My Dearest Daughter: Saying Goodbye to Gender Disappointment

My Dearest Daughter,

Though I’ve never actually met you, you have always a part of me: a dream, a desire, a hope. Until today. Today I say goodbye to the dream that was you in order to make room for other dreams.

For as long as I can remember I dreamed about hearing ‘it’s a girl!’ I dreamed of holding you, your tiny body cradled in mine as we rocked in a beautiful white chair in your bedroom covered in shades of purple and grey, your strawberry blonde hair sticking out of the blanket, while I sing you the songs that my mama sang to me. I pictured taking you to your first ballet class; watching you twirl, so proud in your tutu, stealing glances of yourself in the large mirror. I pictured the bows, the braids, the frills, the ruffles, the headbands, the shoes. I looked forward to introducing you the world of American Girl dolls and playing dress up and tea party. The beautiful, delicate doll house your great grandpa built for me is still sitting in your Grammy’s house with all the furniture and people carefully packed away waiting for your tiny hands to explore. But even beyond all of the girlie stuff I hoped we would always be close…sharing secrets together, going on mother-daughter outings and long walks talking about everything and nothing at the same time, hearing all about your first date, your first school dance, your first kiss, your first heartache; everything you might be too shy to share with your Daddy. I pictured you coming in to tell us you met ‘the one’ and then sharing in your excitement as you planned your wedding. And then I pictured you as you became a mom…my baby girl having a baby.

My dreams aside though you would have loved it here. Your older brothers would have loved you and have been fiercely protective of you. Kadyn would have taught you that it’s okay to be sensitive…you CAN be both sensitive and strong. And so can men. He would have taught you all there is to love about the arts and literature and would have read story after story to you, never tiring. Kai would have made sure you were a bit of a tomboy by teaching you all there is to know and love about sports. He would have talked your ear off about soccer and had you kicking a ball before you could walk. He also would have taught you mathematics and would have always been eager and willing to play any game or do any puzzle with you. Lukah would have taught you to love hard. He would have been the one to sit and listen to you gripe about boys and relationships and then make you laugh. And your Daddy. My heart aches for your relationship with your Daddy as much as my own. You were already a Daddy’s girl, even with just the thought of you. He would have made sure you knew you were loved, and beautiful, and smart. There never would have been a question. He would have raised you strong enough to be confident in your own choices and yet never too old to hold his hand. Sure, he would have relished embarrassing the heck out of you on occasion, but you would have secretly loved it knowing he was yet again showing his love for you. You would have known from day one how a woman should be treated just by watching him in action with how he treats me. I pictured you at your wedding, dancing with your Daddy during your father-daughter dance; he would have had tears in eyes and you would have found a way to let him know that you would be okay. And so would he. He would have encouraged you to be whoever you wanted to be and always follow your heart. He would have taught you that you don’t need to fit a certain mold, you are loved for who you are.

In my longing for you and my initial gender disappointment I’ve been told many things. I know people are trying to be helpful when they remind me that one day I’ll have daughter-in-laws or even granddaughters. But I also know that though they will be special in their own way, they aren’t you. I’ve also had people tell me that God gives us the desires of our heart, but I’ve learned that doesn’t always play out the way we picture. And I’ve been told if you focus on something long enough, hard enough, and put all your energy/mind on that thing, then it will happen. Now I can now honestly say that doesn’t always work. Sometimes there is a greater, more beautiful picture waiting than even we can understand in the moment.

Surely we are doing something right though in raising our boys because God is entrusting us to yet another. One more brave, strong, wonderful boy. With you in mind we will continue to raise them to the best of our ability…letting them be little while gently guiding them to be the men other parents would want their daughters to date. Men that will no doubt make amazing husbands and fathers. I can’t promise they won’t think they are ‘dying’ when they get sick (I think this must be an innate male trait) but I can promise that I will teach them to cook, to braid, and to do their own laundry. We hope to raise them to embrace their individuality and fight for their beliefs. And goodness will they know how to love. Strong. Loud. Fierce. Bold. Completely. Never ending. For to feel loved, to know love, and to be free to express love Just The Way They Are is above all the greatest gift we can ever teach them.

