She's not the only one. People don't congratulate me anymore with this third baby. While I don't feel the need to be congratulated, I don't need to see the looks of incredulity either. When they find out that it's not only my third, but that it's another boy, they all look disappointed, like I failed them for not making a girl. They say, strangely, "A boy again? But I wanted a girl!" They say in a matter-of-fact tone, "So you'll try again? Because you want a girl, of course," because of course a third boy must've been a massive disappointment.
These days, I just say thanks for the old things people donate then I quietly give them away to charity. There are no new things for my third boy, no showers, no gifts, no excitement. On one hand, I'm glad because I like to do my own shopping, but on the other hand, I feel sad that Baby Chicken isn't as anticipated. People say things like, "How is Vito handling it?" or "Poor Iñigo, he'll be a middle child!" or "Shouldn't you go look for work?"
Well, Vito's excited. Iñigo will be fine since I'm a middle child and I'm fantastic. And, guys, my husband and I are not kids anymore. We're old. We have money in the bank and investments and life insurance policies. And we do have work. We just work at home.
|Mother of men, that's me!|
Sometimes I feel I'm being defensive, like I have to defend my being pregnant, like I have to apologize for having another child. I'm quiet about this pregnancy as a result, because people don't seem to be happy about it, like they're the ones who are carrying this baby while taking care of a preschooler and a toddler and a house, like they're the ones putting away money for my kids' future, like they're the ones stuck at home raising my boys. I don't know why people dump their fears on me.
The fact is Vince and I wanted this third baby. We may have discussed gender but all we really wanted was another baby, no matter what genitals it came with. I want a fourth baby actually but Vince joked he wants his wife back. We made a decision based on our longing for more children, on our current lifestyle and earning capacity. Oh, we do get tired and exasperated having these demanding boys in our life! But we are also beyond happy. So much joy and gratitude that the boys are ours and that we can give them a good life, a really good life! And now our happiness will be threefold! How crazy lucky are we?!
So I don't want to be made to feel guilty for having another child. I don't want to defend our decision. I don't want to be made to feel shame for something we wanted and we prepared for. And yet, sometimes when I review my Facebook updates, I see my defensiveness, my barely concealed anger at those who tell me they feel disappointed I'm having another boy, that Vince and I should look for jobs because there are now three mouths to feed. I don't want to care but I do—oh how I do!—because this baby means just as much to me as my other two children, and I don't understand why people don't want him and I don't understand why people need to tell me that. Yet I am cowed into submission. I don't talk about the pregnancy so much, I downplay my joy, I talk about Vito and Iñigo more because they're more interesting to people.
At night, when I feel Baby Chicken kicking away in my tummy when everyone's asleep and the world is dark and quiet and it's just him and me, I feel bad for him, that he isn't as celebrated as his brothers were, that his welcome to this life isn't as warm. And I promise him, "No hand-me-downs for you. Everything new for you! I'll love you so much! Don't mind what that old lady in the canteen said. Your Papa and I wanted you from the very start. Don't mind what those people said. We love that you're a boy! Don't mind anything. We're not disappointed! We're ready for you and we love you no less! If no one else will love you, your Papa and I and your older brothers will."
I'll make up for it, my youngest boy. I will.
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