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Can I ask a sensitive question about gender disappointment?

(21 Posts)
Tortoiseonthehalfshell Fri 29-Jul-11 05:13:58

(Well, and a trivial one: why the feck is it called Gender Disappointment when we're talking about the sex? It should be 'sex disappointment'. Although that might be an entirely different thread, I suppose.)

Anyway. I know it's a real thing, people have experienced it to varying degrees from 'mild disappointment' to actual depression, I really hope that nobody feels the need to barge in and tell those who've experienced it that they have no right to feel that way.

What I actually want to know is, does it always go away at birth?

The reason I'm asking is: I didn't find out with DD, but I feel like I absolutely Knew, and I was right. I don't even know if I had a preference for a girl, I just assumed I would have one.

This time I feel like it's a boy. But I don't know if that's a preference, or if it's just because I assume it's a boy (I have one younger brother, my mother has one brother, that's my family model). I don't want to wait, and get so convinced that I am taken aback at the birth. But I don't want to find out, discover it's a girl, and then discover that it was a stronger preference than I was admitting to myself and find myself with actual negative feelings about the pregnancy. Added to this complication is that my in-laws are very vocal about wanting a boy, some were vocally disappointed when DD was DD (grrr), and then DH's sister had a girl, and then another girl, and now the pressure's really on.

So. Fine. Went for scan today. Caved, and decided to find out (was on my own). Little blighter wouldn't open its legs. I took this as a sign that I shouldn't find out. But then it also wouldn't flip over so as to give a good view of the heart, so I have to go back Monday for a second scan, thus opening the question up all over again.

I have no idea why I'm so obsessed about this. But in brief, does sex preference go away at the birth, and thus anyone with a preference should probably not risk finding out?

sleepywombat Fri 29-Jul-11 05:47:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pastabee Fri 29-Jul-11 06:40:30

A pretty much pointless post from me as expecting first baby! DH and I have really strong feeling it's a boy - we've felt this since we saw the blue line.

I don't think it's actually a preference. I am pretty sure it's just a strong feeling but who knows and I am definite we will be very surprised if it's a girl because of the strength of feeling.

We didn't find out at 20 week scan either.

If it helps I'm the eldest of three girls. My mum says she would have loved a boy but says both times the enthusiasm of me and then sister finding out we had a sister instantly banished any regret over not having a boy!

SouthGoingZax Fri 29-Jul-11 06:42:40

I was 'sure' I was having a girl and a boy (twins).
We didn't find out at the scans (although I saw a penis on one of the babies so I knew at least one was a boy!) and I was so sure that we had half girl and half boy clothes borrowed from friends loaded into the chest of drawers in the babies' room.
I had 2 boys. I was surprised, but not disappointed. Straight away the babies stopped being imaginary and were just what they 'were'.

PeggyCarter Fri 29-Jul-11 07:01:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OfflineFor30Years Fri 29-Jul-11 07:25:22

I thought DC2 was going to be a boy; the pregnancy was different to DD1 and I took every sign to mean the gender would be different - like you I have a brother and it's the family model I know and wanted. I didn't find out the sex, and when DD2 was born there was a momentary disappointment that I didn't (and probably would never) have a son, but it really was fleeting.

There were times in the days after that I felt myself almost grieving for the boy I'd imagined, but it doesn't mean to say I wasn't overjoyed to have a wonderful new life in my arms. The fact DD wasn't a boy didn't affect my feelings for her in anyway; I absolutely adore her.

So if I were you, I wouldn't find out in advance because you no matter what sex, you will be overwhelmed by your feelings for your new baby at the time of birth.

firsttimer84 Fri 29-Jul-11 08:07:17

I was utterly convinced I was having a girl, then my scan showed a boy. I wasn't disappointed just a bit shocked that I could be so wrong. Now I've loved getting used to him being a him and we've been able to choose our name and really helped us bond.

If I'd not found out and thought it was a girl up until he came out I think I'd found it difficult to adjust my mindset. Again not disappointed but try to adjust to the reality vs image built up whilst pregnant. (Not actually given birth yet due in sept so feel free to ignore me)

DillyTante Fri 29-Jul-11 08:18:58

Didn't find out with Dd1. Did with DD2. I was convinced I had no preference, really didn't mind. But this was the last one and when I found out it was a girl I was shocked at how sad I felt that I would never have a son. It didn't last long and honestly since dd2 has come along I've never given it a second thought.

