The power of words...
In 2014, our family consisted of two boys - Parker and Weston. We decided it was time to grow our family again, but it wasn't as easy this time around. After some challenges, Corbin arrived in December of 2015. We never found out the gender of our children ahead of time, so when Corbin came into the world I was excited to find out that I was now an official member of the "three boys club" and "moms of only boys." I began to embrace "the boy mom" world, which was wildly foreign to me, since I only had one sister, and at the same time ward off all of the crazy comments that people make to you like, "So, are you going to try again for a girl?"
No, we are not thinking about trying for a girl! We just had our third baby! If anything my husband and I were merely trying to figure out how to function outnumbered by our children, juggle their school and activity schedules, frogs, mud, monster trucks, laundry, oh yes and our own careers! People ask the craziest questions. They also assume things they shouldn't. With that question of "trying again for a girl," they were assuming I wasn't happy, disappointed that this beautiful baby was another boy. Far from the truth, we know how blessed we were to be able to bring another child into this world.
During this time our neighbors were pregnant with their third and there was this tug at me. Wild I know! Especially since Corbin wasn't even a year yet. But I just didn't feel finished, not quite ready to move on from that stage of life. My husband on the other hand, was as finished as can be, there was no use entertaining such a ludicrous topic. It wasn't that I wanted a girl, I just felt as though we had more love to give.
Well, the combination of good friends, laughter, way too much wine, and an evening on the beach resulted in not being anywhere finished - twins!
Now you will be really amazed with the types of questions I would then receive from acquaintances, but also complete strangers when they learned we were going from three to five. No longer were they questions about gender, but much more personal. "Are you quitting your job?" "How will you afford daycare?" "Will you have to move?" Wow, serious questions about my finances and career, not something I wanted to discuss with people I randomly ran into at the grocery store or strangers off the street. What I have taken away from this experience is when I come to find out that someone is pregnant, I'm much more careful with my words. I am going to tell them that they are beautiful. I want to leave them feeling encouraged that they are or will be a great mom, ensure them that God's plan is in the works and that this is a blessing. Because to be honest, those were my worries and stresses. When someone mentioned quitting my job, I felt guilty for saying I planned to still work, like I wasn't being a good mom for choosing that path, but then worried that if I stayed home would I really feel fulfilled, and then felt even more guilty for thinking that. The topic of childcare cost drove home a feeling of worry, will we struggle because of my choice to keep working. And then the question of our home, I thought, well we can't go some place smaller, I mean we could, but what do you want me to say? I remember vividly a substitute in our building asking me questions like this in our teacher lounge and when she left, my dear friend looked at me and said, "I was about ready to ask her how much money she makes and specifics about her finances!" It's amazing how forward people can be, but I tried my best to handle these situations with grace and allow my worries to be discussed with my inner circle because that is the time and place for these types of conversations. I think sometimes people just don't know what to say.
So, were we trying for a girl - no, but did we get one - yes! Caroline and Ryland were a complete surprise and have been an utter blessing. We can't imagine our family any different, they really do complete our crew. Life would be boring without them, truly. Lots more twin stories for the future, it's quite a circus raising five babies, twins add a whole different level. But we wouldn't change a thing!
One final thought - everyone has a story. The journey of having and raising children is unique to all of us, many have had a long and tiresome road to parenthood, while others are overwhelmed by the abundance of their blessings. We all have a story. I came across a post on Facebook a few years ago and it completely resonated with me, maybe it will leave you changed. Nadirah Angail talks in her post Mind Your Own Womb about considering others' perspectives and how our words can be powerful, be thoughtful how you use yours.