What You're Not Allowed to Wish For
Last Tuesday was 20-week scan day. Lying on the bed, smothered in tummy jelly, I once again felt the butterflies and slightly anxious knotty feeling that something might be wrong. Baby might not be healthy. They do, after all, call this the 'anomaly scan' and I'm sure all parents have a pang of desperate hope that everything remains anomaly-free.
We have one healthy child already. Our beautiful whirlwind of madness, Hurricane Henry. All anybody would wish for would be an equally healthy sibling. Right?
Well I did wish for that. But I also wished for something else. Something seemingly far less important but all-consuming in the run up to that scan. I wished for a girl.
And when the moment of truth presented itself, it was clear to see that this wasn't to be. There wasn't any searching between baby's legs at this scan. Half the screen was willy and balls at one point. We have been blessed with a second son, and all is well. We are so very lucky. And yet I cried. Not at first. At first, I delighted in the healthy baby news and laughed at the obvious gender identification. Another little monkey like my Henry!
But outside the hospital, I burst into tears and more tears came later that afternoon and later still in bed. I wanted a girl.
How pathetically selfish of me. I am so very angry at myself for reacting in that way. But that is how I felt.
I sneer at people on TV who keep trying for more children until they get the sex they have been longing for. I will not be one of those people. As sure as anybody can ever be, I will never have another baby. I will never have a girl. And that, I believe, is where the upset came from. Growing up as one of two girls I only ever imagined having daughters. I have spent 27 years dreaming of pony club outings and ballet. Of spa trips and chats about boyfriends. Perhaps losing my own wonderful mum as a teenager heightened this longing to have a daughter of my own. Perhaps I just thought it would be special.
So you see, when I felt disappointment at the news Baby Two is to be a boy, this was not at all because I don't want another boy. If you have met my glorious Henry you would understand how very fond of the mother-son bond I have become.I just felt a temporary (but at the time overwhelming) sense of sadness that I will never have a daughter. And now I’ve reflected on it, I don't think that’s an unfair thing to say.
To say ‘I would have liked a girl is not to say I don't want my boy. My Dad would have liked a son, and as his second (and last) daughter that nugget of information has never lessened my sense of self-worth. He loves me unconditionally, as I will love bump two.
But you can't help how you feel and I think perhaps we should allow ourselves to 'have a moment' rather than bottling up the unsaid. And then move on, counting our wonderful blessings.