ICYMI… we announced The Confused Baby's gender on the podcast the other week!
We were taking bets on this photo on my Instagram feed where the majority of you thought baby was a girl… but then I polled y'all on my Insta-story and the majority thought baby was a boy… and well that basically describes exactly how our own guesses went throughout this pregnancy journey!
The Confused Baby is a…
Don't want to read?
You can listen to our gender reveal and a baby Q&A where we answer your questions here:
Honestly, we were both utterly shocked and not shocked.
If you listened to the podcast episode, you know that E and I both had visions of our future children. We sort of always knew we'd have two kids intuitively, and then a reiki master told us that our two children's spirits were with us already. A concept that I later learned more about in the book Spirit Babies (highly recommend if you are thinking about having kids! Or if you've miscarried, given a baby up for adoption, are struggling to get pregnant, and so on).
When our children (one boy and one girl) came to us in these visions in early 2018 we were both SO excited, but didn't think they would actually come through for another year. At the time, we both thought the girl was coming first. She seems like the older child, a real badass go getter haha!
So then I actually got pregnant and initially I totally thought the baby was a girl. I decided to start communicating with the baby through my pendulum (a spiritual tool you can use to connect with the spirit world). Only at the time, I hadn't gotten to the part of the Spirit Babies book yet where it explains that once a baby enters the mother's body and begins to grow a physical form, it's actually harder to communicate with the baby's spirit. So I kept asking the baby all these questions and getting answers:
Are you a girl? No
Are you a boy? Yes
Do you like this name? No
Do you like that name? Yes
Should I eat a salad for lunch? Yes
Should I eat a burger? No
On top of getting all these responses, I had all the “boy” old wives tales: carrying low at first, dry skin, craving salty foods, etc. So I was CONVINCED that my initial intuition was wrong and that the boy decided to come first… Only I later realized that I was definitely talking to baby boy's spirit and hadn't clarified that I wanted to talk to the baby who is growing inside of me's spirit!
So when I got a call from my doctor's office following up about blood work I had asked about, she told me everything looked good and… that she had the baby's gender… did I want to know?!?
OBVIOUSLY I WANT TO KNOW!!!
I didn't even know that blood work test at 10 weeks could reveal the baby's gender!! WHAT?!?! So when she told me baby is a girl I FREAKED OUT.
How I Actually Feel About Having A Daughter:
Learning the baby is a girl left me feeling both over the moon excited and also crushed a little with fear and anxiety.
You see… I really wanted a girl (well I really want a healthy baby and both genders haha). And I always knew I was destined to be a girl mom… but I had gotten really used to the idea of having a boy first. Like it took some of the pressure off over weird family dynamics? My grandmother and mother have had a strained relationship – often not talking for years throughout my life. And then my mother and I have essentially ended up with the same relationship since my 20s began.
Internally I've felt this pressure about breaking the cycle my entire life. My mother even grew up saying “you take the good from your parents and get rid of the bad” and I think most of us who grew up in difficult family systems have heard the idea of “breaking the cycle.” I think the cycle has a little extra pressure for same-sex parent relationships. When I found out the baby is a girl, that pressure kicked up ten fold inside of me.
Is my daughter not going to talk with me for 5+ years at a time? Will I get to go to her wedding and be there for her big milestones? Will she feel supported and heard? Will she inherit all of the pain from the maternal line of our family too?
Are just a few of the thoughts that started cycling through my head. I found out the gender before telling my mom I was pregnant… and let's just say that it was a tough experience. She didn't say anything overtly rude – but it didn't feel supportive. For instance, weeks later she didn't even remember big parts of the conversation. Which actually didn't surprise me that much since it seemed she was more focused on telling me what to do about a birth plan than actually being present in the moment and listening. I'm not saying that from a place of blame, but just stating the facts of my experience. I left there and cried. Sure, I could give myself those old band-aid statements like, “it could've gone worse!” But the truth is, I left there and cried because I realized for the millionth time, she doesn't hear me when I talk. Something I pray for every day is that my daughter and I will have a relationship built on unconditional love, respect, and the desire to always seek to understand one another.
The Role Of The Grandparent:
Afterwards, I spent the next week researching and reading about the role of the grandparent. The consensus generally boiled down to “a person there to support the parent.” It finally struck me why telling her felt so rejecting – because that's the exact opposite of what it felt like unfolded. And then it was as if one of my biggest fears in having kids was realized in that moment and appeared to be confirmed: she spent these past 6-12 months biting her tongue in my life to get to a grandchild, not to heal the family system and build a relationship with me. Sure, grandparents get to indulge and have fun with the kids – tapping into a child's joy is one of the greatest gifts (I can assume) of being a grandparent. However, I think there's a line as to whether or not their actions are supporting the family values or hurting them. Especially since most children learn to model the behavior of their parents. You can speak all the wonderful words in the world, but if you don't show them what it looks like, those words will fall on deaf ears.
