Daddy’s Girl

When I was pregnant, I have to admit that I wanted a girl. Actually, I was quite forthcoming with this information and would pretty much tell anyone who asked that I really wanted a girl. It was funny. I always felt like I had to throw in the disclaimer “Obviously, if I have a boy, I’ll love him just as much as a girl” since it seemed my declaration of wanting a girl was always met with an odd glance as if I shouldn’t have a preference. Even my own husband – the future Daddy – would sort of shake his head when I said that I REALLY wanted a girl and he would always follow up with “I don’t care –I just want a healthy and happy baby.” Well, OBVIOUSLY. Does that point really need to be stated? Everyone seemed to think so.

I contined to  imagine how wonderful it would be to have a special female in my life having never had a sister. A special buddy. I imagined that having a little girl would enable me to sort of undo any wrong doing I felt I had experienced and due to those efforts, she would always adore me. She wouldn’t resent me for all the mistakes I will undoubtedly make, she wouldn’t defy me too terribly as a teenager, and she would be a devoted little girl. Ha.

What I never factored into the picture was how much girls LOVE their Daddies. (And that kids come with personalities and desires of their own but that’s another story for another day.)

I remember the day I found out I was having a girl. It was at the end of a very stressful two weeks waiting for the results of genetic testing. Due to my age and increased risk, we had a CVS, which is a relatively painless procedure (if you’re not averse to having a two foot needle stuck through your belly and into your uterus) that enables perinatal specialists to determine almost 100% if there are any major genetic issues with the fetus.

Waiting for the results of this test was one of the most stressful two weeks of my life. Although I felt pretty confident that things would turn out OK, after three miscarriages, I was taking NOTHING for granted. At the end of the second week, we decided we couldn’t wait anymore and proactively called the perinatal office. We left a message and then waited anxiousy for a call back. I was convinced that given it was Friday that no one would get back to us until Monday (and I wasn’t sure how I could possibly make it through another weekend of not knowing) but about an hour later the phone rang and thanks to caller i.d. I could see it was the moment of truth. I will never forget the way the conversation opened and I could not be more grateful to the specialist on the other end who said right up front “I have good news regarding your genetic results…”. After she relayed the good news that everything looked perfect with the baby she asked me if I’d like to know the sex of the baby. Hmmm…did I? Oh yes. I remember saying “sure”…and she followed with “Congratulations. You’re having a girl!”

It was like the entire universe stopped for that one second. I couldn’t believe it. A girl. I had hoped so long and hard for a girl but couldn’t believe my wish was actually coming true. I called EVERYONE near and far and through tears shouted the exciting news “I’m having a girl!” . It was truly one of the happiest days of my life.

When Ellie came into the world, it’s as if all my wishes were further coming true. Breastfeeding went smoothly and I got to spend four glorious months home with her on maternity leave (exhaustion aside). We were inseparable. (As most breastfeeding Moms and their newborns are.) We napped together, went for walks, did tummy time. Mom and Ellie.

It continued this way for quite some time. And even after the breastfeeding finally ended, I still felt as if we had an incredibly special bond.

And, then one day, right around the same time Ellie discovered “Daddy’s penis” my world changed. All of a sudden, Daddy became the focus of her world.

 

Daddy's Girl

Daddy's Girl

 

Now don’t get me wrong. Daddy is an awesome guy and a patient and loving Daddy. And in my more rational moments, I feel grateful that Ellie is developing this special bond with her father, that she is learning what it’s like to be loved by a man unconditionally. I know this will serve her well throughout her life and for that, I am very grateful.

In my not-so-rational moments, however, of which there are many, the constant “I want Daddy” and rejecting of Mommy’s affection can be downright painful.

In my efforts to process all of this, I’ve sought out the experience of many others and I have to say, it runs the gamut. I have heard everything from “Oh, it will pass” to “It’s just a phase” to more extremes such as “Oh yah. My sister was like that with my Dad and then she developed an eating disorder and a drug habit. She’s engaged and still shows up at home looking for Daddy.” Um, huh?

For the purposes of maintaining sanity and my continued efforts to evolve as a human being,  I have mostly gotten to a place where I have realized that no matter how much Ellie loves her Daddy, she has only ONE mother.  And, it’s my job to be as loving a Mother as I possibly can.

And, I convinced myself that this is likely just a phase. A girl can hope, right?

And, then, I went to get my eyebrows waxed. (Bear with me. This will all come together.) I’ve been seeing the same girl for several months now but given that it’s been a long cold winter, I guess I’ve never really seen her wear any kind of clothing revealing skin. On this day it happened to be very hot and hence she was wearing a low cut shirt which revealed a beautiful and VERY large tattoo. Basically, picture something like this except on a chick:

 

That's gotta hurt

That's gotta hurt

 

I’m not really sure that I found it attractive but I was intrigued and at the very least, had to appreciate the pure artistry. When I looked a little closer, I noticed there was some writing inscribed in the design across the entire width of the tattoo. I asked her what it said as I was having a hard time making it out. Her response:  “It’s my father’s name.”

GASP. I’m screwed.

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One Response to “Daddy’s Girl”

  1. Jen, I LOVED this post!!! It was heartfelt and funny and the pic of Paul and Ellie was priceless. BUT, gotta hand it to you on your description of the tattoo and then that picture you found…perfect!! You took me back to me own experience when I got “the call” from the CVS results. It was the hardest 2 weeks of my life waiting for them to call. When the counselor gave me the news that everything was OK – I broke down on the phone crying from relief and then she started getting emotional! Although Ellie may indeed one day have Paul’s name tattooed across her back, arm, leg or who knows what else will be popular by then – she will ALWAYS have a permanent “tattoo” that says Mom across her heart :o)

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