What To Expect When You’re Expecting a Son

photo by monicasecas 

Renee Lute is expecting a son. And even after being pregnant with a daughter before, this is not what she expected.

I’m twenty-one weeks pregnant with my first son, and I’m already different. There’s the obvious belly, and then there’s the not-as-obvious flood of testosterone going on beneath my skin. Normally, I’m a pretty nice person. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I cried a lot, but that was the only real change in my personality. This time, my husband is thankful that we don’t own a gun.

Facebook is a dangerous place when I’m this new, gorilla-angry person. Sweet older women comment on posts about my pregnancy and say lightly-teasing things like “Just remember: ‘a girl is a daughter for life; a boy is a son till he takes a wife.”[1] I read those posts and I want to kick the women in their wrinkly faces with soccer cleats. I know that I should roll my eyes and move on, but I can’t. I lie awake at night and think about what they’ve said. I cry about it in the shower the next day. I fantasize about a really devastating comeback while I’m making lunch for my daughter. Something like “Yeah? Well your dog is very old, and probably won’t see Christmas.” Then I hand my fifteen-month-old a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and I keep up the illusion that her mommy isn’t a monster who preys on the tears of the elderly.

In addition to the anger, there is a lot of fear this pregnancy. I’m not afraid of health problems, really, because my boy is one healthy fetus. I’m not afraid of labor and delivery, because I’ve been there. I’ve done that. I’m afraid of trying to fit a round child into a square hole. I’m afraid that I’ll miss signs of his abilities and passions, and I’ll force him into something that isn’t meant for him. I’ve been buying these crazy adorable little sweaters, jackets with elbow patches, and newsboy hats thinking that this is exactly the kind of boy my Simon will be. (His name is Simon. Can’t you just picture a sweet boy named Simon in a jacket with elbow patches and a newsboy hat?) I am really disenchanted by little boys in stained wife beaters and camo pants. I can’t help it. But a toddler in a beige sweater with a Scottish Terrier on the front? Sign me up. I’m all about letting children be who they are meant to be, and not stifling their passions, but what if my son has a passion for stained wife beaters? What if he resents the little sweaters.

This pregnancy is a lot of anger, and a lot of fear. Maybe this is a preview of what motherhood with a son will look like. My daughter drives me nuts sometimes, but at her very worst, I know exactly what I’m dealing with. I’m dealing with a fifteen-month-old version of myself. I have no idea what to expect with Simon. Despite all of the feelings, tears, rages, and anxieties, I am really looking forward to meeting him.

[1] A very stupid rhyme that is meant to depress expectant mothers.

photo: monicasecas / flickr

About Renee Lute

Renee Lute lives and writes in Washington with her husband, daughter, and unborn son (due in January). Her essays have appeared in a number of literary journals and magazines.


  1. Yeah. What Paul said.

  2. Very sweet. I bet you’ll do just fine by your son; and I’m sure he’ll be your son forever, no matter what the old bags say. Also, “a monster who preys on the tears of the elderly:” priceless.

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