Don't You Want To Try For A Girl?

Today I found out one of my dearest friends back home in Chicagoland is preggers and I'm super happy for her. But, the cute pictures on her facebook page with all her sistagirlfriends back home placing their hands on her belly got me thinking about how at least twice a week I get asked if I want another baby.

I don't want to complain too much because a) folks aren't looking at my midsection and asking, "When's your baby due?" and, b) they usually ask after interacting with my two very sweet sons. I guess the thought is that if the two I have are so sweet and cute, so why not have more?

I used to think that I wanted four kids. The eldest would get his or her shine by being the eldest. The youngest would be happy getting attention as the baby and the two middle kids could console each other over how they're never appreciated and are, essentially, treated like servants for the baby and the eldest child.

However, now that I have two sons, I'm pretty sure I'm done, even though I'll bet big money that before the end of this week, somebody's gonna say, "You need a girl. Don't you want to try for a girl?"

The first time I was pregnant, yes, I wanted a healthy baby, but I REALLY wanted a baby girl. I had a girl name all picked out by month two, and only made a just-in-case final decision on a boy name while engaging in a last dessert before parenthood at House of Pies the night before my labor was induced (because the baby was two weeks past due).

She was going to be Almitra Naomi -- and, well, the baby finally came out after like 35 hours and the use of a vacuum extractor (sooo painful that I had nightmares for months afterward about it) and the doctor said, "It's a boy!"

I thought I was hallucinating because I was so exhausted. But, indeed, there was a penis, so Almitra Naomi was not to be.

Second time around, I thought I was going to get my Almitra Naomi Vivienne (decided to add the 3rd name in there because I love it) and, lo and behold, the ultrasound technician RUINED everything when she said, "It's a boy!"

Given that the male decides the sex of the baby, I quickly realized that genetically, I could be like Henry VIII waiting for a girl to turn up. I have two happy and healthy boys so I figure, why fix what ain't broken? Sometimes more isn't merrier.

I also think about it this way: College and grad school costs for two kids already have me stressed out. Two boys eat a TON, so if I get a third boy, I'll be at the grocery store every five minutes. I only have two bedrooms up in here, so where's the third child gonna sleep?

Oh, that's right... the baby will sleep in my bed with ME for the first few years of its life because I believe in co-sleeping due to me being unable to stick a baby in a crib and hope it cries itself to sleep. I'm still patting myself on the back that I finally managed get my sons out of my room and have them sleeping in their own rooms most of the time. I say most of the time because they have a tendency to sneak back in my bed and then there's no space and I'm on the couch or sleeping in THEIR room!

I'll also be quite frank and admit that I didn't really like being pregnant. Yes, you get the awesome baby at the end, so some people might think it's terrible of me to say, but I didn't enjoy the experience.

I hated maternity clothes. No amount of Mimi Maternity attempting to make them fashionable makes those duds look good to me.

I retained water like crazy so I felt like a bloated mess all the time. My feet were swollen lima beans and my skin went totally nuts so I looked like a freaking lizard on most of my body, no matter how much vitamin E oil and cocoa butter I slathered on myself.

What else? Working 60-70+ hours a week up till my due date was not enjoyable. Sure, I'm not doing those kinds of hours now, but the memory of it is still extremely horrible. And let's face it, most bosses are jerks deep down when it comes to a woman being pregnant.

Hmm... I nursed my eldest for almost two years and my youngest got cut off against his will on his 3rd birthday. So that means I've had a mere two years of my boobs being my own again. I like them being my own. I like not having to wear those nursing bra pads so your boobs don't leak milk all over your shirt at the most inopportune times. I like not hooking myself up to a breast pump several times a day. Seriously, sometimes I'd moo so I make myself laugh while hooked up to that thing.

Now, am I absolutely 100% thrilled I did all those things for the two children I have? Yes, and I'd do them again in a heartbeat for them. They're happy and healthy, and, for example, I'm proud of the fact that they never had infant formula.

Does that mean I want to do it all again? If it happened that two months from now I got pregnant, sure, I'd have to shift my mindset and do it again, but in the meantime, no mas!

Besides, I'm well aware that I'm closer to 40 than to 30, and so there are a lot more risks involved in being pregnant for me and any future baby. Not saying anything bad would for sure happen because PLENTY of older moms have totally healthy babies, but there is a higher likelihood and I'm not one to tempt fate. I think more about adopting these days, particularly about adopting older African-American children because those are the kids who sit in the orphanages for years and years.

Maybe I should just start replying, "Yes, I'll totally have another baby if you agree to be the surrogate AND pay for his or her college education!" -- but then I'd sound like an obnoxious heffa, and, well, we wouldn't want that, would we?

So, I'll just keep smiling and saying what's true, "I'm perfectly happy with the two boys I have. But thanks for asking."


Michele said…
I wanted to have more kids (I have 3 already) for the longest time. But that all changed the day I slipped into a size 6 in the dressing room at Macy's and broke down crying.

A lot was going through my head that day - it was a long battle to lose my "baby weight" - and one of them was, "I'm not having any more kids. I love this body!!"

