After a little trip away from life with the bestie (highly recommend a trip at the start of fall, by the way), I came home to snuggle my rainbow babe, hug my husband, and roll out a surprise. While heading back from our trip to Indiana we stopped in Columbus for some exploring (aka, shopping!). We decided to treat ourselves (we work hard, as mamas and business owners!) and each did something exciting. My bestie got a super cute piercing, and I got an ultrasound scan to find out the sex of little bean!
Now let me lead off with the words “sex* disappointment.”
I’m in due date groups, loss mom groups, a lot of the different mom groups on Facebook. I find it’s nice to have a community of moms who are going through similar phases of life as you, people you can relate to. Sex disappointment is a topic that’s been hot lately, as a lot of moms around my due date are finding out the sex of their newest babe. And a lot of moms have different opinions on whether or not it’s okay.
Coming from a mom who lost a perfectly healthy 22-week-old little boy, I promise the only thing I wanted for my rainbow was for him to be healthy. A big part of me wanted a little girl, but there was also a big part of my heart that wanted a little boy. Because I had missed everything about being a boy mom, except having the title. I wanted the full experience of having a little boy since that was unfairly taken from me, with no reason. Then that dream came true. Our rainbow was none other than a handsome little boy, and my heart, although missing a piece, was full.
Now when it came down to our currently baking bean, I was finding myself at the crossroads.
As many moms have said, a person should be grateful to even be able to have a baby at all, boy or girl. And as a mom who had already lost a child, I am grateful. I know that no matter what this baby is, I’m going to love him/her with everything in me. The fact that it is one sex over the other didn’t change anything. But we are humans, and we are allowed to feel things, even if people have opinions about them. I knew that if it was a boy, I’d be a little disappointed because I knew I’d miss out on that experience I mentioned – of having a girl. My husband and I had decided this was our last child before I even got pregnant. I knew Nathan needed a sibling here on Earth, and that was enough for me. No more fertility medications, no more progesterone shots, and ten thousand doctor appointments. Just us, our two tiny humans, and our angel watching over us. So needless to say I was really hopeful that this was a girl, so I didn’t miss being a girl mom as well.
My bestie and I joked with the ultrasound technician as she took all of the photos of my little bean. About 10 minutes went by before she asked us if we were ready. The anticipation was nerve-wracking. She explained exactly what we were looking for on the ultrasound, and then she said my new favorite words. “It’s a GIRL!”
Tears were streaming down my face! We both cheered in excitement! A GIRL! I couldn’t believe it! I absolutely thought it was a boy, with everything in me. I thought there was no way I was going to get my girl, but there she was up on the screen! I feel like the luckiest mama on the planet getting to raise one of each, like I’d always hoped for. My dreams of leopard print and tutus had finally come true. I told my husband and family over the next few days, finished rewriting the song I had started writing when I was hopeful it was a girl early on, and used that as part of my reveal. It still hasn’t hit me, and probably won’t until I find the perfect leopard print outfit (haha).
So I may be sitting here on my happy news, but I was fully anticipating having a boy for the third time.
And I was anticipating being a little disappointed because I was sad about the thought of never having a girl. Life decided to make that happen for me, and I’m ecstatic, but I just wanted to say it out loud – Feel How You Want To Feel! And don’t let anyone give you grief regarding how you feel! I’ll say it again, we’re humans! We have all different kinds of emotions! I’m a mama who lost a son, had a living son, and was hoping for a girl. I’m sure there’s a mom out there who only wanted boys, or only wanted girls, and her outcome isn’t what she expected. It’s okay to be sad about the “what could have been” – because especially as loss parents we’ve already experienced that exact sadness. We lost a whole future with our children that passed away, and we’re disappointed about that. If we can feel those feelings, we can feel any others that come our way too, even if it’s regarding the sex. Your feelings are valid – and don’t let anyone tell you differently. Your baby will be loved regardless of the outcome, but let yourself feel the way you feel. We have to roll with what’s given to us and even the strongest of families have their moments. Have yours, whether it’s a good or bad moment!
My husband and I had our daughter’s (weird to say still) name picked out from the get-go, before we started trying to get pregnant. And it stuck – I was set on her name. Delilah Marie Michalski will make a beautiful addition to our family, the last piece of our family of five. We can’t wait to meet her, and I’m just very, very thankful to have my dream come true. Off I go to browse the internet for the perfect leopard outfit I have yet to find.
*A note on sex (gender) disappointment: Among the loss community this has been referred to as gender disappointment in the past. In recent years there has been a movement to label this experience as sex disappointment, as this more accurately describes the genitals a person is born with. However you define this experience for yourself, it’s important to know that sex disappointment is a real psychological experience that pregnant after loss parents can go through.