A Girl

May 7, 2010

I truly didn’t feel like I had a preference for a boy or a girl when I got pregnant. I think about how darling my two younger brothers were (and Crawford still is, of course) and I love the idea of having a boy. I think about my nieces, how cute and fun and dramatic they are, and I think girls would be great.

If I’d had to make the decision, I really don’t know which one I would have chosen.

When we found out we were pregnant, though, I did feel like it was a girl from the beginning and that sense just got stronger as the weeks ticked by, so much so that when we were waiting in the ultrasound room for the tech to come back with the results of whether it was a boy or a girl, I suddenly felt incredibly panicked that she might say it was a boy, because it would be like losing the girl I was so certain we were having.

I do, however, have a secret pet peeve (how secret can it be if I’m blogging about it?) toward people who have this sense that having a boy first is somehow far superior to having a girl first, that children that do not have an older brother are somehow greatly deprived.

To be sure, I’m not exactly unbiased on the topic since I just so happen to be the oldest child, and I tend to think that I turned out just fine without an older brother and also that starting your family with a girl is a perfectly lovely way to go. (My sisters, who put up with a lot of bossiness from me, might think their lives would have been far improved by an older brother rather than me, but they aren’t the ones writing this post).

I am particularly glad that Bart did not have a strong preference one way or another either. I have never felt for a second like he’s even remotely disappointed that he’s not having a son instead of a daughter or that he’d be slightly more excited if our house was filling up with blue clothing instead of pink (although he does say blue is a snugglier color than pink, whatever that means).

As a daughter who never once felt like my dad was at all disappointed that I was a girl instead of a boy (oh, how it annoyed me when Crawford was born and people said, “I bet your dad is so glad to FINALLY have a boy”), I am beyond pleased that my daughter will also have a dad that is thrilled to have her, without any regrets that she’s not a boy.

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  • Reply Jess May 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Yay! A girl! Congratulations! I think I would have a slight preference toward having a girl first. And I never ever ever got the feeling that either of my parents would have liked to have a boy instead of us two girls, and I am so glad your daughter won't have that issue either!

    So thrilled for you!

  • Reply Ben and Summer May 7, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Amen! Ben is SO wrapped around his daughter's finger it's funny to think that we were ever looking forward to her being a boy (before her ultrasound). Congrats on the girl – she is so precious already! (I'm the oldest and a girl too;)

  • Reply sam May 7, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Also, YAY for being the oldest child AND a girl.
    Finally, people make weird comments to my dad about having all girls. He always tells them that he wouldn't have it any other way. (Who ARE these people, anyways? Seriously).

  • Reply Lisa May 7, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    I'm the oldest and a girl so I assumed that's what would happen when I had kids. Wrong! This time around I was pretty ambivalent until the weekend before when suddenly I really wanted a girl and was relieved when they said GIRL! (Two techs, not just one opinion!) My kids will be the opposite of what I know (G, B, B) vs (B, B, G). I think Mike is thrilled to have a baby girl to spoil too.

  • Reply Janelle May 7, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Hooray for girls! I had an older sister and no older brothers, and I loved it. Also, my first is a girl and I love it! So excited for you!

  • Reply Elsha May 7, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Congratulations! I won't lie, I was one of those people who thought the oldest should be a boy, until I was pregnant the first time. My husband told me with certainty, as soon as I was pregnant, that it was a girl and the ultrasound confirmed. And I never, even for a second, felt like that was the wrong way for things to happen. Having a daughter for your oldest is a beautiful thing.

  • Reply *LaUrA* May 7, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    I was the one in the ultrasound who was sure she was having a girl and it turned out I was wrong. I was so sure…thought of my baby as a girl and was coming up with all the possible girl names…so when the tech said BOY I was like "WHAT!?!?"

    I was not unhappy but surprised…I had to totally switch my thinking and expectations somewhat. I guess you might say that I did mourn a tiny bit for the girl I thought I was having…but like any true mother would say…I wouldn't change it for the world. My little boy is my most favorite thing about me:)

    I am excited for your little girl and for all the amazing things that will come with her (and the hardest experiences as well…be ready for that too:)

  • Reply Kimberly May 7, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    I agree with Sam, who are these people anyway? Some people should just keep their mouths shut.

  • Reply Kimberly May 7, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Oh, and I think it might just be wishful thinking. Sure, a lot of oldest girls wish they had a big brother, lots of youngest children wish they had younger siblings, and plenty of girls wish they had a sister, etc. I had a friend tell me that she wants to stop now (2 boys 1 girl) because the youngest should always be a girl. What?

