TinyPants — tiny pants. big ideas.

Little Duckling

Posted in on boys, on mommyhood, on pregnancy by Allie on November 21, 2011

The rumours are true. Expect another little face plastered all over this blog come early summer. Samson is hoping for a duck to come out of Mumma’s tummy. He was not too happy with the first image of the little duckling.

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And now to important issues. How do you feel about finding out the sex of the baby? We found out with Samson, and I have to admit, I had a moment of – I won’t call it disappointment. Perhaps it was just a readjustment of my thinking? No, if I’m going to be totally honest, the actual moment my midwifery student told me I was having a boy, I sank a bit in my seat. Oh. Even though I had had a feeling—the ultrasound picture looked like a boy. And I didn’t really care. I know that we just hope for what we know. But I let out a brave OH! like I was excited. My midwife feigned excitement and moved on. I think she’s generally against the finding out of gender. She doesn’t say what the baby is at birth, but rather lets the parents check when they are ready. She told a story in our prenatal class that has stuck with me. A couple were told they were having a boy. When the baby was born, she was a girl. The father was making all the necessary calls telling family and friends the baby had been born, but he would constantly edit their excitement saying, “–BUT it’s a girl.” The little girl was in the room and could feel that negative energy, claims my midwife.

After I got the news I was having a boy, I worried – about what to knit for a boy, about how to deal with a penis. Then I made my peace. I bought little boy clothes. I decorated his room how I wanted, not worrying about how a boy’s room is supposed to look. Then Samson was born and it was all fine and (of course) I fell instantly in love. And now I kind of want to be a champion for these little boys who seem to be left behind in today’s society. I want to make sure they thrive and become healthy, happy gentlemen. For goodness sake—I can tell you the difference between a hopper car and a tender. Girls scare me a bit. Obviously girls don’t have to be whiney or screechy or cry the minute they fall down, and some might be into trains too, and to some extent their attitude reflects how they’re raised, but I believe there is a part of our nature that is inherent to our sex. Samson was brought up neutrally—he had access to dolls and stuffed animals, but trains and trucks were always much more interesting.

So am I hoping for a particular sex? No. I have pleasant associations with each sex that may come out. But after Samson I said I wouldn’t find out for the second child. First, because I figure this is how we’ve been doing this for centuries and it’s the greatest surprise you’ll ever get, so why not? Second, I wanted to avoid that moment of “disappointment”. I figured after labour I’ll be so happy to have the little bugger out I won’t have time to really dwell on whether it’s a he or a she. And third, for a purely monetary reason I don’t want to be tempted to buy stuff for a girl. If I don’t know, I won’t spend. But you know—then you start your second pregnancy and you feel like crap and your skin breaks out when it never does, and suddenly people start telling you you’re having a girl. And you don’t start to hope exactly, but you start to live with the thought–what if this is a girl?

As luck would have it, a good friend of mine is pregnant with her second at the same time as me, and we’ve been discussing this issue. She claims three things: 1. “Disappointment” can only get worse after nine months of thinking and guessing and waiting. Fair enough. 2. If you know you’re only going to have two kids (as she and I are probably going to do), it’s natural and even healthy to “mourn” the loss of a girl (in our case, since we both have boys). Our childbearing time is passing, as is our chance for an experience with a girl. Once we have that period of mourning, we can move on, and love the little fellow that’s actually in our womb. Point taken. 3. You can save a lot of energy if you only have to think about names for one gender. I hear that.

I still can’t decide what to do. What do you think?

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5 Responses

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  1. Julia said, on November 21, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Hi Aleks,
    I’ve been lurking around your blog, especially now that I have a little boy too.
    I wanted to find out whether I was having a boy or girl, but my husband didn’t – mostly because he’s better at waiting for surprises than I am. I pulled my only instance (I think…) of overruling him on the grounds of being the one carrying the baby, and I’m still glad I did. I also had that moment of “disappointment” when I found out he was a boy, and I’m pleased I got it over with then.
    We made sure we hedged our bets, though (we bought mostly gender-neutral clothes and we came up with some girls’ names too) since my husband was supposed to be “Cheryl” until he was born, and he definitely wasn’t…
    I’m very excited for you!
    Julia (from Meaford ages ago…)

  2. doxgukka said, on December 10, 2011 at 1:35 am

    I know that when my friend found out she was having a girl she was also disappointed (she really wanted a boy) and she didn’t even want to find out it was her husband. They also picked a name and he told a lot of family. I didn’t want to know the sex but she let it slip accidentally so I said make sure I don’t know the name till she is born. She also said midway through the pregnancy that it was no longer fun as the sex was known and the name – she no longer had much to look forward to.

