Laura’s Bump Day Blog, Week 12 – The Box (or, It’s a Boy)

By | 2017-04-24T18:14:09+00:00 April 24th, 2017|12weeks, Bump Day Blog|6 Comments

I have a box. A box that has stared at me for the last 3.5 years. A box that I just had to believe the universe wouldn’t let go unopened. A box labeled baby girl.

When I filled that box, I had just found out that my first rainbow was a boy. After I got done crying in the car, we began texting our family. My sister-in-law’s immediate (genius) response – go buy some cute boy things. Hang them up or fold them or put them away, but go buy some stuff. So, we did. That very afternoon, we went to Old Navy, bought a pile of baby boy things, and I took them home to the nursery and began sorting.

My first mini-me

To begin sorting meant emptying drawers that were full. Full of pink and purple and stripes and baby shower gifts and cloth diapers in easter pastels. Tiny dresses and leggings and enough Zulily orders to make me a shareholder. Outfits I had held up against my pregnant belly, laughing at how I had been dressing my mini-me.

But, alas. This one wouldn’t wear ruffled bottoms and tights with hearts and so away they went. Hand-me-downs from neighborhood moms went into one big box, ready to be shipped to a girlfriend having a little girl a few weeks after me. Gender neutral items, what little there was, back in the drawers. But one box – one box, I couldn’t part with. These were the first dresses I bought when I learned she was a girl, the nine-month sun dresses I bought for our annual family vacation. The Seahawks and Huskies onesies given by dear friends at her shower. The baby items my mom had carefully saved of mine, ready to be worn by her first grandchild.

So, the box was packed, taped shut, labeled Baby Girl. It was difficult to do but the thing that gave me hope was the feeling I would have when I got to open and unpack it again, some day. How could the universe take my precious daughter from me, the one we wanted so badly, that we knew was a girl from the day she was conceived, that we cried tears of joy at learning was a girl… how could the universe not give me that feeling again some day? So I put the box away and looked forward to that day, surrounded by my pile of baby boy clothes and making peace with the turn of events.

When we found out we were expecting this time, it was a complete surprise. But in that moment, my husband and I both said – girl. This is it – the universe surprised us with our girl. We knew it (or so we thought), deep in our hearts. And then the symptoms settled in – sicker than ever before, constant nausea, terrible skin, early insomnia. So much more like my first pregnancy that the next. I began looking at the ‘theories’ – the timing with which this little one was made. Where was she implanted. Yes, they’re just theories, but when you’re grasping at straws for reassurance, you’ll chase any theory you can find. But beyond coupling theories/wives tales with my debilitating symptoms, I just had to believe. I had to believe in the universe being better than taking my chance at a living daughter away. I had to believe that loss after loss after loss in my life meant I’d get my chance.

I was wrong.

When offered the chance to do the early genetic testing (due to the combination of our loss and my being one month from ‘advanced maternal age’ when this baby is due), we jumped on it. Knowing what a part of my bonding/healing/processing it is, I had to know. Lo and behold, during that slow-as-snails week while we waited for the results, I began feeling boy. I started telling my husband, honey, I’m getting really strong boy feels – but I didn’t know then if it was my head or my heart. Was I trying not to get my hopes up by convincing myself it was a boy? Or did I know, deep down?

When the nurse called with the results, that all genetic tests were normal, of course I breathed a sigh of relief, but I expected that. Then she asked… do you want to know the sex? I could barely choke out the ‘yes’. This was the moment I had waited 3.5 years for. The moment that I would find out what my last living child would be. The moment I would find out if I was opening the box or not. If I would get a chance to see a little girl in the dresses and stripes, playing with her big brother and watched over by her big sister.

“You’re having a boy.”

Thank you, I said. And as tears filled my eyes, I found the red button to hang up the phone, called my husband who was out on a bike ride. He had found his way to the local farm-league baseball stadium and was picking up a schedule. I told him good, he could take both of his sons there for games. Oh, honey, I’m on my way home, he said.

