In six week’s time, I’m going to be mom to a boy.
At one of the early scans, my gynae said he was pretty sure it was a boy. And I hoped that at the next scan, he’d say it was actually a girl – but he didn’t. When he pointed out Peanut’s “credentials” and stated that he was 100% boy, I wanted to cry.
You see, we weren’t trying for a boy. After Emmy was born, I was adamant that I was done having babies. I was so certain of it that I eagerly gave things away as we stopped using them. When it was time for Emmy to move to a big girl bed, Jacques asked me just how sure I was that I wanted to sell the cot. “Absolutely, positively sure,” I said, as I listed the cot on OLX.
Less than six months later, my period was late and I started to think that perhaps having another baby wasn’t the worst idea in the world. It turned out that I wasn’t pregnant, but the seed was planted in my mind. It took me a few months to mention to Jacques that I was feeling just a little bit broody. (And by little bit, I was dreaming about babies and starting to dread the arrival of my period.)
But I wasn’t broody for a boy; I just wanted a baby.
So when my gynae said, “It’s a boy,” I started to feel a bit panicky.
I have two girls. I feel like I sort of know what I’m doing raising daughters, and would know what to expect with another baby girl. A boy, though – what do I know about raising a son? I have three brothers, but that doesn’t count, except I am totally aware of the kind of mischief little boys get up to. Lighting fires in the veld, punching each other as some kind of male bonding exercise, throwing a chlorine bomb into the swimming pool, jumping off the roof into the pool . . .
Okay, so I also did the jumping off the roof into the pool thing – but I blame the influence of my three brothers.
What would I do with a baby boy? How do I take care of his boy bits? When are we supposed to start considering circumcision? What if I forget to cover him during changing and I get a mouthful of pee?
And finding boys’ names I like has proven to be somewhat challenging. At this rate, we’ll be going with Angie’s suggestion of Balderdash.
It hasn’t helped that everyone keeps telling me how different boys are from girls. How much wilder and busier and crazier. My daughters are already wild and busy and crazy; aren’t I due for a calm, quiet child?
For the first part of my pregnancy, I felt disconnected from the baby. I don’t know if it was because I was so sick – my first trimester was spent either in bed or hugging the toilet. Fun times. The big distraction in the second trimester was moving house (and being burgled).
Yet, even when I was feeling my worst, when I was sobbing into the toilet and wondering why we’d decided to have another day, wishing I wasn’t pregnant, at my lowest I still felt God’s hand in the pregnancy. He reminded me of his words in Psalm 139:13-16.
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.”
He also reminded me of Psalm 127:3-5.
“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them.”
Repeating those verses to myself got me through the first trimester, and now I am being reminded of them again in the last stretch of the pregnancy, as I deal with ligament pain, a pinched nerve and heartburn. Pregnancy isn’t forever – though sometimes it certainly feels like it – and very soon I will be holding my baby boy.
At my last check-up, my gynae gave me the date for my C-section. Peanut has also been very active the last few weeks; gentle, lazy stretches and sharp kicks, and a belly that moves as if I’m in a scene from Alien.
As his birth draws closer, I’m getting more excited about having a little boy. (And it’s not solely because I am tired of being pregnant.) The girls are really excited too, and asking lots of questions about what he’s going to look like and whether he’ll also have blue eyes. I’m looking forward to holding him close, breathing in that newborn baby smell, feeling the tight grip of his fingers curled around mine.
The knitting bug has bitten me. So far I’ve made him a blanket, two beanies, booties, a hooded cardigan and a bunny to cuddle. (The girls have also ordered bunnies of their own now.) I can’t help myself; it turns out there are so many cute things to knit for babies. And it turns out baby boy clothes are kind of cute, too.
Almost all the pregnant moms at church are having boys, so he’ll have lots of friends, and I’ll have a lot of moms going through similar things at the same time. Plus, although I don’t have any experience of raising boys, I can always turn to my own mom, who raised three – and survived with her sanity mostly intact.
So, yes, I am excited we’re having a boy, but I’m also feeling a lot calmer about having him. After all, there has to be at least one calm person in the family. It might as well be me.
Did you find out your baby’s sex beforehand? Or did you prefer to be surprised?