“Do you want a boy or girl this time?” I asked my husband about two months into this pregnancy.
“I don’t care, as long as it’s healthy,” He replied.
Frustrated with his lack of playfulness and a safe response I pushed the question again, “No really, what would you prefer a boy or a girl?”
He took a deep breath and then spoke the beautiful truth I had been waiting for him to say, “I kind of hope it’s a girl. I don’t know…maybe if it were a girl…I know it sounds crazy, but maybe…maybe…it would be like Nora is coming back to us in a way. I know we can’t replace her, but maybe it would feel like that.”
I replied with a smile and a big hug. Secretly inside I was confused on the subject. Oh, how I agreed with Nick and wanted a girl, since our first little girl we lost before she was born. Having a girl would not make it better as Nick said so well, but it would fill a space in our hearts that was expecting a sweet little daughter to hold. But a part of me was scared to want a girl again. I thought that if this baby was to be a boy the outcome would for sure be different. If it were to be a boy somehow this baby would live and the fear of reenacting last pregnancy’s events would be less likely to happen. A boy in my mind meant things would be safe. I know all of this is being superstitious, but these are the thoughts I have now, now that my pregnancy and parenting innocence are gone.
So last week when Nick and I held hands, excited and terrified as we watched the ultrasound technician preform the 20 week scan we both were relieved to hear the baby was healthy and that the gender we wanted was in fact what our baby would be. We also decided to take this opportunity to lean into excitement and celebrate the blessings of this new baby by announcing the gender to our families in a fun and silly way. We kept the gender secret for two whole days and played this little game with both of our families on Thanksgiving Day. It was a great way to show that, even in our grief, we have so much to be thankful for and that we are learning to hold space for cautious anticipation and even happiness.
The game is below. Scroll down and through the pictures you will see how to play the game and the big reveal of the gender of baby No. 2.