Thursday, September 4, 2014

oh boy

so...we are having a boy.

i'm still trying to wrap my mind around the concept.  it is so completely foreign to me because i only know what it's like to have a daughter.  also, i must admit that i would've been perfectly happy and content having only girls.  i've never needed or hoped for a boy the way i know some people do.  in fact, i was really excited about the possibility of ellery having a little sister so close in age, and didn't realize how much i was counting on that until our twenty-week ultrasound.  the technician was super friendly and fun, and quickly found the baby's undercarriage at the onset of the ultrasound so that we could know immediately.  i easily saw something there that wasn't there in ellery's ultrasound, and was in a bit of denial.  i kept thinking, what's that doing there?  girls aren't supposed to have those.  i can't be having a boy.  i'm having a boy?

i know some of you (my husband), think this is terrible, to hope for one gender over another.  but for centuries, and in many cultures, baby boys were (and maybe still are, in some places) considered far more valuable than baby girls, and girls were often unwanted and resented.  so this is just my little way of making up for all of that unfairness, saying that girls are just as valuable and amazing and fun and wonderful as boys!  (look at me being a little feminist.)

i'm sure that if we did lots of studies and analysis, we'd figure out why some people hope for one sex over another when it comes to their children.  certainly in ages past, people hoped for boys because women had far fewer rights and were considered lesser human beings.  now that we aren't quite so ignorant, it's interesting that we still have preferences.  i think mine comes down to the fact that i fear what i do not understand.  and i do not understand boys.  i'm married to one, and i am still frequently confused by the way he thinks and does things and communicates.  i know lots of girls are tomboys, or have mostly male friends.  i've always preferred dresses and dancing to sports, the thought of hunting or fishing makes me feel nauseated, and i've always had a plethora of wonderful girlfriends.  i totally get girls.  and i think being mama to a little girl is just about the best thing there is.  i just don't get boys.  and because of that, i really doubt my abilities in mothering a son.

what will i do with him if he decides to play football?  what if he has no interest in music?  i have a hard time with the thought of allowing any of my children to kill animals for sport, but if sam wants to take our son hunting, there will be little i can do to stop him.  of course, all of these are gender assumptions and stereotypes that may or may not be true of our little guy.  sam and i have joked that ellery will be the athletic one, and perhaps our son will be more interested in music and literature, like me.  my hope is that he'll be like his dad, a renaissance man of sorts, who is a skilled athlete in addition to being a talented musician.

but obviously God knows what i can handle, and apparently believes i can handle a boy.  either that or God wants me to depend on Him a bit more, and knows that by giving me a son i'll be constantly in prayer.  that seems like the more likely scenario to me.  ha ha.

i know once this little guy arrives, i'll be completely smitten and wonder what i was so worried about.  but for now, these are my thoughts, the things keeping me up at night.

it will also help once we have a name for this little dude.  seriously, picking a boy name is so much harder than picking a girl name.  it doesn't help that i have lots of quirky things that make me not want certain names.  i love names that end in "s", but they sound like they run together with swenson a little too much.  or names that end in "n" such as tyson.  tyson swenson just sounds like too much "n" to me.  and there are lots of cute boy names that end in that sound!  i'm also really particular about the name having a great meaning.  ellery's name means "bringer of joy" and i truly believe that accurately represents her.  i think a person's name can be so important, and whatever we name this little guy is the first thing we will be speaking over him about himself.  (i know this sounds crazy to some people, but i'm just big on the meanings of names.)

some people assume that because we named our daughter ellery, we want a unique name, but that doesn't matter to me.  we just picked ellery because we loved it.  i would have no problem naming our son something classic, but i just don't want him to be one of four people in his class with the same name.  i was the registrar for a camp, and saw hundreds of children's names come in on registrations.  and let me tell you, there were a lot of girls born in the early 2000s with "M" names.  i can't tell you how many mackenzies, madisons, and makaylas there were in 4th-6th grade in 2010.  i actually love hearing about other girls named ellery, because it just means her parents have great taste, but i hope she never has to go by "ellery S." because there are multiple people named ellery in her class.  don't ask me why this matters to me, it just does!  so as you can see, all my ridiculous name hang-ups make it rather difficult to find a name sam and i can agree on.

any name ideas, people?  send them over!

also, i'd better add a disclaimer...i am beyond thrilled to be having another baby, and feel so blessed to be carrying a healthy baby boy.  i hope i don't come across as complaining, because i realize some people may think that's what i'm doing.  i'm really just trying to be honest because i've been feeling guilty that i wasn't more excited about a boy.  and i can't be the only one who has ever hoped for one sex and gotten another, right?  i guess i just wanted to write about it so that if there are others out there, you know i've been there too.  and i can't wait to write a post after this little guy is born about how much i love having a little boy, because i have very little doubt that he will woo me with his sweetness and cuddles.  i'm so happy that i'll have the experience of having a daughter and a son!


  1. So I finally figured out how to subscribe to your blog so that I can get new ones in my email, whoo! :) It completely makes sense to feel wary about raising a gender that you don't easily identify with, but I think that it could bring you and Sam even closer together because as the kids grow and change, you will each get to see each other's strengths in areas in which you yourself are weak. I know I always admire James more when I get to see that.

    For my next order of business, HOW ARE YOU EVEN CONFUSED ABOUT A NAME?! You said you like names that end in "n"... it's time to officially christen little Benson Jenson Swenson!DUH! ;)

  2. I felt nervous about having a boy too. I still ask Jared for boy advice a lot... like "is this normal? is that normal? were you like this? what would a little boy do/think, etc."

    I can't speak for every little boy, but Jack is pure, non-stop energy, crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy, but filled with joy and oh so sweet. I have never been so exhausted in my entire life, but I have never felt this sweet love either. It's such an interesting combination of exhaustion and love. Ha!

    I sometimes wonder if little boys with big sisters are more mellow because they have an older sister to look up to, whereas Jack doesn't have that. I don't know. So maybe baby boy Swenson will not be as crazy, energetic as Jack is?

    I have a hard time with boy names too, but mainly because Jared and I like different names. I'm actually glad our 2nd baby is a girl because the only boy name we both like is Jack. Ha!

    If we make it through ok with baby #2, then I'm pretty sure we will be done having kids, but if for some reason we do have another and it's a boy, these are some of the names I really like and will be persuading Jared to sign on to: Josiah, Henry, Charlie, Elijah, Max, Oliver, Elliot... I can't remember all of the names Jared liked but I do remember him liking Wesley (Wes) and James.

    I don't know if any of those help ya, but I'm sure whatever name you guys land on will be perfect for your sweet baby boy. Good luck! :)