Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Am I a horrible person? Gender Disapointment

I am proud mum to three beautiful, happy, healthy boys and right now, i can't imagine my life any other way. However I have been open on here about gender disappointment in the past, I wrote a post on the eve of my gender scan with Barney about my feelings.

Gender disappointment is far more common than people like to admit. As soon as I announced my pregnancy, there were comments about hoping for a girl after two boys. When Barney was born and we were out and about, people even total strangers asked if we would be trying again for a girl. I have had people tell me that they have two children of the same gender and didn't want to try again in case they had a third girl or boy. Online birth groups are full of people sharing scan pictures and desperately looking up theories to find out which gender they are carrying. Gender seems to matter to an awful lot of people.

Gender dissapointment, brothers

When we had our gender scan at 16 weeks I was so excited to be seeing my baby and knowing all was well, I was also nervous, I always get nervous for scans, more with each baby. We had booked the scan for several reasons, Phil wasn't able to come to our 20 week scan, we wanted to take the boys with us to see the baby and of course we wanted to find out the gender.
As i laid there and our baby appeared on the screen, the boys were so excited to see the baby moving around and the sonographer said he couldn't be more sure that it was a boy. I am going to be honest and say I felt numb at this point, we finished up the scan collected our pictures and headed to the car and I was quiet, listening to the boys chattering excitedly about what they had seen. I cried in the car, my tears were a combination of sadness and guilt. We had planned to go shopping after our scan to buy the baby a little something but I didn't want to go. I just wanted go home.

No mum wants to feel this way, I didn't know how I would react. All I knew was that I had always imagined having a little girl and now that would never happen and so I was sad to be saying goodbye to what I had always imagined. That's why I was crying. Underneath that I was still excited to be carrying a healthy baby boy and loved him fiercely already. Being disappointed doesn't mean you love your baby any less. Feelings are complex, we can feel more than one emotion at a time. My sadness lasted a few days and passed, I was lucky, for some it does carry on longer.
I don't know why I imagined having a girl, I love having little boys and I am not the type to bow down to traditional gender stereotypes. For me a daughter wouldn't have meant pink clothes and toys or princesses just as having boys doesn't mean life is all cars and trains and baby blue.

Am I horrible person? I know some will probably think that i am, they cant understand it, they will say I should have been grateful for what I was given, that some people sadly struggle to have children or suffer loss.
But no i don't think I am, I love my boys, am incredibly grateful for them. I just had a feeling, something I couldn't control at that moment. Gender disappointment is now recognised as a real issue and it is being talked about more, it can happen to anybody no matter if it is your first baby, if you have suffered loss or struggled to conceive.

Babycentre now have a group for people feeling gender disappointment where you are able to talk about your feelings anonymously. If you have found my post because you feel this way, please click on the link and talk to others in the same situation ir feel free to leave me a comment or email me.

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