Blue hair, ultrasound, 5 girls, and Sugarbaby

This past week I dyed my hair blue.  Well, really teal and only chunks, not all of my hair.  I did this for no other reason than I wanted to and I needed to do something fun for me.  Being sick this long with pregnancy can get draining and getting in touch with my fun, pretty, living side seemed like a good step at the half way point of this pregnancy.  I thought nothing of it, dyed my hair, snapped a few pics, and shared with friends, family, and the online world.

Two things happened that surprised me.

1.  Some people were shocked, apparently they thought I was normal?

What does that even mean?

2.  I was asked if this meant we were having a boy.

Hmmmm… I never saw that second one coming.  The thought didn’t even occur to me, though I probably should have guessed some people would think that.  I am well aware, painfully so, that our culture places a heavy emphasis on blue for boys and pink for girls but since we don’t personally buy into, encourage, or support gender specific colors at all in our family, I sometimes forget that other people do.  But in our family, we all rock the colors we love just because we like them.  A favorite phrase around here is “pink doesn’t have a vagina and blue doesn’t have a penis and they don’t care what you have.”  We truly don’t believe that even a quick look at history or cultures reveal that color preference has any bearing on a child’s developing understanding of gender, who they are, and if they are male or female.  Nor do we believe there is any reason that one’s gender has any bearing on one’s color preference.  So instead of embracing what has essentially becoming a marketing gimmick designed to increase sales through “gender specific” individualized items, we just try to like what we like and be who we are.  Even if that means I have blue hair.  In our house, all colors are gender neutral, they are, after all, just colors.  By the way, we apply the same thinking to sparkles, flowers, bows, trucks, cars, trains, music, and any other inanimate object and our daughters interact with “boy” and “girl” play things equally.  We have what some would consider “girly girls” and some “tomboys;” both terms I hate since I don’t understand why they can’t just be “girls.”  They are each so different, so them, that their sex seems inconsequential.  Besides, this whole pink for girls, blue for boys thing is relatively new in the history of humanity.  Meaning it was all made up in the last 100 years anyway.  I love this article from Smithsonian.com looking at the history of assigned colors for specific sexes, specifically for baby boys and girls.

“It’s really a story of what happened to neutral clothing,” says Paoletti, who has explored the meaning of children’s clothing for 30 years. For centuries, she says, children wore dainty white dresses up to age 6. “What was once a matter of practicality—you dress your baby in white dresses and diapers; white cotton can be bleached—became a matter of ‘Oh my God, if I dress my baby in the wrong thing, they’ll grow up perverted,’ ” Paoletti says.  

I have to admit, I just find that whole fear the kid will be “perverted” if they are dressed in or play with items of the “wrong” color just silly and potentially seriously damaging.  The biggest problem I see with this whole ridiculous gender color thing is that much of society buys into the marketing hook line and sinker which means if you have a boy that loves pink and has a thing for sparkles he’s likely to face merciless teasing and unfortunately not just from his peers but likely from the adults in his life as well.

So far we bat for “team pink.”  Which I think is a stupid way of saying we have all girls.  Not thinking of the sexes as teams playing against each other in the great game of life I don’t understand this analogy nor do I quite grasp the desire for one sex over the other either way.  I know it’s real and I see many times parents hoping for a boy/girl and sometimes dealing with what has been called “gender disappointment” when they discover they’re not getting what they hoped for in terms of their expected child’s sex.  But I can’t even begin to identify with it.  Even more confusing is the fact there are quite a few people that assume The Piano Man and I know it all too well, that we are grieved to not have a son.  Worse, is that so many assume we’re having another child in an attempt to have a boy.

I’m not going to lie, this assumption angers me.  Chest tightening, face flushing, royally pisses me off.  In spite of telling myself these people mean well and are just curious, all I really hear is that we should somehow, for some reason be disappointed that we only have girls.  That this disappointment fuels our family planning decisions, the quest for having a child with the “right” genitals justifying adding to our family.  We have never considered having another child just because we wanted the other sex and we never would.  Back when we were adding baby #5 I had become practiced in hiding my feelings when such stupidity flew out of insensitive people’s mouths until one day when our 4 big girls were with us and we experienced a conversation that went something like this:

Woman:  “My, that’s a lot of girls, I hope dad is finally getting his boy this time.”

Me:  “We’re excited to be adding another little girl to our family.”

Woman:  “Oh you poor man!  You’ll just have to try again, so outnumbered.”

The Piano Man:  awkward laugh “I’m ok, love my girls.”

Woman:  “Of course, but every man needs a son, it’s just not the same.”

We awkwardly move away, ending the conversation.

The Storyteller, then age 8, comes up to The Piano Man and sliding her hand into his says:  “I’m sorry I’m not a boy daddy.  I wish I was a boy so you wouldn’t be disappointed and so alone.”  In a flash he held her close, looked into her eyes, and told her that woman was ridiculous.  The girls proceeded to tell us how they felt like everyone felt sorry for their daddy because he must be sad to not have a boy.  He assured them that he never had wanted a boy, he had only wanted them.

I never hid my feelings again.  Regardless of how well intentioned they are, someone says something insensitive about how we must want a boy, and they have positioned themselves in the direct line of fire of my pink and blue fast ball of correction as to just how stupid that assumption is and how hurtful it can be to my daughters.  If my daughters are present for the exchange it is possible I will be even more forceful and look for an apology directed to my 5 fabulous girls that my husband and I don’t regret in the slightest.  And don’t you dare pity my husband, he’s not outnumbered, this is his amazing family and we’re all on the same team.  “So screw you and your narrow minded views” might just be my ending flourish.  Not exactly eloquent but pretty to the point.

We are in no way, nor have we ever been, disappointed that we have not had a boy.  Nor have we ever decided to have another child in an attempt to have a boy.

Please note, I don’t look down on, judge, or think I’m better than someone that has been disappointed with not having the sex they had hoped for.  Everyone’s feelings are their own and just are what they are.  Given our society’s obsession with how we define the sexes, I don’t think it is surprising that some would be disappointed to not have one or the other.

For many people it is a big deal, I get that.  I understand it, even if I can’t identify with it.  Socially it is accepted that we’re going to at least want one of each sex and all that we associate culturally with the different sexes.  Sugar and spice and everything nice = girl.  Frogs and snails and puppy dog tails = boy.  Yes, we think it’s bullshit but for many it’s very real.  How I wish we could let go of our expectations and the marketing and just accept our children for who they are, not some narrow list of culturally defined expectations based on their sex but a rather embrace a complex range of individuality that may be influenced by their hormonal makeup without being all that is to them, their tastes, their activities, and their preferences.  Male and female are biological, masculine and feminine are cultural.  The range of masculine and feminine is huge, if we must pigeon hole them we need to at least recognize that the hole is so big we can’t even begin to narrowly define it.  I know how damaging it can be to individuals; as a woman that has long struggled with not enjoying being “nurturing” and other typically feminine defined character traits and interests, I’ve dealt with insecurities that maybe I’m not a “real woman.”  And I’m married to a man that is incredibly nurturing and not strong on many typically masculine defined character traits and interests, he’s dealt with insecurities that maybe he’s not a “real man.”  I can assure you, he is most definitely a real man and he tells me that I am most assuredly a real woman.

Tomorrow we find out Sugarbaby’s sex, provided Sugarbaby cooperates during the ultrasound, and yes, we do this even though we don’t care what sex this baby is (I explain why this is important to us here.)  I’ll go out on a limb and say what I think it is, knowing full well I could be wrong.  Since I first suspected I was pregnant I have felt this baby is another girl.  In fact, I feel I’ve known her name since I was in labor with Smunchie.  Even though I’ve been correct with all 5 girls before now, I wonder often if I’m wrong and “girl” is just my default setting after having 5 girls.  But I could be wrong and I would be more than fine with that.  Because it doesn’t matter to me.  All the big girls think girl too but they are open to having a brother, there will be no disappointment either way.  If Sugarbaby is a boy I would look forward to The Piano Man and I getting to raise a counter cultural son, just like we have enjoyed raising counter cultural daughters.  Another child embraced to be who they are, to buck cultural constructs defining their sex, and to enjoy discovering their unique personalities and interests.  Whatever sex, Sugarbaby is going to greatly enrich our family.

See Sugarbaby’s pregnancy announcement video here.

There are people rooting for us to have a boy, I know.  They want to see us have to “deal” with the shock having a boy would be after all these girls and think it would just be fun.  I figure having a boy will be a lot like having a girl, particularly at first and since we don’t plan on parenting differently based on the baby’s sex but rather adjusting our parenting based on the child’s individual needs the way we see it is it’s going to be an adjustment no matter what.  A wonderful adjustment, boy or girl, change is change and adding a family member is always a transition.  For a long time we always said we saw ourselves as “girl people” and even before we had children, we only imagined ourselves with girls.  Now I’m not even sure what that means, nor do I care since our daughters have taught us “girl” offers a huge range in personalities, interests, and actions.  Given that I’ve had my girls do all the typically considered “boy” things, including a big sister talking a little sister into getting into the toilet and flushing it to see what would happen, I’m confident we’ll be fine no matter what Sugarbaby throws at us.  Bring it kiddo, let’s have fun!

