I didn’t want a boy. 2014 was an emotionally traumatic year and frankly, I didn’t want a boy because of it. Our family was rocked by the choices made by a close family member and after I got pregnant, I imagined having a son, a son that could abandon me one day and I just couldn’t take it… Instead, I started imagining having a little girl, braiding her hair and sewing tulle together for ballerina costumes. And I committed to this vision. And while George and I didn’t want to find out the gender of the baby because we liked the idea of being surprised, the reality of having a boy was what I was really trying to avoid. Because deep down inside of me, something was whispering to me, “You’re having a boy,” and it terrified me. Because I’ve always wanted to be a mom but it wasn’t until last year that I was faced with how much pain you may have to endure as a parent. And for some reason, protecting my emotional well-being meant having a girl, not a boy.
When I was 30 weeks pregnant, my mom gifted us with a 3D ultrasound and I couldn’t wait to see our baby’s sweet face. It was about two weeks before Christmas and it was such a wonderful gift. The ultrasound lasted about an hour and the technician took about 70 images of our baby’s face, always avoiding the nether regions since we were still waiting to find out the baby’s gender. Sometime near the end of the hour, I started thinking about how I would cope in that moment if the baby was, in fact, a boy. The scenario wasn’t pretty… So in the final minutes of the ultrasound, I turned to the technician and said, “We want to know. Just tell us.” And without waiting another second, she rolled her hand across my tummy and smiled, “It’s a boy!” I kept myself together for about 10 minutes, but the moment we left the building, I burst into tears. Not because I was sad for what my baby was, but because of how afraid I was of what this boy could do to hurt me one day, no matter how hard I try to be the best mom to him… What if that’s not enough? What if I’m not enough?
It took me a while to adjust to this new reality. Braiding hair was replaced with crew cuts and tulle skirts became bicycles and scraped knees. But now that he’s here, he’s finally here, I can’t imagine having anyone else. He was the someone we made. The someone God chose for us. And regardless of the joys and pains we’re bound to go through as his parents, he will always be the greatest gift to us. And I’ll spend every single day as his mom praying that he knows how much we love him and how wanted he is…
Theo was born at 4:45am on Saturday, February 21st, 2015. I went into labor the morning of my due date and after 36 hours, reaching 10 centimeters, and two hours of pushing, I just couldn’t get this little guy out because of his posterior position. So through a brutal cesarean and tired, joyful tears, he arrived and it was all worth it. Thank you Julie for capturing these days for us. We will cherish these photos for the rest of our lives and we look forward to sharing with Theo what it took to get him here, as well as the love that surrounded him upon his entrance. Thank you, Christian, our wonderful doula for your constant encouragement and for massaging my back through unrelenting back labor. A big, huge thank you to my mom and dad for their multiple trips to the hospital, despite the late hours and slow labor. To my sister and her family for celebrating Theo, loving him so much already, and helping us during our hospital stay. And to my dedicated, doting, loving husband, George, who blew me away through this entire process. You are my best friend and I am so excited to see you be Theo’s dad. We made a person—I still can’t believe it!
Thanks to everyone for sharing in our joy and for allowing me to be vulnerable in these words and photos.
We love you, Theo. So, so much.
All photos but the last one were taken by Julie Harmsen Photography.