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Gender and... Sadly... Diasappointment?

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 

I just need to start out by saying, PLEASE do not take the "buck up," "get over it" party line here.  Believe me, I KNOW this.  I've got enough self-loathing and hatred in regards to my feelings to fill an ocean.  I KNOW that this is a petty, stupid thing to fret about.  I get it, absolutey, that I am lucky to be carrying any healthy child.  But if your version of support is anything other than gentle reflection or kindness, please just keep your feelings to yourself here.  Trust me, my internal dialogue is probably already smacking me around in just the way you'll want to reading this.  But I haven't slept in days, I've spent so much time crying that it's uncomfortable for me to wear my glasses, my face is so swollen.  I'm really, really emotionally fragile, I've got a lot of other huge stresses going on right now too, and I can't handle anything other than kindness.  So please, please, please just don't post to scold me, okay.  Please, please, I just don't know what to do with these feelings, I feel horrible that I'm even having them.  I just wanted to get them out there so they are not festering in my heart...

 

My question is, if you had a gender preference, did it slip away when you first saw your child?  When your child was born, I mean?

 

I had/have a strong gender preference.  I knew this going in to my ultrasound, and wanted time to adjust to the idea if, in fact, my unborn child ended up being the "wrong" gender.  That and I'm a crafty mama, and I wanted to be able to make a bunch of things for my kiddo without having to go gender neutral on everything!

 

I fully expected that when I saw my kiddo on the screen, that I would only feel love.  That any reservations I might have had about boy/girl would just melt away...  I knew that I had a preference, but I honestly didn't think it was that strong.  And then there I was, staring at my little bundle, and there was no joy involved.  Just sadness, terror, disappointment...

 

I know that this means that I am emotionally  stunted.  I know that there are so many beautiful, wonderful, more deserving mothers on these boards who would die to be in the position of having any healthy, living child growing inside of them.   And I am still happy I get to be a mother again, and still looking forward to that newborn smell, and nursing my new child, and getting a first hug, seeing first steps, hearing first words...

 

But I feel a total disconnect from my pregnancy.  I haven't told anyone what we're having.  My husband is on bed-rest right now for his back and couldn't come along, and I drove around for 2 hours after the ultrasound before I called and even told him.  I haven't really posted in my DDC since then...  I can't bring myself to touch my stomach, to talk to the baby...  All my joy just slipped away.  All I feel now is fear.  Overwhelming, suffocating fear.  I feel like I'm carrying a child that isn't even mine, and it feels so very awful.  I want to feel nothing but overwhelming love, and only love.

 

I know that I shouldn't feel this way, but I have no other outlet for these feelings.  I can't bear to even tell people what we're having, beyond it being a sweet little baby.  But to any other mamas who might have been there, or close to there...  Did your feelings change at the birth?  Did your fears melt when you first saw your child?  Were there any steps that you took before the birth that helped you to really embrace your child and your pregnancy?

 

If you read through this opus, thank you.  And please, again, be especially gentle.  I promise that my inner dialogue is giving me an especially severe lashing, probably worse than anything you can imagine saying...

post #2 of 60

I saw your post from the new post page and couldn't help but to reply.  First off, take a breath and try to give yourself a break.  You are not emotionally stunted!  You are a normal human being who just received some news that was not exactly what you wanted.  I can tell you that it will get better.  You will love this baby unconditionally once it comes out and you will be amazed that you ever felt how you are now feeling.  Give yourself time to grieve for what you are not getting.  I say all of this as a mama who's been there.  I found out that I was pregnant with my second when my first was only 15 months old and I was devestated and it only got worse when I found out I was having a boy.  My first was a girl and I was so in love I just couldn't imagine how I could love a boy the way I loved my daughter.  He is now almost 8 (on Saturday!!!) and I adore him.  I was so happy that I found out when I was pg so I could mourn my 'loss' and move onto happiness.  I can truly tell you that when he came out I was in total love!  Good luck!

post #3 of 60

I don't think you're emotionally stunted at all.

