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What to do when what you dreamed about your family make up does not come to be? What about future children? How do you go on when your dream changes midcourse?
Hearing "It's a BOY!" should have brought me great joy, but instead, it brought me months of anger and denial as well as a lot of sadness and shame at times. I wanted to experience raising a daughter as well as my sons. What did I do so wrong that I was not allowed to parent both genders? why was I denied this life experience? How did I suddenly become the brunt of many jokes and strange looks just because I had the privilege to be raising only sons? ALTERED DREAMS is an inspirational writing for parents who may be experiencing disappointment in the gender of their unborn child. Through my years both as a mother and a psychologist, this issue of gender disappointment has come up over and over. Yet, no one wants to write or talk about it where we can all come together on even ground. Gender disappointment has psychological impact on all facets of one's life. As I share my journey, and those of others, from despair to acceptance after the birth of my third son, you will realize that you are not alone in this way of thinking or feeling. What you feel is real, and there are ways to handle your disappointment effectively. Most importantly, you will realize you no longer have to suffer alone.
I remember vividly when I was pregnant with my third child. My daughter, I hoped. I began to write notes to her long before the world knew of her existence. On my laptop I would type...
Five weeks pregnant. How I hope you are in there. How I pray for your health and your continued growth. How do I put my desire into words? Not for a child, but for a daughter, as well. What are you?? A boy? A girl? I never stop thinking of you or your health as the doctor puts AMA (Advanced Maternal Age) on my chart. I still feel so young. So incomplete. Waiting for you. Are you, my daughter?
I am reminded of that childhood book, Are You My Mother? where the young bird wanders around asking animals and inanimate objects if they are his mother. And they never are, until the end. Every day, every moment, wondering... is this my daughter? The child I dream of? But alas, at the end of the book, for me, it is not. Delaney is not meant to be. Instead, I have a child I never expected, and yet cannot live without. Liam. And like his brothers before him, I find myself right where I should be. Surrounded by boys. Immersed in Digimon, transformers, Thomas the train, and the color blue. Tackled by long-limbed, little boys who love to wiggle and hug. Snuggled amongst three tiny bodies who are giggling uncontrollably at body functions. And as I smile, I realize I am totally enjoying this life. My life. Mothering boys.