I can see your dilemma though, I do wonder if I hadn't found out at all I'd have bypassed those feelings in the hell joy of having a new baby.

crazyhead Fri 29-Jul-11 08:25:49

I'm having my first too - and we found out it is a boy. I didn't mind either way, but I did have a day or two adjusting to the definiteness of it - while you don't know, both the possibilities are there so you can imagine a boy AND girl. Now I am dead excited and am thinking about him a lot.

If we get to have a second, I imagine I'll have a stronger preference for a girl in the way many do who would ideally like one of each, but would then go through the same process and would just be happy to have a baby - if it happens of course!

I think for me, I'd rather know in advance just to have that little privat adjustment time. If I had in-laws being shitty, then I definitely would rather know in advance. I think I'd rather deal with other people's feelings during the actual pregnancy, especially if I had any preference of my own.

I think the very fact that you get people coming into these threads going on about how you have no 'right' to even think about it (what? Do they never have complex feelings and walk round in a haze of gratitude for everything that ever happens to them?) underscores for me why I would rather know pre-birth

I am of course a novice so don't know how the birth would make me feel

PeggyCarter Fri 29-Jul-11 08:39:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CollieandPup Fri 29-Jul-11 09:00:27

I'm 24wks and expecting dc1 who is a boy! From day 1 I was convinced it was a girl as was the whole family, so much so that I nearly asked the sonographer if she was sure smile !! At first I did think I felt duissapointed but after about 24 (or less even) hrs I realised I wasn't disappointed just really shocked we were wrong so it was taking me some time to get used to visualising him as a boy! Now I'm so excited I can't wait to meet him..... <Although confesses to still looking at pretty dresses in the shops!!>

My dm was probably more disapponted it's a boy not girl, and commented that she was glad she found our early (wasn't going to let us tell her) but I honestly think that was the suprise too!   

It doesn't sound to me like you have a significantly strong preference so I doubt any disappointment would last long, and would most likely just be a case of adjusting.

But, if you're not that bothered about knowing early, why not wait? I am certain that when he/she is born your heart would melt regardless.  

Also agree people should get off their high horses about gender disappointment. I think life is complicatd and I know if I had 3 ds I would be desperate for a dd. Doesn't mean I wouldn't love another ds though. I am more than aware of the struggles people have ttcing, having had my own mc, spending lots of time on the ttc boards and having family who have been trying to ttc for 6 years. But it's all relative is it not?     

lovemybabyboy Fri 29-Jul-11 10:35:32

I will be 28 weeks tomorrow with DC2, I already have a DS.
Although we didnt find out the sex at the scan, I am convinced this is DS2, If it turns out to be DD I will of course be very happy but equally very shocked!!! smile
I am having the problem of everyone presuming I want a DD as I already have a DS...when infact I really dont mind either way. I had a mmc last august so since then the sex of the baby really is not important to me anymore...I just want a healthy baby who is born alive!

However, when I was pregnant with DS I really wanted a girl and found out at 20 week scan that he was a boy...I was suprised but I wasnt very dissapointed I was still happy...but shocked! hahaha!! smile

Alikersh Fri 29-Jul-11 10:54:55

Didn't find out with DS but we were told our second was a girl - which she was smile. Not sure if we're going to find out with this one - even when we were told about DD it didn't make a difference, I didn't buy anything feminine till I saw with my own eyes...
We had the same problem as alot of other people though - everyone assumed that because we already had a boy we wanted a girl when I really wasn't bothered tbh!
I don't understand family pressure really, we can't really control what we have can we? My in laws were desparate for one of their grandchildren to be a girl and wouldn't stop banging on about it all the way through each pregnancy (my DH is one of 3). They've got 2 girls & 2 boys to spoil now so the pressure's off me this time!! grin

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Fri 29-Jul-11 13:57:20

Well, I was about 90% convinced we were having a boy (I have, um, even gone and bought wee little dinky jumpsuit things, in blue. But only two of them!) and the US tech guessing girl has shifted me to 60% girl 40% boy. So I should probably leave it. My fear of not finding out was that I would get so convinced that I would forget I didn't actually know. I've been referring to the baby as 'he' when talking to people who don't really care (ie, my daughter).

I have no idea why I'm obsessing so much about this decision. Not the actual preference, just the 'find out or not' decision. But there you have it.

ShowOfHands Fri 29-Jul-11 14:06:40

You become fixated on it because it's something you can 'know'. You can't know hair colour or interests or size or personality or any of that but you can know what's between their legs. And while gender is irrelevant in many ways (in terms of personality and the way you love your baby for example), it is an absolute. Babies born big can lose weight, small babies can end up tall, bald babies grow hair. But barring transexuality or very, very, very rare genetic mutations, you are one thing or another and that's quite a big thing to find out.

