carolejo (carolejo) wrote,

The Fairer Sex

Girl or boy? A question which seemingly occupies most of the world around me – from family & friends, right down to the random lady who walks her dogs down the street every day, and the elderly couple I often see at the supermarket. “After 3 boys, you must be really hoping for a girl, right?” Well, actually it’s a lot less simple than that.

When I first fell pregnant with Aaron, I really thought I wanted this one to be a girl. I recall writing about that, wondering if it was greedy, if I was pushing my luck in trying again & hoping for a girl this time. I mean, I’m very happy with my boys, but still do feel like I’m missing my girl, somehow. There are a small number of ‘girl things’ we were given for Caitlin and it seems such a waste that they never got to be used. Early on in Aaron’s pregnancy, I was extremely jittery & nervous, much more so than with Joshua or even with Daniel. Steve was pretty much convinced this one was going to be a girl and I was all set.

Of course, he wasn’t. There was a fabulously funny ‘reveal’ 15 weeks in, when I went for another routine check-up & scan. The midwife put the scanner on my belly and then nearly fell off her chair laughing! “You did want to know the sex, right..?” she asked us, when she finally caught her breath again. “For sure we did, and it’s just as well, that’s clear enough for all to see!” “Yep, a little boy alright, and he’s not at all shy about letting us know, either.”

So here’s the thing – right at that moment, I relaxed. I hadn’t even known I was carrying that much tension, it was all unconscious, but right at that very moment, I suddenly felt like I’d lost 50kg and could float right up off the bed and bump into the ceiling. All that tension, all that stress… Gone in an instant.

I suppose it makes perfect sense. I can do boys. I know what to do with them, how the plumbing works, what to dress them in, the works. My boys are robust & healthy, full of energy & vitality. They’re ‘tangible’, here, now. Very much alive & well. We have all the ‘Stuff’ we need for boys. And I’m near pathologically opposed to the colour pink, so a world composed of all other bright colours but that one suits me just fine. It’s pleasant not to have to confront that particular set of stereotypes.

Girls though? Yes, I’d like to have a girl. What I’d really like is *my* girl back, but wishes aren’t horses. There’s plenty of room in my heart for another girl though. It sure would be interesting to see what it’s like to parent a girl too.


Obviously, given my experience in that examination room, there’s a large part of me that is deeply afraid. Afraid that it would go wrong again. Girl - at least according to my subconscious – equals trouble. Girl (on some level of my mind) means deep emotional pain & loss, difficulty and a fight for life itself. That’s all the experience I have of raising girls, so far. It’s all I know.

So, this time. Will it be different? Perhaps. Perhaps because I’m aware, this time around. I know that I carry this fear inside. A fear that is no longer buried, no longer hidden, is somehow easier to handle. You can’t face a fear if you don’t even know you’re frightened, let alone what you’re afraid of! Indeed, I find myself relaxed, so far, throughout this new pregnancy. There are no mad (& irrational?) jitters about everything & anything, just an over-riding sense of calm & wellbeing. What will be, will be. We’ll face it & come out the other side, mostly intact, no matter what.

Would I like to have a girl this time..? Yes, probably, and no, not really. I have been joking recently that if this one *is* a girl, then we’d better have another child afterwards, just to make it clear to all those looking down the line of ever shorter heads in the supermarket queue that we didn’t just keep going in order to have our ‘girl’.

I already have a girl.

Another might be nice, hopefully this time for keeps, but I don’t need one.

Love C. xxx
Tags: caitlin, number8, pregnant

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