Thursday 13 May 2010

'Gender Disappointment' : Coping with the 'wrong' baby

I read this on twitter today from @parentpages ‘Gender disappointment’: Coping with the ‘wrong’ baby >> do you want a boy or a girl >> why do we even ask?

I felt great disappointment when my 3rd son was born, not because I had another boy, not because I was a failure, but because I knew then I had to cope with the barrage of questions from family and friends of 'are you upset' 'never mind, you can try again' these thoughtless statements and assumptions came in thick and fast even during my pregnancy.

I do wish people would think before opening their mouths of the damage and hurt they can cause.

With my first pregnancy 19 years ago I asked if they could tell me the sex of the child. There answer was 'No, we can only tell you if there is a genetic reason for doing so'
In my second pregnancy I didn't think to ask, nor was I given the option. At that point my sister had just given birth to her second child and the comments of....'one of each now, she has the perfect family' haunted me.

When my second child was born comments of 'she had 'another' boy' and 'you can always try again' stay with me to this day.

By the time my 3rd child arrived I answered the questions of 'what would you like this time? A girl would be nice to complete your family' with 'actually I was hoping for a pony'

At my scan I was asked if I wanted to know the sex and I declined. The midwife actually said 'I thought you would want to know as you have 2 boys already' My response didn't go down too well, 'If it's another boy can I arrange the termination now' That wasn't how I was feeling I just said it to shut her up.

I was asked if I felt depressed at the thought of another boy and was offered counselling.

Even now as the kids are 18, 15 & 11 I still get asked if it saddens me that I don't have a daughter and apparently I'm missing out on so much stuff. But I have 3 healthy, loving and well adjusted boys (sometimes). That is what I was given and that's that....end of...but I can 'always hope for granddaughters' but 'what do I do if I only have grandsons?...ignore them?


  1. I saw a tv programme not so long ago about 'gender disappointment' and I honestly couldn't believe my eyes! Niaively, I never even knew that this could even exist!?
    I could never imagine ever having a preference for a girl or a boy, let alone be disappointed with my own children. Girl or boy - what does it matter?
    I have one son and three daughters so maybe I am blessed to have both but I don't see it like that - I just feel blessed to have our four wonderful children - end of.

  2. My husband has the perfect of each..a boy 20 now in the British army and a girl aged 22 in a care home and still wee's in her nappy.

  3. I have two wonderful boys and i wouldn't have it any other way. I got all the comments you did "oh never mind, are you very disappointed" and they wouldn't believe me when i said no.
    I read somewhere (from anther blogger i wish i could remember who it was) that you get what you need. I like that. I needed my boys, for sure!
    A post i wrote previously on this subject might make u giggle....

  4. I love football and anything outdoors, the kids play nearly every night of the week. I'm one of the few mums on the scene and I like it this way. The thought of ballet etc fills me with horror too much competition with girls

  5. I grew up with twin brothers and I now have a son and two daughters. I am not a girly girl and neither are my daughters. All my kids get along well and enjoy sport, playing outside etc as well as more craft orientated activities (they are 9, 6 and 3) I am pleased to have kids of both sexes but it wasn't particularly important to me. I had my son first and was just thrilled to be a mum, the second time I would have quite liked a boy as I felt I knew what I was doing but when I found out she was a girl was equally pleased to have one of each as it were. With number 3 I got the comments of, "was it an accident?" people assumed as I had a son and a daughter already that baby 3 wasn't planned!!! Why are people so hung up on gender? Happy healthy kids are the biggest blessing, their gender seems of little importance in the grand scheme of things.

  6. The only perfect family is one where everyone is loved and embraced for who the y are and not who they might have been.

  7. I cannot believe some people's attitudes. I was the disappointing second daughter not the son my father wanted so when it came time for me to have the kids I didn't want to put expectations on them. As it turns out I have a son and two daughters. One son is a snag and one daughter is a kick-arse woman of the new millenium and the other daughter tells me she never wants to grow out of being a tomboy! So much for gender stereotypes! Meh!

  8. Great post. Some people attitude needs to be changed. I have two boys and have the same aimed at me. xx