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Dealing with gender disappointment advice(51 Posts)
I've made an account on this site after reading some of the posts here.
I'm currently dealing with gender disappointment and have ready on multiple posts that it's completely normal and natural to feel this way and I shouldnt feel bad... but I honestly didn't expect to feel as bad as I do.
I've always pictured myself having a girl. I've even had dreams about my future daughter during pregnancy which made me 90% sure we were having a daughter.
I feel I must mention this is my first pregnancy and I've always always wanted to be a mother.
Sure enough we went for our scan last week and found our we are having a boy and I've been crying since.
People just keep telling me the same things.
"It's just your hormones!"
"Boys are easier!"
"You'll feel differently when he's here."
"You'll love him just the same!"
Which is fine and I'm happy to know it's going to get better but that doesn't really help me now.
I used to love being pregnant. I've had no issues whatsoever... no morning sickness at all. No odd cravings... only the occasional ache.
I used to rub the belly and talk to it whenever I was alone... now I won't even really acknowledge that I'm pregnant at all. The kicks that I once loved to feel are now an annoyance to me and I can't go baby shopping without getting massively emotional and having to go home.
I've read online that this is more common with people who feel they won't be able to connect with a certain gender but also with people that have experienced distress from a certain gender, whether that be emotional or physical... that's me all over. I know this is my issue but I don't know how to solve anything.
I worry that my depression is ruining the experience for my partner and I really want to work on changing my attitude towards it.
I feel absolutely terrible.
So in short... my question is...
Has anyone else gone through similar and how did you overcome it and continue enjoying the rest of the pregnancy?
Thanks a lot for your help!
Do you think you might have pre natal depression or anxiety? To me, this sounds disproportionately disappointed if it has upset you this much.
It's possible of course but I was happy as Larry before I found out the gender.
Although it sounds daft, we always called the bump a she... and it feels like I've lost my little girl. As if I'm mourning for her... and she's been replaced by an imposter.
I know... I must sound ridiculous
I would maybe express your worries to your midfwife/GP or even just to a family member.
My mum had two girls before she had a boy. Did not connect with me and my sister at all (due to her want for a boy) and by the time my brother had come along, she was already deeply depressed from post-natal and general depression that she didn't even want him. Cue a lot of issues while we were growing up.
It is something that had worried me also, as for a while I favoured the thought of having a boy more.
Logically, you must have known there was a 50% chance that the baby was going to be a boy- that's why I could understand if this is a manifestation of other worries you might have?
Are you intending on having just one child? Do you have brothers?
For what it's worth, they are just babies. Until my DD was 2/2 and a half it didn't feel like she was even a girl!
I really hope you feel better about it soon.
I was disappointed at first about finding our that my eldest was boy. It didn't last long - I realised I couldn't change it and started looking forward to the little boy who was going to arrive. I loved having a boy first. To the point, that when I had a girl second time round, I found that much harder to get my head round. Your child will also arrive with their own character. Luckily I wasn't bothered about having a 'girly' girl because DD is anything but...
I am sorry that you are feeling the way you do. I also suggest speaking to your GP or midwife and ask if you can be referred to a counsellor so that you can discuss your feelings without them being dismissed by people saying you'll love the baby when he arrives regardless. Just to add, I am not for one moment saying that you won't love him when he arrives, but I think it sounds like you need the next few months to get your head around things and having your feelings listened to.
Not the same but I was totally convinced I was having a boy. We'd even named him and I talked to him and used his name. Found out she was a girl at the scan and I was shocked but delighted. Even though I was delighted I did feel a little bit like my boy had been stolen and replaced with an imposter. That only lasted a couple of weeks and then I got to know my girl and talked to her instead. For that reason I was glad we chose to find out the sex so it wasn't a shock at the birth. I felt like I really knew her before she was born. Don't worry, you will totally get used to it and better to do that now than when he's here.
Thank you for your comments.
Of course i knew that there was a 50/50 chance, i wasnt ever in doubt about that but as with naughtymummypig, we had a name, we talked to it, we even tempted fate and bought some little girly booties...
I think the problem is that i'd already started bonding with a girl, so it took me completely off guard when we found out it was a boy.