Maybe I sound self-centered, but after an 8-year hiatus, my size 6 body is happy to back and quite frankly, I'm glad she's back too! Besides, I sacrifice enough as a mom and for now, my body is off limits. :)
Liz Dwyer said…
I know exactly how you feel! I gained about 50-60 lbs with both my pregnancies, no matter how much I watched what I ate. A lot of that was water but my goodness, getting back to a normal size where I didn't FEEL pregnant was REALLY hard and I don't know if I want to go through that again.
I always intended to have at least four kids, some biological and some adopted, different races, one big happy family. Then reality intervened: Single parenthood and limited finances.

I raised my own three best friends and am thrilled at the adults they have become, but sometimes I think about the other kids, the ones I wasn't able to adopt, and hope that somehow they ended up in loving homes.

By the way, I didn't love pregnancy either, although I never got very large, because I had "morning sickness" 24/7 for 9 months with all of them. I actually lost weight because I couldn't eat. And yes, the clothes were awful.
Daniel said…
Los Angelista,
Uh, you don't want a girl baby. Trust me, lol. I think mine has hollered at me non-stop since birth. She screamed in my face as a baby at bedtime and would try it as a teenager now if I didn't cap that real quick. She will be my heart attack before it’s all over.
My son seems like such a breeze in comparison, lol.
Funny, I wanted about 4 also (I came from a family of 4 kids), but, well … I couldn’t do that by myself, lol. And time just has run out. Life moves forward and that’s the way it is.
I’m content though. Four on my own would have been hard. Or, I could be dead, ‘cause the extra two coulda been Girls too! Whew! Maybe I got it good …
nick said…
Two seems quite enough to me, three or four would be such a handful, you'd have to be a really committed parent to bring them all up properly. Plus as you say the massive extra costs. Plus also the fact that the world is seriously overpopulated already. I only have one sibling and my mum found the two of us quite exhausting enough.
Miriam said…
I used to think that I wanted four kids. The eldest would get his or her shine by being the eldest. The youngest would be happy getting attention as the baby and the two middle kids could console each other over how they're never appreciated and are, essentially, treated like servants for the baby and the eldest child."

I am going to be laughing for days from that one!
Nelia said…
+1 For adopting an older African American child.
1969 said…
I am 1969, mother of two boys about to turn 40 in 29 days and I co-sign this entire post.
Jameil said…
none of your business!! how's that for an answer!? lol. i like your suggested answer, too. quite good. people are so nosy. what if you couldn't have more children b/c the first 2 were medically taxing? hmmmm... i know some people like that who've had to field those questions. not nice.
Lotus Flower said…
Liz, at this point, the baggage that comes with having kids is enough for me to contemplate not having any at all. Of course my thoughts could change in nine or ten years,seeing that I'm only 23
(that's why I'm giving myself that timeline). But the screaming kids I have to deal with at my job (and we have morning shows, mind you!) are bad enough.
Jen said…
We always planned on more, but it wasn't in the cards for us. That's why we ended up with all those exchange students. And it worked for us.

Besides, boys ROCK. They DON'T decide you're everything they hate when they turn 13 and you don't end up with hysterics half the time.

They do have smelly socks, though.
Liz Dwyer said…
AAGH, I hate when I reply to all the comments and they go into a black hole!

Ugh, sick for the whole time? I was sick for the first 5 months with my youngest and then STILL gained like 45 pounds after I started feeling better!

I love that you have three best friends. As much as I love my boys being little, I can't wait till they're adults because I know I'm going to love being around them as adults.

So are you saying I should stick to getting a girl kitty? LOL. Four on your own would've been really tough, for sure. You make me sad saying time has run out... but it sure does, doesn't it?

As far as population goes, I like to say that I have reproduced at replacement level, and that's all that's needed. Four would've been fun but I would indeed probably have more grey hairs on my head.

Ha! I really do believe that, so I figure if I can't have four, it's best to stop at two! ;)

I really really want to do that, but now it's a space issue. We need a bigger place!

I know you can absolutely relate! You are about to be 40 and FAB!

See, folks don't even think about stuff like that when they ask their questions, and how awkward would it be if indeed I really wanted more babies and couldn't have them? Yeah, folks need to stop being so nosy!

Yes, it could change. At your age, I didn't want children. I figured my own childhood was traumatic enough that I didn't want to somehow repeat the madness on my own set of kids. But you know what, it turned out OK, somehow, and when they are your kids you can discipline and teach them so they don't act a fool like that in public or at home!

I would love to have exchange students in the future. Sounds so fun. My 8 year-old is already starting to go down the stinky road, even though he SWEARS he doesn't smell after playing outside all day. YES HE DOES!
Lili said…
Great post LA. Can we switch places? I have 2 girls - I only ever wanted sons. I guess because I did nit get on so well with my 3 older sisters (but had a lovely brother who I am close to till this day). I also saw how much more difficult it was for my Mom to cope with the girls. So yeah how ironic it is that I have 2....
I am thinking of trying for a son next year (I am already 36) but gosh I am scared. First it might be another girl (arrgh!!), also I worked so hard to get my body back it seems a shame to put it through another pregancy. Just like yourslef I did not enjoy being pregnant at all.
Oh well.
Liz Dwyer said…
Haha! The grass is always greener, isn't it? :) Those with girls want boys and those with boys want girls! I definitely worry that if I was pregnant again I'd have to do some crazy extreme workouts to get back in shape. Oh gosh, I can't even imagine!
Anonymous said…
i wrote a post pretty much exactly like this. a few months before i accidentally got pregnant with #3. now, i sort of smirk when people say "you got your girl."

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