Gender Disappointment is Real

When I was pregnant with my first, I wanted a boy so badly. I don't have brothers, so I had dreamed of having a little boy, first, my whole life. I wanted that big brother protection for my other kids and thought that the relationship between big brothers and their siblings was such an amazing one! 

At the 20 week ultrasound when the tech told us that it was indeed a boy, my husband and I were so absolutely thrilled! I couldn't  believe my luck!

During the pregnancy of my second child, I was a little shocked at how similar my pregnancies were. Basically everything that had happened during my first pregnancy was textbook to that of my second. I just knew it was going to be a boy and I was thrilled!

My husband grew up in a family with two boys and two girls. That seemed like the american dream to me. The stories that my mother in law tells of raising two boys so close in age, sounded like an absolute blast! I couldn't wait to raise two strong men who were also the best of friends. What a dream come true!

At our 20 week ultrasound, we chose to have the tech put the gender in an envelope, have my good friend make us cupcakes with the filling displaying the gender. The whole time I talked about "him" and "this little boy" and basically went on and on and on. 

When I bit into that cupcake and saw the pink icing, I did a double, triple, quadruple take. WHAT!!! A girl?! How?! 

My husband and I looked at each other with identical faces of complete and utter disbelief. This was NOT the plan. 

I feigned excitement until the crowd dispersed. 

An utter sense of disappointment overcame me and I broke down. 

My first thought was "who gets upset that they are carrying a healthy, perfect baby girl? What kind of monster would cry about something like that?"

I realized that these feelings needed to be felt, so I let them all out on my poor husband who takes the crazy so graciously. 

"What am I supposed to do with a girl?"

"We are going to have to purchase a whole new wardrobe for her and we can't really afford that right now."

"I don't know how to raise a girl, they have so many feelings."

"What if she grows up and hates me?"

"What if I seriously mess her up."

"What if she doesn't like me at all and thinks I'm annoying and dumb and ridiculous?"

Ya, I was a mess. These thoughts were swirling and I was mourning. 

I was mourning the loss of a little boy that I wouldn't be bringing into our family within the next few months. I had already started to purchase things here and there because I was so convinced it was a boy. It was difficult to put those things away and know that their use was a potential 3-8 years away for whenever/if ever we did have another boy. 

I mourned the relationship with another son and a relationship with his amazing older brother. I had been banking on that brotherly relationship and this new revelation crushed me. 

I allowed myself a good 3 days to mourn this situation. And then I went shopping. 

It may not work for everyone, but for me shopping is therapy. I purchased every cute little girls outfit that I saw that day and afterward, I honestly felt so much better! 

I'm not saying the disappointment went away right after this experience but it definitely dulled. I began to have thoughts of "I'm so excited to dress up this little girl." "I have a great relationship with my mother (although rocky in my younger years) I can't believe I get to have a daughter!" "Now I'll always have someone to call!" 

It got better as I realized that I wasn't alone either. Gender disappointment often strikes mothers with high hope for a certain expected gender, only to find out that that 50/50 chance tipped the other way. 

Going into my next pregnancies, whenever they may be, I know not to get my hopes up and to let whatever happens happen. I've come to terms with the fact that I simply don't get to decide the gender of my child and that's ok with me. 

You're not alone, it's ok to mourn, it will be ok. You are going to be an amazing mother no matter what the gender of your child!