Dealing With Gender Disappointment in Pregnancy
“Alright, are you ready?” the ultrasound technician asked me.
“Is it a boy?!” I asked her in sheer excitement.
She shook her head. “Nope.”
“It’s a girl?” I asked, hoping I misunderstood her.
“Yes.” she said. My heart sank.
I couldn’t believe it. I just knew it would be another boy. After all, we wanted another one and, to be honest, I wanted to have nothing but boys.
On the way from from our early gender reveal ultrasound, I cried and I cried hard. I was pretty thankful that my husband and I took separate vehicles since he had gotten off of work to meet me because it wasn’t the prettiest sight. Then, a week later at our doctor’s appointment, our doctor confirmed the gender of our baby and yup… it was still a girl. I guess I was holding on to some slender chance that the ultrasound tech was simply mistaken before.
At this point, you probably could guess that I definitely did not want a little girl. I have a thounsand of reasons why and some are even personal and dig deep into my core.
Growing up, I had a torn relationship with my mother and I am not very close with her today. I didn’t have that daughter/mother relationship that most have. We didn’t go out on mommy/daughter dates. She actually was not very nice to me at all, but I do not want to elaborate on what I went through. It frankly has scared me away from wanting a daughter or a female type companionship (which is one reason why I have always had only best-guy friends).
Another fear of having a girl is just that is is so unknown. I am so used to my sweet baby boy and being a “boy mom” that I did not want things to change. It frightens me to now know what to expect and how different they could potentially be. But with my first pregnancy, yeah I wanted a boy, but I did not care either way! Because BOTH genders were unknown to me.
Also, I am FAR from a girly girl.. I am actually a tomboy. I feel as if I wouldn’t make a very good “girl mom” because I hate the thought of dressing her in ridiculous big bows and PINK… Yuck.
Lastly, I am afraid of having a second child in general, much less a gender I did not hope for. I love my son more than words can describe and I cannot imagine loving another child as much. I know what you guys are gonna say, “You will once you see her!” Probably so, but for now, I am just so worried about putting Greyson on the backburner. Then, on the flipside, I am so worried about not loving my little girl as much as him.
I know some of you are judging me right now and that is fine. You are welcomed to your own opinion, though I am not asking for it.
“But, why can’t you just be happy to have a healthy baby? What about the mothers who wish they could conceive and can’t or what about the mothers who have lost their babies and would just give anything to have their baby back?”
I totally agree. Having a healthy, happy baby is the main goal and the most important focus of pregnancy-not the gender. There are moms out there who think this is so petty because they would do anything to just have their child, have a healthy child, or even have a kid at all. I get it.
But I cannot help how I feel. I have tried to hide it, but I have found that opening up about it is helping me feel so much better about accepting the realization that I didn’t get what I had in mind. Also, I have realized that I am not alone in this and that Gender Disappointment is a REAL THING and happens DAILY. However, it mostly occurs among mommies who wanted a girl-not a boy. I am just the other way around.
According to reports, as many as 1 in 5 women express at least some disappointment about the sex of the child they are carrying. This is something that is rarely talked about because women are SO afraid to open up in fear that they would basically get judged for their feelings. This contributes to more feelings of sadness, loneliness, and isolation and I want to END IT!
Hearing thing such as “Oh, I bet it is a girl,” “I KNEW it was a girl,” or “You need a girl!” tend to piss me off so badly. No, I do not want to hear those things, thank you. I appreciate the kindness, but it is just not what I want to hear right now.
Some might say that I shouldn’t have found out and to let it be a “surprise” at birth, but I am so glad that I found out now. I rather be disappointed now rather than later. Now, I have time to work past it and to accept and to grow.
Being a little bit disappointed in the gender of your child doesn’t mean you’re a terrible person or that you don’t deserve this baby. It means you’re human. We all have hopes that take root in our heart, that grow and shape our visions of life; when those hopes don’t come to fruition, it’s normal to have some disappointment, to mourn the loss of that particular dream.
No matter what, I know I am going to fall in love with her as soon as I meet her-I mean, who wouldn’t love their child? Just because she is a girl does not mean I will love her any less because of it. I know when I look into her face, it will all make sense and I am just going to be in awe!
I expressed my concern and disappointment with my doctor and she told me the greatest thing: Now is my chance to basically have the great mother/daughter relationship that I never had and she will be my best friend. So that is what brings me joy lately after finding out it is a girl and I do not have to be anything like my own mother.
The reason why I am opening up to you all is that I know that there are tons of women out there who are afraid to say anything in fears of feeling selfish or feeling guilty for the way they feel about their baby’s gender. I want you to know, you are human and you do not have to validate how you feel to anyone. All that matters is that you work through them the best way you know how.
Life is good and I am doing just fine. Most of all, baby is fine, too. I do not need sympathy-I just want women who have or are currently experiencing this to understand that its ok and there is a silver lining no matter what gender your little bundle of joy happens to be. I have cried my tears, felt my disappointment, and now I am ready to move on and prepare for my little girl and to accept everything about this precious miracle of a pregnancy!
Here are my tips to overcoming gender disappointment:
- Open up! Whether it is to your partner, doctor, or best friend, let loose and let your feelings go. You will feel so much better once you hear yourself say it. Don’t deny your feelings.
- Give yourself time. Of course this sounds so cliche, but it is true. Time will help you heal. It might have been super shocking for you to accept at first, but you will get used to the idea.
- Embrace your feelings and know this too shall pass. Feelings are like a rollercoaster. It will go up from here, but you will have your good & bad days. Write your feelings down. This very blog is my way of coping and moving forward with my feelings. If you want, talk to yourself or talk to God.
- Think about why you are disappointed. Is it your past? Are you worried that you won’t be a good mom to a particular sex? Are you just afraid? Find out why you are so disappointed because there has got to be a reason.
- Take baby steps. To accept your baby’s gender try taking small steps such as going out to pick an outfit or jotting down baby names. I honestly did not want to do this in the beginning-especially the first week. I haven’t bought anything really just yet, but as soon as I found out, I did purchase the “Its a Girl” balloons for our gender reveal shoot to help get me there.
- Seek help. Women who suffer from Gender Disappointment usually suffer from depression or anxiety or have even sufferent from postpartum depression. This is so true as I have dealt with all 3 and now this. Do not be afraid to talk to someone or to seek help. It is in your best interest to do so. You want to be the best mommy you can be for your children.