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Dealing with gender disappointment - sorry for another thread

(123 Posts)
BoyMeetsWorld Fri 12-Jul-13 06:03:36

Really sorry for another gender disappointment thread; I know these create mixed emotions hmm really just need to get thoughts down in writing and talk to others as a way of moving forward.

So I already have an amazing DS who I brought up originally as a single mum and is my world. Now married (different dad) and DH & I are expecting. Found out yday at scan that baby is healthy and another boy.

DH is ecstatic as are his family - for them it's all about carrying on the family name. DS not really interested (he's 4) but mildly pleased that he guessed the correct gender. Lots of well meaning friends & family messaging me how sorry they are for me as everybody knew I had my heart set on a girl.

I really really did. I feel so alone in my family of boys sometimes - even the dog is a boy. Of course I love them, but I can't get excited about boy games, toys and tv programmes. In fact, all the trains and cars and fighting figures all over my pretty little house drive me insane. I'm not the sporty type, don't want to be getting dirty and play fighting. They mess everywhere up and don't care, make the toilets smelly, hate shopping and couldn't care less about watching any girly programmes or having pamper time.

My MIL messaged me when we found out saying at least il get "me" time now & to make sure DH takes them out lots to do boy things. But that's precisely what I didn't want...I feel so alone and like im grieving for the princess I'd imagined, named and planned life with.

I know boys are super affectionate. DS tells me lovely things regularly. That's part of the issue too - I can't imagine loving another boy as much as him: I've already got my little man.

I know this will anger some people but I can't help how I feel. I've cried almost constantly since we found out yesterday and haven't been able to sleep all night. Dreading going into work and facing everyone.

I need some ways to cope. I'm not convinced by the logic that when baby pops out everything will change and il adore him too. I didn't even overly want another baby - I did it for DH because he's taken on me and DS and desperately wanted one of his own. Now I feel so empty. I can't bond with the thought or with any names. Please tell me this will get better confused

MuggledWoman Fri 12-Jul-13 08:04:48

This is exactly why I haven't found out gender (had 20 wk scan for dc2 this week). If you know you're going to be disappointed, why give yourself 20 weeks to think about it...I can't imagine you'd be disappointed if you'd found out while having your new baby handed to you for the first time.

Also, without meaning to sound too harsh, I know so many people struggling to have kids and it took.us 1yr + this time around, so perhaps you should just be grateful you'll have two healthy children. My ds is fab and I'll be thrilled to give him a little brother or sister.

WinkyWinkola Fri 12-Jul-13 08:05:44

CheeseFondue, do you know why you want a girl in particular?

harryhausen Fri 12-Jul-13 08:10:10

Have you ever searched yourself as to why you feel so strongly Cheese? In being goady, just interested.

I had my dd first. Totally natural to me. I come from a family of countless sisters, nieces, girl cousins, aunts. With my 2nd dc, I presumed it would be another girl. Of course it wasn't. I was shocked but instantly delighted.

My dd and my ds aren't that much different. Ds just likes Star Wars a bit moregrin

Enelya Fri 12-Jul-13 08:11:27

I read a book recently that suggested imagination is stronger than will power. At the moment you are trying to overcome your feelings about the little girl you had imagined by will power and it is very difficult. You might find it easier to create new imaginings about the future to focus on. Sounds woo, but is helping me a lot right now.

BoyMeetsWorld Fri 12-Jul-13 08:16:53

Actually Enelya that's really helpful. What sort of imaginings do you think would be most powerful?

workingtitle Fri 12-Jul-13 08:27:28

I like that, Enelya. I agree, it's about re-forming that abstract little person and your growing family in your mind as something positive. Good luck BoyMeetsWorld - I'm sure you'll be OK X

DowntonTrout Fri 12-Jul-13 08:27:53

If that is how you feel, that is how you feel. It doesn't help for people to say "oh just get over it" . That is not to say you won't get over it, you will, but at the moment you are mourning for the little girl that you had hoped for.

I know how it feels. I have been totally irrational like that. When I had my DS, I was disappointed he wasn't a girl. I used to wander around clothes shops and see all the beautiful little girls things and hated the endless blue/grey/green t shirts and jeans for boys.

Then I married my now dh and had 2 DDs. After the first girl, I hoped my 3rd child would be a boy. I wanted DH to have a son. It took a long time for my to come to terms with it being a girl. Now she is the apple of everyone's eye. Looking back, I know I was completely unreasonable both times and probably hormonal, though there were genuine reasons why I didn't want another girl.

I'm not trying to excuse it. I was just the way I felt at the time. I love all my DCs.

stella1w Fri 12-Jul-13 08:37:17

I felt the same was as op. It is about something deeper than pink dresses. I had no interest in boys names and no interest in boys activities. It is not because i wanted a shopping mate, but more that i could not relate to boys. I love ds as much as dd but i would have preferred two dds.

CheeseFondueRocks Fri 12-Jul-13 08:39:15

I wish I knew why I feel this way. I have a very toxic relationship with my mother which has messed me up in a lot of ways but I can't logically understand that this would influence my feelings. It must be some sort of psychological issue. I know it's my problem and nothing that is "wrong" with boys.