I'm very nervous that i'm not going to feel the same connection with this baby as i thought i would have.
I always thought i'd be delighted with whatever happened, i just didnt expect to feel this low about it.
i really do want to be over the moon about it but the comments i am getting from people i'm confiding in just dont seem to be helping me in my current situation, and instead only keep telling me that i'll be okay... in the future.
I just dont want to spend the next 4 months feeling this way, i feel angry at myself for not feeling the same amount of love.
I'm just curious what others did to raise their spirits again.
Sort of. I wanted another the same as my first and had to let go of the idea when baby was a different sex. It really is true that once baby is born you love them for who they are. It was second baby so the feelings weren't as strong as yours as I knew how I'd feel the love grow as baby grew.
Don't overthink it. Give yourself time to adjust and stop going baby shopping for now. It's ok to have time out from all of that. After a little while you'll readjust and start daydreaming about your baby again. If someone asks you if you're excited, just smile and say 'I will be happy when they're here' so you avoid all the emotions of explaining your worries.
Think on it as starting again with the love feeling. It will grow bit by bit, don't force it, start talking to baby again, give them a nickname that's neutral.
I understand you perfectly. I lost a baby girl the year before my son was born. I was convinced he'd be another girl. Like you I bonded with a daughter that didn't exist, I'd bought things already as there was no doubt in my mind that I'd be holding a daughter again and hopefully this time she's survive. When they said boy, I asked them to check again. I saw his little penis as clear as day and yet I couldn't accept it was true.
As it began to sink in, I like you felt as if I was losing my baby all over again. I think in all honesty I just wanted the baby who died back. I felt awful, this tiny boy deserved to be loved and I of all people should have been grateful to have been carrying him at all.
I went shopping to try and get excited but I ended up in tears. I tried my hardest to bond with him but my allegiances remained to the child I lost.
However when he was born and placed in my arms kicking and screaming it all melted away. This little boy is amazing and lovable and exactly who he is supposed to be.
Allow yourself to grieve do you can process your emotions and hopefully it'll all fall into place
Aww Moose, I really think that in a couple of weeks your head will have accepted the news and you'll have started to build a relationship with your son.
Honestly, it'll be OK. Just give yourself some time to digest the situation.
How does your DP/DH feel about it?
Thank you 3littlebadgers. Although our situatiom is quite different, its good to feel like i've not been alone in this.
As i say, i'm sure that when the baby is born i will wonder why i ever doubted the love in the first place but i feel so disconnected from the baby at the moment that i'm fearing it will never quite get to the same amount of love i had.
AyeAmarok - He's being very supportive of me, he always is, which is why i feel so bad, as if i'm ruining the experience for him with my depression.
This is his first child too and he deserves a world of happiness that i just currently dont feel like i'm helping to provide
I know, I was the same and it is so hard because you want that bond, it isn't like you are deciding to be distant on purpose. Labour is an amazing thing. It prepares you so well for helping that little person to have the best chance. Your instincts will take out I am sure, I say from experience. But for now you are trying your best to cope with a sort of loss, the future you were dreaming of is not going to be. Be kind to yourself and aknowledge that grief. Through accepting it rather than fighting it you will hopefully, and I am sure certainly, get through this. Pm me if you want an ear. I promise I understand.
I'm not feeling the same as you Mooseboots and I am only 12 weeks but I am already thinking about whether to find out what I'm having at 20 weeks because I've always wanted a girl and think I may feel like you if I found out before the baby was here that I was having a boy. I feel really bad to feel like that and not sure why I want it to be a girl so much and I'm sure when the baby is here I will love it no matter what and already now I just want it to be healthy and ok. I've kind of told myself I'm having a boy I think to stop myself imagining I'm having a girl so I don't feel disappointed if I don't. I feel awful saying that, but I can't imagine having a boy.
It's nice to hear from other people that once the baby is here I will love it no matter what as that's what I've been telling myself.
