Saturday, August 7, 2010

The gender post

Sometimes, I'm struck by how little Elizabeth and I know about our babies. We've managed to get this far, through all of the extra ultrasounds that twins get, without learning the sex of the babies. I thought I'd have some kind of mother's intuition and get a strong feeling one way or the other, but so far, I can't say that I have an inkling about who is in there.

As happy as I am to be surprised on the day that they're born, there is a part of me that wishes I knew. Although I love and appreciate all of the clothes we've gotten from friends and family, I'm getting eager to buy things that are a bit more gender specific. There are only so many gender neutral things available at BRU, (which seems to be the only place people shop for showers) so we have so many duplicate items. The colors that have been deemed "neutral" are a bit boring after a while too. No bold greens or oranges, just a sea of orange and lime sherbet colored onesies. Lately when we've stopped at any store that sells baby items, we've been drawn to the clothing - particularly the really gender specific items, like impossibly tiny ladybug sundresses and cupcake onesies, or bulldog and dinosaur outfits. I have to admit, some of them are quite cute. But I can't bring myself to buy them without knowing who's in there.

Let me say that I have absolutely no preference of one sex over the other when it comes to these babies. I know that there are many families (same-sex and hetero, nobody on my blog roll of course) who view girls as the top prize, and baby boys as a distant second. It breaks my heart to see some people who are truly disappointed when they come back from their anatomy scan and must report that they are carrying a baby boy. I've always felt a bit defensive when it comes to baby boys. I think it comes from hearing stories about my crazy grandmother. My grandmother had three daughters, and no sons. She was thrilled when I was born, but when her second grandchild, my brother, was born a year later she refused to hold him for the first three months of his life simply because he was a boy. When my aunt, who had struggled with infertility for years was finally approved for adoption, my grandmother asked "what are you going to do if it's a boy?" And when I approached her, overflowing with joy to tell her that she was soon going to be a great-grandmother to twins, the first words out of her mouth were "I suppose they're both boys?" My jaw hit the floor. I was 12 weeks along at that point and had done my best to remain as detached as possible from these babies, mostly as a defense mechanism because I was so afraid of losing them. But in that moment, I suddenly felt so connected to my babies and protective of them. I had to convey to her that there was no way I would love a son any less than I would love a daughter. Even if I'm not quite sure how to teach him to pee standing up.

16 comments:

MrsSpock said...

I don't get the prizing of one gender over another. I had such a strong feeling I was carrying a boy with J, that I bought boy clothes on Ebay long before the 20 week scan. I was right, and I was perfectly happy. I could have 4 boys- or 4 girls- and be perfectly content. If you love a child, you love them for themselves, not for their gender.

PS; The best way to teach a boy to pee standing up, is to throw some Cheerios in the toilet and let him have some target practice.

jessie said...

Wow. That's crazy and sad that your grandmother is like that! I hope that she will be open and welcoming if you have a boy (or two).

Rachel said...

I am just in awe that you are still pregnant!

When I found out Farty was a boy, I was overjoyed, but no more so than I would have been to have another girl. I did have some concerns about that whole peeing standing up issue, but since Farty refuses to pee anywhere but in his pants, it is so far a moot point.

Why is it that there is someone in every family who has to make shitty comments and rain on your parade? I hope your grandma can be decent to your son if you have one. (For the record, I think you're having at least 1 boy).

Shannon said...

Boys are awesome! I have two of them and my partner and I never cared if we had boys or girls either. We're going to start trying for #3 soon and we'll be thrilled with another boy OR a girl. I'm sorry about your grandmother's reaction, that must have been tough.

This might be the first time I've commented on your blog. I've been reading for a little while. Can't wait for your little ones to arrive.

My blog is private but you're welcome to read. I can send you an invite if you email me at lpnlzrds @ yahoo . com (without spaces of course.)

2 Chicks 1 Hatchling said...

I find it so strange that someoneone (esp a grandmother!) would have such a strong reaction to having a boy. I would be thrilled with either, I'm sure. I "feel" like I'm having a boy but we all know that means nothing. :) The moment those babies arrive you will not even think about them being any other gender then what they are!
I agree about the clothes though. (I was having the same experience today at BRU. :))
I second the cheerios method!

Nicole said...

I used to be terrified of having a boy, not because I didn't want one but just because I didn't know anything about them. But my sister now has three boys so I totally got over it. I think it's so exciting that you get to be surprised...twice!

meridith said...

