Daughters

Daughters…

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.

  • http://www.budgetconfessions.blogspot.com Cate

    This is the xanga post that led me to your blog in the first place. (I had a xanga account for years!) This post still makes me sad. When I had my ultrasound and the technician told us it was a girl, I started crying just out of happiness–not even really happiness that Simone was a girl, but just that it felt very REAL to know the gender. But the technician looked at Jason and said, “did she want a boy?”

    Apparently this is VERY prevalent.

    I feel very lucky that Jason never cared one way or another about the gender of our baby (or future babies!). That I don’t care. That our families don’t care. We just want healthy babies! I remember growing up and being convinced that my dad was disappointed that he didn’t have a boy. I once asked him about it and he looked at me like I was crazy. Apparently he’d wanted girls all along.
    .-= Cate´s last blog ..Putting our eggs in different baskets =-.

  • http://johncaveosborne.com john cave osborne

    okay, you know this to be so b/c you read my book…i was good either way. in fact, if anything, i may have even leaned toward the girl side of things, daddy’s little girl and all, but truly, i was “come what may” all day long.

    but, it is important to point out that when i said come what may, i had intended for only 1 to come.

    when i learned it was 3, i prayed and prayed and prayed for both genders to be represented.

    i can’t imagine life without the love i have for either of my four children. and maybe i’m just a big wus, or a super soft, fem-guy type (don’t pass judgement tough guys. my career speaks for itself), but i was good w/ a girl or a boy.

    and i’m here to tell you, i’m sure your dad was too. (you gotta have your hubby called me b/c he needs help in the emotional-meltdown-avoidance department).

    hi, mrs. tempest beauty’s mom. how are you doing today, ma’ma?
    .-= john cave osborne´s last blog ..Dooce is Mild =-.

  • http://geraldwitt.wordpress.com Gerald Witt

    Leave well enough alone. You’re alive, right? And a mom, right?

    I know my mom would have liked to have a daughter, because anytime my brother’s gf comes around she gets all excited.

    So it goes both ways.

    Anyway, since you asked, I’m pretty sure that I’d be happy with whatever the good lord gave me. The thought of being a dad is enough satisfaction.
    .-= Gerald Witt´s last blog ..tunes =-.

  • http://twitter.com/welfach Chuck

    First off, excellent blog post. A must read for all dads and dads-to-be.

    It took my wife and I while to get pregnant so when we found out we were going to have a baby, I was just thrilled to be having a baby. Period. THEN, when I found out it was triplets, I just wanted them to get here healthy – didn’t matter if they were boys, girls or a mix. We ended up with BGG and then went back to the baby well and got another girl. No doubt, I love having a son and love the father-son bond that we have. But know this – only the love that I have for my wife exceeds the love I feel for my 3 little girls. Being the daddy in “daddy’s little girl” is one of the most rewarding parts of being a dad for me. Nothing matters in this world when those little girls are curled up in my arms.
    .-= Chuck´s last blog ..welfach: Oh sweet baby Jesus – thank you for the person who just delivered the slice of cheesecake to my office…nomnomnom =-.

  • MOM

    Oh Mandy. You make me laugh and you make me cry. You were the most wanted little girl in Edmonton on the day you were born. Matter of fact, the other 3 women sharing my room that day all had boys and I told the duty nurse I wanted the girls room please! There was never a day that your father was ever less than pleased with you. Even when YOU wanted to be a boy!
    Mr. Cave; I am well and hoping one day you and your family will make it to Canada for a visit. We might even invite Mandy. :}

  • Stacy

    You know that I have two girls. When I was pregnant with Adrienne, I could’ve sworn I was pregnant with a boy. The day that we found out it was a girl, I was thrilled. I don’t think I realized how much I wanted another girl. Daniel looked at me after hearing the sex and said, “Oh lord, I better buy more guns!” haha.

  • http://janusfiles.xanga.com Janus

    We didn’t know what my nephew would be until he was actually born. He . . . didn’t cooperate during the ultrasound. I was actually a little disappointed; I was hoping for a girl, so I was really happy when my niece was born.

    Actually, I love both of them to pieces. After my nephew was born, my mom finally stopped asking me when I was going to find a nice girl, etc., so I still owe him big time.
    .-= Janus´s last blog ..A Tale Of Two Lottery Sales =-.

  • http://joyfuladdition.blogspot.com jose breton

    We always wanted a girl, from the get-go, but were never blessed enough to have 1. At no point, however, were we ever disappointed that we have 2 wonderful boys.

    Thanks for the great post.

    Jose
    .-= jose breton´s last blog ..Look who’s standing now =-.

  • http://ginaharviephotography@live.ca gina

    I have to admit that the day I was told I was having a boy my heart sank….I looked at the tech and MY eyes filled with tears….certainly not because I didn’t WANT him, I wanted him more then anything but I didn’t know how to relate to a boy, I didn’t know how to play with a boy, teach a boy, I didn’t know about boy parts and it scared me! Yes I was happy that I was having a baby at all, and yes I was happy he was healthy but I was scared of him.
    I dont’ have to tell you that Oliver is my entire world, I exist for him (and his sister) but my heart bursts with love eveytime I look at my sweet sweet boy who I was so scared to have in the first place. Maybe their heart was set on a boy but I bet if you ask everyone of them 2 years later their hearts will be full of love for their little girls.

  • http://pattiesrants.blogspot.com Pattie

    I’m pregnant with our first (and likely only) child. We just learned last week that Bundle is a girl. My husband was disappointed for all of two seconds. He was already so in love with this kid, regardless of gender, that it didn’t matter to him whether the baby was a boy or a girl. I’m proud to say he’s already planning daddy-daughter days and has grand plans for taking her to museums, teaching her to bike, and taking her hiking, among other things. :)
    .-= Pattie´s last blog ..Photoblogging: Cemetery/Flowers =-.

  • Angela

    This post is wonderful and it broke my heart. When I think of all the infertile couples who are desperate for a child…

    We have three daughters. After our fist daughter was born, people (his parents were/are the worst) began asking my husband if he wanted a boy next. After our third daughter was born, people started openly pitying him. He was disgusted, as was I. He always answers, “no, we were trying for a baby and I’m glad I have all girls. We’re going to make a softball team, you know.” or “The world needs strong women. We’re just doing our part.” I love him. I love THEM.