Um Tulip writes:
As I've finished my sixth month of pregnancy, and gained about 7 kilos, I'm definitely showing a nice round belly. As those of you with children know, the size of your belly attracts the comments of friends and strangers alike. The first question people ask tends to be, "is it a boy or a girl?" This is universal. We have two darling boys and are excited to e having another boy this February. What is interesting here is the reactions of others when we tell them. Boys are highly valued in this culture, so many people respond with a "ma sha'allah!"
ما شاء الله or "what God has willed!" This is particularly true of my husband's friends.
However, most women I talk to are cautious, saying "well, that's great but I'm sure you were hoping for a girl." It's hard to know how to respond. I grew up with three sisters, but my husband's side is almost all boys. Yeah, variety is the spice of life, but there are some great advantages to having three of the same sex. Same clothes, toys, games. They can share a bedroom for a lot longer. We don't have to fight over watching Bob the builder or Disney Princesses (I prefer Bob, myself). With Teddy Bear I haven't even had to buy any new clothes (though I recently got him a Diego shirt just for fun at Duwar Hawuuz for 3 JD - love that place!).
One of the great things about my mom is that she raised us a equally as possible, and taught us to be the kind of people that always look out for the feelings of others. While I can't say I always live up to those values (I've been known to speak before I think) I certainly try. I also grew up with a father who said, "How's my fifth daughter doing?" to any friend we brought over to play. All of our friends were accepted as part of the family, and an extra setting at dinner was always ready. I never felt my gender mattered to my parents in regards to what I could achieve in life. I never felt more or less important than my siblings. This is a heritage I"m striving to pass on to my children.
Additionally, we suffered a miscarriage last winter and I've done my share of worrying over this pregnancy. I am thrilled that so far my pregnancy has been very normal. Every time I feel him kick it is a cause for rejoicing. Although now the hiccups have started and can be a bit uncomfortable, it is the most amazing thing to feel a life growing inside. To sum it up, 'ma sha' allah" God has willed another child into our lives and we are thrilled it's a boy, and we would be thrilled if it was a girl. May His name be praised at the beauty of life!
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made: your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand."
Psalms 139: 13-18