 

Have you held your own baby before?  From the pic avatar it's you with a kid, i assume your eldest, but maybe not...?

 

I had a strong preference with DD2.  I was convinced i was having a boy.  And i really REALLY wanted a boy.  We'll probably have more, but i wanted one of each so if we didn't have more i'd have experienced both.  And i have had 4 losses, and am beginning to suspect i cannot actually carry boys, so for that reason also, i was hoping against hope it would be a boy after all.

 

I didn't find out at the scan ONLY because i had a friend with similar emotions about gender with her #2 and after finding out, and it being the "wrong" gender, she literally cried for 2 months.  I was too scared to "know the worst" so for that and several other reasons we skipped the anomaly scan so i would never find out.  I was still really scared about the birth though.  I was TOTALLY CONVINCED it was a boy.  Only one of my many many friends and family thought it was a girl (from guessing) so that fed the fire as it were.

 

After prodromal labour overnight and a very short (61mins) active labour i caught DD2 into my own hands and turned her over and saw she was a girl and felt....nothing but happiness.  I was surprised, but i was so happy with her.  I remember laying later that night and giving myself an opportunity to be honest with myself about my feelings and figure out if i was actually disappointed but wanting not to be...i wasn't.

 

Really, a picture on a screen is NOT a baby.  It is a picture on a screen.  How are you supposed to bond with that?  I know some people do/did but i really never did, either time, with mine.  It was an interesting medical procedure, but nothing more.  My pre-birth bonding, such as it was, came through late-night wriggles and kicks, and through feeling the babies dance with me as labour progressed and we worked together to get them born.  It is different for everyone, but i don't see how it can be considered stunted to NOT fall in love with a fuzzy picture on a monitor.

 

I don't know which gender you wanted or which you got, but the main thing to remember, hold onto, is that the baby growing in your belly will be a million different things, and the smallest of which will be boy or girl.  They could be artist, fashionista, doctor, empath, joy-bringer, shouter, giggler, dancer, cook, coffee-drinker, musician, mathematician, writer, hair-flicker, tree-climber, deep-sea-diver...they could be anything, anyone.  All you know is the tiniest fact, that is not something one can fall in love with anyway.  I'm sure you have both men and women in your life you love, because the person is what draws the love.

 

I don't think there's anything wrong or particularly surprising about having a preference on a small detail (which only seems big because it's pretty much ALL the detail we can get prenatally about our kids from the scan) and then being upset when that preference isn't met.  If you HAD got the gender you think just now you want (i'm not saying you don't know what you want, i'm saying that little someone you've got in there is going to show you what you NEED) you would still have to run the gauntlet of that child being nothing like you expected, because really a penis or a vagina tells you almost nothing about them.

 

So don't beat yourself up Mama.  Give yourself a little time.  Perspective will come.  And you will love your baby.  I sense this is incredibly painful for you, view it like a contraction, a pain you only have to feel once.  Learning that your kids will tell YOU who they are is such a valuable lesson, we all need to learn it, it hurts all of us to do so (my DD1 hates horses, how could i breed such a child!) you are just getting the lesson a little earlier than some do, and perhaps without the nice thick hide you get after having that and similar lessons hammered home!

 

Be kind to yourself.  You have a little cheeky someone who has come to surprise you in there.  It's not a crime to be a little derailed by that!

post #4 of 60

I think I understand how you feel. When I saw I was having a boy, I was sooo disappointed. I'm excited to be pregnant and having a child, but I really had my heart set on a girl. There are a lot of activities to do with boys, but I'm not really sure what. I'm scared I won't be able to parent my child how he'll need it. I just can't picture myself doing anything with a little boy.

 

I hope this becomes easier for you hug2.gif (and me too!). I think it probably will go away after giving birth, but I really don't know. Hopefully someone else will post with something reassuring.