Anyway, I don't know anybody (I include myself in this) who was disappointed at the 20wk scan but still disappointed by the time the birth came round. I guess in a way you grieve for the gender it isn't well before the birth and then get on with planning for the baby who is coming as opposed to the one who isn't.

LaWeasel Fri 29-Jul-11 14:19:23

I think that if you have a preference, of any kind of intensity, yes you should find out.

I was so utterly convinced that DD was a boy, and I worried so much about what having a girl might mean (because of family issues) that I was actually very upset for a few days after finding out she was a girl at the scan until I got used to the idea.

I was not AT ALL disappointed at the birth, she was just my lovely baby, and I have never regretted not having a boy - although the arrival of a lovely little girl did prompt me to take action over the family issues, as I was determined that they would never affect her.

I'm glad I found out in advance because I probably would have struggled to deal with it after the birth.

I'm pregnant with DC2 and will find out just because I'm curious, but I don't have any preference/feelings either way, I suppose I got all that out the way with DD.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Fri 29-Jul-11 14:24:12

I don't know anybody (I include myself in this) who was disappointed at the 20wk scan but still disappointed by the time the birth came round. I guess in a way you grieve for the gender it isn't well before the birth and then get on with planning for the baby who is coming as opposed to the one who isn't.

Yeah, this is what I've heard, but if you just wait until the birth would there even be any grieving? Or would it just be superceded by the reality of the baby?

benne81 Fri 29-Jul-11 14:28:42

Sorry to confuse you but I think completely the opposite of La Weasel if you have any preference at all you shouldn't find out the gender at the 20 week scan. When I first found out i was pregnant I think I definitely wanted a girl, I've been brought up in a massively feminist household my sister and mother won't know what to do if its a boy and my husband definitely wanted a cute little girl.

We have decided we don't want to find out the sex and because of this I have had to rationalise what if it is a boy (incidentially I am now convinced that it is boy) but it has made me realise that actually boys are bloody great as well and actually I couldn't give a flying fart what sex it is because it will be my child and gorgeous and my mum and sister will just have to lump it and it might actually be quite good for them to have a little boy to contend with.

I think if I had found out it was a boy at the 20 week scan I may have been disappointed which is absolutely terrible when you think about it because it is your child and they should never disappoint you (esp not before they have even been born!). After you have given birth and you find out the sex there is no way anybody could be disappointed holding a baby in their arms.

BitzyVonMuffling Fri 29-Jul-11 14:32:59

I agree with benne. I had one dd (didn't find out as genuinely had no preference). But when I was pg with dc2 I did have a preference for a girl. I thought it would be great for dd, and I could see myself as the mother of 2 girls. But I found out at 20 weeks that I was having a boy and tbh I was disappointed. It's a terrible thing to admit, but I think more people feel it than will ever admit it. It took the shine off the birth for me too. I loved finding out for myself when I had dd. This time I won't be finding out. I really feel my birth with dd, though much harder, was more special for having had the surprise. It goes without saying that I love my ds fiercely now of course.

Treats Fri 29-Jul-11 14:44:30

I was utterly convinced that DC1 was a boy - I'd always imagined myself as a mother of sons, referred to it as 'he' all the way through and never considered for a moment that it might be a girl.

It's quite hard to explain the feelings I had when DD popped out. And they didn't go away for quite a long time, resulting in a tearful conversation with DH when she was about 4 months old that I was still in mourning for the son I hadn't had.

So - no - the disappointment doesn't go away at the birth. But over time, you do - of course - come to know your child as an individual person in their own right and their gender is only part of what makes them the person they are. I'm utterly thrilled to be DD's mum now and have no regrets whatsoever.

But I was quite determined this time round to find out the gender at the 20 week scan. Honestly, I didn't have any strong feelings either way this time - I'd still love to be mum to a boy, but I'm the younger of two sisters and think it's a really special relationship. But knowing how much the shock of DD not being a boy overshadowed our first few months together, I didn't want to take any chances.

DS1 is due at the end of November......... smile

I would say that if you've got strong feelings, you should find out (if you can) - then those feelings can be safely dealt with before the arrival.

ShowOfHands Sat 30-Jul-11 18:04:44

My problem was that 'you shouldn't find out if you're going to be disappointed' just wouldn't work. I had to know. There was no way I couldn't. I was so bloody terrified (ridiculous I know) about perpetuating a cycle in our family involving girls that I needed to know what was about to happen. So much so that I had a private gender scan. And the disappointment was two things that are very important. One, disappointed not to be having a boy (not disappointed in the existence of dd) and two, over within days at most.

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