There is one major challenge I see if Sugarbaby is a boy: names.  Other than the one boy name we’ve had in our back pocket for the past 13 years of having babies, we just don’t have a boy name we love and we never have.  We joke that if Sugarbaby is a boy we’ll end up with Ophélia, Lavinia, Helena, Evangeline, Cosette, and Bob.  Or maybe George.  But Bob or George, there will be no fear of pink (or blue) here!

We will probably make an announcement of Sugarbaby’s sex at some point once we know but it will be a while yet.  Here’s what we did for Smunchie’s:

 

Share

Comments

  1. Great post. I can totally relate, as I have 3 boys 🙂 I really hated telling people we were having another boy, because they seemed genuinely disappointed by the news. It felt as if the new baby wasn’t as special to everyone because he was “another” boy. It really pissed me off, and still does. He is just as special and loved by me, and I don’t at all feel like I am missing out on anything by not having a daughter. Ok so boys clothes aren’t as fun to buy, I’ll give them that. But I couldn’t be happier to have 3 perfectly healthy and awesome little people – no matter what gender they are 🙂

    • I agree, boys clothes aren’t as fun to buy but that’s part of the marketing shtick. It makes me so mad. Boys (and girls) should be able to wear whatever they’d like, not told they are limited to certain colors/looks/styles. And I know exactly what you mean, there is a part of me that fears this baby is a boy simply because I know some will make such a huge deal about it being a boy that the girls will notice and it will make them seem not as special. If that happens though, people better watch out, I won’t be nice.

      Love your special boys, ALL OF THEM! ~Jessica

    • Stephanie says:

      I can relate to the three boys. I have always seen myself as a boy person but other people seem to think I need a Princess. I always tell them I am all the Princess our house can handle. If we do ever decide on another child, I will be happy with the sex either way, even though I would bet it would be a boy. My husband’s father had 6 boys, and my grandma was one of 9 girls. I think it makes us all interesting.

  2. That video…I want to come over and film videos with you all day! That was amazing, and I can’t wait to see the next one.

  3. As one of 4 girls, I loved that we had a house full of girls. My dad has a plaque hanging in our bathroom that says “There’s a special bathroom in heaven for the father of girls.” He’s been teased for having girls but he loves being the father of girls as much as he loves his two granddaughters and two grandsons. He was a great father for girls and he always told people, “we don’t care what we have. We just pray for healthy babies.”

    BUT, I must add…before he had more than one girl, he teased his brother in law after having his fourth daughter by saying, “What? You can’t make a boy?”. The joke was on him but he never regretted it or made us feel like he wanted a boy.

    I wish you all the best. I’ll find out next month what I am having, if the baby cooperates.

    • There should be a special laundry room in heaven for the mothers of boys! lol! I love this post! I have a beautiful healthy and happy little man! An i love him soo much! I have a pink dress shirt for him! Who cares what colour it is! I like he like the feel of it and Daddy is the one who picked it out! 🙂 Amen to all the Boys who wear pink and the Girls who wear blue! (Blue is my favorite colour since about age 5-6)

  4. Lissatrandom says:

    You are so right! I have always been the unconventional girl, in that I don’t usually go for all the ‘girly’ things (Disney princesses and pink/purple make me want to barf). I am just me. I like blue, and green, and red. I like to ride a motorcycle, and I prefer comfort over ‘cute’. But, every now and then I love to dress up and look pretty, but because I want to, and not because others think I should. And now as a teacher, I fight to educate my students against all the stupid stereotypes out there. Yes, girls and boys are different, but so are girls and girls, and boys and boys.

    I hope you have a healthy and happy baby, no matter what it is! I know Sugarbaby will be so loved by everyone! Take care of yourself!

  5. You are blessed indeed. Your videos make me cry EVERY TIME! Every baby is a blessing. (Mom to a boy and two girls.)

  6. First, your hair is beautiful! Your curls are amazing and the blue looks perfect. Very nicely done. I am curious — did you say your instinct was correct about the sex of all your other children? I find that so fascinating. We didn’t find out out if we were having a boy or a girl until our son was born. I didn’t think I had any instincts one way or another. Looking back, though, there were a few things…like there were NO girl names that felt right. Literally…we didn’t have a girl name picked out. I was really stressing about it, but there weren’t any girl names that I could see myself calling our child. Good thing he was a boy. Anyway, good luck at the ultrasound!

  7. I understand your post, but from the other side. With my first pregnancy, I was asked by a family member if I wanted a girl or a boy. “A boy!”. I answered emphatically. I listed some reasons, mainly the fact that I was a horrible teenage girl and I genuinely feared for all girls and their positions in this world. Also, I really like football and hoped for boy who liked to play (so?). Another family member, who had recently given birth to a girl, admonished me, embarassingly, that someday if I should have a girl, she would inform the baby that I didnt want her. And that all I should really want is a happy, healthy baby.
    Now, sitting next to my little girl, I still get angry thinking about her statement when I simply answered a question that was posed to me. I answered honestly. I’m allowed to have an opinion about the gender of my little being and not be thought that I would LOVE my baby less. I’ve never once had any ill thoughts about my daughter, only how to love her best and raise her best I know how. Wanting a certain gender versus wanting a healthy, happy baby do not intersect for me.

    Now I have a little boy growing inside of me. He’s allowed to like what he wants, play what he wants, just like his sister, but I’m allowed to have my own likes of “puppy dog tails” and dress him accordingly until he chooses otherwise. Just like his sister sitting in her silly little tutu. These things don’t define them – I just like them!
    But way more important than a blue wardrobe, I’m excited that he has a great dad, the best big sister and lots of love to greet him in the world.

    • I truly believe that no matter what sex parents may be hoping for all parents want a healthy baby. To me, that’s a given. And I think wanting a certain gender is real but I do feel it comes in large part from the very real pressure society places on each sex to be one way or the other. I was a great teen, my brother was the nightmare teenager for my parents. With that in mind I know it can go either way and I’m just looking forward to walking that journey with them. So far so good with our 13 year old but each of our girls is so different we just plan to take it as it comes.

      That family member? Horrid. What a vicious, cruel thing to say and I hope you tell her so. Just because you’re hoping for one over the other at one point doesn’t mean a child is unwanted. I’m sorry you had that experience. ~Jessica

      • Thanks – I meant to say in my first post that I took a great deal of sympathy with your little girls reaction with her daddy. I hate that the comment from that woman made her feel apologetic for not being a boy. I’d never want my girl to feel that way. Or to feel that her little brother was more wanted than her. It’s just not true. I’ve always just wanted “kids”. Gender was always very secondary, just something I pondered to myself. And maybe should have kept to myself, except with trusted and understanding friends.

        And yes, of course, you are right that one gender doesn’t cause all the teenage problems in the world 😉 With my luck, I’ll have two rotten teenagers 🙂 Just pay back though!

    • I also wanted a boy because I was TERRIBLEY mean to my mom when I was a teen. I figure I have some karma coming my way! 🙂

  8. I’m one of 5 girls and then my mom had a boy with my stepfather. She made the comment one day “Five girls and then FINALLY yay a boy! I got my boy!” I don’t think I’ll ever forget how hearing her say that made me feel. I wanted to say “what are we chopped liver?”

    As a mother to 4 boys I get the comments ALL THE TIME about needing to “try for a girl”. How about just trying for a healthy baby and congratulating me on whatever I have?!

    Great post!

  9. I know you’ll be thrilled either way, but I have to say that boys are a blast- we have a 6 month old son and he’s just so fun. So here are some healthy baby vibes for you!!

  10. love the hair! its vibrant and puts a smile on my face but then again everything from ur blogs to TLB to your wonderful comments/advice do that all the time for me! and the whole gender specification by color has always annoyed me… we have soooo much purple for our son and we love it… its also daddy’s fave color! more ppl need to be open minded 🙂 you and your family are setting the standard for real loving modern day families… good luck with the ultrasound i hope you have a healthy beautiful baby no matter the sex and i already know its blessed with great parents and siblings!

    ps~ pardon the incomplete run on sentences and horrible typing im nursing an 18lb squirmer n typing with one finger lol

    much love n blessings for your whole family this holiday season!

  11. I have a boy and and girl, and people (usually older women) always comment that I must be done having babies now that I have one of each sex. Its strange to me how much of it is subconscious and most of the time it comes up in more surface conversations.

    • Oh I get that a lot too and it drives me insane. We hope for a large family someday and it just hits me as rude. Has gotten to the point my husband goes off on whoever says it too.

