Her name still sits in the notes of my phone. I happen upon it from time to time and can’t bring myself to delete it. It’s the name of the little girl I expected but that never was. I never carried her; there was no loss, no tragedy, she literally never existed.
There was only ever an idea of her. Only plans and musings and visions of the most adorable young girl. I pictured her with dark waves of hair brushing against fair cheeks.
There were princess dresses and frail teacups we’d take imaginary sips from. There were shopping trips and spa days. And there were tears falling as I watched her dance with her daddy after giving her away.
It was all I had envisioned once those two pink lines changed my life.
And those dreams were dashed the moment I heard, “It’s a boy!”
I ugly cried, right there in the clinic; cool gel still on my belly.
Obvious by the ultrasound techs reaction that wasn’t the usual response. She left to give us a moment and my husband tried to comfort me.
I know how silly and ungrateful my perspective may sound. We were expecting a healthy baby. I reminded myself that’s an amazing blessing not everyone gets to share in.
How dare I feel disappointment over gender?
It didn’t feel like disappointment though.
It felt like mourning.
I was mourning the loss of something I never had. And that felt crazy.
I was mourning an idea; a dream that was keeping me from embracing the season I was in and looking forward to the wonderful times ahead.
I knew I’d come across seemingly ungrateful. And that felt shameful. For that – I didn’t want to talk about it.
I felt like a terrible person and for a while I navigated these negative thoughts and emotions alone. Mom guilt was already taking hold before my son was even born.
I thought no one would understand. But some did. Some do. And some will.
I was happy to find women in my tribe who understood what I was feeling, not because I’d wish it on anyone but only to know I wasn’t alone and it gets better.
Now I’m more comfortable talking about it so that other moms in the thick of those ugly, difficult emotions know they’re not alone.
The most difficult part to convey or understand is probably that I was never actually disappointed to have my boy.
I was just silly and never put much thought into the 50-50 chance of actually having a son and what that life would look like.
That ultrasound flipped the script of my life. Flipped what I had written and began to unfold what God had planned.
Now, I’m a complete boy mom.
Boy mom x’s three. I embrace it, like being part of a special club.
We’re those chosen to have too many frogs to count come through the front door. Chosen to have a usual parking spot at the nearest urgent care. And chosen to wipe away tears from little faces that think they’re too tough to cry.
It’s a big responsibility being chosen to raise boys to gentlemen, but now I’m glad it’s mine.
I can’t really braid hair or cleanly paint nails anyway. There are those destined to be girl moms too. And more chosen to juggle both, girls and boys, momming through the highs and lows of it all!
With each of my three there was some degree of disappointment and some bit of confirmation that I am meant to have these boys. Little by little, I let go of the hoard of dresses and bows I’d been saving. One day I’m sure I’ll delete the note on my phone. It doesn’t have to be today. It’s been a process of acceptance.
There are still moments I miss what might have been. But there are moments like watching my son pause during his little league game to pass me a flower through the fence where I realize this boy-mom thing is amazing.
I’ll trade tea parties for Hot Wheels races. I’m Wonder Woman along side Batman, Flash and Captain America. I’m the cheerleader at baseball games and soccer practice. And there will still be tears, but I’ll get the dance on his wedding day. It’s different than I had imagined yet wonderful all the same.
Photos by Capturing Me Photography