Let me just start off by saying, I know you all mean well. I truly do. But sometimes even the best intentions are hurtful.
When I was pregnant with my first daughter we announced to people when I was 6 weeks along. Because we announced so early it gave people a LOT of time to ask us a LOT of questions. Many of them were, “What are you hoping you have?”, “Will you be finding out what you’re having?” We chose to find out the sex of our babies with both pregnancies, which apparently was not okay with a lot of people (can you imagine the horror?!). When we told people we would be finding out with Ellie we then got the comment, “You really shouldn’t! You’ll regret it!”. I can honestly say that neither time have we regretted it, and the only regret I’ve ever had was sharing with people that we were finding out.
When we found out with Ellie it was a very special moment for Colin and I. We went for the anatomy ultrasound and asked the tech that if she was able to see the sex, that she wouldn’t say anything, but that she write it on a piece of paper so the two of us could go out for supper and read it together on our own. It was a moment where we had just the two of us, no one around, no beeping machines or nurses or doctors poking and prodding me. It was quiet, and intimate. I couldn’t have asked for a better moment. I had a gut feeling all along that we would have a girl, then at the ultrasound my thoughts changed and I thought we were having a boy. When Colin read the paper to me and told me we were having a girl, with a big smile on his face, I couldn’t stop crying! I couldn’t have asked for a better moment for him to tell me. It was no less special than had he told me in the hospital after she had been born. Though we found out we chose to keep it between just us, immediate family, and close friends. We knew that people would have their opinions and comments. In fact when one person found out they commented to me, “Oh, that’s too bad! Boys are better as the oldest child, it’s too bad she won’t have an older brother to protect her. Every girl needs a big brother”. Let that sink in for a minute. Instead of congratulating me, I got told it was “too bad”.
Again, when we got pregnant with Lydia we told people very early. Again, the comments came about it being a boy. “Trying for a boy this time?”, “Are you hoping for a boy?”, “Can’t wait to see Ellie’s baby brother!” Now don’t get me wrong, I would have been very happy to have a boy! But no, we were not trying for a boy. We were just trying for a baby! When we went for the anatomy scan at 17 weeks we again asked if they could write down the sex on a piece of paper. We went for supper that evening and again it was a very intimate time between the two of us that we learned we were having another girl. We were ecstatic! However we decided that we would not tell anyone what we were having, or that we even knew or were going to find out. The comments last time had hurt too much and I didn’t want people’s negative attitude about another girl to kill my excitement. I wanted to cherish every moment of knowing that I would have another perfect little girl to hold and love, and not worry about people ruining my excitement for me. The next 20 weeks of pregnancy were so much happier than my pregnancy with Ellie because I didn’t care what people thought. I could focus alone with Colin on names for our little girl, and buying special things just for her. Our little girl, to add a missing piece to our family puzzle.
Lydia was born and goodness gracious, was she ever perfect. She fits in to our family so perfectly, it’s hard to imagine not having her here. Nothing we had imagined was close to what she looked like or what her personality is like, and the missing puzzle piece fit exactly how it needed to. Then the comments started. Friends of mine had their second babies and had one of each, boy and girl. People would tell them they had a million dollar family and were so lucky. People congratulated us, and followed the congrats with comments about boys, once again. People asked when we’d be trying for a boy now, when we’d give our parents a grandson, when we’d give our girls a brother… What’s the kindest way to say, “shove it”?
To all my friends who have a boy and a girl, you have the million dollar family. To my friends who have 2 boys, you have a million dollar family. To my friends who have 2 boys and a girl or 2 girls and a boy, you also have a million dollar family. If you have 6, 7, or 8 kids you have a million dollar family! Every family is perfect in it’s own imperfect way. So next time you feel like commenting on someone’s family size or how many girls or boys they have, DON’T. It’s not called for, it’s not necessary, it’s just hurtful. You don’t know what they’ve gone through to have that baby, you don’t know how many baby’s they’ve lost before they were blessed with this baby.It may not be the “million dollar family” to you, but I know God gave me the million dollar family when He gave me two perfect girls to raise and an incredible husband to raise them with. Little do people know, this is all I’ve ever wanted.
All photo credit goes to Kristin Smith at her website here,