      • I have been told this as well, and now that I’m pregnant with our third child, everyone asks me, disbelievingly “how many kids ARE you having?!” It’s so rude what people ask, and it’s quite honestly no one’s business, when the question is asked in such a way as to try and make you feel bad for having “so many kids” I simply tell them we’ve always wanted at least 4, but usually sarcastically add that we may just fill up our 7-seater vehicle! =)

  12. I heard a story once about a family that already had 2 or 3 girls, and they were expecting another child. Some nosy person was talking to the parents, while the girls were standing right there, and said something to the effect of “well, surely God will give you a boy this time.” The girls started to look sad, and the dad tells the other person, “when you do something right, you keep doing it!” That, of course, made the girls feel better, and the other person slightly ashamed for saying something so rude.

    That story has really stuck with me since hearing it. I never assume that anyone is disappointed with the genders of their children.

    • We have two young girls and are expecting #3, though we won’t know for a few weeks whether it’s a boy or girl. I am in the same boat as Jessica, though, that we aren’t continuing to have kids because we ‘need’ a certain number of each gender, but because we just *love* our kids! My husband has responded to people before when they make the “You must really want a boy this time” type-of-comments that he’d be thrilled to have 7 or 8 girls. (Of course he received appalled faces at the sheer thought of that many kids, but that’s besides the point, LOL) In fact, if we only ever had girls he would be estatic! He is enthralled with our girls and they are with him, and no child, boy or girl, would ever not be desired because of their gender.
      🙂

  13. Great points, great post, nothing to add, so I’ll stay fluffy and trivial… I love the hair! That vibrant blue weaving in and out of your curls… spectacular. I’ve wanted bright blue hair for a long time, maybe I’ll start with a stripe or two.

  14. What a beautiful video…and a special treat at the end of a very interesting, thoughtful, yet long post! =)

  15. Jennifer Hardin says:

    As a mother to 3 girls and now a boy.. I have heard all those lines as well. We did hope for a boy because my husband is the only son of an only son and we wanted a boy to carry on the family name. That being said we would have been so excited to have had another girl. My girls had those same feelings everytime someone said well maybe you’ll get your boy. I’d answer I dont think other than a penis a boy would be any diffrent than the kids I already have! The only thing I REALLY wanted was to have this one look like me. And wouldn’t you know he looks just like his daddy and sisters!!!

  16. Love ur posts!
    One thing tho, about the article u linked on here for the smithsonian.
    The reason boys were outfitted in full white skirts or dresses & other “girly” (by today’s standards) clothing back in the day was because this matter of dressing would confuse the “witches” & evil spirits who might come to steal your precious baby boy. So I wouldnt say it was gender neutrality back then either.

  17. Megan Nelson says:

    Thanks so much for this post. We have two girls and will probably have another babe in the next little while. We have gotten the looks and comments of discouragement and disappointment, even from within our own family. “You’ll just have to try again for a boy.” these have been said in front of our girls and as much as we try to counter them I’m sure those words make an impact. These comments make me so angry; it’s not about that at all for us and I hate that our girls could ever feel less that completely and totally wanted and loved b/c of someone else’s hurtful comment about their sex. Part of me wonders about trying again b/c if we have a boy I don’t want people to think that’s why we had a 3rd. Another part wishes for another girl but not b/c I care but b/c i don’t want others to have the satisfaction of thinking that only now is our family complete. But I also don’t want those comments to affect our family’s decisions to grow or not.

    I’m the oldest of two girls and always wanted an older brother as a child – i had a younger sister that I took care of often and wanted someone like that for myself too – so when we got pregnant the first time I wanted that for my future daughters as well. But it was never about boys being better and once our first girl was confirmed, I was thrilled and cannot imagine it any other way. As you said, they are so unique, so interesting and creative and active and different that their *person* is what matters. I find it so sad that girls are not more highly valued in our world and my mama bear instincts definitely do not tolerate these attitudes and statements toward my girls.  

  18. We have a boy and 3 girls and still faced this garbage when our 3rd girl was born. I can only imagine how much worse it is for you. It actually put a bit of a damper on spreading the wonderful news after she was born. My dad said ” Poor Ron, another girl” which almost made me hang up on him and my dh’s best friend said ” What, can’t you make anything but girls? ” Which pissed him off so badly that, if his friend wasn’t already in a wheelchair he might have ended up in one anyway.
    To compound this, the first two are not my dh’s biological children. Don’t ever tell him that. You will get an earful. All the comments of how he must have wanted a boy of ” his own” darn near caused him to lose it. He has a boy of his own. Not one of my children is less or more important to him then another. It is one of the reasons I married him.
    I know that Sugarbaby is going to be an beautiful, adorable baby. I only wish I was going to get a chance to cuddle your bundle of joy.

  19. I have one little boy and am currently expecting a little girl. I have heard TWICE now the response “oh that’s great, one of each!! Now you can stop!!”

    uh, EXCUSE ME?! That is SO wrong on SO many levels, it makes me furious!! Who the hell are you to tell me when to stop having kids?! And why is one boy and one girl the “magic” combination? I’m sure if we’d been having another boy we’d get “oh, so are you going to try again to get a girl?” No, but we’ll try again for as many children as we want (which is tentatively 6). So MYOB, folks, thankyouverymuch. My uterus, my decision. We’ll be happy with how many children we are blessed with, boys or girls.

    • I heard the same thing when I was expecting my daughter, following my oldest son. And there were several comments about the third. We are (currently) planning to stop with the three, but if we decide to add another, I’m sure we will face more comments…

    • HI Mandy!
      I always hear the same thing. I have 2 boys and 1 girl. It amazes me how many people have an opinion on how many kids (or their genders) I should have. I want to have 10 more kids just so I can tell people to shove it!!

    • Yup, we heard the same thing with number three, after two girls, we had a son. I had PTL with all three and my mom told us, that there was no reason to have another, since we had our boy.

      It was heartbreaking – especially now that I am wanting another.

  20. We are expecting our second son. We have received sighs, and even one woman who started crying. Church members have told us they were praying and hoping for a girl. Before finding out, our son was told that if he had a baby sister, he could look out for her. He said he could look after (and protect, etc) a baby brother too. He was told that boys just aren’t as fun. So of course, he flipped out when he found out he was indeed having a brother. He has finally gotten used to the fact, which is lovely, but now I am defensive about telling anybody the sex. With my first son, we told people that the baby would be what it was until it changed it’s mind ;). That caught people off guard, and was really funny :p

  21. I was REALLY hoping for a boy, not because I think they are ‘better’ some how, but because the idea of having a girl scared me. I don’t have the best relationship with my Mom, which has a lot to do with it; if we model the relationships we’ve learned, then that was one I didn’t want to pass on. But I was always Dad’s girl, working on cars and scaling the roof to fix things. So I was upset when I found out I was having a girl because I was PETRIFIED of completely screwing her up from not being able to relate. Once I calmed down and just thought of the things I wished I’d had from that maternal relationship, it wasn’t so scary.

    We have often talked about boy or girl hopes for the next one. Two girls would be awesome in some ways, but having a girl and a boy would be great too. As the hubby pointed out once, without a boy “who do I get to teach how to pee?!”

    BTW, the hair is pretty cool. I had a co-worker do something similar with dark blue and purple then months later with green for St. Patrick’s Day.

  22. Thanks for this post, we only have two boys and people still say we need a girl. The video was so cute!!! Loved it. A great way to announce.

  23. Great post!!! I love reading your writings! I, with one girl & one boy, often get the “How great, you have one of each! That’s perfect, now you can stop!” Seriously??? What a ridiculous thing to say to someone, especially a complete stranger!

  24. I enjoyed this post. I wanted to add my experience too. When I was pregnant with my son, my husband was emphatic that he was a girl. I didn’t have any strong feelings about it one way or the other, however when I found out he was a boy instead of a girl I had about half a day of sadness. I didnt realize how much I had been counting on him being a girl. I felt so guilty for feeling disappointed, he was healthy and perfect, but my stupid presumption of his gender hindered what should have been a magical moment for me and my son.

  25. Thank you thank you thank you!!! I wrote a similar note a bit before I had baby #6. We don’t find out the gender of our babies, and with 5 boys, we always got the assumption that we were trying for a girl. We were not and have never “tried” for a certain gender. The week before I had my baby we were at my oldest boys’ baseball practice and a mom literally asked me if I was going to shoot myself if it was another boy. I was horrified. I was disgusted. I was speechless. I’ve never been disappointed. In fact, I was the first to see the gender of #5 & called out “oh thank God it’s a boy!” while my husband, midwife & nurse looked at me like I was crazy 🙂 Anywho out comes baby #6 and my husband calls out “it’s a…it’s a….it’s a girl!??!?!?!” and my first words were “seriously? are you serious?” I am so pleased to add our precious baby girl to our family, but would have felt the same amount of pleasure to add another baby boy. Of course after going through labor & delivery au naturale I would have been pleased with a baby cow haha!! Now we hear “oh you finally got that girl you were trying for, you’re done now right?” I told my husband now we have to have another just to prove that wrong lol! 😉

  26. I have 5 sons. I love them so much I feel like I could burst. I still want a girl one day, and no I am not ‘trying’ for a girl, nor have I ever. I ‘tried’ for a baby…and a couple times was hoping for a girl. I have experienced gender disappointment, but it has NOTHING to do with “society’s obsession”. Not everyone that admits to disappointment had such shallow reasons. My mother abandoned me at age 5 & I was raised by my troubled, abusive, alcoholic grandmother who had raised 2 boys. I never had a mother figure, no special female walked me through my boy problems, marriage, pregnancies, losses, breast feeding, nothing. I would love to experience and understand a mother-daughter relationship.
    If I never have a daughter, I hope my boys bring home lovely young women who will give me the opportunity to be there for them in that way.

