Motherhood Mondays: On Having a Boy

My darlings, sorry for the late post today! I’ve been thinking about this one all day, and finally had a chance to write it out.

So, I’d love to ask: When you think of having children, do you ever secretly hope for a boy or a girl? Even though people don’t really talk about it, I actually think it’s really common to wish for one or the other.

When you’re pregnant, the most important thing on your mind, of course, is having a healthy baby. Anyone who is given that gift is blessed beyond belief. I definitely did not take that for granted and felt hugely lucky to be having a baby.

But also, in my heart of hearts, when we found out we were going to have a baby, I secretly hoped that we would have a girl. I had always imagined having a daughter and doing all those fun girly things together — playing with dolls, going to ballet lessons, having heart-to-heart mother/daughter conversations, and doing all the classic (and cliched) things that are part of girlhood. I loved being a girl, and I’m really close to my own mom; and I thought it would be such fun to raise one.

So when we found out that we were expecting a boy, I was so excited and couldn’t wait to meet the little man. But part of me couldn’t help secretly feeling a little disappointed. I felt really guilty for feeling that way (was I a terrible person? the gender shouldn’t matter as long as the baby is healthy, right?), but the feeling remained. I had always pictured having a daughter…and now we weren’t.

Plus, I kept thinking about how didn’t know a single thing about boy stuff. The guys in my family are all are obsessed with motorcycles and pranks and windsurfing and whisky. Would Alex and our baby bond over sports, while I wouldn’t be able to share that with them, I wondered? When we were growing up, my brother and dad talked endlessly about motorcycle parts and car racing; what if my baby boy wanted to talk about cars? I didn’t know a thing about them — or care! And I’m a wuss about rollercoasters and swimming in the ocean and those types of rough-and-tumble activities. What if he were into those things? Would I be the lame mom sitting nervously on the bench while my son bonded with all the more adventurous types?

I really worried that I wouldn’t be able to connect to a boy… or, more honestly, that he wouldn’t connect to me.

But then.

Toby arrived.

Once the doctor put my red-faced, wrinkly, sweet, beautiful baby boy into my arms, EVERYTHING changed. I can tell you with all my heart, now that Toby has entered our lives, it is the most incredible, moony experience, and now I CANNOT imagine having anything other than my delicious baby boy. When he was brand new, he was so tiny, vulnerable and sweet. When I breastfed him, and he’d snuggle up and put his little hand on my chest and look into my eyes, I would just swoon.

Now that he’s eleven months old, he is so lovely and has such a sweet, open demeanor. He giggles, he coos, he stands on full tippy-toe. He touches my face with serious concentration. He loves reading books and eating pears and looking out the window. Sometimes when he’s asleep at night, I’ll tiptoe into the nursery just to lean down and put my head near his; I love seeing his out-of-proportion body sleeping there: his big head, small shoulders, big diaper butt, and short legs. I pat his back and smell his sweet milky breath. I am totally enamored and enchanted by him. He is my little man, my lovely little boy.

Having a son has turned out to be the most amazing thing, and my apprehensions and fears seem so silly now. I’m so excited to bring him up, and previously boring things like baseball and water pistols are suddenly super thrilling, since I see them through his sweet little eyes. The other day, I was riding my bike downtown and saw a dinosaur-shaped balloon and couldn’t stop thinking about how cool it was. :)

Oh, how Toby has opened my eyes!

Anyway, I thought I’d tell you, since people don’t often talk about their preferences for a boy or a girl (it seems like it shouldn’t matter) but I think it’s very normal to initially crave one over the other. And I wanted to be honest and share how needlessly worried I had been. I’m curious: Do you secretly hope for a boy or girl? How have your thoughts changed, if you’ve had a baby? I’m so curious to hear — from everyone from mamas and mamas-to-be! Leave your comment anonymously, if you’d like!

(Photo credit unknown, via Abby Sharp)

  1. Sarah says...

    Oh, and on the subject of guilt, I didn’t have guilt over wishing my baby was a boy when it was a girl, I had guilt about being pregnant at all. I knew I wanted to be a mom someday, but not yet—I was only 24—and would have loved to put my precious bundle on hold for five years. A the same time, my sister-in-law, at age forty, was desperately and unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant, and I felt tremendous guilt about wishing I could postpone being a mom while she was so heartbreakingly unable to get pregnant. Sigh…sometimes life just doesn’t make sense.

  2. Sarah says...

    Your post is lovely and honest. When my hubby and I learned we were (surprise!) pregnant only a month into our marriage, I wasn’t wishing for a boy vs. girl, I was simply wishing to being ready, mature enough, etc. It turned out that we had a baby girl (now 6 years old), and she is the girliest, pink-loving, dainty thing. And I can’t imagine NOT having a girl. I think we can all relate to having some spoken-or-not wishes about who our child will be (boy/girl…tomboy/princess…etc.). And then we meet them, and we can’t imagine them being anything other than who they are.

  3. Loving these mummy themed posts :)
    I’m not even a mum yet, but I can’t wait to have kids when I’m older! x

  4. Such a beautiful post! I am currently 6 months pregnant with a little boy. I really thought it was going to be a girl, and like you, I “secretly” hoped it was. When I heard that he was a boy, I was disappointed. I felt completely guilty over feeling this disappointment, however, because after trying so hard to get our little baby here I never expected to feel that way. But I think it is normal to have a wish one way or the other. But I am thrilled now for my little boy to join us and wouldn’t have it any other way I am sure.

  5. I was absolutely convinced I was going to have a girl and could not imagine having a boy at all. Then the morning of my ultrasound my sister (who has two boys and a little girl just born on Tuesday!) called and asked me how I was going to feel if they told me I was going to have a boy. And then she proceeded to tell me just how much fun it would be if I had a boy because then all the boy cousins could play with one another and just be wild and crazy boys together and by the end of the phone call I was so excited about having a boy I was actually hoping I wasn’t going to have a girl. And lo and behold, there he was, my little boy.

    He’s now 2 and 1/2 and so funny and silly and a pure delight. He likes to run like the wind and play with trains and cars and talk about race cars going really fast. I cannot imagine having a girl although I am sure if I did I would love her just as much. As it is, I have five brand new baby girl chickens peeping away next to me as I write this and so I did get my girls as well.

  6. When I envisioned myself having a child I always saw a boy. When I got pregnant I wanted a boy, KNEW I JUST HAD TO PREGNANT WITH A BOY! I could feel it in my bones. When we found out we were indeed pregnant with a boy I cried out of happiness. But…a DID feel a slight loss of the fact that that meant we weren’t having a girl. Now, I want a girl as badly as I had previously wanted a boy. I love having a boy, but now I have the strongest want for a daughter. We’ll see….I’ll be happy with whatever I get, but IF it’s a girl, I think I’ll find myself crying out of joy again just like the first time.

  7. Meredith says...

    I have a friend who isn’t even pregnant yet, but has planned out her family to a degree that I find a little alarming (i.e. “well, by November I’ll be 6-7 months pregnant, so I won’t want to go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade” and “I want two boys first, then a little girl–just like in my family”). I think planning/hoping too much sets you up for disappointment. BUT I think there’s nothing wrong with hoping for one sex or the other.

    My cousin and his wife are expecting twin girls soon, and already have two year old daughter. I wonder if he ever admitted aloud that he hoped one would be a boy. As far as I know, he’s just thrilled to have two little girls who will hopefully be half as funny and darling as their big sister (whose name is JoAnna!).

    Also, I did a LOT of babysitting growing up, and while I would initially have wanted girls, I had SO much more fun with little boys. It’s easy to romanticize one experience over the other, but I think that when you’re really prepared for parenthood, “your” baby is whatever you are blessed with–not what you hoped for.

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  9. Wow that post got me all choked a good way! I hope and pray that one day soon my husband and I will be blessed with a healthy baby. And secretly I wish for a girl, but the next month it changes to a boy…I guess my heart is fickle! Thank you for sharing this beautiful post.

  10. I cried for 2 weeks when I found out we were having a boy. (My first was a girl) I wanted to have them at the same time of year and use all the same baby things I already had. I nursed my girl for a year, and honestly, was worried about nursing a boy. I also probably have some unresolved boy issues. I wasn’t excited the whole pregnancy.

    And then he was born. And I will tell you what…I hit my knees and asked for forgiveness for even feeling the way I did. I was so in love. He has healed me. I’ve never been more in love.

    If I would have known…it would have saved me from feeling that way. it was so silly.

  11. I am 12 weeks along and I’ve been really conflicted. I always imagined a girl b/c I have only known the girl side of life (I have 4 sisters and poor male role models). The last few weeks though, I have been thinking that I will end up having a boy simply b/c I think the universe will give that to me. So I’m preparing myself all the time (he’s my little guy right now). I don’t believe that I will be disappointed with a son – much like your beautiful post and what others commenters have said – I think it will be amazing.

