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Gender disappointment

(46 Posts)
notanotherboy Tue 23-Oct-12 10:56:50

I have just come back from my 20 week scan and have found out that I am having a boy. I already have a son and I was really hoping that this was a girl - I can't explain why, but I just really wanted a daughter.

I feel so so guilty about feeling this way, especially as the baby appears healthy, but I just can't help the way I feel. I don't want to feel like this, but I have cried all the way home from the hospital and still in tears now.

I think it is perhaps the fact that this is my second child, and I always only wanted two children, so I feel that this was my "last chance" and now I will never be mum to a girl.

I know that on paper this looks incredibly selfish, but I honestly can't get my head around this so please don't give me a hard time as I feel really bad as it is.

Has anyone else been in the same boat?

curiousgeorgie Tue 23-Oct-12 11:02:25

With my first pregnancy I wanted a girl so much I booked a private gender scan at 16 weeks so that if it was a boy I could prepare myself. I cried on the way there, and when it was revealed to be a girl I swear I've never been so happy.

Now I'm pregnant again after 6 miscarriages trying for a 2nd child and the gender is so unimportant. I'm insanely jealous that you've had a healthy 20 week scan and not one part of me thinks ill ever get there again. Just for some perspective.

(My sister in law has 2 boys - she couldn't be happier by the way)

BoysBoysBoysAndMe Tue 23-Oct-12 11:03:28

Lots of people feel the way you do, not as many voice it.

You probably will get some unsupportive comments on here I'm afraid.

However, I'm having my third boy with no girls shortly and I can tell you, having two boys is amazing.

It's lovely seeing them playing 'boy' things together and the eldest showing our youngest what to do etc.

My dh was disappointed at ds2. Really gutted at ds3.

But he has a fantastic bond with ds2 now which he didn't have with ds1 at that age. And he's coming round to the idea of having a third boy.

Who knows what the future holds for you, but you are incredibly lucky that you have two healthy children. Please put that in perspective. You could go on to have 3 more children and they all could be boys. You could have 1 more and it be a girl.

You could just be very happy with two boys?

Don't feel guilty about how you feel but I'm almost certain you will change your mind once you have him in your arms. smile

zoeymlucas Tue 23-Oct-12 11:11:15

I too always wanted a little girl and have 2 boys already but after a MC in May I suddenly realised that both my boys are so different and both bring different qualities and trates to our family and thats what makes us a family!!!

I am 19+6 with my 3rd son and yes at the scan for a second was a little sad but I looked at my healthy baby on screen and was just grateful for him esp when someone at work had just failed there last attempt at IVF - I was lucky and I look at my other boys and think actually how could I be disappointed at having another one of them when they bring so much to my life.

My DH was gutted as he so wanted a little girl and it took him a week or so and even though he would of loved a daughter he cant wait for bump to arrive and join our little clan of crazy boys

notanotherboy Tue 23-Oct-12 11:21:28

Thank you for your replies.

I know I will absolutely love him to bits as soon as he is here. And I know that it will be lovely for the two boys to play together and I'm sure my son will be over the moon at having a brother, etc.

It's less "not wanting a boy" and more "wanting a girl" IYSWIM?

I think what I am finding difficult to get my head around is the fact that I will probably never have a daughter. I had only wanted two children, and I think if we tried for another, it would only be to see if it was a girl, which I don't think is fair.

I just really need to find a way to get my head around things. I feel very sad for those people who are unable to have children, fertility problems, miscarriages etc. However, even thinking about how lucky we are, I still find it very difficult to get my head around this - I suppose the way the brain processes feelings makes it difficult to just turn them off sad.

Asmywhimsytakesme Tue 23-Oct-12 11:22:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Dannilion Tue 23-Oct-12 11:32:08

I know it's not really the same but..

I am 16+3 with DC1 and am desperate for it to be a boy. I will be gutted if it's a girl. I'm sure I will love her but still...

Was talking to a friend about this the other day who said that most mothers she knew felt the same inclination to a specific sex, but were too afraid to say so due to not wanting to seem ungrateful.

So uh, yeah...You're not alone smile

wilderumpus Tue 23-Oct-12 11:32:44

it's interesting.

FWIW if you took my boy's personality characteristics and wrote them on paper you would think he was a girl, if you were stereotyping character by gender. And if you took mine you would say I was a boy (!). DS can have pink if he is keen for pink, can wear a skirt if he wants to, or be fireman sam. he does what he wants because I try not to steer him specifrically to boy things, or praise 'boy' behaviour over 'girl' behaviour. I spent my childhood up trees and playing he-man much to my mother's enormous sadness

Your child is a unique person who you will love, don't worry! And congratulations!

wilderumpus Tue 23-Oct-12 11:33:41

'specifrically'! hehe! apologies smile

Paradisefound Tue 23-Oct-12 11:40:29

I understand. I'm 15 weeks, expecting my first. I'm hoping it a girl. I grew up as the only girl with 3 brothers ... And would just love to do girly things ! My wider family is also male dominated, so I think it's more likely to be a boy.

