I know you’re not supposed to admit to having a real preference about the gender of your child. It’s one of those things that people seem to have no problem asking you about, but I always feel like my response is restricted to “as long as we have a happy and healthy baby we don’t care.” And really, what does your preference even matter. To quote my six-year-old niece “you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.”
Well, when I was pregnant with Hadley, I did kind of care. The idea of having a boy really terrified me. No doubt this came from growing up with four sisters. And I ‘m just a girl’s girl… I don’t get the stereotypical guy stuff like sports or catching frogs or getting dirty. Of course the whole concept of becoming a mom was really overwhelming the first time around, but thinking about changing a boy’s diaper for the first time in my life absolutely terrified me. So I have to admit that when I heard “girl” during my twenty-week ultrasound, I was a little relieved. And so excited to meet my girl.
This time around, I can honestly say I was 50/50 about it. I felt excited about another precious girl and a sister for Hadley, but also the idea of a boy was no longer so scary (maybe because I’ve since changed a boy’s diaper and survived). But someone else had a strong preference. Hadley made her thoughts on the matter clear from the moment she learned her sibling was on the way. It would be a girl, or it would be a girl.
Her determination for a girl I know is pretty typical, since I myself went through something similar when I was about to become a big sister. I spent five and a half (glorious) years being the youngest in our family. You could say the news of a sibling coming to steal my spotlight was a little rough for me. I released some of this angst during preschool art time, by drawing a picture of a baby cradle with a knife over it. My explanation to my parents was simply that the baby better not be a boy. So that’s about as disturbing as it gets. Fortunately, the baby was a girl and never did I intentionally harm her (that I’m aware of). In fact, I adored her and still do. I’m fully aware that kids act out, say crazy things, and it’s our tendency as parents to freak out and worry that we are doing the wrong thing and ruining them. But with this comparison in mind, I think Hadley will be okay.
Still, we tried our best to prepare her. We told that she might get the sister she dreamed of (thanks a lot, Frozen) but if she got a brother that would be pretty great too. A brother would still be fun to play with and wouldn’t steal your clothes (no small issue in a house full of girls, I’ll just tell you). She has plenty of friends that are boys and two boy cousins that she loves.
The night before the gender reveal, we talked her through it again. “Hadley, tomorrow we will find out if you’ll have a baby brother or baby sister!”
She looked at us seriously. “Find out sister.” It honestly felt like an order. The knife over the cradle image briefly flashed through my mind.
Really, we should have known that she would get her way. Her sister will be here in another four months, and we are all so excited. For me, learning the gender makes it all feel more real.
I do recognize how it will undoubtedly be a season of adjustment for all of us. I’ll be going from one baby to two (three, if you count Henry which some days is totally valid). Hadley will get her sister, but will also have her world completely rocked when it doesn’t revolve around her anymore. And Josh is going to be seriously outnumbered, poor guy.
But we are getting ready as best we can. Earlier this week, while going through baby girl clothes, Hadley was having a blast checking to see if the newborn clothes would fit the baby. How can she tell, you ask? Well, simply by pulling up Mom’s shirt, placing the item of clothing on my belly and declaring “It fit her.”
And my heart just about melted on the spot when she brought a sweater over and told me “I keep my baby sister warm.”
Oh, baby sister I wish you knew how much you are loved already.