 

post #5 of 60

I did not get a gender U/S but I always thought I was having a girl with my 2nd baby.  I had the girl name picked out and was even calling the baby by the girl name while in utero.  Then, when the baby was born, it was a born.  I was a little dissapointed, but I think that came with thinking it was a girl for so long.  My son is 4.5mths old and I love him dearly, and love having two boys now.  I can understand your feelings now, but I think they will change once the baby is born.

post #6 of 60

Trust me, you are NOT the only person that has ever felt this way!  Please don't beat yourself up about this!  I think there can be many levels of gender disappointment and remember, it's *NOT* personal against the child - you haven't even met him/her yet.  You are disappointed about the *possibilities* you may feel you are losing or that are changing.  I don't think for a second that makes you a bad mom, or emotionally stunted.  It makes you human.

 

I know you will find support here, but you should also go to www.ingender.com.  They have forums that are very specific to gender disappointment and extreme gender disappointment.  I think you may be able to find some resources there to help you through this period of time and prepare you for the birth. 

 

For what it's worth, I was 'disappointed' my first two pregnancies mostly because I had always envisioned myself with boys.  I've chosen not to find out this time and I do have thoughts of whether or not I'll be disappointed at the birth.  I wasn't at my girls' births, even though I knew they were already girls, but it helped tremendously to see their sweet faces, etc.  HOWEVER, from reading the boards at ingender.com, not everyone gets that feeling.  That is why I think you need to seek out some resources as to how to deal with all these emotions and feelings in a way in which you can be proud of.

 

Good luck Mama!!  Please take it easy on yourself.

post #7 of 60

First off: you are not wrong for feeling this way. Feelings are never wrong, they are yours and they are valid, whether someone else agrees with them or not.

Second: honey, I am so sorry you are hurting so bad. I have no experience with your situation yet, but I do have a strong preference this time around as well, and I know that I will need some time to adjust if my gut feeling turns out to be wrong. 

The way you feel now, has no bearing on how you will feel toward your baby once he or she is born. You need to give yourself time to come to terms with this. You sound very much like you are grieving a loss, and that takes time. Be kind to yourself, and don't feel like you have to apologize for anything! Many, many hugs to you. grouphug.gif

post #8 of 60

You're not wrong for feeling that way!  I've felt that way before too and yes, I did get over it when I held that child (before it, actually) and it didn't interfere with our bonding, I can't imagine that child being any different now.

 

Being disappointed over the sex doesn't mean you don't love or won't bond with the child you are carrying.  In your mind, even if unintentionally, you had pictured a certain sex and how things would be with that baby - your relationship with him/her, your other child's relationship.  The gender disappointment is mourning the loss of that relationship, the one you had envisioned.  It doesn't mean you're emotionally stunted or anything like that.   hug.gif 

post #9 of 60
Thread Starter 

First off, thank you everyone for your very kind replies.  I appreciate them so very much.  I'm going to respond directly to GobecGo, because she touched on a lot of my fears (in a good way).

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

Have you held your own baby before?  From the pic avatar it's you with a kid, i assume your eldest, but maybe not...?

 

He is mine.  My sweet (albeit rambunctious) little boy!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

I had a strong preference with DD2.  I was convinced i was having a boy.  And i really REALLY wanted a boy.  We'll probably have more, but i wanted one of each so if we didn't have more i'd have experienced both.  And i have had 4 losses, and am beginning to suspect i cannot actually carry boys, so for that reason also, i was hoping against hope it would be a boy after all.

 

I'm sorry for your losses.  I debated about posting this for several days, because I know that mamas like you have experience really awful, awful sadness.  I appreciate, VERY much, how kind your post was despite those losses.  As a side note, you should know that speaks volume to your character, thank you!
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

Really, a picture on a screen is NOT a baby.  It is a picture on a screen.  How are you supposed to bond with that?  I know some people do/did but i really never did, either time, with mine.  It was an interesting medical procedure, but nothing more.


