I’m 10 weeks pregnant. Assuming everything continues to go as well as it has been going so far, this will be our last baby. We recently had a blood test that will tell us if we are having a son or a daughter, and we are waiting for the results as I write this.
We have two boys already, and everyone is asking if I’m hoping for a girl.
I keep saying, “Well, of course it would be lovely to have a girl, but I love my boys so much, and if we have a third boy, we will be just as happy!”
It’s true. I will be ecstatic to be a mom of three, no matter what sex this last baby is. Truth be told, when I was pregnant with my second son, I secretly hoped he would be a girl. The moment the ultrasound showed me that he was a boy, all those wishes vanished. I knew I didn’t want any baby except the one I was carrying. At 20 weeks, he already had the sweetest chubby cheeks, and I couldn’t wait to kiss them. When he was born, I fell in love with everything about him. I’ve never wished he was a girl. Not for one minute.
But I also knew he wasn’t the last baby. We were always planning for three. This baby actually is likely my last shot at raising a girl, and I’m feeling that deeply.
I will be disappointed if I never have a daughter. I’m hesitant to admit that because I understand that gender is a spectrum, and the sex they are assigned at birth and the gender they identify with are not always the same. I know that even if my baby is assigned female at birth, they might not identify as a woman. Similarly, my children who were assigned “boy” at birth may, at some point, tell me that they actually identify as a gender that is not male. And even if they do identify as the gender they were assigned at birth, the ways they express themselves may be different they my own as a woman or my husband’s as a man. As much as I adore all the stereotypical “girly” stuff, I am totally here for everyone expressing themselves however they feel most at home.
There are somewhere around 3.5 billion women on the planet, and each of us has our own way to be a woman. My daughter might not feel like a woman at all, and if that’s the case, we will support them. Everyone is free to be their fullest, truest self in my house. I want that to be clear. I will be loving, kind and unwavering in my support of my children. NO MATTER WHAT.
But I think I can acknowledge the fact that gender identity is personal and still want my baby to be a girl.
It’s not that I didn’t want boys. I did. I adore my boys, and I feel so lucky to know them and raise them. As a matter of fact, if my second had been a girl, I’d be hoping for another boy this time. I always wanted to raise brothers.
If my life had gone a different way, I would have had way more than three kids. But that’s not in the cards for me. My medical history limits me to three. Finding out the sex of my baby is connected to a lot of emotions for me. It always has been. I have cried every time. Finding out the sex allows me to choose a name. Choosing a name makes my baby feel like a real person to me.
This time it comes with another level of anticipation and emotion because if this baby isn’t my daughter, I’ll likely never have one.
And I really want one.
I won’t lie. The idea of all the adorable baby girl stuff does appeal to me. I love all the things that most people would describe as “girly.” Give me all the makeup, perfume, dresses, and jewelry. Give me rom-coms. Mani/pedis. Sign me up for the works.
Just this morning, I had to stop myself from clicking an ad and buying a glittery wine glass that says, “Rosé all day.” First of all, I’m pregnant, and secondly, I don’t even drink rosé when I’m not pregnant.
But what can I say? I really, really like glitter.
As much as I love all the adorable little pink clothes and bits and baubles, my desire for a daughter is not about tiny headbands, tutus, and lip gloss. That’s just a little bit of fun.
The part I am dying to experience is all the stuff that comes later.
I want to see a little girl show her brothers that she can do anything they can do. I want to watch her find her own strength, while also learning how to ask for help when she needs it. When I think about my daughter, I don’t just think about a baby girl wrapped in a floral blanket. I have a vision of a growing girl falling down, standing up, tightening up her ponytail, and trying again. I imagine her as a teenager, learning what she will and will not tolerate, navigating triumph and heartbreak. If I’m lucky, she will want to do that with her mama at her side occasionally. When I imagine a daughter, I see her as a young woman finding her way in her chosen career, calling me to let me know whether she feels confident about her job interview.
I don’t just want the frilly baby stuff; I want the chance to help raise a badass world-changer.When I think of raising a woman, I don’t think of delicate. I think of strength.
I have so many strong, gorgeous women in my life. We have millions of stories to tell. When we pass our experience, strength and wisdom to a generation of future women, I’d love for my own daughter to be among them. Our memories and victories will live on in the girls who will remain when we are gone. I want my own little girl to sit under our stories and grow up knowing she can be anything and go anywhere.
All I can do now is wait. When the blood test results arrive, I will know whether to keep dreaming about a little girl or embrace my life as a mom of all boys. If I have a third son, I will consider myself lucky beyond measure. I have PCOS, and I remember the years I wondered if I’d ever have one baby, let alone three perfect children.
But I’ll always be a little wistful when I think about what it would have been like to have a daughter, and I think that’s okay.