Petrified and disappointed at gender scan
GenderDisappointment · 31/07/2017 08:42
I've name changed for this and I might add a trigger warning: child abuse.
I never thought I'd be one of THOSE people who cry and are disappointed when they find out the sex of their unborn child.
We found out we're having a girl and I can't cope.
Here's why: My DH and I have unexplained infertility. It took us 2 years TTC and 2 rounds of IVF to conceive our son in 2015. Our beautiful little boy was stillborn at 32 weeks and devastated us. I miss him everyday and I'm angry and bitter that this happened to me. After all we'd been through, it wasn't simply a case of grieving and trying again. We had to self-fund more IVF to conceive. After an MMC (also IVF) at 8 weeks and more IVF I'm current pregnant where I'm carrying a girl. I should be thrilled, right?!
I don't like my mother. We have an awful relationship and live in different countries, seeing each other once a year at Christmas. Things she did included kicking me out of the house before my 21st birthday (I lived at home during university) when I came home after my curfew and slept with a boy I was dating who she didn't like. I spent my 21st birthday sleeping in my car. I never had friends over our house because she'd embarrass me and put me down in front of them, thinking she was funny but actually she was just spiteful and mean. She puts me down constantly: I'm stupid, I'm a slut, I'm fat.. I'm actually none of these things.
I don't want my daughter to grow up and hate me like I hate my mum. I don't know how to be a good mum, because I never had one.
My parents divorced when I was 13 and my father developed serious mental health issues and tried to sexually assault me in my late teens. It was the last time I ever saw or spoke to him. He later went on to commit suicide in 2009.
I look at my DH and I know he would never do anything to hurt our daughter or be so sick to have sexual thoughts about her. But it still makes me uneasy. I don't know what to expect from my DH because my own father wasn't a nice man.
I miss my son and I so desperately want him to be alive. I'm petrified about having a girl, I don't want her to have a shit life like I did.
AIBU to be upset? Anyone else experienced something similar?
longdaysandpleasantnights · 31/07/2017 08:48
My DH had a terrible father, and when we found out we were having a boy, he had much the same reaction as you.
He is a brilliant father, because of this, he knows what not to do, he knows what he missed from his father and so can give it to all of our children.
Please try not to worry, the fact that you feel like this will help ensure that you do not make the same mistakes that your parents made.
I am sorry for what your father did to you.
BeingATwatItsABingThing · 31/07/2017 08:48
First of all for you. You have been through so much!
Secondly, just by talking about how much your parents hurt you, I genuinely think you won't ever be like them. A good parent loves their child unconditionally and tries to do their very best by them. I am sure you and your DH will make wonderful parents.
I have no experience of what you have been through but I just want you to know that, even if your mother and father never showed you love and support, your DH will and all of us here on MN definitely will. We will all go through the tough times together.
peneleope82 · 31/07/2017 08:52
I'm so sorry for all you've been through.
I think my main advice would be to speak to your GP about accessing some talking therapy. it might be invaluable in ordering your thoughts.
I would also say that whilst your fears are completely justified, you are not your mother, your husband is not your father. It is in your control not to make the monumental errors in parenting that they did.
Lots of luck to you.
GodIsDead · 31/07/2017 08:56
Believe me, when you see your little girl, you will be filled with love and devotion just like how you felt about your son. I secretly wanted a girl but I have a son and he is the light of my life and now I couldn't imagine having a girl. Just focus on having a healthy pregnancy and not on all the negative stuff.
GenderDisappointment · 31/07/2017 08:57
Thank you everyone. I'm starting to well up with tears in my eyes.
I want to call my midwife today to see if I can have some prenatal counselling by the same woman who gave me counselling after my stillbirth that was provided on the NHS. We are at the same hospital as last time so I'm hoping they'll help me.
DH took me shopping at the weekend to buy some very cute baby girl's clothes to get excited and helping me visualise our future (although with a stillbirth and infertility it's still hard to imagine!!). He's been incredibly supportive and also reiterates I'm nothing like my mum.