With my son, seeing him was like lightning striking.  I cried, my husband cried.  I had felt connection before, sure, but seeing him was incredible.  I was just filled with every positive, beautiful feeling I could think of.  Strange, yes.  And then this time around, it was nothing like that.  Same doctor, same machine, nothing but fear.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

I don't know which gender you wanted or which you got, but the main thing to remember, hold onto, is that the baby growing in your belly will be a million different things, and the smallest of which will be boy or girl.  They could be artist, fashionista, doctor, empath, joy-bringer, shouter, giggler, dancer, cook, coffee-drinker, musician, mathematician, writer, hair-flicker, tree-climber, deep-sea-diver...they could be anything, anyone.  All you know is the tiniest fact, that is not something one can fall in love with anyway.  I'm sure you have both men and women in your life you love, because the person is what draws the love.


I think, really, that this is where the fear sets in.  It is... a girl.  There, said it.  It helps with the explanation.

 

To me, the parent, yes, boy or girl is so small.  I can support my daughter to be anything.  I can encourage her to pursue math or science as interests.  I can uplift her beyond her looks, and try to impart good self esteem, brains, skills...  But the world will not do the same.  The world is a cruel, awful place for women.  My own parents encouraged me in math, but that didn't stop most of my teachers from ignoring me or discouraging me.  My own parents didn't focus on my looks when I was little, but that didn't stop the messages at the grocery store, on the TV, everywhere...  That smart women are worth less than skinny women.

 

And if I knew that I could completely cut my girl off from the world around her, then I think this would be so much easier.  Or maybe if I had a girl first, before I knew the realities of how the world projects expectations based on gender, then it would have been easier.  My girl *could* be anything, sure.  But I know that she will have to work twice as hard as her older brother to get it.  I know that it's petty to say that you want the lives of your children to be as easy as possible, but...  I know that no matter what I do, my daughter will have a hard time.  Yes, for me personally, and for most decent people, you love the person, not the gender.  But the world at large makes immediate assumptions about capacity and personality based on whether you're male or female.  And I'm crushed about it.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

 

If you HAD got the gender you think just now you want (i'm not saying you don't know what you want, i'm saying that little someone you've got in there is going to show you what you NEED) you would still have to run the gauntlet of that child being nothing like you expected, because really a penis or a vagina tells you almost nothing about them.


A penis or a vagina tells ME nothing about who my child will be.  But it tells teachers, employers, and peers how they will relate to my daughter.  Whether they'll call on her first in math class, whether they'll hire her as a mechanic, whether she is valued for more than her looks.  And I realize that good teachers are not this way (and I know they are out there), and I know that good employers put achievement before sex (and that they are out there too), and that friends worth having would put brains, wit, and passion before looks.  But the good for women in this world is so, so much sparser than the bad.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

So don't beat yourself up Mama.  Give yourself a little time.  Perspective will come.  And you will love your baby.  I sense this is incredibly painful for you, view it like a contraction, a pain you only have to feel once.  Learning that your kids will tell YOU who they are is such a valuable lesson, we all need to learn it, it hurts all of us to do so (my DD1 hates horses, how could i breed such a child!) you are just getting the lesson a little earlier than some do, and perhaps without the nice thick hide you get after having that and similar lessons hammered home!


Those are my other worries.  That this child feels like a lesson, not a blessing.  That of the dozens and dozens of women who I know well enough to know about their relationships with their mothers, only two of them are actually friends with those mothers in their 30's.  I spent my entire life not liking my mother.  In my teenage years, I hated her.  And still, as an adult, I would much rather speak distantly with her on the phone than actually see her in real life.  And the vast majority of women I know feel the same way about their mothers.  They love them, but they don't like them.

 

Couple all of those very complex fears with my petty feelings about little girls -- total disgust at baby girl clothes (ick), my total aversion to anything "girlie" (except horses... they are just awesome), and my experiences with little girls (not so great) -- and it's just one very large, emotional mess.  I'm trying to find the positives in a little girl, beyond just that she'll be mine, and be awesome...  And they're not coming.

