Wednesday, July 01, 2009

My Three Sons

I wanted a girl. My heart aches even typing those words. I wanted the dresses and the ruffles and the mother-daughter shopping. At the ultrasound the baby kept its legs tightly crossed. No matter how much the tech shook my belly or had me walk around it would just not change position. Stubborn little creature! And so we were forced into being surprised. But I knew in my heart that it was a boy. When they placed Noah James in my arms with his chubby swollen face, my heart exploded with love and all my desires for a little girl flew out the window. Here was my son!

As he grew he continued to be a stubborn little creature. And he was all boy. Fire-trucks and airplanes and bugs and sound effects! And I loved it. I loved the boyness of it all.

And then came Tobin. From the start, when I cried to you all that I was newly pregnant and begged for your prayers for a healthy baby, I was sure he would be a girl. Everything felt so different. So it must be a girl, right? I even called him she in my early posts about all his developmental milestones. But then the ultrasound technician announced, "It's a boy!" I think my jaw dropped, "Really?"
"Yes, are you okay?"
"Oh, yes...I was just so sure it was girl."

And it took me a minute to get over my confusion but I was truly excited for more mud puddles and trains and robots. Plus, I obviously made really cute boys. And so Tobin was born and my heart swelled larger. I didn't know I could love so much and I was surprised to find that I didn't have to share my love for Noah. A whole new love grew out of nowhere just for Tobin. And if anything, my love for Noah grew, too.

I began to see my sons as a privilege. A responsibility and gift that I was to steward. God had placed in my hands two future men and it was my job to raise them. Geary and I together had the amazing opportunity to grow our boys into men who would love God and respect women and be kind, just, strong knights.

But...I still wanted a girl. And no longer for the dresses and ribbons. I wanted to know God's heart for raising a princess. I didn't want just a doll to dress up. I wanted a daughter. I wanted to raise a woman who would love God, who would be kind and just and strong. And so I resolved to pray for one. Every day I asked God for a daughter. I asked you to ask him, too.

He blessed me with another pregnancy. People asked me if I wanted a girl and I said, "Yes!" unashamedly. They asked if I had any gut feelings about the baby's sex. But I didn't. How could I? I had been convinced Tobin was girl and he wasn't. I couldn't even trust my instincts. But I hoped. Oh, how I hoped. And I dreamed. I saw my beautiful daughter, all dark curly hair, and big blue eyes, and my nose...Please, God, let her have my nose.

Today, the ultrasound tech said, "You're having a boy!" right away. I was caught off guard and I have to admit, my heart broke a little because I had prayed...and hoped...and dreamed. And suddenly I was embarrassed by my brazen open desire for a girl. And I was ashamed of my broken heart--what kind of selfish person am I to not be happy about another son? And I just wanted the ultrasound to be over so that I could cry. So that I could release my disappointment in private.

I didn't want to tell anyone else. I wanted to shout, "It's a girl!" Because I had wanted a girl. I didn't want to have to say that I was sad and yet I didn't want to have to pretend to be excited. Because I am excited but there is something I have to deal with first. Oh, I know I will be completely excited. I know I will love being the queen of the house with all my men surrounding me. I know I will dive further into the realm of Thomas the Tank Engine and worms and Superman. But first...I need to grieve. I have to mourn the loss of my hope for a little girl. At least for now. Who knows what God has in the future for my family? You may think I'm selfish or that my feelings about this are horrible and wrong. And some parts of them probably are. But I know God understands. I have spent this tear filled day telling Him that I want to hold my hopes with flat palms but that I need His help prying my fists open. And even now my tears of mourning are becoming tears of joy for my newest son.

To my son, if you ever read this, you must know that I was never, ever, EVER disappointed about YOU. All my grief is over the IDEA of a girl. And I have ALWAYS wanted you, even before I knew you were going to be mine. I have loved you since before I knew of your existence. And as I watched you today, moving inside of me, I praised God for giving you to me. You are my different dream. A better one because you are going to come true. I love you. I love you. I love you.

I am only confessing all of this because I think it's important to record the truth of this moment. And because maybe, just maybe, someone else has felt the same way and they need to know that it's okay to grieve. Giving up on one dream does not have any bearing on how much you love or want your baby. And even though everyone around you may give trite answers about God knowing best, please know that God also knows your heart. He knows your hopes and dreams. Even though he may have answered your prayers with something completely different than what you asked for, He still cares about and catches each one of your tears because they and you are precious to Him.


  1. Jeana, thank you for sharing your grief with us. I'm sure it was theraputic for you to put it into words.

  2. Loving you in your disappointment.

    I read Romans 15:13 yesterday and I thought that it was just for me in the midst of my disappointment but maybe it is for you too . . . "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

  3. Okay, so you made me cry at work. I'm so sorry for your disappointment--I know a tiny bit how it feels.

    Just think--our little boy cantaloupes, or papayas, or whatever size they're supposed to be right now can be messy, truck-loving long-distance twins together.

    And seriously, you do make beautiful boys.

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  5. Jeana- I so wanted Nora to be a boy and it took me months to get over the fact she wasn't. I understand your disappointment. Your little one will be so happy that you are his mommy and you will be happy to have a son. And you never know what the Lord has in store for you. Just think you will have 3 great daughter-in-laws.

  6. Jeana, I'm sending you an email. This'll be too long otherwise.

  7. I admire your transparency. I completely understand that disappointment (I really wanted another girl). I think it's so healthy and important to acknowledge, sort out, then move on to the celebration. I'm super excited to make something "boy" for your precious one. You're in my prayers...

  8. jeana...thank you so much for your honesty in the moments that aren't so pretty. for me parenting has been a journey of sacrifice, learning, and confronting my own selfishness. those are not things i record in the baby book or photos i put in the scrapbook, but maybe i should. they are beautiful because they are what God uses to mold me. i'm so thankful that you shared this when most others wouldn't. it ministers, encourages, and records God's work in your life.

  9. Dear Sweetie,
    I have been praying for "baby blessing" Now I just have to add baby blessing boy at the end. I know your heart desire was for a girl and I understand why you wanted a girl. I don't have any words of wisdom for you only, keep being honest, and you will have a pure heart that will truly love this baby blessing.
    Tia Laura's comment was, " don't give up remember her momma had 3 boys and then came me(Laura)."


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