When Patrick and I were dating and first married and we talked about having kids, for some reason we often talked about having a little girl.
I’m not sure why we always seemed to picture ourselves with a little girl, dressed in pink dresses and pigtails, but this was always the image we, especially me, seemed to have in our heads. Maybe my subconscious knew something I didn’t yet.
Naturally when we first got pregnant we started dreaming of all things pink.
We did sort of assume we would have a boy, just based on his family’s track record, but still, every dream I had was always of us with a little girl. I could never seem to picture a little boy. We picked out names. We had Madeline’s name. We had Joshua’s name (just in case).
When it came time to have our gender ultrasound we went to a 3D ultrasound place.
They were able to do the scan earlier than at our doctor and we were excited to find out. When the lady said, “it’s a boy.” I think Patrick and I were both a little surprised and sad at first. I feel terrible admitting that now.
(Yes, there was a brief moment where I was sad that we were having a boy. Now, I would give anything to have him. I have often wondered if he felt my disappointment and that is why he didn’t stay. Stick around for more crazy thoughts from the life of a guilt-stricken bereaved mom.)
The moment was short-lived of course.
Once the initial shock of that revelation wore off, the excitement set in. We really were going to have a boy. Even though all of my crazy pregnancy dreams were about a little chubby-cheeked girl dressed all in pink, we were having a boy! Joshua. His name was going to be Joshua Patrick. (In reality, had he lived, we were going to follow the same double middle name pattern that Patrick has (and Madeline too). His full name was going to be Joshua Patrick Arthur Denney, after Patrick’s dad’s middle name. We’ve never told anyone that. We didn’t want to leave that extra burden of grief on anyone, but in my mind that has always been his name.)
We started planning the nursery almost immediately.
Baseball. Obviously it was going to be baseball. I wanted to do a classic baseball theme with little bits of our team, the Kansas City Royals thrown in here and there. We left the ultrasound place and immediately went and bought his first little outfit. While I was still a little sad that I wasn’t getting to buy the little ruffled dresses, I was pretty excited about the cute little bow-ties and suspenders. I was going to dress him like a little preppy man.
I suddenly had Pinterest boards full of baseball themed ideas for a nursery and baby shower.
I started pinning newborn baby boy photo ideas and the excitement grew. We went shopping for little boy clothes and were excited to imagine taking him to baseball games and football games and watch him grow.
And then he didn’t.
We had to pack away all of the little boy clothes. We never decorated that baseball themed nursery and we never got to take him to a Royals game.
The disappointment of never getting to do those things is so much bigger than that fraction of a second that I felt sad that he was going to be
a boy, but I still feel so much guilt for feeling that tiny bit of disappointment. I think we had always just assumed we would have a girl and then we would have a boy later. It wasn’t that we didn’t want a boy ever. He was very much wanted. Wanted with every fiber of our being, it’s just that we had always kept picturing this little girl.
Then there were those dreams I kept having.
Every dream I had when I was pregnant with Joshua, it was always a baby girl. I could picture her face – clear as could be.
When Madeline was born, I recognized her instantly.
She was the little baby from those dreams. I had been dreaming about her. I always wondered how my heart new what my head didn’t back then. I always wondered if that was why when Patrick and I thought about kids, we always talked about a little girl. We always talked about our Madeline.
When people ask us if we want any more children, that is such a complicated question.
Of course we do, we want our Joshua. But that’s not going to happen. So, we are content with our Madeline. In a perfect world we would have our two children. We would get to have our Joshua and Madeline together, here with us, but we all know this world is far from perfect. So we will live our perfectly imperfect lives with our Madeline – our little girl that we dreamed of for so long while we hold tight to our dreams of her big brother.