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You can't always get what you want

What if you wanted a girl and found out you were having a boy? Or the other way around? Read one mom's story about expecting the unexpected.
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Long story short, I'm a very girly girl. I love dresses, long hair, sparkles, Mary Janes, and all that jazz. I don't do makeup and went years without shaving my legs (hey, I lived in Humboldt), but overall, I've always been a pretty stereotypical girl.

I've also always been a raging feminist girl — one of my old pet projects was placing those stickers that note, "This offends women" — yeah, I used to stick those on a lot of stuff. I attended girl power events, read all the women-heavy zines, and believed in women's rights over almost everything else.

I also always knew I wanted kids. It was never a question for me. Now, all this said, guess which gender I thought I'd have. If you said, "Girl," give yourself a gold star. I honestly thought I was so pro-female that I'd never have a boy. There was never any doubt in my mind. I'd get pregnant, have a totally feminist baby girl, and we'd do all sorts of cool pro-girl stuff together.

Um, no.

When I first thought I might be pregnant years ago, I bought a pregnancy test like many women do, brought it home, took the test, and the second — the split second — I saw those positive lines, I knew I was having a boy. Like you know your own name, it was that clear to me. My partner wanted me to have an ultrasound, so we could find out the gender, and I thought that was stupid because I knew I was having a boy. He didn't trust my mama mind, so we had the ultrasound. During the appointment, I had this one fleeting hope, maybe I was wrong, maybe I was having a girl!

The ultrasound showed little boy Cedar bouncing around. Mr. Ultrasound Tech and Ben were all happy grins, and me, well honestly, I almost burst into tears. I then spent the remainder of my pregnancy feeling guilty because what if Cedar was sick, what if he had problems? If so, it would be due to my stupid girl wish, I was sure of it.

Dealing with guilt

Here's one thing you should know — you have the right to wish for a certain gender, and even to be upset if you learn different news. If you're hoping for a boy, and find out you're having a girl, you can feel disappointed. It's OK. Don't feel all guilty like I did. We all have ideas, hopes and dreams about our children. It's normal.

Your baby's health is affected by how you take care of yourself. Eat well, keep your prenatal appointments, don't smoke or drink, and so on, and you'll have the healthiest baby you can. Trust me, if you feel a little sad about not having a boy, your baby doesn't find out and take a nosedive healthwise — that's not scientific reality.

What you can do

If you're gender wishing, and you learn that you're not having the gender of your choice, I can't tell you what might make you feel better, because we're all individuals. I can tell you what made me feel better about having a boy.

After that ultrasound, I knew a baby boy was coming, no matter what. So I started asking friends and moms at forums how they felt about their baby boys. I read books like Breeder: Real-Life Stories from the New Generation of Mothers, which supports mama power in all forms and styles. I bought cute baby-boy clothing. I picked a wonderful boy name. I did all this, and slowly felt like I could have a boy and be just fine.

The thing that helped the most

The thing that ended up helping me the most was one simple quote. It sounds dumb, but I did worry that by having a boy, I was somehow less of a feminist, and then I read this quote in a book. I don't remember the book, but I'll never forget the gist of the quote. It said something akin to.

"One of the most pro-feminist actions we can take is to raise feminist sons."

Seriously, that quote helped me a lot. It let me realize that I have this great opportunity to raise a smart and kind boy, who will grow up to be a man who appreciates and respects women, which in itself is a big contribution to the world. It changed my thinking.

Once he arrived

Cedar showing up on this planet changed my life. The second I saw him I forgot all about having a girl. He was so amazing. If you're gender wishing, I'm betting the same will happen for you. You'll love your little one, no matter the gender. He or she will teach you things you never knew, and everything will work out.

Do I still sometimes wish for a little girl? Of course. My best friend had a beautiful baby girl last year, and I felt little jealous pangs, but they passed quickly. I get to be an auntie to Bella, which is cool. Sure, if I have another baby, I'll probably hope for a girl, but this time, I'll know that no matter what, I won't be disappointed by gender in the end. Having a boy has taught me a lot, having two would only teach me more, and I wouldn't trade my little guy in for anything.

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  • Rated 0 out of 5 by 2reviewers.
    Rated 0 out of 5 by What a great quote! I too hoped for a girl, but couldn't believe I ever wished that after having my son! October 23, 2012
    Rated 0 out of 5 by I love the way this article ends. One of my major parenting goals is to raise my son to treat girls with respect, to see them as equals. hmmmm.... kind of like how his father views women? Watching how my husband treats me will likely have the largest impact on how my son treats women. October 21, 2012
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