    This was helpful to think about and acknowledge. I’m just so excited and grateful that my turn to be a mom has come. I’m going to love him no matter what.

  12. Honestly? I wanted a boy, because I know boys. Our family, & my husband’s, is chock full of them. (I am an aunt to 8 boys combined & only 2 girls.) So when we found out we were having a girl, I was a little worried. I am not super girly – how would I do/how will I do? So far, she’s pretty spunky, and I can’t imagine not having her. Only time will tell how I fare with braids & princess clothing & other things I normally shy away from. But I love her with all my heart. And she’s got her daddy wrapped around her little finger. Already.

  13. I always wanted a girl so when I found out I was pregnant I just thought of the baby as a boy so that I wouldn’t be disappointed either way. Turned out I had a girl but now that I am a mother- I know I would have completely been smitten with either. Would love to add a boy to the mix but unfortunately it is not in the cards for me to have more children- although I’d love to adopt.

  14. Baby boys are the bomb. But then, so are baby girls.

    We all wish for the “healthy baby” and the absolute beauty of it all is when that child does come out all the hopes, fears, worries, uncertainties one has while pregnant disappear and the love takes hold and the growing begins.

  15. lbs says...

    Great post! I was the opposite. I thought I would be having a girl, but I think I actually let out an audible sigh when they told me it was a boy. : )

  16. Anonymous says...

    i loved being pregnant, I knew I was having a girl, my husband hoped for a boy. we had a girl 18 years ago and i can honestly say it’s been a wonderful experience from day one. i wanted to give my daughter all of the advice and attention i didn’t get growing up in a house of 2 boys and 2 girls. i had a great mom, but not such great advice in the lessons of life (she just wasn’t capable). now, in my late forties I feel, and i know my daughter does too, that her and I are truly connected and that we totally enrich each others lives. we are true girls who can spend hours and hours chatting and laughing on the phone (she is away at college), shopping and trying on makeup at sephora. it’s heaven to us.

    now, i have a new husband and with that has come a boy. a dirty, messy, smelly 12 year old boy! i’m learning that raising a girl and raising a boy is different, but the same. every child really only wants love, attention and more attention. my daughter says, “he needs it and you have it to give, so you have to give him what you gave me”.

    so, after thinking i was an empty nester my nest is again full, and this time with a boy soon to be a teenager (scary). i’m trying my best to not nag him too much about things that i never had to tell my daughter like, brush your teeth, don’t wear your dress shirt for track practice, if you have to go to the bathroom just go, flush the toilet and use a napkin! it’s difficult at times but i want to build a relationship with him so i try to do it lovingly. i listen to his stories of war games with his friends (i hate guns, even fake ones), i try to act interested in all things boy and be a good (step) mom. if i have learned anything these many years it’s men and women are very different and so are boys and girls, not better just different.

  17. I always thought it would be great having a boy first. I had an older brother and loved being his little sister. When my husband and I found out we were having twins we were so excited and kept wondering who these little babies would be. I kept thinking it would be so exciting to have a boy AND a girl….the best of both worlds! When we found out we were having two boys (a week ago) I was so psyched….always wanted a boy, but did have thoughts run through my head of no dolls, no tutus, no cute little girl dresses. I didn’t want to be disappointed, but a little part of me was. Your post puts life into perspective and if I DO miss the girly things we can always try for another. Until then, I just cannot wait to meet my little boys!

  18. I really truly didn’t mind if I had a boy or girl for my first baby. I was convinced I was having a boy and so wasn’t surprised when Jake arrived. I loved imagining the bond between my husband and his son developing. That said … if we end up having another boy, not that I mind, but I think I will have those wistful thoughts about pretty dresses and dolls and girl games to be missed….

  19. Anonymous says...

    Thanks so much for this post! You totally summed up how I am feeling as I’m expecting. We could have found out the sex yesterday, but opted out to. For all the variety of reasons, I think it’s what you described that caused me to hesitate on finding out. I’m curious, do you think if you hadn’t found out, you would have not cared at the birth or do you think the slight preference may have creeped through??

  20. such a beautiful post. I’m still a far way off from thinking about kids of my own, but I love reading something refreshing like this, especially on a blog like yours.
    Take care and I hope you continue to share these experiences/thoughts with us!

  21. M. says...

    Oh, Jo, you made me cry! My fellings were exactly the same! But now I have the most amazing 8 months old boy, who I love with all my life! And I look at girly stuff and find it so silly, now…

  22. Jessica Elizabeth says...

    I am from a family of strong, independant and feisty girls! I chose to keep the gender of my baby a surprise but somehow I always jjust KNEW that he was a boy. My little Rory is now 2 1/2 years old. At the birth, when the midwfie said “It’s a boy!” I was just like “Oh yeah, I know!”. I was never disapointed I think mainly because I always just knew that he was a boy and I never expected anything else.

    My best friend had a baby almost a year later and was told that she was having a boy. I was secretly very very pleased that it wasn’t a girl as by this stage I really craved a baby girl. But when the baby was born it turned out the sonographer had got it wrong and it was in fact a girl! All the blue had to be returned to the store!!

    Being very feminine and girly, I totally embrace and love being a woman, I really hope and desire my next baby will be a girl. I am in two minds that when I am pregnant, whether I will find out the sex. I would like a surprise again but don’t want to be disapointed? I would like another 2 children so I figure one on them will be a girl but if not then I have the opportunity to raise strong, compassionate, leaders and honest men and that is a priviledge. I am too very close to my mum and would love to share all those experiences that I have had, with a daughter.

    I also know that you have a different relationship with your duaghters children than you might get with a sons children. You have to be a bit more careful I think. But I try to be a good daughter-in-law and include my in laws as much as I can with Rory and like them to have him on their own so as they can do what they like with him and not feel like we are watching and judging how they are with him! I love love love my boy and it is so insightful having a mini man around but someday I would love a little girl.

  23. Dear Joanna, I’ve benn reading your blog for almost 2 yaers now, I guess… You are the sweetest and authentic blogger I read, and I do admire authenticity in a person. Being abble to follow your pregnancy journey was a great time to me… Especially when exactly one year ago I discovered I was pregnant, after only 3 months trying. I couldn’t feel happier and then I begging coming to your blog every single day! :-)
    When I pictured myself as a mum, I always thought of a baby boy. And now I have him in my harms. Manuel was born on December 1st (2010) and he is everything i could wish for. He’s almost 5 months now and physically he looks a lot like me. I love his smell, his teethless smile, his tenderness, the way he looks me profundly in my eyes when I breastfeed him.
    Everything is so magic. I just love having a big blounde green eyed boy and a brown eyed little boy. My 2 boys are my life.
    I wish you all the best and keep writting these lovely stories.
    Kisses from Portugal.

  24. Leana says...

    For me growing up with one sister I desperately wanted a brother, therefore i always wanted to have a son. My great dream for children was to have a boy first and then another boy and a girl. As picky as that sounds, that was my true desire, even though I wouldn’t say that to many people. I had a son in 2009, he is nearly 2 and the most precious, beautiful creature I can’t believe I had a role in creating. I couldn’t believe then that I had actually got what I wanted. After a miscarriage last year I am now pregnant (23 weeks) with twins. Blessed so blessed. Leading up to the scan I often thought about my ideal family. The girl part so much more important as I lost my beautiful Mum 5 years ago to breast cancer, desperate to have a mother daughter relationship again I knew I was going to love each child immeasurably no matter what, but I had a definate ache for a girl. I still can’t believe that we found out we are having a boy and a girl I feel like the luckiest Mum in the world.

  25. Lisa says...

    This is so lovely. I have always desperately wanted a baby girl, and never really been interested in having a baby boy! It has always slightly scared me, even though I’m a few years away from having a baby yet. But this is so beautiful that it’s made me feel a lot more positive about the whole situation – thank you! xx

  26. Hi there. That’s a lovely picture with your boy.In almost all of the family is that problem,mums wanna have girl and daddy wanna have boy.You rarely find a family where both of the parents wanna have boys or girls.

  27. I have a boy of 4 and a girl of 3. My boy is 110% boy and the most affectionate and sweet person I know. Boys are great, he tests me and he’s got the energy of 10 lions, my house is bashed, jumped on, drawn on, I’m roared at by lions and dragons every day… but he’s my little boy.

  28. I’ve been visiting your blog every day and this post finally made me write.

    When i was pregnant with my son, I decided it is a girl. And I couldn’t even ask my doc for the sex of the baby. Of course I asked him not to tell me. And he came. After 36hour labour and c-section, he finally came. And he was just perfect. He was my perfect baby.

    Now he is almost 2 years and whenever he shouts mommy, my heart just melts.

  29. Anonymous says...

    I read your blog daily, Jo, and this post dripped with sincerity and love. I have only ever commented on this post and your birth story! :) My two favorites. Both brought me to tears (although incredible writing and content in each – I should admit that Kodak commercials sometimes do too!).
    The integrity with which you write makes bringing light to scenarios such as this an open, fair and honest conversation. I find it inspiring and it makes me more comfortable to have these conversations with the loves in my life. It’s so marvelous the way you are able to reach people because your character that comes through in your “voice” and it’s always warm and inviting. The little moments in your day and the way you depict lovely Toby and beautiful Alex as if you all exist in a beautiful, magical world is scrumptious. It makes me take the time to recognize the precious moments in my own.
    Thank you :)
    I have no kids myself (yet, our wedding is in July & I’ve heard about them honeymoons…!). However, I have always adored children more than most people could fathom. I was a teacher and loved the little precious idiosyncrasy that every student had – their quirks and questions. I dug the little dudes who came in covered in bee stings because they were on an adventure and the little girls that wanted to wear my shoes… As well as the little boy that came in at recess to have me teach him to dance (we did hip hop in PE and I was a ballerina prior to teaching so he was fascinated). I treasured them all dearly. I think that’s what happens when you have children of your own; the traits they possess aren’t necessarily “male” or “female” but traits of your child and you love each and every one of them.
    Thanks for making my morning cup of joe with Cup of Jo cosy, pleasant and inspiring Monday to Fridays.

  30. Anonymous says...

    I can relate exactly; when I was pregnant I wanted a girl because i could do girl things with her. I was shocked to discover I was having a boy. After he was born we bonded like glue; when I was going to have a second child I was then hoping for another boy so he would have a brother. Guess what! I got twin girls! So now I have a wonderful, sensitive and loving son and 2 beautiful girls who are best friends with each other and all 3 are close. Couldn’t have turned out better! What a blessing.

  31. My son is turning 2 in May. I had always wanted a girl before I got pregnant but then when I found out I was pregnant I was paranoid right from the beginning I just wanted a healthy baby. When we went in for our first ultrasound I instantly saw what I thought (and was) looked like a boy before the technician could say anything. I was in away instantly relieved to find we were having a boy. Somehow I felt like he was sturdier already just by being a boy (not that us girls are not strong).
    Now almost 2 years later I am so madly in love with my little guy. I can totally relate with you on the dinosaur balloon. I get excited when I see a cement mixer or trash truck now…haha! Now I am terrified to have another for it might be another boy and that might just be a little too much dirt and dump trucks for me! I love this post and I totally understand how you felt!

  32. I found out that I was pregnant in my seventh month as I had been using depo provera and was abnormally small. The day I was reassured by the doctor that I was pregnant like I had begun to suspect, I was told the sex as well. No hopes or disappointments there!

    Now that I have Liam I can’t even begin to imagine having a girl! All of the pretty pink princess plastic toys clutters my imagination enough. I feel that boys are much more impressionable than girls and that we females are doomed at some point or another to go through that awkward stage as an adolescent.

    There are so many great mothers for little girls- I just don’t think I could ever be one of them sadly!

  33. Update: I left a comment earlier this afternoon about how timely this was since we were on our way to the doctor’s to find out the sex. I strongly felt girl, and sure enough: boy! So glad I read this before I left, I think it helped immensely :) I felt surprised, but then SO EXCITED! Thanks so much for your perspective, so beautifully written.

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  35. Anonymous says...

    Thanks for posting this Jo. I am just about to find out the gender of my baby and am at 20 weeks right now. I have many of the same feelings that you expressed about my hopes for a girl, though I do love boys and certain boy things! I have a feeling I may be having a boy – and dreamed that I was the other night. Your post made me feel better about my anxieties around raising a boy. And wow, Toby is adorable. I’m not surprised you are so in love! For now I am waiting impatiently for my ultrasound on tuesday!

  36. My son is 5 months, and I went through the exact same thing. Now, I just love my Jude and I couldn’t imagine having a girl, because that’s not Jude. Also, people ask me if I love being a Mom. Its not that I love motherhood; I’m just so in love with Jude and proud to be HIS mom.

    Thanks for a post that hit so close to home.

  37. I also secretly hope for at least one girl. I have better girl names in my head than boy names. Plus, I have cute baby girl clothes that was mine when I was a baby.

  38. Joanna, TOTALLY relate to this post. It is like you wrote down everything that I felt and do feel since having Oliver, who is almost 8 months old. It is amazing – this motherhood thing. And to think that I almost didn’t want a little boy. I just simply can NOT imagine not having him in our lives now. It is the best. I totally relate to this post. It’s crazy.

  39. I’ve always wanted to have a girl – initially – but recently, I’ve wondered if having a boy would be more rewarding for me. With a girl, I would be in my comfort zone, because I would know how to relate to her, but a boy would be more challenging. Say my son and husband want to go scuba-diving in the Bahamas. Naturally, that would freak me out and my comfortable side would say, heck no! But, there is that side of me that would be fascinated by the wonders of sea-life, and in an attempt to be more supportive of my son and to make him feel like I want to at least try to relate to him, I would do it, and that would mold me as a person. I think any time something happens outside of your comfort zone it changes you.

  40. I’m 18 weeks and am hoping for a boy. I’m glad I’m not evil for being the only one who feels a pull one way or another! I also appreciate reading other mom’s feelings about finding out they were having the opposite sex than they were hoping for. I’m so excited no matter what!

  41. Just finished reading your post and I’m crying because this is exactly how I felt. I am a mom of 11 month old twin boys. Before we did the 4D ultrasound I have been secretly shopping for anything girly. I am so guilty to this day. I was seriously hoping for two little girls. Now, I focus my creativity towards my little rascals and enjoy creating fun things for them. I would never ever change a thing. They inspire me everyday. I don’t mind wrestling with my boys. They are my greatest gift!

  42. Lina says...

    Great to read such a honest post, I said I don’t care and I really didn’t but deep down I wanted to have a girl, so that I could have with her what I have with my mom, so that the day my mother is gone I would still have her… and I was lucky! I have the most amazing curly, gray eyed beautiful 18 month girl and I even consider no more babys just her, since I was lucky to have a girl and to have her, she really is the most amazing human being in this whole earth! But I really get your point what REALLY maters is that they are healthy and either way is perfect, as long as we feel the LOVE, the devotion for those baby’s everything is O.K in their lives and in ours. I’m loving this honest monday’s post… I must confess I hated to breast feed but felt so guilty for feeling that way and for stopping when I did!

  43. i love this! here’s hoping! :-)

  44. Em says...

    What a beautiful post. You articulated exactly the way I felt prior to having my son and exactly the way that I feel now that he is here. He is the sweetest, most wonderful little boy. I am thrilled to have a son. Thanks for being so honest.

  45. I felt EXACTLY the same as you. Now I can’t wait to teach my little man about space and dinosaurs and geography… so many great things and most of all I can’t wait to teach my boy to respect women.

    I love my Luka so much, I now can’t even imagine having a girl.

  46. I always wanted a girl (the same reason as you wrote) and I got a girl :), therefore if I got a boy I also will have the same feeling as I had now wit my girl. All children is a mother’s gems. Enjoy your motherhood dear, it is rewarding job :)

  47. i swore it didn’t matter! all i wanted was a healthy baby.

    and then.

    they told me at the ultrasound it was a girl and i teared up.

    i suppose i was secretly hoping for a girl.

  48. Anonymous says...

    Thanks for this post. I’m currently pregnant and as thrilled as can be. One thing I’ve noticed is that I can’t believe how often I’ve heard people assume that they’re sure I “just want a healthy baby”. Of course everyone hopes for their family to enjoy good health, but even if this little one has health challenges I’ll still feel like the most blessed mommy in the world! I deeply feel that whatever is meant to be will so, and so I don’t find myself hoping for one or the other.

  49. Anonymous says...

    The picture you posted tells the story of how special it is to me to have a boy. When I was in high school I had a dream that a little boy was hugging my neck and that dream hit me so hard that after that I knew I will have a boy. We didn’t find out the gender but all throughout my pregnancy I thought of the baby as a boy and nothing else. My son is five now and this picture somehow amazingly describes that special bond between the mom and the son. We moms are so special in their lives and they are so special in ours. thank you for the wonderful post.

  50. I’m 21 weeks pregnant with my first child. My husband wanted a boy and I wanted a girl. And we weren’t quiet about it! But ultimately we both wanted a healthy baby.

    We found out we’re having a boy. At first I was excited, then a little sad because I wanted a little girl so much. For all the same reasons you did. Your post made me realize that my little boy will bring out a side of me I always wanted to come out – a more adventurous side!

