In previous pregnancies, we’ve always shared fetal sex as soon as we knew it. We’re not doing that this time. “Why,” you ask? Two words: my mother.
After we lost Alexis and Zoe, at some point during a conversation with my mom, she shared that “everything would turn out all right, because I had a dream of you holding a baby boy, so I know you’ll have a living baby.”
Let’s unpack that for a second. One, when you’ve lost two children, nothing ever in the world will make it “all right.” Nothing. Remove those words from your vocabulary when talking to a loss parent. Seriously. Dick move #1. Two, I had wanted girls. Badly. My mom knew this. My mom has always shared that when SHE was pregnant, she wanted a girl. This would suggest she might have some empathy about sadness over losing girls and having boys. Nope. Dick move #2.
I sat with that for a while, and then told her that while I appreciated that her words came from a place of love, the reality was that in order for her dream to “come true”, we had to lose our girls. We never wanted three kids (ha!), and if we’d had two girls, we never would have had a boy. In this context, I asked her not to bring it up again.
Then I got pregnant with Quinn. Until the NIPT, I was convinced I was carrying a boy. I foolishly mentioned this to my mom. She burst out with her dream again. I reminded her of how hurtful that was and asked her not to bring it up again. Alas, we all know how Quinn’s pregnancy ended.
I don’t remember her mentioning it during A and T’s pregnancy, but after they were born, there was an “I told you so” type moment where she raised it as I was cuddling A. Gloating that your daughter lost enough babies for your prophetic dream to come true? Ultimate dick move.
During our IVF rounds, she told me she’d had a new dream of me holding a baby boy, so she thought it would work out. Thus, we are not sharing sex. I want neither gloating that she’s right if it’s a boy, or being reminded of her dream repeatedly as her way of “warning” me, if it’s a girl. I will deal with any comments after the fact if/when baby is here safely.
All this pisses me off. I want to be able to talk about baby with appropriate pronouns. I want to share this information. I don’t want to worry about accidentally spilling the beans. I get so little joy in pregnancy that it really makes me angry to have this taken away. I’ve advocated, bluntly, for myself to no avail. I love my mom, I’m grateful for the million other ways she’s amazing. More importantly, my kids love her, so I have no intention of cutting her out until birth. It’s just a lousy, no-win situation. It’s not about her, but she’s determined to have the last say, so suddenly it is about her.