The events that unfolded in the weeks leading up to telling my mom that I was pregnant, and those that followed after telling her, it became exceedingly clear that she doesn't know how to support me and E in the way we need. I tried having a conversation with her about it, but she was unreceptive to working towards a solution and ultimately hung up the call on me.
Before E and I ever got pregnant, when my mother and I wouldn't talk, I'd always hear from people how you can't rob a grandchild of a grandparent. I'd hear it over and over and it always frustrated me because I felt like there was no reasoning behind it – just an entitlement of a birth right. So I decided to put Preston Smiles wisdom into practice, “all your questions should be answered, and all of your answers should be questioned.”
I spent the next few weeks asking everyone:
How do you break the cycle of ancestral wounds?
Why do they think a grandparent has a right to their grandchildren?
What the role of a grandparent is?
When is toxic, toxic enough to say you can't come around?
Here's Where I'm At With The Grandparent-Parent Relationship:
A grandparent's role is still to support the parent's decisions, values, and parenting style. Many gave me book suggestions or things to read about breaking the cycle. Ultimately breaking the cycle comes down to us taking responsibility for our own healing and knowing that isn't a “one and done” process. It'll keep coming up and evolving as we move through life.
It's a parents job to come up with the values for their family. For us, that means learning emotional intelligence. Both E and I didn't learn this at home. For E, he watched his mom endure the abuse from her mom and cope by stuffing it inside, pretending everything was okay, and people pleasing. In turn, he modeled that people pleasing in his own way and stuffed everything inside of him (seriously, he was like 100 lbs heavier and a addicted to drugs only a few years before we started dating and he started healing himself). He became the ultimate people pleaser and harmed himself in so many ways from that learned behavior because he watched his mom just stuff everything her mom handed at her.
For me, I did all of that too, but I also got angry in the process. Becoming the ultimate rebel with a venomous tongue and glare. Passive aggressiveness and a victim mentality were the only ways I knew how to communicate for years (and it still comes up trust me, but not to level it once did) – again, learned behavior from watching my mother with hers. Now we are both unbelievably grateful to our parents, and know they both did the best they could. I only share that to make a point that children model the behavior that's shown to them. The parents aren't to blame or scapegoat what the child does with that learned behavior, but that's where it came from. It's the child's responsibility to take those experiences, reflect, learn, and grow. E and I have more emotional intelligence, experience, and reflection under our belts than our parents did, so it's our turn to do better than they did since we have more tools.
No one explained emotions to us or healthy coping mechanisms. So for us, the ultimate way to break the cycle is to teach those skills. We know that no child grows up unscathed from their parents, but we believe this is what was greatly missed in our own families.
So it's actually okay if a grandparent upsets us or hurts us – that's human nature. But for us, what matters is how we model working through that for our children. And to date, my mother isn't willing to work through those things. I explained this all to her and she jumped back into her usual “what did I do to you? Tell me tit for tat every details so I can tell you what you did to me. And I'm just a horrible mother. Hangs up the phone.” That's okay, that's her choice. I'm not saying she can't be in her grandchildren's lives, but I am saying until she can begin to engage in healthy, healing communication I won't model that for my own children and fall back into those old patterns that were modeled for me.
How We Feel Today About Having A Daughter:
Happy! Excited! Ecstatic! I'm beyond excited to be a girl mom. Plus the baby is literally my Saturn Return baby. The month we conceived her, Saturn was 2 degrees away from going direct in my chart, and we were given two due dates from doctors, and there's a three day span between the two where Saturn is at 0 degrees (fully returned) to where it was when I was born. So basically the baby and I are going to have the same Saturn Return (learn more about that here), down to the degree, or within a few degrees. Meaning we have the same karmic lessons in our lives to learn. We will be each other's greatest teacher and student, which I'm both overly excited and humbled by. Plus we have opposite sun signs, which is a relationship historically marked as a great teacher in our lives (and also as one that can have a lot of friction). Every day I pray for our relationship to be filled with unconditional love, mutual respect, and a desire to always seek to understand one another. I know it won't always be easy and we have a lot to teach one another, but honestly that just excites me beyond words can express.
You can listen to even more in this episode of The Confused Millennial Podcast where we answer many of your questions: