Gender Disappointment

Today I am going to open up about something that no one talks about. 
Something that people look down on. 
Something that women (and men) often hide and bottle up because people judge so harshly. 

Gender Disappointment. 

Sounds pretty ridiculous, right? 

"So what you didn't get the gender you wanted, at least you got a healthy baby!"

"Don't be so selfish."

"Are you going to love the baby less now?"

The vast majority of people who have an opinion on gender disappointment, have never experienced it. And those who have experienced it, aren't talking. 

Gender disappointment is not just "being upset you didn't get a (insert gender here)"

It really has nothing to do with their gender, and more to do with the differing relationships you would have with one or the other. 

When I found out I was pregnant with my third boy, I was so upset. 
I was sad, mad, angry, and yet happy, excited, anxious all at once. 

The key element that most people miss is that someone who is experiencing gender disappointment is not sad or mad at the gender they are having. They are excited and happy to meet their baby and watch them grow and thrive and learn just the same as any other baby. 

But they are mourning the loss of a relationship they wanted. 

For me, that meant not having a daughter. Not having that mother-daughter bond that I wanted so badly, along with petty things such as having girl trips, mani pedis, matching hair. Someone who wanted me to help plan her wedding, someone who called me for advice during pregnancy. 

In addition to all these feelings, happiness for Wyatt to come, sadness of not having a daughter, excited to meet my third little dude, I felt unending guilt

Guilt because how could I even think about a daughter when my sweet boy was growing inside me? 
It tore me apart that I was having these feelings and no one to confide in for fear of being judged. 
That pregnancy was spent mostly in internal conflict. 

When Wyatt was born, I didn't think once about having a daughter that day. I was elated and so happy to meet my little man. 

I struggled here and there with it down the road. I became obsessed, I eventually worked through it. 
I got pregnant with Maddie not long after and I decided not to find out her gender until very late in the pregnancy. 

I was positive it was a boy.  I bought boy clothes, I organized the old baby stuff I had saved. And I wasn't sad anymore. 

Now that the boys are getting older, I realize that you can have that close bond with boys and girls alike. Back then, when the boys were still so little, I foolishly thought I wouldn't have someone who wanted to hang out with me as they grew. Wyatt is very much a Mommy's boy, as is Zach. 

After Maddie, I went on to have two more boys. Now I have a crew of five boys and one girl, and I couldn't be happier. 

In writing this, I know I will be judged by some. Some might identify with this. And others yet will scoff. 

But I hope by putting this out there, that you maybe have compassion for a friend or relative who is mourning the loss of a relationship they wanted. 

1 comment :

  1. Reading this, it sounds like you took thoughts right out of my head. I have three boys and when i was pregnant with my youngest, wyatt, i was positive he was and she, and when i found out he was a boy, i cried. I was so heartbroken, yet was happy he was healthy. My husband does not want anymore children, but i want a daughter so badly, maybe because i have all sisters, but mostly i want that relationship, i want to pass down my years of knowledge, like you said, have those girl trips and matching hair. I yearn for that bond i will never have with my boys. And many dont understand that.


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