What Do You Mean It's a Boy?

Sep 28, 2009

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I just knew, from day one, that she was a girl. We didn’t allow the doctor to tell us the baby’s gender, under the guise of “wanting to be surprised.” But honestly, when she came out with all those female parts, it wasn’t that much of a shock. I knew she was a girl. I just knew.

And then, four years later, I had my little boy, Bennett. From the moment I found out we were expecting, I was certain he was male. This time, we asked for the ultrasound technician to tell us what she saw and when she said the words, “You’re having a little boy,” I didn’t even blink. It was a boy. Of course it was a boy. What else would he be?

And then, about a year after Bennett was born, I found out I was pregnant again. I knew . . . just knew deep in my heart . . .that this was a girl. When I went for my ultrasound, I told the technician – the same one as last time – “There’s no need to tell me. I know this is a girl. We’re having another little girl.” And, I was thrilled. I lay on that table in the doctor’s office, imagining her wearing all of my other daughter’s old dresses which I had packed away so neatly and saved for close to six years so that I could have one more chance to see a little girl of mine in them. I had dreams of my older daughter and this younger one growing up to be close friends. I wondered if she’d have dark hair and dark eyes like me, or be blonde and blue-eyed like the rest of my family.

“I see a penis.”

I came out of my fog.

“What did you say?”

The technician said to me, “I see a penis. See that? That’s a penis. You’re having a boy. Congratulations!”

I almost threw up.

No joke.

Isn’t that awful?

I wanted to vomit.

“No," I told her. "I’m having a girl. I’m sure of it.”

“Well, not this time, sweetie,” she said. “This time, you’re having a boy.”

She left the room and I got dressed back into my clothes. I don’t remember walking out of the doctor’s office that day. I don’t even remember seeing the doctor after my ultrasound. All I remember is getting into my car, putting my head down on the steering wheel and starting to cry.

A boy? I didn’t want a boy. I wanted a girl. I had a boy. Why did I need another one? The one I had was perfect. More boy than I could handle, for that matter.

I called one of my best friends and, through my tears, told her the news. She was thrilled.

“No!” I told her. “I wanted a girl.”

“It’s okay,” she said. “When he’s here, you’ll be happy he’s a boy.”

Whatever, I wanted to say. Sure. What do you know? You have two girls.

This wasn’t my plan. I’d had it all figured out. My older daughter would have been so much older than the younger one that there would have been no jealousy between the two. And Bennett, well, though he’d be the middle child and have to deal with all the problems that comes with that position, he’d be the only male. No one to compete with. No envy among children.

What’s that they say about how, if you want to make God laugh, you should tell him your plans?

He must have been a hootin’ and howlin’ that day.

I somehow made it through the pregnancy with minimal crying. I think I consoled myself by believing that we’d just have one more baby after this one – and that child would be a girl! I’d get my girl. It might take a little longer, but she’d arrive. And then, I’d have two boys and two girls. I always did love even numbers.

The big day finally arrived and Maclain was born. My boy. The moment was filled with immense excitement and love, but also sadness because there were complications during delivery and even as he was entering this world, the doctor was telling me I could have no more children. This would be it. This would be my last baby. There’d be no other little girl for me.

Amazingly, though those 3 days in the hospital were tinged with sadness over knowing this would be my last stay there after giving birth, once we brought Maclain home, I gave little thought to that other child we were supposed to have. Life with three kids somehow sent us off the deep end. We lost all control. Every breath we took was one of survival – we just needed to get through each day with the kids we had. The thought of a fourth child was so unbelievably overwhelming, neither my husband nor I would have entertained the idea even if it had been a medical possibility.

Fast forward through my life . . . Maclain is now 16 months old. Just yesterday, as I was driving along in the car, I glanced in my rearview mirror and saw both he and his 3-year-old brother dancing along to a CD I had playing. They were clapping and giggling with each other, making one another laugh. I began to think about how well they play together . . . how much they love to lie on the floor and roll their trucks along or sit side by side and build towers of Legos. My husband is always commenting on how he and his brother never got along so well. It is clear that they love being brothers. I can see, even now, that this is a bond that will last a lifetime.

As I was watching them tickle each other, it suddenly occurred to me that there is not one bone in my body that wishes Maclain had been born a girl. I love that he’s a boy. I love that he and his brother are so close – in age and to each other. I love referring to them as “my boys.” I love everything about him – his smile and his little temper and the way he waves “bye-bye” to me when I put him in his crib.

He is exactly who he was supposed to be.

And, I recognize fully now that, though I thought I didn’t get what I wanted, I actually got exactly what I desired.

He was the child I was meant to have – penis and all.


The girl with the flour in her hair said...

Great post...sometimes the Universe surprises us, doesn't it?? :) I never seemed to have that "mommy intuition" as to the sex of the baby. The first one I was sure was a girl, my husband said it was a boy. We skipped the ultrasound sex determination and on delivery day, my husband was right. Same with the other two. I should have just gone with my first instinct and then picked the other one!

Three kids are overwhelming, aren't they? I always thought I'd want more, but three have made me plenty nuts. I don't think I could have another without ending up institutionalized... :)

Ekta said...

Loved reading this post immensely! Your writings just keep me clinged so hard that I can not leave it till I complete reading the entire post. You write beautifully!

Kelly Seiler said...

Three kids are SO overwhelming! I don't know how people do it with more! Thanks for reading my blog! I really appreciate it!

Daisy said...

LOL! I love this post! I felt the same although I hid my feelings I did not cry because I did not want anyone to know....I didn't want be seem ungrateful. But yes....I love my lil man more then anything in the world.....can't wait for baby number 2! This time I'm not getting my hopes up!


Michele said...

Great post.
I don't know what I would have done if I had a boy. Seriously....
the idea of raising someone with a penis scares me.... LOL

Susan Fobes said...

What a wonderful post! I had one girl and was sure I would have another-surprise! I didn't know anything about boys (I grew up with three sisters!)But, somehow I adapted, as did you, and I couldn't imagine life without him. Thanks for the lovely read!

A Mom After God's Own Heart said...

Great blog and super post! I found you on MBC and am now following. Check me out and follow too:)

Kelly Seiler said...

I'm following you now, too! Thanks.

Alexandria said...

I awarded you a blog award!

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