We didn’t have a boy name or even a cute fetal nickname.
From the beginning, I referred to my lower abdomen as Louise. “Say hello to Baby Lou”, I would tell my daughter. We would talk about the baby sister she would be meeting soon and in my head, I built up a fantasy of best friend sisters. Two little girls, sharing everything. Friendship, a room, all the hand me downs. Their childhood would be simplistic and magical and easy.
So it goes without saying that I left my 20-week ultrasound in tears, with my husband giggling behind me.
It’s not that I wasn’t excited to have a son and to have new experiences raising a boy. Or that I didn’t think I would love him. But at that moment I was much more focused on the crushing reality that was to occur. There would be no revivals of my daughter’s favorite dresses. No late night sister pillow talk. No twin sets of pigtails running through fields, holding hands.
We would need more clothes, an actual name, eventually separate rooms. On top of the real problems of knowing nothing about little boys. How do you raise them to be good feminists and avoid societal toxic masculinity? What are you even supposed to do with a penis during a diaper change!?
Most of my anxiety was eased later that night when my husband and I sat down and gave our son a name.
And things are fine now. I don’t wish him away. I love to see my daughter in her big sister role.
But I can still acknowledge my previous feelings. They are valid, even if now they are different.
And that’s ok.