Louis was 4, Dylan 3, Ethan 1 and Jayden a couple of months...
I would always reply cheerfully, because as I've explained a number of times I was always certain I would have 4 boys. I felt extremely clucky from the age of about 21. After we were married, I let my husband know tentatively that I really wanted to have children. At that stage we were not in our own home so very wisely he suggested we wait a year or two. I was so looking forward to becoming a mother.
I have never had such a strong feeling in my life that I would have 4 boys. I don't think I could ever explain it, or where it came from. I just knew. (In saying that, my father and my husband were from families of all boys).
So as each of my first 3 boys came along I was overjoyed, it really was what I already expected would happen!
After Ethan (no.3) arrived we were struggling quite a bit, well, I was in particular! For 3 weeks he was sleeping beautifully and I felt I had time for my other boys and to kind of manage the home (now larger after a move to accommodate our growing family!) Then, it was like a switch was flicked. Our placid baby decided to scream and be unsettled for about 3 months!
I really can't even explain clearly how we came to be pregnant with Jayden (aside from the obvious). My cycle was all over the place and none of the dates seemed to add up.
When I took the pregnancy test and it came up positive I was in shock. I was too nervous to call Michael so I text messaged him! Can you imagine?? Lol...
He called me straight back and was so worried - how would we cope? 4 children aged 4 and under. Luckily as I mentioned we had just moved to a larger house (still quite small in today's standards) however we would need a new car and obviously the extra expenses of an another person in the family.
I remember thinking maybe it was a baby girl and that I just wasn't meant to have girls...maybe that's why I would lose it.
I also remember hoping with all of my heart and being that this baby would stay safe, would grow and be born and join our family more than anything in the world. I remember thinking this baby would be a miracle considering that we had decided not to have more and all of the dates of my cycle really just didn't add up no matter which way I looked at it!
As it was, my baby grew and developed just as normal. I was so blessed to give birth to a perfect little baby boy and to this day I believe Jayden was born for a lot of special reasons that I'll go into another day.
So, back to those people who look at me with pity and compassion. There was maybe a time when I was tired and overwhelmed and a small part of me enjoyed the "oh my goodness, how do you do it?"
However I've grown, and gained confidence in my mothering and in my ability to raise these 4 wonders. I've lost the idea of being a perfect parent and am happy to just be the best parent that I can be!
I don't need pity or compassion anymore, I'm doing just fine - amazing actually! Yes, we have trying days like everyone else but that's normal and just means we all have to step up our level of communication and connection as a family.
I love my 4 boys more than anything, they have such unique personalities and it is such a joy to watch them grow and develop.
Are there some things I'm missing out by not having a girl? Yes. That's ok though. Just like Mums of all girls would miss something not parenting boys. Or like families with a pigeon pair will miss out on the closeness of same gender siblings. Our journeys will be different, we all have different lessons to learn from our children. We will be challenged in different ways but ultimately any child we are graced with is just so special regardless of gender.
Honestly, my heart aches when I write about this. We must let our children know how much they are wanted and appreciated for who they are. Not just for their gender but for all of their funny quirks and humour and cleverness! How lucky WE are to have these babies join us in this life, how beautiful it is we get to nurture them and watch them grow. We get to love on them and help them learn and we get to learn a lot of life's lessons through them.
Yep, I love my boys. I wouldn't want my family any other way...