Over the past two weeks, I've been flooded with thoughts & emotions about a third boy joining our family. I have realized that it is possible to be disappointed while at the same time ecstatic. So many conflicting feelings from moment to moment that some days I feel as though I am still just processing. A thought will randomly cross my mind, something I hadn't considered before, and immediately I am once again an emotional mess. Positive or negative. We opted to have genetic testing done at the 10-week mark, specifically becuase we couldn't wait to learn the gender, and asked our midwife to email us the results. That morning, Conor & I sat on the couch together, snuggled up, and opened it. It was quiet, just us, and there were a few tears. We both took in the news togehter and then shared our initial thoughts. It was certainly a far different moment then we may have hoped for in finding the news of a girl. But we both knew that "we don't get to choose; and that's okay.". Que the emotional rollercoaster...
The first day I really embraced it. Brothers!!! What fun this will be. I love being a boy mom, and I like to believe I'm doing a really good job at it. The world needs more great men. And I am confident that I am raising great men. I think there is going to be something so special about a trio of boys. I hope they love one another, learn from one another, and grow to have a tight bond forever. I can already picture them running around together. The cars & Legos that already cover my floors will only multiply. The pee around my toilet will increase. The noise will go up. The wrestling matches more intense. The injuries during said wrestling matches worsening. And I'm ready to embrace it all with open arms. Three boys! Still wrapping my head around it, but I'm so looking forward to it. It will be a whole new element. Two boys is fun, but three will be so different in all sorts of wonderful ways. The Brothers Keenan.
I could go on & on about the excitement, but I also want to give some time & space to the grieving process. Because, yes, yes I do use the word grief. My heart aches for a girl. I have an incredibly close relationship with my own mom, and even though there is no guarantee that I would have that with my own daughter, I long for the opportunity to have that myself as I grow older in this journey through parenting. I do not have sisters, so not having a baby girl of my own is a bit of a blow. While I do have some amazing sister-in-laws in my life, it's not quite the same as growing up together. Just as being in a mother-in-law will be very different than being a mother to my own girl.
It's not as though I want this baby to be any different than he is. I love him already and know that we were meant to have him, to be his parents and love him unconditionally like we do his brothers. It's more that I'm sad we'll likely never have a girl. Before finding out the gender we were about 95% sure this would be our last baby. And I still feel that same way. I'm ready to move onto that next stage in life. I don't want to hold out hope or live in this land of "what if?"s. I'm been stock piling cute baby girl clothes for years now; this month, I'm letting them go. I'm ready to move on. But I know that this grieving process will be something that I come to grips with for some years to come. It will show up when I'm missing out on certain girl/daughter milestones. And it's not always the big milestones that come to mind. It's the little things. The random things that I always pictured would be a part of my future. I will never coach my daughter's volleyball team. I won't be brushing her hair nor wiping her tears through her first break up. I won't be picking out wedding dresses. I won't be handing down mine. I won't be her first call when she has questions about becoming a mom. I won't get to see what our daughter would look like.
But I will be able to teach my boys. I will be the only female presence in their immediate lives, so I need to be impactful. They will miss out on the experience of a sister, so I need to be enough. And I will be enough! I will hope and trust that they choose strong women as their partners in life, and I too will grow to love them as my own. I have so much to teach my boys. I have a really big job, and one I am proud to take on. Some days I can't imagine life without all boys, other days it feels like there is a big hole in my soul not having that sister-baby. As time passes and we learn who this baby is, perhaps our family won't feel complete yet. But we won't know this until this sweet third boy arrives! I can already feel his little body moving, and it is deepening our connection. I am anxious to name him and continue growing our bond.
Boys. The Brothers Keenan. Yes, we don't get to choose. But I simply cannot wait!