 

I want to be liked.  And I didn't want to spend my child's lifetime trying to undo the messages about body, capability, and self-esteem that the world will bombard her with as soon as she's old enough to think.  And I don't want to have pink anything in my house.  I feel like having a daughter means simply asking to spend a lifetime of watching the world shit on your kid...

post #10 of 60

You may want to check out the forum(s) at in-gender.com; there is a forum that deals with gender disappointment.  Please do not beat yourself up about it.  smile.gif

 

post #11 of 60

Honestly, from reading your post I feel like your 'gender disappointment' is really more about how you feel and you feel you are perceived by the world.  I get that.  Truly, I do.  I grew up in a household where my brother was valued more than me, he was told he was smart and capable and all my mom wanted me to be was a cheerleader.  It was horrible.  I remember constantly saying as a child and later an adolescent, that they preferred my brother to me.  Finally, one day they admitted it.  I will never forget the shock of the admission.  Although it was something I had known, it was starkly different to hear it out of their mouths.  Now, it's no longer a secret.  My entire family talks to me about how they prefer boys, etc.  It's EXTREMELY hurtful to me and then there is the fear of what they might say or do to my girls.  Then there is my dh's family who blatantly prefer boys (cultural more than anything).  At their last visit my FIL just talked about how his daughter was a 'mistake' and kept calling her that over and over.  It's horrible.

 

I have struggled with these 'realities' my entire life.  It has sent me into bouts of depression and I feel like it was what fully made me fearful of having a girl.  Now I have two and all I can say is that they are smart and capable and wonderful people.  I work hard daily at making sure my thoughts don't have these biases so that I don't project it on them.  I make sure that their environments reflect positive attitudes towards girls and women.  I would most definitely change schools, drop friends, not speak to family, etc. if that is what it takes.  I will literally do anything to make sure they do not ever feel that way.  I grew up in a small town in middle America in which women weren't valued and weren't looked at as I had always desired.  I moved as soon as I turned 18 and haven't once looked back.  I will never expose my girls to such bias.  I still have to worry about family, though, which is difficult. I speak up and don't hold back when it comes to these issues.  I'm currently pregnant with a surprise and now very much hope it's a girl so that my two older girls aren't rejected by our families.  That makes me so angry and sad, but my job is to not only protect them from that, but teach them how to persevere and be better people. 

 

I'm so sorry you are going through this.  I truly hope you can come to terms with what has happened to you so that you can be an even stronger mama to your little girl.  Really...it WILL be amazing.  SHE will be amazing.  You might even be surprised at how much healing occurs when you are raising her so differently than you were.  You can change that pattern.

post #12 of 60

Aw hun, you made me cry (in a good way).

 

I have 2 DD's and i feel you, i mean i fucking FEEL you on everything you wrote about mothering girls.  Every word.  I too feel the responsibility is like a rock i can't get from under most days.  I too had a very complicated relationship with my mother (she died, that simplified a lot, as horrible as that sounds).  And i too preferred to keep a reserved distance on many matters from her.  She did and said truly incredible and truly horrible things to me through my growing.  I was sexually abused as a little kid for 7 years, i was raped and hit by an ex, i know precisely how shitty it can be to be a woman.

 

And it terrifies me.  It really does.  What if what happens to me happens to them?  I (literally) have nightmares about it.

 

But here they are, my girls.  And i am already relying on Mama's like you to teach their SONS better.  Because my DD's can't stand up to the whole world alone.  I know your little DS will grow to be the sort of someone my little DD can be with, have refuge with, against a world that judges her based on the shade of her hair, the size of her bra and the length of her skirt.  I know you are already raising the sort of boy who will become the sort of man who will love women for who they are.  The job you have ALREADY undertaken is probably harder (at least i think it is, given i'm already doing the job of raising girls).  You are up to this job, i assure you.

 

You don't get along with your mom, but you're NOT your mom, that doesn't mean your DD won't get along with you.  You're a different person, with a different DD, in a different situation.  I do know a few (i agree, a very few) women who get on with their mothers.  I am reliably informed by my older friends that mother-daughter dynamics improve with age, which seems to bear out.  When i was 21 almost none of my friends talked openly or spent time eagerly with their mothers.  When i was 25 a lot of the raw anger about how the relationship had been was dissolving though a distance was still kept, and now i'm 30 many of my friends, having learned themselves through the parenting journey, and their mothers, having mellowed considerably with advancing years, have become closer.  My older-still friends positively enjoy their mothers, and their mothers enjoy them, flaws and all.  My mother died when i was 24 and it amazes me that my relationship with her continues to pass through these phases, despite her absence.