  • Reply Elisa May 7, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Obviously it isn't a big deal either way, but most people in my extended family agree a girl is an excellent first child to have … that she keeps the rest of the family in line. ๐Ÿ™‚ Congrats!!

  • Reply Carole May 7, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    You come from a long line of STRONG WOMEN. I'm sure your daughter will fit right in and find her own impressive way.

  • Reply Tina's Blog May 7, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    I don't get the people who think having a boy is preferable to having a girl. I'm the oldest and a girl in my family, and have three daughters myself. I just don't quite get anyone who asks me if we are going to keep trying (which is another pet peeve since I really think it is no one's business) for a boy- as if our family is not complete without a son. ARGH!

  • Reply craftyashley May 7, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Because I know you are simply dying to hear my thoughts on the matter:

    I LOVED having girls first. Especially now that I have a boy (whom I love and adore) it's just so much more fun with a girl. There are just more options, more bedding choices, more clothing, more accessories, more everything. Shopping for modern, hip, and awesome boy clothes is darned near impossible. I'm so glad I could frolic and enjoy the fun of having a girl. (And I would have never pegged myself as a girly-girl… it just turns into fun) The joy that radiates from my darling sweethearts when I give them a fluffy tutu- it's magic. Sheer magic. You're in for a real treat!

  • Reply craftyashley May 7, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    And besides, I was the oldest. And I love watching the girls dote on their baby brother. It's precious. And I can't wait for my two big girls to be protective when he goes to school. How they'll continue protecting him when he brings home girlfriends. It is equally amazing to have big sisters.

  • Reply Kristen May 7, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    My dad is father to two girls. He spent a long time hearing how sad it was that he didn't have a son to carry on the family name. He could care less and has never been bothered by the idea. As a matter of fact, when I was pregnant with my first and found out it was a boy, he was disappointed to hear that we weren't giving him another little girl to spoil (my mother only told me this many years later). And when we did have a girl (we have boy, girl, boy), he was pleased as punch and told my husband that he thought every man should have a daughter. So think of it this way, you are awfully lucky to be getting some sugar and spice first in your life, no matter how many children you go on to have (or not have if you have an only). And we oldest girls turn out pretty darn strong and impressive, imo. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Seรฑora H-B May 7, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    Aw, congratulations! I'm an oldest sister as well. We're the best!

  • Reply Gretchen May 7, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    In Japan it is considered ideal to have a girl first and then a boy. So I guess it depends on the culture you come from! Since I never had a brother, older OR younger, I'm just happy for my girls that they get to experience having a brother at all.

  • Reply Corbett Family May 7, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    I'm the oldest child (and a girl too). I'm sure my four younger brothers are much happier to have a bossy older sister than a bossy older brother. ๐Ÿ™‚ Jim loves our three sons, but when we finally had a daughter, she wrapped him around her little finger. There is something special about a father-daughter relationship–lucky Bart and your daughter!

  • Reply Chelsea May 7, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    I also think big sisters are the way to go (pretty shocking huh?). I think you are sure to have a beautiful, brilliant, sweet daughter who will be very lucky to have such loving parents!

  • Reply Allison May 7, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    I agree. That's a pet peeve of mine as well. I guess people think the boy can be the protector of the siblings. But that's stupid to me. I think the mom and dad will do just fine protecting the siblings. Congrats on the little girl. She'll touch your heart and make you so happy I'm sure!!

  • Reply Kristi May 7, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Holy crap. Your blog is like….the most popular blog ever.

    I remember Blaine's family discussing (when I was pregnant with Gwen) how they thought a boy would "start the family out strong" and I was like…what the bleep is that supposed to mean?

    Blaine said he wanted a boy first, and then in the ultrasound he was sobbing like a fool, but in a good way. From the second he heard he was having a girl Gwen had him wrapped around his little finger.

    And I have to say, having alternating gender kids is the way to go. We didn't care what we had first, either was exciting. We didn't care what we had second, a boy would be novel, but a girl would be less expensive and fun for Gwen. Then after Bentley…same thing, a girl would be novel, a boy would be fun for Ben.

    And the people who have kids all of one gender? They are lucky too. Because probably their kids actually play together instead of just yell at eachother. But whatever : )

    Am I still talking?

    You and Bart will be splendid parents and I am confident your girl will start your family out strong (still don't really get that.).

