Boy? Girl? Dinosaur? Baby?
Gender Disappointment? Is that a real thing? Do people really care?
Imagine wanting the best present ever for a holiday. You have dreamed about it. You have told everyone you know that is what to get you. You make plans for the item and what you want to do with it. Then the holiday comes and goes, and you do not get it. You are crushed! You know it doesn’t matter that you didn’t get it, but it hurts deep inside because of all the plans you had made in your head.
That is the best example I have for people that have never felt gender disappointment. Its not really the same as babies are not things or objects to possess, but the disappointment feeling is similar. It hurts! It sucks!
A Lost Dream
I know for whatever earthly reason I wanted to have two girls. Baby one was a girl! Yay! Baby two I had genetic testing (I am old and that is a topic for another day) and found out the gender at 11 weeks. A boy. I cried when they told me on the phone. It was not what I wanted. It was not what I had envisioned.
It was not that I did not love my baby I did more than I could describe I was just super disappointed. I did not expect to feel such strong wave of emotions over something I had absolutely no control over, but I did.
Is it okay? Was I wrong?
I knew that it was okay to be disappointed, but some people around me just did not understand. Thankfully, no one said anything to my face but, I did here stories of people not getting it and laughing at me because I was upset. People thought I should be grateful that I was pregnant, and that baby was healthy. Well I was those things and more. I was just super disappointed that the future I had laid out in my head was going to be different.
Then came the perfect family comments. I had no clue that was a thing. People would find out my second was a boy after already have a girl and say “oh a girl and a boy, the perfect family. You must be so happy!” I to this day have no idea how to respond to that.
Any family that has kids of the same gender is less than perfect? I did not know that people felt that way. All I knew was that comments like that were a constant jab that I was not getting what I had hoped for.
Normal to have feelings
Thankfully, I knew that gender disappointment was a “thing” and that it was perfectly natural to have. I knew that it did not mean I did not love my baby, because I did more than anything. I knew the second he was born and placed in my arms any preconceived ideas about gender would vanish and it would be love at first sight (and it was!). I just had to be allowed the time to grieve my loss.
Time to grieve
This may sound silly to some, but gender disappointment is a loss. It is a loss of expectations. A loss of a dream. It hurts. It sucks. You need time to grieve so that you can move on to acceptance. It took a while for me. I was not as excited to go shopping for things for the baby. I did not feel a connection.
I finally challenged myself to start looking for clothes for him. I wanted the cutest most fabulous clothes ever! That helped me connect with my baby. Picking out the first outfit was hard, but once I had the first one it became so much easier.
Happy ever after!
So yes, Gender Disappointment is a thing. It is natural. Go ahead and grieve. Share those feelings with others to help cope with the strong feelings that you have. It is okay to be disappointed and then go on to love your baby with all your heart!