Funnily, when I was pregnant with DD I wanted a girl but wasn't too bothered about having a boy. I was so happy when we found out we were having a girl and I always said, before DD was born, that as long as I have 1 girl, I don't mind what gender DC2 is. Weirdly that changed as soon as DD was born and I started to only be able to imagine my family with 2 girls.

Again, I feel that as long as I can have 2 daughters, I wouldn't mind if a third DC was a boy but because I have (had) Hyperemesis in both pregnancies, we have decided that for the sake of our family we have to stick with 2 DC so the whole girl issue has become more acute again.

At a stretch I could imagine that this "fantasy" family I have in mind has been shaped my my dad's second family. I have 3 (half) sisters, they are quite close in age, and while they also have had their normal fights while growing up, they have been and still are the best of friends. I always feel a little bit of an outsider amongst them. They just have such a strong "sisterhood" bond and I want that for my DD. I know fine well that this has just as much to to with personality as it has with gender.

We have picked a boys name as well as a girls one but for some reason, I still cannot picture myself with a little son.

Enelya Fri 12-Jul-13 08:42:30

Maybe some things that you love the best about the males in your life already? What characteristics of your DH might you see in a little boy? How amazing it will be to see all 3 of your special boys together?

I'm using it for food issues myself, but it is worth a shot. It's a good way of acknowledging that you feel a certain way, but just because you feel one thing it doesn't stop you feeling other more positive things as well.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Fri 12-Jul-13 08:45:25

Doesn't help that everyone around you seems to know about your preference - a mistake to share this I think but it's done now. I would say fake it till you make it. Go into the office and say the scan showed a boy and now that's happened you are so excited about another son, boys together will be great, you will be special as only woman in the house etc. Talk honestly to a counsellor about it, but put your game face on for the general public IYSWIM.

CheeseFondueRocks Fri 12-Jul-13 08:47:39

Enelya, you made me realise something.
Maybe I don't want a boy because I know that DH was an absolute horror as a child. He was really high maintenance, always the one to get into trouble. He turned into a lovely adult but I really couldn't deal with a child like he was. And I guess I just feel that a boy is more likely to be like his family side than mine.

harryhausen Fri 12-Jul-13 08:52:20

Interesting Cheese. I think our experiences do influence our desires/fantasies.

I had nothing but positive female influences growing up and so couldn't ever imagine having a boy. However it's true of the age old idea that when they hand you that child, you can't imagine them any different.

I'll admit I've found my boy much, much harder to deal with than my dd. He's unpredictable, whiney, a bit 'anal' about his toy collections, climbs everything - but he's so funny, gentle, clever etc. Looking around my friends with different genders and same genders, I feel this is mostly down to personalitysmile

Enelya Fri 12-Jul-13 09:09:26

I have found I can tell myself sensible things til I am blue in the face, but despite initial reluctance on my part I have found that positive visualisations are a much more effective way of changing my feelings. Like Cheese says, if you can pin point why you feel a certain way it may be easier to design a visualisation that counters it.

Or look online for general pregnancy bonding ones, and focus on the amazing individual you are nurturing inside you right now, and start building a special connection that is irrelevant of gender.

Actually soupdragon I do know what an emotional response is, I had an awful 20wk scan with my DS spent he next week thinking we were going to lose him but were then given he all clear by a consultant. Only to find out 15 weeks later that he had a different rare condition that he spent a lot of the first year of his life in and out of hospitals for (thankfully he's fine now)
So posts like the OPs really piss me off because she doesn't realise how fucking lucky she is when all she's complaining about is not being able to buy dresses and go to nail bars!

IsItMeOr Fri 12-Jul-13 09:37:53

OP, you feel what you feel, and that's okay. I know you're not going to act on it.

I would suggest you get a bit more specific about some of the experiences you would like to have with your children, and set about trying to create them with the children you have.

So, I accidentally discovered that 4yo DS gets very excited to have a Lush bathbomb in his bath.

I've made sure that he has a fair range of gender neutral toys around (so non-pink fairy wings a la Tree Fu Tom), dolls house, puppet theatre, play kitchen, etc. And we're trying hard to limit the (seemingly inevitable) dominance of fighting/superhero toys - although Lego, Lego, Lego is rising tide-like through our house.

At DS's request, I have shown him how to make patterns on fabric with my sewing machine, hand sewn christmas tree decorations and had a go at knitting. He happily spent an hour at a pottery cafe decorating a mug (pirate themed...). I'm pretty sure he'd go for having his nails painted if offered.

So, I'm not saying that you will be able to indulge your pink clothes imaginings (although DS did choose to dress up in a rather pretty cerise and flowery dress at the museum the other day). But try getting your imagination going on things that you could do with a child.

jellybeans Fri 12-Jul-13 09:45:03

I was a bit 'scared' of having boys (had DDs first) and until I had my own I didn't appreciate other peoples. However once I had my own I realised they are just as nice as girls in every way. If I have anymore DCs I would love boy or girl.

