Baby Gender Disappointment

Long-ing (noun): a prolonged, persistent yearning or unfulfilled desire or need, especially one that cannot be fulfilled.

Baby gender disappointment. This is not something I am proud of. However, I feel it’s one of those unspoken things of motherhood. Therefore, I am willing to be transparent for a moment and share my heart. The reason this is often unspoken?  Because there are so many women that struggle to have a baby…any baby. There are so many people that say “just be happy you have 2 healthy kids.” Truth be told, I am grateful I have 2 happy kids, I love both of my boys equally, with all my heart. But why do I always feel I need to apologize for wanting a girl? Why do I feel I need to apologize for being disappointed we were having another baby boy?

When my husband and I found out I was pregnant the first time we didn’t care what gender the baby was. We found out early that it was a he? Ecstatic.

With our second, I, along with everyone else, assumed it would be a girl. I was from a family of girl, boy. My husband was from a family of boy, girl, boy. Almost everyone around me was having one of each. But, deep down though I knew it was he. I was torn. I was so excited to have another baby but was longing to have a girl to add to our family. I knew it was God’s blessing. I knew He had already picked out his perfect name. Because of the post-partum I experienced after the birth of our first son I wanted to confirm the gender at the 20 week appointment so I wouldn’t have all those emotions after birth. I wanted to be excited on the birth day. The second we left ultrasound the calls started. “Are you disappointed? Are you sad?”   Choking. Back. Tears.   My answer? “Oh no, of course not, I’m thrilled!” Why did I feel I needed to lie? Guilt. For all the reasons I listed above I felt terrible that I was disappointed that we were having a boy. We were having a healthy child…praise God! We were having a child…praise God! Was I going to love this child? Of course. Was he going to be perfect in his creator’s eyes? Of course. Was he who God planned and ordained for me and our family? Yes, absolutely. They are both perfect, wonderful, joyful, and amazing. I wouldn’t trade either of them.

But it doesn’t change the fact that when I see little girl clothes in the store, my heart aches. When I hear about a friend that gets pregnant with a baby girl or especially with one of each gender, I feel a twinge (read:  deep) of jealousy. When I hold a baby girl in my arms every ounce of my being longs for one. There are times when I look at a mom and her daughter and tears well up in my eyes. I ache for tea parties, pink dresses and frills, dolls, dress up, and ponies. I want to see a little daddy’s girl and I ache for the mother-daughter moments I remember from my childhood. It took several weeks for me to adjust to the fact that I was having another boy. And even now, yes, even now, I am known to quietly (or not) burst in to tears realizing I won’t have those special mother-daughter moments. My heart still aches when I hold a little girl.

Our culture has bread in us that the perfect family is 2 parents, one daughter, and one son. The perfect 4.5 person family (make sure to add the dog in there too!). When I was pregnant with our second son, before finding out what we were having, I was told “I bet you’re pregnant with a girl.” Why, I asked. “Because then you’d be the perfect all-american family. You’d have your son, your daughter, your husband, your dog.” Now I know where the guilt comes from; this underlying vision of the perfect family. In reality is my family any less perfect since we had 2 boys? Absolutely not.

Everyone I dare share this with says “maybe your 3rd will be a girl.” Or, they think I’ll feel better when they say “oh, so and so just had their 3rd…they had 2 boys first and they just had a girl.” Or, “just try again.”

No. First of all, I hate that people think those with 2+ boys (or 2+ girls) that then get pregnant with their 3rd are trying for the opposite gender. Maybe they are, maybe they’re not. Why can’t people just have 3+ kids? I refuse (yes, this is the STUBBORN trait that my kids have inherited) to have another baby unless I am completely, 100 % ok with it being a boy.  If I have 3 kids I want it to be because we want to have 3 kids.

And if the girl never happens? First, don’t ask my if I’m sad or disappointed, and well, let’s be honest, even if a girl did happen, she would probably be such a tomboy that she would hate pink, bows and frills. Instead, she’d probably be out in the dirt (mud caked under her fingernails with her blue jeans on) with her brothers hunting for bugs (but what a cute little bug hunter she’d be).

**UPDATE** Since writing this post I have written a follow up to Baby Gender Disappointment called Redefining Family After Baby Gender Disappointment. 


2 Comments on “Baby Gender Disappointment”

  1. After reading both blogs regarding baby gender disappointment im left feeling … idk lol what I do know is the part that made me burst into tears. See, I am 37 and pregnant w my second boy. My first husband passed away 2 yrs ago and my son from him is perfect and amazing in every way! As a Mary of fact, I prayed and wished for a boy 7 yrs ago and was ecstatic when his entry into this world was announced as a boy… my current husband of 5 yrs is wonderful and so loving I know I am a lucky girl and so we wanted a child very much. My hubby is a 9 yr kidney transplant who was placed on a medication that was actually causing infertility which took forever to find out and then ofcorse came the emotional rollercoaster of would I ever be able to conceive again? Lets face it, also not a spring ckn over here! So my wonderful man that he is whom ALWAYS sees the glass like more than half full, is positive changing the med will wk and easy peasy just be patient. – – low and behold it took over a yr but the news came, it was official, I was preggers! ! – – we just KNEW it would be a girl. We had the name i was buying clothes and day dreaming of all those things u mentioned. – – 4 mos in we need to find out the gender due to Charlie’s Alports syndrome and some genetic counseling with testing I would chooses to go through. Deep down inside tho, I think I knew. So when the ultrasound came that morning, I cried. And I am now 7 mos and still stricken with guilt. I feel like sometimes im excepting and iv put away all the supper cute new born girly skirts and stretch pants – however like I said I read the letter that your friend wrote. The ltr about raising good men for her daughter will need them. And then the tears began to flow. Was it some crazy sign ment just for me? You see the name – which by the way, only shared between my son hubby and I … was going to be Paisley. ****** so much more to say I mean im a nurse so when my patients ask about things and I share my bit of guilt over wanting a girl I just get the same reaction from all “happy healthy baby is all you can ask for” im like wow am I seriously the only person who feels guilt and a shame for being disappointed in my unborn child’s gender?? So thank you for sharing you have helped me. At least I know im not alone with my feelings and re-adjustment period and ummm ya having to hear “well just try again” because im not young nor rich so the future of trying or having a 3rd at this point is unknown.

  2. I haven’t had any children but I feel like I already have the same problem. I want twins with my whole heart. I’m overwhelmed with excitement and joy when I imagine the cute clothes and the sweet friendship they will (most likely) share. I’m filled with gut wrenching terror when I think about how I’d feel if I conceived a singletons. Would I be able to love them enough? What if I have twins second, and my child feels doubly unloved? What if my child finds out how much I wanted twins? Sometimes I feel like I don’t want any children unless they are twins. I hate it. They aren’t an accessory. I’ve just imagined it for years and never stopped to realize how disappointed I’d be without them. But everyone dismisses it and says it will all be different once I’m actually expecting.

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