The third Baby Thomas is a…

22 March 2021

Okay – the weightiest matter is out of the way. Let’s move on to discussing a more lighthearted crossroads – and one that we did not have to make any decisions about, ha! Once we knew we were expecting a third baby, the next question, of course, was whether Baby Thomas would be a boy or a girl!

With June, I just knew from the beginning that she was a girl. With Shep, I said I didn’t have a strong feeling, but I think deep down I knew he was a boy… but just didn’t want to admit it because I was hoping for back-to-back girls. (Obviously, so happy he turned out to be who he is! :))

With a boy and a girl already in our family, the stakes felt pretty low to us this time around. Throughout the first half of my pregnancy, neither John nor I had strong feelings, and neither of us had a strong preference, either. (If you’re surprised by this because you’ve read my About page, know that my super power of guessing baby genders is most accurate for first babies – after that, I’m about as good as the next person :))

Just for fun, here were some of the thoughts that came up in discussion:

1. One of John’s biggest concerns with having three children was the fear that one would often end up being left out. As one of three ourselves, we both experienced this firsthand: in my family, my younger sister was definitely the odd gal out growing up (though happily, not anymore), and in John’s family, he was so much younger (and the only boy) that his older sisters naturally paired off (though also adore/d him!).

Though I agree that someone being left out at some point is inevitable, I also made the case that with the birth order we’ve already established, it will hopefully be less of an issue either way. If we were to have another boy, yes, the boys would pair off sometimes, but we could compensate with extra-special Mama time for June, as the oldest (and since we joke that she’s already a 5-year-old in a 36-year-old’s body, it’s probably what she’d prefer, ha!). If we were to have another girl, then there wouldn’t be as natural of a pairing, and would likely see more mixing and matching: sometimes the younger two might pair up, sometimes the older two, and sometimes the girls.

2. Girl clothing is WITHOUT A DOUBT more fun than boy clothing, and the idea of getting to re-air favorites from June’s wardrobe was thrilling. Either way, we’ll be well-stocked for clothes: I have plenty of favorites from both kids tucked away in our attic.

3. The biggest and most pressing reason that I was rooting for a girl: for several years, we’ve had a girl name locked and loaded… and ABSOLUTELY ZERO idea what we’d name a boy. Like, NO strong contenders whatsoever. (Whereas, for a girl, I had plenty of back-up options waiting in the wings, even though we already had a frontrunner!) Not only did I love and want to use the girl name we had picked out, but I was not looking forward to 20 weeks of wracking our brains for an acceptable boy name…

…which is why I’m very happy to share that our next few months can be spent window shopping for bows and dresses and floral sheets instead of poring over baby name databases! Yes, we are adding another little girl to our family!! We couldn’t be more excited and love talking about baby sister – she already seems like part of the family :)

I’d love to hear: if you have siblings, what’s something your parents did to encourage a close bond growing up? (Or, maybe you have older kids and something to share that has worked well so far!)

One thing that my parents did not do, that I’m experimenting with (inspired by NurtureShock, one of my favorite parenting books): reminding our kids that they are best friends and always will be (speaking it into being, ha!). I also try to verbally affirm that they are being “good friends” to each other when they do something kind, play nicely together, or are enjoying each other’s company. It’s been a few years since I read the book, so I’m a little fuzzy on the details, but I believe this suggestion came from the sibling rivalry chapter, and the idea that we have a lot more conditioning around friendship and how we treat friends. If we can translate some of that to siblings, it can be a great start! Would love to hear your experiences! :)

P.S. We asked the ultrasound tech to put the news in an envelope, then opened it on a Zoom call with both of our families – so fun! June was very set on biting into a cupcake to find out the news (after hearing about it from her cousins), so that’s what we did. You can see that our families were pretty evenly split on their final guesses, though interestingly, both John and I and both of the kids picked girl in the end!