 

I really think, especially after reading your most recent post, that BECAUSE of your fear, BECAUSE of your apprehension, BECAUSE of the sadness you feel, you are going to be an excellent mother of girl(s).  You got one lucky kid in there.  Oh, and my girls never wear pink! :)

post #13 of 60

I get what you and GoBecGo are feeling - after years obsessing on how to protect my daughter from all that you describe and all that I had endured, I had a moment of terror, realizing that I would *never* be able to protect her from all of it. My throat even started closing! But it changed how I saw things - and how I saw her. If forced me to recognize that, largely because I was being a neurotic @$$, SHE was becoming an incredibly strong little girl, just from pushing against my fear!

 

She IS girly - and I'm not. She is resolutely a girly girl, despite all my best efforts, haha. I never even cared about horses growing up (though I think it's funny that you categorize them as a girly thing!) and she LOVES them, and draws them, and does it so beautifully all on her own talent. I was an aircraft mechanic in the military - she's thinking that fashion design might be where she's headed (DELIVER ME!) while she throws together outfits that alternately amaze and horrify me, and I'm still wearing jeans and a tee-shirt, 31 weeks pg. She's better at some things at ten than I will EVER be, at damn near anything. She will say anything to anyone. She will tell me her breasts hurt, and she's not freaked out by that or humiliated or embarassed... she just assumes that I will have the answers for this apparently natural occurrence. She tells me she can't get that elf, Legolas, out of her mind after watching LoTR... (well, honey, he's kind of hot, that happens to the best of us!). She is kind and sweet in her strength when I have always been blunt and fairly harsh in mine, sometimes even to her, but she is no push-over. She's fearless in a way that terrifies me, and NOW, that kind of makes me feel like I've done something right. I just wish I could tell you what it was.

 

Sometimes I feel like I'm raising my mother, but with the sass and power my mother has always wished she'd had but saw in me. I wouldn't wish what it took to take me from a shy little girl to an outspoken bitch on anyone, and for certain NOT on my daughter, but she has all of my mother's unshakable lovingkindness, and plenty of my piss and vinegar. And fwiw, while my mom and I were incredibly close when I was a child and into my early 20s, when I got married and especially when I had my daughter, things changed for the worse. We've finally gotten to a point of being back on stable ground in our relationship, but it's taken her being diagnosed with Parkinson's and realizing we didn't have forever to work through our issues. She's a lot stronger than I gave her credit for growing up, but I'll never understand some of the choices she's made, nor will she ever understand some of mine. Fair enough. She's a wonderful grandmother, and she does give a damn, if nothing else.

 

I get your fear and disgust at the way women are treated in this world, and I've experienced that treatment off and on since I was a child, and at the hands of my own family as well. I just want you to try to believe that your daughter will AMAZE you. When you least expect it, she will just blindside you with how awesome she really is, and you'll realize a LOT of that awesomeness is a direct result of your actions - even if they didn't have the effect you hoped or anticipated, she will take what you give her and turn it into something beautiful and powerful.

 

hug2.gif

post #14 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

 

I really think, especially after reading your most recent post, that BECAUSE of your fear, BECAUSE of your apprehension, BECAUSE of the sadness you feel, you are going to be an excellent mother of girl(s).  You got one lucky kid in there.  Oh, and my girls never wear pink! :)



Exactly!!

 

Though my daughter does wear pink, lol! It's usually in the form of a skull and crossbones, though... ;)

post #15 of 60
Quote:

 


With my son, seeing him was like lightning striking.  I cried, my husband cried.  I had felt connection before, sure, but seeing him was incredible.  I was just filled with every positive, beautiful feeling I could think of.  Strange, yes.  And then this time around, it was nothing like that.  Same doctor, same machine, nothing but fear.

