October 6, 2014. We sat in the darkened ultrasound room for thirty minutes while the technician moved the cold wand with the goo all around my belly checking each and every tiny body part. She was silent. We were silent. I was waiting.
Waiting for her to finally ask us the question. And then she did, "So, do you want to know the gender?" Um, yea. I do. This was the part I was confident she was going to say "it's a girl!" And cue...
"Mom, what's your guess?"
"GIRL!" I said so matter of factly, I almost made Taylor change his guess.
"Dad?" she asked.
"I'd love if it was a girl, but I'm pretty sure we are having another boy," he said, not looking me in the eyes because he knew what my heart was set on.
"Dad, you are right!" She claimed enthusiastically. "It is, without a doubt, a boy."
I was stunned. "A boy?" I remember stammering out. She printed out some ultrasound photos for us and asked us to take a seat back in the waiting room. I hazily walked down the hall, slumped into the chair and that's when I lost it.
I cried. Not just a few trickling, pretty tears. I ugly lost it equivalent of watching Parenthood or running out of cookie dough. This is not what I had pictured. Taylor reassured me it was OK to be upset and told me to go ahead and cry. So I did. Then was hit with guilt about my feelings and cried again. The guilt ran so deep.
For two days, I off and on cried while grieving my desire to have a daughter. I wanted one (and still do) so badly. I grew up in a family of three girls and while I never had an aversion to having sons I just always pictured myself having girls... or come on, at least one.
It's taken a year to put this into words for myself. A year. I wasn't in any way unhappy about having another boy. I love being a mom of boys. But, I was sad about the loss of having a daughter. Will I ever have a daughter? Prom dress shopping, pedicures, planning a wedding? Princesses, tea parties, and playtime that doesn't involve wrestling or pretending to be a "bad guy"? Do I get to share my interests with a mini-me instead of being the mom who is left at home while the boys go to games or camping?
I mourned the loss of my expectations, of pulling out that small stash of "just in case it's a girl" things I have hidden in my closet (Taylor, you didn't read that). I was so rock solidly confident that we were having a girl, that I ordered a headband the week before the ultrasound, now tucked ever so neatly in the basket with the other things. I cried because I was scared that I would never experience the opportunity of parenting a little girl.
Once we picked a name, I began to rejoice about this boy. About raising brothers. And then he was here and I didn't care one ioda that he was a he. He was here, in my arms. Safe.
Seven months in after having Nolan and a year after crying in that doctor's office waiting room, I am beyond thrilled about my two boys. Their bond is something I never pictured and this sweet cuddly, chunk of a bear brings me more joy than I thought possible.
Of course, my heart still craves a girl. A daughter to call my own. With time we will see. And I will know next time that my heart is always happy boy or girl. But, I will give myself the grace to mourn what isn't while also rejoicing about what is. It's perfectly normal for them to go hand in hand.