Gender Disappointment

This is a topic I’ve wanted to talk about for a while. But something has always stopped me. It’s like a taboo subject! But I hope that I do not offend anybody in writing this blog. Please remember that these are my thoughts and feelings. I am very aware that most people will read this and be completely unable to relate to it – or maybe be going through something of their very own at the moment and think me cruel! I am also aware that most people who read this will immediately think me shallow or think that I should be grateful to have been able to carry a healthy baby because so many people are unable to – and believe me, I was and very much AM grateful, that my dreams are coming true (to being able to have 5 children).

When you are pregnant, it goes without saying that the main concern that you have is for your baby – your only true want is that the baby is healthy. I understand this completely. And so, when you are asked – as all expectant mothers inevitably are – “Would you prefer a boy or a girl?” you are supposed to answer “I don’t mind, as long as its healthy”. I remember with my first from the moment I found out that I was pregnant, I was SO consumed with wondering what sex the baby would be – I was always trying out all kinds of silly old-wives tales!

So when number 3 was born and Gavins reaction to Seth didn’t go down very well, we decided this time round we would find out (first time knowing beforehand) we went for an early gender scan at 17 weeks pregnant and found out that baby was another boy again. I was very nervous this time round with regards to the gender, I didn’t want to disappoint anyone and wasn’t bothered myself (or so I thought). It wasn’t till I was about 12 weeks pregnant and thought this time round i feel completely different. This is when I let myself think I might be having a girl.

Everyone I knew was having boys and all due within a small calendar window. I’d posted my picture on secret nub-groups and they got comments of a girl sway. Even the experts said 100% girl. I was so excited for our scan, when the day came we got the sonography to write it down so we could share the surprise with the family together. A friend came over to set off a clay trap for Gavin to shoot and the clay had the colour pink or blue in the smoke. When the colour came blue, my heart sank. Thinking Gavin would turn around to look at me and would be really disappointed.

I’d always told myself that at least one of my children will be a girl and now I’m left deflated because I don’t want my last to be an only girl (not that I think it will be now – mumma of 5 boys coming your way)! It’s a strange feeling that is super hard to explain or show the magnitude or gravitas it has on my shoulders. A girl now could only mean a Tom boy, having four older brothers that’s the inevitable, especially as I’m not exactly a girly girl myself! So number 5 might as well be a boy anyways and I feel so wrong saying that as I know Gavin is desperate for a girl. Your probably thinking ‘she’s already thinking about the next child, when this one hasn’t even been born yet’! And I hear you, it’s silly really, what’s the problem with having a Tom Boy, what’s the problem with having a Girly Boy! And there isn’t anything wrong with either gender, my boys are my biggest asset. It’s what the world tells us, we should have one of each child and everything will be ok! I know Gavin wants a girl to walk down the aisle at her wedding, a role he feels he really wants to do. I just want a mother-daughter bond, like I have with my mum. I wanted to take my child to ballet, to buy pretty dresses for, to be there to watch her give birth herself. I have a million girls names picked out and nothing for a fourth boy!

If Im honest, I’m fed up of blue. People have said to me ‘you won’t need to buy anything new this time’. Unfortunately by the fourth child, clothes are pretty much worn out or stained, so there’s been a lot of purchases in that sense.

I now feel cheated for knowing the sex and regret it immensely. I like the pushing power that comes from finding out your baby’s gender. The build up has gone and it’s been taken away from me in some ways. I feel so sorry and guilty for this poor little baby inside me, I’m not even gutted for his gender, I’m gutted for a future baby that might never happen! Being pregnant and hormonal, is leaving me very emotional! Thankfully I know as soon as I see my fourth little man and get to hold him for the first time all these feelings will disappear because, fundamentally, he is here and that’s all that matters!

If your feeling or ever have felt something like this, the only way to deal with it in the end, is to allow yourself to have the feelings, to acknowledge them and then move on.

Much love Rebecca

One comment

  1. I am the fourth of five daughters and have the letter written to my grandparents in 1957 (I was born in December 1956) to prove the expectations, how my father must have been disappointed not to have a boy. Well, in some ways, I was “the boy of the family” helping with shoveling, running the hurdles in middle school, hanging around the garage with my father. It is fine to feel more closely associated with your father when you are a daughter. My parents, being born in 1918 and 1919, were subject to lots of sex stereotypes. That is actually an understatement but I don’t quite know how to fix the sentence. My advice is, ban the word gender from your vocabulary. It is sex stereotypes. Teach all of your boys to clean and cook, you don’t want them living in dirty places at college! Sex is immutable. You are the mother. Later on, you must carefully decide who is good with money and whom shall you name your executor, your health proxy. It may be that your oldest is not the most suited. Enjoy your family. Look up the photo of me teaching my son how to knit at My Norwegian ancestors, male and female all knew how. Women in Utsira, my great-grandfather’s island, ran the government. The men were all out in the fishing boats. Think more about how you want women’s intuitive thinking, our planning brains, to write the protocols for safety in the jobs that men typically do. You are one lucky mom to have so many. I wanted more, but the father of my 2 sons went down the cross-sex path. My memoir is due out soon. Keep in touch. ute

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s