Growing up, being a mom was definitely on top of my list of “Things to Accomplish.” I’ve always been a family oriented girl and was so thankful for my mom staying home with me when I was young. Even during college I knew my education and finding a job was important, but having a lifelong career and climbing the corporate ladder was never my end goal. Women who are career driven have strength, smarts and ambitions to succeed in the business world that just never clicked for me. I have so much respect for women in powerful positions and truly believe more women should be making the important decisions! Just not this woman. Not in that capacity, anyway. I am just fine being in charge of a house full of little minions I created. Okay, who am I kidding? I’m not in charge at all. I’m lucky if C listens to me 1 in 20 times during any given day and forget keeping on top of the day-to-day involved with raising two little boys and taking care of a household!
When imagining parenthood through my youthful, naive eyes, I never pictured myself surrounded by hyper little boys with an endless supply of energy and poop jokes. In fact, when I was pregnant with my first, it was no secret that I really wanted a girl. As soon as that stick read “Pregnant,” I dreamed of little frilly dresses, hair bows and pale purple paint on the nursery walls (we were NOT going to be surrounded by pink!). It’s not that I despised the idea of having a boy, but an offspring the same as me just seemed way more manageable from a new mom standpoint. I don’t play with Legos, I can’t connect with an enjoyment of Hot Wheels or Superheroes. My idea of fun, even as a child, is reading or crafts. I’ve always preferred peace and calm over loud, rough and tumble play and goofy antics. My husband, however, is the polar opposite and has always been a playful, energetic character. So I should have known what I was getting into when we decided to have kids together.
During my first pregnancy, a lifelong friend talked me into doing a gender reveal party. We went to the 20 week anatomy scan and gave the ultrasound tech a little card. She looked over our healthy baby, made us avert our eyes and then sealed our fate inside that navy blue envelope. We had to wait a grueling three days before finding out the verdict. I remember still being set on a little girl, even as she brought out the giant decorated box filled with balloons. Our friends and family wore pink or blue and had a good laugh taking their “side” as we got in position to rip back the tape. About a second before the big reveal, “It’s a boy” flitted through my brain. And then the tape was off and balloons were floating toward the sky.
My husband’s pure joy at seeing those blue balloons was priceless. He gleefully ran around the yard and then ran up to my mother and hugged her. Not me, the one carrying his little boy, but his mother-in-law. I guess I should just be glad he likes her that much. I stood there watching those blue balloons float up, up and away. Of course I was happy that we had a healthy little one. Did I have to take a minute to process the fact that the little girl I had been thinking about for the past five months was in fact a boy? Absolutely. How will I entertain a boy? Boys are messy and destructive and everything I am not. I can’t relate to a boy. It wasn’t heartbreaking or really even that upsetting. My brain just had to shift gears and start thinking about boy names and new nursery themes. That little boy was going to be surrounded by love and a crazy wonderful family, and that’s all that mattered.
My pregnancy was pretty breezy, no real morning sickness or discomfort. Just the usual food and smell sensitivities. Then right before I hit full term at 37 weeks, I started feeling really light headed, confused and shaky. Because I hadn’t been one to complain, my OB sent me to Labor & Delivery for some tests and monitoring. Six hours later, we found out I had pre-eclampsia and it was time for little man to make an entrance. We met him on November 28, 2012. Ten fingers, ten toes, the healthiest little thing. C already weighed 7 pounds 1 ounce, so I can’t even imagine how big he would have been had he made it to term!
Our parenting journey had an extremely rocky beginning. Little C got sent to Dell Children’s in an ambulance at three weeks old, and we spent New Year’s Eve in a hospital room with our infant who had RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus). We were released on New Year’s Day, then sent back the next day. After another week and a half of sleeping in a hospital with a baby covered in IVs and tubes up his nose, we swore we were done having kids. Too stressful, too scary, too overwhelming.
Little C did nothing but thrive after his health scare. He was 98th percentile in height and weight by four months old and just kept growing. The most curious, funniest little boy. He laughed at everything and loved so fiercely. I’d never known love like the love from your child. Sure, adjusting to motherhood was rough. Depression and loneliness were huge hurdles I had to overcome. But he was such an easy baby for the most part that it didn’t take long for me to find my groove.
I also discovered that I enjoyed the simplicity of boy clothes. Hang out in a sleeper all day? Sure! Fancy onesies and little pants were easy to get on and off for diaper changes and throwing together outfits really took no effort. He looked cute no matter what, anyway. Toys were great, too! I could get used to this boy thing. The fact that he loved me more than anything helped quite a bit, too.
When C was about a year and a half, we decided we were ready to grow our family. I got pregnant pretty quickly, but we learned at my eight week appointment that the pregnancy wasn’t viable. After having to make the impossible decision to terminate (you can read more about our journey here), we took a step back from the idea of having more kids. I could only wait about six more months before I wanted to try again. We found out I was once again expecting in March of 2015, excited but cautious until we knew if everything was okay.
Once we got the all clear, I was beyond excited! And strangely enough, I really hoped it was boy. I so loved my rough and tumble little mess that life with anything else just seemed wrong. Our families were hoping for a girl. It seemed like everyone else wanted us to have “one of each.” So when we found out that we were indeed having another boy, my parents asked me if I was okay, afraid I was once again disappointed. I don’t think anyone really believed I actually wanted another boy.
My pregnancy was rough! Sciatic nerve pain, neverending nausea, random puking, heartburn so awful I had to sleep sitting up. Blech. I couldn’t wait for it to be over. He held out until 39 weeks, and when he was ready to come out he didn’t waste any time. My labor was only four hours long. A very hectic four hours that ended with him coming extremely quickly and me almost needing a blood transfusion. I was scared. G wasn’t really crying, I heard them say he was having trouble breathing. It took an hour for them to get the bleeding under control enough for me to hold him. He looked nothing like I imagined. C is so dark complected like me, I had always pictured a little look alike. But here was this tiny little blonde creature, with gigantic blue eyes and a little bulbous nose. So much like daddy. So perfect.
C is a very… involved big brother. Involved in G’s well-being, involved in making sure he’s not getting into anything he shouldn’t be. Involved in making sure G isn’t touching any of brother’s toys, or even looking at them for that matter! But he’s also loving and sweet. One of his current favorite activities is trying to get G to laugh. G is definitely going to be the daredevil, a stark contrast to my cautious and timid preschooler. It makes my heart so happy to see them playing together. My two little boys.
I’ve learned to love being the only girl in the house (besides the dog). Yes, I get picked on quite often. Yes, I am the brunt of many jokes that involve farting or poop or “barf nuggets.” But I am also the favorite. I’m the one they want when they need comfort after a fall or a stressful situation. I hear “Mommy, I love you” and “Mommy, you’re beautiful” multiple times a day, every day. The amount of sweetness amongst the chaos and clutter is the most beautiful part of this motherhood gig. They are loud, rough, messy and wild and I wouldn’t trade those two little boys for all the frilly dresses in the world.