Boys Will Be Boys, Expecting Boy #3

When I was pregnant with Harper I had a dream early on that I was having a baby girl, at 18 weeks we found out he was indeed a boy. While pregnant with Willem I had one single dream about the baby in me and in my dream it was a girl, again it was a boy as we found out at his birth. Waiting for our ultrasound this time felt like torture, I counted weeks, days and I welcomed any dream about this baby figuring whatever I dreamt would again be the opposite of who this baby was but no such dream came.

The days up to the scan I did not feel drawn either way towards a boy or girl. I felt excited over the possibility of another boy for many reasons: I adore the boys I have, they adore me, I felt another boy would fit in well with our life, my boys wanted a brother, boys really are easier to me because I know them already, I find changing girl diapers more difficult, I could reuse many of the adorable boy clothes that I did keep, I don’t like pink, I had a couple boy names that I LOVED (and no girl names that I was overly excited about) and mostly it seems that the coolest moms out there have only boys- Gwen Stefanie, Julie Bowen (from Modern Family, the most relatable TV mom ever) and a mom here I know personally that I look up to (Danielle) has the 3 cutest sons that made me excited over possibly having a third and joining the club of cool moms.

I wanted a girl too though: I wanted that mother/daughter bond (that usually comes later in life), I wanted to buy adorable tights and wade through the sea of headbands, I wanted someone on my side, girls names do sound prettier, I wanted the experience of having and raising a girl would be like and lastly I felt like most everyone around me wanted me to have a girl because I already had boys and disappointment would be felt especially because for some weird reason females seem to celebrate girls more.

Going into our scan, the first thing the tech looked at was between babies legs. I held my breath while the picture cleared and there it was. An obvious spade, another boy. No mistaking it.

IMG_5962

 

I smiled but I’m not sure if it was forced or not. I was relieved to finally know and I was relieved that I knew what I was in for but I was a little sad that I felt like I knew the rest of the story. While preparing to be happy and looking at the good sides of both outcomes I forgot that I’d be sad either way as well.

I absolutely despise the idea of gender disappointment, I don’t judge those who experience it and I understand where it comes from but I do not set expectations that would set myself up for disappointment. Maybe in knowing that God knows what he is doing makes what is given to me so acceptable. No matter which way I view it I was never disappointed in having another boy. This doesn’t mean that I didn’t experience some form of mourning the experience of never having a daughter.

I did mourn the loss of browsing through headbands and tights, sad that I will be spending more money of food (boys really do eat a ton) than I would be clothes and both Chad and I regret that we will never know what a girl with our genes would look like. Some evenings when I have one son talking about penises and another telling me about power tools I do feel gender isolation but it is fleeting. To this day though I have actually felt no loss of a mother-daughter relationship but instead fully embraced the “mother of boys” title although my mind sometimes says “mother of dragons” instead.

Last week I finally had a dream about this baby. I can not bring up the picture my mind gave me of this boys face but I can still feel that overwhelming love and adoration and thinking that even despite my mothers eye he was the most gorgeous baby. Since that dream not only has my sadness over the lack of mini mary jane shoes disappeared but it has been replaced with a pure joy and  love over a boy and gratefulness that this is my calling.

 

 

(Adding to the end only because I tend to be curious in other peoples situations, that no, we will not try for a girl. Neither of us has any real desire for a girl or another baby.)

On His Terms: How baby 3 showed up to the party

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

 

After I had Willem I felt like I was content with the kids I had and the family God had given me. I was content for a very long time and honestly I would have continued to be content if Harper and Willem where my only sons ever. However, sometime early last spring I watched my boys playing together, pushing trucks around the backyard, make-believing construction sites, having a wonderful time together and this little thought crept into my head: how awesome are my kids, they just love each other. How can we say no to just two kids when our boys are so obviously fantastic wouldn’t another child just add to the fun and greatness we experience in this family?

And that was that. I desired another child but didn’t feel like it was a need so I was gentle about the situation. I started to bring it up to Chad, who was consistently reluctant. My plan (hahahahahahahahahaha, my life is never to my plan, learned that one long ago) was I wanted to start trying for another kid in the fall, giving us a specific amount of time, about 4 months, to try and if it didn’t work out then we were meant to only have 2 kids. I figured that by not trying for another kid I was saying no to God’s potential plan for us, even wondering if He wanted me to have a daughter and by not having another I would be denying His plan. I didn’t want to expect or force another child into our life especially after we had already been blessed with (forced with) 2 but I thought that by putting a specific time limit on this openness I’d be limiting my own expectations and emotions.

