Thankfully this post isn’t about losing a child. At least not in the physical sense. Everything is still A-OK and on track with this pregnancy, thank the stars. I just want to talk a little bit about how I felt after finding out I was having a boy.
To be clear, I am BEYOND overjoyed to know that in a few more weeks, I’ll be giving birth to the baby that was meant to be mine. I can’t wait to hold his sweet little body to me and just take him in. He’s going to bring me more joy, more happiness, more pain, more sorrow and more challenges than I can ever understand right now. I’m already so much in love.
But after the elation of knowing, there came a moment of quiet. A moment of realizing that for how amazing it will be to know Gibson James, I may never know Nigella Marie.
I’m not trying to say I was hoping for a girl rather than a boy. I was only hoping to have a sticky egg, a healthy pregnancy and, fingers crossed, a perfect baby. Boy or girl was completely irrelevant to me. But like all parents, we had picked out names for a boy and a girl. So while we waited to find out, I would let my mind shift between boy and girl in my day dreams.
Sometimes in my mind, there would be a little blonde girl with big, brown eyes begging me to take ballet classes and wear frilly dresses. One that wanted to wear Mama’s makeup and have tea parties. A daughter who would then insist on climbing trees while wearing tights and ruining those frilly dresses by playing in the mud. A daughter who wanted me to push her on the swings on the playground as she called out “Higher, Mama, higher!”
All of those things can happen with my son too. But these were my daydreams about my daughter. I usually saw myself doing storytime with my son, a brown headed, brown eyed little boy with an old soul. For some reason, in my thoughts my boy is quieter and more of a homebody than my daughter was.
I just know that Nigella and I would have had a blast together. She would have been rambunctious, outgoing, nature loving and cheerful. Her athletic ability would have been her pride and joy. I think she would have been smart in the classroom, but her heart would always be connected to the outdoors somehow. She might have gone on to work at the state level in preserving natural resources. Or maybe become a yoga teacher leading retreats in exotic, beautiful locales.
And so, once I learned I was having a boy, I had to let that daydream go. I already love Gibson so much and can’t wait to teach him everything I can about the world. But he’s not Nigella and never will be. And I think I’d feel the same way about Gibson if I’d found out that I was having a little Nigella. I have to say good bye to the other option.
I don’t think it’s a bad thing to be a little sad about this. It’s honest and maybe other women go through this too. Especially women who have experienced infertility. My husband feels sure that we are “one and done” in our quest for a child. And I think he’s probably right. Gibson will bring so much to our lives, I’m sure we will feel completely fulfilled by his presence.
But I wonder if I will always long for Nigella. Just a little bit. Deep in the back of my mind, in quiet moments when Gibson is asleep at the end of a long day, maybe I’ll always think about the sister he doesn’t have and will most likely never have.
Some folks say that it’s easier to conceive a second child after you’ve had your first even with infertility issues. Other folks have secondary infertility when trying for another child. There’s no way to know what would be in our case. And there’s no use in worrying about it. I still haven’t finished baking this one!
Basically, I just want to say that as wonderful and happy as I feel about Gibson there is a hint of bitter sweetness to it when I think about Nigella. The Nigella that never was. That may never be. I miss you Nigella, even though we’ve never met.