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Lindsay Osborn
March 22, 2021 7:25 am

Congratulations!! Such happy news!
I am the youngest of 3 girls and, though there were definitely times I felt naturally left out growing up, I absolutely love being 1 of 3 as adult siblings. It is so nice to have 2 built in best friends! I think as you get older you are able to fill in the gaps for each other a little bit better when there are 3 of you … If one of us is going through a hard time or a good time worth celebrating, there is always at least one (if not both) who can come in full force to help or celebrate the other.
Congratulations on Baby Girl Thomas!!

Kate R
March 22, 2021 10:04 am

Congratulations! So excited for you guys! Looking forward to seeing all the bows and dresses :)

March 22, 2021 10:59 am

YAY! Congrats on adding another girl to the family!

March 22, 2021 12:31 pm

Congratulations!! This is such a cute idea! I come from a G/B/G family and can confidently say that as the oldest, my siblings and I definitely have had different levels of closeness, but as I’ve gotten older my youngest sibling and sister have gotten much closer. My brother and I were always fairly close, but he’s been the closest with my sister. I think it depends on kids personalities!
My husband and I have the opposite problem that you do – we have a long list of boy names but only 3 girl names we like! (Which I guess is all we need, ha).

March 22, 2021 4:37 pm

AH YAY!!! So happy for you guys!! Since prepping for a little boy, I will say I’ve had a little sadness packing away the pink and floral clothing that Griffin has already grown out of. I definitely need some help in the cute baby boy clothes department!

March 22, 2021 8:49 pm

Congratulations on your baby girl, Emily! My only sibling is my older sister (who is sixteen months older than me). My parents encouraged us to be friends as well as sisters. I can’t tell you how many times our mother told us “remember that you only have each other” over the years! Even though my sister and I have very different personalities and interests (as well as live far apart), we have managed to stay close as adults.

Laura B
March 22, 2021 8:57 pm

I was so hoping for a girl for you! What great news. I’m suuuuuper curious about your locked and loaded girl name and can’t wait to hear!

March 23, 2021 7:05 am

Ahh! Hooray! Congrats and I am so excited for another Thomas girl!

March 23, 2021 7:41 am

Yay! Congratulations! I guessed girl and I am excited you will get to see the sister bond that you grew up with! We were like you and had a long list of girl names we loved and boy names were SO difficult! I love our son’s name though it took a while for us to agree.

March 23, 2021 1:05 pm

I’m partial to girls as well so congratulations :) I’m the oldest of three, and my sisters and I are crazy close. One sister donated a kidney to me! We are so close that I actually thought all people with siblings had this type of relationship and was surprised to find that many of the people I know (including my therapist and husband!) didn’t have such a tight bond as children and/or in adulthood. In our group, yes there was someone left out at times. It happens, even among friends I think. But my parents always stressed to us that my sisters and I are a team, and that we should always stick together and look out for each other. Growing up, none of us were allowed to sleep in my parents’ bed, but almost every night my sisters and I piled into my bed, shared secrets (like the fact that my youngest sister wanted to be a mermaid when she grew up, and the other wanted to be a billionaire lol) and slept until morning.

March 23, 2021 8:54 pm

This post was such a a treat at the end of a long day! Congratulations! I am so happy for you and so excited to follow along…and eventually know baby girl’s name. I love, love, love names, especially girl names :)

March 24, 2021 12:08 pm

Congratulations, and what a relief to have a name selected! We have 2 girls so far, and I am pregnant with our 3rd baby, but won’t be finding out the gender. We’ve joked we’d have all girls, so while we don’t know we have a hunch! We’ve always found girls names much harder to agree (have had the same boys family name every time and haven’t used it!). I got a book of 100,000 names from the library, so hoping that helps!
Interested to hear your chosen girls name and your list of other ones if you share in the future!

April 6, 2021 3:52 pm

Hooray!!! This news still delights me for you, friend. Another baby girl!
Also, to your point about siblings being lifetime friends and sharing this with our children: I’ve been using this in correction conversations with the boys to reframe how their relationship to one another means so much more than a tiff (even when it’s heated) about a toy or whatever the problem may be. I want them to learn to be friends not because they are each other’s only sibling but because it’s a choice and they genuinely enjoy one another’s friendship! My parents never talked about this with my brother and me, and I wonder if we could have grown up to be closer because of it.