Having a gir…. no, I mean bo…. I don’t know!

Well folks, as you may know if you’ve read some of my previous posts, we’re having a baby. My wife is due December 24, 2010. Our first two children arrived on their due dates, and with two ultrasounds come and gone, this baby’s due date hasn’t changed a bit. Soooo, it stands to reason that we might be having a Christmas baby. Not ideal, by any stretch, but in the end, if baby and mom are healthy, it’s not the end of the world.

The birthdate isn’t what’s on my mind right now. It’s what we’re having. Much like its older sisters, this baby absolutely refuses to share its sex with us. We’ve had two ultrasounds – one was at 6 weeks and related to my wife’s health – through a set of fortunate circumstances and a connection or two in the health-care industry, I was able to get access to the ultrasound process for us and we have 6 week ultrasound pics of Peanut. Can’t see much, but I’m pretty sure it’s still the cutest thing in the world.

Fast forward to 22 weeks. We were booked for our first (and likely last, barring any unforeseen complications) real pregnancy ultrasound. There are remarkable similarities between this one and the older two. They are absolutely crazy in the womb, cruising around in there non-stop. I told my wife to swallow a basketball or something, so the thing can kill off some energy. Our babies have all been extraordinarily active, such that my wife’s belly constantly moves. It’s not the “Oh, look, the baby kicked!” business. Nope, it’s a scene right out of Alien, and there is constant movement below the surface, with occasional sightings of sharp little elbows or feet grazing the uterus and showing right through my wife’s belly skin. As gross as that sounds, it’s amazing.

Anyway, another similarity between all our kids is this – crazy active RIGHT UP until the ultrasound. Without exaggerating, the kid is bouncing off the walls, and the second the ultrasound tech puts that lube or whatever that goop is on my wife’s belly, the baby goes into hibernation. Seriously, it is so aggravating. The kid just kicks back, has a Coke and a smile, and doesn’t show us a thing. We actually did want to know the sex of our babies, and the last two did the same thing. Nothing different going on with this one – insane-o until the ultrasound, and then…. I was looking at the screen, and got a little alarmed. I saw a significant bony structure lying outside the scope of its skull, and I asked the tech if that happened to be an arm growing out of our baby’s head. She laughed and said, “Oh no, that’s just it’s knees. It has folded itself in half right now and is touching its knees to its forehead. This baby does not want to show us what it is.”

And so it was – for the third time in a row, we don’t know what we’re having. I suppose it’s not that big of a deal. If we are having a boy, we’ll be starting over and it would be nice to know about it beforehand when it comes to planning, preparing the nursery, etc. But we’re not talking life or death here, are we? And it is one of life’s last real surprises.

And this brings me to my main point – I’m so torn about what we will have. I know this is out of my hands. I know I have no say as to whether we have a boy or a girl. But I do know this – I have two girls and they have made my life complete. The second I saw Abigail, my first-born, I knew I couldn’t have had anything but a girl. I loved her more than life itself, and that hasn’t changed. It was the exact same when we were blessed with Amalie’s arrival.

People almost invariably say to us: “Awww, that’s great – you guys are trying for a boy.” Actually it couldn’t be further from the truth. In discussing having a third child, we both have thought of it as another girl. If I got to choose, I would take a third girl without hesitation. I love my life with girls in it. I have some kind of bond with my daughters that words cannot describe aptly. Mere vocabulary can’t express what happens to my heart every single day when I come home, and I hear the pitter-patter of feet – first running down the hallway upstairs, then coming down the stairs and jumping down the last two with a loud thump, and then…… then comes the best part – both of my princesses run into my arms as fast as they can, yelling, “Daddy, daddy!” I brace myself for it, because more than a couple of times, I’ve caught a full-on crotch smash, but somehow when it’s part of your daughters’ hugs, it doesn’t hurt nearly as much. I live for that moment every day, because whatever happened during the day is instantly washed away.

I think about my life with my girls and can’t imagine needing a son. I definitely don’t go easy on my girls – we have a lot of horseplay, we play contact hockey (even the 2 year-old) on the driveway, we play full-contact soccer in the yard, we wrestle in front of the TV. Both my girls can identify classes of cars (sedans, wagons, SUVs, trucks…) and both can quickly identify Audis by their four rings. Anything that you stereotypically do with a son, I do with my girls. But somehow, when it comes to my girls sitting with me while we watch a movie together and stroking my hair, or just laying on my tummy and looking up at me and smiling, I can’t imagine having the same bond with a son.

I feel that a father has a certain chemical connection with his daughters, or at least he should. There is a sense of protection, and in my case, overprotection. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t shelter my kids. I’ve let them make their own mistakes, and try to guide them through the situation and help them learn from it. But when it comes to harm, I wouldn’t hesitate on either of these – I would die for either of my kids, and if need be, I would kill to save my kids. I don’t like thinking of these situations, but on occasion it crosses my mind, and my heart rests peacefully, knowing I would fulfill either of those two horrible tasks if called upon, if it were to protect or to save my babies.

My 6 year-old recently brought home a note from a boy, proclaiming his love for her. In Grade 2. My first reaction wasn’t “Awww, how cute!” Nope. It was: “You little bastard! Someone hold me back!” I know it’s innocent, and I know nothing will happen to my girl. Frankly I’m glad this boy hasn’t converted to the “Ewwww, girls have cooties” religion yet, because most already have at that age. But somehow, I don’t think that I would react the same way if I had a son and the shoe was on the other foot.

Anyway, my point is this – I have two girls, and my life needed them. I need them. It’s just that simple. Now I’m blessed with another child coming into our family, and I wonder what it will be. And I wonder this simple thing – if it’s a boy, how will I react?

I’m going to write another post about the what-ifs from hereon in. There are two situations to consider – it could be a girl, and I know what I’m doing in that case. Or secondly, it could be a boy, and I’d be starting fresh as a father, learning as I go along. Actually, I suppose there are three possible scenarios, if we consider a hermaphrodite, but I probably won’t go there.

If you have experiences with your kids or with your siblings or even parents that you’re willing to share, I’d love to hear from you. Thanks for reading!

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