It's like a right of passage getting to announce your baby's gender.
Go on pinterest and type in gender reveal and you'll be bombarded with ideas.
It's something that we've had fun with over the years and have always looked forward to.
But here is my confession.
I don't want to tell you my baby's gender.
Pregnancy after loss is different.
It's not that I'm disappointed.
It's not that I was hoping for a different gender.
It's not that I'm ashamed.
It's not that I'm keeping it a secret.
It's not even that I'm waiting to tell you with some great fanfare.
I'll be honest.
The reason I don't want to tell you my baby's gender is because I'm afraid of the comments you might make and my heart feels fragile right now.
I have already had some very hurtful comments said to me and I just can't take many more before I break.
I know you don't mean to hurt me.
I'm sure you didn't even realize that what you have said stung worse than salt in an open wound.
I'm sure the majority of you will even say sweet beautiful kind words that would make my heart full of joy. Isn't it always the few that ruin it for the many?
You see right now I'm struggling with knowing that Zoe should be in my arms.
My boys should be loving on their little sister, kissing her forehead, touching her skin, smelling her sweet baby smell, not kissing my belly and talking to the baby currently kicking and punching me.
At the very same moment I think of what life would have been like with Zoe I think of how much I would be missing with this sweet baby.
My heart is full and empty all at the same time.
I so desperately want both of my babies but that's now how this works.
If I had Zoe right now in my arms then this baby never would have been.
As much as I love and want them both it just doesn't work that way.
That's the thing ya'll...
I have four children.
I have four children but I don't get to hold them all in my arms.
I love every single one of them equally yet differently.
I still have the desire to parent every one of my kids even though one is gone.
The baby I am pregnant with is not a replacement for the one we lost.
I will carry Zoe within my heart all of the days of my life.
I'm now 30 weeks along in my pregnancy with 4.0 and I still cringe every time someone asks me what I'm having. For a few horrible seconds I fight with myself if I feel up to telling them the gender. I question if I feel strong enough right then to deal with whatever reaction they give based on my answer.
Pregnancy loss robs so much from you.
More than just the obvious of the child who is not in your arms.
It steals your joy, your excitement, your innocence.
It changes the way you speak to other expecting moms because you know that not every pregnancy has a happy ending of a baby coming home from the hospital with you.
Loss is so unfair.
So there you have it.
That is why I don't want to tell you that baby 4.0 is a girl.
Because I'm not strong enough for the possible reaction and response you may give me.
How I must be so thrilled to "Finally have a girl after two boys." or how much more fun girls are to dress than boys. How I must be lying when I tell you that my husband and I didn't care if 4.0 was a girl or boy and that we just wanted a healthy baby. How we can finally be done having kids since we'll have both genders.
I have four babies. I have two boys and two girls.
I love all of them and wish there was a way for me to hug, kiss, and hold all of them.
But life doesn't work that way. Life isn't fair.
Some day I'll get to hold Zoe in heaven but for now I have to hold her in my heart.
For now I hold her big brothers in my arms and little sister in my womb.