I absolutely hear you on finding out the sex. We didn't find out and after awhile we were itching to buy something specific - a tiny button up in forest green plaid or a little dress with frilly bottoms. Even though I'm not super gender-specific in my own clothing, I could not wait to inflict my tastes on my child :)

And on that note, we definitely wanted a girl. We know so many infant boys, it was honestly for the different experience. Boy or girl, we'd have been thrilled, but seriously, those little dresses are c.u.t.e.

Elana said...

I think boys are super awesome. I actually wanted this one to be a boy, but we're having a girl. Well, maybe for the next one!! I think both genders have their pluses and minuses, and I feel so blessed that the twins were one of each.

I personally wouldn't have minded a house with all boys, but I would've been quite disappointed if I had had all girls and no boys. I just consider myself a boy mama, you know? :-)

poppycat said...

I am so impressed that you still don't know who is in there! It's going to be so exciting to meet them and find out.

I agree that the neutral clothing selection is sad and sorry at best. Who designs this crap anyway? There are so many other really cute alternatives to pastel yellow and green.

I was really excited to have one of each. When I was younger I wanted a girl so badly but since I started ttc I've wanted one of each and I'm so glad to be able to experience both.

Whoever comes to you will be the biggest joy you've ever known - boy, girl, one of each, hell even a little of both - they'll be perfect!

So close now Gayby! Can you believe it???

Melissa said...

We didn't know the sex of our baby until the day he was born. But right from the start we always referred to him as a he. I was terrified that we would have a boy because we both have sisters and I really never grew up around baby boys and all of our friends had girls. I still don't know what I'm doing half the time :) But wouldn't change a thing. When we try for #2 I hope we have a second boy but my wife wants a little girl. Either way we'll be happy.

Can't wait to see your little ones!

Growing up Clangley said...

you are so close now! i cant wait to see who's in there! we have dozens of newborn onsies (boy) that are so cute that we would love to give you if you need them. waiting and watching!

Strawberry said...

Wow, I'm pretty appalled that she said/did those things. How can someone conditionally love a child based on its genitalia??

That said, we did *want* a girl, but I love our son so much. You get what you get! (btw, if there's an H&M near you that sells infant clothing, there's a lot of gender-neutral stuff of all colors...we got Miles red and purple onesies from there)

AdventuresInBabyMaking said...

I'm kind of surprised to hear your experiences. I always thought it was sort of the other way around - ppl preferring boys. I had a prof in college who said that when someone invented a kit that (allegedly) helped couples get their preferred gender, the boy kit outsold the girl kit like 2 to 1. I guess I always remember that story, plus in Asian cultures, there's often a boy preference. Very interesting that you've experienced it the other way. I can't believe your grandmother acted that way! Yikes!

Anyway, I know you two will be thrilled regardless. There's a little part of me that is jealous of people who have the strength to find out when they deliver - such a cool surprise! I just could never do it...

But I'm looking forward to the surprise, too! :)

tbean said...

Having just made my first "browsing only" cruise through a Carters recently, I was pretty shocked at how little (literally zero) selection there was for gender-neutral clothing. I am so excited to meet your little ones and learn who they are. And seriously, how are you still pregnant? You are a twin pregnancy rock star!

Mama Deux said...

hello! this is the first time i've commented though i am a follower. i just had to say, i feel you on this! my partner and i are having a boy (any day now) and when we've told people, some (thank god not those closest to us) have said things like, "oh, you must be disappointed." um, disappointed? after the ttc journey? are they out of their minds? this baby is OUR baby! that's all that matters. our baby, our son, and someday the big man we two women raised up who will be awesome. ha, i hope! anyway, best of luck for upcoming delivery and can't wait to see pix of your beautiful new kiddos.

Anonymous said...

I think a long time ago I would have said that I'd prefer to have a girl. After struggling with infertility I was thrilled to have any baby but my partner was hoping for a boy. I think she thought one high maintenance female in the household was enough... We both got our wish! I understand what you mean that sometimes it seems like having a girl is more highly prized by two mom families but I haven't actually heard or seen it in any real life situations. Mainly I just see mommies crazy about their children. Now that I have a son, if we are lucky enough to have a second baby, I'd love to have a second son b/c I'd love for my son to have a brother. Congrats on your babies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!