"It's a G..I..R...", are the letters the ultrasound technician typed on the screen. Tears welled up in my eyes. Shocked. For the past 4 months I was convincing myself that the results would read otherwise. I was actually disappointed about this appointment because I already knew it was a boy. Statistics would say there was no way that this baby was a girl. I was convinced that after 'she' was born we would be running to the store to return all of our pink onesies and animal print blankets in exchange for dinosaurs and footballs. I had anxiety every day leading up to delivery that this baby would surprise us all. With each doctor's appointment the doctor would ask if I had any questions... "Are we sure this is a girl?" "How many times has the ultrasound technician been wrong?" We even had our boy name ready just in case.
I wasn't prepared to raise a girl. I imagined a little mini me running around with a big attitude and demanding her nails be painted. How in the world would I handle that? I worked with children for almost a decade and always found myself forming a closer bond with the litttle boys and really devouring in their senses of humor and toughness. I couldn't imagine a girl being funny. I couldn't imagine letting her borrow my makeup. Heck, what if she didn't even like makeup! I couldn't imagine meshing with my own daughter.
I believed 'she' was a 'he' until the actual big reveal. I kid you not that my first question after she was gracefully (not) ripped from my womb was "IS IT A GIRL? ARE YOU SURE?" Her lady parts were confirmed and I entered into a tailspin of emotions. The first 6 weeks of her life were a blur. I am not even sure I even changed a single diaper. Nobody warns you about the 'baby blues.' They talk about PPD but not the little (big) thing called the baby blues. I wanted to cry that she was a girl. I wanted to cry I was fat. I wanted to cry BW was gone. I wanted to cry that Starbucks didn't deliver. I wanted to cry because breastfeeding was going to drive me to drink. I wanted her to go back to the hospital. I wanted the nurses to take care of us all. No one talks about this.
I always imagined cuddling with my baby, holding her til she fell asleep, kissing her boo boos, and squeezing her til she popped. Olivia wants no part of this. Never has. I often hear of mothers talking about how they can't stop co-sleeping (their baby is 3), breastfeeding, baby wearing, etc etc LA LA LA... Huh? What? Where is that baby? I certainly don't have one of those. BW and I were fortunate, I think, to have never let Olivia sleep in our bed. However, we lucked out and she never wanted to. Even when we tried to force her to at 3 am to sleep next to us, she wouldn't. As she becomes more mobile she is also becoming more clumsy. I will scoop her up just as fast as her head hit the floor and she will push with all of her might to get down as if she's saying, "Ma, I got this.' Even with tears streaming down her face, the last thing she wants is to be held and consoled.
I often wonder if things would be different if the ultrasound read differently. Boys always want their Mamas. Don't they? I sometimes wonder if it would be different if BW was around. Maybe she's a Daddy's girl who hasn't had the chance yet to realize that. I wonder if she would hug him a little longer, let him kiss her boo boos, or let him sing her to sleep. There are moments when she is so tired at the end of the day that she'll rest her head on my shoulder. In this moment I can sing to her, rock her, sniff her hair, do all those weird things moms do. Every time this happens I cry. Every time. I hold her a little bit longer, and a little bit tighter. She is my angel.
I truly believe she is a Daddy's girl. She is patiently holding all of her hugs inside. She is being tough for him. She wants him to be proud of her. She wants to teach me not to cry all the time. She wants her Daddy to know that we're doing it. We're okay. She's saying, 'Ma, we got this.'
Olivia said her first word the other day. Da Da. And she hasn't stopped saying it since.