    • At the risk of my own mother reading this…

      I don’t have a great mother-daughter relationship with my mom. Nothing like what you experienced but I don’t turn to my mother for those issues either. Actually, I turn to my husband, he’s the best to help me walk through those kind of experiences. But for me it was one reason I was afraid to have girls. As was the history of sexual abuse in my family. I wasn’t sure I could have a good relationship with a daughter because I didn’t know what it would look like or if it was even possible. Somewhere along the way I realized (thanks to my husband) that regardless of the sex of my child I wanted to have a bond with them and it would be special because we worked to make it so, not because of their sex or my sex. And I had to admit that I may click more with one child than another. That doesn’t mean I love one more than the other, just that there can be connections that make for easier relationships with some than with others. Things like personalities, interests, time, circumstances, experiences, tastes, etc. I’ve heard often that there is a special bond between a mother and son and while I’m sure many experience that, I have found that there are special bonds forming all the time that know no boundaries of the different parties sex. We have girls that are deeply connected to their daddy, much more so than they are to me. We also have girls that are deeply connected to me, much more so than they are to their daddy. So much of it has to do with outside factors, we never wonder if a boy would connect differently because it simply doesn’t matter. As our eldest enters her teen years I’ve loved seeing her bloom and the relationship with her dad deepen. She has talked with him about everything from periods to boys to sex. Right how she and I are closer and always have been but I am not her everything and am incredibly grateful she has that with her daddy too. The parent-child relationship is amazing and awesome regardless.

      I’m sorry you had such a rough childhood and I hope that you do encounter the experience you desire with your sons and some day their future partners. ~Jessica

  27. I have two boys and already have family members telling me I need to “try for a girl”. I LOVE the hair by the way!

  28. I totally agree. I always cringe when I hear people say things like, “so, of course, we are trying for a whatever-gender-their-first-baby-wasn’t.” I know it’s a personal matter, but it always kind of confuses me.

    I love your announcement videos! (I still remember the cupcake one! What a creative and wonderful family.) They make me laugh, cry, and feel good all over.

    My best! And blessings on the new addition, whether it be a she or a he.

  29. Also, your hair ROCKS.

  30. Now I feel a little bad saying boys are so much fun, just want you to know I didn’t mean to imply girls aren’t fun. I am always amazed at the differences between my children, boys or girls. I was never a real girly girl so having two boys was fine with me. When I found out our third was a girl I was actually a little scared. Turns out she is one of those girly girls and she has taught me to embrace my feminine side more. We try not to let cultural biases affect us, and I’ve painted my son’s nails when he asked, but there are some innate differences. One thing that’s really stood out is how nurturing my daughter is and how patient she is with her little brother. I think she really wanted a sister but once he was born, she didn’t care, and is so patient and helpful. It’s not that the older boys aren’t, just not in the same way. I get a lot of joy out of all of them, and I’m sure you and your girls and husband will enjoy this one, girl or boy.

    • Don’t feel bad for saying that, boys are fun! Girls are too! It’s ok either way and maybe the fun is a little different between the genders but I don’t think, in my experience, that it’s even something we can nail down or define.

      The nurturing thing has always been one that bothers me. I’m not very nurturing naturally, it just doesn’t come easily for me. My husband, however, is one of the most nurturing people I know and I’ve learned SO much from him on how to support others, how to nurture, and how to be more expressive and accepting of emotions. In fact, it is my husband that I model my doula work on, I copy how he supports me in labor because he’s just so good at it. Every time I hear that nurturing is more female I wonder what that makes me and what does that make my husband. Well, I used to wonder that. Not so much any more. It just makes him, him and me, me. Amongst my own 5 girls I see a huge variance. We have “girly girls” and “tom boys” here. Girls that love pink dresses and sparkly tiaras. Girls that are obsessed with trains, legos, and all things that go “boom!” Girls that love playing in mud, climbing trees, and staging battles. Girls that love fairy realms, tea parties, and spaceships. Girls that are nurturing to babies, fury animals, and love to play house. Girls that love making stink bombs, joke about belching and farting, and hold frogs. Girls that are curious about how things work and tear it apart to find out. Girls that are quiet and thoughtful. Girls that are rowdy and rude. Girls that are patient and helpful. Girls that can’t stand babies and love to explore. These are my girls. Some of them have more of the traits thought to be typical of girls, some of them have more of the traits thought to be typical of boys, all of them mix it up to some degree. ~Jessica

      • I’m thankful my girly girl also loves to get dirty and play in the mud. And thinking about what you said, I find myself agreeing with you, it’s just her personality to be nurturing, not necessarily because she’s a girl. I just never thought of it that way before!

  31. Oh and yes, people thought we would be done when we had a girl after two boys, they were so confused when I was pregnant again (yes, again) and figured we were hoping for a matching set. No, we just wanted another child.

  32. idalia parrett says:

    Thanks for sharing personal life with us. I’ve been wanting to read an update on the latest pregnancy. I am amazed and inspired. I don’t know any real couples ( as in non celebrities) that have more than a three or four kids. You’re having a large family and making it look like fun. 😉 Your family is proof that having a large family is possible.
    I can look past the whole gender color issue. It doesn’t bother me but I can understand why it pisses you off. Some people are just dumb and should really think about what comes out of their mouth. It’s the idea that a couple of children has become the norm and any more is an awful, terrible thing. My little one is 16 months and we talk about adding to our family. I constantly hear “what’s the rush” or “why add another one?”.
    Thanks again for sharing! I really enjoy reading about your family. 🙂

  33. I am totally with you Jessica. I have 2 boys and a girl. When my Daisy was born all I would hear was “you finally have your girl. You can be done now” It didn’t bother us either way what the sex of the baby was. I am happy to have my 2 boys and a girl but if she was a boy, it wouldn’t have made any difference. I will say though that after having 2 boys, Daisy is MUCH more fun to shop for!
    Good luck on your ultrasound! I (like everyone else!) can’t wait to hear the results.
    Thank you for putting together and running The Leaky B@@b. It has helped me so much on my breastfeeding journeys!

  34. I am so over this gender-based marketing. A friend of mine posted a pink ironing board toy she happened upon in the store. Her caption was, “Where’s the blue one?” I am generally appalled at all the pink and blue toys. What a silly concept! As I strolled through Target last night, I noticed that the backing of the shelves for the “girl” toys was the color of pepto bismol. Ridiculous.

    My son tends towards trains, but I would have not a single problem with him playing with dolls or any other toys marketed toward girls. Same goes with clothes! As of now, it’s difficult to get him to put on any shirt that doesn’t have Thomas on it, but should he choose to wear “girly” colors, so be it!

    Also, your hair is awesome! What did you use to dye it?

  35. My husband is one of 5 boys, so when I was pregnant, we were hoping to add a girl to the family. I’d had strong boy vibes, though, and when they were confirmed, I was still ecstatic. So even tho I didn’t get the sex I was hoping for, I didn’t experience the whole “gender disappointment” thing. Of course, when my MIL told her mother over the phone that it was a boy, GMIL let out an “oh sh*t!” thinking my hubby couldn’t hear her. I think he resented that response for awhile. Of course everyone absolutely adores our son, and no one cares anymore that he’s not a girl. Now that we have a boy, I would love it if our next one is another boy! And I would be thrilled if our next one is a girl, too, so I don’t think there’ll be any gender disappointment then either. 🙂

    I was at a party this past summer and a woman there was pregnant with her third. She already had 2 boys, and when someone asked her what this baby was, she said “we’re having another boy–and that’s ok.” I was glad that she was happy with it, but I thought it was sad that she felt she had to add that to her answer because she must have encountered people already who had responded negatively to it.

  36. I have two girls and two boys, in that order. Gender comments have always seemed so strange to me.
    My oldest is a girl. Before her on both sides of the family, our parents have all boy grandchildren. When we told people we were having a girl, they were all very excited because she would be the first granddaughter for my husband’s parents and mine. My husband’s mother even talked about her favorite grandchild in front of everyone. Really? It was just so odd to me that it was SO important that there was FINALLY (she was the 5th grandchild on my husband’s side) there was a girl.
    Since we have two girls and then two boys grouped together I often get comments about how perfect that is. I get comments about how perfect it is that each has a friend. Well, would they not be friends if they were girl, boy, girl boy? They always seem to imply that to have a perfect family you must have equal amounts of boys and girls and they must be grouped together. This seems so ridiculous to me in so many ways. I would say my middle two children are closest friends and they are a girl and a boy.
    When we found out we were pregnant with our third people said things like “Oh, hopefully this is a boy! You’ll probably have all girls though. That’s too bad you’ll never get to experience a boy.” When we found out he was a boy people said things like “You’re getting your boy, you can be done now!”
    All of this just confuses me. We never ever had children to have one of a certain gender. We had so many losses and tried for so long, we felt so blessed and amazed to be bringing a person into this World. We felt like she would be a girl, we would have been equally thrilled to have a boy first though.

