gender disappointment?

SHORT ANSWER:
No, not really. But a little bit, yeah.

LONG ANSWER:
About a month ago, we learned that we will be having a girl.  It came as a bit of a surprise because I’d thought — I’d felt so sure — that I was carrying a boy.  But no, regardless of whatever symptoms I’d been having or how low or how high I’d been carrying, the little human in my belly is a girl.

She is developing well and I pray every day that she will grow to be strong and healthy, beautiful and smart, kind and loving.  And I’m so grateful that I am having at least one girl.  However, I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a small part of me that is a little bit sad that she is a she.  Because, having lived as one for over 30 years, it’s hard being a girl.

And no, I don’t mean the physical aspects of a monthly period or wearing bras or even pregnancy– though I am also a little bit sad she’ll one day have to go through all of this.   (But it’s weird because I also pray that she will one day be able to experience all of this with a partner as wonderful as her father).

No, I mean that it’s hard being a girl in this world.  Much harder, I think, than it is to be a boy.

And it’s not that I’m afraid that she will fall short in any way — far from it, I have every faith and confidence that she will excel in all things that she will put her mind to; that she will flourish and BE A BOSS.  However!  However… I am afraid that it will be unfairly difficult.

It makes me sad to think that she will work hard to be the best candidate for a role, but her work and competence (frankly, her excellence) will be dismissed and she will be criticized as being “overprepared.”

It makes me sad to think that she will have to push harder than her less competent male counterparts for an equal spot at the table– and more likely than not, still be pushed back out with a false narrative to tarry her work when others fail to deliver their end.

It makes me sad to think that despite her brilliance, she will be interrupted and belittled by ignorant, insecure men and even other women who fail to see past the biases built into their lives.

It breaks my heart that she will be objectified, victimized, and undervalued again and again and again.  And that she will have to stand alone to remind herself that THEY are the ones that are wrong.

I fear for her.  I fear for her healthcare.  I fear for her safety.  I fear for her voice and identity and gifts.

It should be a beautiful thing– to be a girl.  To be a girl who will grow up to be a woman who will be a mother and a role model and a source of strength for an entire family.  But, so often, it’s just … really hard.

So am I disappointed?

Not with her.  No, never with her.  But certainly with the world we’ve given her.

noah-silliman-202795.jpg

the scorpion and the frog

One of my favorite fables is that of the scorpion and the frog.  Here it is, as I would retell it:

One hot, sunny day, a scorpion stood at the edge of a river.  He watched the water moving swiftly past him, stopping him from crossing.  And though the sun grew hotter, the water never slowed.  Seeing no way across, the scorpion turned to leave when, suddenly, he spotted a small, green frog swimming in the water.

“Ho! Good frog!” the scorpion called, “Would you be so kind as to carry me across?”

The frog paused, considering the scorpion.  “No,” he finally said. 

“But why?  Surely it would cost you nothing, for you can easily cross both land and water,” the scorpion reasoned.

“Because you will sting me,” the frog explained.  “And then I will die.”

“Ah,” said the scorpion, understanding the frog’s hesitation. “Normally, such may be the case.  However, I would not bite you here.  For if I bit you, we would both drown and die.”

Again the frog paused, considering the scorpion.  “True,” he conceded.  He glanced up at the sun.  “It is very hot?  Have you been waiting long at the river’s edge?”

“Very long.  And I only wish to cross and be on my way,” the scorpion honestly explained.

Feeling pity for the scorpion, the frog slowly approached the bank.  “Very well.  I shall carry you across.”

Delighted, the scorpion crawled onto the frog’s back.  “Thank you, my friend!” he cheerfully exclaimed.

And so the frog swam into the river, carrying the scorpion on his back.  But mid-stream, the frog felt a sting.  And as his arms and legs grew numb, paralysis slowly seeping down his limbs, he knew he’d been betrayed. 

Fast water rushed past his shoulders and neck. And as he struggled to draw breath, he turned one final time to find the scorpion crouched nervously on his back.  “But, why?” he gasped.

As the scorpion woefully watched the rising water around him, he turned to face the dying frog.  “Because it is my nature,” he whispered.

babymoon in Italy

babymoon in Italy

I’m not a traveler.  I’m a home-body.  A couch potato.  Introvert.  Recluse… the list goes on.  But my K… oh, my K… he’s a traveler.  He loves adventure.  He loves the outdoors.  He loves seeing new things, meeting new people, experiencing all that the world has to offer.  It’s a good thing.  But exhausting for a potato like myself.

