real life

"No tiaras. No tutus. The daughter I will never have."

I never had any doubt about wanting children.

As a little girl I would cradle my freakishly life-like porcelain doll, rock her to sleep and imagine one day being a Mum.

I’ve always been a massive ‘girly girl’. My Barbie collection was epic. Not only did I have the entire Barbie and the Rockers get-up (all band members plus stage, tour bus and instruments), I had Hawaiian Barbie, Ken and Skipper along with a custom Barbie beach buggie and a random Barbie horse on wheels.

Despite being pigeon-toed, I donned a pink leotard for ballet classes and stored my enviable hair accessories collection in a tin covered in Rainbow Brite and Strawberry Shortcake stickers.

So it’s no surprise that in all of my imaginings, I would one day have a daughter who loved My Little Ponys and shared my ethos of ‘more is more’ when it comes to tulle, bows and sequins.

When I met my husband my desire for kids grew even stronger.

"As a girlie girl, I always thought I would have a tutu-loving daughter."

It was only when I saw him rough-housing his nephew that I started to think how great it would be for us to have a son. You see my husband is half-bogan – he loves footy, car-racing, Melbourne Bitter longnecks and is disturbingly attached to his Bali Bintang singlet and knee high custom made ugg boots.

Yes, I know I am gender-stereotyping. Some girls dedication to the V8s sees them camping out on the hill at Bathurst and happily delivering their AGB in toilet blocks that smell like fermented faeces, but if a girl had half my DNA, her penchant for UDLs, arm tatts and polyester would be severely compromised.

So post-marriage my new baby dream was to have the perfect pigeon pair – a boy that could help my husband wax his 1964 EH Holden, and a girl that would happily elbow any rivals in pursuit of a pair of Sass and Bide jeans at the Boxing Day sales.

"There is no pink in my house."

We were half way there when I delivered our gorgeous Maxwell in January 2013. When he arrived in all of his magnificent, howling glory, we were overjoyed. As the months rolled on I discovered that I loved being a ‘boy mama’ – Max’s increasingly adventurous and fearless spirit entertained me more and more every day and I found the boys clothing selection surprisingly cute and varied. He became my little mischievous prince with the most affectionate and loving nature.

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In late 2013, we got the shock of our lives when I found out I was expecting again. Lach was convinced we were having a girl but I was 75% sure from day dot that another little mister was on the way. At our 20-week ultrasound my intuition was confirmed.

Was there a feeling of disappointment when the technician pointed to a doodle? Yes, but it had nothing to do with not wanting another boy and everything to do with mourning the daughter we will never have.

I gave myself a few hours to let her go and face those feelings that we are never allowed to admit to for fear of being labeled unappreciative. I thought about the ballet lessons I will never take her to, the curls I will never brush and braid and the formal dress I will never help her pick. Then, after saying goodbye to my little ‘Eva’ (she was going to be named after my maternal grandmother), I focused on the beautiful little soul in my belly and I started to feel excited about all the adventures we would face together.

"I said goodbye to tutus and pig tails."

I also thought about how lucky we are to have conceived two magnificent boys naturally despite being given only a 5-10% chance. I thought about all the people struggling to conceive and all the women who desperately want children but whose life stories have veered in a different direction. And I thought of all the joy my Maxi Moo had brought me over the previous year and a bit.

When Hugo arrived earlier this year, I couldn’t imagine wanting anything other than another little man to love. Every week a stranger or a friend says, “You’ll have to have a third, go for the girl!” and I smile and say, “No, we are done. I am incredibly happy with my two boys.”

And I mean it.

Do you have children all of the same gender? Did you morn the "loss" of not having both genders?

Want more? Try:

“The day I realised I was no longer the woman my husband wanted.”

The truth about running after having a baby.

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