August 7, 2018

Beating the stigma of gender disappointment…

I remember the day that I found out I was pregnant with what I didn’t know would be my Noah. Apart from absolutely shitting myself after the initial shock, I then began to create this perfect little image in my head of my perfect little family. If I’m honest, I didn’t imagine having a baby boy! I dreamt of my little mini me that wore matching outfits to me and letting me spend hours braiding her hair. Hoping for the same relationship that I have with my mum and wishing she would feel comfortable enough to tell me everything. Imagining how much of a Daddy’s girl she’d be and hoping she’d have my crazy and feisty personality.

I made the decision to have an early gender scan because I felt like I needed to know. I needed the answer as early as I could to help me focus either way on what the scan revealed. I remember everybody telling me they thought we were having a girl which truly ignited my excitement. So I was understandly shocked when I saw his little willy on the screen and I just knew before they’d even told me.

‘It’s a boy’ the sonographer said happily and my heart completely sank.

Gone were the images of my pretty in pink little girl. Gone were the images of her sharing her secrets with me and asking me for boy advice. The little girl that would one day become a woman that I’d share shopping trips with and one day watch the man I love give our baby girl away on her wedding. I thought I’d have more in common with a girl and she’d love me more than a son ever could. Although looking back on this now I realise these were just a huge bunch of generalisations. Just because I love pink, doesn’t mean she would too? And what’s to say she wouldn’t hate anything Barbie and be football and dinosaur mad instead.

But that day I pretended that I was happy because I didn’t want the sonographer to judge me. I was given my photos in a blue bag that emphasised I was ‘team blue’ and I just couldn’t get my head around it. Don’t get me wrong, I felt so lucky to have a healthy baby but it’s ok to feel disappointment. In fact it’s so much more common than we think. Yet women, myself included, feel ashamed to admit that we wanted a different gender. Embarrassed to talk about it like it’s some dirty secret that no one else would understand which doesn’t help when your hormones are already heightened anyway.

It doesn’t mean you don’t love your child or that you don’t want them. You just need some time to adjust and then refocus on this little person that you’re now forced to imagine another way. I gave myself enough of a hard time with my never ending guilt without someone judging me for my disappointment. It’s difficult to understand these feelings if you’ve never experienced them yourself but it’s not a feeling that so easily shifted by a quick cry and a good nights sleep!

But Ivy soon became Noah and the pinks soon became blue and every thought I ever had about wanting a girl very quickly faded away. I felt lucky that he was there and healthy and as soon as I started to feel him kick, our bond grew even stronger! It’s weird because now I’d probably sway more to having another boy but mainly because it’s all I know. I’ve also swayed away from a girl since my sister had my niece who is like me in more ways than you can imagine AND she’s an absolute nightmare!!! 😂😂 If there is ever another pregnancy, we have already decided we won’t be finding out the gender because I can honestly say either way I’m happy next time. Practicality wise a boy would be great but at the same time a girl would be the final piece to our family puzzle.

Anyway what I’m trying to say is you should never feel ashamed or made to feel bad about feeling gender disappointment. It’s completely natural and normal but you will get over it. My best advice is acknowledge how you feel, talk to someone and then move on. There’s nothing you can do to change it so embrace the new little life that grows inside of you! I was worried about writing about this in case I had people telling me I’m shallow or that I should be grateful for a healthy baby and believe me, I am truly happy and appreciative for Noah. In fact, one day if you’re reading this Noah, then know that there is absolutely nothing in this world I would change about you! I love every single last hair on your boyish head! But if we never talk about subjects like this then how will woman feel comfortable enough to talk about gender disappointment and realise they’re not alone? I promise you though that when you hold your beautiful baby in your arms, you won’t give a shit if it’s got a willy or not!!

Have you experienced gender disappointment and how did you manage these feelings? Would love to hear your thoughts and if you experienced similar feelings…

2 responses to “Beating the stigma of gender disappointment…”

  1. Bex says:

    I always imagined our family with a little girl, I don’t know why maybe because we could never decide on boys names and our girls name was set. Once I was pregnant I knew in my gut I was carrying a boy and now could never imagine myself with a girl.

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