You’re so excited….you’re 13-20 weeks pregnant and the gynae asks: Do you want to know what it is? Your spouse is beaming, you’re grinning…and go ‘YES’!! Then he/she says those 3.5 words…..’It’s a BOY/GIRL!’….and your heart drops. You fake smile, something feels heavy inside you, but you don’t quite know what that feeling is. It has nothing to do with all the donuts you just ate. Right? Everybody asks you and you always said: I just want a healthy baby! I don’t care about the baby’s gender! So what’s this weird feeling about? Is gender disappointment a thing???
The forbidden confession
I have been pregnant a bunch of times now…..and I can tell you:
Yes, it’s the biggest gift to be pregnant.
I know I’m lucky to be able to carry a baby to full term.
It’s a blessing to not miscarry.
My pregnancies were no walk in the park. It’s a miracle that Addison was born healthy…I was fighting for both of us for the whole 9 months, up to the day she was born. If you’ve been a reader for a while, you know my last pregnancy was AWFUL. I’m no hero, most woman know this. They live through this and worse.
There is this taboo sort of idea that if you’re pregnant: shut up, stay quiet...you’re lucky, blessed.… You have NO RIGHT to complain about pregnancy being hard and you sure as hell have no right being disappointed that the healthy baby you’re carrying is not the sex that you expected! We don’t talk about gender disappointment! BUT I know….us moms, we confess to those who we feel will understand. I have friends, at least 5 off the top of my head….that up to the day their kids were born, they wished things would change. They cried for days and days after finding out they were having a boy, yet another boy, yet another girl….. I picture them alone in this dark room, because that’s the only place they have a right to those feeling. Alone in a dark room. The world is not ready to hear about this level of ungratefulness.
My husband and I wanted to start our family off with a daughter. We just knew instinctively that we wanted a little pink fluff bum to start our journey into family-hood. The audacity to have a preference. How freakin lucky were we that we then ended up finding out that she was indeed a she???
Then we fell pregnant again and we got to that moment where we could find out the gender. The sonographer said: It’s a boy! We should have been over the moon….pigeon pair right? Somebody to carry on the family name….as the men want apparently. And we were happy, but maybe a week after we found out….we were driving down William Moffet (yes I remember the exact spot) and I asked my husband if he felt weird. If he felt like me, like maybe we had wanted another daughter? He replied that he thinks maybe we did. Gender disappointment anybody?
Girls let’s go to lunch
I had this vision of 2 little girls in tiaras and tutus, being besties. My ‘girls’ and I would be going out for lunch, to a spa day…. Life was going to be so awesome, and Gerard would look at us…’his girls’ and think about how lucky he was to be around all these female hormones! LOL.
So with the news that ‘It’s a boy’……there went that very superficial daydream that I had. I mean, reading it, it’s ridiculous….you know? I wanted an extra daughter to go and do my nails with??? *sigh* Oh Simone…you know there are people dying in the world? People unable to even have kids? Yes, Simone does know this.
BUT….. Gender disappointment is a thing…no matter how gross people want to make you feel about it…it’s a real thing. No matter how superficial the reason, it’s a thing. I’m not a shitty human (or undeserving of being a mother), because of these feelings.
Then there were 3
Joshua was born and to say that he is quite possibly the light of my life is an understatement. Joshua is referred to as ‘The Golden Lamb‘ by my husband in reference to how I see him. This boy….that I supposedly didn’t picture in this life I had planned…I’d inhale him if I could. The love is strong and real and intoxicating.
When we found out that I was pregnant for the 4th time (we’ll just skip number 3, because you know that obviously didn’t end well)…I had the hindsight of knowing:
All pregnancies do not end in a baby.
Some pregnancies can even kill you.
I also knew that Joshua was the most amazing boy in the world.
BUT I still wanted a bestie for my little girl. So a part of me hoped, but another part of me thought that – hey, Joshua also deserves a bestie right??? I think 3rd time round I really didn’t have a preference…okay maybe I’m lying a little, maybe a part of me still hoped ‘the girls’ would become a reality. You obviously all know how that turned out, but…..gals….calling ‘the boys’ is as satisfying as I imagine it would have been calling ‘the girls’. Also, can you imagine my life without Adam??? I mean, where would my blog and instagram material come from?
The reality and some advice
If you’re going through this, and feeling guilty……please don’t. Acknowledging that maybe you wanted a different sex does not make you a gross person, no matter what society wants you to think. Acknowledge those feelings, chat to your spouse about it….heck make it a joke eventually, but don’t try to sweep it under the rug. You have a right to those feelings!
I had this vision for my life…my kids, I am ridiculously close to my own sister, so that was a major part of why I wanted Addison to have a sister. Is there an alternative for her? Yes…there’s me, there’s her aunt…there’s cousins….and hopefully she’ll have a very best friend one day who feels like a sister. Whatever the vision was that you had for your child/children…..I promise you, the things work out as they will work out.
Guys…..you will love that kid….that 4th son or daughter, the pigeon pair you weren’t really hoping for (or were hoping for), and you will never be able to imagine a different scenario. I don’t say that 5 sons or daughters later, your heart won’t still yearn for the other sex, but those kids that are there, you will love, more than anything…the minute you see that little squishy face!
If you’re done having kids, and still yearning, that’s okay. It doesn’t mean we love our existing kids any less. Your feelings are your feelings…and we all have feelings…that are valid, no matter how ridiculous it seems to another human. If anybody has anything to say about it, tell them to sod off!
Would you believe this started out as an Instagram caption….and the longer it got, I realised….Simone, this is a blog post girl!! Reign it in! Please let me know if you can relate to gender disappointment on any level…have you found yourself feeling a little disappointed about the sex you ended up with? Or even a lot disappointed?