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Gender disappointment - please, no flaming

(79 Posts)

You can't possibly make me feel worse than I already do, trust me.

I am finally pregnant (34+4) after years of being told by docs that my endometriosis was too severe to successfully carry a child. I have had three miscarriages, two early mcs and one during second trimester. I suffered with PTSD and became fixated with the idea of having a baby. My DH has two children from a previous marriage, a boy (9) and a girl (14), both of whom are lovely and spend lots of time with us. He never really wanted any more children, seeing them as a big factor in the break up of his previous marriage, but he knew it was important to me and came around to the idea when he saw how much it meant to me and how different our relationship dynamic is to that of him and his ex wife.

All my life, I have pictured having a girl. I can't pin down why exactly. It was just me and my sister growing up, maybe that's why. Every time I dreamed I was pregnant, it was a girl. Every time I imagined being a mum (which was a LOT) it was to a little girl. All my cousins were girls, bar one. I found out that the baby I lost was a girl... I imagine what she would have looked like in my head all the time.

Now I am pregnant, everything is looking fine and dandy, we don't know the sex... but I'm convinced it's a boy. And I genuinely thought I was fine with this! All along I've called the baby "he" and told people I suspected it was a little boy, and not once did it upset me. But we went for our 32 week scan and I am POSITIVE I saw a little willy on the screen... My heart sank, absolutely plummeted, and all I wanted to do was cry. Hubby and I have not discussed it, as far as he knows I'm still convinced it's a boy and delighted with that fact.

I've had two weeks to think this over... part of me still knows and feels like it doesn't matter, I'm one of the lucky ones who has a baby after so many years of heartache... but I've had to take a good, hard look at my deepest thoughts and fears to try and work out why I am so upset.

I am upset because I know this is the only baby I will ever have. My husband is already talking seriously about getting his tubes tied (and who can blame him after three children) - and even if he were open to it, the chances of my body being able to do this successfully again are slim to none. This baby really is a miracle baby. So, there's no talk of "next time" for us. I am upset because I built up my idea of motherhood from such a young age around the idea of a mother-daughter bond... I have no idea what a bond with a son will be like, having never seen it around me as a child. I am upset because I look at parents and the relationship they have with their sons and daughters as they grow up and get on with their lives, and see that mothers are so much closer to their daughters than their sons. My hubby would easily go a month without speaking to his mother without thinking anything of it, whereas barely three days go by where I don't text or phone mine. We are so close, and I wanted that, so desperately!

I just feel so very suddenly overwhelmed and heartbroken, and feel even guiltier for feeling that way in the first place considering how long we've fought for our little miracle. It's not MY baby I don't want - I already love my little one more than life itself - what I am mourning is the idea of what I thought I would have, letting that go and being able to picture a new kind of relationship.

I am not looking to be judged, I just needed to put these feelings somewhere because I am afraid to tell the people I know, especially my husband. Does anyone have any lovely stories about boys as babies/children, or even stories about men and their mothers still being close? Any help would be very, very gratefully recieved, as I am still in shock that I feel this way after all this time.

flamingtoaster Sat 02-Feb-13 15:57:26

Like you I adored girl babies (wouldn't even countenance babysitting boy babies). I always imagined myself with a girl baby. When I got pregnant I was convinced it was a boy and I was terrified that I would not be able to love it. I was incredibly lucky to be having a baby but that didn't override my previous dislike of boy babies! We didn't know beforehand what the sex was but I remained convinced it was a boy (and terribly worried). I was induced, had an emergency c-section under ga and when I woke up in the middle of the night DH had gone home, DS was in Special Care - and there was a photo of them both by my bed. When I looked at the photograph I didn't really feel any maternal feeling to this tiny bundle being clutched by my DH. In the morning a midwife trundled a cot into the room and said "I've brought your baby to meet you". As soon as she put him into my arms I was overwhelmed with love for him, from that second I would have done anything to protect him. It really, really, really didn't matter that he was a boy.

