There are a couple of members of our extended families who are having babies and it is an exciting time. It's nearly time for that ultrasound where they can tell the sex of the baby and I think one couple will want to know and the other will opt not to and wait for a surprise.
We asked to find out the sex of all of our babies. With Ned we kind of hoped for a girl but we were ecstatic with a boy. Then between our combined siblings and cousins 7 boys were born in 2 years and only 1 lonely,gorgeous girl! My parents had a granddaughter and 3 grandsons. And Ben's parents had two grandsons.
Could we score a girl next time?
Oh, how we hoped so.
When Ned turned one we announced with great delight that we were pregnant again. There was no mistaking it both of our families were hoping it was a girl. I'll always remember making the phone call to my Mum after our 19 week ultrasound. I was very emotional and simply said,
"We've broken the drought!"
Somehow we got really swept up with the promise of a boy and a girl. Our boy loved everything boy's should - roadworks, cars, trains, diggers and sandpits. But I was waiting for pretty dresses, braided hair and a two-storey dolls house with old-fashioned furniture.
Then in October 2005 Miranda arrived in 3 hours and 3 pushes. We had our pigeon pair - how clever and how perfect.
But it's funny how things turn out and children are more than their gender, they are themselves. Miranda hates me doing her hair and Charlie and I play with her doll's house. However, she is a sucker for a party frock and pretty shoes- YAY!!
With our very sweet pigeon pair in place we were not planning on having any more children. But no one told Charlie that and he appeared 31/2 years after Miranda. Charlie's pregnancy was a roller-coaster journey and at times we were totally overwhelmed with the drama of losing one twin, and then having Charlie diagnosed with a major birth defect. At times it was harrowing and was a reminder that to us that the gender of a child is not what matters, but rather their health and well-being. That first week of knowing there was something wrong with the baby inside me will stay with me forever. I never knew such grief and guilt. The thought that my baby was not 'healthy' kept resonating through me. After all it's what we all say - "I don't mind what the sex is as long as it's healthy!"
It is a great joy and a priviledge to speculate and dream about the sex and features of the child-to-be when pregnant. Who will he/she look like? Will the tall genes be passed on or the short and chubby ones? Will they be left-handed like Dad or a red-head like Grandma?
But in the end what every parent wants is a baby who is healthy and thriving and ultimately happy and there are many definitions on what is healthy and what is happy. Ultimately our job as parents is to embrace each of our children for exactly who they are -whether they are born with an obvious disability, or they develop special needs as they grow older or they suffer from something as straightforward as 'Middle-child syndrome'. And the great responsibility of we parents is to then nurture and encourage each of our children to be the very best version of themselves, which has very little to do with their gender or the colour of their hair.
We have to love them for who they are, after all it's what we expect them to do for us!