  • Reply lacie tidwell May 7, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    PERFECTLY said!!!! I have three older brothers and frankly, it wasn't that great! I have noticed when a girl is born first the other children are very loving, nurturing (not to say a boy born first isn't) but that a girl just sets such a lovely tone! I have to hear a lot of garbagefrom memebers of my husbands family (who want Ryan to have a son to carry on the family name-whatever!) and I personally, would love a family of just girls!I don't truly care either way what are next one is, but oh how I am SO grateful for our little girl- and daddy's have such a soft spot in thier hearts for little girls!I even grew up hearning my dad say to my brother- oh you are my boy, I'm so glad to have my boy- what is that? I was(still am) an awesome amazing daughter! whatever! I didn't care if we had a boy or girl first but really, little girls are just AWESOME! I'd love another little girl (or boy!) next-doesn't matter! and Ryan had a big sister and she was scaier than any big brother I ever met!(when it came to girlfriends!)

  • Reply Angiegirl May 7, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    I'm delighted you're having a girl, Janssen! And I agree with your comments. I was an only child. And a girl. And had to field many such comments. But my dad, who was heavily into scouting and young men, etc, always made me feel like he was so happy he could just leave them all at the door and come home to his girl.

    Now, I'm excited to follow how the name search goes. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Jeanelle May 8, 2010 at 1:30 am

    So glad I can finally start shopping! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply Miriam May 8, 2010 at 1:38 am

    Thumbs up to girls first!

  • Reply Peaceful Reader May 8, 2010 at 1:39 am

    I grew up with an older, extremely bossy older brother so I think an older sister would be wonderful. All the older sisters I knew were very nurturing! Congratulations. I just know you are thinking of unique names for this wee baby.

  • Reply Packrat May 8, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    As to the importance of the first born being a male, just look to history. Some religions still preach that the first child must be male. Some teach that males are smarter and are therefore superior. Some families still pass these beliefs down generation to generation. (Sore subject. Don't get me started! Grrrr)

    However, having boys first used to make sense, because they could help with the hard physical labor that was needed to provide for the family.

    My first child was a boy, but the gender would not have mattered to either my husband or me. All we wanted was a healthy baby.

  • Reply RA May 9, 2010 at 1:32 am

    I feel like making a comment on your dad being FINALLY pleased with Crawford being a boy is completely ridiculous. Why would anyone ever say that? Out loud, I mean?

    For that matter, I knew a family where the dad was itching for a little girl, and after three boys, they had little Betsy, and he was over the moon. So, what about that? It is really so case-dependent.

  • Reply Bethany May 9, 2010 at 3:05 am

    I come from a family of all girls and it's so wonderful, we wouldn't have it any other way. My dad is especially great.. dads and their girls are so special!

  • Reply Lindzie May 9, 2010 at 6:26 am

    I like girls…but I'm biased since I only have one! ๐Ÿ™‚ Congrats though. I'm excited for you!

  • Reply Saskia May 9, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    My mom had three girls, and she was sure each one of us would be a boy! So we spent our first years in blue clothes instead of pink, and we turned out fine…

    I don't really have a preference, only that I'd like my family to be mixed. All boys or all girls would be perfectly lovely of course, but I'd like to have a little of both…

  • Reply Lori L May 9, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    A girl! How exciting! It will be wonderful to have a daughter!

  • Reply Anonymous May 10, 2010 at 12:52 am

    Girls ARE wonderful, but I was so hurt that after my husband and I found out our first was a boy (and we didn't care either way) that many people responded by saying "It's ok, you'll get your girl next," and "Oh, you must be so disappointed walking past all the dresses and bows."

    It goes both ways, and either way it's AWFUL! Whatever you have first is PERFECT.

  • Reply Sherry May 10, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    I think I've told you this before. But when you think of the traditional character traits of the oldest child, when those are attributed to a boy, he is a great leader. When they are attributed to a boy, she is bossy. But, I do think those gender issues are changing, and it is becoming a better and better thing for women to be more ambitious.

  • Reply emandtrev May 10, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Congratulations!! I completely agree that having a girl first is a lovely thing…

    I am so happy and excited for you!

  • Reply Melissa May 10, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Congratulations on a baby girl! I am the eldest as well and both my siblings (brother and sister) can attest, I was bossy and could play with the best of them (being a tomboy).

  • Reply Miriam May 10, 2010 at 10:19 pm


  • Reply Miriam May 10, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    oops..that is actually ashley.

  • Reply Tamsen May 11, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    I must admit that I'm one of those people that had hoped I'd have a boy first, but certainly would not has been disappointed if Aiden had been a girl. I have an awesome older brother that any girl would be lucky to have. I do also have 2 older sisters that I wouldn't trade for anything. The oldest sibling is a girl who was at times more of a mom to me than my own mother. Maybe what I'm trying to say is, I was blessed to have 2 amazing older sisters and a great older brother, all of whom would do anything for me. Congrats on your first being a girl! They are a ton of fun!

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