I remember when I was pregnant with my first child, finding out the gender was all I could think about. Will I have a princess or a prince? Should I stock up on pink outfits or blue outfits? I had to pick out what bedding to get for the nursery! I felt like I just had to know. I felt I wouldn’t be prepared for the baby unless I knew the gender. After the birth of my daughter, I realized her gender was the least important aspect of my pregnancy.
Knowing the baby’s gender didn’t prepare me for the challenges I faced early on with breastfeeding. Knowing the baby’s gender didn’t prepare me for the sleepless nights I would face during the newborn phase. Knowing the baby’s gender didn’t effect how I would prepare for her future. Don’t get me wrong, it was incredibly exciting to know what I was having and materialistically, I was totally prepared. (Can I just say she had the cutest nursery ever?) And all those tiny dresses hanging in her closet passed down from her older cousins? Totally swoon-worthy.
With my second pregnancy, I wasn’t supposed to find out the gender. I wanted to leave it a surprise. But sure enough, I caved when I saw my little peanut on the ultrasound screen. Another girl! Yay for sisters! I was certainly excited, but knowing I was having another daughter did not prepare me for the jealousy issues that would arise between my eldest and the baby.
With the third baby, I was determined not to find out! It was already shaping up to be an entirely different experience anyway. This time, I chose to have a home birth instead of deliver at the hospital. During my ultrasound, I stood firm and didn’t find out the gender. Of course, I didn’t really have to though. My motherly intuition told me it was another girl anyway. But not knowing for sure was probably more exciting than finding out. Sure enough, when I delivered Zaynab, I remember anxiously asking, “what is it!?” Tears of joy streamed down my face when I heard I had just given birth to my third daughter.
So here I am nearing the end of my fourth pregnancy. Sure, I’ve thought about this baby’s gender out of curiosity, but I truly do not care what I have. My main concerns have been Baby’s health. I’m focused on improving my anemia, reducing my stress, and getting enough rest before my little one arrives shortly. I’m grateful when I learn that my belly has grown considerably, I’m enjoying the perks of pregnancy, and I’m excited about my second home birth experience. Regardless of Baby’s gender, I still have to stock up on diapers, think about sibling rivalry, and figure out how to manage a trip to the grocery store with four children.
As a mom for the fourth time around, I’d like to think I got down the basics of motherhood. I’ve got all the baby gear I need. I know that breastfeeding is hard at first but once you get past those really painful moments, it’s smooth sailing from there. I have my favorite takeout spots on speed dial. I know park days and library days are more for mom than they are for the kiddos. I can change a diaper singlehandedly while in an airplane bathroom. Yeah, I’d like to think I’m kind of a pro by now.
When I was thinking about becoming pregnant again, my thought was only on having another baby. Even with three daughters, my goal wasn’t to try to have a boy. I just wanted another baby to love and nurture. A baby that I knew would increase the love and blessings in our home. So whether it’s a girl or boy, this little peanut has already carved its own special place in my heart. I know that I will do all that I can to be the best Mama I can be to my little princess or prince, because that’s all that truly matters.