So, yeah, I'm still quite preoccupied by our impending doctor's appointment tomorrow. Perhaps I'm a little less OK at the moment with the thought of a boy than I had been telling myself for the past couple months. I think I was doing pretty good for a while, but the fact that I felt so yucky for an extra month this time got my hopes up that this one was different and could be a girl. And now I'm coming back to reality and realizing that as of tomorrow, the desire to have a daughter--one I've probably had since I was a little girl playing dolls--may be forcibly shut down. That's a sobering reality, for sure.
It sounds so shallow, since I know how lucky we are to have any babies at all. And not only do we have one, but we're going to have two. That alone is a huge blessing, and as I've said repeatedly, in the end I will be fine no matter what. And I know to the casual observer, wishing for one gender over another just seems silly. But, you know, it's not just about buying girl clothes or decorating with pink. It's about being able to relive my childhood more fully. Until now I've certainly had opportunities to do that with Jacob. Every time we go to a pumpkin patch, zoo, or playground, I see a little element of my childhood come back to life. Looking through toy catalogs reminds me of countless Christmases making my list out of the JC Penney catalog. The overflowing bags of artwork from daycare bring back memories of the many hours spent cutting, pasting, and coloring at school. But I know that Craig's experience raising Jacob has been different than mine. In so many ways, Jacob is his mini-me. He loves watching Jacob discover sports, practice them and improve. Undoubtedly it takes him back to when he was a kid and was learning those things himself. He's downright giddy thinking about Jacob playing little league baseball next summer. He loves playing Legos and building Jacob awesome creations. His Playmobil, Star Wars, and GI Joe guys have gotten a second life. He has an excuse to watch sports, cartoons, and old movies, all for Jacob's benefit. I've enjoyed my fair share of those sorts of things, too, but I know it would be different with a girl. I'd get to dig into my Barbie collection and share my beloved Hot Looks dolls. I'd get to buy her a little kitchen and watch her cradle a baby doll. Maybe she'd do a dance class or just read up a storm like I did--you think kids still read Beverly Cleary or Judy Blume? I found the original movie version of "Annie" in the $5 bin at Walmart a while back, and in hopes I'd have a girl to share it with, I bought it. It was my favorite movie forever when I was a kid, and sure I can watch it by myself, but how much more fun would it be to share it with my daughter?
Ultimately it's not about the "stuff" (though that stuff is fun), but more about the emotions that those items evoke. It's about reliving the joy you had as a kid, and seeing that joy spread to someone else. It's not that I can't have that with Jacob or another boy, but it would be extra special with a girl. It's just hard to know that 12 hours from now, all the dreaming I've done about having a daughter of my own could come to a crashing halt. Or...12 hours from now that dream could come true. But either way our lives are going to change...it's just a matter of how far off the current path it's going to go. I'm ready for a visit to somewhere new and different, but if we end up going on another trip to the same awesome destination where we've already been, that's not such a bad thing either. But forgive me if it takes getting to that destination to remember why it was so awesome in the first place.
I don't want to be that mom who loses it in the ultrasound room, but that could be me. I have a couple hours to collect myself before heading to work. There have been moments during this pregnancy where I've had feelings it might actually be a girl. But as a whole I still have this nagging suspicion that I'm meant to be the mom of boys. I've prayed for the opportunity to have a daughter, but also prayed for peace and acceptance if that isn't the case. And if it's not, I just have to trust God's infinite wisdom and assume there's a good reason why. Maybe a room overflowing with Barbies would make me crazier than a living room floor full of Legos. Perhaps I would inadvertently pass my insecurities along to her, or not give her the guidance she'd need to effectively navigate the mean girls and heartbreaking boys. Maybe I just don't have the strength to watch her go through the emotional roller coaster that I did when I was younger. She could grow up rebellious and cause us more heartache than joy. Maybe God knows enough to spare us that stress and sees that we're better suited to have boys. Maybe he knows that Jacob needs a brother more than I need a daughter. Perhaps he's got better things in store down the road, like fantastic daughters-in-law or granddaughters so great they were worth the wait. There's no way of knowing for sure, so I need to just trust that God knows what he's doing. Oh, and that includes trusting that if he does give me a girl, that I'm woman enough to raise her well. But just because I trust God, that doesn't mean that reality won't be without a little sadness or heartache. Forgive me if this blog becomes the place I visit to sort out those emotions and adjust to the changes life is going to bring us starting tomorrow. It doesn't mean I love my baby any less....it just means that I need some time to say goodbye to some other dreams I've had for a long time.
Stay tuned for the news either way tomorrow...and pray that everything else looks perfect, no matter what!