Wednesday, October 5, 2011

my chest...

I thought I would call this post something catchy since its content is going to be anything but.  I have a MAJOR vent and not the kind that is suitable for facebook because of the potential for offense - although yesterday I did delight in offending said people.  I've since slept on it and decided that while I need to vent my frustrations and get it off my chest, it is probably better suited for my blog.  That being said....anyone who reads any further than this is either going to be bored to death or offended so don't say I didn't warn you.

I'm having a girl in 17 days.  Girl number 3. I know the odds of having a boy or girl are 50/50.  I didn't want to have another child because I was trying for a boy, I wanted another baby.  I would be lying if I said that somewhere deep down I wasn't hoping for a boy simply because I don't have one of those.  And I don't want to sound ungrateful or selfish by saying that when I found out she was a girl I was a little disappointed.  No, disappointed isn't the right word.  I had just found out that I was having a healthy baby and that she is a girl - how can anyone be disappointed at news like that?  Instead of disappointment I felt sad for the things that I knew would never happen because she wasn't a boy.  Things like: fathers and sons outings, priesthood, missions, football games, etc.  But disappointment was NOT something I felt. 

Since then, whenever most people ask me what I'm having and I tell them it's a girl and that we're done with 3, almost inevitably people say "aren't you going to try for your boy" and almost inevitably I want to kick them in the face (if only my feet would go that high these days).  What I want to say and should say rather than just politely saying "no" is something like: "what a great idea and what do I do when I find out I'm having a girl?  Give her away, always wish she was a boy, have 15 kids until I finally have that boy everyone is so fixated on me having?"  Sounds like a pretty crappy reason for having another kid if you ask me.  

What is the magic number of kids you have before people stop looking at you funny when you tell them you're done.  Or when they stop arguing with you that you will in fact have more.  I can't count how many times I've had the following conversation (or one very similar to it). 

someone: oh, do you know what you're having?
me: yes, it's a girl.
someone: so you'll have 3 girls, are you going to try for your boy?
me: nope, we're happy with 3 girls
someone: oh, you just THINK you're done, you'll have more.
me: no really, we're happy with 3
someone: *smirking like they know better what I want than I do* just give it time, you'll eventually want to try for that boy.  I thought I was done after 3 too.

So someone, please tell me at what number of children am I allowed to stop having them?  I wish it were just random strangers or neighbors that told me how many I wanted but family members also feel the need to weigh in and tell me that certainly 3 isn't enough. 

I grew up and only child.  I ALWAYS wanted a sibling.  I would have sold all my toys and cashed in any future Christmas presents for the chance at having a sibling.  It was never meant to be (I'm a miracle - but we can get into what a blessing I am in every ones lives in a later, very detailed post:).  To this day I feel a sadness whenever someone mentions that their sister is their best friend or when they talk about their brothers kids and their nieces and nephews.  I'll never have that.  Do I skulk around and dwell on what I don't have - no.  But that also doesn't mean that I don't feel a void in my life because of it.  I imagine I'll always feel similarly about not having any boys.  Am I going to be bitter and angry whenever a friend of mine has a baby and it's a boy - no, but I do imagine there will always be a sense of longing.  I like to think that that's a fairly reasonable and common emotion for someone who wants something but never has the opportunity to have it. 

So....when it came time for Preston's brother and his wife to find out what the gender of their baby was and it turned out to be a boy, was I bitter and angry?  No. Was it hard to swallow for a few minutes afterward?  Yes. Am I happy for them?  Absolutely.  What good is being anything but going to serve me or them?  So when I mentioned to someone that it was a little hard to hear that they were having a boy and then to have that person tell me that I just need to get over it and that if I want a boy I need to have more kids - was a slap in the face.  I wanted to slap them in the face. 

I'm tired of people telling me how to feel.  Telling me what I need get over and what is ok to dwell on.  Telling me how many kids I need to have.  To me, all it sounds like is someone telling me that having a third baby girl isn't special because I've already got two others.  Or that she isn't quite as great because she's not that boy that everyone else wanted so badly.  Would people be saying this to me if I'd never been able to have any children?  Would it matter that she's a girl if she had a hole in her heart or needed a kidney transplant? 


Amanda said...

I loved this! Up here, no one will tell you to try for one more. I get the opposite: "Well, you got your can be done now!" Just print out copies of Elder Anderson's talk from this past weekend and hand them out when a comment is made.

Jessica said...

Ditto Amanda. I really liked that talk because he said (in nicer words), it's NONE of your business how many kids I have or when I have them. Your opinion doesn't hold any weight unless I am procreating with you. (You obviously being the numb-nut who is forcing their advice on me, not you-Emily.)

Erin said... totally just wrote what I was feeling! Glad I am not the only one who feels this way!

Ashby said...

I know a family that is convinced the only way to have children is to have them boy/girl/boy/girl. They have a "method" to their madness, and so far it has worked for them....the mother, and her daughters. What's unfortunate about this is that whenever someone continues to have children all of the same sex they look down on them like they aren't doing things the "right way" and I find that so wrong. When I was pregnant with Lily I saw one of the daughters who asked what I was having and then responded with an "I'm sorry!" Why would I be sorry?! While I was bummed at first that Ryan still wasn't getting his boy yet, I was thrilled that my girls would have each other because there is nothing more amazing than having a sister or sisters. You have every right to be frustrated. And for the record, my 3rd girl is by far my most adorable, full of life little stinker. They're all adorable in their own way, but number 3 makes me want to have 10 more just like her ;)

Kerri said...

When I was pregnant with Jack we had new neighbors move in. I was greeting them and pointing out which of the kids playing were mine. When she realized I had two boys then a girl she immediately pointed at my very pregnant belly and said 'oh, I guess that's an accident'. Ummm, nope! I planned to have four kids since before I was married...IDIOT! Once I realized she had three kids by three daddies it all began to make sense...