It’s a Boy…Now How Do I Raise a Boy?

I’ve heard of reveal parties where the pregnant woman has found out that she is having a boy and she cries. I totally get it. I’ve always thought that if I were to have a baby I would have a girl. Anyone who knows me knows that I am the biggest girlie girl and knows I make sure to surround myself with women. Friends and family who have been to my apartment know the colour scheme – pastel pink everywhere.

But that is about to change.

During the ultrasound when the nurse said “you can tell the gender right there” to my friend M, I knew it was a boy. After the appointment, I went to Chapters (my favourite store on earth) and saw a black sweatshirt that said “little man.” In that instant, I got really excited about having a boy. Maybe having a boy wasn’t so scary after all?  

On Sunday morning I was getting ready for the big reveal and didn’t know what to wear. Should I wear pink? Blue? Gender-neutral? What does one wear to their reveal party? I settled on a dress with pink and blue.

In the instagram poll people thought it was a girl.

The night before the party, my sister L had informed me that she got all of the supplies for the party, but I wanted to make sure that the balloons had helium so I went to Party City and guess who I met up with?

As soon as I spotted my sister J and her husband, I went right up to them. They pretended that they didn’t see me.

“I know you see me” I said. “I am standing right here.”

They laughed.

“What are you two doing here?” I asked.

“What are YOU doing here?” my brother in law asked.

“Nothing is happening here” said my sister. “You know what? Why don’t we do some shopping so you don’t actually see what is going on here? Let’s go down this aisle.

My sister put this on my head

As I headed down the aisle (away from the balloon station),  I saw beautiful balloons celebrating a boy.

I knew they were for me. 

My bro in law knew the sex of the baby because my friend M (who was at the ultrasound) told him. He was the only one who knew the sex of the baby but I was pretty sure he told his wife (my sis). Since the reveal party was family only, someone in the family needed to know the sex of the baby. Someone needed to put the stereotypical blue balloons (boy) and pink balloons (girl) in the reveal box. I knew my bro in law could care less about the sex of the baby (and had a strong poker face) so he was the perfect person to put the balloons in the box. 

I looked at the boy balloons and felt a little sad. This was my official confirmation that I was having a boy and it meant that I needed to get used to the idea.

Please know that I feel absolutely blessed to be able to have a baby but a Single Mother by Choice having a baby boy made me a little anxious. Who would be the male role model? What did I know about boys/men?

Before long, my sister said that they were ready and were going to leave Party City. Then I bought pink and blue balloons and wondered if I had just wasted a bunch of money on the pink balloons since I was so sure I was having a boy.

But the blue balloons stating “it’s a boy” were still at the store.

“I’m sure that they left and are coming back for them” I thought.

Within minutes of getting together, my family was all organized for the big reveal. My brother brought the reveal box from my sister’s basement and we were ready.

My bro in law has an amazing sense of humour and I just had this small feeling that if I opened the box, something strange would be placed there. He did not disappoint. Plus, there were so many emotions in the room (I was on the verge of tears) so it allowed us to just laugh and get our emotions in order.

It turns out that they were at Party City to get yellow and green balloons to fool me. Those blue “It’s a Boy” balloons weren’t for me after all. 

Could I actually be having a girl?

When I opened the box and the blue balloons floated up, I clapped. Who in the hell claps? Who knows? I wish I would have watched the faces of my family members instead.

My niece wanted it to be a girl

My nephew seemed very excited and it made me excited. I thought about the close relationship that we share and how he has always come to me since he was a little boy. He’d always fall asleep in my arms and if he was crying, I could somehow get him to stop. In fact, family members started calling me “the baby whisperer” because somehow he (as well as other babies) would just fall asleep in my arms. I think it is all because babies calm me and make me so happy. I am sure they can feel that.

When thinking about the connection to my nephew I started to have more confidence in being a boy mom. Plus, messages started to come in from friends/family about the closeness that moms shared with their sons. It made me feel like maybe I could raise a boy.

So it’s been a week since the reveal and I am now really starting to show with a little pregnancy bump. Physically I am feeling horrible (still no food being kept down) but emotionally I feel quite strong. Have already started thinking about boy names and I think I may just have one figured out. It keeps growing on me but have heard from other moms that sometimes you change the name as soon as you meet the little one.

In the past, I have had complicated relationships with men. 

Then I realized that my little boy might be a gift to me in ways that I had never even thought of. 

Perhaps this little one was going to help me to heal and to somehow help me to develop stronger and more trusting relationships with the men around me. 

One thing I do know is that I will do my absolute best to raise a little boy who is kind, empathetic, and treats everyone (especially women) very well. I promise to introduce my boy to strong male role models in my family and my community. This boy is going to be loved so much. 

And here begins my life as a BOY MOM…….