    Thanks for an eye-opening post!

  51. I wanted a boy all the way to my toes and knew in my heart it was a boy. When I would look at little girl stuff and people would talk about the baby being a girl I would almost become sad. Yet, it was nothing I could talk about. You are supposed to just tell people “I don’t care as long as he or she is healthy” right? The only moment of doubt was during my c-section. Right when the baby was out and I heard the cry I thought it was a girl, but then my little boy popped above the curtain. I know I would have loved a girl just as much but I sure did have a preference during the “growing” stage.

  52. Since i’ve known i’ve wanted a boy and a girl both and sometimes wonder if wishing a certain no. of times could help me get both at the same time ie twins ..
    Wishful thinking I guess but yeah at the end of the day boy or girl – a healthy baby is what matters :)
    Love this feature Jo and Toby too who’s responsible for getting this started !!

  53. Anonymous says...

    You bring tears to my eyes with your sweet description of your son. I have a son too and feel some of the exact feelings and many others toward him. I am having a girl this time around, and find myself wondering if I could love another baby this much.

  54. I loved reading this post because I felt similarly when I found out I was having a boy. I always felt I would have a boy first but I was hoping for a girl. I, too, LOVE being a girl and am close to my mom. I’ve nannied for girls and just want to have a girl in my family.

    I can’t imagine not having my son though. He is amazing and brings magic to my world but I still feel super guilty about still wanting a girl. I just don’t see myself without a daughter.

    I just hope that my son will find dress up as fascinating as I do (wigs, fairy wings, etc.). I am so over gender stereotypes but will of course still love him if he’s into cars, sports, etc. haha.

  55. Funny. I always wanted a boy. I was launching my clothing line when I was pregnant and I always thought a boy would be better to grow up and take it over. He’d be more business-minded. I’ve always had better, closer relationships with men. I think in part because I grew up spending more time with my dad than my mom. The day I found out I was having a girl I was also told that she might have a heart defect. I called my mom and cried and she said “I think you’re really more upset you’re having a girl.” It made me laugh. The baby’s heart turned out to be ok. My daughter now at 3 is a perfect mix or girlie and tomboy. She plays with cars in her pink tutus and pink ballet slippers. I was told that at school she’s the only one who plays just as well with boys and girls. I am very glad I have a girl, and just as someone posted above…she is MY girl so I can raise her to be strong yet soft. Now that we’re trying to have a second I go back and forth between wanting a boy or girl. There are pros and cons to raising both. Today, I’m neutral. Either would be great. But tomorrow, I’d probably answer different.

  56. Glenda says...

    I’m a day late Joanna. For my first pregnancy I too marveled at the thought of having a daughter. I guess for the same reasons, being girly girl, mani/pedi, shopping, mother/daughter heart to heart convos because I had that with my own mother and our bond was so special. And just like you I had a son. My lil man, my partner. We did everything together. I saw everything through his eyes. When he was younger he played sports and there I was learning through him and my hubby and cheering him on. And #2 was a girl. So I have the best of both world. The love for your child is so unconditional and as a mama you live and learn through their eyes. Motherhood… so much fun! The best job I’ve ever done!

  57. This post brought tears to my eyes. I couldn’t quite imagine myself with a baby (boy or girl) when I first got pregnant. I was afraid. I imagined it would be easier with a boy since I was a little apprehensive about a mother/daughter relationship (mine was intense). Once I found out my baby was going to be a girl, it helped me find a way to leave my fears behind. I can’t imagine having a boy now that I’ve got my girl, but the way you described it makes it seem like whether it’s boy or girl, you still feel that same swoon and closeness to your baby regardless of gender.

  58. It’s crazy that Toby is almost a year old. I also wished for a girl, not at all secretly, but I knew in my heart it would be a boy, and sure enough, the most boyish boy arrived. Of course he was and is absolutely adored, and while I still don’t enjoy playing with Lego (he’s 3 and a half now) we have the sweetest little conversations about the most interesting things.
    And then I was double blessed with a little girl, the girliest girl ever, so I consider myself very, very lucky.
    You’ve got the best to look forward to, because little boys are so sweet, despite themselves!

  59. Anonymous says...

    I love this post! I’m currently 12 weeks pregnant with our first child. When I was younger I had definite opinions on my gender preferences. After years of trying to conceive we finally did it and I can honestly say that the experience has made gender seem like a trivial thing. We are just so grateful to be having a baby, that whatever we end up having will be perfect, just as you have discovered.

  60. I hoped for a girl and I got one. Now that we are talking about #2 I am hoping for another girl because (1) I know what it’s like to have a girl and (2) I dream of all these sweet exchanges by two girls. I think I’ll feel a little lost if we end up having a boy.

  61. I, too, had been not-so-secretly hoping for a girl. I don’t have brothers, love my twin sister and we get along with our mom (for the most part). When I found out I was pregnant I wanted a girl. I pictured tutus and tights, headbands, curls, and the sweetest little voice ever. I was 18 weeks when we found out we were having a boy. It was also the same ultrasound where we found out our baby had a life threatening birth defect called gastroschisis (hole in the abdominal wall with the intestines having fallen through the hole, place them on the outside floating around in irritating amniotic fluid). The most frustrating part of this defect is the huge range of cases (from perfectly healthy to being fed through an IV for a year waiting for 5 organ transplants, or even death) and the fact that you don’t know how well your baby will do until s/he is born. Fast forward 18 weeks of doctors appointments, amnios, tears, and stress. Griffin was born on 1/20/11 at 6:42am and in that instant my life changed. I didn’t get to hold my baby like most people do, and no mother should ever have to go through that, but the minute I saw that tiny face and dark brown hair I was in love. I’m now completely excited for bugs, mud, and broken bones (and all the other things boys bring). Griffin is now 3 months old and is home and healthy, he giggled for the first time yesterday, and he absolutely loves me. I get the best snuggles, the best smiles, and the cutest coos ever. I’m completely smitten with my little boy, and wouldn’t change it for the world.

  62. I, too, was so nervous about having a boy. I actually cried when I found out I was having a boy (it was noted in my charts. Later, my midwife asked if I was alright about it…) I have a 4 year old daughter, and I always envisioned two girls. The thought of a boy never entered my mind. When I found out I was having a boy, I just lost it. Would I be able to connect? Would my husband be able to connect (since he has a rocky relationship with his father?) Would my daughter be able to have a close relationship with a brother vs. a sister?

    I will confess, even during my labor just as my midwife told me to push, I started crying and fears started flooding me again. But, the very moment I saw him, and held him against my chest, I was overwhelmed. My love for him was all encompassing. He came to another part of my heart altogether — a place I didn’t even know I had. I love him so very much.

    Thank you for sharing, and I hope you have another healthy, happy child one day.

  63. Anonymous says...

    I love the way you describe your heartfelt thoughts and musings before, during, and after your pregnancy, but as a special education teacher I always bristle a little when I hear people say that nothing matters except having a “healthy” baby. These kinds of statements perpetuate the attitude that people with disabilities are less human, or undesirable, or unwanted, which is extremely detrimental and just wrong, especially as people with disabilities have to fight daily to obtain equal rights in American society. Your position as an amazing, popular, thoughtful, socially progressive blogger could easily give you a platform to change our culture’s attitude towards people with disabilities rather than perpetuate negative ones!

  64. Thanks for this post!
    I’m currently pregnant, and really think its a girl, but everytime I feel a little guilty! If the baby is a boy I’m sure I will be just as in love….
    thanks so much fro your honesty!

  65. I just knew our baby was going to be a boy and i even took a wild guess as to when his birth day would be (my guess was right!). Every now and then I see little girls and wish we had one of our own. To do all of those special girly things …But boys are equally as sweet!
    And they love their mothers, I like to think that the bond between a boy and his mother will be the foundation of his future relationships.
    And i’m so glad to have my one and only “babyman”.

  66. I loved this post. When we found out the sex of our little one this fall, I cried as we found out we’d be having a little boy-instead of the girl I craved. Fast forward 6 months or so and I’m due to deliver my little boy this Saturday and I could not be happier. I am thrilled to meet him and watch my husband be an amazing dad to an amazing little boy. I am really looking forward to your Monday posts-thank you so much for sharing!!!

  67. My husband and I kind of wanted a girl. We had easily picked out a girl’s name already, but picking a boy name took almost the whole pregnancy. I was certain, from the minute I found out I was pregnant, that I was having a boy, because my husband’s family is mostly all boys. My family is all girls, so I had no experience with boys, which made me really nervous!

    My son has taught me so much these past 3 months! I love him so much, and I wouldn’t trade him for 300 girls.

