all that matters. That’s actually more than enough for me. Million dollar families don’t exists… because each unique family is truly priceless.