Are you hoping for a girl? Are you hoping for a slap?

On Sunday morning I asked my husband from the comfort of my bed to fetch me our youngest for a big cuddle, (eldest was at Grandma’s). He was surprised – rightly so. He asked why, slightly afraid. The reason was I had just been reading a post on Instagram about a lady who had had a little boy who was born sleeping. It had made me cry. It had made my heart ache for her and my arms eager to squeeze my boys with gratitude. My two boys.

On Sunday night I read a tweet that questioned why people would want more than two children – it must be because they are really hoping for a different gender. This isn’t something that is new to me – as a mum to two males. I have been asked numerous times if I would have preferred a girl.

When I have broached the subject of maybe having more than two children I have had numerous questions, straight away, about “would you want a girl?” “would you hope for a girl?”, and one comment “you know, if you did, don’t get your hopes up for a girl.”

I always kindly say “no, boys are great.” and close the conversation. I know people are just making conversation. Maybe it’s a question I would have asked pre children; pre two boys. But ideas that IF I had a third baby, it would only be an attempt for a different gender are just offensive.

It’s not boys that are great (as I say to them) – it’s that babies are great. It’s that children are great. Yes – sometimes I want to rip my ears off to avoid hearing “mummy, choo choo choo choo mummy” for the hundredth time that day – and it’s inevitable that we can’t cherish them all the bloody time – but being able to have children and being a mother is a privilege that I am reminded nearly every day is like winning the lottery for others.

Through being immersed with other bloggers / writers – mums and dads – and reading daily about loss, pain, only last week – ectopic pregnancies and stillborn children and their incredibly brave parents – as well as a little boy battling cancer – do you really think whether their children are male or female warrants a rat’s arse thought?

Do you think, when I snuggle my two beautiful boys that I’m secretly entirely disappointed with their genitalia? Do you really think that my two boys are identical flat pack males who have a football in one hand and a spanner in the other? Do you not realise I have two polar opposite personalities who are mine. Who give me more joy than I could ever have imagined?

Do you think if we had a third boy we would say “This is Albert – our third – we are shockingly disappointed.”

If I should have a third child I am hoping not for a girl – not for a boy – just for a heartbeat and for health. Their gender is absolutely irrelevant – and if you have ever been on the cold leather bed at hospital praying for a heartbeat you’ll know this whole “are you disappointed it’s not a girl / boy?” is a load of bollocks.