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To be struggling with gender disappointment

(134 Posts)
Apachepony Wed 27-Jul-16 12:54:14

Well, I know I am but I guess this is an anonymous forum for speaking emotions that are leaving me feeling very guilty about my newborn son. I posted here under a different name when I found out on my scan it would be my second son but I thought it would go on birth. He came a month early, but did really well, was v healthy for being premature and I was delighted with him. I rationalised the odds of getting an elder boy, younger girl (what my ideal would have been)were not that high and I was delighted with what I had. However my two good friends were due at the same time and they both now have had girls. They both have older boys. Now I seem to be fixated on this, kind of wishing that I had a girl and feeling guilty that I am pretty much wishing my son was a different baby. It's even affecting how I feel about my older boy who is a very boisterous 3 year old. I'm wondering how I will cope with 2 of those. I'm feeling bad that none of my friends have boys close to my second sons age. This is really affecting my newborn buzz and I do t know how to shake it. It's so ridiculous when he's healthy so far.

MatildaTheCat Wed 27-Jul-16 12:58:40

Sorry you are feeling disappointed but at least you know YABU.

Can you organise your feelings into feeling disappointed that your 'dream' situation hasn't materialised as opposed to feeling disappointed with your lovely new baby?

Your friends will have their own challenges. The dream family doesn't exist. Healthy children are all that matters but you know that. Discuss with your HV if this continues as it may be pnd. Do not worry,she has heard it many times before.

hazeimcgee Wed 27-Jul-16 12:59:57

Ok so you're probably going to get slated by many people for not just appreciating your healthy child. As a mom of a prem very critically poorly and now at 14 months still struggling baby i get that.
But it doesn't help you.

If its affecting your feelings i'd question whether its just gender disappointment or PND. I'd talk to your GP and get some emotional support

hazeimcgee Wed 27-Jul-16 13:02:13

And Matilda for those of us who have never had healthy children, healthy chikdren are not all that matter. Having him, meeting him, holding him are all that matter

RichardBucket Wed 27-Jul-16 13:04:47

You'll have loads of people telling you YABU because some people can't have kids at all etc etc etc. But YANBU. Gender disappointment is a real thing, probably much more common than we realise (because it's taboo to be anything but ECSTATIC at having a healthy child) and can have a serious impact. YANBU for how you feel. You would be unreasonable to let it affect your relationship with your new son, but just by recognising your feelings you're doing the right thing by him.

I think you should definitely talk to someone - HV, GP, whoever. You need a non-critical ear who can help you move past this.

MorrisZapp Wed 27-Jul-16 13:05:21

Been there. It'll get better as he becomes his own person, and soon enough you'll feel sorry for mothers of the other gender. Give it time.

MaisieDotes Wed 27-Jul-16 13:06:03

You won't have two boisterous 3y olds, you'll have a 3yo and a 6yo while will be absolutely fine.

Also near in mind that your 3yo's current behaviour will be partly as a result of having a new baby brother in the house. So that won't apply to your younger son (unless you have another baby of course!).

I think having two boys is fantastic, they will be able to play together in a couple of years- as would a girl and a boy, of course, but two boys might have more in common.

TanteJeanne Wed 27-Jul-16 13:07:00

I have 2 boys. They are lovely brothers for each other. Of course they bicker, but they have so much in common and enjoy playing together and doing the same sorts of things together. Try to see the positives- you have a lovely precious new person, whatever their gender.

FrazzleRock Wed 27-Jul-16 13:08:08

I agree with this: If its affecting your feelings i'd question whether its just gender disappointment or PND. I'd talk to your GP and get some emotional support

Having had a MMC and a MC this year I can only dream of having a healthy baby, boy or girl. But you know, before I experienced the death of my babies, when I was naive, I longed for a daughter. I have two DS's who are just wonderful. To be able to have another one of those would fill me with absolute joy, not the utter hell I'm in now struggling to come to terms with the loss of two of my babies.