 

 


a friend of mine said something related not really to gender but more my fears of having two and not being that excited this time around...it was something to tehe effect of "it's the same as having your first but without the cushion of mind-blowing love." yeah, there's still love, but it might not feel as crazy intense as the first time. 

i have similar gender preferences and probably similar feelings of guilt and fear of not bonding. it was for that reason that i decided not to learn the gender at the scan. with our first i didn't want to know because i would have been elated either way. this time i have a very real preference, though, and i'm just hoping that the excitement of birth will override any dissapointment that i fear i'll have....while at a scan, well, i might just feel disapointment. so yeah, i think the feelings of knowing now might just be that you don't have that "mind-blowing love" cushion that you did with the first....maybe. here's to hoping that the mind-blowingness of birth takes care of it!

post #16 of 60

oh hun, don't beat yourself up

 

 

everyone else has touched on my thoughts on the matter as well..so I don't need to expound on any of it further

 

you need to work through your perceptions of how the world sees girls, this is not all you but its still something thats clearly making you feel incredibly bad about something you shouldn't

the only time I've personally had a problem with people over my gender has been in the military..and my bad ass MOS pretty much took care of that..everyone wants their mama when they need a medic :)

 

what I did feel the need to share is this...I don't actually bond with my babies for about 24 hours..maybe a little longer..now don't get me wrong, I'd kill a person over them before theyre born and beyond but what I felt like I needed to pass along is, don't beat yourself up if even when the baby is born you have some lingering disappointment it WILL pass (I've adored every one of my girls within a day or two)...for me its more about seeing their personality emerge than their gender though

 

It took me being pregnant with my fourth girl..and expecting boys every single time and having 13 miscarriages leading me to suspect I too can't carry male fetuses to realize..gender REALLY doesn't matter..all my girls like dirt bikes and quads, and like tulle and glitter makeup..lol..and skull and cross bones and trucks and puppies and babies

two are artistic, one is musical, one is a fashionista and they all like to wrestle...the oldest two will fist fight and bloody each others noses...one is fabulous at calculus (and shes 12) the oldest is great at robotic engineering, all three have sharp senses of humor and a great dry wit

my point is, I happen to think girls have LESS limitations on them

men and women ARE different, to expect them to be equal in every way is a fallacy...each has their own generalized high and low points...keeping that in mind

how many straight men wouldn't take shit for say...fashion design? or thinking ponies are awesome?

 

look at it from the other side

 

oh and their are plenty of primary colors for girl clothes that are quite nice..until my house burned down I intended on bringing home this baby in the same outfit her sisters wore home from the hospital...a royal blue one piece outfit with little black and white polka dots..with a matching kelly green blankte with the same polka dots...

people always commented on what adorable baby boys :)

post #17 of 60

Well, if it helps at all, I like my mother. :p

 

The thing about being a woman is... yes, it's hard, there are unique challenges and suckiness and stereotypes... but at the end of the day, I'd rather be a woman than a man. And I imagine a fairly large percentage of women would feel the same. So maybe try to look at it from that perspective... chances are when your daughter grows up, she won't want to "swap" her gender for the other. Maybe that will help you separate your feelings about the way the world is, with your feelings about your baby girl herself? (Sorry, I'm not at my most articulate today, and I'm not sure if that made any sense!)

 

Personally I don't think there's anything wrong with having a gender preference. Except in cases where it's based on, say, culturally-entrenched misogyny, I think it's a perfectly natural thing to want to raise a boy... or a girl... or both. It's just like family size - I don't think it's "wrong" to have a dream of a two-child family, or a four-child family, or a ten-child family, and then to feel sad if that dream can't be realised because life has other plans. A mother who's always wanted three children and ends up pregnant with a fourth can legitimately grieve over the family she hoped to have - it doesn't mean she'll end up chucking the fourth child off a bridge or keeping him in a dark basement. Same with gender: it's fine to be sad, and it doesn't mean you're going to be a bad parent to your daughter once she's born.

