Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Having a Third Boy

{Remember in December Counting our Blessings and Trusting in God}


Like you all, I’ve been out doing a lot of shopping (and sometimes I’ve bought gifts for others…j/k, most the time). Almost everywhere I go I get “Wow, your hands our full!”—referring to my boys. I’m used to it though. I get all kinds of remarks and questions. Probably the most common is, “I bet you were trying for that girl,” as they motion towards my youngest son. And then they follow up with, “Are you going to try again?” as if it is any of their business, I just need them to bag up my groceries please!

My good friend’s sister is now pregnant with her third boy and was having a hard time dealing, so she asked me for some advice and share my personal feelings. I am so glad she did because it was really good therapy to open up about a tender subject for me.

I would like to share my email response with you too:

I still vividly remember my heart falling when we found out that we were having a third boy, and then the ache that followed, along with tears because I instantly felt cheated, guilty, confused, disappointed, overwhelmed...and I didn't want to admit to feeling any of those things because I knew as a mother, who was blessed by my Heavenly Father with the life growing inside of me, that I was supposed to feel love and gratitude.  And, then I felt it wasn't fair to this unborn child who had chosen me as his mother to "wish or hoped" anything other then who he was.  It still is a battle in my heart and tugs at me because the third was going to be it--I really wanted it to be done, and a girl made sense.  I still really want to be done, but that what if haunts me.  However I have resigned myself to say if I am having a fourth child it is only if I can handle a fourth child (boy or girl, most likely boy). It won't be because I am "trying for that girl", which I'm not really convinced of that yet, so three boys is it for now and maybe forever. 

I think it is honest to say that it took me from the time to finding out that I was having a third boy to the time I first held him in my arms immediately (literally IMMEDIATELY--which was a first for me) after giving birth to him, and saw his little face, to really come to terms with it.  It took just looking at him, holding him, and feeling his need for me to be so grateful that I was blessed to be his mommy.  It's irrational, but I felt like I loved him the most out of all my babies.  For months and months after he was born and over this first year of his life I would be feeding him, changing him, or holding him and say to him "I love you so much and I am so thankful to by your mommy," and I wholeheartedly felt it, so much so that it would bring me to tears of joy even at times.  I feel ashamed of those moments that I felt I wished he were a girl  (although I think it was totally understandable and normal) and I don't ever want him to feel anything other than complete love and acceptance from me.  I could not imagine not having my blondie baby.

In those months of "processing" the news that I was going to be a mother of three boys, I had to really bump up my faith in the Lord, and I had to try to see myself as the Lord sees me.  I was truly surprised that the Lord would think me capable of mothering three boys, but I needed to find my inner strength and self worth as a mother.  I had to believe that if the Lord blesses me with three boys then he knows I can handle it, and I need to do just that--handle it.  As I was emotionally and mentally trying to process and come to terms with about to be a mother of 3 boys while 8 months pregnant, the Holy Ghost touched my heart and mind with a comforting thought or vision.  It was actually during a stake conference.  My boys were being squirmy as usual, but not terrible, and I was trying to calm them as they were sitting on either side of me, so I started to run my hand up and down their backs. I then noticed a mother a few rows ahead doing the same to her teenage son, and one of her sons then turned to look at his mom and gave her the sweetest smile.  It was then I finally felt peace.  I could see the day that I would have these tall, handsome teenage boys around me, to protect me, to love me, and for me to be the woman in their lives for that time, and I felt so lucky. 

I still have my moments when I long for a little girl. But I ask myself, why, why is it so important to have a girl?  So I can put bows in her hair and buy dresses with polka dot and ruffles? That just doesn't seem reason enough to be forlorn for not having a girl.  Luckily I have plenty of nieces so I can buy them something if I have to, or do their hair when were together.  I just love it when people say how difficult girls are, and I console myself saying that I would probably produce a terrible girl with so much drama and sassiness and just a plain handful that I'll be grateful to just have my simple, active, energetic boys.

