When You Know Your Family is Complete

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“Three boys?!  I’m sorry.”

“Three boys?!  You would have been a rock star in biblical times.”

“Three boys?!  You’re over half way to your own basketball team.”

“Three boys?!  Are you going to try for that girl?”

The truth is, I have come to love telling people that I have three boys.  The reactions usually bring a big smile to my face.  I’m not offended or hurt when people apologize or insist that my life is incomplete without a little girl.  In fact, in the past when I’d see a mom of all boys, I would have a lot of those same reactions.  Surely, I would NOT be a mom of all boys.

After two high risk pregnancies, (Siege was born 6 weeks early and started his life in the NICU, and Milo had a malformation of his lung called CCAM that miraculously dissolved in utero), my prayer for this third baby was specific.  I wanted a healthy baby.

Photography by Tngphoto.com.

And yet, at 15 weeks pregnant, when we found out the gender of our third baby BOY, I still had feelings of disappointment.  Then I felt guilt over my feelings of disappointment.  A few days after the anticlimactic gender reveal, I had conceded defeat to God’s will for our family.  I was hopeful that I would be okay without the girl I apparently really wanted.

Today, I wish that I could give my defeated, hopeful- 15 weeks pregnant with the third baby boy- self a big hug.  What I didn’t know then, that I discovered the very moment that third baby boy was placed into my arms, was that all was right with the world.  

Photography by Tngphoto.com.

In June, two months after Oliver was born, Chris got a vasectomy.  I’d be lying through my teeth if I said, I didn’t find just a wee bit of satisfaction as Chris lied vulnerable in the doctors office for once.  Chris demanded that I go with him to the procedure.  I remember asking the doctor if there’d be a lot of blood.

“Just about a teaspoon,” the doc responded.

I experienced countless doctors appointments, blood tests, vaginal exams, and birthed three children, each the size of a watermelon, for our family, and Chris was having heart palpitations over “a teaspoon of blood.”

Bless his heart.

Photography by Tngphoto.com.About a month later Chris received a call from his urologist.  He was sterile.  No more pregnancies.  We wouldn’t be bringing any other children home from the hospital.  This would be the very last time we potty trained a child and purchased diapers.  We wouldn’t be waking up in the middle of the night to any other crying babies.  The finality of it all felt surprisingly freeing.  It meant we could move on to a new phase of life.  We could plan (at least theoretically plan) our future, knowing that it would just be the five of us.

Photography by Tngphoto.com.

I knew the moment we set up this family photo shoot in Zion with Nate Grant of TNG Photo, I would treasure these pictures forever.  Our very first pictures all together in one of our most favorite places in the whole world.

How do you know when your family is complete?

Some days I almost have to pinch myself.  These four guys are all mine?

Photography by Tngphoto.com.

And as much as I love the occasional sympathetic gesture when people hear I’m a mother to three boys, I secretly really love every minute of the boy mama life.


 Yes, we are messy, we are wild, and sometimes we smell, but we’re simple, straight forward, and relatively drama free.

Photography by Tngphoto.com.

We play big and love bigger.

Photography by Tngphoto.com.

It’s a pleasure to introduce you to our completed family: Chris, Tracy, Siege, Milo and Oliver Gifford.

Photography by Tngphoto.com.

A huge thank you to Nate Grant of TNG Photography.  I will treasure these pictures for years to come.  Our very first portraits as a complete family.  Nate is professional, hilarious, and prides himself on meeting his clients’ needs for every occasion.  TNG Photography specializes in creating timeless portraits of families of all sizes, head shots, and high school senior portraits.
The main reason people don’t have family portraits created is because they can’t find the time to all be together at the same time. The holidays are the PERFECT time to have an updated family portrait–now is the time! Give Nate a call at (702)809-9763 or message him here: https://tngphoto.com/contact.php
View the gallery: www.TNGphoto.com

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  1. Congrats 3 boys!!! Let me tell you my fun story…. had 3 boys decided let’s even out family go for baby #4 prayed for some pink knew God knew what he was going to give me! Well had that 4th boy the busiest little firecracker of them all ? And wouldn’t change a thing!! Guess what!! I am now a grandmother of 2 baby BOYS!!!! I am still the queen of this house!!!!! And I love it!! PS got my girls… 2 beautiful daughter in laws!!! Have a blessed day!

  2. I don’t know how I am just now reading this post!! So true – and so on point with so many of my own emotions as a mom to three boys (my last little guy was born a few weeks after yours).

    I didn’t know our third was a boy, until he was delivered, and it took me a few months to accept that I would never have a daughter. But once I finally did, I embraced much of the same feelings you noted. I love my boys, and am trying to find better responses to all of those comments people say, because I truly am so grateful and want the boys to hear how very much I love them all when people say those comments. 🙂

    1. Congrats on your three boys! The boy mama life is a great gig that not very many people get to experience life with three boys! Such a blessing!