Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Gender Disappointment....1 Year On.

Almost a year ago, I wrote a very personal post detailing the feelings of gender disappointment that I experienced while pregnant.

I discussed how I found out at 16 weeks that I was having a boy, and how I felt immediate disappointment after expecting to carry a girl....I was the first person on my side of the family for over 20 years to have a boy, and it was something I just hadn't expected.

I discussed in detail my struggle with those emotions, and how I eventually realised that I wasn't struggling to accept the baby boy I was carrying but grieving for the baby girl I had expected to have but wasn't.

To read that post, please click the link above.

To date, that post has been viewed over 3,000 times and has been shared on many baby & pregnancy forums by women who are experiencing the same thing that I did.

This has made me want to update the post....of course everything I said still stands and was very true at the time.

But I thought I should re-address my experience now, 14 months into life with my little boy, to show those women who are viewing that post how feelings can and do change.

When I think about how much I wanted a girl, I realise that I wanted it for very superficial reasons.

I wanted to decorate a nursery in my favourite colour - pink.

I wanted to buy frilly, lacy dresses and hair bows.

I wanted to choose pretty, feminine names.

But what I didn't realise was that - at the end of the day - the gender of a child does not determine how traditionally feminine or masculine they will be.

Having a daughter would not at all guarantee me a child that loves the colour pink, baking cupcakes, playing dress up and watching Disney Princess movies.

A daughter could easily be the kind of girl who prefers to wear jeans and trainers, climb trees, and play with trucks and trains.

Having a daughter wouldn't guarantee me a friend for life - there are so many girls who do not see eye to eye with their mothers at all, and I personally know so many men who consider their mother to be their best friend and confidante.

Having a daughter wouldn't guarantee me a closer relationship in future years with grandchildren or allow me the coveted Mother Of The Bride spot in the wedding party - who is to say my daughter would choose to have children? Who is to say my daughter would end up in a relationship with a man?
Who is to say my son won't end up in all male relationship where nobody gets to be the Maternal Grandparent?

What I'm saying is....nothing in life is guaranteed.

All of these superficial reasons I had for wanting a daughter were just that....superficial.

I'm not saying that every person who experiences gender disappointment has these same superficial reasons for it, but mine were.

At the time, I hated to hear all of the things people told me about boys.

"Oh boys are so much fun"....they said...."Boys get dirty, and climb trees, and run wild....they are so much more fun!"

At the time, that was exactly what I didn't want to hear.

Well now I have a 14 month old little boy.

I can honestly say with my hand on my heart, I would never want to change him for a girl.

In fact being the mummy of this little boy has changed my mind completely....if I get pregnant again and could choose the gender, I would honestly choose to have another boy.

He is the cheekiest, smiliest little monkey there is. 

He is over-excitable, he runs wild.

He has endless energy, he is loud and rambunctious.

He is oodles of giggles and fun, he is cuddly and affectionate. 

He always has kisses for Mummy, and he loves reading stories quietly.

He loves climbing and being thrown about wildly, his passion for life is infectious.

He is fun to dress in his smart little outfits, and looks adorable in everything.

He is prettier than most girls I know, with his ultra long lashes and big blue eyes.

He isn't defined by his gender....

He is my little boy. The one I thought I couldn't love as much as I would love a girl.

Oh how very wrong I was.

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  1. I can understand exactly where you're coming from. When my second son was born I was disappointed. (No scans in my day.. You found out when they popped out!)
    I already had a boy and desperately wanted a girl.
    But like most of us I got on with it. There's less than 2 years between them and they've always been bestest buddies.
    Both grown up and married now, I love both to bits. I don't grieve for what could have been. I rejoice in what I have. :)

  2. I remember that post :) I was pretty much in the same situation and nowadays if I had another baby I'd be happy with either ;)

    Louise x

    Confessions of a Secret Shopper

  3. Glad to hear you are enjoing it, I have two boys and pregnant with my third. I wouldn't change any of them and after hearing about a lady who is expectant with her first and it turns out it is not growing correctly I am so thankful for my healthy boys. They are all a gift and fun in their own ways. x

  4. Such a great post Hayley, I think you described perfectly what it's like to have a son, yes it's great to have a daughter and I love Summer very, very much but I have a very special bond with Riley that I feel will never break, it's something special between mother and son :) xxx

    Handbags To Change Bags - Mummy & Lifestyle Blog

  5. When I told people I was having a second child, many of them expected we wanted a girl, when in actual fact I was secretly hoping for another boy. I never had gender dissapointment, but I often wondered if there were things I would miss out on by having two boys - there are not. You have no idea what the future holds, and for now I have two healthy, happy, beautiful children.

  6. He is absolutely beautiful, and he will love to read one day about how much his mama loves him for exactly who he is :) xxx

  7. Hayley, this is precisely why I love your blog and I really admire your honestly. I can really relate to what you're saying, having had a daughter first, everyone assumed we were desperate for a boy second time around. However, I was and am so infatuated with Estella that I think I just wanted to clone her and really really wanted another girl. I felt terribly guilty for feeling that way, after all I was carrying a healthy child. I saw someone on your facebook page say you should have gone to visit NICU to appreciate what you had, well in my case I think I would have just come out feeling even more guilty, I knew I was being irrational. Now he's here, I feel like such an idiot for behaving like that, of course I absolutely adddooooooooorrreee him, we definitely have a special little mother and son bond. Yes I did find it much harder to pick a name and yes the selection of boys clothes is rubbish in comparison ( all things that bothered me beforehand too) but finding something a little different and unique is all the more fun in both instances isn't it! xx

  8. I love this follow up post. I was also devastated about learning the gender of my now eight month-old baby girl. I thought she was for sure going to be a boy! I think it's so important to let other mothers know it's okay to mourn the loss of the gender you aren't having. (Coincidentally, I posted about my experience today and then came across your blog!)

    pearls on a string

  9. What a wonderful post. I too was disappointed when I had a boy. I already had a girl and was really expecting another. Boys were arghhh. When I had him, I tried to feel the 'rush' of love I was supposed to feel but it wasn't there. After 3 weeks I was feeling so guitly .i spoke to him and he gave me such a big ( wind probably) smile and I melted. 15 years later he is such a super lad who needs! His mum unlike his still as super but furiously independant sister. He is funny, clever, thoughtful and kind and Im so glad I had him. Thank you for writng about this. I thought I was the only one. I still look at him when he is playing on his guitar making me swell with pride and torture myself for ever feeling like that. Lisa x

  10. I can completely relate, when I found out I was pregnant with twins I was desperate for them to be girls and I did feel disappointed when I was told they were boys. It took some getting used to but I can't imagine life without them. Now having boys and a girl I realise how silly the need was to have a girl. I love them all completely the same but I did carry a lot of guilt for having those feelings. You can't help your feelings though!
    He really is prettier than a lot of girl!

  11. I'm presently going tru GD. Hd always dreamt of a boy. Found out I ws expecting a girl. Been crying for d last 3days. I no I shd b greatful but it hurts bt I never hd any bond with my mom nor only sister. Hw wil I protect my daughter from rape, domsetic violence and it since its a man world. I kip praying whn I go for my next scan it would have change. I feel so disconnected from my baby kicking in my womb. I need help mothers or any1 dat has gone through this pls.

    1. I'm sorry you're feeling this way. But please know that your babies gender isn't going to determine whether or not you connect with them, or really make much difference in how much protection they need...all of those things you are worrying about happening to your daughter could just as easily happen to your son, gender doesn't guarantee anything.
      If you are feeling so strongly I would urge you to speak to your Dr about it. xxx


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