I've been surprised by the feeling lately that our family is complete. Despite challenging moments (many, many challenging moments with our Sparrow these days) I find it wonderful to be mama to two boys!
All through my pregnancy with Archer I thought we were having a girl. So did Spencer. It just seemed right to us that our family would be one boy, one girl. After all, both our families had (originally) one of each, and then Spencer gained a step-brother at age four.
People like to guess which gender you're carrying around inside you when they see a blooming belly. Many were surprised when I told them that we didn't know, and we were going to wait for the birth to find out. I wouldn't have minded either way. The practical side of me wanted to know the gender ahead of time, so that I could continue to nest, nest, nest and organize clothes and other baby items. But the romantic part of me told me it would be such a wonderful surprise on baby's birthday. As I was hoping for a VBAC, actually getting to hold my baby and meet it as soon as it came into the world would be the most amazing opportunity to find out the gender for myself.
But we didn't know while I was pregnant, not for sure. Almost everyone guessed that Archer was a girl. Some people very adamantly guaranteed we were having a girl. Thinking back, I'm sure most of the guesses were a reflection of my desires - I wanted a girl. A girl would complete our family.
I imagined Liam as the big brother to a little sister. I imagined picking out girls' clothes, and making cute dresses and other items that are easy to sew. Spencer and I just felt like this one was a girl. Since I knew that hunches and feelings aren't always correct, I also spent some time imagining being the mother of two boys. I had a harder time with this.
Knowing that this baby was average-sized, and so would one day be taller than Liam, meant different things if we had a boy baby versus girl the second time around. I couldn't decide which would be harder on Liam growing up, or if it will be hard for him at all to always be the "little" brother. Since Archer seems to be very "above average" in every measurement of size, I don't think he'll be the little brother for long - a matter of months perhaps.
Probably the main reason I wanted baby number two to be a girl is because it made, and still makes, me sad to think of my life as a mother without a daughter. My mum is such an important person in my life, and I owe so much of who I am to her and the things she has taught me consciously and unconsciously. There is a special bond between mother and daughter that I'm not sure is the same with mother and son. It was something I wanted in my life, something which I think is possible less and less every day.
I don't see it happening in my future, because my family feels complete. In the rare moments when I can snuggle both boys, or practice my new trick which is to take them out of the van one in each arm, it feels whole. Like these two little people are my reason for being right now, they are my most important project. And since they're little, my time is spent doing millions of little things, but that's okay. Nothing too big right now because they are young. And even though times are very challenging with a two and a half year old who doesn't walk, and can't talk, and has extreme emotional mood swings, I know that won't last forever and more good times are coming. Both boys are changing and learning new things every day, and getting closer and closer to interacting, which will be a whole new miracle.
:: see? he can stand, he just doesn't want to walk ::