When they hear that we have three boys, more people than you would think ask me if we had a third child because we were “going for a girl”. We weren’t going for anything. Jules is our sweet, smiley, roly-poly bonus-baby. But can I just say that if we were going for three children – we have done so with stunning efficiency. We made three in five years. One more and we’ll have a Polo team.
I found out that Finn was a boy the old-school way at our week 20 ultrasound. The radiologist said “I see a penis!” (or something to that effect). We were at the Bank of America in downtown Orleans, on Cape Cod when my OB called me with the news about baby boy number two. We did the genetic testing and one of the blood tests shows gender at 10 weeks so we didn’t have to wait until the 20 week ultrasound.
With both Finn and Bennett, the whole gender reveal thing was very grown up and straight forward – there were no blue frosted cupcake parties, no releasing of blue balloons into the sky, no blowing of blue glitter into a camera or ruining a perfectly good white T-shirt with blue hand-prints. I used to look at gender reveal photos on Pinterest and think they were kind of lame. But now I see that there’s something beautiful in the silly rituals. It’s totally cheesy but the older I get the more I see that the rituals are what memories are made of. (Don’t vomit yet – there’s more!)
For our third baby we had a little gender reveal party at 11 weeks. We had the OB tell our local baker the gender and she baked a cake with blue frosting inside so it would be a surprise for everyone including Robbie and me. Finn asked me to tell the baker to bake a pink cake because we already have a boy. I broke the news to him that the baker didn’t have the power to determine the baby’s sex and said that if it was a boy we would have three boys and that would be so much fun. He said “we’d have four boys!” And I realized he counts daddy as one of the boys. “Right, four boys.” I said. And then he said, “Four boys and one girl!” And I was like, “Oh damn!” Because that’s a lot of boys.
I picked up the cake at 10 am. We had to wait until 5pm for people to come over and my mum to skype in from Oz at a reasonable hour. A lot went through my mind while the cake sat on the kitchen table. I wondered if I wanted a boy or a girl. I liked the idea of being the matriarch of an all-boy household, but then I’d start to think about how much I might enjoy having a little estrogen in the house for a change. Less fart jokes and pee on the toilet seat for starters. I started imagining ballet classes and sleepovers and I wondered if I didn’t have a girl, whether anyone in the house would care if I decorated at Thanksgiving. But then I’d start to worry that if I did have a baby girl I would eventually be the mother of a teenage girl. I’m sensitive about Finn being picked on by the six-year-old girl in his Montessori class, I don’t know how I’d deal with high school girls. Having boys means I’ll probably have to ice at least one black eye or busted lip, and that definitely scares me. But there’s absolutely nothing more terrifying in the whole world than a thirteen year old girl.
Finally 5pm rolled around and it was a reasonable time for my mum to Skype in from Australia. We taped my iphone to a tripod so she could see and we cut the cake. When we could all see the blue frosting peeking out, people in the room raised their drinks and started cheering and mum was heard calling out “what color is it? I can’t see!” and the half of me that was rooting for a boy smiled while the half of me that yearned for girly sleepovers and hair braiding parties let go.
And two months in, I’m loving this house of boys. You would think you’d run out of love after giving so much of it to your first child and then you have a second. And then you have a third and fall in love all over again. And Jules is healthy and happy and so fat and snuggle-ish and everything we could have hoped for. But last week I did pull out the pink tutu I had stashed away and hung it in the dress-up cupboard for when one of Finn’s girl BFFs come over.