thoughts on becoming a boy mom

baby earl's gender reveal at 15 weeks

I thought I’d be devastated to find out we were having a boy. Like go into a major depression, need to take a mental health day off from work kind of devastated. A bit hyperbolic? Yes, but that’s truly how I felt. I really wanted a girl and thought for sure that was what we were having.

Dale and I have both had individual and together experiences that led us to believe we would have a daughter together one day. So you can imagine my surprise when at our 15 week ultrasound appointment they could already tell we were having a boy.

The tech doing my ultrasound that day asked us if we knew what we were having. We said no but that we wanted to know if they could tell us. Next she goes, “Ok, well so that right there is what I like to call the third leg.” Dale immediately knew what she meant while I lied there completely unaware.

Inside I was thinking, “What? Is the baby ok? What does she mean a third leg?” Sensing my confusion from the perplexed look on my face, the tech finally said, “It’s a boy! You’re having a boy.” I looked at Dale in utter disbelief. “We’re having a boy? It’s a boy?” I said. “I thought we were having a girl. Oh my goodness. Wow, it’s really a boy?”

I remained in shock as the tech continued with the ultrasound pointing out all of our little guy’s developing parts. As the reality began to set in, I was surprised by my excitement and lack of devastation. I didn’t feel sad. I felt happy. We’re having a boy!

me and baby boy on december 22, 2019

Prior to finding out the gender, I felt like I knew the spirit of our potential little girl. I realized I was afraid of having a boy because I didn't feel connected to him in the same way. Who is this little boy that's growing inside me?

Feeling disconnected to our little dude has changed dramatically since that 15 week ultrasound. It's nice to be able to call him by his name instead of just "Baby Earl". I talk to him as he wiggles around in my belly and talk to Zoey about having a little brother. Aiden and Brennan were also very excited to learn that they're going to have a baby brother instead of a baby sister.

Slowly but surely we're starting to get his nursery setup and my mind has been running wild with decor ideas. We've settled on a Star Wars theme and I couldn't be more delighted to be decorating a boy room. I've started gathering baby clothes from an awesome local thrift store called Other Mothers. Little girl clothes do nothing for me anymore. It's funny how quickly your perspective can change.

my amazing stepsons brennan & aiden on their 6th birthday

As of yesterday, I'm 20 weeks which means we're halfway to meeting this little guy. I know the next few months are going to fly by but also probably feel very long at the same time. Thinking about becoming a boy mom I'm impressed by so many different things in my life that have prepared me for this role.

When I became a stepmom three years ago, it was to the two sweetest little boys I could ever imagine. Over the past few years I've learned how to connect with them and relish in all things superheroes, legos, and Star Wars. While I missed the baby stage with them, from the time they were 3-years-old I've been able to participate in their development and growth.

In my early twenties finishing college and working in Salt Lake City, my cousin Mandi and her family were my second home. I had the opportunity to be "Rissy" to my cousins Isaac and Alex (who are now so grown-up I can hardly believe it). Watching Mandi and interacting with her boys taught me so much about how to be a good mom. Who would have thought that when the time came to bring my firstborn into this world he would be a boy too?

me and my sweet cousin Alex in 2011

2020 is already a year like any other in my 32 years on this earth. Everything in our life is going to change once this little guy arrives. I'm excited and terrified at the same time. Amidst all the fear and anxiety, I do know one thing--I was meant to be this baby boy's mom and I can hardly wait to meet him.

finding out about baby earl

(I wrote this post on Thursday, September 19, one day after we found out I was pregnant)

Yesterday morning I was terrified to pee on that stick. Well, I don't really pee on it because it's easier to pee in a cup and then dip but I digress. I got up with Dale knowing it was time. I went to the other bathroom with my supplies and proceeded to take a pregnancy test.

I covered the stick up with the instructions while I waited the 3 minutes shaking as I sat on the toilet. In 3 minutes I would meet the inevitable fork in the road to growing our family. One side would lead to more tests, drugs, procedures, and struggles to make our baby. The other side would lead to a new chapter of being pregnant and growing our long awaited baby.

My 3 minutes were up. It was time to find out where the road was taking us next.

navigating infertility and the journey to growing our family

Tomorrow we’re taking a big step on our journey to grow our family. It will be our first attempt at IUI. This past month I've been stressed and nervous working to get to this point. But now I feel full of hope and excitement. I know we’re getting closer to meeting our future baby.

This journey to grow our family has been much longer and filled with road bumps that I never anticipated. I thought we’d get pregnant within the first year of being married. Isn’t that what happens when you don’t use birth control and don't have a family history of infertility?

One of the last texts I have saved from my mom is her comforting me after taking another negative pregnancy test. I've peed on countless sticks all with the same result--no baby in my belly. To better prepare by body and future baby, I spent a year transitioning my antidepressants to a safer medication. Last summer we got the thumbs up from my doctor to start seriously trying and then two months later mom died.

surviving my first mother's day without mom

the last picture of me and mom together

As a stepmom, Mother's Day is already a complicated holiday for me. Then you add the tragic loss of my mother 10 months ago combined with our continuing struggle to get pregnant and the day quickly became an emotionally explosive trifecta.

Mother's Day Weekend my emotions were on a twisting roller coaster of highs and lows. On Saturday I was overcome by despair and self-pity. By the time we got home from visiting the boys in Farmington, seething rage mixed with numb indifference clouded my mind and engulfed my body. Unsure how to help myself and wanting to be alone, I took a shower and let the water poor over me for 20+ minutes.

I sat on the floor of the tub and cried. I wanted to cry more than I could actually let out. The desire to wail and lose complete control welled up inside but I couldn’t surrender. It hurt too much. Like a crying baby, I let enough out so I could at least fall sleep.

10 affordable plus-size tops for spring under $30

Things have gotten a little gloomy over here in my corner of the internet. So much of my blog has been devoted to processing my mom's death. While that's been extremely helpful for me (and I know will continue...sorry not sorry), I'm going to switch things up and talk about a bit lighter subject today. Shopping (and of course body image because this post can't be too light)!

I've followed Natalie Borton and Caitlin Kruse on Instagram for years. I love both of their personal styles and weekly try-ons via Instagram stories. However, both of these lovely ladies have very different body shapes than my own. So I've been on the hunt for some additional style inspiration from bloggers who are size 12 or above.

I'm happy to report that through Natalie and Caitlin's Instagram try-on sessions, I've found some fabulous (new to me) fashion bloggers in my size range! Three of my favorites include: Rebecca from Mommy in Heels, Ashley Dorough, and Maddy Gutierrez. I'm grateful that brands and bloggers are becoming more size inclusive. Every body deserves to be loved and celebrated.

thank you for needing me

Neither of us is good at waiting. Patience is certainly not our strong suit. I admit I kinda love that about you. It makes me feel understood in some strange, meaningful way.

As I sit here trying to work on a freelance assignment while you nudge my arm asking for loves, I can't help but be grateful that you need me. You could be sleeping on the couch in the living room with dad but instead you're lying on the hardwood floor next to my desk chair.

I'm in a waiting period. I have been since shortly after we got you. I know it won't always be just you, me, and daddy. One day we will be blessed with the human sister we all talk about so much. She will become your new best friend.