And because of that, it is with a tear filled face but excitement in my heart that today I say goodbye to the dream you were. You hold the dreams of my past and to hold on to you any longer takes moments away from my precious boys. At this point to want you here means one of them would not BE. And as I anxiously await the arrival our newest, and our last little I cannot imagine life without ANY of them. They are each so special to me and I love them beyond imagination. And you see, they deserve all of me, not just the broken pieces. And I deserve to have complete, whole happiness in each of them. From this point forward I am all in. They are each the dreams of my present, and the dreams of my future.

So, baby girl, with a kiss and prayer I send you off. I pray you can bring hope to a couple that may be in the thrown of trying desperately to have a baby and currently feeling hopeless. They need you more than I do. And every time I hear of a ‘miracle’ baby I will smile and think fondly of you.

Kisses,

Mommy

7 Comments on “My Dearest Daughter: Saying Goodbye to Gender Disappointment

  1.  by  Erica

    As a mother of four beautiful boys. Soon too be five I love this! I have always wanted a daughter. But, god has other plans for me.

    •  by  Greta Cheney

      Congrats Mama on your 5th beautiful boy!! Cheers to dirt, super heroes, noise, wrestling, all things boy and raising them with love. This world needs more good men.

  2.  by  Lauren

    Oh wow I am crying so hard it hurts. I needed this. I am struggling so much with this exact issue and I just don’t know how to let it go. I have 2 boys now who are simply amazing but I struggle with not having a daughter daily. Sometimes it’s just a little passing part of my day but sometimes it just crushes me. I want at least one more child but I just want to be ok either way and I don’t know that I am at that point right now. I hope I can get to the point where I can say (and mean) the things you wrote about letting go.

  3.  by  Caitlin Harris

    Thank you so much for writing this beautiful post! I read it with tears streaming down my face- I’ve had to do this very same thing as we found out after three boys that I am now expecting TWIN boys. No girls for me, and though the comments from others are well meaning, I have also had to realize that its okay to grieve. Thank you for reminding me that I am not alone! Congratulations on your #4 boy!

  4.  by  Carla

    When I found out I was pregnant, I tried not to feel one way or the other about what gender I wanted. My husband prayed for a boy, which our baby turned out to be. He is ecstatic and we’re even naming the baby after him. I am almost 6 months along and love our son already and would not trade him for anything.

    My sister and I have no brothers, and my parents used to always wonder what a son would have been like. My sister has two sons, and our baby makes the third grandson. Now my parents have two sons in law and more grandsons than they know what to do with! My husband calls my parents “Mom” and “Dad,” which really makes them feel like they have a son. Mom now thanks God that He gave her daughters instead of sons, since the grandsons are so rough and tumble.

    I am just thankful that it is the Lord in HIS infinite wisdom that chooses what we get, not us. Although we think we know what we need or want, only GOD can make the perfect decision for us.My husband and I hope to have at least one more child, and I will be content with what God blesses us with. If it’s another boy, I know I’ll have daughters in law and granddaughters to bless us one day!

  5.  by  Anna

    Thank you so much for writing this. I found out a week ago that I am pregnant with our second son, but I also had gender disappointment with my first. I long for a daughter. So badly that it hurts. And while we are open to having more, I am 34 and feel that I am slowly using up my “chances” at having a daughter. I am feeling so broken about finding out this next one is a boy that I know I can’t get my hopes up again. For some reason, I just have a gut feeling that I will forever be a “boy mom.” What’s funny is that it has been one of my worst fears since before I even started having kids. I know God is challenging me to grow and face this fear. It is so comforting to know that you’ve been able to overcome this. I don’t doubt that I will love any and all sons I ever have. I just hope, that like you, I’ll be able to give them my whole heart, even this little piece that I’ve saved for the daughter(s) I’ve dreamt about.

  6.  by  Nikki

    I am fascinated by this subject although I cannot relate. I have a 2 year old boy and am pregnant with a girl. I really wanted a boy for my first. I only grew up with a sister and I just really wanted a little man. He is my everything. I never for one second was hoping for a girl with my second. I just didn’t care either way. Even now knowing I am having a girl (confirmed twice already) I am just not anymore excited than I was for my son. I maybe even prefer having boys?!?!

Leave a Reply to Caitlin Harris Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>