The office had been full of baby excitement…. one of the guys announced he and his wife just found out their second baby is a little boy - yes they are going to be parents to ‘a boy and a girl!’ We were all thrilled for them (I’m sure the screams from our staff could be heard blocks from the location of our office).
A couple of days later the office was buzzing with the news a beautiful colleague had given birth to a healthy little girl…. we didn’t celebrate quietly as the news of her daughter meant there is another ‘boy and a girl’ to scream for…. After celebrating with everyone I returned to my office and that’s when I over heard a conversation when someone said, “Oh I’m just so glad she didn’t have two boys".
Did it hurt? No not really; I just thought I probably would have been that naive before I had two beautiful sons.
Growing up I was lucky to have a younger brother who I adore and wouldn’t have wished for any other sibling - he is the best! I assumed when it was my time to have a family, I would have ‘one of each’ because that’s how my family unit was…. So when we were told we were having a little boy, I thought “well I must be having my girl next time and that will work out well, because she will be able to date her big brothers friends and he will be able to date her friends later in life” (yes as you guessed I am pretty organised and that seemed very well planned to me)
I had my first baby and as much as I was a little worried about how to change a boys nappy, I did get that sorted pretty quickly. And really I just fell in love with my ‘baby’ - who I thought was simply perfect in every way. I did have a few different things said to me about my baby boy…. I recall a friend (who is in the medical world - so not a silly woman) who had a daughter the same age…. ask me once when we were both watching tv breastfeeding our babies…. “is it weird breastfeeding a baby boy?”… I really couldn’t believe the question…. it didn’t offend me - it just ‘spun me out’…. as I didn’t think of him as a ‘boy or a girl’… he was just my perfect baby.
I guess before you have a baby boy… you just don’t understand…. About 14 months later we fell pregnant for the second time and after announcing to our world we were pregnant I had people say: "I hope you have a little girl"…. "you are so feminine it would be a shame if you don’t have a girl this time"…. "I hope for your sake you have a girl"… "will you go a third time if you don’t have a girl this time?"…
I was brought up to believe, you shouldn’t hope or ask for a boy or a girl… you should only be grateful for a healthy baby… Though after these questions, all of a sudden I realised everyone close and far was going to be very disappointment for me if I was to announce in February I had a little boy. I decided at that moment if I was having a second son I would tell the world before he arrived. I would want them to get used to the idea so by the time he arrived; the world would be excited for me… as I didn’t know if I could handle hearing peoples comments at a time I was going to be so vulnerable with my newborn.
The day arrived when my husband and I were driving to have ‘the’ ultrasound that would determine my family unit. We had decided we were only going to have two children, so this was the moment we were going to be either “two boys and two girls” or “I would be the only girl” in my family unit. It was such an exciting time … this moment was going to tell us how our future would play out….
When we were sitting in the waiting room we were fortunate enough to sit next to this beautiful couple who were having their first child, we spoke to each other for about 20 minutes… it was wonderful listening to their excitement as it made us relive our ‘first time’; and that second ultrasound was such an amazing experience as you could really see what your baby looked like! We knew the drill as we had ‘been there done that’ once before…. so once their name was called out; with beaming smiles we wished them all the very best.
My husband and I continued to wait and to bide the time we read magazines; until the moment we were both startled by the couple both crying as they were being quickly ushered into another room (out the back)…. My husband and I knew this wasn’t the drill, though before we had time to process what we had just witnessed, we were called into the doctors room, the same room they just left….. My hubby and I were both numb, we were going through the motions and our hearts and thoughts were locked on that couple…… I got myself onto the doctors bed; we didn’t say a word to each other… (actually my husband and I didn’t say a word to each other for the next 30 to 40 minutes)….. Our Doctor was at the time the best in her field, she was ‘cold’ though she was the specialist Doctors would book their ultrasounds with as she would pick up things others would miss…
I exposed my tummy and within minutes we saw “our baby’s” image on the monitor… I could see “it” dancing around, I could see “it’s” heart beating strong and while the doctor was going through her check-list all I was thinking was “how could I wish for anything other than you - my darling baby - you are just trying to survive” I then heard the words “would you like to find out the sex of your baby?”…. my husband and I both uttered the words “yes”…..
In a warm, grateful voice (very unlike her manner we had experienced two years prior) the doctor said…”I am so happy to tell you, you are having a healthy baby boy…. I still don’t take it for-granted after all these years doing this job when I can look at a couple and tell them their baby is healthy”….
I was still a little bit disconnected with ‘our’ experience as my mind and heart was still consumed by that beautiful couple we had met in the waiting room. I wondered where they were? And what news were they told?….
We thanked the doctor, paid the bill, hopped in the car still without saying a word to each other…. we were both still thinking about the ‘other couple’…. we had driven for about ten minutes and were about 4 minutes from our home when I said to my husband “so we are having a little boy”…. he said “yes”…. and I said “how lucky are we tonight compared to that other couple…. they are going through a totally different experience to us tonight”.
I’m not sure if that was the universe making sure we realised just how lucky we were… Would the universe give us such a cruel reality check? I’m not sure.... I do know one thing; I was never upset nor disappointed about having my second son…. I knew how to mother a little boy. I could prove it by looking at my first son, who was kind, gentle, thoughtful and polite… I was confident about bringing another little man into the world.
I don’t feel like I’ve missed out… as I love both of my sons so very much. Don’t get me wrong if I had have had a little girl, I would have loved her and I do find myself at times looking at little girls in their pretty clothes and think “oh my goodness she is just absolutely beautiful” …. though I can honestly tell you if someone said to me; "if you have a third child, I can promise you it will be a healthy little girl"…. I still wouldn’t be interested in having a third child, I know my limits (I take my hat of to parents with more than two children).
It’s not about the sex of a child for me, it’s about the little person you bring into the world… it’s about them being great people; children you are proud to take out to places, children who know how to behave, who have beautiful manners and gorgeous warm happy smiles.
The only time I probably realised I have two little boys was when my boys were 7 & 5 years of age as this was the first year they both enjoyed football and I’m not really a football sort of gal. I walked into the lounge room while they were all watching the footy together on the tv and I said “wow this is the first year I have realised I’m the only girl in this family”…. without missing a beat my 7 year old son looked at me and said “you know we still love you Mum”…. and then my 5 year old walked over to me and said “Mummy if you ever get sad, just let me know and we can do something you would like to do” (yes my heart melted)…. but funnily enough I am starting to enjoy football… I didn’t for my Dad or my husband; but I have for the love of my little boys.