“What strange creatures brothers are!” ~ Jane Austen
Surely, this baby must be a girl. I had little to no trouble with my pregnancy with Jack and this one has been quite a rocky road- blood clots in my leg, unrelenting nausea. So logic would deduce that my body makes baby boys well and isn't so great at baby girls.
Logic has no place in pregnancy.
A few years ago, I was out to lunch with a wonderful friend who is the mother of 2 boys. They knew while pregnant with their 2nd child that they would be finished having children. I asked her if her thought changed once she found out she was having another boy. "You know," she said, "I definitely wanted a daughter for me, but I wanted a brother for my son even more. I considered it a win/win."
And it was with those wise words that happy tears sprung into my eyes when the ultrasound technician told me I was having another boy. Images started appearing in my head. Jack and his brother reading books together, running around together at the lake, sleeping in bunk-beds, giggling all night. And then the inevitable battles, fights, scrapes. But then, even farther into the future, I imagined them standing next to each other at Jack's wedding. Of course, so many of these things are possible for a brother and sister. I have both and love them all ferociously. But there is something magical about sisters and brothers. I feel incredibly grateful to be able to give Jack a sibling and I feel honored to give him a brother who I hope and pray will love him and look up to him for the rest of his life.
There is a wistfulness I feel when thinking that Trevor and I may not experience the love of a daughter. I think any parent who has single sex children can attest that many of us just assume that we'll have both and each sex carries with it some unique moments and bonds that don't form in the same way as with the other sex. Maybe someday Trevor and I will, but maybe we won't. But we don't wish this child to be a girl, we don't wish this child to be anything other than the miraculous being he already is.
A funny thought hit me the other day while I was standing in the kitchen watching Jack and Trevor play together. Jack won't have a single memory of life before his brother. All of his earliest memories will involve the presence of this new boy. Trevor and I will have photos and videos and blogs of life before him, although I know there will come a day when even those fade and it feels like our entire life has existed with children and not child. Most of his identity in our family will be as someone's big brother as most of the identity I had growing up was as someone's big sister. How funny that he'll never recall the years during which Trevor and I attempted to figure all of this out. He'll just enjoy the years of being a family and of having a Harpo to his Groucho, a Harry to his Will, an Orville to his Wilbur, a Luigi to his Mario, and of course, if we're lucky, a Jake to his Elwood.
And it bears mentioning that in a month of so much sadness in the news, of families whose hearts are breaking and stories of our nation being at odds over practically everything, nothing in the entire world brings more hope and joy than the sight of a brand new life on an ultrasound screen. To see the formation of his brain, his heart, his spine, his limbs breathed fresh air into my heart and mind. Thank you, thank you God for this great gift of new life.
Our new boy.
Our new son.
Jack's new brother.