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The Daughters I Did Not Have

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When I was a child I always wanted to be a mother. I know there are a lot of little girls who don't, but some do, and I was one of them. Not only did I want to be a mother, but I wanted to have four children and, as if it were a matter of course, I assumed they'd all be girls.

I assumed I'd be the mother of daughters the way people assume they'll graduate from high school (a lot of people, anyhow); it was just a given, it was just something that would happen.

So when I had my first pregnancy and my then-husband and I decided to keep the gender of the baby a "surprise" I was, indeed, surprised to learn I had just given birth to a boy. Even more, I was kind of hurt. I felt that my own ideas and vision of myself as the mother of little dancing daughters had been shunned or scoffed at by the universe, like, well, like a child's idea of "cooking dinner" is scoffed at by her parents when she comes to the table with peanut butter and jelly spread on a cracker to present to the family.

As my son nursed and I got to know him over the first few hours I fell in love so deeply, so completely, that after a very short while I couldn't even imagine having any other relationship with any other child, and my dashed daughter dreams were like smoke--vanished.

During my second pregnancy I just knew I was having another son, there was no question in my mind. In fact, I was so sure, I had begun picking out boys' names from the moment I learned I'd conceived. I felt this little boy was coming to Earth to spend his life with his big brother and I was merely the conduit, the pathway for him to get here. When the ultrasound technician told me she saw a little boy inside of me, I just said, "Oh, I know, I know - are we finished because my first is waiting with my friend and I've got to pee!"

Having boys has been nothing short of a supreme education. As we are all in life's school here, learning lesson after lesson about ourselves, about the way of others, about relationships, I can truly say that my sons have been my greatest teachers.

About the daughters I did not have, I sometimes still feel sad and, I can't lie here, a little ripped off.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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