Some of my friends who had boys first were 'desperate' for girls and when they got one (3rd time in most cases) they did the whole pandering to the princess thing. They have 'girly nights' etc etc and seem to go way overboard with the stereotypes. I have never been like that with my girls, they always wore jeans, weren't into pink, played with cars etc.

These threads are hard for me too as got told at 20 weeks there were severe probably fatal problems, that is devastation-not having a healthy baby albeit of a different gender!

SignoraStronza Fri 12-Jul-13 09:46:00

As someone who's ex threw a strop at the scan when he discovered dc1 was a girl, I can understand your disappointment in a way (I was quite happy to be having a girl but miserable because the abusive fucker he was).

Have dd2 now and needed plenty of reassurance that dh was happy with the idea of a house full of girls (he was over the moon with a healthy baby).

TBH we still refer to her as 'it' or 'the baby'. There is nothing remotely pink or princessy about her (yet) and I try to choose gender neutral clothes to mix with her sister's hand me downs on the offchance that when we have dc3 it will be a boy.

DC1 (6) quite likes dresses but also loves mud, superheroes and motorbikes.

Not what you wish to hear op, but knowing plenty of people whose children have severe disabilities, am quite happy with healthy babies regardless of gender.

BabsAndTheRu Fri 12-Jul-13 09:52:27

My DP's mother was like this but would express to her sons her disappointment of not having a girl. Never took any interest in their activities, any time I was pregnant she kept saying I hope its not a boy. Had to take her aside and ask her to stop this. As a result of all this her sons have no relationship with her and have openly admitted they don't like her as they always knew she didn't want them, so sad. I have two DS's and one DD( baby). We go camping, play football, climb trees, water fights in this weather, worm hunts etc etc. Its great fun being a big kid again and DD joins in. Today is picnic and monster hunt in the glen. DP has no memory of his mum ever joining in. Don't be like her op, kids do pick up on these things.

TalkativeJim Fri 12-Jul-13 10:05:39

OP, I think a lot of this might be to do with the fact that you felt ambivalent about having another baby full stop.

When your baby arrives, you know you'll love him 100%

And when you have two children instead of one boy, you'll find out first hand that every child, be they girl or boy, is unique. Your two boys will be totally different people and you will have totally different experiences of parenthood with them.

Gender stereotypes are really a bit of a nonsense.

That said, I am a bit on the fence about gender disappointment. Women on here get an abolute slating for admitting that a lot of them wish for a girl over a boy, with lots of sneers about being obsessed with pretty pink dresses and shopping trips. But nine times out of ten, I don't see that, I see a woman saying that, if she had the choice, she'd like her immediate family to contain at least one person of her own gender. Moreover, in all other areas on this site, relationships between women are celebrated and gven high status, even to the point of women who say they get on better with men or are 'men's women' being slated. Then, when a pregnant woman says, actually, I'd like to give birth to another woman and have a female relationship in my immediate family - she is slated. It's odd (and that's before you even get to the MIL bogeyman!)

FobblyWoof Fri 12-Jul-13 10:07:03

I'm confused. I get the wanting one sex over another. I wanted a girl in my first pregnancy, this time I really don't mind either way but I do know what it's like to have a preference. However, from your OP it sounds like you've already chosen exactly what interests your new DS will have. How do you know he'll like trains? You're assuming that he will because A) he's a boy and B) your older DS likes/has liked trains. And why we're you under the assumption that a girl would have loved to do the things you like doing?

When I was little I loved trains and cars and shunned anything girly. That doesn't make me weird, it just makes me me. As an adult I would consider myself girly now but that doesn't mean I like pampering etc. I don't.

The differences you've described in your OP have nothing to do with whether your baby has a penis or a vagina, more social conditioning of what roles boys and girls are supposed to fit into. The Let Toys Be Toys campaign is a good one to follow for more information on that.

I'm not trying to say you shouldn't be disappointed, but I don't think you should be disappointed over some of the things you've listed.

As I said at the top, I really, really desperately wanted a girl in my first pregnancy (I think a lot of it had to do with the fact I loved the name we had picked), and I got my girl. But I don't mind whether she likes ponies or quad bikes- its whatever she wants to be and what she wants with her life that matters. I'm sure you feel the same about your children and that once the baby is here and has his own little personality that you can see blossoming everyday that you'll soon forget any disappointment.

PearlyWhites Fri 12-Jul-13 10:14:05

To the extremely nasty posters on this thread obviously you have never experienced gender disappointment.
Op thanks

Roshbegosh Fri 12-Jul-13 10:25:23

Fondly is right, the child is an individual and maybe OP would have been disappointed down the line if she had a DD but they didn't want to be in her princess mould. Like I said earlier on this bread, if you aren't comfortable with the fifty fifty risk don't get pregnant. I do feel sorry for a baby coming into this world with a cloud over them, before they are even born, just because of their gender. It makes me angry and no pearlywhite, I haven't experienced gender disappointment because my love for a baby is not so conditional.

Roshbegosh Fri 12-Jul-13 10:28:41

Thread, not bread

Roshbegosh Fri 12-Jul-13 10:29:18

Fobbly, not fondly

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