You know going in to the whole realm of having a baby that there is a 50/50 chance of one gender or the other. Sure there are ways to sway the possibilities, some may work, others don’t, but in all reality it’s really Russian Roulette with X and Y chromosomes.
I always said, I didn’t care what I was having as long as the baby was healthy. Of course, I felt strongly about one gender over the other, but ultimately felt that I’d be happy with whatever gift of life God chose to give me. When I first found out I was pregnant the second time, things happened so quickly we were just shocked it took right away. A luxury most don’t get. The symptoms slowly started to settle in and our ultrasounds boasted a high heartbeat. We just knew we were having another girl. So convinced, we opted to do the DNA Gender Blood Test as they tested for chromosomal abnormalities. We immediately started thinking Pink and the symptoms kept rolling in and confirming those thoughts. I was ecstatic to have another girl as Mykenzi was such a blessing already.
The first day of 2016, we received the call of our gender results. I remember feeling butterflies as I just knew it was going to confirm what we had been thinking for the past 12 weeks. Then, all of a sudden, the voice on the other end of the phone said BOY. When that word hit my ears it was like my brain short circuited and I just could not compute what she was saying. I heard the word in such slow motion it just echoed in my head, my stomach sank to my feet, and I tried everything I could do to hide my emotions but failed miserably. My husband had to finish the phone call because I couldn’t even get a word out without feeling like I was going to hyperventilate. I cried, and I cried hard. How was my gut wrong? EVERYTHING pointed to a girl, surely the test was wrong. Weeks. I spent weeks in uncontrollable tears. I tried to get my head back in the game by shopping for his first outfit, only to get it home and cry some more.
At the time all of this was happening, life around me was falling apart it felt. Family drama, strained friendships, pregnancy complications, and now a gender I didn’t even think was a possibility. Depression set in. I didn’t want to leave the house, I couldn’t talk about my pregnancy without crying, and I was so worried with the pending incompatibility with this pregnancy that the darkest thoughts took over. I know what you’re thinking. I should just be happy that I’m pregnant. I get to carry a life, no matter the gender, that should be good enough. The worst part? I knew all of that, and the guilt of feeling differently was unbearable, and ultimately my demise. I know multiple people with fertility issues and couldn’t bear the thought of what they might think of my feelings. I thought that if I was this upset about it that I didn’t deserve to be pregnant and if “He” saw fit, could take my baby because I wasn’t worthy to be this little boy’s Mother. I knew that was the depressive thoughts winning, yet I couldn’t stop them.
It’s not that I never wanted a boy. It was fear. Fear that I couldn’t be a boy Mom. Fear that I couldn’t relate to him because I don’t do superheroes, like dirt, or think farting for fun is funny. Fear that I don’t have “those parts,” so how in the hell am I supposed to care for them. People would tell me all their crazy boy stories, laugh it off, and then say, “get ready!” I wasn’t ready, and they weren’t helping. They were making the fear worse and confirming everything I was afraid of experiencing. I tried to confide in a few friends and no one got it. No one understood why I was feeling that way or could even relate to me. I felt ashamed for having those feelings, and even more ashamed for actually speaking about them. I was alone. Alone with these debilitating thoughts that were stealing my joy in this pregnancy, and in my life. I should be celebrating, and instead I was hiding behind a shell of a person who kept saying she was so excited.
It wasn’t until I finally spoke with my Doctor and went on a frantic Google search that I realized I wasn’t alone and gender disappointment is a real thing. You eventually get through it, but you have to grieve the loss of the gender you were expecting or really wanted. I’ve experienced a lot of loss in my life, but I don’t think I’ve ever grieved properly. Not that there is a right or wrong way, but I really think this whole experience with everything that was going on in my life at that moment, along with the disappointment, let me grieve in ways I never knew I could. I cried a lot. I got mad. I got downright angry. I was sad. I was heartbroken. I was confused, and I was riddled with overwhelming guilt. While we all have our ways of dealing with things, I began to pray and I prayed a lot. I prayed for understanding. I prayed for guidance. I prayed for resolve, and I prayed for closure. About that same time, Rowan started moving well enough I could feel him and I knew this was where I was supposed to be in life. Each time I doubted myself, he would move almost as if he was telling me it was okay. Eventually, the sting started to fade. I started laughing again, enjoying the good days, and counting my blessings that I even have the privilege of being a Mother. Something I hope to never take for granted again.
Now, I am truly am excited to experience life with a Momma’s boy. I still have some fear, but I know its a challenge I can handle. It’s a daily battle with the guilt. How I ever let my thoughts get so dark that I was willing to have this little life taken from me or ever felt that this was a disappointment is beyond me. I’m thankful for prayer and forgiveness because without those two things I wouldn’t be able to finally embrace this new life I’ve been blessed with. I’m also incredibly grateful for a husband who never judged and did everything possible to help me sort through all these feelings, let me grieve, and was waiting for me with a smile on the other side.
I never wanted to publish this post or even acknowledge these feelings existed. I didn’t want Rowan to ever know that excitement wasn’t the first emotion felt when I discovered he was a boy, and I wasn’t sure I could face the judgment from people who really don’t understand what it feels like to feel these feelings. The shame and guilt I continuously have to sort through are punishment enough for ever feeling this way. My only hope in publicly writing this is to reach someone who may have felt or is feeling the same way. Being lonely in Motherhood is the worst feeling in the world, if you have felt anything other than joy in your pregnancy it is okay, and you are not alone. To the women who I may have offended by writing this post, I will not apologize for speaking my truth, and I hope that until you’ve walked this path you try not to judge too harshly.
Although rough, I’m thankful for this experience. It’s taught me a lot about myself as Mother and who I want to be as a person. It’s taught me humility, compassion, and strength. But, most importantly, it taught me that I am more ready to be a boy mom than I ever thought I was. Rowan Levi, what a life lesson you’ve been and you haven’t even arrived yet! I can’t wait to finally meet the little boy who has already changed my life.