I'm pregnant, but I don't want a girl.
The moment you find out you're having a baby is a crazy mix of emotions. My instant reaction upon finding out with both of my children was fear, and I cried, alot. I was so scared that I wouldn't be good enough for my babies and I feared for everything that could go wrong in my pregnancy. From the second I saw those two little lines, I loved that little life inside me, and so I knew I was already in deep.
Of course, the excitement comes too, in-between the sickness and the constant need to eat just to throw it all up again. In-between the mysterious pains and the intense exhaustion. Among all that, we pray that our baby is doing okay.
And then you reach the point, wherever you feel comfortable, to start telling others about your pregnancy and it feels amazing to finally share your news and to receive the well-wishes and the congratulations.
"When are you due? What amazing news!"
And then, inevitably, comes the statement that stops me in my tracks and always brands me speechless.
"You must be hoping for a girl this time!"
"It'll have to be a girl, then you've got the perfect family"
"Fingers crossed it's a girl"
It's not even just the second time round that parents tend to receive these kinds of gender-specific statements either. When I found out I was having a beautiful baby boy during my first pregnancy, I actually received the odd comment expressing disappointment.
"Oh, really? Were you hoping for a girl?"
"There's lots of boys around at the moment, isn't there?"
And I'm sure this has happened to many parents, regardless of which gender they're having at which time.
What's the deal? Come on people. Be polite, be nice. You could have no idea what those parents standing in front of you have been through.
IVF after years of trying desperately for a baby? A miscarriage or multiple devastating miscarriages? A stillborn baby after 40 weeks of pregnancy? The experience of a disabled person in their family who had to struggle as they grew up and hoping and praying their baby won't have to deal with the same?
Gender isn't something we should be made to feel bad about it. We shouldn't feel as if we've failed society or our family, in some way. And our poor, defenceless, growing baby should always be met with happiness and excitement, not disappointment and a lack of joy, because you may think they don't have the right bits.
Of course, everyone is free to harbour their own thoughts and opinions; most parents have a preference about which gender they might like, but I'm sure the majority of us know we will adore that child regardless of the outcome.
And the last thing we need these days is negativity.
We want excitement as we share our news of gender, we want positivity; anything that can prevent the stigma of the pigeon pair (the idea that once a family has a boy and a girl, it's perfect and complete).
Pregnancy is a roller coaster of emotions; with potential PND, tests for abnormalities, worry about losing the baby in any number of ways, gestational diabetes, complications in childbirth, the list goes on and on.
If a parent decides to find out the gender of her child and shares that wonderful piece of information with you, be happy for them, be ecstatic! Whether they already have 3 boys or 4 girls or 5 of each, revel in their joy with them.
This pregnancy, I won't be finding out the gender, for many reasons.
Some may think I'm desperate for a girl to complete my pigeon pair, but I'm not. I love my baby, and the thought of a brother for Archie excites me just as much as the thought he may have a younger sister, and I can't wait for the day I give birth to find that out; it'll make it even more of an incredible experience.
And unfortunately, also to avoid the negative remarks I may receive and to stem the anger that bubbles up inside of me at the thought I might hear "maybe you'll have a girl next time" in response to the news I would be having a second precious boy.
It'll be harder for those people to look into the eyes of my beautiful new baby when he or she is born and express their ingratitude for whatever sex they might be.
So, no, I don't want a girl.
I don't want a boy.
I want a complication-free pregnancy and a healthy baby to hold in my arms at the end of the journey. And if I'm lucky enough to get that, I'm the luckiest Mummy in the world.
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