As some of you know, I am now 36 weeks pregnant with our second son. I'm in the home stretch, for realizes, and despite all the things any 36 week pregnant woman can and should complain about, all is well. Everyone I encounter likes to remind me that I could "go any time" because I'm huge, and it's close, and asks us if we're ready. I answer, "yes. I think so." Meaning, yes the baby clothes are washed, the baby bassinet is clean, the swing is assembled (well, I'm doing that tonight) and the toddler has been thoroughly prepped on the idea that he will soon be a new big brother. He seems pretty stoked about it, and he genuinely seems to understand some of what this means. He tells me that when the baby is born I will be the baby's Mama, Eric will be his Dada and he will be his Big Brother! And he knows the baby will come to live with us forever and he says that that sounds fun. He kisses my belly and tells the baby inside that he loves him. And this is all without much prompting from me. We got a book, and he's watched the Daniel Tiger episodes where Daniel's new baby sister is born and when Daniel has to deal with the fact that there's another kid in the house (how good is this show!!!) and Cylas is into it. Things are going well for Cylas.
Things are going well for me too, but not as well. This has been a harder pregnancy, both physically (more morning sickness, fatigue, pain etc.) but also emotionally. When I was pregnant with Cylas, I only had only one sleepless night of wondering/worrying about exactly what I had done to us! How this baby was about to blowup our lives so spectacularly and would we survive it. But I quickly remembered how much I had always wanted to be a mom, and how excited I was, and Eric really seemed excited too and all our friends were happy for us and Jasper had no idea what was coming, so I was pretty relaxed about the whole thing. People asked us if we were ready, and I would confidently answer "Yes! Ready! Bring it on!"
It's a little embarrassing to admit, because I think it makes me seem petty and controlling and possibly like a bad mom, but I did everything in my power to conceive a girl this time. There are theories, and books have been written about them, and I read the books and researched the theories and took the steps suggested to up your odds of conceiving a girl. I did this for a few reasons. I like girls. I am a girl. I already have a boy. But mainly because I think a huge part of parenting is often about recreating the best bits of your own childhood for your children, and getting to relive them with your kids, and maybe healing some of the worst bits of your childhood by purposely doing things differently from what you experienced. Eric gets to experience this a lot of this with Cylas, Cylas wears his old t-shirts, and plays with his old toy cars, and Eric will take him to soccer games, and recreate other memories from his childhood. And don't get me wrong, Cylas and I have a lot in common too. Cylas is very theatrical. He likes to sing and dance and has an active imagination. I used to act out the Disney movie I was watching along with props and costumes, and just the other day, Cylas turned to me and said "Mama, sometimes I watch the movie Frozen, but sometimes I'm IN the movie Frozen." To which I replied, "I know exactly what you mean."
But I am still a girl, and Cylas is still a boy and this next baby is a boy as well and now I am outnumbered, which is just never how I pictured it. I worry that my sons will grow up and move out and find girlfriends and then wives and replace me, and their girlfriends/wives will hate me and I won't hear from them etc. etc. etc. I call my mother almost everyday, I don't know too many sons who can say the same. And it will be more of a challenge to attempt to recreate my childhood memories with two boys. They may not want to read Anne of Green Gables and The Secret Garden. They may have no interest in my old American Girl's Dolls that I have kept in pristine condition for the last 15 or more years. They can't attend the all girl's school I went to and enjoyed so much. They have penises, I have a vagina. This all sounds petty, which is why I'm embarrassed to mourn it so much, but alas, I have, and I do.
This is not to say that I'm not excited. I know that once this boy baby is born and here and our life has flow and I watch the brothers grow up together, it will all make sense. I watch Eric with his brothers and it all makes sense, but still, sometimes my disappointment is real, and thick, and occasionally overwhelming. And, as I said earlier, it's not all gender disappointment that is overwhelming me, it is the idea that we have one kid who we love, who we can handle, who we can keep relatively happy and keeps us blissfully happy and now we are bringing another soul into the house who will be a risk and a disruption to this seemingly delicate balance, and I won't even get to braid its hair and dress it in pink! Even in our modern society, this is still frowned upon.
But at the end of the day, I guess I have to say "oh well, Bring it on!" because that is what is happening and it will all make sense. People have told me that you don't get the kids that you want, you get the kids that you need. I don't know what this means, exactly, but I know that it doesn't really matter. I do love and will continue to love all my children, current and possibly future (who knows...I hear 3 is the new 2.) I have one amazing son already and another amazing boy on the way, and this is what my family looks like. It may not have as much pink in it as I hoped, but it still looks pretty rosy.