"There's no other love like the love for a brother. There's no other love like the love from a brother"
When Doug and I found out that we were expecting last year, we could not have been more thrilled! We were so excited, most of all, for Deacon to be a big brother.
As time went by and my belly began to grow, there was one question that seemed to be asked over and over again: "Are you hoping for a girl?" There were also comments like, "I bet you want a girl" or "Hey, if you have a girl, you'll be done!" These are all innocent questions, but definitely a very weird thought--A family is "complete" when there is a boy and a girl (and a white picket fence with a golden retriever name lucky). Before our 20-week ultrasound people would guess what I was having and the majority said "girl." I don't know if this was because we already had a boy and they just thought it was only right to think I'd have a girl, but it was a funny trend.
People were so persuasive that I was actually beginning to think that it was a girl. I even began referring to the baby as Charlotte, the name we chose for our hypothetical girl. Deacon even predicted that he was getting a baby sister.
Then, before we knew it, it was ultrasound day. Doug, Deacon and I filled the room with excitement. My mom came by as well to usher Deacon in the hall if needed. The technician was so wonderful and talked to us the entire ultrasound, telling us what she was measuring, why she was measuring and went over every tiny part of our baby. "You have a healthy, baby mom and dad," we could not have been happier. The tech then asked Deacon what he thought the baby was, and he replied, "a 'gurl'". The tech asked the adults in the room what we thought. My mother and I said, boy and my husband said, girl. In all honesty I only said boy because I thought for certain she would say girl and I wanted to be "surprised".
"Well" the technician said, "Mom, your right--it's a healthy boy." I was a bit shocked. Deacon was mad--he really, REALLY wanted a sister (would have thought he would have been ESTATIC to have a brother). I was almost in disbelief. What happened to my 'perfect' family?! Here after 20 weeks, I fooled myself into thinking we were having a little girl.
Was I happy I was having another boy? Absolutely! I was even happier that he was a healthy baby--that's all Doug and I ever wanted in our pregnancies, but I kept finding myself a bit conflicted. It would have really been nice to have a girl. I wanted to have that relationship and I know how Doug would have loved to have had a special bond with a daughter the way I do with Deacon. But this was the reality—I was having another boy. My family was ecstatic when we made the phone calls and it really wasn’t a surprise to them, since boys outnumber the girls in our family!
It was a little different, however, when we would share the news with our co-workers and even strangers who asked what we were having. When I said we were having another boy, I almost got sympathy, like I should have been grieving over a death of a family member or close friend. People would say, “Are you okay?” or “So do you think you’ll ever try for a girl?” First of all, of course I was okay! I was pregnant and had a very healthy baby! Secondly, if I had a girl did that mean I wasn’t allowed to have anymore kids—two is the limit?! And what does that say to the 2nd born?! Sorry kid, not only do you have to be the middle child but we had another one because we really wanted you to be a girl. Oy’ vey!
I went home that night and really contemplated about this pregnancy and how it was going to change the dynamic of our family. “Will I ever have a girl?” I thought. I have no idea how many kids we will have, but I am pretty sure we are done at two (that was ALWAYS the plan because of the financial side of raising a family). But even if we aren’t done at two, does it really matter if I have a house full of boys?! Why does society care what I have? After that long self-discussion I decided to accept.
Before I go any further, I don’t want anyone to think that I was upset that I was having another boy—it was a matter of me battling my happiness against societal pressures of what a ‘perfect family’ looks like.
Anyway, I accepted that I was meant to be a mother of two boys. I must not be meant for hair bows, dress-ups, make up and other girlie things (again, if my boys wanted to play dress ups, I’d totally let them!). Instead I am meant for trucks, trains, dirt, mud and all the super hero conversations. I am meant to raise two gentlemen who are kind, generous and compassionate.
As I delivered Cohen and he was placed on my chest I realized how “right” it was—that my family WAS perfect and that God designed my family this way and that I am totally ready, willing and completely able to raise two boys. My epiphany was made even clearer when Deacon met his baby brother for the first time. There is just something about the love a brother has for another brother.
Two months later I am beginning to see that Cohen is returning the love by the way he follows Deacon with his eyes and how he can just smile for miles when Deacon makes a funny face or coos and talks to him. It is heart warming to see the amount of love and pride Deacon has for Cohen. He hangs on tight to Cohen’s car seat and when we go anywhere and he is the first to introduce his little brother—and he does so with a prize winning smile—it makes this momma’s heart so happy!
Every morning starts with a peek in his brother’s crib to check on him. Once Cohen is awake he is showered in hugs and kisses from his big brother—it is amazing. Deacon also loves to help me with his brother, except when it involves a poopie diaper. He just understands why Cohen needs a lot of attention and care, and he wants to be apart of that. Having Cohen has also allowed me to focus my time and energy to Deacon as well. I make it a point to do trips to the store or other errands with only Deacon. Sometimes I’ll wake him up and we’ll take a “pajama run” to the “donut store.” It’s just our time together and I love it so very much. I am sure I’ll have that same time with Cohen and I do now—once Deacon is asleep, Cohen and I just get to cuddle, play and relax. I scan over him a thousand times and just continued to be awestruck by this tiny (well not so tiny anymore) miracle that is now apart of out family! It’s funny how when I first came home from the hospital, I was frantic as to how I was going to divide my time in order to show the boys that I care about them individually (as well as them together) but now it just is so fluid—its just a part of my life.
I couldn't feel any more blessed—my joy is pouring out of my soul and I am excited to see where this journey takes me. I am excited to watch my boys grow up and to see how they interact with each other. I am ready for the sweet times they will share, along with the fights that are inevitable—no matter what gets thrown in my direction, I am totally ready.