I’m the oldest of a combined eleven children (yes, you read that right!) from both parents and if God asked for my choice, I’d choose to have an older brother. Why, well I know I could not have an older sister because I doubt we’d get on much but an older brother always seemed like a good idea. He’s be my protector, he’d fight for me and he’d hurt any boy who dared break my heart, hahah (no, but seriously)!
Anyways, my wish to have an older brother was pretty impossible because let’s be honest, had my parents had me when they were teenagers so having older siblings could not happen because I was it! So why did I do? I wished for the next best thing and that was to have a son first. If God was listening, I figured I might as well ask Him although I was sure I’d be happy either way!
This was true until a month before I found out I was pregnant, I buried my 18 year old brother who was murdered in a knife crime. He had just turned 18 so evidently his death sent me in a dark place. Not just because of its untimeliness but also because he was 10 years younger than me. I couldn’t and still cannot fathom the idea of such a young life being lost. I sometimes feel guilty that I get to live and he will never get to be my age or older.
So when I found out a month after his death that I was pregnant, I saw it as a sign that this was God’s doing and that I would be having a boy…to compensate for my brother’s death somehow. Now that I think about it I understand how crazy it sounds but grieving does crazy things to a person and although I didn’t know it then, that was my way of trying to come to terms or make sense of his death.
I was so sure that I was having a boy that I completely disregarded the 50% possibility that it might actually be a girl. I started referring to my bump as he/him and if anyone asked if I knew what I was having, I’d pretty much say I think it’s a boy!
To further cement my belief, I would only search for boy baby names and eventually settled on the name that I knew for a fact I’d name my son when he was born. From then on, I started referring to the bump by its boy name!
Being as it was my first child and seeing as I ‘knew’ its gender, I wasn’t particularly bothered with finding out the baby’s gender but the hubby wanted to know so he could start buying clothes and stuff ( there was very little unisex colours for some reasons) and so I thought hey, for confirmation sake…why not!
My anomaly (and opportunity for a gender reveal) scan was at 21 weeks and unfortunately the baby didn’t want to open its legs so we were rebooked for another scan at 23 weeks because the sonologist ( I think that’s what they’re called) wasn’t able to check for everything at the time anyway.
We were back again two weeks later and for some reason I started feeling a bit nervous. I mean yes I believed I was having a boy but what if I wasn’t? Lo and below I was informed with a 90% certainty that I was having a GIRL! It hurts me to say this now but my heart completely sank. It wasn’t the news I was expected. Damn it, it wasn’t the news I wanted. I had just lost my brother and found out I was pregnant a month later so it could only be a boy because it was God giving me back what He had taken from me…..surely!
I hardly spoke again that day and later that evening, I cried like I’ve never ever cried before in my whole entire life. I cried because I finally realised I had to accept that my brother was gone and that he wasn’t coming back. Yes, he had only just turned 18 years and yes it was so unfair that he wasn’t given an opportunity to live a full life but he was gone and the baby boy that I was holding on to….in memory of him wasn’t actually a boy. How could God do this to me!!
I then cried some more because I felt guilty. Guilty because my now daughter might think that I wasn’t happy to be having her when God knows I was. I’d always known I’d be a mum and to have that come true was the biggest blessing of my life. I cried because I was acting entitled and ungrateful. Maybe I blamed God for not protecting my brother enough and therefore it was only right that He redeem Himself! I have spoken to the Man upstairs about this and asked for forgiveness since then, but at the time this was my thinking.
I remember telling my dad the news and he said he had a feeling all along I didn’t understand why he want just as upset but what he said to me changed my perspective completely. My dad told me that we are but souls and souls do not have a sexy/gender. God did just what I asked Him. He gave me a soul for the one that was lost and the truth is that He wasn’t obligated to do it. He didn’t have to bless me with such an enormous blessing but He did. From then on, I was just happy that I was having a healthy and happy baby.
I was also able to finally grieve my brother properly and accept what had happened. He wasn’t coming back but he’s a soul and souls never die and so he’s within and amongst us always.
More than anything now, I’m grateful that I get to raise a woman. A future wife and mother. I’m so fortunate to be entrusted with such a responsibility and yes I now want twin boys next ( I already put in my request with God) but it has nothing to do with my brother anymore and if God had other plans, I’d be just as happy as I am now. I love my daughter so much and I couldn’t imagine having any other way.