In hindsight however, I was putting God on the spot expecting Him to preform (or not) and demanding an answer from Him. Not only was I demanding an answer from God but I was putting a time limit on how long He had to answer me.

Another thing I was looking forward to actually trying for a baby, fertility has been an issue in our marriage in the way of hyper fertility with 1 very unplanned and very loved birth control pill baby and another more prepared for but still surprise pregnancy less than a month after weaning my first baby.

My ideas, my plan was set, I wanted another kid but I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my husband’s sanity so I very bluntly explained to him what I wanted and why. Openness is key right? He listened and he wanted to give me what I wanted but he wasn’t ready and was unsure of what he wanted to so I never got a yes or no and instead I started teasing. Let’s face it, having a third child was not a must on my list it was only a want and I knew this but I wanted Chad to want it as well so I’d say things like:

“If we have another kid, I’ll give you full naming rights.”

“What if your parents decided to stop at 2?” (Chad is the third born)

“If I can have a baby you can have a GoPro.”

I’d say these things in jest but also to persuade. And we continued to talk occasionally about it but the talks just went in circles and I was okay with that because I wasn’t getting blatantly shot down.

Enter mid-summer. Life was hectic, Chad seemed to be working a ton and I was constantly with the boys and busy doing bridesmaid stuff for one of my best friends beautiful wedding. Chad and I rarely saw each other much less slept in the same bed at the same time. Thoughts of a baby where still in my heart but with no desire to try until the fall (I wanted a spring baby) it was definitely not in the forefront of my brain though I still enjoyed teasing Chad here and there in order to prep him for bringing back the serious talk in a couple months.

One night while Chad was at work I was giving the kids a bath and doing what any mother of young kids does when they don’t have to supervise their kids for drowning anymore but can’t leave them alone because all the water will end up on the floor and out of the bath tub . . . I cleaned. That particular night I was working on the closet and found a cheap pregnancy test. While nursing Willem I never had a period so I’d buy cheap tests to take every other month or so just to put my mind at ease. My period was due the next day and I knew I wasn’t pregnant but I couldn’t throw away an unused test. Even in knowing the test would be negative there’s something that’s just a little exciting about taking one, whether it’s hope of a baby or reassurance of a lack of pregnancy there is a little thrill. So I peed on it. A few minutes pass and I turn around to throw it away, took a second look, then studied it. I saw a line.

11753684_10206943730293419_6786286086211999048_n

It wasn’t a strong line, hell it was hardly there, so it was probably an accident right? My period was due the next day, I had zero symptoms and it was physically impossible according to science. We had been responsibly practicing natural family planning which I was led to believe is pretty damn accurate in preventing and planning for pregnancy and I was following it right! I double checked my ovulation chart app to check my” life facts” then began to scour google using searches along the lines of “accuracy of blue dye pregnancy tests” and “false positive pregnancy tests.” Luckily I found that there was a very small chance that this test was wrong but considering all the factors, I was sure it was. Then at the end of the night, just to see if there was something I was missing I took the test back out of the trash and ripped the plastic apart looking inside, I’m not sure what I was expecting to see in there but I thought it might help my mystery, it didn’t.

The next day after Chad woke up that afternoon I snuck out of the house┬áalone with the excuse of needing something from Target. Luckily a Target trip on Chad’s day off means I get to go alone.┬áAt Target I quickly found 2 other items I had to have in order to make my basket look like I wasn’t there for one reason only (plus I had to come home with something). Sulking in the test aisle I prayed no one I knew would be there that morning (small town issues) and studied the tests looking for the holy grail of pregnancy tests, the “First Response, Early Response.” This test is the relied upon one for telling women what’s going on in their uterus. It meshed well in my little red basket and I scurried to check out luckily only a few yards away.

As soon as I made my purchase I ran out of the store. Just kidding. I went to the bathroom and took the test in a public stall like a teenager hiding from her parents. I peed, tossed the test in my purse and discarded all the evidence (box, wrapper, directions and receipt) in the bathroom there and then went to my car.

Turned the car on, opened my Dr. Pepper and took a deep breath. I pulled out the test and saw 2 lines, 1 line = not pregnant. 2 lines=pregnant. It was fainter than the control but there was no mistaking that line. Chad was going to be pissed.

Pregnancy test on the arm rest in my car.

Pregnancy test on the arm rest in my car.

Telling him is a whole other story but to finish this one off I felt insane. It was too much for my mind to process, this is what I wanted just not how I wanted. I was extremely happy but also terrified (as anyone is when they get a positive test), worried about telling Chad and mostly confused by how it could happen. Well, I’m sure it was by the grace of God and him pointing at my life and gently teaching me yet again, He makes the rules, not me.

IMG_5138