Oh Boy. It’s a boy.
So there we were. Eager first time parents, marveling at the sound of our unborn baby’s heartbeat. Until I was handed my “Boy Diagnosis”. Mid scan, jelly tummy and all, my eyes welled up and a wave of truly awful, involuntary, dark emotions attacked all remaining semblances of my rationality. I needed the doctor to stop the scan. I no longer cared to see the little hands and feet.
If you are not in the category of Gender Phobic moms, a word of caution before reading – you might find yourself thinking this is so far off the normality spectrum, that you’ll be left pondering my emotional (st)/ability to responsibly parent a child. But for the few who are like me, you will get it. This is written for those expectant moms (again, very few) who need someone to say, “Hey, this is normal, I felt it too”. Maybe normal is too generous a word, but as normal as normal can be from one crazy to another.
I am a girly girl. By that I mean my favourite colour is pink. Bubblegum pink. And diamonds really are my best friend.
And I really wanted a girl. And by that I meant, “If it’s a boy I will give him away”.
You see, if you’re like me, you more than likely have some OCD, A-Type tendencies going on. You like to have your ducks in a row. Or should I say (pink) bows in a row. You knew how you wanted your life to play out from the age of five. You dreamt of having little princesses of your own. Real live dolls. You would play dress up. And after dress-up, you would build fairy castles. And then you’d ice cupcakes. In marshmallow frosting. With edible glitter. And sprinkles. Pink. And more pink. And ballet shoes with tutus. And wedding dresses, big puffy ball gown dresses.
And then you get trucks. Tractors. And Lego. Action figurines in yellow and red. And I cannot actually find any other way to describe these “Boyisms” other than to turn my nose up at them and walk away. Cursing the male race forevermore. Snotty faces and mud. What happened to my dreams of Scratch-and-Sniff-Sticker-Book-Collections-with-Barbie-And-My-Little-Pony-Limited-Edition-Heart-Shaped-Strawberry-Shortcake-Flavoured-Lip-Balms, with glitter? Yes. I really had that.
I used to think boys were ugly. Boys made me feel sick. Physically ill. Puke-able. I was genuinely repulsed by the thought.
And as for blue? Blue offends me. Be it sky blue, pale blue, aqua blue, baby blue (who invented that term? What is that? Who would ever want “blue” and “baby” in the same sentence?!) Even duck egg blue. Blue. Blue is the problem here. We cannot have any room for blue. It’s offensive. Heinous. Ghastly. Blue is for boys. And boys are, well… offensive, heinous, ghastly.
Penises? OMG. Don’t even get me started on the thought of having to look at a baby willy.
My friends would tease me, “Just watch, you are going to get triplet boys”. My husband was genuinely concerned about procreating with me. But I figured the joy of becoming parents would out-weigh the fear of having a boy.
So when I fell pregnant, I immediately knew that we had to find out the sex of the baby. Because I knew that if it wasn’t a girl, I would need time to process it. I didn’t want to risk dealing with such heavily complex emotions once the baby was born. Newborns are terrifying enough… now add a boy newborn into the mix, and I think you get the idea.
I tried the well-known mantras, “Whatever is meant to be, will be / We are given the souls we deserve / Children choose us, not the other way around.” But in the innermost chambers of my heart, the place where dreams are born, I believed I would get my little girl. Albeit dangerous territory.
And so we had a scan. And we asked what sex it was. Now this is where I think the universe was having a really good laugh. Because the gynae actually said that our little gummy-bear was looking 90%… GIRL. My dreams had come true.
Until my 16 week scan. When he declared BOY beyond a doubt. Oh boy. It’s a boy.
I was angry. Resentful. Done in. And just so disheartened. I was sad. I was genuinely hurting. I had lost. Defeated. With no way to reverse it. I’ve always felt like I can fix almost anything. But not this.
Now stop right there. Some people are just wired differently. They don’t go down these roads. They don’t know about truly dark emotions. But if you do, no matter how much conscious self-talk you try, you will feel them none-the-less. And they will seize you. In all their cruelty and selfishness.
I was broken.
And then came the guilt. “Will my little fetus know that I feel this way? That I don’t want him to be him?” This poor little innocent soul didn’t deserve my awful thoughts. I was drowning in guilt and I wasn’t even a mother yet.
I shared the news with family and friends. Everyone thought it was comical. “Haha. Of course you’re having a boy! Obviously.”
I cried. A lot. Possibly even for days.
And then the feeling slowly went away, with each passing week of my pregnancy (I was still jealous every time I saw someone’s little Facebook Princess though). But I was adapting to my new found “Boy Mom” status.
With every kick, and movement, things got better. And better. I bonded with my little guy more and more. Until that immutable bond of mother and child cemented itself in my very psyche. I was never alone. I now had this little guy with me wherever I went. To talk to. To think with. To just be.
I knew him. And he knew me. I probably spoke to him more than anyone else in those 9 months. And he probably heard me think things that I have never said aloud to anyone else. Until this blog, that is.
And then he arrived.
I won’t spoil the surprise too much. I’ll leave you to discover this joy on your own… But I cannot believe I ever wanted a girl. Yes. It’s true. I actually said that.
Most days I find myself marvelling at my little boy… And I have to keep saying out loud, “He is a little boy” but not because I am in denial – because it’s the biggest treat and I am grateful in the most profound way, every single day.
Being a boy mom is cool. It’s fun. It’s a challenge. But more than that, it’s a badge of honor.
So breathe it in, the blue, the trucks and tractors.
I was as extreme as you can get on the gender preference scale. But I am officially converted. Through a series of really inexplicable yet very real emotions, together with an obscene amount of online shopping, I am ok.
My boy makes it all ok.
Disclaimer: Dear Readers. This post is just me, being brutally honest, about my own crazy emotions and experiences. And yes, it’s radical, darkly comical, unconventional (and certainly offensive to many). But I do not for a second undermine the very real struggle that so many moms face in the miracle of falling pregnant, staying pregnant and carrying a healthy baby to full term.