There are tons of us girls out there, right? We need to stick together.
This has been on my mind for such a long time now. I can’t tell you how often dads come in to my ultrasound room and tell me that all they want is a little boy. I can count on one hand the number of new daddies that said they were hoping for a little girl. I count myself lucky if they tell me that they would be “ok” with a little girl.
This hit me really hard yesterday. It upset me to the point of tears a couple times. Every time I came back to thinking about it, my eyes would mist up again.
I’ll start with the story that brought it up, and where I went from there.
A couple came in yesterday with their lovely, tiny daughter. She toddled in wearing little blue jean shorts, and a white camisole top. Her hair was blond, and still short like a baby, but the ends curled just so. She was so brave, she didn’t need mommy or daddy to hold on to her, she just followed behind me like she was told. Her dad said that today was her first birthday, and getting to see her little brother was her present! I chuckled with him, and said that I bet it wasn’t her only present.
When we got into the ultrasound room, I gave them my whole speech about how my job is to get the pictures the doctors need to make sure the baby is developing normally and healthy. I told them it would take me about ten minutes to get all of those pictures, and then I would be glad to show them the baby, take some pictures for them to take home, and (if they would like to) we would find out if it is a boy or a girl. I remembered his comment from earlier, and asked him if they already knew what they were having. He said, “No, but we just want a little boy this time.”
I turned down the lights, and heard this tiny, piping voice say, “Lights on, peese.” I stopped where I was standing, and waited for my eyes to adjust to the dim room. “Lights on, peese. Too dawk.”
My mouth fell open, I stood there stunned. 12 months old? Today is her first birthday? Full sentence? I couldn’t believe it. I asked her, “You want the lights back on?” She said, “Yes peese. Too dawk in heea.”
I laughed! I said to her mother, “That is incredible! She talks like a two year old!”
They started to tell me about all of the amazing things that she can do, what she talks about, how precocious she is. Dad was fumbling all over himself pointing out how amazing his daughter was. He demonstrated her ability to say goodbye in French, Spanish, and German when asked. (Ever seen a 12 month old baby say ‘auf wiedersehen’? You melt.) He seemed like such a proud poppa, so in love with his little girl.
I also have to point out here that their first daughter, and indeed this pregnancy as well were conceived with in-vitro fertilization – a procedure that only works around thirty percent of the time. I had been thinking to myself the whole time how lucky and thankful they should be to be pregnant at all.
When I got to the part where I turned on my ‘big screen’ TV for them to watch, he half-shouted, “Ok! Lets find that pee-pee!” My heart sunk right there. I already knew it was a girl. I already knew it was a healthy, beautiful girl… and if she was anything like her big sister, she was gorgeous and amazing. He didn’t care… he just wanted a boy.
This followed me all day, and then home again that night. Brock and I started talking about it, and he couldn’t see how much it bothered me. I told him, “I need to call my dad.” He laughed and asked, “Why? So you can talk about Stargate SG-1?”
With tears starting to flow down my cheeks, my voice caught in my throat and I replied, “No… so I can ask him if he was disappointed that I was a girl.”
He gave me a big hug, and tried to console me, but Brock didn’t get it – not even a little bit. His reply was, “Of course he wasn’t disappointed, he already had two boys.”
Which is exactly my point. If dad hadn’t had two boys first, if I was his girl, if all he had was girls… would he have been disappointed? Would I have been enough? What is it about men that limit them to thinking they can only love a child if it has a penis, and not simply because it is their amazing, beautiful, blessing of a child?
John Mayer wrote a song that said, “Fathers, be good to your daughters. Daughters will live like you do. Girls become lovers, who turn into mothers, so mothers be good to your daughters too.”
Daddies out there… your daughters love you. They look up to you, and need you. You are their strength, and their courage. They want to make you proud, make you happy, make you smile. Please, please don’t ever be sad that you’ve been given a tiny human being that will love you first, and above all others.
I can’t tell you how crushed I would be, now and forever, to know that my dad was disappointed when he found out that he had me.