The No. 1 question you're asked when pregnant is, "Do you know what you're having?" or some version of this.
While it's tempting to give a smarty pants response in return - "a puppy!" - I assume most people don't literally mean "WHAT are you having," but "Do you know the gender of your baby?"
So far, all we know is that it's a boy or a girl. I stated something similar in my last column, and it seems this caused a little confusion, as some people were wondering if we were having twins. Nope. Just a one-fer.
We've been "surprised" with each of our two sons, waiting to find out the gender until the baby was born. My husband and I are expecting our third "surprise" in April. With each, the pressure has grown.
"Do you hope it's a girl?"
Well, yes. I will wholeheartedly confirm that our No. 1 wish is for a healthy pregnancy, labor and baby; but after all of those criteria are met, it's OK to desire a little frosting on the cake too, right?
Honestly, there's a part of me that has hoped for at least one girl in my mix of future children for as long as I can remember. While there certainly are some parents out there who do hope for all girls or all boys (particularly in other parts of the world, and sometimes to horrific extremes), I would be shocked to find I'm in the minority of wanting at least some kind of mix of X and Y chromosomes to rear.
With the first one, it's not as big of a deal. If you want a mix, well, you have to start with one or the other! With the second, while health is still priority No. 1, you start throwing in a few extra prayers that maybe it will be a girl (even though it was decided at the moment of conception, you figure it can't hurt).
But as with the first one, from the moment you hear his or her first cry, you realize something: Your child is exactly who he or she was meant to be. He could not have been anyone else. You wouldn't trade him for anyone else in a million years. Your family is exactly the family you were meant to have.
You spend nine months wondering what kind of traits this little person is going to have. A boy or a girl? Athletic or more musically inclined? Tender-hearted or a tough guy? And then he is born.
You bring that baby boy home, and you can't imagine any other person in place of this 9¼ pound, splotchy-faced, excrement-spewing bundle of joy. This is the person who was meant to be in your family, at this place and time.
So I do hope that a girl is somewhere in God's plan for our family. (He must know that I can't survive in this house of testosterone all by myself, right?) But if it's not, I hope that I will always remember that these short people who he has entrusted to my care are exactly the people who I am meant to hear whine and fight, smother with kisses, wipe oatmeal off, help with homework, and eventually move out and into their first apartment. I need them, and they need me.
Nicole Welle is a freelance marketing consultant and personal development coach whose passion is helping others live their authentic purpose. Nicole lives in West Fargo with her husband and two sons. You can find her online at www.nicolewelle.com.