    My sister had the same disappointment when she found out she was having a boy, as she looked forward to making little dresses and such, and then at her baby shower – because she told everyone she was having a boy- she got everything in blue.

    I personally would not want to know – then you don’t have people buying gender specific gifts, or bugging you about the name you have chosen.

    But really, to each their own :)

  3. […] Should the project fall by the wayside, I will definitely come back to it for the same year of duckling’s life. It’s a good year to document […]

  4. Andrea T said, on January 6, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Congrats on the new little person that will be joining your family.

    Here’s my perspective…as in my personal experience. I hope it makes some sort of coherent sense. Lots of thoughts inside that head of mine.

    Reading your post hit a chord with me. I love your honest way of writing. And I totally related to that feeling of sinking a bit in your seat when you find out it is a boy. I didn’t want to admit it, and I think it took me awhile to totally realize it, but I felt the same thing when I found out Anderson was a boy. And I didn’t totally grasp it until a few months later.

    I found out he was a boy shortly after the trauma of birthing him. After the birth that didn’t go exactly as I had dreamed of (oh that first time around when you think you can predict or plan childbirth). I was so happy that I was no longer in pain, part of me didn’t care what he was. I had dreamed of that magic moment where they announce “it’s a…” Only problem was, sub-consciously, the joy thing would come from the announcement of “girl”. But I didn’t totally realize that I felt this deep down, I mean, in essence I was to so happy to be having a baby. I had been wanting this my whole life! So why would it matter what it was.

    When I really think about it, it doesn’t really matter boy/girl for the same reasons you say, but then it does matter for the reasons you say. The sewing, the knitting… heck I’m a girl, I just feel like I could relate better. All I have is a sister. Boys are just a little foreign to me. So I sat there holding this little, newborn, alien creature who made my nipples feel like they were on fire every time he fed. And I thought, what am I going to do with this kid. Kick a ball around the yard. Oh joy. And everyone around me was so in love (instantly) and flowers were pouring in. And I was like, but he’s a boy, I have no clue what to do with him, how to bond with him. It took a few months. I don’t even know if it was his ‘boyness’ that caused it. Maybe it just was the trauma of childbirth, or the upheaval of becoming a parent for the first time.

    Second time around. I found out. And I had a silly 3D ultrasound just to make sure. And she was Maeva from about half-way into the pregnancy (confirmed at 30 weeks after hearing one of those stories). And when she was born, I fell instantly in love. The birth was exactly as I had dreamed, I knew how to breastfeed this time. It is hard to separate those experiences and figure out the whys, was it the difference in first-time motherhood versus second, boy or girl, knowing or not knowing. In the end, I bonded with and love both my kids, just on different timelines (oh there is much mother-guilt associated with this one) .

    My only advice is to dig deep inside and try to figure out how much you are hoping for that little girl. If you want to keep it a surprise, because it would be oh so lovely to be surprised with “it’s a girl”, but maybe a little less with a boy. I don’t know, maybe you should find out. On the day of the ultrasound for Maeva, I was surrounded by John, my mom, and Anderson. I had done some major ultrasound studying online. And I was actually the one who saw that little “= “ sign and I said “that looks like a girl”. An unforgettable day… and minus contracting uterus! I don’t feel like I missed out on the delivery room announcement. Either way, it is a surprise isn’t it, just when…

    I would have been glad to be able to be prepared for the idea of a second boy, and it would have been easier second time around. Because already having one awesome little boy makes you realize, they aren’t really little aliens, they are interesting little people. I mean really, what do I have against boys, my husband who I share my life with is a boy, and he’s a pretty awesome person too. And as much as I’ve feared the whole teenage-boy-someday thing, John and I have been together since we were 15. I’ve already known and been friends with a boy through his teenage years and as he grew into a man. My grandmother had 5 children, all boys. All wonderful, fine men. She was the happiest lady. And she was blessed with many lovely daughter-in-laws and grand-daughters. Boy, did she knit and sew many things for us and taught us all those great skills too. And she had way more time in her Grandma years than in her Mama years.

    Either way, you are in for a treat. The sibling thing is as beautiful and as messy as the parenting thing – it adds a whole new layer in wonderful and complex ways. Enjoy the ride!

  5. Twwly said, on February 7, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Pregnant with Bob, I wanted a boy. Got a boy. My one 20 week u/s clearly showed penis. That was that.

    Pregnant with Maggie, I asked not to be told. I truly, honestly, deeply did not give a RATS ASS. It took a good ten minutes after she was born for my mother to ask “so, what IS the baby” for us to even think to look between her legs.

    I know several mamas with multiples of one sex (one with 6 boys) and they have all told me separately that they find the “oh are you trying for a girl” schtick to be among the most offensive, if not THE most offensive thing ever said to them.

    KIDS! Love ’em up!


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