  68. When I was five years old, my mother died. Two days later, my half sister went to live with her father, leaving me, my father, and two younger brothers in the house. I suddenly was the only girl in the house and that wasn’t easy. When I started thinking about having children, I’d tell my husband that if we had two boys in a row, we would stop and adopt a girl because I refused to spend the rest of my life being the only girl in the house.

    With my first child, I didn’t want to know the sex before the birth. I wanted a boy for my first but also wanted a girl just to ensure the boy to girl ratio in our home was more to my liking. Little Oliver came out and I have fallen more and more in love with him every day. The next one came about 18 months later. This time I couldn’t wait and asked to know the sex during the ultrasound. As soon as they told me it was another boy, I knew in my heart 100% that things were just as they should be. I wouldn’t change a thing. Sebastian and Oliver were meant to be together and somehow I ended up with the sweetest boys I could ever imagine.

    Now pregnant with a third (yes, three in under three years), I find myself torn between hoping for the girl I’d always wanted and hoping for one more perfect boy. I’ve never hidden my desires but somehow not ending up with what I would have chosen for myself has been better than I could have dreamed.

  69. As someone expecting her 2nd boy in ten days, I really loved this post! I now can’t imagine life any other way!

  70. Thank you SO much for sharing this. In reading this, I kept saying out loud – “that’s exactly how I felt!” All I knew was girls before I found out I was pregnant with my son. And yes, when I was told it was a boy, there was a tiny bit of disappointment for a moment – something I still feel guilty about 13 months later! But I’m so glad he’s a boy – and so glad he’s mine!

    I’ve linked your post to my blog over at

    I’ve credited you, so feel free to check it out!

    Thanks again for a great read!

  71. I cried as I read this post.

    When I was pregnant, I said I didn’t care what I would have. But I realized I wanted a girl the minute they told me it was a boy during my ultrasound. As soon as they put my husband and I in the exam room after the ultrasound, I started crying hysterically. My poor husband had no idea what was going on.

    I now have an 8 month old baby boy who I wouldn’t trade for ANYTHING. I am so in love with him. I will be fine if all of my babies are boys. They are truly the BEST.

    Thanks for such a great post.

  72. Ruby says...

    This was such a beautiful, special post – and I can relate SO much to it. I also have an 11 month old boy and I had really wanted a girl, because it’s what I know, and the only thing I could imagine. I even said so to my family beforehand. Now I wouldn’t change a thing and I’m so excited about watching my little man grow up. Your post put into words what I wish I could. Being a mother to a boy is just so special, we are incredibly lucky. Thanks for making my day :-) (Btw, I never comment on things but I just had to on this one – and I wanted to say how much I love reading your blog every day from New Zealand.)

  73. I felt the same slight disappointment when we found out we are having a boy (due any day now). I am glad to hear that he has changed your world in such a wonderful way and am looking even more forward to meeting mine now. :) thanks for the encouraging post!

  74. Kelly says...

    I can’t tell you how happy I was to see your post today. My husband and I are expecting our first baby in the fall, and we have our hearts set on a little girl. I know we’d be thrilled with a boy, but my husband really wants a girl, and as silly as it seems, I don’t want to let him down. He is one of five brothers, and I think he is just over boys. It makes me feel better that I’m not alone in feeling like this, and knowing that whatever we have will be a perfect fit in our little family.

  75. I love how beautiful this post is. I just turned twenty and am in absolutely no rush to be in a relationship and don’t see myself settling down for many many years. Even though I’m so young, I know I have the mama gene and I actually think about my future children all the time (as strange as that is). I know I would be happy no matter what gender they turn out to be because no matter what, being with them will be a constant adventure.

  76. My parents divorced when I was very young, so it was just me, my mom, and my sister in the house. It was a bit like a sorority house (or how I would imagine it to be) once we got a little older. Running from here to there in our underwear, etc. Does that make any sense without being weird? Anyway, I love the girl stuff, but when we found out we were pregnant I couldn’t help but want a boy just a teensy bit more than a girl, just out of curiosity. What would it be like to have a little boy in the house? We got our boy and I, like you, am all of a sudden experiencing life as a little boy through my son.

    P.S. You fielded the very first response so graciously. Well done.

  77. I love this post and the conversation happening here!! To be honest, I have always wanted to have a baby girl someday, because I grew up with 3 sisters and boys always intimidated me. Raising one of them intimidates me even more. But I love reading your thoughts on having a boy, Joanna, and many of the comments here. Makes my fears disappear! I know I’ll be thrilled someday with either a boy or girl :)

  78. I found out I am pregnant today!!! so thrilling and yes a gender preference does jump into my head (girl) but I have two amazing brothers who mean the world to me so if I was given the chance to raise a boy I sure would be over the moon for that as well. I am so happy to read your post as I too have those sports and car part worries. Toby is so special. I look forward to the brand new world heading my way. thx

  79. es cierto lo que dices, yo tuve primero una hija y despues un hijo, asi que he pasado por ambos enamoramintos infinitos, y finalmente no tiene importncia, aunque es indiscutible que uno pueda tener preferencias en un comienzo y que las diferencis de genero son reales

  80. what a lovely post! i have a theory that mamas have a hunch about what gender their baby will be and are usually right — just a wives tale i guess. i had a secret wish for a boy first, and i’m so in love with my two year old boy.

  81. Thanks for the topic Jo. I’ve really enjoyed following your journey through motherhood as I got pregnant shortly after you did. I was hoping for a boy because there are only girls in my family (2 sisters, one neice). I thought having a boy would bring newness and excitment to the family. When I found out I was having a girl my heart sank a little. For some reason I was so sure I was having a boy! Now that my Anabelle is born I couldn’t imagine not having a precious little girl. I’m embracing all the girlyness in her/us, and I’m already training her to be my little expert shopping buddy!

  82. I have an almost 2 yr old boy. And it urks me to no end when people flat out ask, “Do you so wish you had a girl?” Or, “Do you so want a girl?” Or, “I hope your second is a girl.” And unfortunently because of a miscarriage my response has always been, “I just want a thriving baby.” Gender has never mattered to me, which is probably why we didn’t find out the sex until Cannon was born.

    Little boys rock. And they absolutely adore their mommas

  83. Anonymous says...

    I loved your candid take on the gender issue. Being the only girl of five brothers … always wished for a little girl! I was blessed with a little boy who I can’t imagine living without!! He is my true joy and now that we’re starting to think about #2, I can’t imagine having a girl. I think we’re all blessed with the right one! :)

    Thank you for sharing, Jo!

  84. Anonymous says...

    I had my baby girl a couple of weeks after you had Toby – wanna trade? (kidding) I didn’t know my baby’s gender, and had a “boy” feeling and wanted a boy. I guess I was afraid of the mother/daughter relationship, as mine leaves room for improvement. But, as nature would have it, out came a perfect little girl, and an unavoidable reason to work out my own issues with my mother.
    I do hope to have a boy someday, to carry on our family name and to inherit all the car and motorcycle stuff my husband adores ;)
    I’m also fascinated at how I had a baby growing inside for nearly 10 months, which is so intimate, but still did not have accurate intuition about the baby’s gender. Wild, isn’t it?

  85. Ah! I felt like you were talking right to me! I’m about half way through my first pregnancy and I am convinced we are having a boy, but I desperately want a girl. I have been sooo worried. We aren’t finding out the sex until baby comes so it could go either way, but I appreciate hearing how it all went for you!

  86. As superficial as it sounds, when I found out we were having a boy I was worried that the clothes wouldn’t be as cute. How wrong was I?? Now I can’t get over the tiny baby man clothes! Not to mention my sweet little man himself… :) :)

  87. Anonymous says...

    You have no idea how much I needed this. THANK YOU for making me feel normal!

  88. Neither I nor my partner Chris ever dreamt of having kids or getting married while we were growing up – no energy was ever thrown into fantasizing about these possibilities (which has been interesting to share with each other over the years as that has slowly changed a bit). However, when I found out I was pregnant (a surprise that made me happier than I ever could have imagined), I spent so much time fantasizing…because early pregnancy was so abstract. Wait, there’s a baby in there!? I haven’t just had the flu or mono for 2 months?! Those fantasies about having a boy or girl suddenly made my future life changes more concrete. They helped me prepare. (well, a little bit! ha!)

    I did a lot more fantasizing about having a boy BECAUSE I knew I secretly wanted a girl. It was a sort of self-protective, prepare myself-for-anything kind of mentality.

    By the time we found out we were having a girl – after an excruciatingly long (2 hr) ultrasound where they are testing the baby’s health in every way – I ended up just feeling so relieved that she was healthy. I didn’t even care about the gender anymore…

    I now have a 10 month old daughter August. For months now people have been asking me about having a 2nd one and while I honestly do not feel the least bit excited about being pregnant again or having another cute person chewing up all my books and emptying all my drawers and shelves, I sometimes wonder if I would have a boy and what he would be like and if my relationship with him would be any different.

