Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Brothers Keenan

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!  








29 comments :

  1. I adore the title of ths post but I hate to admit you made me tear up a bit! 4 kids is totally doable AND an even number - haha! Keep that in mind! In the meantime, you seriously rock boy mama and congrats again on this new and special addition to the gentlemen clan!!!

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  2. Oh, Laura. Such sweet pictures and such honesty. I wish we could pick, wouldn't that be nice!! I suppose all we can do is let go and put it in the hands of One who is ultimately in control - that's so hard to do though!! You've definitely got a special crew on your hands, and SUCH an important role as their mother. I hope the peace in your heart and soul continues to come/grow in the matter.

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  3. I had similar feelings. I'm a mom of 2 boys (now 5 1/2 and 4) and they are going to be our only children. I always assumed my second would be a girl, because both my husband and I come from families with an older brother and younger sister.
    We had planned if we had a daughter to name her after my mother, who passed away 10 years ago. It's heartbreaking to know that will not happen.
    BUT...I do love having 2 boys that are best friends (most of the time) and I hope they will always be this close.
    Congratulations to you and your growing family of little men! ❤️️

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  4. I can relate wholeheartedly. It's a tough loss when you always picture yourself with at least one little girl (if not all!), but you're right, it's a privilege to get to raise three gentlemen and they are going to develop the most special bond amongst each other. I know so many boy mamas x3, many of whose boys have grown into men, and they all say they wouldn't trade it for the world. But I do know how you feel and I think it's very brave of you to share your feelings. And you guys make super adorable, handsome little guys so I can't wait for Brother Keenan #3 to join the fun! Hugs, friend!

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  5. This is absolutely why I love reading your blog. SO much truth in there. I love your parenting style which is exactly opposite of how I first started parenting and it has made be a much more hands on parent. I'm not going to lie, I really teared up reading this blog because I am so close with my mom just like you and you really hit the nail on the head. You're absolutely correct for saying its a grieving process, but I not so secretly hope you go for a fourth because you are just such a great momma and another little one would just be so lucky to have you. I'll be thinking of you!

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  6. I've never posted before but I've been following along for about two years now. First, congratulations on your growing family! Your boys will be such good big brothers. Second, what a heartfelt, beautiful post. It's clear you love your sons and are growing great boys who will turn into great men. It's ok, and normal, to grieve the loss of a dream you had in your head. But now you get to be their queen, and that's pretty special. Third, I know a family who was told at 10 weeks they'd have a boy, only to find out a couple of months later there had been a mistake and the baby was a girl. So, you never know!

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    1. Thanks for your kind words! I think Conor is still holding out hope for our 20 week ultrasound, but I'm pretty convinced it'll still be a boy!

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  7. Love how honest and raw you are. Your feelings are completely understandable, but I love that you are taking the positive! Those BOYS are so, so, so lucky to have you, and each other! What a special childhood they will have!

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  8. I think you hit every emotion and feeling I have about brothers! While we aren't decided on a third yet (maybe. some day.) I know I'll have the same thoughts about finding out the gender and if it's a third boy. But you're so right, we have a responsibility to raise some gentlemen and we're up for it! Love you mama!

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  9. I don't comment much, or even read nearly as much as I used to. But I just had to comment on this one. Laura, thank you for being so honest. I feel like - a lot of times - moms feel guilty expressing disappointment over baby gender and are too afraid to share their feelings for fear of judgement. Of course, parents deepest hopes are always for a healthy baby above all, regardless of gender. But it's honest and ok for parents to wish for certain genders too. Not something to be ashamed of! We have been blessed to get to experience both genders, and after reading this post, I am more grateful than I've ever been for that. Your boys are lucky to have you as a mama. You do boy mom life better than anyone I know. And this third baby boy will be insanely loved!!! Excited to follow along with you! And would not be surprised if there ended up being 4 little blonde heads around your table one day:)

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  10. What a beautiful post! My cousin went through the same set of emotions when she found out baby #3 was her third boy. I can't imagine what it might feel like. You're going to rock this boy mom thing!

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  11. Gosh the line about not getting to know what your daughter would look like just struck home with me so deeply. This is one aspect of life that is just so crazy, really how out of our control it is. I so deeply admire you for sharing your feelings, we have all been there, I know I have! But I will say, you make some damn handsome boys! That is for sure! I grew up with three brothers so I can attest to how much fun it is! And crazy! ;) Sending a big hug your way! ❤️

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  12. Beautifully said Laura. I think it is wonderful to share all the emotions going through your head and heart right now, because I'm sure there are so many that can relate. Having Ben is more than I could have ever hoped for, but now that we know giving him a brother or sister might not happen, that makes me have a lot of similar emotions too (just when you thought the future might look different). You are an amazing boy Momma and those boys are so lucky to have you.

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  13. I was so touched by your post and honesty. I wanted to share a little thing that came to my mind. I am the girl after three boys as my mother too longed for a girl. My mom and I are close but honestly her relationship with the the brother right before me is probably her closest relationship with her kids. They have a unique bond and he goes to her for everything. Just thought I would share that with you :) I hope you have a great week!!

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  14. I LOVE this post! I am currently pregnant with my 2nd little boy and I am THRILLED but can't help but think I might be destined to be a boy mom and, like you said, it's amazing(!!) but not the same as having both. Thank you always being honest and giving us a glimpse into your wonderful family :)

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  15. I can totally relate. I'm due with baby boy #5 in April, our last. I would have loved a daughter and fully agree, not getting to see what she would look like is definitely hard. I embrace the boy mom role fully and can't wait to meet this sweet new little man, but have moments of grieving the daughter I will never have. Congrats on your new baby! Boys are sweet and do love their momma's!

