Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Are you going to try for a boy?

I've been asked this question a lot lately.  I'm not sure how to answer. I usually say something like "we'll be excited with whatever God gives us."  I've been thinking how God has given us an absolutely perfect, complete family.....very different from what I had originally 'planned'.  I had 'planned' to have 2 boys first, then maybe a girl....or a third boy, then just one girl.  Yet, now I can't even imagine life any different from 3 perfect girls.  Would I one day like a boy? Yes....I think....I'm actually not even sure anymore. I could imagine life absolutely perfect with more girls too. You may be thinking "but, what about Jake?"  That is actually another comment I get frequently, "your poor husband."  I don't think Jake feels like he is missing anything. He feels as complete as I do.  He rough-houses and plays sports with the girls just as much as he would with a boy.  And the girls just absolutely adore him!  Jake can't even go to the bathroom without them banging on the door asking if he's done yet.  When he comes home they scream at the top of their lungs as they nearly kill themselves racing to hug him.

I don't think I'm going to 'try' for anything. I'm going to continue to have faith that God knows exactly what is perfect for our family.

Here is a great article I read about another family of 3 girls. While it's not exactly like our family (the first daughter is adopted, she had lost her son, and they are Jewish;) it still holds the same sentiments I feel about having a family of girls.

It's Not About A Boy

November 5, 2010
We did not find out ahead of time the gender of our new baby. It was fun to speculate with Katie and Annie Rose about whether they would end up with a little sister or a little brother.
Annie Rose expressed a preference for a brother. Halfway through my pregnancy, she declared, “If the baby is a girl, I will respect her, but I won’t love her.”
“Respect is a good place to start,” I told her.
Whenever I was out somewhere without the girls, strangers would notice my big belly and ask,
“Do you know what you are having?”
“We’re not finding out. Keeping it a surprise.”
“Is this your first?”
“No,” I would reply. “My third.”
“Oh, what do you have at home already?”
“I have two little girls.”
“Maybe this time you will get a boy!” was always the response.
The above conversation played out countless times over the past nine months. It astonished me how many people assumed I was hoping for a boy, expecting a boy, needing a boy for our family to feel complete.
The baby was born three weeks ago. She is most definitely not a boy. And we are delighted with her. In fact, when she was born and I saw that she was a girl, I realized that a girl was exactly what I wanted. (I think if the baby had been a boy, I probably would have felt that a boy was exactly what I wanted).
Quite simply, I want whatever I have. I once had a boy. My first pregnancy was a boy, a desperately sick little boy. I do not have him now.
Every time someone asks me if I want a boy, I think about my first baby. When people comment that our family only “makes girls”, I remember him and I know that in an alternate universe, we would have a 7-year-old son right now.
I have several other friends who also lost their first babies. Curiously, each of us has gone on to have single-gender families, with our surviving children being the opposite sex of our lost children.
And frankly, we all want what we have. We are grateful to be parents, and we would never trade the children we have for those we lost.
Cleo is the ninth girl in a row for my parents. My mom and dad have four daughters and five granddaughters. There are no sons or grandsons. Although my parents would have gone a little crazy buying blue things if Cleo had been a boy, they don’t love her any less because she is a girl.
I am actually relieved that Cleo doesn’t have a penis, because I didn’t have to deal with a bris (the Jewish circumcision ceremony on the eighth day of life). The postpartum hormone drop was formidable between days four and eight, and it would have been quite a feat to pull off a bris. I could barely make it through breakfast without crying.
For those few days that I had the baby blues, I wept at just about anything. I cried because I was in pain from the delivery and breastfeeding; I cried because my older girls were being difficult. I cried because Cleo was up all night (and still is). I cried because I couldn’t find time to write or paint or shower or clean my house. I cried because Cleo would be my last baby and as miserable as I felt, I was still sad that she was already starting the irreversible process of growing older.
But one thing I did not cry about is the fact that Cleo is a girl.
I look at my little trio and I see years ahead of ballet recitals, princess costumes, pink ribbons and braided pigtails. But I also see years of soccer games, Star Wars toys, softball tournaments and rough-housing. For the past two years I have coached Katie’s soccer team, amidst a sea of male coaches, and it has been great fun to watch my little girl learn to play the sport.
During the years that my parents were raising four daughters, they spent evenings and weekends at our basketball, soccer, softball and baseball games. They attended track and cross-country meets, and they watched tennis matches. In fact, they came to see us perform at far more sporting events than dance recitals.
It is too soon to say what my little girls will want to pursue for their serious extracurricular activities, so right now we dabble in everything. We cart the girls to piano and ballet lessons alongside swim, soccer and art classes. Yes, they do gravitate towards glittery, pink clothes, but we give them the opportunity to embrace so-called “boy clothes” too. Katie loves her White Sox shirt. Annie Rose prefers nudity.
When people say, “poor Andrew” about my husband who lives surrounded by females, I know that in reality Andrew loves being the king of the house. Katie idolizes him so completely that she won’t tell me what she wants for breakfast until she sees what Daddy is eating, so that she can eat the exact same thing.
Andrew and Katie attend White Sox games together and play catch outside. And I don’t think he ever laments the fact that it is a daughter and not a son who joins him in cheering on his favorite teams.
And now that Cleo is here, Annie Rose assured me that she does love her. She calls her the “sweet chicken” and smothers her with kisses every chance she gets. Ironically, Annie Rose loves Cleo but does not respect her personal space.
Once I was going to be a mother of a son. Now I am the mother of three daughters. If we had not lost Matthew, we would have never adopted Katie. Our lost boy’s legacy to us is that he set us on a course to bring our first daughter into our lives, and she was meant to be with us. Our second and third daughters are icing on the sweetest cake ever created, and our family is complete, even without a boy.

Carrie is an artist and a writer living in Evanston. According to her, ‘I was actually trained to exercise the other half of my brain and worked for years in the Financial Services sector after receiving an MBA in Finance from Kellogg. But I had a change of brain after going through the harrowing process of adopting our daughter Katie, and I could no longer think in columns of numbers. I thought instead in splashes of color and shades of light and dark.’ When Katie was nearly a year old, Carrie left banking and started her own oil painting business, Artwork By Carrie. Working as an artist has allowed her to create a flexible schedule to spend more time with Katie and her second daughter, Annie Rose. Read her blog, Portrait of an Adoption.


  1. Yes, we get this question all of the time as well. At one time, I did want a boy and I still would be glad to have one. At the same time, I decided a while back that having another girl would be perfectly fine with me. We already have all the girly things and I already know what to expect. People also say, "Poor Andy", but I asked him about his thoughts on another girl the other day and he said that he would be happy with whatever God decided to give us someday. He really enjoys the girls...He teaches them things, like baseball and soccer as well. I loved the article...Thanks!!

  2. P.S. We have decided with our next pregnancy, that we won't be finding out the sex. I am curious to see what people will say about that. :)