But putting into perspective 2 of my older brothers have not been able to have kids, despite spending a fortune on ivf.

So I feel super lucky that I will have a baby, boy or girl.

notanotherboy Tue 23-Oct-12 11:46:03

Dannilion - sorry to hear you are feeling this way. I felt the same with my ds1 - I wanted him to be a girl! Even when he was born, I felt disappointed, and I didn't have that instant rush of love that I had expected. It took me a few days to bond with him, but after that I was absolutely besotted with him, and I'm sure you will be with your dc, whatever the gender.

That's why I know I will love my ds2 (I already do I think), but it's just the fact that I would love to have a girl to do her hair, choose nice clothes, and do mother and daughter things as she got older. A lot of what wilderumpus says is right, but I do find that however much you allow your child to be a person rather than a boy or girl, in my experience, the boys do tend to veer towards lego, cars and spaceships, and the girls towards drawing, playing with dolls quietly etc. My ds has never shown an interest in pink, skirts, dolls etc, yet I have never steered him away from "girl" things.

panicnotanymore Tue 23-Oct-12 11:46:41

I'm having a girl. For some reason I assumed I'd have a boy, and my initial thoughts were a bit sad, but then I forgot all about it. I feel lucky to be pregnant with a healthy baby, and I love her so much already. He or she, I don't care.

You'll love your little one whatever.

opalescent Tue 23-Oct-12 11:51:47

Post like this make me feel a bit sad. You're having a lovely baby. It's healthy. Your username makes me even sadder. I'm sure it's normal to have a sneaky preference one way or the other, but I think you need to try and keep it in perspective.

emeraldgirl1 Tue 23-Oct-12 11:52:47

Got this coming up... scan next week and I am already considering banning DH from attending as I can't bear to see the brief moment of disappointment on his face if it's not a boy. I have been told it may make sense not to find out the gender as you're always less likely to be disappointed once the baby is actually in your arms. But I feel like I need to prepare, one way or the other.

Of course it's irrational OP but you can't help the way you feel. Nor will you be able to help loving the baby when he arrives.

I like you am only likely to do this twice (if I am lucky enough!), maybe only once, so it can feel like everything is riding on that one moment.

But it isn't. You'll adjust to the idea of the new baby gender and (obviously) you'll adore him.

(I am trying to tell myself all these things btw as I am not being anything like this rational or sane about the upcoming scan...)

ShowOfBloodyStumps Tue 23-Oct-12 11:55:00

Congratulations on your pregnancy. smile

Rarely does gender disappointment translate into disappointment with the actual child. It's a specific feeling, specific to a certain point in time and really you're right to say that it's not disappointment with what you have but sadness at what you'll never have. It's also based on stereotypes and a false magnification of feeling. You know only one thing about your baby and that's the fact of what he has between his legs. This doesn't tell you who he is at all. His personality will still be that unique and wonderful mix of his parents with a healthy dollop of him. And you'll love discovering who he is as much as if he had a different set of reproductive organs.

In real terms it makes little difference what you have. Not in terms of personality, bond, expectations.

It's okay to feel sad. Really. It's usually based on experience (wanting to or not wanting to recreate a relationship from the past) or yearning for a stereotype which may or may not come true. You do know what it's like to love a child though. The way your breath catches when you watch them sleep and you want to wake them just to see them look at you and to hug them and whisper how much you love them? It's simply that all over again only this time the adoration you have for your dc2, you'll see reflected in the bond between your two boys. It's a bit special seeing your babies love each other. That will all happen regardless.

You'll be fine. Talk about names, buy your brand new boy an outfit of his very own and celebrate him. Your heart will let go of the girl you'll never have because she's not real. And the reality of your big, bold, brilliant boy will be marvellous.

ShowOfBloodyStumps Tue 23-Oct-12 11:59:25

It's also important to point out that being grateful to have a healthy baby and having mixed reactions to the gender of a baby are two separate things. Same as the birth. You can feel traumatised by the events while happy that you and your baby are healthy. You cannot help your honest reaction and you are allowed to express them. In fact you should. It's step one to leaving them behind.

I completely understand why some people are disparaging about gender disappointment. It's because they don't have experience of it and it's coloured by personal experience. It's not rational so you can't fight it with perspective and rationality. It usually dissipates all on its own and if it doesn't then it's often part of a larger problem which is nothing to do with shame and everything to do with fragility.

notanotherboy Tue 23-Oct-12 16:42:48

Thank you everyone for your responses and for not being judgemental.

I am feeling a lot better about it now. Thank you in particular to SOH - your posts make a lot of sense and make me feel a lot less guilty.