I'm sorry you feel the way you do and, like I said, I felt similar once aupon a time, but this just upsets me now.

Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful baby boy.

Floggingmolly Wed 27-Jul-16 13:09:30

This is Mumsnet. I'm surprised the usual shower haven't been along to tell you that you don't know his "gender" yet. That he (or xe, believe it or not) may not even have one.

pigsDOfly Wed 27-Jul-16 13:10:27

A lot of people have an idea of a 'perfect' family in their heads but as pp said the perfect family doesn't exist.

My DGD has just had her 2nd birthday and frankly is being something of a nightmare - screamed and cried for the whole of a 40 minute car journey the other day - girls aren't sweet little things either smile

Look at it another way, your 2 boys will grow up with someone they might be closer to because

MackerelOfFact Wed 27-Jul-16 13:11:31

Congratulations on your lovely baby boy. flowers

Three-year-old girls can be boisterous and rowdy, and three-year-old boys can be placid and sensitive - there are no rules about the gender of a toddler and what their personality will be like! And as newborns, there is no difference between baby boys and baby girls beyond what is under their nappy. Absolutely none.

I would speak to your GP or HV. It could be PND manifesting itself in this way, especially if you've had the shock of a premature baby, because your thoughts seem quite irrational.

MumOfTwoMasterOfNone Wed 27-Jul-16 13:13:25

I totally understand where you're coming from. I feel very fortunate I ended up with your dream scenario of an elder boy and younger girl. We paid for a gender scan at 16 weeks and we both thought we were having another boy from looking at the 4d scan. The sonographer took ages to tell us it was a girl though! I felt sick with disappointment and guilty for feeling sick. I couldn't hide the fact I wanted a girl and had told close family/friends. My DF actually told me off and said it doesn't matter as long as it's healthy. It did though. I knew I'd need time to come to terms with it.
Did you plan on anymore children?

pigsDOfly Wed 27-Jul-16 13:14:30

sorry posted too soon. because being the same sex they might just end up being best mates.

Agree with everyone else don't let this go one it does sound like it could be the start of pnd.

MumOfTwoMasterOfNone Wed 27-Jul-16 13:18:41

Agree with pigs though too. I'm very close to my sister and it does make me sad that my DD won't have that relationship with anyone. It's purely selfish for me that I wanted one of each, but in most cases probably better for DC if they have a same sex sibling!

VestalVirgin Wed 27-Jul-16 13:22:01

This is Mumsnet. I'm surprised the usual shower haven't been along to tell you that you don't know his "gender" yet. That he (or xe, believe it or not) may not even have one.

Well, he does not have a gender yet if he has not come into contact with patriarchal society ... perhaps, if you are careful, you can keep him away from gender.

Here's an article on that problem:

glosswatch.com/2014/06/28/boy-or-girl-why-not-have-a-stereotype-instead/

Technically, OP is coping with sex disappointment, but in this case I understand why she didn't use the correct word, as it would be rather easy to misunderstand. wink

jellycat1 Wed 27-Jul-16 13:23:19

Ah that's so sad to read. Yes yabu. I have two boys 17 mths apart. They're only little but so so cute together and I believe it wouldn't be as good for ds1 if ds2 was a girl. I hope you get over your disappointment soon.

SuburbanRhonda Wed 27-Jul-16 13:24:37

I think it's perfectly reasonable to correct people who confuse the words "gender" and "sex".

AliceInHinterland Wed 27-Jul-16 13:26:37

YANBU, you are grieving a little for the family you imagined. You are not claiming to be grieving as much as the childless or those who've suffered losses, but it is a little bit of grief none the less.
Accept your feelings, it's okay to feel two different things at once (loving your son and missing the daughter you didn't have). I think most people experience life changes as bittersweet anyway - I mourned our little family of three where I could give my first almost all of my attention when I had my second.
I hope the feeling starts to lessen for you soon. I always sniff my baby's head when I'm feeling a bit sorry for myself, I think it's meant to release oxytocin!

nuttymango Wed 27-Jul-16 13:28:55

Been there, done that. 12 years later I wouldn't change anything for the world. I hope you feel better soon OP.