    People say we have the perfect family. I agree. I love my little family. What most don’t seem to understand is that what makes it perfect has nothing to do with the gender or gender order of my kids but instead what an amazing blessing each of their individual personalities bring to our family, despite gender. Especially my little boy who LOVES pink and purple and it rough and tumble as it comes right now at two years old!

  37. Are those really your daughters’names? We have an Evangeline also!

  38. I can only imagine what you are going through. I have the joy of having two girls and I WANTED two girls. That was just my wish, nothing against boys, although I sometimes wanted a boy during the pregnancy…yes I know…Of course, I would have welcomed a boy without disappointment but lots of people just assumed that we wanted a boy. And I understand because the fact is that many, many people really do want one of each at least. I know quite a few myself. And I know quite a few people who were extremely disappointed.

    So, I guess it’s just about them, not you, so don’t take it personally. But being pregnant makes one a bit less even keeled. Anyway, LOVE your hair. Wish I had thought of that one when I was preggers and done with it all.

    Best and blessings on your discovery tomorrow.

  39. Firstly, I LOVE your hair! I’m doing similar to mine shortly.
    Secondly, your story about the storyteller/piano man brought tears to my eyes, how heartbreaking!
    We have a 3 year old girl, and when we fell pregnant again, in flooded the ‘Oh I bet your wishing for a boy” comments which irritated me, I just wanted a baby and was happy with whatever we were blessed with. Then, we found out our bellybabe was a boy and we got;
    ‘Your so lucky! one of each’ (Is any child not a blessing? I feel pretty damn lucky to have two beautiful, healthy children, no matter what genitals they have)
    ‘So, you can finish having kids now, you have one of each’ (Do I even need to comment on this one?)
    ‘One of each? You are so clever!’ (I was never aware my IQ or skills determined the sex of my kids, someone should tell people that one *rolls eyes*)

    Anyway, a fantastic post!

    • ‘One of each? You are so clever!’ (I was never aware my IQ or skills determined the sex of my kids, someone should tell people that one *rolls eyes*)

      ROFL! People really do say the dumbest things sometimes! LOL!

      It boggles my mind the way people assume that everyone’s trying for one of each and that completely determines their family planning choices. Surely there aren’t that many narrow minded people in the world? What about couples that only want one child? Or have always dreamed of 6? What are their excuses for having children at all? It’s just crazy. But you know people don’t even think about it, if they did most would never say that stuff. ~Jessica

  40. I have boy/girl twins and people ALWAYS say, “one of each, now your done!” And it pisses me off because what if I had two girls? Would that have made one less valuable? And what if I want 3 kids. . . can I not, because I already have one of each. Blah!
    Jill

  41. I have been a follower of the site and you since I became pregnant in May. My husband and I originally hoped for a boy, but I always knew we were having a girl. And finding out we were having the opposite sex was no where near a let down, just an excitement for our new addition. My husband is a wonderful father to a beautiful baby girl and I love seeing the love they have for each other. I am so incredibly excited for your newest addition, may it be boy or girl, and cannot wait to find out. The videos and photos I have seen bring a little tear to my eye because nothing makes me happier than seeing such a warm and loving family. The story of your husband and daughter just broke my heart, but warmed my heart at the same time because of how your husband loves each and every one of his girls. You are an extremely lucky woman to have a husband who loves you and your girls so much. Seeing the love you have for one another and your family warms my heart and inspires me to continue being a great mom and wife to my family.

    Thank you, endlessly, for every story you have shared. I look forward to seeing many more. =]

    P.S. I love your new hair!

  42. Very thought provoking and I hope I haven’t been guilty of saying anything daft in the past. I like to think not…

    We have one boy as we have only just started our family and I’d love a tribe though I might be a bit old for that now sadly! Anyway, I was convinced our boy was a girl, never would have minded and it took about two weeks of incredulous ‘I have a son!!!’ before it sunk in 🙂

    The only reason I might have said I’d like a boy next time would be cause I have boy stuff I could reuse. Although I wouldn’t have any qualms using most of our baby kit for a girl either, and your blog has made me realise that I do buy into gender specific marketing a bit, though luckily my favourite colour is green so I can generally avoid it!

    • Green’s a favorite here too, it’s so fresh and all the shades are so fun!

      I’ve thought the same thing about the stuff but then I realize that it’s buying into the marketing gimmick and I want to use as much of what I already have regardless. It runs deep and is hard to buck it sometimes! ~Jessica

  43. As a mom to 4 girls then a boy, I was always bombarded with that, “are you trying for a boy?” question. I have to admit I WAS hoping for it the last time simply to see how having a boy would be different. Aside from the schmeckel, he is a bit more easygoing. My last dd is a huge diva, though, so anyone would seem easygoing after her – lol! Most of all, my daughters really wanted a little brother for some reason.
    Also, as a mother of special needs children, I’m actually not a big fan of the “as long as it’s healthy” line, either. I love my daughter with spina bifida, my daughter born with cancer and my daughter with cleft lip and palate as much as I do the two who were simply born tongue tied. (Yes, we have had genetic testing which showed nothing.) To me, that statement implies you would not love a sickly child as much as a healthy one. Sure, it’s EASY if they’re healthy, but God never promised us easy. JMHO.

    • I’m so glad you mentioned the “as long as it’s healthy” thing too. I admit, while I’m not hoping either way on the gender, I’m hoping for a healthy baby though I know I will love my baby even if he/she isn’t healthy. Mostly I’m hoping for a baby without any health issues because I’m scared. But reading your comment and having several friends with children with special needs helps so much to hold onto what really is important: regardless of gender, health, or anything else, this is our child. We already love them. ~Jessica

  44. I can really relate to this! We have two beautiful girls and we are constantly asked when we are going to try for a boy. My husband gets a lot of “condolences” on being outnumbered by girls. He adores his girls and laughs it off. It angers me though….it implies that somehow my girls “aren’t enough.” I will never forget when I was pregnant with my second daughter many people actually said “I’m sorry.” I was in disbelief that anyone would say such hurtful inconsiderate things. I love my girls and feel so lucky to have them.

  45. I just adore your family. I’m baking baby 5 and it’s a boy. Making 3 boys, 2 girls and two parents who really didn’t care one way or another 🙂 Congratulation on your sweet new baby coming 🙂

  46. Growing up I always wanted daughters; possibly because I only have sisters and wasn’t close with my father. Female is all I really knew. We chose to wait until birth to find out the sexes of our children, in part to avoid getting pink or blue presents. Part of me wishes we had found out, if only to research circumcision. I was hoping for a girl and my husband was pretty set on circumcising; I gave in when we had our 1st boy. I broke down in tears that 1st diaper change after he was cut; I knew then I could never do that to another of my children. In July we were blessed with another boy; my son was disappointed as he wanted a sister. I felt a twinge of disappointment, but I adore my boys. My oldest loves purple, takes dance class, loves football, cars and trains. He has a baby doll, play kitchen, and work bench. He watches Cinderella, The Little Mermaid and Cars. He is loving and kind, energetic and loud. He loves being a big brother and helping me help his brother.
    We haven’t decided on a number of children and while I would still love a girl, my little boy is teaching me that it isn’t

  47. all that important after all.

    posted too soon 🙂

  48. I love my 3 boys and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Dirty, stinky, play-in-the-mud, truck, train loving boys. They have baby dolls and I take them down all the isles even the bright pink one on their birthdays and they still choose “boy” stuff to play with. And everyday I feel like I am a maid in a frat house. So yes I want a girl. I can’t have one biologically because I had a uterine window with the last boy. So we plan on adopting. But it doesn’t mean we love our boys any less!

  49. I just cried a bit when I read the part about how that woman made your girls feel bad about being girls. Breaks my heart. I’m totally with you on not caring. I don’t understand people who keeping “trying for a boy,” or girl. From what I’ve seen, it doesn’t always work out so well anyway. And then how does the child feel, knowing they were the one that should have been the other gender?! I don’t know if parents realize how much this could really damage a child.

    The other side of this is what my cousin has just experienced – she has a boy and girl, and would like another child. She just miscarried her third, and people said, “Why would you even want another?! You have the perfect family – a boy and a girl!!!” I can’t even describe how angry that makes me. It’s up to my cousin to decide whether or not her family is complete and it’s no one else’s business (not to mention the complete insensitivity regarding her lost child)!!!