    A brief note on my partner’s perspective: he was adopted, so it just blows his mind to see someone (for the first time in his life) who LOOKS like him, who is actually related to him. He doesn’t care a lick about the gender! It is really sweet…

    Thanks for the post, Joanna!

  89. I really wanted a girl for a ton of reasons. I wanted to have a chance to raise a smart, confident feminist, who could also be a shopping buddy. :-) The main reason, though, was that in my experience girls are more willing to share their lives with their parents. So yeah, totally selfish.

    Then I found out I was having a boy. I was a little disappointed, but then I realized that the world needs guys who are smart, confident feminists too. The icing on the cake was when I found out that my male co-worker talks to at least one of his parents almost every day and says “I love you” at the end of every conversation. I LOVE having my little boy and wouldn’t trade him for the world.

  90. Oh, I lied! The one time I will be sad I had a boy instead of a girl will be when I become a grandma (gulp!) because every family I know is more involved with the mom’s parents than the dad’s. I don’t know why, but in my friends and family this is, without exception, true. Sob!

  91. My husband and I very much wanted our first to be a boy. We found out at 18 weeks we are to have a baby girl. I cried on the way back to the car. My husband asked me why and the only thing that came out was “I wanted to give you a baby boy.” He said the sweetest thing to me “I am going to love our baby girl, she is healthy, and that’s all that matters.” Now at 25 weeks along we can’t think of anything else but waiting to meet our baby girl. And I think my husband is secretly excited to get a shot gun for all her potential suitors, hee hee:-) I say this in jest.

  92. I loved this post, Jo! While I am definitely a girly-girl at heart, I somehow always pictured myself having a boy, and I did. The whole time I was pregnant, I was sure he was a boy, and I was right. We decided not to find out because neither of us had a strong preference for either so we didn’t feel the need to be “prepared”. Most of my friends have girls, and several have asked me if I am sad I will never know what it is like to have a daughter (we are sticking with one) and I can honestly say I am not sad at all. Like you, I am super close with my mom – but I don’t think I am missing out not getting to recreate that relationship. Micah and my bond is ours and it is special and unique and I couldn’t feel more blessed.

  93. It’s strange to me that gender questions always have to end with “as long as it’s healthy”. I guess it seems so normal until you’re a parent of a child who is not healthy, like I am. I hear women say “as long as it’s healthy”, and it always hurts my feelings. Of course no one ever means for that, but it still hurts. My next pregnancy I’m going say that boy or girl, I don’t care as long as it’s not a serial killer, because sometimes the baby isn’t healthy, and just like when you get a girl even though you were hoping for a boy, you love it anyway. To pieces.

  94. it’s funny, isn’t it? like you, i did want a girl and ended up with a boy. i felt like i got used to the fact of his boyness before he was born, but there was still that tiny feeling (between disappointment and insecurity). every time we went window shopping and saw baby and kid items, the only ones that i’d gush over were the girl items.

    but when our baby boy was born (about three months ago). well, it’s just impossible to imagine it any other way. and now we can raise him to be a kind, respectful young man.

    and aside from all the spraying incidents, i think boy diapers might be easier to change and clean up, cuz it’s all out there. and of course we’d love baby boy if he’s gay or wants to wear pink as a toddler or anything else.

  95. Aaaaww Joanna! You’re just too sweet! I love reading this post.

    Well I wanted a boy before and found out it was a girl, I feel exactly the same way you are feeling right now. I love my little girl so much!
    She’s my biggest inspiration, my biggest supporter, my everything!

    She has changed my world, perspective, and opened my mind :)

    x0x0 Maria

  96. I prayed for a girl…I have a sister and I was super girly. My husband also wanted a girl…he has 2 brothers…We were blessed with a little girl 7 months ago…I still think what the HECK would I do with a BOY!

  97. Oh my gosh, Joanna, I can’t tell you how great the timing is for this post!! I’m now seven months pregnant with a baby boy and while I’ve been over the MOON with excitement (it’s taken us three years to get here), there was a small part of me that was sad to not be having a girl. I’m an only child and SO close with my mother and, well, all the fears you talked about have been my own. Not to mention I’m 33 and also have MS, so it’s possible I too will have an “only.” I found myself tearing up reading your thoughts, discoveries and joys and am now more excited than ever to meet our new little addition. So on this day when I was feeling totally overwhelmed by so many things, thank you so much for putting everything into perspective. Cheers.

  98. Thanks for sharing and being so honest! Such a beautiful post!

    Interesting that someone would think to ask whether your feelings would change if Toby were gay. I read a great post about that here:

    i’m addicted both both blogs: a cup of jo and momastery… so fun, inspiring and insightful!

    i’m not a mom yet, but these posts have definitely left an indelible mark!

    thank you!

  99. You obviously sparked a lot of conversation with this post :) I am more surprised by people being truly neutral over what they want then saying they have an honest preference. It seems natural and human to want/imagine one or the other. But I could totally see and have hoped that once the baby arrives those desires just disappear and you are so happy with the baby girl/boy you were given! I loved hearing your experience with Toby :)

  100. I’m due in 7 weeks and we’re having a boy. From the beginning, both my husband and I were hoping for a girl. For me, it’s like you said…I can imagine what it’s like to raise a girl, but raising a boy is much more difficult to picture. For my husband…he’s afraid of that little boy energy which will surely tire us out. I am sure we’ll love our little guy when he arrives, but I’m glad to hear that everything clicked for you when Toby was born. Now if we can just choose a name…

  101. I felt the same way- never thought of wanting a boy but I knew from the beginning that was what we were having. No ultra sound- I just knew. I was so afraid of frog parts in pockets and crazy wildness. My little guy turns two next week. He is all boy, climbing, eating dirt, filling his pockets with rocks and running head long into the ocean. No fear (or sense :)
    I love him so much. Sometimes he leans over for a kiss in the middle of whatever and it melts me. When he makes me angry (so angry!!) I tickle him and the beautiful sound of his laugh makes everything tolerable again. No nail polish- but it works out, you know? You know.

  102. love love this post:)

  103. Allison says...

    Thank you so much for this post. I’ve never commented on a blog before but this post deserves a comment. I went through the exact same thing this past year and things changed the moment I saw my baby boy. :)

  104. You just made me cry! in my cube at work!!! I felt very similar to you when I had my boy (except that I do love rollercoasters! lol) and have also been so delighted by everything about him and am so very glad to have had a boy as my first. He’s strong and kind and thoughtful and I’m happy to bring up this lovely boy into the world. It’s an honor and a real joy!!!! Thanks for your honesty and for sharing such a heartfelt post.

  105. My favourite post on your blog to date! I am a mom of three boys and can relate to everything you wrote about. I write a blog with three other mothers – about being urban moms with boys – all four of us have different styles and different values, but we’re all friends and respectful of our differences.

    Looking forward to more, Motherhood Mondays.

  106. Great post Joanna. I have a two month old baby girl. We didn’t find out the gender ahead of time, so it was a surprise. Funny though…I had convinced myself that we were having a boy (and so had everyone else, “oh you’re carrying low, you didn’t have morning sickness”). When Mila arrived I was completely shocked and excited, but for just an instant I wondered about that little boy. Then of course I held her in my arms and couldn’t even fathom anyone else being there. xoxo.

  107. My mom had 5 (yes, FIVE)girls, and we turned out to be all Daddy’s girls. We love or Mom very much though, but we’d always swoon over Dad.

  108. Before I had my son, I had older friends with teenage boys (plus my older sister with two boys) and they were so happy with their relationship with their sons; some were closer to the boys than their husbands. So it just depends on your kid’s personality. Some boys are not into sports, some girls are not into girly stuff, but even if they are, what matters is how they relate to you as individuals. When it comes to having a child, you can’t control everything, and you take things as they come. The first comment about “what if your son turns out to be gay” was unfortunate. If my son turns out to be gay I’ll love him just as much. He won’t be any less of a person for this reason. And girls can be gay too; no problem with that either.

  109. Anonymous says...

    I know almost everyone says that gender typically doesn’t matter as long as the baby is healthy, but I would like to challenge that thought just a bit. If your baby is not healthy would you love him/her any less? I’m sure you would not :) Not that we would ever wish for our children to be unhealthy, but just some food for thought that the words we choose are important. Boy or girl, healthy or unhealthy; we love our children just the same. Love your blog!


  110. Anonymous says...

    Yes, indeed, I can relate. I felt the exact same way. I could not imagine having a boy, and was utterly shocked when the doctor told me it was a boy. Then I bonded like glue to him, and getting pregnant again I was hoping for another boy so he’d have a brother. What did I get? Twin girls! Now I have 3 great kids, my sensitive, loving son is 22 and my wonderful, each unique to themselves but best friends girls are 19. I can’t imagine anything better!

