For about six weeks I knew we were pregnant before we found out the gender of this little fruit-sized human that would turn our worlds topsy-turvy. Longest. Six. Weeks. Of. My. Life. I’m impatient to begin with, and the concept of being pregnant for nine months sounds absurdly long. But I was lacking a “connection” with this unknown child growing in my belly and I was sure that at least knowing it’s gender would help. Never before now did I envision myself giving life to a human, but now that it’s a reality, I’ve been envisioning giving birth to a darling little girl. One that looks just like me, except with my husband’s radiant blue eyes. I can’t explain why, but I was so sure. Mothers always know these things, right?
Then we get the blood test results back for the genetic and gender test. “There were no abnormalities detected, everything looks healthy. Are you ready? … You’re having a boy!” the nurse told us over the speaker phone. The look on my face probably said it all to my husband. “Oh, um, alright,” I said to the nurse. No, “Oh joy! As long as he’s healthy!” I was so disappointed. I didn’t cry, but I didn’t go into work that day either. I couldn’t pretend to be excited about this life I was creating, not that day. I even called back days later to ask a different nurse to read the results to make sure the first nurse didn’t get it wrong. Turns out, presence of a Y chromosome definitely means male.
But before you judge me, let me explain. I’m an only child and a girly-girl through and through. “What does one even do with a boy?” I’ve got to buy some pee pee tipi or whatever nonsense it was I bought for a friend’s baby shower all those years ago? But I even had the perfect girl name all figured out — Charli, after my favorite grandpa, Charlie, that passed away a few years ago due to brain cancer and left a gaping whole in my little princess heart. She was going to have brown hair and an attitude to match her adorable outfits. She was going to be the apple of my husband’s eye, and I was going to be okay with that. We were going to be so much closer than my mother and I were, and we were going to get pedicures and go shopping. She was going to be my best little friend.
But being pregnant is a very new and unanticipated experience for me. And just like the faith it took in God to decide our future in getting pregnant, I’ve found the faith to believe He knew what He was doing when he crafted this child to have a Y chromosome. For someone who enjoys as much 18th century British history and literature as I do, a time when having a male heir was like THE most important thing in their lives, you might think I would pride myself in my “ability” to produce a male child on the first try.
So my expectations of how long it would take to conceive were off, it took a month where I imagined it might take many (if at all!). And my expectations of the gender were off. And I’m sure this won’t be the last time. A significant part of life, marriage, and parenthood, is managing your expectations. Taking it one day at a time. Always looking for the good and the light. Persevering. Being teachable. Walking in humility.
I have been blessed to have perhaps the easiest possible pregnancy. I don’t know why. I didn’t really expect that either — I expected to have morning sickness, odd cravings for tomatoes and sprinkles, and be a raging hormonal mess, just like everyone else. Guess I was off there too. But none of these wrong expectations are bad, and God knows they could have been. Having a boy is good. Very good. Actually it was divine. And that’s reason enough for me! (Also, I’m beginning to really like this idea of a “mama’s boy!”)
Are you struggling with expectations or disappointment? In your job, or marriage, or friendships? Do you need to reassess the expectations you’re placing on others, or yourself? Do you need to reassess why you’re disappointed and whether it’s justified? Sometimes the problem isn’t with others, or uncontrollable circumstances; sometimes we place the unnecessary stress in our lives all on our own.
Thanks to all the loving women who have encouraged me and assured me that these feelings aren’t uncommon, that I’m not a heartless human.