JassyRadlett · 31/07/2017 08:58
I'm so, so sorry about your son. And about your horrible childhood.
My experience is of my own mother, who had a horribly emotionally abusive mother of her own, so, like you, had no immediate role model of a good mother, or what a healthy mother-daughter relationship felt like.
She is a brilliant mother. She has often said to me that she was terrified of being like her mum, and I think that awareness of the impact of a bad mother made her really vigilant about how to avoid going down that path.
She is kind, thoughtful and supportive. She wasn't a pushover parent at all, but I was never in any doubt that she was operating from a place of unconditional love.
I'm not saying we didn't have almighty disagreements along the way - but the foundations were always really strong and we are brilliant friends now, at 65 and 40.
I think the fact you don't want your daughter to have the life you did means that she almost certainly won't. You know what children need to be protected from, first hand.
MrsJayy · 31/07/2017 08:58
You will be a good mum because you know what not to do I was thrown out of the house at 21 5 months pregnant because i was a disgrace I wont go into it all but that was the straw that broke the camels back with my mother we have a superficial relationship now. I a,m a mum of 2 adult Dds and we get on great being a parent isn't easy and it comes with ups and downs but essentially we do our best. I am so very sorry you went through what you did and the loss of your first baby this baby is no different to a boy this girl is your child that you will love and be a good mum too, what I will say is you might need to talk to your midwife about your feelings nobody will judge you but they might be able to help you
AnnaBe · 31/07/2017 08:58
Im going to be a first time mum in three months, also expecting a daughter. I had awful parents. I tell myself and her everyday that I will do my best to be a good mum, that I won't repeat my parents mistakes. It's normal to be scared. Me and DP are extremely happy about the baby girl even though we know it won't be easy and I cry sometimes thinking if I'm good enough and ready.
Don't think about your parents, it's a new chapter you write now and a new family you have. They are gone from your life and don't let them haunt you. All the best xxx
Awwlookatmybabyspider · 31/07/2017 09:02
I'm so sorry for the loss of your little boy. Xx.
You're relationship with your daughter will in no way mirror your relationship with your mother.
From what i can gather.
You're a kind sensitive gentle loving.
Not a wicked twisted *** like your own mother.
Fitzsimmons · 31/07/2017 09:03
I'm sorry that you have gone through such difficult times
I was emotionally and occasionally physically abused as a child. My needs were always put last. I worried that I would do the same for my children before they were born. As a result I have probably gone too far the other way, trying to give them everything they want to compensate.
The fact that you are thinking about this is good. It means that you have seen where things can go wrong and you will take steps to avoid that.
Like PPs have mentioned, it would be good to talk to a professional about your fears. I did, and it helped immensely.
BannedFromNarnia · 31/07/2017 09:08
The fact that you're worried about this shows that you're going to break this pattern. You're clearly very self aware - you didn't marry a man like your dad, for one thing! - and you have a road map of what not to do, and your main fear if I've read this correctly is hurting your daughter emotionally.
You have so got this. I'm really glad you're already working on getting counselling, that's an excellent idea to help you process all of this so you can get on with enjoying your pregnancy.
I'm really sorry about your son.
Miserylovescompany2 · 31/07/2017 09:08
Oh, OP. You've been through so much - of course this is going to bring up all kinds of horrible memories.
I also believe that some kind of talking therapy will enable you to put your thoughts/worries into context.
Please speak with your midwife and GP.
