Note: This isn’t polished at all and mostly just contains my ramblings. I hesitated to publish it for that reason and the idea that it may upset some people, but please know that my intention isn’t to offend, merely to offer another perspective.
My perspective on all things “baby” have changed immensely since my first pregnancy with Caleb. Ever since our ectopic pregnancy in February, and subsequent struggles TTC since then, I’m finding myself generally irritated with women who I perceive as taking pregnancy and healthy babies for granted. I know I sound harsh and judgmental, but hear me out, okay?
I was one of those women once who took it for granted, so I get it; I really, really do. We got pregnant with Caleb without even trying. Our first month’s attempt equaled an instant pregnancy. I wished and hoped and prayed for a girl, then cried when my intuition was right and I got a boy.
WHAT was I thinking?! I ask myself that now, only because hindsight is 20/20.
I look back in shame at how I acted back then. We got pregnant so easily and then I demanded a certain gender on top of that?!
Yikes. That said, it’s the reason why I can’t judge too harshly when other women hope and pray for a certain gender, too. All I can do is sort of share my own story and why I regret the way I acted and felt when I look back now.
I know so much better after the fact. I know that there are women who struggle just to have their first, and would be jealous of me for having the one. I know women who have struggled and waited and tried for much longer than the less than a year we’ve been trying for now. Despite knowing that many women are struggling more, I don’t think it’s okay to lessen my feelings on our struggle this time around; I think my feelings are valid.
I think my disappointment each month at the negative tests is understandable, even though I know there are women who struggle more. It isn’t a contest over who has it better or who has it worse, who has one kid and who has none. All of us are valid in our hurt in trying for our first baby, second, third, or whatever. We’ve all cried at the negative tests as we sit on our toilets willing that second line to appear. We’ve all squinted our eyes with the damn stick as close as we can get it, wondering if maybe we just squint enough, we’ll see the positive sign that isn’t really there. That said, I’ve had people tell me I shouldn’t be sad because I already have one when they have none. I understand their hurt and my heart goes out to them, but I don’t think that as women, we should ever undermine another’s struggles or feelings. Just because I have one doesn’t mean I don’t want my second as badly as you want your first.
But I digress.
What I meant to talk about is the gender wishing and gender disappointment that runs so rampantly in the pregnancy and motherhood support groups I’m a part of on Facebook. It almost makes me want to leave (Bye, Felicia!). I guess that the whole TTC thing ties into that because when you’re trying and not having luck, you’d do just about ANYTHING to have ANY baby… boy, girl, it doesn’t really matter! I know I may sound like a hypocrite because I’m asking women not to judge me in my struggles for another one, but then I’m judging them when they’re mad about gender. I I guess I’m just trying to offer up my perspective though that in the grand scheme of things, gender isn’t all that important and I’ve had to learn that the hard way while I wait and struggle for any baby at all.
“Send pink baby dust my way!” I saw this morning, from an expectant mother. Though I said nothing, all I could do was shake my head because I know I was her once but experience has taught me better. I know now that gender disappointment is a wasted emotion because I know now that a baby – any baby – is all you can hope and pray for.
I know that a boy when you wanted a girl will fill your home with endless laughter and dump trucks. I know that a boy will have filthy fingernails and cargo shorts and Batman jammies that make him look tall. I know that a boy will dance just as a much as a girl, and a boy will love you just the same.
Though I don’t have a girl, I know that a girl when you wanted a boy will fill your home with smiles and pink things, even if you hate pink. I know that a girl will need you just like your boy might have, and a girl will love you just the same.
I know now that WHAT my baby is doesn’t matter at all; it matters only that he’s my baby. I know that I struggled with PPD and when the fog finally lifted from that awful time, I looked at my baby and I fell in love and I’ve fallen more every day since. I look back and realize that I wasn’t given what I wanted at the time, but I was given what I needed. The powers that be gave me my son because I needed him, and no one else. Not even a girl.
I want to tell those moms who pray so hard for a certain gender that they should simply be happy that a baby is coming their way. That no matter the gender, this child will light up their life like no other. I want to tell those moms they sound so silly (and I should know… I was one of them once!), but I won’t because they’ll figure it out on their own. I want to tell those moms who want a girl that my son is simply everything. I hug my son so tight, even when he is screaming and squirming away, and I tell him he is my world, because he is.
If we are ever fortunate enough to have another one, I will not pray either way. I know now that you are given exactly who is meant to be yours.