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Gender disappointment

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 
Just curious as to people's thoughts on this topic. Do you think gender disappointment is easier to deal with if you find out the sex of the baby during pregnancy or if you wait until birth?
post #2 of 68
I ran a new mother's support group for many years. I feel it is way easier to get used to the idea of the "wrong" gender if you find out during pregnancy. Finding out at birth... it can compound the whole new mother sadness stuff that sits on some women when they are bone-tired and their boobs hurt from nursing.
post #3 of 68
I would think it would be easier to deal with if you find out early; then you have the rest of the pregnancy to come to terms with the gender
post #4 of 68
With my first, I was very dissapointed when I found out the gender in an u/s. I was upset until she was born, then I felt awful for being so upset. But my first was an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy, so there were a lot more issues going on there. After she was born I felt awful for all those feelings, and all the hormones certainly didn't help. In my case, I think I would have fallen in love with her when she born either way, so I did regret finding out. That's just my experience though. I think it really depends on how much it would dissapoint you, kwim?
post #5 of 68
I wanted a gilr so badly with my second but we didn't find out. my husband was very worried about gender disappointment. I didn't feel any when HE was born it took me awhile to even fully realize that he wasn't a girl. I knew he was a boy but the thought of him not being a girl really never happened.

I kow some people have had gender disappointment when they find out. it really depends on you. But i think when you see that little one for me the desire of gender really faded with the love of a new baby
post #6 of 68
I think it depends, for those aware of wanting a particular sex I think knowing during pregnancy may be easier to get used to.

I think for those who didn't have a DEEP desire for either, but were disappointed when finding out via ultrasound wouldn't have had that same feeling if they had waiting until birth. Then its just what a wonderful baby.

I could be totally wrong, but I don't really have a preference...at least not yet ask me 4 kids from now if I have all boys.
post #7 of 68
Lurking here, just had to jump in because I think this topic is really interesting. I have more of the reverse situation... I really want a boy again, but would be just as happy to find out we're having a girl. On the other hand, though, I can't really connect with my baby-in-waiting without finding out the sex. Is that weird? I won't have disappointment, but I just can't really call a pregnancy real unless I know the sex and can say "my son" or "my daughter."

Possibly but couldn't help myself!
post #8 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by MovnMama View Post
Lurking here, just had to jump in because I think this topic is really interesting. I have more of the reverse situation... I really want a boy again, but would be just as happy to find out we're having a girl. On the other hand, though, I can't really connect with my baby-in-waiting without finding out the sex. Is that weird? I won't have disappointment, but I just can't really call a pregnancy real unless I know the sex and can say "my son" or "my daughter."

Possibly but couldn't help myself!
LOL, I'm the same way. I hate thinking of the baby as "it" and would much rather call her a "she." It's just the way that the English language works, but it feels so impersonal to me to have to refer to the baby in a gender-neutral way.
post #9 of 68
From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I have believed that I am having a girl. When I think of the baby, I think "she, her", etc. I think of the baby as a girl. I don't know if it's intuition, or if it's because that's just what I am hoping for. I am planning to find out, because I'm afraid that if I go through the whole nine months attached to the idea of a girl, I could be disappointed or even surprised if it was a boy when baby is born. I also don't want to go through the pregnancy giving in to my shopping cravings and buying little girl clothes if all along I have a boy about to appear! I can't seem to stop myself from looking at all the pink baby clothing, I've even bought some already! Also, if it is a boy, I want to begin changing my thoughts from the constant "she" that goes through my head... before the baby is born preferably so the poor kid wouldn't have to deal with his mom referring to him as "she", lol! Of course, I have a slight fear about "what if" the ultrasound tech pronounces it a girl and then it's actually a boy and that will make it even harder to deal with. I have a 6 year old son who I love with all my heart but I really am hoping for a girl this time! Obviously, if I have another boy I will love him with all my heart also, but it wouldn't be honest of me to say I didn't have hopes for what the gender is.
post #10 of 68
*Background* #1 is my adopted son, and DH's biological son who joined our family when he was 3, we didn't know about him until he was 2 and #2 was 1 year old.

When I was pregnant with #2, I just KNEW he was a girl. I wanted a girl so bad and I could not picture myself with a son. We didn't know his gender until birth. When they said "it's a boy!" I had NO GD whatsoever, despite bonding with a girl for the previous 9 months. After years and years of infertility we finally got pregnant with #3. I wanted an U/S to determine gender to get used to the idea of boy #3 if he was a boy. My GD lasted just a few hours, then I got fiercely protective because it seemed like friends and family (and even perfect strangers) had NO problems expressing GD.