Nadinexo1 · 31/07/2017 09:08
I have a very emotionally abusive mother who has always openly favoured my brother over me and made me feel so low that o cried when I found out that I was having a girl, I made my then husband promise that if I ever started to treat my daughter how my mother had treated me that he would put a stop to it.my daughter has a very stubborn difficult personality just like me and I love her so much! I realised when she born that I could never treat her like my mother treated me it's just never gonna happen I love all my kids equally and I'm not my mother. I find it very easy to love my daughter just like I should.
elevenclips · 31/07/2017 09:16
Yanbu to worry and feel upset but having a shitty abusive parent won't make you into one. My father is rotten to the core but my brother is the nicest daddy a little girl could hope for (he has a little girl of his own now). My brother knows all the shit my dad pulled (including the way he treated me, his daughter) and so he knows what not to do. His little girl is happy and loves him. He limits contact with our father to once a year and never lets his dd out of his sight when seeing him. Every bit of parenting db does is completely opposite to his father.
Don't worry. You will love your girl, so will your dh. It will be ok. Your mum is a mean person, you aren't.
toomuchtooold · 31/07/2017 09:16
I had a similar childhood to you OP, and I have two girls from IVF after recurrent miscarriage.
I hope I'm doing OK with them - I know I'm not as bad as my mother - but I have found it incredibly difficult to deal with conflict with them. Expressing anger at them (which is something that you need to be able to do as a parent, without being abusive) triggers feelings of shame and fear in me, and it's all a lot to cope with. I don't think it would have been a lot different if I'd had boys, fwiw.
I think that you have had a hell of a time, bereavement, the stress of the IVF, and I don't think anyone could blame you for any of the feelings you're having at all. I would agree with PPs who say you should try and get some counselling in advance.
No matter how hard you find it when the baby comes (and it might be fine) I bet your daughter will speak of you with as much love and pride as the PPs on here whose mothers were abused or had difficult relationships with their own parents.
Intransige · 31/07/2017 09:16
I haven't been through anything nearly as bad as you, but I had an anxious childhood due to my father's abusive bullying and I have a very strained relastionship with him now.
I have really similar fears to you as a result - I don't want to turn into my dad. And having my first child really brought up a lot of old fears and anguish that I thought I was over.
I think awareness is the first and most important step. Just knowing you don't want to be like your parents already shows that you're not like them. Genetics and upbringing are influences but they're not a life sentence that you can't escape.
Counselling helped me a lot, particularly understanding attachment disorders and how the echoes of childhood emotional reactions can keep hurting you in adulthood. I now have tactics that I use when I feel myself reacting like the hurt child I used to be - I breathe, I pause, I remind myself that I'm an adult and I can make my own choices.
I also have a huge amount of compassion for the child I used to be, who couldn't escape that situation I was trapped in. I hope it makes me a better parent. I'm not perfect by any stretch (no one is!) but I can and do keep trying. Reading Toxic Parents by Susan Forward was also very helpful.
Good luck, it's a hard road but worth it.
adifferentnameforthis · 31/07/2017 09:21
OP I'm so sorry for your losses and also your fertility journey
Both my parents were abused by their parents as children. They had horrible lives but they are and were the most wonderful parents to me.
What's more, I work as a therapist for survivors of childhood abuse. Those clients I have who are parents are wonderful loving parents. They are also often fearful of being like their parents and also scared of a world that they've experienced can hurt children. But I've always seen such love and strength in them as parents.
I've no doubt in your ability to be a great mum it's ok to be scared, it's ok to be sad she's not a boy, it's ok to not bond with your bump, it's ok to never believe there will be an actual baby at the end of all this (I've had fertility problems too). The best piece of advice I ever had was from friends who told me it's ok and pretty normal not to love and bond with a baby immediately. Give yourself permission for that love to grow if it needs to.
I really believe things will turn out ok
GenderDisappointment · 31/07/2017 09:22
Thank you everyone for your heartfelt responses.
When I told my mum we're having a girl her reply was "hahaha Karma is a bitch" I just don't get her. She also refers to my son as a foetus and not a baby or a boy which sends me over the edge. I try to have a relationship with her because she's my mum, but it's hard.
I'll seek counselling/talking therapy but your responses are already helping me! Thank you xx
To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.