So you may be surprised how you feel when (if it is a boy) you finally meet him. You don't know that he won't be just as close to you as a girl would have been - some girls are not close to their mothers - you might have had one of those! I'm sure you'll be fine when he/she arrives.

CatAndFiddle Sat 02-Feb-13 15:58:16

My DH (one of two boys) speaks to his mother everyday, and is (sometimes infuriatingly for me) very close to her. They are like two peas in a pod. I ring my mother once a week (often just because I feel I should), and often run out of things to say. We are very different and have little in common, so have drifted apart a little as I have gotten older. Partly because she can be judgmental about my choices.

I really don't think gender is the best determinant of the sort of relationship you will have with your child. I think this sort of thinking is an outdated old wives tale - 'a son's a son until he finds a wife' etc. I don't think this is true.

Your relationship with your child will best be shaped by how you raise him (if it is a him, I thought I saw man-bits on my 20 week scan last week, only to be told that if it was he would be the most well-hung baby ever....we're not finding out the sex either).

I don't think you should ignore or feel guilty about these feelings, just try to see them for what they are...a misconception.

Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy....not long now! smile

HumphreyCobbler Sat 02-Feb-13 16:05:17

I do sympathise, I really do. I had enormous difficulties adjusting to actually being successfully pregnant after a series of losses, and became fixated on various 'problems' that were not really problems iyswim.

You are having a person, not a gender. A unique, original, fantastic PERSON. I always imagined myself having girls, and I had a boy first. I cannot tell you how much I love him smile

Do hope you feel better soon, and congratulations X

Startail Sat 02-Feb-13 16:11:38

DH was very close to his mum and 12 years after her death still misses her.

As to how you feel I can't help I also always wanted girls and happen to have two DDs.

However, they are so different that I'm not sure a girl and a boy might not be more alike.

Solo Sat 02-Feb-13 16:18:58

I just wanted to tell you about my own experience with this and tell you that you are not alone in feeling this way.

I too had fertility troubles and just as I started to get to the top of the IVF list, I split with my (now) exh2 and got involved with someone else and quickly became pregnant...12 years of trying to be a Mum (with 2 different husbands), and bang! I had a MMC that time and was completely devastated. Anyway, another surprise pg and my Son was due almost 2 years to the day my first Son was due, but this time, he was due almost the exact date my first exh's birthday was and that threw me completely. I hated the idea of that and that grew to being afraid that it would be a boy...I was severely depressed because I was convinced I'd lose the baby and each of these made it all worse and I did not want a boy. People thought I was crackers, cruel, being ridiculous, but that was how I felt.
I was told that it might be a good idea to find out the sex of my baby, so that I could have time to get used to the idea and that's what I did.
My Ds is now 14.6yo. Tall, handsome, smart and a right Kevin and Perry cheeky sod. I wouldn't have changed him to a girl if you paid me to...and he was born the day before my ex's birthday.

You will love your baby regardless of any characteristic including the sex. They will be the most precious thing ever to you and boys are definitely the most cuddly things with their Mummies smile

Catchingmockingbirds Sat 02-Feb-13 16:19:03

I have a DS and am pregnant again, after 2 mc. I really hoped for another little boy and was convinced that was what I was carrying. Gender scan a few weeks ago showed we were having a girl.

I really didn't want a little girl and am now petrified. It's brought up a lot of feelings from my past, I was brought up by my mother as my father died, there was a lot of abuse from her and she is very very toxic. When I had DS it was all new territory and there were no scary feelings, but now I'm terrified of history repeating with my little girl as the mother/daughter relationship I've had the most experience with has been disastrous and abusive. I'm worried I won't bond with my dd as I have with my DS and that we will have the same relationship that I had to endure with my own mother.

Discussing all of this with my partner though really helped, he understands and has been very supportive of me, helping me realise that the great relationship I have with my son will be the same with my daughter and I've nothing to be scared of. You should talk about how you feel with your partner too, it could really help.

sleepyhead Sat 02-Feb-13 16:19:24

Babies are just who they are for ages - girl or boy, they are lovely bundles of absolute joy.

