We had my husband’s holiday party last weekend and while I was dressed to the nines and looked as glamorous and sparkly as you can for being sick, exhausted, and 35 weeks pregnant--it was simply impossible for others not to ask the 3 basic questions: due date, gender, how are you feeling? This is always followed by that look of concern that I still have potentially 5 plus weeks to go. I promise, you will feel absolutely no pain and will have to do none of the hard work if in that moment I went into labor. It is nothing like the movies where strangers gather towels and use pocket knives in parking lots to cut the cord. The idea that 9 cms of labor will occur during that exact moment of our conversation is as ridiculous to me as the concept of, "trying one last time for a boy”.
This brings me to the topic of gender. We are having our third girl—cue the exploding glitter rainbows, other sexist gender stereotypes, as strangers grieve unnecessarily for my “poor husband” and encourage us to buy stock in tampons. Having three daughters is not a national tragedy, unlucky, or disappointing. Society no longer considers daughters to be a consolation prize that require a dowry with a marriage contract and mothers aren't beheaded for not producing a male heir to carry out the family name. I was not what you would call an easy-going teenager, so having three girls is my very own karmic retribution, which I pay for in full every morning my 4-year-old changes her outfit half a dozen times because the previous one was too “scratchy”, “stripy”, or my personal favorite, “too green”.
Would we have loved to have a boy? Sure. Since only boys love Legos, superheroes, and digging holes. Except my daughters love all those things because we don’t live in a bubble of pink princesses and My Little Ponies. Gender can and should be much more fluid. Millennials have coined the term “gender disappointment” as a means of grieving something that can and does hold meaning, but has much more to do with your family’s expectations and nothing to do with what's ultimately in your baby's diaper. Having all daughters will shape my husband and I forever and inevitably change who we are as people. The thing is, there can be no wrong combination, number, or gender because absolutely none of these things will ever affect a parent’s capacity to love our children.