 

As it happens I have a girl, and am pregnant with a boy. DH and I both had a slight preference for a girl, but were fine with a boy - it was just a bit of a shock! But I have to say, I'm very glad I have at least one girl. I don't know how many kids are in our future, but I imagine if I had two boys, then three, I'd feel increasing disappointment and panic with each pregnancy. I've always wanted to have girls. I'm one of six girls; there are plenty of things about girls I think are awesome, and I didn't want to miss out on that. I don't feel like that makes me emotionally stunted. :p

 

And frankly, I have concerns a little similar to yours about raising a son! It's not easy being a boy in this world either. I'm worried he'll be labelled "girly" or "sissy" if he likes quiet, sedentary pursuits (like DH and my father both did as kids, and got horribly teased for it - heck, Dad has a permanent disfigurement from being bullied as a kid, and that incident might well not have happened if he'd been a girl); I'm worried he might absorb sexist attitudes despite everything I can do; I'm worried he'll feel bad about expressing his emotions, because "manly" men don't; I'm worried I won't know how to handle him if he turns out to be a rough-and-tumble, sporty kid (genetically unlikely, but who knows!); I'm worried about dealing with puberty, dealing with his potentially different learning styles... heck, I'm even worried about his increased likelihood of having autism, and changing his nappies!

 

Anyway, my point is... don't feel bad about feeling sad. It doesn't make you a bad mother or a bad person. It's probably good you had the ultrasound, so you can process all this stuff before the baby's born; and I can't guarantee the feelings will go away as soon as she appears (like a PP, it took me a few days to bond with my daughter, and she was the "right" sex!), but I'm sure they WILL go away.

 

Have you talked to your DH about this? Is he supportive? Does he "get it"?

post #18 of 60

I think back to my own lukewarm reaction to seeing a girl on the screen. And for no more a reason than I already had a boy, and I liked him! Thats all I knew! lol.gif  

 

Now is another story, having a girl has enriched my life in so many ways that I couldn't have imagined. I see myself in her and that goes deep. Go easy on yourself!

 

post #19 of 60

I haven't read all the replies, but I am glad for you that so many people understand your feelings and can help you to be gentle with yourself.  I am sure that carrying a child that you cannot see yourself parenting must be terribly hard.  I wonder though how much of your feelings are being amplified by the other stressors in your life. I read your thread about your partner who is injured and not really participating in your relationship.  I'm sure that any pregnancy at this point would be hard, but even more so when it suddenly goes in a direction you were not prepared for.  I don't know if you have sought out counseling, but it might be a good way to work through some of your feelings in a healthy way without disclosing private information to friends and family. I know that I never complain about DH or DD to my friends and family because I never ever want to taint their view of DH or me.  I am thinking of you, and I am so sorry that you are feeling disconnected and guilty. 

post #20 of 60

I read your update and I understand a bit better, but I still think counseling might be a good option to work through some past trauma. I had a really different experience growing up - I was the preferred child in many respects and my parents pushed and encouraged me to do anything I set my mind to. I was also raised in a family that was primarily made up of very strong women whom I admired and aspired to be like.  I can honestly say that I have only been the victim of gender discrimination a handful of times. I was THRILLED to have a daughter because there aren't enough girls in the world who were raised to know that they ARE worthwhile. That they ARE beautiful no matter what anyone says. That they ARE smart and determined and capable. I count myself lucky to have the chance to pass those amazing things on. I know there will be bumps in the road, and she's too little for her gender to matter at all right now, but I look forward to watching her develop into a girl and a woman. I TOTALLY get your gender preference though, and I was terrified that I was going to have a boy. I was so relieved to learn that DD was a female. I too had to know her gender because I needed the rest of the pregnancy to emotionally prepare for a son. I don't know that any of this will help, but I hope you are able to find peace and let go of the fear. You will be fine - the fact that you are even thinking about this stuff means that you are WAY ahead of most parents. 

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