People have been overly interested in my uterus since Chris and I got engaged a decade ago. The longer we were married without children, the more persistent they became about our reproductive plans. We held our ground and waited until we had been married for seven years before we tried for Mason, and luckily we were able to get pregnant pretty quickly.
Nine months later, we had a healthy boy who instantly became the love of our lives. I couldn’t believe my good fortune. I had wished for a healthy baby, but I secretly longed for a boy and was elated when I learned we were having one at our 20-week ultrasound.
Mason will be two in August, and there seems to be a renewed interest in my reproductive future, and not just by the people I know. I’m constantly hearing, When are you having another one? from random people: the guy at the deli while I’m paying for a cup of coffee, the taxi driver taking us into the city on a rainy morning, my friend’s nanny as I admire her new baby, and even the super lazy doorman who never actually opens the door for me (even when I’m loaded down with a stroller and six bags).
It’s a question I constantly ask myself, and couldn’t answer with any certainty until recently.
When I had my breast cancer scare in February, my doctor mentioned that depending on my tests results, she might recommend that I have additional children immediately so that I could begin a more aggressive treatment plan. I panicked and cried to Chris that I wanted another baby but just wasn’t ready yet. Luckily my doctor never had to go there, and I learned that now is not quite the time for us to add to our family.
But being more clear on where I stand with the second baby question doesn’t make it less annoying when someone pries. Yesterday a neighbor put an entirely new (and more obnoxious) spin on it. We were both waiting in the lobby of our building for the elevator and exchanging small talk about our kids. Of course she asked The Question. I shrugged and gave a non-committal, I’m sure I’ll have another one at some point! Her response? “I bet you hope your next baby is a girl!”
Wait, what? Was she kidding?
Apparently not. Despite my shock I managed to smile and say that I loved having a son and would be thrilled to have another. “Really? she asked. “You don’t want a girl? Wow, I’m surprised!” Um, so was I, but for an entirely different reason.
I flashed back to a conversation I had with AP, the author of the blog I Love You More Than Carrots, last winter at BlissDom. She’s expecting her second boy this month and was startled when a woman at the conference asked her whether she was planning on trying for a third baby in hopes that she’d conceive a girl. I was flabbergasted when she shared that encounter with me, and now I know how she felt.
I just don’t get it. Are these people suggesting that boys are somehow inferior to girls? I’m all for girl power, but c’mon! Why is it just assumed that every woman wants a daughter? And do people actually think that if you have sons instead of daughters your family (or life?) is somehow lacking?
Photo: Baby after a bath via Artpose Adam Borkowski/Shutterstock.com