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Having a Baby Girl

Tom - April 28, 2007

A week ago today, my wife and I brought home from the hospital our beautiful new daughter, Vanessa Marie. Since then we and our two boys, Ethan (5) and Caleb (3.5), have been adjusting to the big changes in our lives. Ethan enthusiastically embraced the idea of having a new baby sister. He just has a few complaints: he didn’t get to see how Vanessa came out of mommy’s tummy like he wanted to, the baby sleeps too much, and it will be a long time before he can teach her how to play video games. Caleb is a little less interested, but he finally did ask to help feed her a bottle like his big brother has been doing.

Of course, I’m very excited to have a baby girl. For some reason I just couldn’t see my family as complete without children of both genders. I’m sure life would be fine with all boys or all girls, and I probably wouldn’t end up feeling like something was missing if that’s how it turned out, but I’m glad I have a girl. Now, if we have more kids, we don’t have to stress about the gender.

My mind has been full as I contemplate what this new life means and as I dream about her future, excited for all of its opportunities and wary of all its challenges. I don’t know if I expected it to be different, but for the most part I find that the internal dialogue I’m having as we welcome this baby girl has been the same as with the boys. The same hopes and fears have occupied my mind then and now. There are a lot of things I want for my children’s lives, but there are a few things that overshadow the rest:
–Most of all I want them to always feel loved by me and their mother and by God.
–I want them to have their own happy families.
–I want them to learn to love as Christ loves and develop their characters to become like His.

The fears that worry me are directly related to these hopes. Each of my children will have to overcome unique obstacles if these things are going to happen and I think the particular obstacles that they face will depend very much on their own unique character attributes and flaws. However, there are a few general fears that loom large:
–That all the noise and mess of the world will get in the way of their seeing and doing what is truly important and their developing faith.
–That they won’t find supportive friends outside the family.
–That their dad will be inadequate to the task of showing them love and leading them by example.

Overall, I have more hope than fear. I’d say my kids have a decent shot: they have devoted parents who try hard; they have a large, loving, and supportive extended family; they likely won’t have to suffer through poverty (if their dad ever gets a job); and they have the Gospel.

One other thing that has been on my mind is a deep gratitude that my wife was willing to go through all that pregnancy and delivery entail in order to bring this new life into our family. All mothers who take upon themselves this arduous task are to be thanked and commended, but I think my wife deserves special commendation, as she’s a petite 5’4″, I’m a big 6’4″, Caleb was a ten-pounder, and she went through with another pregnancy anyways, knowing that this one could be bigger, which she was. Vanessa was 10 lbs., 2 oz. Give that momma a medal! And word to my own momma. Love ya.

Most of all, thanks to God for letting us participate in this miracle.


  1. Congrats!!(and a big WOW on the size of the baby and your wife’s courage)

    Just a couple of weeks and we will bring our (much smaller) baby girl into the world. Our plan is to have the children there to witness the miracle, so my 5 year old can sympathize with Ethan’s desire/complaint.

    Comment by Téa — April 28, 2007 @ 7:14 pm

  2. Congratulations. We had our second little girl on the 10th of this month, and are finally beginning to realize nothing will ever be the same again.

    Comment by Aladin — April 28, 2007 @ 8:03 pm

  3. Beautifully said, Tom, and Congratulations!

    We have some big babies, too, but our largest was 9lbs 11 oz. so I’ve got nothin’ on your wife!

    We had our fourth child (2nd boy) not too long ago, and I’ll tell you, the gratitude and love is the same, but so is the worry about the future. I think I’m doomed to be forever worried for the welfare of my children. How can I not?

    Comment by Cheryl — April 28, 2007 @ 8:56 pm

  4. Congrats on all the new babies! It’s so exciting.

    Ethan didn’t tell me that he wanted to see how the baby came out until he came to the hospital to visit his sister. If he had spoken up earlier we might’ve considered having him present, but probably not, mostly because it’d easier not to. That’ll be cool for your kids. I told him we’d get a video when he’s a little older.

    I think one of the hardest things to adjust to when you add a kid is that it becomes so much harder for the family to go anywhere, and it becomes especially difficult for one parent alone to lug the kids about. Now that the two boys are bigger, it’s been easier to go places and do things. We’ve been able to take the kids to the store or to the park and all play tennis together without too much problem. Now everything gets complicated again.

    A litte worry is good. Keeps you on your toes.

    Comment by Tom — April 28, 2007 @ 10:04 pm

  5. Congratulations! Your wife is very brave. I think the smallest baby my grandmother had was 10 lbs, and she had them all at home. (Of course, it was the 1930′s, and who knows how accurate their scale was.)

    Comment by Susan M — April 29, 2007 @ 7:18 am

  6. Tom – Congrats! S showed me a picture and she’s lovely! I had big babies too (largest 10lb 9oz, but I am a little taller than S!)

    I can identify with your worries. I often wonder what the future will hold and how we can prepare our kids for this world. I don’t have any answers, but hope and pray that our faith/strength can help them through. Congrats again! Having a girl after 2 boys is great!

    Comment by Rebecca — April 29, 2007 @ 9:26 am

  7. Congrats man. Bubblegum cigars all the way around.

    Comment by Rusty — April 29, 2007 @ 8:14 pm

  8. Wow! I feel a special connection to you right away! We have two boys and just had a baby girl in January. Our oldest is an Ethan too (age 5) and Joseph or Joey (3.5–when the baby was born, he’s 4 now.) So it sounds like our families are VERY similar! Our baby girl is named Brooklyn Cynthia and Rusty is her uncle :P

    As a mom, your same thoughts of concern go through my head everyday but I try as hard as I can to focus on the hopes and dreams rather than the worries and concerns. I know that as long as I do my best, the Lord will help me with the rest. I REALLY try hard to focus on the moment. When my kids want me to come outside and watch them ride bikes, I do…even though there are dishes to be done, laundry to fold and dinner to make. I don’t want to be one of those mothers who have the regrets and say “If I had it to do over again I would’ve…” Of course we all have our hard mommy days but those pass and you just try to do better the next day.
    As far as having 3 kids now, well, it is harder to get around but worth it. I agree with you about the ‘both genders in our family.’ I adore watching my husband snuggle with our baby girl and I feel that every dad should have that opportunity.
    Both the boys simply ADORE their little sister and dote on her all the time! It’s fun to watch and I wonder what their relationship will be like when they get older.

    Congratulations on your new baby girl! If your wife needs someone to relate to that has recently been through similar things, tell her her call or email me. Rusty has my info. I’m sure we have a lot in common!!

    Comment by Angela — May 1, 2007 @ 6:22 pm

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