  111. i’m expecting my first soon, i’m at 36 weeks! i honestly flip flop between wanting a boy and a girl. i can’t decide on a preference!

    my husband confessed that he wants a girl, 60:40. i have to say i’m 50:50. we’d like to have two children and it’d be nice to have one of each, but to me gender is so fluid that it doesn’t matter to me what the baby’s sex is. i can’t wait to meet whoever my little kicker is. :)

  112. Anonymous says...

    I always wanted girls and I have 2 beautiful ones. It’s wonderful but the best part is watching them swoon over their dad. I’m sure my husband always imagined having sons but now he wouldn’t have it any other way!

  113. Anonymous says...

    Wow. How timely this post is! I just found out this week that I am having a boy, and EVERYONE, even my doctors thought I was having a girl, so there was a tiny twinge of dissapointment, but now I am excited to raise my little boy!

  114. What a beautiful post! I didn’t really have a preference when I had my 1st baby. I had a beautiful and intelligent boy. When I was expecting the 2nd time, I was hoping for a girl. I guess I thought she would be more affectionnate and would want to be with me all the time. I found out I was having another boy. But it turns out that he is more affectionate than I could ever have hoped for. He wants to spend all his time with me, still, at 5 y.o. Boys love their mother like there is no one else on earth. Their love is infinite. I would be thrilled to have a 3rd one! :)

  115. So beautiful, thank you! I’ve always been afraid of having a girl honestly. Probably because my relationship with my mom wasn’t great and it seems like most mom’s and their daughters have tension in their relationships. Other than you and your mom it sounds like which is amazing! How did that work? Was there anything you think she did parenting-wise that helped you guys avoid the tense love-hate relationship most daughters and mothers have?
    Anyway, this post does make me less afraid if I do have a girl. I know I’ll fall madly in love with her like the love you described in this post and I have a feeling putting her first and loving her more than myself is what makes a relationship thrive.

  116. I secretly want a girl for all the same reasons you do! What a huge relief it was to read this post. We are trying for a baby this summer and now I will rest assured that I can handle a boy. :)

  117. I myself have always wanted boys. I’m scared that I wont be able to handle or relate to a girl as well as a boy. I have always had easy relationships with boys, they are less complicated and less manipulative than teenage girls can be. Its not the infant years I’m afraid of is the teenage years. Girls have it so much harder and I don’t know if my heart will know how to handle that. I can already see myself being overprotective. I guess I will have to cross that bridge when it comes.

  118. I’m a singleton and nowhere near motherhood, but I’ve secretly always dreamed of having a girl. My sister is pregnant with a girl and when my mother turned to me and said, “Well I guess you’re having boys then!”, I actually felt a little mad. Me? Having a boy? Never! While I still would love to have a girl, this post made me realize how wonderful having a boy would be. Thank you!

  119. I grew up with three brothers, zero sisters, so having a girl first makes me a little nervous. I’m already so good at the whole baby boy thing! But i want a big family- a grand mix of boys and girls, chaos and lots of love- so i guess it doesn’t matter who comes first :)Lovely post!


  120. This is very timely for me! I leave in about 15 minutes to go to the doctor to find out what we are having! It is our first and I have had such a strong feeling that it is a girl, that I’ve worried about what my reaction might be if they say “boy.” In fact, I had several dreams about this last night! In each one they said it was a boy, and I felt confusion/disappointment b/c I was so sure it was a girl! Maybe it was my brain trying to prepare me for either outcome :) Anyway, thank you for you words. I will keep them in mind as we head to our appointment today.

  121. Often when we “wish” for a boy or a girl we are already putting expectations that our preferred sex for our child would be everything we want them to be. And just like you aren’t really like your parents, your child won’t really be just like you. Oh, there will be similiarities of course.

    But no matter what the ingredients we put into having a baby . . . that just isn’t the way it is. In children we need to let them be themselves and nurture and love them for all the possibilities to be true to who they are.

    Isn’t it wonderful to be surprised and then fall in love with your baby? wishing you many happy days together with your baby.

  122. What an amazing picture & speach!

  123. so refreshing to hear someone be honest about their initial preference! my sister-in-law just had a baby boy ( and seeing the bond a mother has with her little buddy makes my heart burst. my husband is such a good man and i hope he is given the chance to raise and be a role model to a son.

    p.s. – this is my first time commenting and i have to say that toby is one delicious-looking little baby :)

  124. Merrilyn says...

    I could have written this post! It sums up exactly what I was feeling with my second pregnancy. I secretly hoped for (and got!) a girl with my first, and since I only have a sister, I felt really, really unprepared to deal with anything in the little boy realm. But then my son arrived, and everything after that is exactly the way you described. I love my sunshine boy with all my heart!

  125. Oooh! I love open & honest post about motherhood. They are so few and far between. Thank you for being open about this. You are right, I think it is something that everyone secretly thinks- even for a second. I also think there are a lot of things about motherhood that is swept under the carpet because we are scared to talk about it. So, I am really excited to read all this new monday posts! I think I secretly wanted a baby girl for the same reason. Not because I wouldn’t love a boy but because I don’t like typical boy things. I had the same fears. Rowan is here now and she is obviously a girl but, I have realized just how much love you have for your child once they are here and because of that, the scariness of not being able to relate to a boy has faded a little. Besides I see how much love Kev has for his mom. His dad took him to all his Hockey games but his mom was always the first one he would want to comfort him when he was little. A mom is always a special role whether boy or girl.

  126. We are pregnant with our first and our first ultrasound is later today. I feel just like you did. Although, my first thought is that we are blessed to be pregnant in the first place, and a healthy baby is my number one prayer every day…I still want a girl. My husband would be such a great boy dad. You’ve changed my perspective on little boys. I’ll love him or her no matter what. I love your new Motherhood theme for Mondays. I can’t wait to meet my new little person.

  127. When I was younger I always thought I would be a mom to sons. When pregnant with both my daughters I hoped for sons. My husband could care less. We did not find out the sex of our babies until they were born. The moment each of them were born and I found out they were girls I was so excited and happy~not sad. I LOVE having girls! My girls are now 7 & 8. I am suppose to be a mom to daughters. I mourned the mom I could have been with sons. I have 2year old nephews who I enjoy spoiling. I love my girls and look forward to many wonderful mother daughter moments with them as they grow into women.

  128. Anonymous says...

    Thanks for this post — it came at just the right time, as I just found out that my third child-to-be will be my third boy. I cried when they told me; I didn’t realize how much I’d been hoping for a girl. And of course I felt instantly guilty, because they also told me that everything seems to be OK health-wise. I don’t feel like I can tell anyone about this because I would hate to sound ungrateful, but there it is: I know that when he arrives, things will change, but I am a bit disappointed.

  129. this really hit home. im newly pregnant and called my mom upset a few weeks ago bc of the guilt i felt about being so sure i am carrying a son rather than a daughter.

    truth is that my hubby and i want boys and girls, but this being our first for some reason want a girl and hate that i have a preference. it is always nice to hear that you adore whatever comes out and i am sure that will be the case. thank you for your honesty.

  130. Amber Paul says...

    When we were having our first, I sort of secretly hoped for a girl, but when we learned that we would have a boy, I was super excited. It was on baby number 2 that I REALLY hoped for a girl…and then we had another boy. And I’ll admit, the night after the ultrasound at 21 weeks, when we learned that we had a wonderfully healthy, wiggly, perfect little boy in my tummy…I cried. And I felt guilty, because my baby was perfect and I shouldn’t be crying and I felt that crying about it made me a selfish and terrible mother, but I was sad nonetheless. The only way that I could explain it was to tell my husband that I wasn’t sad because this baby was a boy, I was just sad that I wasn’t having a girl (for all the same mom-daughter bonding things you described…and also, I was secretly worried that I would somehow not be able to love another boy as much as I love my first…silly and irrational, I know, but still a fear). And I stayed sad about not having a girl for about 2 weeks, and then I was over it and was happy again. And then he arrived and he’s so sweet and wonderful and I love him with the same intensity and wonder and awe that I love his brother with and I can’t imagine any other person in the world being here…boy or girl. He’s such a perfect fit into our little family and I have prayed so many times thanking God for giving me the baby that I needed instead of the baby I thought that I wanted. I think it’s natural to have preconceived notions about how we envision our lives, but it’s the the things that don’t look just how we pictured that always wind up being the absolute life-changing best, isn’t it?

  131. Thank you for this post. My husband and I recently had a baby much sooner than we had ever planned or thought. Actually, we had discussed how it might be fun to have a little girl down the road but had pretty much decided not to have children at all. However, life happens and while our pregnancy was unplanned it was not at all unwelcome:)

    During the pregnancy, my husband and our midwife and everyone we knew insisted we were having a girl, but though I would have been much more comfortable having a girl and being able to bond with her since I grew up with one sister and a multitude of girl cousins (boys are few and far between in my family), I just didn’t feel as though I was carrying a girl.