I'm expecting ds2 and I'd be lying if I wasn't a wee bit sorry that I'll never have a girl (all those bloody mil stories don't help), but it took us nearly 4 years to get this far so I'm just so happy to be pg, and I know that when ds2 is born I'll not swap him for anything.

You give birth to an individual, not a gender. An individual who will go their own way and have their own character and preferences.

I love my mum but I speak to her once a fortnight and see her maybe once a month. My brother sees my mum a couple of times a week and she sees his children far more than she sees mine.

wiltingfast Sat 02-Feb-13 16:23:41

I think it is completely natural to grieve for your lost girl. I know on each of mine we found out the sex and I was a bit tearful on each once I knew the gender, because somehow a baby that might have been was gone. V unreasonable really, but being pg is a v emotional time. And I had none of the high stakes or one time only for pregnancy that you have.

It doesn't mean you won't love love LOVE your baby once he is here and real for you. At the moment the baby is still an "idea" but he is actually a person and the reality of him will totally overwhelm all fantasies.

Enjoy your last few weeks!

BelleEtLaBaby Sat 02-Feb-13 16:27:08

I was totally thrown when we found out we were having a boy. Not upset, but just... Mind boggled. I grew up in an all female house, had mainly girl friends, all my friends babies were girls... What would I do with a boy? What did they like? What would we talk about? I just had no idea about boys and was completely phased. And DS is a hard-won baby too - I have pcos, had Hyperemesis, and we got a 1:2 triple test result (yikes) and found out the sex as a result of the amino.

He's gorgeous. He cuddles me a lot more than my friend's little girls do, he is beautiful and funny and its so much fun parenting a boy. He's very excellent. I am pg with dc2 and I am almost in favour of another boy over a girl! I will be genuinely thrilled either way.

DH and his mum are really close and have a lovely relationship.

Hope that helps - kids are kids initially anyway, and you will forget all your worries when that scrummy little newborn is in your arms.

On a lighter note: someone said this to me when they found out they were having their third boy with regards to older dc's: with a boy, you only have to worry about one teenager's willy smile

My DH speaks to his mum EVERY day, it drives me nuts.

I'm sure once you see your baby you will love him. My DSs are only young yet but we are so close. We were only ever going to have 2 so part of me is sad I won't ever have a daughter, but I've got 2 gorgeous boys & am happy with that.

Thank you, all of you. I'm actually crying with relief that I'm not a horrid person for feeling like this.

I can't wait to meet my little one, boy or girl, and I know I will love them no less either way... I think part of the problem is that I am well aware how irrational my feelings are sad makes it so hard to talk/think about them. I do think a big part of it is grieving for the girl I lost... Five years later and still not finished mourning.

aPseudonymToFoolHim Sat 02-Feb-13 16:37:56

I think I have felt the same as you, it was always my most wonderful dream to have a little girl. My parents had 7gc -ALL of them girls! Then I discovered I was having a boy. I'm embarrassed about the feelings I had, I was so sulky and miserable and I thought "trust me to have a BOY when all my sisters have had lovely little girls" (the only boy in our family had been a proper terror so the experience I had with boys was not positive)
I hid my feelings, and never voiced them to anyone.
I'm so glad I had the time from the 20 week scan to adjust and get used to the idea, as I think I'd have been upset after the birth to discover the sex then.
It took me a few days to fall in love with DS, which made me panic a bit, as I'd expecte dit to be instantaneous, but I DID fall in love with him, and he's been an absolute darling in my life.

When I found out I was expecting my third child (having had a girl and a boy) I really didn't care what the sex was, but still did feel a little moment of loss for the sex I wasn't having!
The only thing I found difficult at first was getting excited about boys' clothes and toys he was interested in, I'd never even heard of Ben10! smile

Keep us updated, I'm sure you will feel emotions for your little baby hit you like a truck, and you will fall head over heels inlove and never imagine your life without your baby in it.
Congratulations smile and thanks

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy Sat 02-Feb-13 16:39:18

Boys are lovely, lovely, lovely. I have two, interspersed with 4 miscarriages.