    Thanks for this post! 🙂

  50. I wanted to thank you for this blog. When I was pregnant I felt I was having a girl and I really didn’t care I was surprised to find out I was having a boy and I couldn’t be happier with him!but I think I’ve always bought into the whole societys view of oh they have a boy they must want a girl and have said that to people. I feel bad now because I never thought about it could come off as people not being appreciative of the children they have. So thank you for helping broaden my point of view!! <3

  51. I completely get your anger and frustration but i don’t think it matters what you have, you still experience the “comments” on gender. My first child was a boy and my friends who had children around the same time all had girls and pitied me!!!! I couldn’t believe it, i’d look at my perfect little boy and would become so angry that they could dare pity me when as far as I was concerned I had the most perfect baby in the whole world. My second child was a girl, and we didnt find out what we were having until she was born and so everyone assumed we were desperate for a girl. Once she did turn out to be a girl we then experienced the shock and outrage of why on earth we were trying for a third baby when we had a “complete set”. Our third child was also a girl and so when we began trying for a fourth we had the knowing comments of how we must be desperate for another boy to “complete our set”…at this point we felt more like we were collecting children rather than growing and nurturing them! our fourth turned out to be another boy and we are again facing the shock and outrage from many close family and friends of why we could possibly want another child when we have such a neat little package! Makes me angry, frustrated and has me biting my lip a LOT! I think it’s less about the child’s gender and more about the surrounding family and friends feeling the need to have their say and have their opinion on each pregnancy…regardless of the feelings of the parents or siblings of the unborn child. I always have the awful feeling when pregnant of becoming public property…the way a celebrity must feel when the press can make judgements on their private thoughts and feelings and then take said judgements as fact! I wish you well in your pregnancy and wish your family all the best welcoming a new little individual into your home! 🙂

  52. ”I’m sorry I’m not a boy daddy. I wish I was a boy so you wouldn’t be disappointed and so alone.” This made me cry! What a great Daddy for answering the way he did! I bet your girls sure know they are loved!!

    And what a beautiful pregnancy announcement! Your family looks pretty perfect to me!

    Thank you for showing the true, pure, honesty that is your family- the way it should be! So many familys are loosing sight of the important things and focusing too much on the “fluff” that society deems familys are made up of.

    Congratulations on your pregnancy! Baby will be blessed beyond measure and loved beyond the stars!!!

    K

  53. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Sharing with everyone I know. I have 4 boys and I LOVE them. I have 4 boys not because we keep trying for a girl but because I wanted 4 kids. Heck we might go for another one or two and if they end up being boys, I’ll be perfectly happy.

    Love the blue hair too! I’ve had purple streaks in my blonde hair and everyone was shocked because they assumed I’m normal too. What does that mean? Lol!

  54. I am pregnant with baby number 2, which happens to be another girl. We are beyond thrilled, I also feel like we are meant to have girls. When I told my brother that we were having another girl, his response was ” wish it was a boy”. That really broke my heart. Even saying it makes me teary eyed. Both of my girls are so wanted and will be so loved. We have people tell us “oh I bet you want a boy” Just not true.

  55. My husband and I have always wanted plenty of kids (not exactly sure of the number, however). I have always hoped to have the experience of having sons AND daughters. But, because of our desire to have many children, I always figured we would end up with at least one of each. So, when I got pregnant with #2, I was asked many times if I was hoping for a boy (because #1 is a girl). I honestly had no preference. It ended up being a boy, and we had SO many people comment that we could stop having kids now!! When I got pregnant with number #3, and people asked what I wanted, I was like, “A healthy baby.” The were convinced I HAD to have a preference. We waited until the birth to find out the gender, and people thought that was strange as well. Wow. I also had friends who were openly angry at the fact that we got a boy and a girl “right off the bat” when we didn’t care, and they were “stuck” with 3 boys when they only wanted 2 kids…but tried again with hopes of a girl. This makes me SO sad. I know exactly how it feels to be a child who is aware that their parents wanted them to be something different. I am the 5th girl. My parents had 6 kids, trying for a boy…and I have always felt like I must have been such a disappointment to my father. How I wish my mom and dad would have had the same feelings on this topic as you do! When my brother finally arrived, he was treated much differently than the five of us girls. My dad was a helicopter pilot, and his building at the airport was decorated with poster sized photos of his son on each birthday sitting in a helicopter. There was never a single photo of any of his daughters blown up to poster size and put on the walls (which is quite funny because one of my sisters actually got her pilots license, when my brother failed at his attempts to do so). My brother failed 8th grade, but was offered glider lessons if he were to pass summer school. I got straight As in 8th grade (as did all of my sisters)…where the heck were my glider lessons? Anyway, I have always harbored this little bit of animosity and jealousy toward my brother….I think more than my 4 older sisters, only because I was the closest to him in age, but we were treated so differently. Plus, I was the most disappointing birth for my parents because, “SURELY this one would be a boy”…and I wasn’t. It makes me sad for those who openly express desire for one or the other because everyone around them will know that they are disappointed with their child if it isn’t what they wanted…and that leads to the child knowing that their parents were disappointed in them before they were even born. I don’t even know where I am going with this comment…except to thank you for holding the views that you do. As for colors and gender, we definitely have drawers of boy clothes and drawers of girl clothes (I am a sucker for marketing, I guess). But, my son and daughter play dress up together often, and I don’t see an issue with that. Also, half of the diapers my son wears are pink (given I bought them for my daughter because they were pink), and he even has a hot pink one with ‘Real Boys Wear Pink’ embroidered on the butt. <3

  56. I have a DD and am expecting #2 any day now. I truly thought I was having another girl this time around and I was very excited and hopeful that they would have that “sisterly bond” that I have with my sister. So when I found out at the ultrasound that it was a boy, I was SHOCKED! Not disappointed in anyway, but truly surprised. I just hadn’t even considered the possibility of a boy. Now I am very excited to have “one of each” although it took me a few weeks to adjust to the idea of having a boy. (I have the world’s worst gender intuition- with DD I was SURE she was a boy… She is definitely my girl 🙂 ) Anyways, I am very excited and hopeful that they will have just as close of a bond as she would have had with a sister. I know that just being the same gender doesn’t automatically make someone best friends and personality accounts for so much of it. Long story, but I would’ve been just as happy with a girl.

    Also, I have had quite a few family members make the comment that now we can be “done” since we have a girl and a boy. DH and I have always wanted a bigger family, atleast 5, and I hate how
    presumptuous people can be and how ingrained in our culture it is to have 2 and be done. It’s as rude to comment on someone’s family size as it is to comment on gender. I am very excited for you and wish you a healthy baby #6

  57. Thank you for this post! I was raised in a traditional Boy=Blue, Girl=Pink family, and I questioned this as a child who wanted to do both pink and blue things, but as a mom now, ended up defaulting to the “norm.” We have two boys, who I love, love, love, and would not trade either for a girl. But part of me has questioned whether to try for a girl, and “risk” having another boy, even though we know we would love that baby too. And people also judge the number of children you have…more than 3 and all of a sudden you are crazy. Like people haven’t had more than that, with less conveniences, and smaller homes since the beginning of time! This has really helped me reassess what I feel about boy/girl babies, and being a mom to pink/blue, and my own childhood of wanting both types of activities, but being pushed to just pink. And I do want a big family, and I don’t care what gender they are, or what color they wear, and the only thing I really need to get over, is caring what everyone else thinks! I just want to be the best mom for my particular children.
    So, sincerely, thanks for this post, I needed to think about this again.

  58. What an awesome post! Coming from a family of 3 girls, I always felt like people felt sorry for Daddy because he didn’t have boys. Then my sister had 2 girls, and I had 2 girls and it seemed like there would never be any boys. Our third is a boy and people say things to me like, “now that you have a boy your family is complete and you can stop”. What if I want another girl? What if our family isn’t complete until we have 4 kids? Or, gasp, more?

    It just bothers me when people think they know better for our family than we do. Sometimes, people just don’t think before they say things.

    Thankful you and baby are healthy and happy. Stay strong Momma.

  59. I can’t believe some of the comments you ladies have endured! My goodness!

    My comment goes back to the beginning of the post and the assigned colours for sexes. I actually read a snippet on Wikipedia about how pink was originally a colour for boys: “An article in the trade publication Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department in June 1918 said: “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.”[18] From then until the 1940s, pink was considered appropriate for boys because being related to red it was the more masculine and decided color, while blue was considered appropriate for girls because it was the more delicate and dainty color, or related to the Virgin Mary.[19][20][21] Since the 1940s, the societal norm was inverted; pink became considered appropriate for girls and blue appropriate for boys, a practice that has continued into the 21st century.”

    Before that, infants were dressed in practical white dresses until early childhood, regardless of gender, mostly to facilitate diaper changes and ease of cleaning via bleach.

    I studied fashion design, including colour theory and the history of costume, therefore I find this topic absolutely fascinating. I find it particularly interesting that we’ve been “stuck” in the pink for girls/blue for boys mindset for so long. Time for a change?

