Saturday, May 21, 2016


Will coolly leaned against a counter, legs crossed, arms folded.  His gentle smile never faded as he waited patiently to hear the news. 

Meanwhile, my Dad, step-dad and father-in-law frantically huddled around the doctor’s tiny screen; counting ribs and looking for ANYTHING resembling a phallus.

You could hear a pin drop.

HE is doing great!” the doctor said deliberately.

The room erupted. 
Women cried.  
Men beamed. 
My father quietly sobbed as he texted everyone he knew that he’d finally have his boy---his namesake. 

At the celebratory lunch there was bourbon and tales of childhood mischief.  The men grappled for the check, each wanting to pay for this special meal – this MANLY meal.

It was an amazing day.  One I will never forget.

The next day however was somewhat different.

I awoke at 4AM realizing I knew nothing about baby boys.  In the dark silence, I desperately Googled everything I could find on circumcision and changing male diapers. 

“Wait… double diapering?  Ice packs?   

Oh okay.  So, we just have to put a little Vaseline on it for a week. 

Of course – you have to point the penis DOWN!   Will, did you know that?”

I turned to my sleeping husband, his drool glistening in the soft laptop light.

“…Should we discuss this later?”

By six I had moved on to the nursery.  It was decided – the theme would be safari chic.  My wish list quickly filled with elephants and giraffes.  Inspiration photos were saved and emailed.  My breathing finally slowed – I was wrapping my head around this.

But somewhere around 7:30 – I got a bit sad.  It slowly set it in that for the time being I’d have to shelve all the hopes and dreams I had for my little Ella; that sweet little girl I already knew how to diaper.  The one I could count on to be my best friend forever.  The one I already had some idea how to raise.

The irony is none of these feelings detract from my excitement about raising this little prince.  Bringing up Bobby will be an adventure and one I still very much look forward to.  But that achy, guilty question persists:  am I a bad person for mourning the loss of my Ella?  Will anyone understand what I’m going through, or will people assume I’m taking this incredible miracle for granted?

At first I thought I’d suffer with this alone – how could I ever cop to having these thoughts?  But soon I learned many of my close friends and family had gone through similar moments in their pregnancies.  Many gave amazing advice and slowly, I began to forgive my own fears.  And the truth is when I dream about the day I finally get to hold my precious son, none of those fears are present.   

Maybe someday I’ll have the opportunity to meet Ella. 

Maybe I won’t. 

But either way, what an amazing little man my Bobby is going to be!


  1. Al,
    As you know my 1st love is my Jake ,who is 14 now. You just wrote my story, I thought only wanted a girl. to shop with , dress up etc. My family would say they couldn't imagine me with a boy. I swore the ultrasound tech said "she" so what did we do?? Painted the room PINK before he was born! When the Dr, said " IT'S A BOY" I thought he was kidding. Years later, I can't imagine my life with out my amazing boy . He is a sports fanatic and now I spend hours on the baseball field and following him around to wipe up the mud he brings in. He is so easy , no drama, and as long as he has his Nike sneakers and clothing , he is happy and boy, do boys love their Mommies :-) I am so happy for you and Will!!

    1. Thank you, Auntie Lynne for sharing your perspective. I know Jake is the apple of your eye so it's incredibly validating to hear you had a similar experience. The love I have for Bobby is completely unparalleled in my universe and will only continue to grow with him inside and outside of my womb. We are all blessed beyond measure; curve balls, hormones and all! So much love. Again, thank you for sharing - it means a lot to know I'm not alone. <3