I Totally Know That I am Having a Boy

Just after M found out the sex of the baby

“Are you hoping to have a boy or a girl?” 

I’d get this question at least once a day and my response was always the same.

“As long as it is healthy and happy, I don’t really care.” People would just roll their eyes – they wanted to hear “boy” or “girl.”

Then I started to really care.

For two months people kept telling me that I was having a girl so then I became attached to having a girl. At night I’d talk to my little girl “Hey Girl! Hope you had a great day today. Mama is super tired.”

Earlier this week, a friend sent me a direct message on Instagram about a study she was doing regarding the placenta. She asked if I would want to possibly be part of the study and as a result, I would have an ultrasound every four weeks and I would get more ultrasound pictures.

Helping out with medical research and getting extra pictures of my little one? It was a win/win!

Before long, the forms were signed and on Thursday I went to the appointment.

“Please don’t tell me the sex” I told the nurses.

“Thank goodness you told us because we would have totally talked about the sex in the ultrasound.”

My friend M was with me at the appointment. She was close by, knew I was at Sinai, and wanted to meet. As a nurse practitioner, M could look closely at the ultrasound screen and began speaking in what I could only describe as “nurses talk” to the other nurses in the room.

Then came some words that I finally could understand.

“So you can see right here the gender of the baby” said the nurse to M.

She zoomed in and printed out a pic for M. I still haven’t seen the picture that M has. I don’t even know if anyone wants an ultrasound picture that has been zoomed in on the genitalia.

“Oh my gosh. It is a boy” I said.

Both M and the nurse laughed.

“Why would you say that?” asked the nurse.

“Who zooms in on a pic and says that ‘you can tell by looking right there?’ It is a boy. You two are busted and now I know the truth.”

I watched their faces looking for a sign.

“I have the best poker face” said M. “You won’t find out from me.”

Just before I had my appointment for the study, I messaged my family and asked them what everyone was up to on the weekend. I explained that I was taking part in the study and was pretty sure they would be able to tell the sex of the baby during my ultrasound. My logical sister had planned that we would have a gender reveal party during Thanksgiving weekend (since we were all going to be together anyway). I knew that Thanksgiving would be WAY too long to find out and WAY TOO LONG for me to keep a secret.

My entire family was crazy busy. Everyone had at least 3-4 important things going on during the weekend. Somehow we all agreed that Sunday at 11:00 a.m. we could have our little gender reveal party.

Once M knew the sex, I realized I needed to know. When we walked out of the appointment I kept quizzing M and kept trying to get her to slip up on identifying the sex.

No luck.

Instead, she walked away with the picture and said she would tell my brother-in-law (who I am sure doesn’t care about the sex of my baby). From there, he would get a box and there would be both pink and blue balloons. He would put the corresponding balloons (pink = girl, boy = blue, super stereotypical) in the box.

Since Thursday, I have totally thought I am having a boy. On Thursday night I headed to bed and said “hello boy?”

Over the past couple of days, I have totally gotten used to being a boy Mom. I’ve started to envision attending his hockey games and being a hockey Mom early to the ice on the weekends (yes, again, totally stereotypical). Other women have told me about their connection to their sons and how there is nothing better than being a “boy Mom.” 

I also had a girl’s name picked out for my baby girl and was about 99.9% sure of it. Have tossed around a couple of ideas with regards to boys names but I just can’t settle down on one. Since Thursday I have been taking in every boy’s name. When I went to a restaurant on Friday, I started to listen closely to the different male names of the servers looking for some sort of inspiration. 

As a teacher, you are blessed with some incredible students and other students may be a bit more challenging. You also usually remember the names of the best kids and the kids that have given you a tough time. When I hear a name, I instantly think back to that student. So many beautiful names are out for me because of the connection to the good/challenging student(s).

As you know, my pregnancy hasn’t been the easiest (currently off work which I will get into another time) so this news has totally made me all excited about being pregnant again. To be honest, Thursday was one of my most favourite days being pregnant. As soon as I saw the little one, I felt this intense love.

It was so crazy to get such an in-depth look at all of the body parts. This is a picture of the foot of the baby that the nurse took.

“Are there two feet?” I asked completely frazzled.

“Yes,” said the nurse with a laugh. “I could only get a picture of the one.”

“Look at the cute face” said the nurse as she zoomed in on the face. “Would you like a picture of it?”

“Oh no” I said. “The baby looks like an actual alien. Maybe next time?”

I can’t wait to have so many ultrasounds and to see how much this baby progresses month to month. I also can’t wait to find out the sex because then I might start thinking about what to buy him or what to name him. There are so many exciting things ahead.

On next week’s blog, I will share the sex of the baby with you and will be sure to take some pictures at the gender reveal party. Right now I am 99.9% sure it is a boy so we shall see! What do you think – boy or girl?