They are affectionate, imaginative, sparky, just wonderful.

Tbh, I think a lot of women imagine themselves having girls, simply because they were girls and have spent, possibly, a lot more time with their mothers and other female relatives than with their fathers/male relatives. Boys are simply off their radar in that way. I know it was that way for me. I felt very strongly from about 12 weeks in that both were boys and I was right. I did have a little <gulp> when we found out about ds1 - although that was partly because I was only 17 weeks (scans happen more frequently where I am) and the doctor told us without us having asked him to - but that moment passed very quickly indeed.

I think whoever said upthread that you are having a person, not a gender, has got it spot on.

FaceLikeAPickledOnion Sat 02-Feb-13 16:41:09

I have two ds's. They are amazing, tbh I didn't want dd's and would of been disappointed if I had. Probably because my own relationship with my dm is not very close, we rarely see each other, or ring each other. I am closer to my wonderful mil, and Dh speaks to her on the phone a few times a week (I do too come to think of it). We see her usually weekly, holiday together once a year and she dotes on her dgs's. She's lovely.

It may still be a girl op!
But if not don't worry, because boys are ace!

manitz Sat 02-Feb-13 16:51:20

hi i have two of both. both sexes are great you get completely different things from them but like someone said up the thread each time I have grieved for the baby I haven't had. I have read that mothers of boys are more prone to pnd and with ds1 I had a lot of anxiety though that could have been related to bereavement whilst pregnant and losing a baby late before having him. BUT having prev had two girls i love little boys now, I never saw myself as a mum of boys and presumed nos 3 and four would be girls. ALTHOUGH I must say shoes are a lot cuter for girls, have thought of cross dressing ds2...he wouldn't really know...

Boys are really huggy, my girls aren't particularly

BitBewildered Sat 02-Feb-13 16:52:16

I do think a big part of it is grieving for the girl I lost... Five years later and still not finished mourning.

^^ There's no reason why you ought to have finished mourning. sad

I had a scan at 37 + 2 with my first pregnancy and was convinced I'd seen a willy. When DD was born I was totally astonished!

For my second child I had a vague wish for a sister for my DD. I have only brothers and always wanted a sister. We found out at the 20 week scan that DC2 was a boy and I spent the rest of the pregnancy feeling a bit put out about it. However, once he was born, I adored him completely. He is a complete joy.

I hope the rest of your pregnancy is peaceful and as comfortable as possible. I'm sure your gender worries will be forgotten when you're cuddling a lovely soft newborn human.

spanky2 Sat 02-Feb-13 16:56:52

I worried about not having a girl . I always thought I would have a girl. I have 2 ds. I worried that I would never see them as they would always choose their wife. I would miss out by being the mil . But it won't be like that as hopefully they will like to talk to me as I'mnice ! Boys are fab . I'velearnt so many new things from having them. They are wonderful because they are mine. I do sometimes look at girls clothes as they are better but I would never swap them. Have faith in your ability to love your baby .

tethersend Sat 02-Feb-13 17:11:50

You could be describing my feelings when I found out the sex of my first baby. It was a girl. Words cannot describe how much I wanted a boy; I was devastated. It's not something you can admit to in many circles; hardly any in fact.

I now know I was suffering from ante-natal depression. All my fears and anxieties about having a child were projected onto the gender of the baby. I hated, hated women who were pregnant with boys as I so desperately wanted one. I didn't like girls and felt that my life was ruined. I thought that I would never accept it.

I had counselling with the ante-natal counsellor attached to the hospital- think about speaking to your midwife about this. Interestingly, my counsellor said that she had seen lots of couples, particularly mothers who had experienced gender disappointment after years of infertility, miscarriages and IVF. In a way, she said that they had had more time to construct an image of 'their child' in their head, and had naturally ascribed it a gender. Most commonly, the imagined child was a girl and they were pregnant with twin boys. I was green with envy at the thought of them having boys. I felt like a failure who had spoiled my life.