Then I got pregnant with #4, we paid out of pocket to find out as early as possible (16w5d) her gender because I was SO scared she would be another boy. When people learned I was "finally having my girl" they went insane... even criticizing my choice or homebirth because they could not believe I would risk my daughter's life like that. *roll eyes* People are always making stupid comments like "took you three tries, but you finally got a girl huh?" like my boys are just not adequate, or are consolation prizes.

We were surprised by baby #5, and we decided that we don't want to find out the gender this time. When we had our little girl we discovered how amazing CHILDREN are, not sons, or daughters, just all of our children. I feel very bonded with this baby, even if I don't know if baby is a he or she. I usually call the baby a he, but I don't really have any inklings, premonitions, or preference for gender. My husband alternates pronouns equally calling baby he or she.

My GD was strongest with #3 because I already had 2 boys, and having the u/s really helped me bond with him and get over the GD. But with #2 I skipped it altogether just because I was SO amazed that I was actually a mom. So I guess it depends on a lot of things, in my case when it was the first baby (at the time for us), not finding out made it so I had no GD at all. But I think when I already had one or more of one gender, finding out via ultrasound was the best thing I could do so I could mourn and then bond.
post #11 of 68
You know, it occurs to me to bring up the topic of gender vs. sex, and I feel it's an important distinction, but believe me, I am not trying to be at all critical. I'm a language arts teacher and kind of a linguistics nut, as well as a feminist, so I think it's just nice to bring up.

Almost every post here is really discussing the "sex" of the baby, as in whether what is born has either a penis or a vagina, or is intersex. The "gender" of any person is defined by that person, and has any number of options. Hetero- , bi - and homo- sexuality (i.e. "sexual orientation") and many other unique personal qualities that often don't reveal themselves until post-puberty and sexual awakening affect the development of a person's "gender." Often cultural qualities play a key role as well, like expectations of mandatory SAHMs or men working in "macho" jobs (as in, construction worker, not a nurse or preschool teacher).

It's a tough issue because pre-gendering a male or female baby can have consequences for their self image and self esteem. Some interesting resources I googled:

http://www.who.int/gender/whatisgender/en/index.html

http://gayteens.about.com/od/glbtbas...exsogender.htm

http://www.med.monash.edu.au/genderm...andgender.html

Just helping along the conversation - please don't take this critically, but helpfully!
post #12 of 68
We have never found out gender ahead of time. I knew DS1 was a boy before we conceived (or knew we had... things are fuzzy now!). I wanted DS2 to be a girl but had no GD that I recall with him. I was certainly DS3 would be our girl, and was quite shocked when his perfect little parts were BOY parts. Of course, he was gorgeous, perfect, adorable, and HERE. I really think that helped a lot. Though, I also had a nagging feeling that there was *another* baby somewhere. I loved, loved, loved the one I was holding - but where was the other one?! Looking at him helped a lot, though.

I have very much wanted to avoid the issues SumnerRain posted about. I actually considered finding out this time to give myself space to deal with it, but NOT telling anyone else. Seriously, I can't stand other people's thoughts and opinions on whether or not we'll have another boy or "finally" get a girl. The reality is we ALL really want a girl. But I know there are benefits to having all boys, too. And while either one will take some adjusting to we will be very excited to add this baby to our lives, regardless. The idea that my boys aren't "good enough" and that we had to "try for a girl" etc. make me very mama-bear-protective. My boys are *awesome* and are just who they are supposed to be!

While I really do hope we'll have the opportunity to raise a daughter, it has nothing to do with a preference for girls. Really, I disdain so much of our culture's image of girls and femininity that I am more repulsed by most "girly" things than attracted to them. But the "girls are to be desired" mindset is pervasive in our culture. I don't want to spend my entire pregnancy fighting it, whether from the side of, "Oh, great, you finally got a girl! Now you can be done!" or from, "Gee, so sorry, another boy..."

So, we don't find out and will learn about this baby when s/he is out. It may or may not be harder for me, but I also can't wait for that moment of discovery. And it's just much easier to smile and say, "We don't know!" than to deal with everyone's reactions.
post #13 of 68
Quote:
Lurking here, just had to jump in because I think this topic is really interesting. I have more of the reverse situation... I really want a boy again, but would be just as happy to find out we're having a girl. On the other hand, though, I can't really connect with my baby-in-waiting without finding out the sex. Is that weird? I won't have disappointment, but I just can't really call a pregnancy real unless I know the sex and can say "my son" or "my daughter."
This was me. Prior to conceiving my daughter, I had struggled with infertility and a previous pregnancy loss. Knowing "who" was inside me helped me bond, but more importantly, it helped me believe that it was all real and that maybe I could relax a little.