  60. Completely agree. I find it really quite scary and worrying how “gender nazism” has taken over these days; even my Small Child (a girl), whose favourite color is (at the moment) actually blue, has still picked up that “blue” is considered a “boy” colour and “pink” a girl’s one, and no matter how often I say “girls can like blue, like you do, and boys can like pink” she still trotts the same clichés out.

    It seems so ironic that 100 years ago, when women had a much harder time, babies and small children were dressed the same regardless of sex and yet now, when we are supposedly “equal” there are many keen to make gender differentiations apparent from the moment of birth in every regard.

    All very troubling, to my mind, anyway :(.

  61. I guess I am one of the others because I love my boys and would not trade them for the world but still would love to have a girl of my own!

  62. Maria Ping says:

    I just wanted to say that my son’s name is George 🙂 I love my boy and my girl and we feel that we’re complete at this time regardless of their gender. Although, I’ll admit that I did want him to be a girl so that my daughter had a sister. I have a sister and I wonder if they’ll be as close as adults as we are. Will he be at the birth of her baby or helping her get ready on her wedding? There is something special about sisters that no matter that just isn’t the same with a brother and sister. But I would NEVER make my children feel shameful of their gender. Congrats on baby #6!

  63. Miranda Welle says:

    Love your post!

    I can’t know for sure how I would feel since we had a girl and then a boy (and then a boy and now expecting baby #4). But each and every time my husband and I talk(ed) about it, we just can’t fathom “trying” for a certain gender! We just want to add a baby to our family. We will love that baby regardless of the gender.

    Our hope is that each of our kids will feel loved, accepted, and cherished! That they know that we love them!

    I grew up in a home with an older sister and a younger brother. We all know that my parents always wanted a boy. And everyone can see how different (even to this day) that he is treated. My husband and I joke that “if only I could have my brothers’ parents”! I just don’t want our kids to EVER feel that they are not good enough!

  64. Wow, loved the post and also the video (which almost made me cry it was so cute!!!) I am due soon after you on May 22nd =)

  65. Great post and video and congrats on the healthy bean!

    I did not want a boy – no way no how. When I was surprised by a pregnancy that doctors had told me for years could not happen then I was certain that I was carrying the girl that I always dreamed of. At 16 weeks during on of my high risk appointments, I found out that my baby was healthy and appeared to have a penis. I was in shock – excited to have a healthy baby but in disbelief that I was pregnant with a boy! Two weeks later at a follow up ultrasound (high risk pregnancies get a lot of them) it was clear that this was indeed a boy. I teared up, cried for days…. for weeks I was depressed. I know it sounds horrible that my miracle baby was healthy and I should have been jumping for joy but I wasn’t. I know gender disappointment is a real thing and not talked about. I wish I had had support then.

    I am thrilled that parents are excited about their healthy babies and seemingly don’t care what gender the baby is. That, however, was not me. Looking back I think I was afraid to have a boy – didn’t know how to play with a boy. I didn’t know how to play trucks and soldiers. I still don’t know how many men are on a baseball team or how to throw a football. But these gender specific roles are not real – just concocted reasons to worry me. I was afraid of the unknown.

    Now 3 years later my boy is the best little man in the world. I love him to pieces and can’t image life without him. My son has tea parties and transports his plastic food in remote control trucks. How is his play any different from anything I had done as a child? What was I so afraid of? I wish I knew….

  66. Trishy Wishy says:

    I love this article and the video, looking forward to seeing the new one! 🙂
    I had that ‘feeling’ with both of my girls, just ‘knew’. I also had similar ‘Are you hoping for a boy?’ and ‘you ARE having a boy’ thing with my second girl, that’s why we didn’t tell anyone else the sex and we just let everyone guess instead. Was quite funny really, my MIL had convinced herself completely that DD2 was going to be a boy, so much so that she knitted a hat, mitts, booties, and cardi set, in a lovely bold blue, bless her. I said either sex could wear it but when DD2 was born I wasn’t allowed to even see the set. MIL just said that she had put it away for when we do have a boy! lol. We are planning on having more children but which ever sex they are, we will just be grateful to have been blessed with them.
    Just want to add, I am really enjoying your wonderful updates. Hope you are feeling well. 😀

  67. What a great post! I have 2 girls and apparently a ‘poor husband’ with all those girls. Like he’d have it any other way! And if you ask my eldest (3.5y): ‘pink is not a nice colour. Blue is my favourite’.
    I always wonder why there are these expectations, isn’t it all about kids growing up confident and happy and healthy?

    Great video!

  68. So exciting! I love the video. HUGE Congratulations on another beautiful girl;)

  69. This post is so interesting and enlightening. I love your hair and I love the video. You’re family makes me want to have 5 or 6 or 7 children 🙂

    I was wondering how you feel about genderless parenting to the extent of not annoucing a child’s gender, such as the couple in Toronto who have not told anyone the sex of their child Storm.

    • The Piano Man and I’ve talked about that whole genderless thing and while we understand why someone would choose that, it’s not for our family for several reasons. The reality is there are genders and instead of hiding our gender we should be able to be free to be however we are without our sex having any bearing on it. Personally I would be concerned about the message it sends to my child if we were to hide their sex and would rather just try to give them the tools to accept who they are and be themselves. A safe environment to explore the complicated issues that arise in oneself and then in society seem far more important to us than what people may/may not assume about our growing child based on what sex they are. Besides, I wonder how long it could really last, by 2.5-3 my girls have all announced to friends/family/strangers that they have a vagina, lol! That said, I do view sex and gender differently. ~Jessica

  70. Sadly I know I would have had gender disappointment with my first if she’d been a boy. I would have loved “him” anyway of course… but despite never imagining I would feel so strongly about it I did… because my best friend passed away 2 weeks after we found out I was pg. My husband and I decided if she was a girl we’d give her my best friends name for a middle name. Now I could have waited and done that w/ another child and I knew that then… but I was so set on doing it then because it just seemed fitting. She was a girl so it was a moot point 🙂 But… I still feel kinda bad that I did feel so strongly about it even if there were circumstances involved. Second time we joked about wanting a boy (and were happy when we did) but it wasn’t anywhere near the same. I really would have been thrilled either way. I know I will be with any others we have too. Now if people will just stop telling us that we need to be done after having 2 children…. that annoys me to no end :-/

  71. I Have two GORGEOUS baby boys and I hear constantly that now I need to try for a girl. While I do want another baby I don’t care what the next one is. I Love having boys but I’m sure that I would love having a baby girl too. I also got flack from my aunt who was pregnant at the same time as I was for finding out the sex of my baby. Yes, I did it because I did not want to wait to find out but I also did it because like you it helps me establish that initial bond with my baby. Thank you so much for being such an inspiration to me and all of these other women.

  72. Jessica –
    I just wanted to thank you for writing this and to tell you how very helpful it has been for me. But first, I want to tell you a little bit about myself.
    I am currently 21 weeks pregnant with my second child, and we just found out that we are having another girl. All my life I’ve envisioned myself having a boy and a girl, and if I couldn’t have that, I wanted two boys. The thought of having two girls always made me cringe and I have always felt bad for people who have children of all the same gender, but especially all girls. I don’t know where this comes from – I consider myself to be “enlightened” on topics like this, I know girls are just as important and can accomplish just as much as boys, I know that our common assumptions about each gender are really only cultural, I even consider myself to be a feminist – so I don’t know why I think like this. I think it is mostly because I have a terrible relationship with my own sister and because I always hung out with boys and did tradionally boy things.
    When we found out our first was a girl, I struggled with some disappointment but got through it because I just *knew* we would have a boy the second time around. Once our little girl was born, I fell completely and totally in love with her, and now, not for one second would I ever want her to be anything other than who she is. Because of my overwhelming love for her, I really thought that I wouldn’t care what we had the second time around – I thought that a boy or a girl would be great. Well, now I know we are having another girl, and I have been devastated and baffled by the gender disapointment I am feeling.
    Most likely we won’t be having any more children after this one, so I think I am not only having a hard time with the fact that this one isn’t a boy, but also with the thought that I will probably never have a boy. And then the fact that I am feeling this way leaves me feeling completely and totally disgusted with myself. I feel so guilty for not just feeling grateful. I feel like if this is really the way I feel about it, I don’t even deserve to be pregnant. I’m terrified that my unborn baby is picking up on these feelings and will go through her life feeling unwanted and rejected because I’ve managed to screw her up before she’s even born. I know that once she is born I am going to fall in love with her the way I did with my first and that I will feel like what I have is perfect, but right now I am just having a really hard time. Anyway – it’s been a really tough couple of weeks for me, although I’m working through it and it’s getting better.
    Now for my point – you mentioned being worried that this post was going to offend people who have struggled with gender disappointment: I just want you to know, from someone who is currently struggling tremedously with gender disappointment, I did not find this post to be even one bit offensive or insulting to me. Reading this last week gave me such a different perspective on having another girl, and I found it to be really really helpful. Your take on the whole thing was refreshing and I am seeing things in a totally different way because of it. It of course hasn’t solved all my problems (I’m still sad about not getting a “mama’s boy”, not getting to pick out the “boy” clothes (which I love so much more than the “girl” clothes), having to accept that forever more grandparents are going to be bringing Disney princess and pink crap into my house, and especially that I’ll never get to have a boy and keep him intact, etc), but this has really helped me begin to feel excited about the prospect of two girls, and it has helped me think of more and more positives to this situation. I just want you to know what a difference it has made for me, and how grateful I am to you for sharing this.
    Thank you for all you do, Jessica, and CONGRATULATIONS! I can’t wait to hear what you’re having! Also – I’m so excited that I am pregnant at the same time as you, and that I’m due around the same time as you! This will be our second home birth, and I am SOOOO excited to give birth again! Best wishes to you and your wonderful family!