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  16. Such and honest and beautiful post. While I love being a boy mom I too grieve the things I'm missing out on not having a daughter. Maybe being super close to our moms makes that even harder to accept. Makes me want to be a really good MIL one day! It won't be the same but it's better than nothing right? And it's so true that we have a huge job to raise these boys into amazing men.

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  17. I absolutely love how open and honest you were in this post. Those raw emotions! There is nothing wrong with grieving a little bit for the girl you won't have. But seriously Laura, your boys are so damn lucky. You are an amazing mom and are doing everything you can to raise them right. Their future wives will thank you! You are everything they need and are so blessed in those three beautiful boys!

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  18. I love the honesty of this post and how open you are about your feelings. When I first found out I was pregnant I immediately wished for a girl. After all, I already had two boys. I thought bringing a girl into the mix would be wonderful! I dreamed of all of the bows and dresses I would buy. How we could sneak away for girl time and get pedicures together or go outfit shopping. I had also hoped that she would share both mine and my mother's love of horses. Before my appointment to find out the gender I had to go in for an ultrasound. The doctor asked if I wanted to know the gender and I said yes. Although baby wasn't cooperating very well, she felt positive I was having a girl! A week later was another ultrasound. When the ultrasound tech told me I was having a boy, I was stunned. I cried and cried. However, now I couldn't imagine having not had another boy.

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  19. Well, you gone and made me cry! Not that that is super hard to do these days ;) I wish I had some profound wisdom for you but I dont know how having a son is like, let alone 3. But I do know that feelings are fleeting and come and go and embracing the ones you are currently feeling is important to your overall health. Thinking of you, Mama.

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  20. Oh, Laura. I love your honesty in this post. I felt the same way when we found out baby number two was a boy. Not that we weren't thrilled - but there was grieving over not having a daughter, something that I truly wanted. But, oh how I love all of my boys something fierce and I can't imagine life any other way. Even though you may not have a daughter, your three boys have the very best mom. You are seriously an amazing mom and your boys love you hard. The way you love them and let them explore and learn and be boys is something I strive to do! Your boys are blessed to have you as their mama, and their wives will love you just as much I'm sure.

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  21. Laura this was so wonderful to read. I love learning about your family and seeing all your beautiful photos but there is something so refreshing about your straight up honesty and it's so brave that you've chosen to share those thoughts with us.

    And while I can't yet comment on being a mama to either gender, I will say this: My boyfriend is one of 5 - aged 30, 28, 22, 14 and 7 (crazy I know) - and the first 4 are boys. And while his mom is loving having a girl, I think she truly shined while raising the boys. They are wonderful, caring, generous, loyal, kind men and she had SO much to do with that, and you will too. Your future daughter in laws will be so thankful for you one day :)

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  22. As a mom of three boys, this post hits at the heart. We didn't find out the gender of baby #1 or baby #2, but I knew with our third, I needed time to process if it was going to be another boy. And I totally needed that time to process. I processed with my dr. I processed with other three boys moms. I'm glad I found out beforehand. There is no better buddy than a brother one of my boy mom friends says... and I can totally agree, but I still ache sometimes for never being a girl mom.

    xo
    Becky
    www.bybmgblog.com

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  23. What an honest and beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your feelings so openly with your readers. Nothing but luck and love being sent your way!

    All the best,
    Darling

    Doitalldarling.com

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  24. Your third boy is going to be so loved! <3 Thanks for sharing your true feelings with us! I know that if our next little one ends up being a third boy I'll feel so similar - ecstatic about another little guy but a little broken hearted about another "loss" of the possibility of a girl!

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  25. Oh friend...
    I'm in the camp that in life you are given exactly what you need. It doesn't take the sting away (right now), but this little boy is coming in to the most loving, amazing family. He has two big brothers who are going to make the best play buddies, and one day, best friends. And, he has you. YOU! You're kind, and beautiful, and strong, and loving. This little boy is unbelievably lucky that you are his mommy.
    My mom and I are close, but it's honestly nothing like the bond between my brother and my mom . To this day my brother goes to my mom about everything before anyone else.

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  26. As a mother of two boys I know where you are coming from.. We are not planning for a third child so I know that these two boys are all we have and we know we have them for a reason.
    It was a beautiful post.. thank you so much for sharing it. It made me grief a bit for the daughter I never had. Son's carry on our name but it is the daughters that carry our hearts.
    These boys are lucky to have you. Stay Blessed

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  27. The world needs more good men in it and I think it's a wonderful thing you are doing and will continue to do to raise sons who will grow into Godly men. With that said, I think the feelings you are feeling are totally valid and make lots of sense. I don't want to rush past that by any means. But I will tell you this, Christopher (my husband) has always been close to both of his parents and when we started dating they treated me like a daughter. I have loved them ever since. They loved and supported me and never spoke a critical word to me (even after a dozen years!). My mother-in-law is literally like another mother to me. I love her so much! I hope your sons will marry women who can be the three precious daughters you desire. You will miss out on the growing up years, but you have the life-long friendship part. :) *hugs*

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  28. Oh sweet friend, I could have written this post myself - but with the opposite genders. I actually have a similar post in my drafts that maybe one day I will publish with my feelings... Finding out that our third princess was on her way was a blow and initial disappointment - but more mourning for all the "what ifs" that we will never experience with a son and a shatter of dreams that I always had of having blue in our home. But in saying that, I now cannot imagine anything moreover for us than three little queens and I am so excited!!
    x

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