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Stop Telling My Husband How Sorry You Are He Only Has Daughters

Photograph by Janssen Bradshaw

A few weeks ago, I gave birth to my fourth daughter.

Months earlier, when I'd gone in for my first ultrasound, the tech told me, "It's too early to say for sure, but I'm fairly certain you're having a girl."

I burst into tears of happiness.

My husband and I already had three little girls and I could barely let myself hope we'd be lucky enough to round out our very own set of Little Women with a fourth girl.

A few weeks later, when I was 17 weeks pregnant, we found out for sure that it was, indeed, another little girl.

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And then the comments which had already begun when we had our third daughter really began in earnest.

Everywhere we went, especially as I became more visibly pregnant, people asked, "Are you going to try for a boy?" or "FOUR girls?! Your poor husband."

Oh, how those comments irritated me.

Especially when they were made in front of my sweet girls, who wondered why, exactly, their dad was so unfortunate when he had them.

Why did everyone assume their dad must be disappointed to have them for children just because they were girls?

My husband is a fantastic girl-daddy. He reads them books, takes them rock-climbing, snuggles them on the couch on weekend mornings, and buys them presents for Valentine's Day. He has strong opinions about their clothing (he hates anything turquoise) and makes sure they get haircuts. At night, after they're all tucked into bed, he looks at pictures of them on his phone and asks to hear about funny things they did and said during the day while he was working. He invents silly games and loves watching movies with them on Friday nights.

He's never once expressed any disappointment that we didn't have sons.

And yet, everyone assumes he must be disappointed that they are all girls.

He loves all four of these little girls just like I do, and we can't imagine our life without any of them.

And yet, everyone assumes he must be disappointed that they are all girls.

And no one seems to have any qualms about asking not only about our family planning, but doing so in front of our impressionable young girls.

I know a little something about what those comments sound like to children because I was the oldest of three girls for seven years before my parents had two little boys, the first born when I was 10.

For years, I heard "Your dad must be really hoping for a boy." After my brothers were born, people kept saying how "thrilled" my dad must be to "finally" have a son.

Those comments made me crazy as a 10-year-old and continued to annoy me into my teen years.

Of course my dad was thrilled by the new additions to our family, as we all were. But it wasn't because he was so relieved to finally have sons—he just loved his children, whether they were boys or girls. I always felt like responding, "HE LIKES US! He's not disappointed that we're not boys."

RELATED: Why Do People Assume Women Want Daughters More Than Sons?

My dad never ever made me feel like he wished one of us was a boy or that he'd been holding his breath for years waiting for a son to come along.

In fact, he often quoted Matthew from "Anne of Green Gables" who tells Anne, "I wouldn't trade you for a dozen boys."

I always felt completely loved and wanted, and felt sorry for the people who assumed our family dynamics were a disappointment to my dad.

A few days after our fourth baby was born, I took her into the pediatrician's office for a routine check-up. The pediatrician asked if I had other children and when I told her this was my fourth girl, she broke into a huge grin.

"Four girls?" she responded, "What a lucky daddy."

She didn't know it, but she'd just made our family patients for life.

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