Well, we haven’t had a proper vacation in a long time.  We’ve had little weekend trips, but no real adventure-vacations in a long time… or was it ever?  We couldn’t even have a honeymoon due to my work.  And then when I quit, K took an iOS bootcamp.  When he finished, I started working again.  All that to say, no vacay for us as a couple.

TILL NOW.

We took 2 weeks off and went to Italy.  Specifically, we stopped by Rome, Florence, Pisa, Cinque Terre, and Venice.  It was lovely (even though I was grumpy 30% of the time and suffered a minor meltdown– likely due to pregnancy hormones).  All in all, I think the highlight of the trip was just spending time with my K.  Sappy, right?  Yes, but really– I like him a lot.  He’s wonderful even when I’m crazy.  I married well 🙂

About the header image:
This is Florence.  Its beautiful there.  And that Duomo is really really beautiful.  I picked this image to lead this post because 1) Florence was my favorite, and 2) so much of my view this trip was of K holding up that GoPro.

I hated that GoPro for about 3 days.  All I wanted was to hold hands with my husband and walk down the streets like any other normal touristing couple.  But no.  He was filming.  WHY?  WHY???  Well, because he liked it; and because he wanted to remember it.  And every night, he’d upload the clips and begin editing them.  It took hours.  But he liked it… I think.  And looking at the videos now, I’m both impressed and grateful.

See?  I married well 🙂

We both have awful memories… so we do what we can to preserve it.  I write.  He takes photos and videos.

Here are a few highlights from the trip, as recorded by K:



my memory’s such a fickle thing

my memory’s such a fickle thing

Tomorrow, I’ll be 16 weeks pregnant.  What is that?  Roughly 4 months?

It sounds like that’s a long while to have been pregnant.  And yet, it feels like no time has passed at all.

We didn’t plan for this baby.  To be honest, I wanted it; but I didn’t think I was ready.  I was six months into a new job.  And about three months clinically depressed.  With those conditions, it isn’t the best kind of planning to jump in and make a baby.  And yet, we did.  Mostly by accident.  Entirely by grace.

Sometimes when I stop to think about what it all means–what the future might bring and how I might fail, I get a little scared.  But I’m thankful.  Immensely and indescribably thankful.  And I’m happy.  Happier than I’ve been in more years than I can remember.  It’s probably just the hormones.  Still, I want to remember all of it.

But, I’ve got a terrible memory.  It’s a good thing, in a lot of ways.  I don’t really hold grudges and I never get hung up on “bad” things from the past.  But, obviously, I often forget a lot of the good things I want to remember.  Maybe that’s why I like writing.  I like writing– memories, ideas, stories; bits of life; bits of fiction.  But I haven’t been writing.  I get tired these days.  Tired and sleepy… and congested with terrible headaches.  So I haven’t been writing.  But I ought to.

I’ve already forgotten a lot from the past 16 weeks.  As short or as long as it’s been.  I’ve forgotten what it felt like to come home after work and sink into the sofa unable to move because I was so tired and nauseous.  I forgot what it felt like after eating anything at all– hormonal indigestion turning all my food into lead.  I forgot waking up to new pimples every morning wondering if I’ll ever see my skin again.  I forgot the gagging and retching that ripped up from my gut every morning, and afternoon, and evening.

But I remember remembering.  If that makes sense.  I remember with my brain that it really didn’t feel good.  And I remember worrying that I wasn’t eating enough, and staring at my prenatal vitamin wondering if I’d be able to keep it down long enough for it’s magic percentages of vitamins and minerals to get to the baby.  And I remember rolling over, away from the small puddle of my own spit on the blanket I was using as a pillow on the couch, thinking only, “Nerugh, too tired. Must sleep more.”  And I remember waking up, sweating and shaking, struggling to hear through the ringing in my brain as my vision cleared and I waved at the attendant helping me, “No. No ambulance, please. I’m fine. I’m fine.” –I’d just fainted in public; apparently my blood pressure and blood sugar had tanked.  Yes, I remember remembering.

But it’s so strange that I don’t remember what it all felt like.  And there’s a small part of my brain that whispers, “It wasn’t so bad. You could do it again. You feel fine now.”  And I really do feel fine now.  Or fine(r).  I did take a four hour nap today.  And my stomach feels like bloated ball of dough that was kneaded for too long and left to dry in the sun.  But, I can eat… a lot.  And I’m neither constantly dizzy nor nauseous.  And even my skin’s clearing up.  Sort of.  I’m enjoying my pregnancy.  I’ve enjoyed my pregnancy.  All 16 weeks.

And so I’m writing.  To remember later, when I’ve forgotten.