I'm ashamed that I ever felt ambivalent about having a girl. Now that la Petite is here, so beautiful and so herself, I feel ashamed that I ever could have doubted, even abstractly, that I wanted her to be who she is. As her mother, I already feel a fierce feminine solidarity, ready to defend her as absolutely perfect to anything who dares say otherwise. She's been nursing well and gaining weight, and when my husband proudly pointed out her "fat," I irrationally jumped to her defense. It isn't fat, I countered, it's 100% beautiful baby! (Never mind that baby fat is actually biologically necessary.) Similiarly, when he mentioned that with her thin, short hair she looks like a boy, I protested. To me, she's obviously a girl. And a gorgeous one.
I'll have to tone down that knee-jerk response a bit as time goes on.
Before she was born, I had visions of walking out of the hospital with her wrapped tight next to me in a baby carrier, confident as I hadn't been with my firstborn. The day we actually went home, although she was snuggled up in the wrap just as I'd imagined, I was feeling shaky. Exhausted. Unsure of myself, although not nearly as much as the first time around. We walked half a block to the car and carefully buckled la Petite in her car bed, then drove ten minutes to home with her fussing in the back seat.
I cried, as I'm wont to do in such situations. My daughter was coming home. When we'd left, she was a mystery, a quantity of questions, an imminent event, a stranger. Now she was real.
And I, skeptical as I'd been of all things pink, pointed out with joy that, as we turned the last corner to our apartment building, the radio was playing "La vie en rose."