I have always wanted a sister. Big sister, little sister, it didn’t matter. There is just something mythical and special about sisters.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my brother. He is probably my very best friend. Now. In our 30s. As kids? Not. Even. Close. Childhood, when a distance of 3.5 years feels like 50, was not kind to our friendship. We were polar opposites with contrasting personalities and, well, he was a boy.
Fast forward to five years ago and I’m pregnant and one thing the wife and I are sure of is that I want a little girl. We’re pregnant with twins and there is a good chance that there is a girl in there, right? Except then we lose one of the twins.
(This could be another whole blog post about disappointment, as twins are born all around me and it seems like everyone in the universe gets to take home their twins, even the ones who dare to announce twins at 6w pregnant. But I digress.)
And then, like magic, I win the baby genital lottery and we get the girl. And oh boy, do we ever. Dresses, ponies, magical unicorns, princesses, sparkles and glitter, desperation for nail polish, ever accessorizing. (This describes neither of our girlhoods, and I am loving it.) And from the moment we start even thinking about going for #2, I know without a doubt that I want one thing: sisters. I want matching Christmas dresses and hair bows and I imagine years of impromptu dance shows in the living room. I can practically TASTE the matching outfits, people. You don’t even know.
At 20 weeks on the dot it is there, front and center – the penis. That upside down, weird-angled, “crotch shot from below” monstrosity and it is there in all its glory, announcing to the world, “THERE WILL BE NO MATCHING DRESSES.” Because while I have no problem giving my son a plethora of tutus and dress-up options, I feel like I have to draw the line at the Christmas photo. For Grandma. She’s 89, you know.
I was open in my disappointment as I had been open in my desire. I wanted an all-girl household. I could smell the Girl Power. I worried about the idea of a son, alone in a house of women. Would he feel left out? Would he wish we had more male friends? Would I be his best friend the way I am so effortlessly my daughter’s best friend? Would they hate each other until their 20s?
My son… he was conceived on the first try, with reduced-cost sperm, with donated meds, with one follicle. This child was meant for me and he came, front and center, to teach me something. About him? About myself? About life? All of the above.
It took about 3 weeks past that ultrasound to shed the disappointment’s grip and now, honestly I can’t imagine how I ever felt that way. This boy was Meant To Be, no doubt about it, he and I are MFEO. I don’t know if we will be best friends, and it was hard to part with all of the hair bows, but my love for him is fierce and deliberate, every moment, with every breath.
I believe his soul is that of the twin we lost nearly five years ago, and how can I be disappointed about that.
My true love has my heart, and I have his.