Yesterday, the dynamic of my life as I know it changed. It was a day I had been counting down to, anxiously anticipating what the gender of my second baby would be. Neither my husband nor I am the type to wait. I know oftentimes people say there aren’t enough surprises in life, but labor the first time around was filled with plenty of surprises I couldn’t have imagined, so I felt no shortage there.
Plus, as someone who writes for fun, I keep journals throughout my pregnancy for my babies, and there is so much significance to finding out who they are that helps personalize the passages I leave them. I am a fan of knowing who I am writing to, and although their personality remains unknown as something only they will be able to truly define, I feel closer to them still.
To have my partner be on the same page makes it a no-brainer—we find out, we celebrate, we await the arrival of our beloved baby.
It’s exciting whether you find out or not, and the surprises are never in short supply. In fact, they are continuous. Your baby will far exceed any expectation you may have had, and each step of the way they will make your eyes widen in pure wonder and awe.
So, with that being said, a sea of blue balloons flooded my previously pink and glittery world yesterday. All things girly as I formerly knew it, suddenly changed, and although I am someone who used to dream of raising three boys back in the day, I have taken a strong liking to being a girl mom. No, scratch that—I freaking LOVE it.
I still remember the day I found out my firstborn was going to be a girl.
I had convinced myself she was a boy (again stemming from the future family photo I had for so long imagined) and remember feeling so displaced in my own world when reality set in. A girl? What do I do with a girl?
I fell in love with her is what I did. Suddenly, this mama was ordering bows, learning how to make bows, buying polka dot dresses, and accenting her nursery in sparkly gold. I was excited, and as she grew in my belly and I felt her move and kick, the surreal feeling turned to just plain real, and I was completely smitten by the daughter I had yet to meet.
Then I met her, and my heart exploded.
To this day I am unsure how my heart continues to house all of the love I have for her. She truly is my best little friend, and it boggles my mind to think that she was never a part of my plan. I don’t even want to imagine my life without her now. It wouldn’t even exist because she is my life.
I’ve become so accustomed to this role of being a girl mom that admittedly, yesterday when I was staring at my son during a 3D ultrasound, that same feeling of displacement returned. Then came that self-doubting question of what do I do with a . . . boy? In the midst of being surprised, excited, and amused by my proud husband who stood there all giddy to suddenly have a son, I also felt nervous and as though I was an intruder stepping into unfamiliar territory.
It’s a crazy and wild feeling to be intimidated by your unborn child.
I never allowed myself to choose a preferred gender, nor did I care. I am pregnant, I am healthy, baby is healthy, so what else even matters?
Yet, there I was, suddenly unaware of what to do with a boy, of whom I have always dreamed. I was bombarded by thoughts, which up until now have been irrelevant, like circumcision, how different changing a boy is, their rough and tough nature, keeping them amused, and so forth.
My past year has consisted of playing dollies and making bows, shopping dates, matching clothes, and tending to her sometimes overly-sensitive ways. That’s been the life I know.
To imagine a son, who I picture as a much smaller, even more fearless version of my husband causes me anxiety.
These are the thoughts that swam around my head yesterday, and as I began sifting through my daughter’s newborn collection, managing to salvage only a few articles of gender-neutral clothing, I began creating a space that would also compliment all things boy.
My children will be sharing a room, which I am growing more excited about redecorating. It won’t be a hard task, but for fairness sake, I do need to remove the glittery banner on the wall that says, “Toys before boys,” at least until she has her own room anyway.
When I woke up this morning, I had this unrelenting idea to reach out to this mom I follow on Instagram. She is otherwise a stranger to me, lives all the way in Detroit, is beautiful in every sense of the word, and is always posting things that just make me feel happy.
She has two children, a boy and a girl, and makes that meshing of the two look and seem so effortlessly wonderful.
I sent her a personal message, unsure of whether or not it would even be worth her time in her eyes, and within minutes she had not only responded, but sent me a video message.
This is what she said (yes, I listened to it a dozen times and wrote it out because it meant so much to me):
“My son has a way of speaking to my soul. My daughter and I are best friends, but my son can talk right to my heart, and he does the same thing with my daughter. You will love every minute of it, it is simply awesome.”
I let the tears that welled up in my eyes do their thing as I tried to find a way to respond when she sent a final written message that read:
“You’ve got this. Let your heart be full and calm. It is magical having one of each. It’s magical for you as a mom and magical for them as siblings.”
Let my heart be full and calm.
Such simple advice, yet some I was incapable of reaching on my own. As a natural-born worrier, I allowed this shift in dynamic to overwhelm me (as I do all things), and in doing so, I missed the heart-string-tugging magical part: I will have another baby, another living and breathing piece of my heart and soul, here on the outside, reaching up for me, resting his head on my shoulder, filling my days with an irreplaceable joy in this life that I simply adore.
I get to have one of each, which truly is a blessing and the best of both worlds.
My sweet girl will remain my very best friend, the reason I still make and buy bows, the owner of the polka dot clothing side of the dresser, my shopping companion, and #1 coffee date, the beauty who accents my life in sparkly gold.
My baby boy will fill a void I didn’t even know I had prior to him, being my littlest love, ruggedly handsome like his daddy, yet no stranger to cuddling up to his momma, stomping around these floors in the cutest miniature overalls I ever did see, every bit as adorable as he will be wild.
This is the important picture I failed to see yesterday, but I see it now, and it is everything.