Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Girl or Boy? Why Does Everyone Else Care More Than I Do?

Tomorrow, May 30, is the "big ultrasound," where we'll (hopefully) finally find out whether I'm carrying our first girl or our fourth boy. While some families choose to wait for the birth and let the baby's gender be a surprise, we've always liked to know at the major anatomical ultrasound (which is usually done between 18 and 20 weeks). I've been known to say that if peeing on the stick could not only confirm the pregnancy but tell me the gender, I'd be happy! My husband always says that it's a surprise whether you find out at the ultrasound or at the birth, and we both like having that time to talk about names and get mentally prepared for the actual baby who is coming. I find it makes the pregnancy more real to me and helps me begin to bond with the baby growing within me.

(G's ultrasound pictures)

So far, we're three for three, reliably producing adorable little boys. At each new pregnancy, friends, family, and strangers express genuine curiosity as to whether we're "hoping" for a girl, "trying" for a girl, or if we'll "keep trying" for a girl if this next one is another boy. Indeed, it seems like everyone around us is more excited and more curious than we are about the gender of this fourth baby! It's not that I don't want to know, and it's not that I'm not excited about the baby, and it's not that I will be disappointed either way. It's just that I don't understand why everyone else seems to have invested so much emotional energy in my pregnancy! It's nice that people care so much, don't get me wrong, but is it fair to the baby I'm actually carrying to hope so strongly for one gender? What if it's not what you're hoping for?

I think it's fair to suffer a fleeting moment of disappointment or grief if you never get the son or daughter you've always dreamed of having. I know people who wanted only sons, people who wanted only daughters, or people who yearned for one of each. Usually, once you're holding your sweet little one in your arms, you're thrilled with whatever you've got, but that doesn't mean you might not wonder what it would have been like if the X had been a Y, or vice versa. It is not fair to the child you have, however, to wish he was a she, or she was a he. We have to take people as they are, and that includes our children! Sure, I had "planned" to have a girl first, but when N came along, I couldn't imagine life any other way.

My husband and I are fairly certain we're having another boy. I've been consistently using "he" when talking about this baby, when before I've been hesitant to use a gender pronoun until we knew for sure. According to this site, if you have three boys, you have a slightly increased (more than 50%) chance that the fourth will also be a boy. You hear people toss out stats like, "Oh, the chances of another boy are 70% if you already have three," but this is apparently not supported in the data. Still, it does seem to me like some couples may be more predisposed to one gender than the other. Who knows? Obviously, there are plenty of families with three of one and one of the other, but then you get the stories about families with six boys and one girl, or seven girls and one boy, and so on, and it makes you wonder.

Ever since I found out my first was a boy, I've assumed that at some point in the future, I'd have a daughter. It just seems...normal. But after I found out G was a boy, I became fairly content with the whole situation. I realized I was kind of relieved. I already know how to "do" a boy. I understand them. I have the clothes and the toys. And, let's be honest, here, I'm not exactly "girly." I don't wear makeup. I don't get my nails done. I don't do my hair. I'm not a tomboy, but I'm not well versed in a lot of "feminine" activities, either. I'm terrified that if I did have a girl, she'd be "girlier" than me! I'm terrified of female puberty, of girl drama, and of body image issues. And, to be crude, as many have said only half-jokingly, when you have a boy, you have only one penis to worry about. (Okay, so I have three, and possibly four, but you get the point.)

So, I'm pretty much at peace this time. If it's another boy, which I'm willing to assume it is at this point, then I'm happy. If it's a girl, I'll be shocked but happy. I don't see us continuing to "try" for a girl. I can't predict how I'll feel about it in five years, but right now, I don't feel like I need "one of each" for a complete family. Our family will be complete because we'll have the kids we're supposed to have.

Until I'm ready to reveal the results of the ultrasound scheduled for tomorrow, go ahead and make your predictions. I'm curious as to what my readers think! If you want any data from me besides knowing that we already have three boys, assuming it's not invasive information, go ahead and ask. Have fun guessing, and we'll see what happens!

For some thoughts on the flip side of the equation, a while back Jessica at The Leaky B@@b shared her thoughts on having 5 girls when she was pregnant with her sixth, and how it feels to be asked if she wants a boy - and how it feels for her daughters!

Now, granted, N and S have both expressed their desire for a sister, although I'm not exactly sure if they're able to verbalize why they want a sister. Still, it's super cute, and I know that my boys will be awesome big brothers whether this little one is a boy or a girl.


  1. It sounds like your husband's little Y swimmers just tend to be stronger/faster than his X swimmers. :)
    I understand that you feel like you don't know what to do with a girl, but I would suggest that if you end up with one, you don't have to try shape her gender identity. I don't think you're the kind of person to force your boys to be more manly, either. I'm sure that if you do what you have been doing in terms of trying to make sure that they are good people, it will work for a girl, too. And given our group of mutual friends, I am sure you are aware that there is a whole range of manliness and girliness, and what or who you might be worried about, that anyone might fall into.

  2. Some of us really do not know how to plan baby boy & girl but are interested in doing so. Because some of us like baby girls and some of us like baby boy. It all depends on our perspectives and preferences.