I was a bit like you, always thought I'd have a girl. When I got pregnant, I convinced myself that I was having a boy, my reasoning was if I had a boy, fine that's what I was expecting. If I had a girl, pleasant surprise. So quite late into the pregnancy after thinking about my bump as a boy for so long, I freaked out thinking what if I have a girl! And had a big cry over 'losing' my hypothetical son (Lols pregnancy logic)
Long story, and a emcs later, I have my ds (3 months). And he's awesome
Now I have my little girl I cannot imagine her being anything else, even though for the first 4 months of pregnancy she had a boy's name and my daydreams were of a boy. The intense feeling of love for your baby when they're here means the "boy" or "girl" label is irrelevant. They are just your baby and part of you and the gender doesn't matter. I'm not explaining that very well but I feel like her gender is just an identity for other people to latch onto. To me, she's just my world.
I know how you feel. I have always wanted a daughter, but I have three sons! (Well two, pregnant with the third now.)
Every time I found out the gender, at each 20 week scan, I felt such a blow of disappointment. I've picked out a name for the daughter I won't have (I'm not planning a fourth child!) and imagined so much about what it would be like to be a mother of a girl - not the girly ballet stuff, but being able to relate to her as a teenager, even helping her when she gets older and has her own baby.
But every time each of my sons was born, ive looked at them and thought: "of course! That's my child." And I wouldn't, in any way, at all, trade any of them in for my "fantasy daughter". They are the best things in my life, I adore them the same and couldn't imagine my life without them or love a girl any more.
But I do know how you feel. And I know you want to feel better about it now and not when your baby is born - and I know you'll be worried about PND as a consequence (I was always scared of PND as I watched someone I know have it). It might help, like a previous poster said, to name him and start chatting to him using that name? And also to figure out why having a girl was so important to you. I spoke to my midwife the third time and she referred me to chat to someone and it did help. I can rationalise why I want a girl now, which has helped me feel less guilty about being disappointed.
I never seen myself with a boy I was so shocked when we found out that we were having a boy, I'm from a family of all woman/girls the few males where distant I had no idea what th heck I would do with a boy but my son is just the light of my life I love having a son so much with this pregnancy I had to prepare myself for the possible disappointment of a girl it turns out he's another boy so I will never know if I would have been disappointed to have a girl.
When your little boy is born you will just fall in love with him.
Moose my friend is going through this.
She already has a girl. I couldnt understand why she was upset but she told me that she feels raising a boy is a lot of responsibility. She doesnt have brothers and all her cousins are female. She is an advocate for womens rights and terrified of raising the boy wrongly. I explained that boys that are raised with sisters do seem to have a lot more respect an sensibility towards women and she will do just fine.
But then she said that when she was pregnant with the girl she dreamt of her often and kind of knew what kind of personality she would have. That she felt she knew her. Then she said "I dont know this boy at all"
So I learned that it is possible for caring, loving, intelligent mums to feel this way and that it is ok that they do too.
She is about 7 months pregnant and I cant tell her connection to this "unknown boy" is different to the girl when she was pregnant.
I would suggest you go on myfutureme and write letters to yourself that you can access in a year, when the baby is here and has won your heart
It is valid to feel the way you are at the moment and maybe putting those feelings on a future letter might help you a bit
Thank you to everyone that has posted here. I didn't quite realise how normal it was to feel his way.
It sounds daft but I'm the sorry of person to go baby clothes shopping and always be drawn to the girls clothes and find activities to do online with my child that I could only imagine myself doing with a girl.
I feel like I just want that mother daughter bond that I hear about so frequently.
I have warmed up to the idea slightly but I'm still not comfortable with talking about the pregnancy without feeling a sense of guilt for not being as excited as I would like to be. It's difficult because everyone expects you to be over the moon.
No one could ever understand it unless they went through it themselves.
Sorry you are experiencing this Op maybe a chat with midwife/GP
I have a dd
I was over the moon when I found out very early on.
I was expecting again a few years later. Really wanted to be told I was having another dd.
The private Dr who did all our early scans plumped for a boy quite early on. I felt a little disappointed. Not in the same manner as you are experiencing but I didn't feel as I should.
At almost 18 weeks we lost and it's sort of put things into perspective. I felt the most tremendous guilt.
Have a chat with someone.
Hope it helps
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