    On top of that, whatever the sex, I wanted to make sure our baby felt wanted so I held that thought in mind and heart and told everyone I hoped for a healthy child and left it at that.

    When our 20-week ultrasound showed us we were having a boy, we were blown away with joy and love and let our fantasy of a little girl drift away as the reality of our son danced on the screen.

    The day Mikko Giovanni was born, my husband said it felt as if he had always been with us and truly it is almost as if our life had really started that day.

    Two months into parenthood and it has been a steep learning curve for me for many reasons but as we look into Mikko’s eyes and see his smiles–such a happy baby!–we know that neither of us would change a thing and we are so grateful just to have the opportunity to have him in our lives.

  132. Thanks for the post! I am an expecting my first and our sonogram is tomorrow! We have decided that we are not going to find out the gender. I want to have that enormous suprise when baby H (don’t like calling he/she an “it”) arrives. Another reason, for the very reason of this post, don’t in any way want to feel upset about what I’m having.

    I’m an over thinker and I have worries about having a boy and worries about having a girl. The thing is, the sex is already determined so I see no use in worrying for 4 1/2 more months! Me and the hubs will figure it all out once the baby is here. I can’t wait to meet our little baby H.

  133. What a nice post and series! I always wanted a girl, for the same reasons you wanted one initially. Now my cup runneth over as I have three daughters! Bringing up girls is wonderful and magical and fun and sometimes crazy hard. Which could be said for raising children in general. People have asked me if we wanted a son the 3rd time, and truly, we didn’t care… though we kind of wanted another girl! Witnessing the differences between my children I can’t imagine how a boy could be more different than say, my 1st and 2nd girls are from each other. I do wonder what raising a boy and doing boy stuff would be like. My children are still small and I think at this age girls and boys are quite similar. But when I see packs of awkward gangly tween boys laughing and carefree I let myself imagine how sweet loving those boys would be. Luckily, I have 2 nephews to watch grow and love.

  134. I am always inspired when people with the power to influence choose honesty over fear. This is a lovely & moving post Joanna- I am sure you have helped lessen unnecessary guilt in many mothers today! (And made me a little more comfortable with maybe having a boy one day..!)

  135. Hey there, I’m pretty new to your blog, and I appreciate so much your honesty. Our oldest 2 are boys, and I love having boys. But when I got pregnant with our third, there was definitely a part of me that was dying for a girl. BUT, I also knew that no matter what, on the day that little baby came into the world, boy or girl, it wouldn’t matter. When our third was born, all I could see was the umbilical cord hanging down, so I couldn’t tell, and didn’t know that I was holding a baby girl until about five minutes after she was born!

  136. thank you for writing this. I would go even further to say that I felt disappointment in the delivery room when the midwife announced our baby was a boy. My mom passed away long before I was pregnant and I continue to miss her and our relationship and I was hoping to have a daughter so that I too could share in the intimate way that is unique to moms and daughters. What I didn’t expect was the incredibly intimate and sweet relationship that can be had between a mom and son. My little boy is just a smidge bit older than 2 and what we share is just the most fantastic thing ever. He is sweet and rowdy. Bossy and kind. He seeks me out for comfort and lets me know when he needs space…and he always wants to share his trucks with me. His proud mom.
    Boys are the absolute best.

  137. HD says...

    Six weeks into our relationship my boyfriend and I were lying in bed on a sunny fall morning and he said “If we had kids what would their names be?” He has 3 sisters and on his fathers side of the family he is the only male of the 10 grandkids, so he was convinced his first would be a girl and named her Georgia. I said he needed to have a son though, to go fishing with and teach to play hockey so he named our “son” Jack.

    I thought he was just being silly but a month or so later his mom had us over and said “Tom is SO in love with you, ALL he talks about is how awesome your kids are gonna be!” We both kind of played it down, talking about kids wasn’t that big a deal, but it made me smile that he’d said it to his mom. We’d talk about our “kids” on occasion. He’d say “I can’t wait to make Georgia’s lunch. I’m going to include a little note every day.” or “Georgia’s going to be perfect.” On another visit to his mom’s she talked about being pregnant with my Tom’s younger sister. He was 5 at the time and was intrigued with the whole thing. He loved looking through all the baby books and seeing what his sister looked like in his mama’s belly. He begged to be in the room when she was born, but in the end wasn’t allowed in until after the baby had arrived. He and his older sister came to the top of the bed to see the baby and when they did Tom started to cry. His mom through he was going to say “I don’t want her, take her back” but he said “Oh mom, I love her already.” It’s my favorite of his stories. I think having all those sisters stuck with him. I’m looking forward to having both, and don’t care which comes first, although I think Tom’s convinced me now that it will be girl first. I think he’s most looking forward to a girl though. Even though we’ve made up the two kids, Georgia’s the first-born. She’s his girl and he loves her already. I think it’s so sweet.

  138. I enjoyed reading this post very much. My boyfriend already has four children, and they live with us part time. His eldest is a girl and the three younger ones are boys (8,6,5 &3). I love them all so much, and I’ve come to realize that I wouldn’t mind whether we have a boy or a girl in the future.

  139. I not so secretly wanted a girl both times I was pregnant :) My first was a boy though. And golly do I love hanging out with him! He is an (almost) constant joy to be around. My purple loving, princess twirling, robot imitating, spaceship wannabe boy. I love his sister too ;)

  140. I had the exact same experience as you, so it is uncanny to read your musings on the subject. My son is 8 months now and I have been following Toby because you are just one step ahead of me in all things parenthood related. I am one of three sisters, so the world of boys is a completely unknown territory. Thank you for putting my thoughts into words.

  141. I’ll be honest! Having a boy scares me! I have two girls so far and I’m afraid having a third child will tempt fate. I have four sisters and one brother. Boys are a foreign concept to me. :) But the husband, who is completely in love with his two girls, would be over the moon to have a boy.

  142. I couldn’t agree with you more- I felt like I was writing this post myself! When we found out we were having a girl for our first I was so happy & relieved bc of the mother/daughter bond. Then when I got pregnant with #2 and found out it was a boy I was nervous bc I felt all the things you said! I am not into sports, etc. But having my little man is the most amazing thing and at times we have a stronger bond than I have with my daughter…

  143. I’ve been reading here for a few years & I must say, I love posts about Toby. Of course, babies are fun (at least I think so) but that’s not all there is to it. They way you have been affected in becoming a mother is apparent in your writing. Each of these entries will be a treasure for you to reflect on as these baby days turn to toddler-hood and onward. They will also be a treat for Toby to learn who he helped his mommy to become, should you chose to share them with him some day. Our children change us so much, if we let them, and I think it is always for the better!

    I have ‘one of each.’
    I always wanted my oldest to be a boy. I have a big brother. It just seemed right to me. My oldest is a girl. And I love having a daughter. She is vibrant, hillarious, caring, and imaginative. She is a fantastic big sister and just right for her little brother (who will, no doubt, be ‘bigger’ before long).
    Some things are just better left out of our control.

  144. Do you remember that scene, I can’t remember from which of the Anne books (Anne of the Island?), where Diana talks about wishing she could have a girl so she could call her Anne, but once her baby Fred arrived, she wouldn’t exchange him for a million girls? I think that was in the Anne of Avonlea movie sequel too. Anyway, it seems to illustrate your point. :) “Every little baby is the sweetest and the best.”

  145. Isabelle R. says...

    I too have always wanted a girl, for reasons very similar to yours. At the beginning of my pregnancy, I tried to convince myself that it would be just as wonderful to have a boy, but secretly, I was still hoping for a girl. Then we learnt the baby was a little girl and I was thrilled but surprinsingly, also really sad. I guess I had gotten used to the idea that maybe I would have a son and at that point I had to let go of that idea. Until you know your baby’s gender, it’s like you have two: you can imagine yourself with a son and a daughter. I felt I had lost the little boy I could have had. (But the mourning feeling didn’t last: I was sad for two days, after that I started thinking dresses and ballet classes!)
    My daughter’s 17 months old now. She’s absolutly wonderful.

  146. i had a miscarriage about a month ago, a few weeks too early to find out if it was a boy or a girl. i still wonder all the time who that little baby was that didn’t get to join us in this world. i pray for her or him all the time; knowing we already loved that baby. we’re about to start trying again, and i’m so nervous of course; but i can tell you through this experience that all i want is a healthy and happy baby. it’s such a precious gift.

  147. I’m glad you brought this up! I don’t have kids but always imagine myself with a little girl. Who knows how it will turn out, but little boys always love their mommies :)