We also called her by her name and referred to her as she.

FWIW, I know of someone through another friend, who has 4 girls. Her youngest was born within the last month. They didn't find out beforehand. When the baby was born and they realized it was another girl, the mother started crying hysterically and the dad left the hospital room and didn't come back for awhile. For that little girl's sake, I hope her parents never realize how poorly they reacted at her birth.
post #14 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MovnMama View Post
You know, it occurs to me to bring up the topic of gender vs. sex, and I feel it's an important distinction, but believe me, I am not trying to be at all critical. I'm a language arts teacher and kind of a linguistics nut, as well as a feminist, so I think it's just nice to bring up.

Almost every post here is really discussing the "sex" of the baby, as in whether what is born has either a penis or a vagina, or is intersex. The "gender" of any person is defined by that person, and has any number of options. Hetero- , bi - and homo- sexuality (i.e. "sexual orientation") and many other unique personal qualities that often don't reveal themselves until post-puberty and sexual awakening affect the development of a person's "gender." Often cultural qualities play a key role as well, like expectations of mandatory SAHMs or men working in "macho" jobs (as in, construction worker, not a nurse or preschool teacher).

It's a tough issue because pre-gendering a male or female baby can have consequences for their self image and self esteem. Some interesting resources I googled:

http://www.who.int/gender/whatisgender/en/index.html

http://gayteens.about.com/od/glbtbas...exsogender.htm

http://www.med.monash.edu.au/genderm...andgender.html

Just helping along the conversation - please don't take this critically, but helpfully!
Yeah, when I started the post, I knew you were supposed to call it the sex of the baby. But, with the post title "sex disappointment" I just thought people would start reading the post with a different topic in mind
post #15 of 68
I think it depends on how devestated the person would be. I think it's normal to have a preference, and I think most people will deal fine if they find out at birth. However, I think if someone is very distraught over the possibility of have a different sex than they're wanting, finding out earlier might be beneficial, since it gives them time to work through their feelings and accept it. I was just talking to a mom from my co-op about this, she didn't find out with her 5th and was convinced it was a girl, to the point she only had girl names and brought all pink to the hospital. Yeah, it was a boy. She had a hard time accepting that he was her baby, because she had been so sure she was having a girl.
post #16 of 68
I did get my desired gender, so YMMV. But I think it would have been awful if I didn't find out beforehand.

For me the certainty that it was a boy was so strong that I wouldn't look at girl clothes, name etc. i couldn't picture myself with a girl.

My birth was extreamly traumatic, and there was a seperation, and when I saw my son, all I could think of was that doesn't look like my kid. I'd hate to think how I woudl have felt if he came out the 'wrong' gender, and I didn't know beforehand. I think people who wait to find out (when they have a strong preference) are counting on a blissful birth (or at least getting to hold their baby) that may not happen.
post #17 of 68
Most of the time when I talk about this online, the consensus is that it is better to find out early. My MW said in her experience, this has been true, too. She says she has been to some births where the parents were more upset at birth, the mom was apologizing for producing the wrong gender, etc.

I had a definite preference with #3 (got my desired sex) and #4 (didn't get my desired sex.) We found out both times and I am glad.
post #18 of 68
I think it's easier finding out at birth, because during pregnancy the child is basically an unknown entitity. Whereas at birth, here you are with this particular child and you love him or her because of who they are regardless of gender.

But I think finding out before birth is like spoiling the surprise anyway.


ETA that I was convinced that dd was a boy the whole pregnancy and really wanted a boy as we had no boy in the immediate family and found out at birth she wasn't. It took like 2 seconds of seeing her and well that was that.
post #19 of 68
i cant stand not finding out. with the last baby, DH really wanted a boy. he has only fathered girls. knowing ahead of time allowed us to get over that disappointment and get excited about having her. babies are beautiful but it is easy to be disappointed when you have your heart set on something and it doesnt turn out.
post #20 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielleT View Post
I would think it would be easier to deal with if you find out early; then you have the rest of the pregnancy to come to terms with the gender
That's why we chose to find out with the last one... He was the only one we had a really strong preference for (we wanted a girl) and wanted to have time to process before he came. It was a good idea and it worked. When he was born I double checked because I had come to terms with it and was looking forward to HIM...
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