  73. Jessica –
    I just wanted to thank you for writing this and to tell you how very helpful it has been for me. But first, I want to tell you a little bit about myself.
    I am currently 21 weeks pregnant with my second child, and we just found out that we are having another girl. All my life I’ve envisioned myself having a boy and a girl, and if I couldn’t have that, I wanted two boys. The thought of having two girls always made me cringe and I have always felt bad for people who have children of all the same gender, but especially all girls. I don’t know where this comes from – I consider myself to be “enlightened” on topics like this, I know girls are just as important and can accomplish just as much as boys, I know that our common assumptions about each gender are really only cultural, I even consider myself to be a feminist – so I don’t know why I think like this. I think it is mostly because I don’t have a great relationship with my own sister and because I always hung out with boys and did tradionally boy things.
    When we found out our first was a girl, I struggled with some disappointment but got through it because I just *knew* we would have a boy the second time around. Once our little girl was born, I fell completely and totally in love with her, and now, not for one second would I ever want her to be anything other than who she is. Because of my overwhelming love for her, I really thought that I wouldn’t care what we had the second time around – I thought that a boy or a girl would be great. Well, now I know we are having another girl, and I have been devastated and baffled by the gender disapointment I am feeling.
    Most likely we won’t be having any more children after this one, so I think I am not only having a hard time with the fact that this one isn’t a boy, but also with the thought that I will probably never have a boy. And then the fact that I am feeling this way leaves me feeling completely and totally disgusted with myself. I feel so guilty for not just feeling grateful. I feel like if this is really the way I feel about it, I don’t even deserve to be pregnant. I’m terrified that my unborn baby is picking up on these feelings and will go through her life feeling unwanted and rejected because I’ve managed to screw her up before she’s even born. I know that once she is born I am going to fall in love with her the way I did with my first and that I will feel like what I have is perfect, but right now I am just having a really hard time. Anyway – it’s been a really tough couple of weeks for me, although I’m working through it and it’s getting better.
    Now for my point – you mentioned being worried that this post was going to offend people who have struggled with gender disappointment: I just want you to know, from someone who is currently struggling tremedously with gender disappointment, I did not find this post to be even one bit offensive or insulting to me. Reading this last week gave me such a different perspective on having another girl, and I found it to be really really helpful. Your take on the whole thing was refreshing and I am seeing things in a totally different way because of it. It of course hasn’t solved all my problems (I’m still sad about not getting a “mama’s boy”, not getting to pick out the “boy” clothes (which I love so much more than the “girl” clothes), having to accept that forever more grandparents are going to be bringing Disney princess and pink crap into my house, and especially that I’ll never get to have a boy and keep him intact, etc), but this has really helped me begin to feel excited about the prospect of two girls, and it has helped me think of more and more positives to this situation. I just want you to know what a difference it has made for me, and how grateful I am to you for sharing this.
    Thank you for all you do, Jessica, and CONGRATULATIONS! I can’t wait to hear what you’re having! Also – I’m so excited that I am pregnant at the same time as you, and that I’m due around the same time as you! This will be our second home birth, and I am SOOOO excited to give birth again! Best wishes to you and your wonderful family!

  74. Simply Beautiful!

  75. love the video! such a good idea.. kinda sucks that you had to put in brackets that you werent trying for a boy… oh well.

  76. i have 2 girls, and just found out we’re having another girl. i couldn’t be happier, thank you for posting this.my husband is also a “poor guy” but he loves his ladies. i’m curious tho, do you know what you’re having? the suspense is getting to me 🙂

  77. Your Smunchie video gave me goosebumps! So beautiful and sweet! Love it!

  78. Monica Orozco says:

    So glad I came into this post. Not only do your video post always make me cry but also today i ws thinking how appropriate it would it be for us to buy my son some play dishes so he can pretend to wash them and also a small broom since he loves helping me sweep. Now reading the part where you mentioned toys and how your daughters play with both gender toys I see nothing wrong with buying such things for my son. Society has us think that boys can only play with certain toys as the same with girls. Now even though i only have a boy, I’ve come to hear family and friends ask when we’ll try for a girl because i need to have a girl to do “girly stuff” with but frankly i dont mind not having a girl and if i have another boy thats great and we’d be happy.

  79. Elizabeth says:

    Oddly, considering I have one of each, I had minor gender disappointment both times. With my oldest (a girl) I had wanted a boy because, as a connoisseur of oldests (my mother, my husband, my best friend, and over 3/4 of all my other close friends of both sexes are oldests) I find the traits that that birth position tend to foist on a child to be more… attractive, for lack of a better term, on men than on women. That and I had always so badly wanted an older brother myself (I’m an only). But that one passed almost instantly when Lu was born (we were “team green” with her).
    With my second (a boy), I had been having frequent reoccurring dreams ever since my daughter was born of our family of 4 girls, they were so frequent and so vivid that I was absolutely convinced that it was what our family would look like and if we ever did have a boy he would be number 5. My mind was firmly fixed on that idea, I was absolutely, to the point of goosebumps at the thought of writing it for the rest of my life, in love with our girl name, and with the birthdays likely to be less than a month apart from a practical standpoint we already had an entire wardrobe ready to go. (I enjoy gendered clothes, though I find the idea that wearing the “wrong” kind of clothes could make your kid a pervert absolutely ludicrous, I just think shopping for pretty girly clothes and hunting for great geeky, non sports, boyish clothes is fun – oddly I almost enjoy the challenge of finding awesome boy clothes more than the challenge of choosing between all the great girl stuff) I am glad we decided to find out this time (I just had an, at the time inexplicable, hunch that I should) because it took me a few months to get myself out of the girl mindset and I’m glad that I didn’t have to struggle with that post-partum but was able to have already dealt with my disappointment and moved into being excited to get to raise a good, kind, man so I could just enjoy my sweet baby boy without wishing he was a girl.
    I will admit that I am still wishing for a girl next time, simply because I am still madly in love with our girl name (and the next 3 girl possibilities, any of which I will be crushed not to ever get to use) and there are likely to be some uncomfortable arguments about our next boy name(s) re. our decision to use all family names and several male members of hubby’s family that I neither like nor respect but who he will feel obligated to honor with a name.

  80. I love this post. I have felt the same way about gender as you. I did learn my lesson with my first child because I did experience disappointment that he was a boy. That was too painful and never again would I “wish” for a certain gender! I had three boys up until 2 1/2 weeks ago and was surprised with a girl.

    I was a little more suttle in telling my blog readers and friends my thoughts on everyone wishing I would have a girl here in this post: http://skiingmama.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/baby-in-belly-ready/

    One of my other favorite posts I wrote was I’m not normal… http://skiingmama.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/im-not-normal-neither-are-my-friends/

  81. When strangers are trying to make small talk, I think they say a lot of trite things they don’t really mean. When someone sees I have a child, there is usually a whole list of canned expressions I can expect. “Look at that hair!” “Oh, she’s a chunky one!” “What a cutie!” When they ask about her getting a baby brother, I just file that under this category. They (and I and all of us) are conditioned by society to say things like this. We think that’s what we’re supposed to say so we say it and not looking for any deeper discussion, we smile and move on. I don’t take it literally when someone suggests my partner is disappointed he didn’t get his baby boy. He’s the one who was really hoping for a girl. I don’t think he would have been upset with a boy. I don’t think anyone is going to be upset by a healthy baby of either gender. Not for long, anyway. And even if they are, it probably has something to do with a deeper, subconscious issue they haven’t dealt with yet and not their child’s genitals. I don’t know, maybe I’m really naive but I barely pay attention when strangers say things like that. In-laws, however, well that’s a different story.

    • I’m glad that works for you but considering how many people have commented here about being a child that felt the disappointment of their parents, family, and even strangers about their sex I think it really does matter. Not to mention I know for a fact that there are people in our lives that really have been disappointed and strangers should be able to think at least a little bit about how their attempts at trite conversation can impact a child that hears they are somehow not good enough. And if you read my story about the lady it’s hearing that over and over and over again that really starts to hurt. It clearly mattered to my daughter and as such, it matters to me. I will not excuse someone hurting my child because they were too stupid to weigh their words before they spoke. ~Jessica