I also had to face up to a lot of issues of my own- including my own relationship with my mother and issues I had with my own gender. It was my biggest soul-search to date, and one I am very glad I did- there are positives to feeling the way you do in terms of getting to know yourself and dealing with issues before your baby is born, even if you can't see or feel them now.

And then she was born... and she wasn't a boy, but she wasn't 'a girl' either. She was mine. She was an Angie.

I still felt disappointed, but every day the disappointment lessened and was replaced by love for her. It wasn't an instantaneous process, but I fell utterly and hopelessly in love with her in a way which I could not have anticipated. You cannot know how you will feel once your baby is born; don't try, it's impossible. Just know that you will love him, and you will love him a thousand times more than your imagined daughter. Have faith in that.

I am now in a place where I would not swap her for any other child of either gender, and have even had another girl and feel my family is complete.

Good luck smile

Fluffeh Sat 02-Feb-13 17:44:48

I can relate to wanting one gender so much more than the other. This will be my only baby too, medical issues not related to fertility means it'll just be this one.
At my first scan I was obsessed with finding the genital nub, I made DP look at hundreds of scan photos online trying to teach himself the difference and when after the scan he couldn't be sure I was so angry with him.
Thankfully he understood and once I'd calmed down I tried my best to explain it to him.
I'm pretty open with friends and family so they all knew which gender I wanted. I needed them to know just in case I did get the news I didn't want and couldn't hide it.

Weirdly, I grew up with 2 of each sibling and my younger brother was closest to my mum. He's closest to my aunt now he's grown up and contacts her every day. She's my mums sister and to him a surrogate I think.
I really hope your feelings give you a break and that whatever gender your baby is, they are beautiful and healthy. And just to add, every only child I know, regardless of gender, is ridiculously close to their mum smile.

bogwoppitinatree Sat 02-Feb-13 19:06:26

I too was very keen on having a girl. My mum died a few years ago and I think I had got a little fixated on the idea of being able to build a mother daughter relationship.
However our 20 week scan clearly revealed a boy. That was 3 weeks ago and HE is now called Wilbur. Giving him a name has really helped form a personality and a bond. I don't doubt now that I am going to adore him when he arrives but it did take me a while to adjust. Sorry that isn't more useful xxx

PandaWatch Sat 02-Feb-13 19:20:18

A good friend of mine was in a similar position to you - knew she would only have one baby and was desperate for a girl. Found out at her 20 week scan she was having a boy and burst into tears. She said she felt like a monster about it but just couldn't hide how devastated she felt b

PandaWatch Sat 02-Feb-13 19:22:46

Argh! Stupid phone!

Anyway as soon is he arrived she fell in love with him straight away. He's her little prince.

FWIW out of my nieces and nephews its the boys who are more affectionate and thoughtful!

SoulTrain Sat 02-Feb-13 19:32:50

I think lots of people have a preference. I wanted a boy so badly when I was pregnant. Everyone said I was having a girl and it would make me feel panicky, I can't tell you why. I have a wonderful relationship with my Mum, am one of three sisters - I just wanted a boy. He is wonderful. Now, I want a girl next - it's ridiculous. As previous posters have said, you're having a person, a gender doesn't make them behave one way or another. You'll be fine!

lookingfoxy Sat 02-Feb-13 19:53:57

Aw I feel your pain.
With my first dc I was desperate for a girl, I was so disappointed when I found out it was a boy. He is now 8 years old and wonderful, I think he's so great that now that I am luckily pregnant with no 2 I wanted another boy so much, I had a scan this week and found out im carrying a girl. I am really disappointed but of course grateful for a healthy child.
I am so sure that I will get over these feelings which is why I always find out the gender if possible to give me time to reconcile myself!

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