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Disappointed at gender, so ashamed

(186 Posts)
YoungNun Thu 27-Oct-11 19:25:16

I've name-changed for this because I am so ashamed of what I'm feeling. I had a scan today at eighteen weeks and found out I am carrying a boy. I had genuinely never given any real thought to the baby's gender, because I was worried about whether it was OK (first pregnancy, not a young mother), but as soon as the sonographer said it was a boy, I suddenly felt terribly disappointed, and as if I'd unconsciously been counting on a girl all along.

I'm trying to work out why my feelings are so negative - surely it's more than some kind of superficial stuff about dresses and baking? Partly to do with the fact that there are lots of boys in the extended family and few girls, and the fact that I think mothering a boy will be harder, because I don't know how boys tick...? Am I actually being deeply sexist, and unconsicously think boys are inferior, emotionally limited etc, despite the fact that my partner is a wonderful man?

Please don't flame - I know I'm being ridiculous and unfair, and that I should be shrieking with delight that the baby seems to be developing normally, when instead I'm sitting on the sofa in tears, because I feel so guilty that I'm thinking this stuff about my lovely baby before it's even born. Has anyone else felt this, and do you have any advice as to how to kick myself out of this mindset? What the hell is wrong with me?

NickNacks Thu 27-Oct-11 19:28:07

I knew this would be about having a boy a being dissappointed it's not a girl. hmm

GuillotinedMaryLacey Thu 27-Oct-11 19:30:30

This is why I think finding out the sex early is a great idea. Wouldn't it be awful to have these feelings when your baby is born?

I think it's a combination of things. You're a girl, so, loosely speaking you know what girls do. Then there's all the girly shopping bonding stuff that people imagine having a daughter will bring. And chuck in the amount of boys in the family.... I don't think it has anything to do with how you feel about boys in general.

You'll get over it and your little boy will be fabulous, you know he will. Don't beat yourself up about it, it'll be fine smile

MrsCampbellBlack Thu 27-Oct-11 19:33:33

No flaming here - I think how you're feeling is very understandable although never a popular subject on here.

I have 2 boys and did wonder how I'd get on with being a mother of boys as had no brothers/father when growing up so very used to the company of women/girls.

But you know what - its fab it really is.

You've got some time to come to terms with it and to begin to get excited about the birth of your son.

musttidyupmusttidyup Thu 27-Oct-11 19:35:07

You're emotions are up the spout with all those hormones. It'll be fine. You will cherish him more than you can possibly imagine. I promise. Now, dont give it any more thought. Pull yourself together and stop fretting. grin

fuckityfuckfuckfuck Thu 27-Oct-11 19:35:26

Nicknacks, the OP is being honest. I felt the same when I found out with my ds. But why not make her feel more ashamed than she already does? hmm
OP, I think it's natural to 'mourn' the baby you won't get. fwiw, my best friend's sister has the opposite- found out she's having a girl and has realised she was expecting, and wanting a girl. It is an adjustment of expectation. I can guarantee you will love your son as much as you would love a daughter. I am lucky enough to have one of each, and am pregnant again and I this time I don't care what I have. Gender is pretty irrelevant when it gets down to it.

frutilla Thu 27-Oct-11 19:37:23

Well there's nothing you can do about it, so it's a waste of energy, although you can't help how you feel in your heart. Just be grateful and you can alway try for another after - though it may be a boy again! I have 2 wonderful boys, I'm sure you will be v happy when you meet him, there will be tears of joy. So try not to feel bad and focus on your growing baby, he needs your love!

happenstance Thu 27-Oct-11 19:37:29

Hi didn't want to read and run, Please don't think it is only you, you have found out in advance and your feelings will change as you settle into the idea, you are certainly not being rediculous or unfair.

Please don't beat yourself up about your feelings now, you will love your baby more than anything in the world when he is here.

MrsCampbellBlack Thu 27-Oct-11 19:39:45

To be fair to nicknacks - I too knew which way round this thread would be and this is probably in part why the OP feels as she does.

In my opinion boys are just not as wanted in today's society - girls are seen as 'easier' when they're little, you know they'll play quietly and sweetly whilst boys run around being boisterous.

Of course thats generalising but it is how a lot of people seem to feel which is very sad.

GuillotinedMaryLacey Thu 27-Oct-11 19:39:53

FWIW we are really really girl heavy on both sides of our family. This baby will be PIL's 6th granddaughter and no grandsons and my parents' 4th granddaughter (one grandson). I was absolutely convinced this would be a boy and was not entirely thrilled when told it was another girl. But now I'm really looking forward to having two girls.

Someone will always be ready to project their own feelings onto you so ignore them. It's a MN sin to express any preference at all for girls don't you know hmm

Nicknacks - going for a prize for least helpful post?

OP - don't over-analyse your feelings. You obviously had thoughts about this that you hadn't full realised so you have had a bit of a shock but you will love your baby and he will be the centre of your world. Generally speaking nobody knows how their child will tick till they arrive and then you get to know them. Boy or girl - you are their parent and you will be brilliant at it!

Have you looked on line for some cool boy stuff? Girls have dresses but there is loads of lovely boy stuff too smile

It's fine, don't worry about how you are feeling, it's totally OK. I was so convinced I was having a girl my mum brought dresses to the maternity ward only to be told I'd had a son. I love my boy, you'll adore yours. Don't bother trying to kick yourself out of your mind set. Just sit with it for a while and it'll probably shift on it's own. Your baby will kick those feelings to the side once he arrives and is delicious!