Seriously though, it really helps to have the faith that I was blessed with who I was exactly supposed to raise--but it took me time to get to that point, and even now, I still have to remind myself sometimes...especially when walking by the girls section in Target. 

But each morning when I walk into my baby boy’s room to lift him out of his crib and he gives me his dimpled smile and claps because he is so happy to see me, my heart fills with love and happiness that he is my third son. 

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Ruthanne said...

Amber I loved reading this, you really are so eloquent. B-Bop has a special place in my heart! :) I can relate with all the comments from strangers who just assume you want either a girl or boy, like it's so important to have one of each. When I was pregnant, every time I went anywhere, people would look at my two girls and ask what I was having, then when I said a boy they would say " OH GOOD! I bet your'e so happy, or FINALLY!" And I was happy but I would've been happy for another girl too. I got really tired of all the comments. My mom had five girls in a row so I was used to the idea and I know every family has excatly what Heavenly Father had planned. Now that I have a boy I can't imagine my life without him, boys really are so special and sweet, just like girls! :)

I really admire you for how you seem to effortlessly mother three boys, and do everything else you do, and look fabulous to boot! You are one of those people who seem to have it all together! Well sorry I didn't mean to ramble on so much, great post!

Kimberly said...

what a great ressponse!

I am sure your friend's sister will process and instantly lover her little boy, too.

and why do strangers thinkk it is of OK to ask about my sex life?? Really, that is what "are you trying for a girl" is....

I got the "hands full' a lot when they were younger. having the 3 of them in 3 yrs. Now that they are older I get the "WOW. 3 teen boys!" a lot- which upsets me even more. People say "TEENS" like it is a plague.
The only real downside to having 3 young men, is the Grocery Bill!!

(and G just got his college grade for his Dual Enrollment Class- blog entry)

Warner / Debbie Blair said...

Im sitting in a publicplace reading this and wiping away tears. Your boys are so cute and fun. I couldn't imagine life without . its weird how our love seems to grow by leaps and bounds with each new baby.

Melody's Voice said...

So I am reading this at work right now and my eyes keep tearing up and I am hoping my students don't notice. That was such a tender post. The other day I was in church and I am back in Saugus III as you know, and I was looking at the boys passing the sacrament, and I noticed how the Harding's youngest boy Tanner is so grown up and such a nice young man, and I felt at that moment that I hope I have a boy. I had always been all about girls. I wanted to have a girl first, but I felt peace at that time too that I would be happy if I had a boy first...and the I can have a girl second ;)

mylittlegems said...

I've been reading your blog for a while--we have some things in common- I am LDS, and I am also a mother of 3 boys, and pregnant with a fourth child- still not knowing what it is. Of course I would love a girl; but all my boys have had some sort of complication or serious health problem. When you go through that with all of your children, you realize, that although a girl would be a welcome change; a healthy boy would also be a very welcome change! My youngest boy has to have major surgery just weeks before this next baby comes. :) I am just grateful- at my close to 40 age- that I am able to be a mother-of boys- as it currently is- and as it may always be! No matter what your children are, of course you will always love them. I think it takes a very strong and courageous woman to have all boys ;)

Anonymous said...

I am also a mom to 3 boys, soon to be 4 boys! I can very much relate to your feelings and I felt similar feelings after finding out that our 3rd was a boy. I felt before trying for number 4 that it would most definitely would not be our try for a girl. I wanted another baby and the gender wasn't important. Although I did feel again some sadness that I would never (most likely) have a daughter, I can't imagine a girl would bring me more joy or happiness than my boys do. I do wish I knew why it is that I am only to have boys but maybe I'll find out someday.

Melissa said...

Thanks for posting this. I just found out that I'm having boy #3 and everything you wrote about how you were feeling is exactly how I have been feeling. I know that I just need to work though thost feelings and ask the Lord to help me and speak to my heart. Thanks.

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"Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity. "

-Margaret D. Nadauld