When I got pregnant for the first time, Jeroen and I really wanted a little girl.
Jeroen grew up with only one brother, so his heart ached for a baby girl. We started thinking of baby names.
When I told my Dad we thought of naming the baby Jasmine, because the doctor said the baby was now the size of a grain of rice, my Dad said, “I hope you have a boy.”
So we changed her name to Anneliese, after Anne Frank.
Imagine the pain when the doctor said, during my second trimester ultrasound, “I see a scrotum.”
Tears rolled down my cheeks.
Ten months after Benjamin was born, I was pregnant again.
On the second trimerster ultrasound, I heard the doctor say, “And there, right there, is the scrotum.”
Tears rolled down my cheeks.
My friend Patrice has three boys. When I cried to her, she reassured me that boys are loads of fun, are so lambing, and will cherish their mom.
I thought of three women who had all boys: Princess Diana, my Lola Paying, and my mother-in-law, Wil van Straten.
All of them were cherished by their boys.
And so I had Markus.
Both my babies were born jaundiced and had to go under bili lights
After I had Markus, the doctor said the factory was closed, but I still wanted a bigger family.
Jeroen and I thought of adopting a baby girl.
But things don’t always happen as planned. Jeroen and I went to the orphanage and I fell in love with a boy named Christian.
I am now the mother of three boys and I used to wonder why.
As it turns out, God knows what is best for me. Here’s what I love about having three boys:
1) Boys clothes are cheaper. You may have less choices in Manila, but they are cheaper.
2) They do not have to watch every Taylor Swift or One Direction concert. They are cheaper.
3) Having three boys means you need to enroll, bring, and fetch them from one school only.
4) Boys take care of themselves. I do not have to mind them all the time, as I imagine I would if I had a girl. But yes I do have to nag them about personal hygiene and manners all the time.
5) Since the boys can take care of themselves, I can have my “me” time and take care of myself whenever I feel like I am about to go nuts.
6) Yes they adore me. My boys—13, 11, and 7 years old—tell me they love me every single day. They fight for me. They kiss and hug me everyday. They give me flowers nicked from the neighbor’s garden. And most of the time, I don’t have to beg.
The only setbacks are the amount of shoes, gadgets, and haircuts they want or need, and the fact that they want to kill each other single everyday (think Cain and Abel).
On my recent trip to Hong Kong I finally realized why God didn’t give me girls: I can’t deal with Disney princesses.
Jeroen and I talked about it and said we are likely to give in if our daughter wanted to become a Disney princess. But I guess I’ll never know. At the Hong Kong International Airport, when I saw those costumes on display, I finally walked away and told God, “Okay, now I get it. I’m OK with it. Thank you for my boys.”