When I had my ultrasound with DS and found out he was another boy, I got all teary and it took a few days to get over it and get excited and bond with him as my wonderful little man.
I expect reading that has probably ruffled a few feathers, but reactions might be a bit tempered when you find out why. This is a long story but if you're interested, here's why...
I have a grown son, who is wonderful. He is also autistic. I have always loved him just as he is. I had him at 18 and we had years of thinking he'd never talk, but we learnt sign language and I taught him to read and type (with a small device called a Canon Communicator) from the age of 3, so we could communicate. He had a brilliant memory from an early age and could do long division in his head before he was toilet trained. You could tell him a street name and a suburb and he could tell you what map and grid reference it was on in the street directory...when the street directory was out in the car. Really amazing savant stuff that dissipated as he gained social skills and learned to talk.
I adored my boy, although he wouldn't make eye contact and had no concept of boundaries. Like most parents of non-communicating kids, I just longed to hear him say "Mum" and be able to tell me about his day. After he turned 6, that finally happened. I was thrilled. I wouldn't ever have wanted to change him - his autism was part of who he was.
Then he became a teenager, and for the first time I longed for a "normal life" for him. He was bullied mercilessly through school. A kid stabbed him with a pencil and I had to get a doctor to remove the lead from his back. He was constantly mocked. He would hide in the school library at lunch and kids would torment him through the window, and the librarians said he was imagining it, until one day one spotted a gang out there whispering nasty things.
I took him out of school, home schooled him for a while and then found a great school that made all the difference. He made a group of friends for the first time ever! Over 3 years he did his SACE certificate. I was so proud.
I was scared all of my pregnancy that my next child would be autistic, and that I would have to watch another precious son endure all of the social isolation and bullying. Most autistic kids are boys, so I hoped for a girl, worried I'd spend the first few years with a boy looking for eye contact, watching how he played, watching for signs.
A day or so after I found out my two year old was a boy, I realised how much I loved him, gave him a name and went shopping. When he was born I knew very soon that he didn't have autism, but it would have been okay if he did.
For the record, the baby doing cartwheels inside of me is apparently a girl. I was very excited to hear this. It will be fun to have a daughter, but I have up worrying about autism when I had three miscarriages. I am sure I will love and cherish her just the same as I adore my two boys, no more, no less.
So, as Jarylee says, we're all on our own path. There's sometimes a lot more to it.