KnockedUpMell Tue 23-Oct-12 16:47:32

I didn't think I wanted a girl, and really wanted another boy. But fell completely head over heels in love with dd once I saw her. Things may seem different once baby is actually here!

LikeCandy Tue 23-Oct-12 18:19:08

Hi NAB - I'm going to leave either my husband or the rest of my family disappointed!
I'm 16+6 with our first child (first grandchild for both sides) and DH wants a boy as our first, and a girl next. He has the idea of our firstborn being the traditional protective big brother!
Everyone else is desperate for a girl as we are a very boy heavy family!
All of my cousins have had boys, I have a brother, and my DH is one of 2 boys.
I know everyone will love whatever baby turns out to be, but I know initially someone will be upset!
I can see the benefit to any order (bg, gb, bb, gg) but at some point (selfishly!) I would like to be mum to a girl, as I have a great relationship with my mum and I'd love to keep that going through another generation!

mummy2benji Tue 23-Oct-12 18:23:40

Sometimes it is just a case of having to reprogram your thinking and expectations - I always assumed I'd have 2 children, a boy and a girl like myself and my brother. When I was in my first trimester I wondered if I might have a second boy and how I'd feel about that, and if I'd be sad about not having a little girl. When I thought about all the love and affection I get from my gorgeous ds, and how much of a joy and blessing it is to be his mummy, I realised that I wouldn't be disappointed if I had another boy. My best friend has 2 boys and has completed her family and loves being mummy to two lively fun little boys. It might mean having to change the way you look at things, but I am sure you will be equally happy when you've got used to the idea. x

CountryKitty Tue 23-Oct-12 18:32:09

Congratulations on your healthy baby.

I'm expecting DD3 at the mo and while I just wanted a healthy baby, my DH was, initially, a bit disappointed.

As well as 2 healthy DD's, we've had two MC's while trying for DC3, so not all plain sailing, but they've taught me that a healthy baby is what really matters.

My sister has a boy (first in family for over 50 years) and he's great - and yours will be too! Goodluck with the rest of your pg!

RockabillyKitty Tue 23-Oct-12 22:25:20

Just to put my two pennies worth in: I think there's nothing wrong with the way you feel, it's completely normal - most people have a preference they'd be lying if they said they didn't, you've just been brave enough to voice it.

Disappointment is just very hard to take in the moment and it's bound up with guilt here. Of course you'll come around to it - you know that. No big words of advice, just support for airing your feelings - talking about it is the main step to moving on.

graciem Tue 23-Oct-12 22:55:25

aww i feel for you. im having 3rd baby already 1 of each so im lucky but im dreading my scan as me and my dd want a girl. as i already have dd i feel very selfish and guilty and my main reason for wanting girl is for ease of bedrooms. i feel stupid really. you are very entitled to be disaapointed i always wanted a daughetr and felt fear that i may not get 1. dont beat yourself up about the way you feel, you will get your head around it and also i said i only ever wanted 1 baby but here i am on my 3rd, all planned too. babies are so lovely you really will get your head around it and love your new son.

turtles Tue 23-Oct-12 23:02:50

I felt the same way and had just about come round by the time ds2 arrived. He's turned out to have such an amazing character, he really is very special. He loves shopping, choosing pink things, doing craft activities while ds1 is obsessed with trains and cars.
It's not just about their stereotypical interests, it's the relationship with them when they're grown up that worries me based on the relationship I have with my mum vs the traditional men and their mothers relationships.

blackcurrants Tue 23-Oct-12 23:19:37

OP I'm a bit further into my pregnancy with DS2 (31 weeks) and I felt just like you - even had a thread about it, I think. Show is right, you can be excited about having this baby and sad for the babies you'll never have, all at once. It's tangled up. It's complicated.

I'm very close to my Mum (much closer than Dbro is) and I suppose I worried, when I thought of myself as the mum of 2 boys, that they would grow up and grow away from me. That I would be MIL at any important births/weddings etc, and not MUM. That he wouldn't understand me as a teen, and I wouldn't understand him, and that we wouldn't be close.

DH was much more disappointed - drove home from the 20 week scan quite quiet and said later he felt guilty for how much he'd always wanted a daughter, and knowing he'd never have one made me feel weepy. I think this feeling is more normal and common than you think.

I have to say, though, there's something in me that has not only come around to the idea of a little pack of boys, but which is really excited about it. So be kind to yourself, it's okay to feel this way, you're not a bad person and it doesn't indicate anything about how you'll feel when your lovely little boy arrives. I've read and loved Jenni Murray's book "That's my boy!" about raising 2 sons, recently - I am beginning to think it is my mission to raise wonderful men who understand their place in the world (and do the cleaning!)

Dsis has 3 girls and would, I imagine, have loved for one of them to be a boy ... but I notice that the 3 of them are SO different in every way that I don't think one of them being male would make it very much more different.

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