As I mentioned earlier, I have been sifting through a lot of emotions since the gender reveal party yesterday. Please allow me to elaborate, as my feelings are starting to make more sense to me.
At first I thought my confusion had to do with what the sex of Baby is. I thought that somehow I had wanted a girl without really knowing it, and then when I found out he was a boy I was disappointed. And thinking that that was how I felt made me feel terribly disappointed in myself.
But you know what? That’s not it. I really didn’t have a preference, subconscious or otherwise. The confusion actually comes from the fact that, for me, Baby has turned from an abstract experience into an actual person through finding out the sex. And I would have felt the same feelings even if Baby had turned out to be a girl.
Up until yesterday pregnancy was just pregnancy. I knew a baby was going to come out of the experience, but I didn’t know anything about our baby. And without a springboard to jump off of, I didn’t imagine what being a parent to our baby would be like. I only imagined the general hurdles we’d encounter as parents – like sleeplessness, finances, picky eating, etc… because that’s all I could imagine.
Now I know something about our baby. I know he is a boy. And just that tiny piece of information makes me suddenly feel like I know him.
His kicks now mean something different. And I can imagine what his face might look like when he cries his way through another sleepless night. A mental forecast of his first day of school now has an imaginary outfit and a cartoon themed backpack in it. I can even imagine watching him figure out the world and talking to us about his revelations as if he is discovering something brand new that no one else knows about, and reassuring him that he isn’t alone in those experiences.
It isn’t that Baby is a boy that confused me and kept my joy from sinking in right away. It is that Baby is a human to me now instead of just an idea. And knowing him is an overwhelming mental shift that couldn’t happen in an instant. I’m not just a pregnant lady anymore… I feel like a mom now.
What a complex thing to feel! It was a shock to the system that I couldn’t understand right away. The shock was blocking me from genuinely proclaiming that I was excited to all the people at the party. I was too confused to unearth the joy that (I now know) was there. I tried to say the right things, but I couldn’t believe that I didn’t feel them.
But I did feel them. They were just buried under a much louder feeling.
I’ve got nearly 28 years of feelings under my belt, and this one – feeling like a mom – is brand new. No wonder I didn’t know how to label it right away. No wonder I thought it meant something else. No wonder nothing but shock and confusion could manifest itself.
I’m so relieved that I uncovered so quickly that what was confusing me wasn’t about boy vs. girl. Wishing Baby was something other than what he is would have been an ugly kind of confusion. What this feeling turned out to be is actually even more mind-boggling, but it is a kind of life-long confusion that actually feels kind of beautiful.
Baby is a boy. He is mine. He is ours. I’m still utterly confused – but not because of what he is. No… it is because of who he is. Or, more accurately, who he will be, and who I’ll be with him in my life.
How wonderfully unpredictable that sounds. This kind of confusion I can live with. 🙂 This kind of confusion can’t block my joy and excitement.