It seems to be a bit taboo to admit that you were hoping for a particular gender, or sad about discovering that your baby was not what you were expecting. I don’t think dealing with very real human emotions are ever wrong. It is normal to have a vision in your head and it is normal to be thrown off when that vision gets altered. At one gender reveal that I attended, the mother to be burst into sad tears at discovering that she was having another boy. The following is my particular gender revealing journey. And a very real glimpse into how much my particular personality lends itself to unnecessary panic and worry at every opportunity.
When my husband and I were dating, way way way long ago in high school(!) we would talk about where we saw ourselves in 5, 10 years. The conversations always led to kids and talk on what we would have. I come from a family that through second marriages, led me to being the oldest of 7 children. My husband is the youngest of 2. I have sisters and brothers and a ton of cousins, my husband has one brother and only a few cousins, the closest ones being all male. As you may have guessed, there were some gender preferences involved in our discussions of future children. My husband having grown up with virtually no girls, was terrified of a houseful of girls, despite the fact that he is so good with emotional women (like me). Because of “the fear” we became convinced that we would end up with a houseful of girls.
I was terrified of having a girl, especially of having a girl first. I am a bossy, know-it-all, first born that has over mothered each and every one of my siblings. I have struggled with finding my identity and value in a world that has told me that I could be anything, but what I heard was that I should be everything. The idea of teaching a daughter how to be wholly herself, while still struggling with being wholly myself is incomprehensible. How to tell my daughter that she is beautiful while still expressing that she is worth so much more than that?
Fast forward to 8 years later when Mr. Seashell and I were pregnant with our first and we find out that we are having a boy. I cried tears of fear. For the eight years prior we had assumed we would have girls and had basically discounted the possibility of having a boy. I was shocked and scared of a boy entering our world, despite the fact that boys have been my jam my whole life. Watching my brothers grow up and seeing little boy friendships bloom has been one of my greatest joys. I love dirt, noise, chaos, rough housing. I was a major tomboy growing up, preferring to surround myself with boys. I love the tender hearts of sensitive boys. But leading up to Eli’s birth, none of these thoughts comforted me. I was worried that I would like my animals more than I liked my son. I knew that I would love him, but was nervous to find out if I was enamored with him, if I would be able to relate to him the way I would if I had a girl. After Eli came into this world, I was so overjoyed and overwhelmed with my adoration and love for him. I made yet another assumption/hope about our future and was thinking, single gendered children and really looking forward to our houseful of boys.
Fast forward to 5 months into my current pregnancy and I am crying in the middle of restaurant after finding out that we are having a girl (clearly pregnancy heightens my already emotional nature a bit). All of those fears that I had been harboring since my husband and I first began talking about our future family came screaming at me. I was panicking at what to do with this little girl growing inside me.
There are a couple things that have been helping to keep me sane as I wait for our daughter’s birth. My husband is a rockstar human and I have known since day one that he will kill it at fatherhood, especially with girls. He has always said that the most important thing to teach our children would be their value. The second thing is knowing how much of a transformation occurs when I give birth. For some people there is not an immediate attachment; for me it is an all consuming passion for the little person I created. After my 29 hour labor with Eli, I stayed up watching him all night because I could not get enough. I have learned from my precious experience that my fears go unfounded and my love for my kid(s) bathes everything in a very pure and positive light. Basically, here’s to being smitten with our children no matter the gender!