Long time readers may remember a few posts by my friend Sara. She is a mom to two beautiful boys, and when she decides to write about them, it’s always so good. I am honored to continue to give her a place to share her words.
I was recently talking to a friend of mine about my children. “You know” I said, “having them so close together is not nearly as bad as I thought it would be”. “You mean you did not plan to have them close?” she asked. Um, no. I did not plan to have them that close. In fact, no part of either pregnancy was a well thought out plan. When I became pregnant the first time I was…how shall I say this delicately…shocked. As I wrote in an earlier post, it was not that I did not want to have kids, I was just not so sure about having them at that moment. I spent the first few months alternating between nausea and indifference and had to remind myself about the growing life inside me. The whole thing seemed rather abstract until I went for that first ultrasound. My husband and I joked around about curfews (12:00 am for a boy, 11:00 pm on the dot for a girl) and said the obligatory ‘yeah, I see it’ whenever the tech pointed out a limb or an organ. After doing her measurements she asked if we wanted to know the sex. We said yes and she replied “It looks like you are going to be up until midnight, it’s a boy”. “A boy” I replied. “A boy” she said. I went and peed in disbelief.
It was not that I did not want a boy; it’s just that quite frankly, I had no idea what to do with one. You know those women that have a mix of male and female friends or the ones who are more comfortable with men than with other women? I am not one of those people. I am a girl’s girl. I love the camaraderie of sisterhood and I absolutely adore and cherish my girlfriends. In fact, I would venture to say that I don’t have one male friend who is not married to someone I was friends with first. How was I, lover of high tea and the ballet, going to raise someone who thinks bodily functions are funny until…well according to my husband…until forever?
The moment he came, I was in love. In love in a different way than I had ever experienced. I was his mother, he was my darling son (future daughter in law eat your heart out, he will be my darling son for-ever). My second pregnancy was as un-planned as my first but from day one I felt different. I smugly proclaimed to the world “It’s a girl” as I turned green and ran to the bathroom. I confidently told my OB, “Its got to be a girl” as he noted my early weight gain and belly growth. My husband and I thought of girls names to match our sons and I spent every free moment I could looking at gender neutral nursery décor for the room both siblings would share. We marched into the ultrasound with the confidence of second timers. Once again the tech went about her business as my husband and I used the precious quiet moments to catch up. “Do you want to know the sex?” she asked. “Sure” I replied, thinking I already do. “It’s a boy”, she said with no pomp or circumstance. “A boy?” I asked. “A boy” she said. “Are you sure?” I asked. “I’m pretty sure” she said. “But sometimes techs are wrong” I reminded her. “Is their chance it could be a girl?” I said with hope. “Do you see this?” she pointed to a small white line on the screen, “You don’t want a girl with one of these”. Quiet. Blub blub of amniotic fluid. More quiet. “I mean, he looks healthy if that matters”, she said. I was appropriately mortified. I went to go pee with all the dignity I could muster and sulked out of the room in disbelief.
We walked out to the car. “Boys are good” my husband said. “What am I going to do with my doll collection?” I asked. “We are going to save a fortune on baby clothes” my husband offered. “What about my doll house?” I replied. “I had no idea you wanted a girl so bad” my husband said. “Me either” I whispered.
For the next few weeks the reality of my all male household hit me in different ways. I took solace in good non judgmental friends and spoke to other mothers of multiple boys. I went out and spent way too much money on various forms of pink tulle and sequins for my nieces. I gazed at an Edward Hopper-esque picture my friend sent of her daughters first day of ballet class for hours. I thought about printing it and hanging it up in our spare room because the photo was just so striking but decided even for me, that was creepy. I joked about fulfilling my husband’s dream of starting his own hockey team and unbookmarked web pages of nursery décor. We picked out boys names.
When I went into labor, far earlier than I had hoped, the reality of this future man hit me like a ton of bricks. Please don’t let him be too small I begged the car on the way to the hospital. Please try to make it stop I pleaded with the nurse when we walked through the door. He’s not ready I proclaimed to the anesthesiologist as he raced me into the OR. Less than 30 minutes after we walked into the hospital he was here. He was small but he was mine and he was perfect. My sweet darling boy. Visions of pink evaporated from my mind the moment I saw his face. Brothers I thought. I have brothers.
A few weeks ago I was sitting at the computer when we got word from my in-laws that my niece had recently been nominated for and accepted to make a wish through the Make A Wish Foundation. I sat at the computer and cried softly as I thought about this beautiful little girl who would never be able to wear high heels or take ballet and the wonderful people who were working to make her wish come true. That night my husband was reading to our toddler in his bed as I sat nursing the baby in the rocker. I held him close and gazed into his eyes while listening to the sweet sounds of peace, joy and laughter fill the nursery. I said a silent prayer for my niece and a thankful one for myself. For my life, for my children…for these two beautiful boys I never planned on but always wished for.
Editors Note and Shameless Plug: Since our family became involved with Make a Wish Foundation I have spent a lot of time doing research about the organization. I was pleased and surprised to discover there are lots of ways you can help with out opening your check book. Old airline miles, unused timeshares or extra building supplies can all help make a child’s wish come true. If you are interested, please take the time to check out your local chapter and read some of the inspiring stories of children facing the most extreme adversity and the people that bring them joy. Have tissues near by and warn your loved ones of extreme hugging to come. www.wish.org