A vulnerable moment for me.
I heart Tori Spelling. I hated her when 90210 was on, but have a new found appreciation for her. She's smart and funny and pulled herself up by her (Chanel) boot strings and consciously decided that she would use her previous fame to make a living for herself. I heart strong women.
So, the new season of Tori and Dean has begun and I watched the first episode last night. She is pregnant again and there was a scene that struck close to home for me.
Without getting into the drama that is my relationship with my mother, I will just say that she and I haven't had the best of times. I have spent more than half of my life being the "grown-up" in the world that is she and I, and it has taken therapy, medication and the most wonderfully supportive man I've ever encountered to accept that it is what it is and I can't turn the clock back.
When I found out I was pregnant, I so so hoped for a girl. I considered a lot of things about why this was, all of them true, but none of them the all-encompassing truth.
When we went for the ultrasound that confirmed our baby has a winkie, Husband was elated, but I could barely speak. I made it to the car with as much decorum as possible and then, I began sobbing uncontrollably without end. Through my tears (and hiccups), I tried explaining to him that OF COURSE I was glad he was healthy, OF COURSE this won't make a difference in how I bond with him, OF COURSE I was happy for Husband that he was getting what he so desperately wanted, BUT IT DOESN'T MEAN I'M HAPPY RIGHT THIS MINUTE. After the sobfest ended, we made the calls that we needed to make to let everyone on the planet know that it was a boy. Most of the people we called knew our desires were split and a couple of them asked me if I was alright with it. What do you say? "No, I'm not okay with it... I'm either going to abort and start over or I'm scheduling his reassignment surgery NOW" I admitted to a few that it was "a little difficult at first, but I'm okay with it now". This was, of course, an understatement, but how do you tell the truth without being judged? By the end of a very late dinner, I had come to terms with it, at best. I was not stoked, but had had my moment and accepted it. My new concern was my behavior. Husband is the LEAST judgmental person I know, ESPECIALLY when it comes to my thoughts and irrational behavior, but I was afraid I had crossed a line, because this was HIS baby too and he felt like I had totally stifled his joy and he felt he couldn't comfortably be happy about it in my presence. Then, given my history of varying mental instabilities, I was afraid that I had, for the FIRST TIME EVER, begun to alienate him and make him question ME! After he went to bed, I settled in with Google. I discovered that "Gender Disappointment" was completely normal and that there are people out there FAR crazier than me. There ARE people who will abort... there ARE people who wish so badly for one gender that they put themselves through some of the most ridiculous practices to ensure they get the one their looking for. You want to discuss Gender Disappointment? Try taking your temperature, wrapping strings around your husbands nut sac, making sure he comes at exactly 6:05 Eastern Time during the Half Moon in February with a Shaman present AND THEN finding out you STILL didn't get the one you were looking for. OMG! Now THAT is Gender Disappointment! I felt pretty normal at this point and had a very nice heart to heart with Husband the next day.
But here's what I learned about myself that weekend: My desire to have a girl was nothing more than my desire to have a SUCCESSFUL Mother-Daughter relationship. For years I have been trying to find a replacement Mommy, someone who I could call when I was crying, someone who would come over and help me plant flowers, someone who I would trust to baby-sit my child while I went away for a weekend. And I've failed. All of the pseudo-Mommies I found had one glitch - they were already Mommies and already had that relationship I was so desperate to experience. To have my own daughter would put ME in control of the relationship. I thought I would be more fulfilled as a girl.
Once I realized this, it was much easier to accept that my first born will have a penis and that we will just have to have more children. We were planning on it anyway, so BFD! I would not trade this boy in for the world. I hope for nothing more than his health and his happiness and I hope people like him when he grows up. I love him and can't wait to hold him and watch him sleep.
My insight to myself was just that, insight... Google and Yahoo and Support Boards did NOT tell me this was my problem. It was what I needed to discover in exactly the way I needed to discover it. I've told few people about this because, frankly, I feel a bit embarrassed to have reacted in such a way. Add to that, the depths of some of my closest friends can be measured with a shot glass and I didn't want to hear trite little attempts at comfort that would sound more like a "Chicken Soup for the Mom of a Boy's Soul" book.
Months have passed and I had forgotten about this. I am focusing on my son and preparing for his arrival. I know we will have more children and don't feel but a very vague twinge of envy to those around me with daughters, I know my time will come and it will be special, as will my relationship with my son.
Enter Tori Spelling - On last night's Season Three premiere of the Tori and Dean show, she finds out she's having a girl this time around and begins to cry out of happiness. She later confides to her girlfriend (and all of us who watch the show) that she wanted a daughter, in part, to compensate for her own Mother-Daughter relationship shortcomings. That she wants to prove that it CAN be done right. That she wants that "Best Friend" all Mothers and Daughters are supposed to have in each other. And I cried too. Because I totally get it.