Although watch out as there'll probably be posters along who'll want to give you a hard time with the 'at least you can have a baby'/'at least he's healthy'/'well, you're anti-feminist'/ whatever, but just know that that's their issue and they're off-loading it onto you to try to make themselves feel better. (I've no idea what NickNacks is making faces about, but it's probably not going to add to the thread.)

bigkidsdidit Thu 27-Oct-11 19:41:32

I understand. I always wanted a troupe of girls and when I found out I was carrying a boy I was a bit disappointed. I was so ashamed of myself. Gradually I adjusted and when he was born he was just the most wonderful baby. That's the thing- you dot give both to a boy or a girl but your baby, with a name and a personality. Then it doesn't matter at all smile

Hopefully I'll have another in a few years and I want another boy now. I just want another DS, he's so awesome smile

Take some time to adjust. You're hormonal, it's a surprise. You need a bit of time.

GuillotinedMaryLacey Thu 27-Oct-11 19:41:53

I have to say MrsCB that only someone without girls would think that girls are easier and sit quietly playing. I've been a nanny, have a daughter and, as stated above, have loads of girls in the family. Girls playing quietly and not being boisterous is a complete myth.

NickNacks Thu 27-Oct-11 19:41:54

Who said I made her feel more ashamed than she already does? I do not take responsibility for her shame.

It's the truth that I knew it would be disappointment about having a boy.

C4ro Thu 27-Oct-11 19:42:03

Well, to counteract this apparently "obvious" expectation, I thought it would be the other way round. My own mum told me she was a bit disappointed I was a girl. This despite the fact she came from a familiy of 4 girls and 1 boy where the boy was treated as a do-no-wrong king and the girls ignored (at best).

Purplebuns Thu 27-Oct-11 19:42:58

I agree with the mourning the baby you won't have. I had no preference and I was so pleased Dd was a girl however, there was definitely part of me that thought oh I won't have a boy. I think twins one of each would have been perfect for me wink

Oh and when you have your baby snuggled up, you will wonder what you were worried about as you got the best baby ever. in the whole entire world

squinker45 Thu 27-Oct-11 19:43:01

My little boy is obsessed with baking, but sometimes I do wish i could buy a lovely little dress... that's really all i regret though, and I do know mothers who just buy girly stuff anyway and dress their boys in it (tho they are a bit nuts).

Your baby is your baby, not a girl and you will be glad he wasn't when you meet him. iykwim.

NickNacks Thu 27-Oct-11 19:44:45

MrsCampbelBlack Thank you- you explained it perfectly. Boys are seen as less desirable and I really don't understand why! I have 2 boys, 1 girl and by far, my daughter is the hardest work!

GuillotinedMaryLacey Thu 27-Oct-11 19:44:47

Well it was a 50/50 chance so you're not that clever.

Velvetcu Thu 27-Oct-11 19:46:23

I really really wanted a boy and was gutted when I found out I was having a girl. I had a miscarriage last year so felt even more ashamed about it.

My gorgeous little girl was born last Tuesday and I am totally besotted with her. She is wonderful and her gender means absolutely nothing at all - she is mine and that's all that matters! I never thought I'd be saying something like that about a girl!

MrsCampbellBlack Thu 27-Oct-11 19:48:10

Umm I have a girl as well. I was talking about generalisations and why I think people prefer the idea of girls.

hester Thu 27-Oct-11 19:48:18

Try to forgive yourself for your feelings. It's ok to have a preference, so long as you understand that (a) there's nothing you can do about the sex of your child, and (b) your preference is almost certainly rooted in assumptions, stereotypes and projects that have nothing to do with reality.

I wanted a girl desperately. So much so that I delayed childbearing because I felt it wouldn't be fair to a boy to go ahead. Then one day I reached an epiphany when I thought, "well, so what if I prefer a girl? Will it stop me loving a boy? No. Is this anything other than my assumptions about what girls are like versus what boys are like? No. So I'll just go ahead and prefer all I want, because in the end I just have to get on with it".

Once I'd had my baby (a girl - in fact I now have two girls) it really came home to me how individual they are, and how much you love them whatever they are. Looking at the other families around me, I see no evidence that mothers are closer to daughters than sons, or that mothers and daughters share interests, or that girls are 'easier' (mine are certainly not!).

Honestly, you will love your little boy and the thought of swapping him for a girl will seem ridiculous to you. He is the child you were meant to have and you will absolutely treasure him. Once you have him you will know that he is an individual and he will be very different from your fantasy child in so many ways - but you will love him for who and what he is. Don't beat yourself up, just shrug and get on with it. It will be fine.

YoungNun Thu 27-Oct-11 19:49:44

Thanks for being so nice, everyone who commented. Nicknacks, I'm pretty new on here, so I genuinely didn't know that gender disappointment tended one way only, or that there was a MN culture of girl preference.

And frankly, if someone came on and said I was a selfish, superficial bitch who didn't deserve her baby, I'd agree with her at this minute. I have never felt so ashamed of myself in my entire life. But the support is very much appreciated, because this isn't something I want to say out loud, ever.

I dont think its anything to be ashamed about, you will love your little boy. I have 1 boy and am pregnant with my 4th girl. My boy has been very different to my girls, but there is just no way of knowing if thats personality or gender or more likely a mixture of both. When the sonographer told me that i was having a girl again this time i momentarily said goodbye to the little boy who was going to fit nicely into the bottom bunk in my sons room and i think thats what you are describing you had one image in your head and now you need to make another.

Go out and buy some lovely little boy outfits and just get excited about your new son. Just build up a new picture in your head. I couldnt be more thrilled now to be having a girl and my dh has been making me laugh telling people all about his "4 daughters" and his son who will aparently be hidigin in a shed with him when the girls hit puberty (they are all going to be teenagers at once)

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