LoreleiGilmoreIsMyBFF Wed 27-Jul-16 13:32:03

Our feelings and responses to any given situation belong to us alone; we can be self-aware and understand they are unreasonable, but that doesn't make them any less valid to us. The OP has already said she feels uncomfortable about her responses, but she is feeling them, never the less. After my dad died, my little family was my mum, my sister and my niece. I almost expected to have a girl; in fact my mum (in hindsight, a little insensitively) said to me before my 20-week scan, 'I'm sure it will be a girl' with a little wink. No pressure then. My little peanut was undoubtedly male - and I felt as though I had somehow 'failed'. Ridiculous, now, but that is how I felt in that moment. I adore him, he's so perfect and I love his maleness - his quick, aggressive hugs, his love of trains, just the bloody smell of him. He's now four and those memories of disappointment over his gender have faded - I wouldn't change him for the world, universe, etc etc. But I did feel a pang on that day, when the sonographer told me. You will move this OP, but I do completely understand. There are no 'unreasonable' feelings; only our responses to them.

minipie Wed 27-Jul-16 13:34:50

Perhaps it might help you to analyse the reasons why you would have preferred a girl, and why you think elder boy/younger girl is the "ideal" family?

Because I bet if you think about those reasons carefully, you'll find they don't really stack up in reality.

For example: is it because you have been led to believe by films, adverts, friends' comments that "one of each" is the ideal family? If so then let that go - it's just a social cliche, it doesn't have any basis in reality at all.

Is it because you think a girl will be easier - trust me, they are not necessarily, it all depends on what kind of boy/girl you get.

Is it because you wanted "something different" - well you will have something different, your DS2 will be a totally different person to DS1 (in fact he may be more different than a DD would have been, except for his sex).

It is worry about 2 boisterous boys - your DS2 may not be boisterous. Your DS1 may grow out of it. If you'd had a DD she might have been boisterous (I know plenty of boisterous girls).

Honestly any reason you come up with probably isn't borne out in reality (unless it's that you wanted to buy dresses - but that's pretty minor smile)

I have 2 girls and for a few moments I was disappointed that DD2 wasn't a boy. Especially as others I knew were having "one of each" families. But I pretty quickly got over it by applying the technique above wink

ifcatscouldtalk Wed 27-Jul-16 13:36:44

Give youself time. People have ideals in their head. My ideal was 2 children and I have 1. I got use to it and am happy. My daughter is fab but believe me girls aren't always sweetness and innocence. As she is fast approaching teen years I look at my best friend's 2 boys of similar age group and am almost enviousgrin. They are so laid back and straight forward in comparison. A lot is personality of course but everyone i know with a pre teen girl is finding it erm interesting. Seek professional advise if these feelings don't pass but I think they will. Congratulations on a beautiful baby boy.

Popskipiekin Wed 27-Jul-16 13:37:45

Really feel for you, OP, and I will be trying not to battle with similar feelings after our 20 week scan tomorrow if it's another DS. Logically I accept everything that has been said by prior posters but that won't help when a little bit of me will yearn for the mother-daughter relationship I have with my mum and she had with hers and so on and so forth through the generations. However, and PPs have said this, there seems to be a greater likelihood that two of the same sex will play nicely together and be good mates. Your DS1 may connect more easily now with his baby brother than he would a sister. I was never that close to my younger brother growing up - although I now am - and looked quite wistfully at friends who had sisters. I also envied a bunch of our cousins who are all boys - they had so much fun together. And won't it be nice to be queen bee in your house of boys grin

ShesAStar Wed 27-Jul-16 13:39:11

They are all little people with personalities, gender isn't all that important. Don't worry OP, your feelings will change as you get to know DS.

Jellcat- why do you think your DS1 benefits more from having a DB than he would if he had a DS?

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