And here comes the guilt again. The guilt that comes with being a loss mom, with being a part of this community, of knowing the stories of loss, and infertility, and secondary infertility, and sick babies, and all of it. Why was I crying because I have a healthy little boy on the way? Isn’t that unfair to all the families that would give anything to have a healthy baby in their arms? So we cried, and we held each other, and as I wiped my tears, I started listing off all the advantages. We have all the stuff. Brothers are awesome. No teenage girl drama. Look at what a sweet and amazing little boy we are raising now – how could we ask for anything more?

But it all comes back to that damn box, the one with the label, Baby Girl.

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About the Author:

Laura Malcolm
Laura Malcolm is the proud mother of Layla, who was stillborn at 35 weeks in November 2013, and Diego, her little brother born in November 2014. After Laura and her husband James experienced coming home from the hospital without a child, they knew there had to be a better way to help direct families in how to most effectively give help, no matter how far away they were - and Layla’s legacy, Give InKind  was born. Laura and James now run Give InKind, while parenting an active toddler and preparing for another rainbow to join their home. You can follow the Give InKind journey on the webFacebookTwitter and Instagram.


  1. Darline April 25, 2017 at 9:53 pm - Reply

    I couldnt have discribed this in a better way. ????

  2. M April 30, 2017 at 9:21 am - Reply

    I completely understand where you are coming from. Our stories have many similarities. I have two living sons and a son who was stillborn at 37 weeks last year. I’m now 12 weeks along with a rainbow and I just had my blood test drawn last week with the same rationale – my pregnancy is somewhat high risk due to my stillbirth history and I will be four months shy of 35 at my due date. I feel horrible about it but I still have a strong desire to parent a daughter despite losing a son. It’s an experience that I always envisioned being part of my life and I can imagine that with your loss that you had many visions of your future with a living daughter in it. It is appropriate that you are grieving that loss right now.

    I can tell you that my two living boys are great playmates and friends and so so sweet. They pick flowers for me every time they go outside. When I ask my oldest who he wants to marry he says “you”. I have no shortage of cuddles. My boys are so adorable in their baseball caps. I am one of two in my family of origin with it being me and a younger brother. I think my boys will grow up having a closer relationship than I have with my brother. There is something special about same gender siblings.

    I wish you the best with the rest of your pregnancy. May we both be holding living babies in 35-ish more weeks.

  3. M April 30, 2017 at 9:26 am - Reply

    That should be 25 more weeks. We don’t need to be pregnant that long!

  4. Angela June 14, 2017 at 9:54 pm - Reply

    I read your story and I cry with, because I am also in this place. I have always dreamed of a daughter, and we always said we would have 3. As fate would have it, we had 3 boys. And not all healthy either, one had two strokes at 16 months old, and brain surgery before he was two. It took me a while to deal with the thought of never having a daughter, which I eventually did adjust too, just to find out that I was unexpectedly pregnant. We didn’t find out the gender because I truely was ok with all boys, but then we had HER. A perfect beautiful baby girl. Life felt surreal, and too good to be true, until 3 months later, it was to good to be true. I picked my daughter up out of her basinette, to find that she had passed.

    I know sit here, pregnant with my 5, and finding out the gender tomorrow. I am preparing for the boy vertict, as we tend to make boys. I appreciate hearing your story because I too and feeling robbed of that mother-daughter bond, and can’t imagine that the universe could be that cruel to us. So thank you for sharing, and I would love to hear more about how you are doing.

  5. Angela June 15, 2017 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    Just an update from my previous comment. I am having another boy too, so I guess my box of pink and frills will also stay closed 🙁

  6. Dee August 16, 2017 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    Hi ladies
    Thank you for writing this. Im in the same place as you. After years of failed ttc and then three mcs gender not known, im having a rainbow boy. Im devastated as have dreamed of a baby girl. The chances are this is my only babe. Im grateful for a healthy babe but am suffering severe depression since finding out. Im grieving i think.

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