Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Old Wife's Tale


As ALL of my friends and family know, this has been a very hard pregnancy for me. The first 4 months were completely miserable, and I have NEVER felt as consistently sick and unhappy as I did. I felt so very helpless that I had zero qualms about reaching out to my fellow Mama friends and soliciting free babysitting assistance, just to give me some alone time to wallow in self pity and discomfort. I wish the above was an exaggeration, but I am sure my husband can vouch for the fact that I turned into the frigid witch of the west, and was no joy to be around. Thankfully, those days have passed. Other than the usual back aches, and tiredness that I still grumble about, I finally feel like myself again, with a regained appetite and the ability to eat onions and garlic again. In the first few months I lost a whopping 14 pounds, but I am finally above my pre-pregnancy weight, and I'm sure that half a pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream I ate last night certainly helps.

Back in August, Dan, Stella and I spent a week at Portage Lake in Michigan, for a large family reunion. I drifted in and out of participation, and depended heavily on my Mother-in-law for breaks from Stella. I felt guilty about not being as social or as warm and friendly to everyone, during such a happy get together. I KNOW that many of my new relatives were sympathetic, as they had shared similar sick pregnancies, but I still felt bad about not being able to force a regular smile. Out of all the young children and teens in our midst, from 4 months to 18 years (about 16 in total), there were only two boys. The abundance of girls in the family was discussed often, especially with my new pregnancy and another cousins 8 week announcement. Would we break the cycle and bring some new testosterone into the mix? All the mother's began comparing their pregnancies, and there definitely seemed to be a link between extreme nausea and the birthing of females. Without exception, those few who had had boys seemed to have the easiest pregnancies and the least complaints of all. Over the course of the next few months, I began my own unofficial polling, and became even more convinced by the results that bad pregnancy = girl, and easy pregnancy = boy. Little by little, Dan's hope of a son was chiseled away. There was no doubt that I was suffering from excessive estrogen hormonal imbalance.

I have vowed that this pregnancy will be my last. I turn 35 on Friday, and feel the strains of my age. Not only does pregnancy not suit my temperament, but I believe that my energy is waning as the years progress, and I don't really want to be an old Mom. Of course, there are numerous financial and emotional reasons not to burden ourselves with a larger family. Thus, there has been some sadness in the last weeks, as both my husband and I have addressed the issue that this will likely be our last baby. In honesty, our hopes were to have a boy and balance out the sexes in our home, but we have been bolstering ourselves for the inevitable news that another little girl was blossoming in my womb. Part of the reasons that we decided to find out the sex of this new baby in advance, was to give us time to absorb the news and begin to picture what the future dynamics of our home life would be. We have grown to see that either way will be right and wonderful, but this has taken much thought and introspection. We definitely did not want the actual birthing day to be tarnished with any sadness about what could have been. I suppose that this might sound horrible to some, who feel strongly (and rightfully) that any child is an enormous blessing, and that the sex is irrelevant, but I'd be a smidgen dishonest to say that I was in complete mature agreement.

Yesterday, at almost 23 weeks (a little late for scheduling our ultrasound), my family finally found ourselves in the doctor's office. I was laid out on the exam table, copious gel on my belly, as the ultrasound technician began her study of the healthy looking baby in my uterus. I knew that Dan was nervous, and thankfully distracted by our twittering daughter. After initial examination of the body, skull measurements, umbilical cord, placenta placement and vital organs, our t.v. view drifted to the nether regions.

"Well, it definitely looks like we have a little boy here."
Dan was in shock, "No. Are you serious? No. Are you sure?" I could hear the elation in his voice and tears easily sprung from my eyes.
It was a definite, unless ours was a little girl with a penis.

My initial feeling was one of relief, like my job was done. I felt that Dan had a sense of manhood restored, no matter how silly that sounds. There was also a slight sadness, as I realized that Stella would not have a little sister, something I had so deeply wanted when my own little brother was born. This information also somehow made my daughter even more precious, as I realized this was "it". She was going to be my ONLY little girl. Would she have to be my everything? How could I expect her to embody all of my little girl dreams? How could I dare put such pressure on her? It would be wrong, and something my conscience will have to fight with my unconscious, as those types of expectations are completely unrealistic.

So, here we are - a little boy on the way, and we are happy. The old wife's tale has officially been busted.

6 Comments:

Blogger Reino said...

Sarah, before love, jealousy, and insecurity became a part of girlhood, there was one thing I always knew...I loved and respected you. I greatly admired you and always enjoyed our time together. I read this and think of those very same feelings again. You are you and YOU are AMAZING. Carp diem.
Rein

1:19 AM  
Anonymous Momg said...

To our lovely "daughter",son and darling Stella. We too are jumping with joy for our new little grandson.Dad has not stopped smiling or telling everyone his "first" son will have a "son".After we received your call Dad said something that surprised me so much that it brought to mind the same words I had said when Stella was born."If I were taken from this wonderful place today I feel complete".As parents you pray with much love and guidness your children will bring joy and pride to you as you grow older.Well,we feel that in all of you,Sarah,Dan,and Rob. Dan, you are a loving and wonderful husband and father,and Dad and I couldn't be more proud.After spending 2 weeks with Stella I could see how much she loves her Momma and Daddy and that love she receives goes further into the family.(Of course you don't want to get too close to her,for you know what happens sometimes.)(Inside joke)Sarah,you have brought into this family(of males) a softness and tenderness I am happy to have.(Along with some new recipes)I love you and respect you and know you will be able to handle 2 little ones with all the love you have.As far as a sister for Stella, get a female dog....Much love to All,MomG

11:17 AM  
Blogger mrsgreen said...

'Grammy' Gayle and Rein, Thank you so much for your support and love. I really appreciate your comments and constant sharing.

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats!! We are so thrilled.You've broken the 2
girl cycle.What fun to have a little boy in the family.It's been a long time.I'm praying for all of you every night ,and was so glad to hear the pregnancy is getting a little easier.Sending big hugs and kisses your way.
Aunt Char & Uncle Tom

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CONGRATS! We are all so excited for the 3 of you! The Gamber 2 girls cycle is officially broken. When r you all coming to visit? Maybe we will take a car ride north after our nephew is born.

Love and Kisses,
Gary, Peggy, Amy and Anna

2:22 PM  
Blogger Linda Mar said...

Congratulations Dan and Sarah! That is wonderful news. Happy Birthday, Sarah!!!

reeve

9:11 AM  

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