Should I find out the gender? Complicated. - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: Should I find out the gender?
Find out the gender via ultrasound 34 23.45%
Wait until the baby is born! 31 21.38%
Find out the gender and keep it a secret 79 54.48%
Other 1 0.69%
Voters: 145. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 48 Old 04-29-2008, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have three boys and I am pregnant with #4. We would have never conceived #3 or #4 if we had gotten a girl. It sounds bad, but we seriously have tried these last three times for a girl and this is our last child. Both DH and I have always desperately wanted a daughter.

I promised myself while we were TTC that I would not find out the gender this time around. I figured that if I found out the gender at the moment of birth, I would be happy no matter what.

But now I'm beginning to doubt that theory.

I have a history of PPD and I am concerned that if I find out that my baby is a boy at his birth, it will help kickstart PPD and I will have bonding issues during the first few weeks/months and I am terrified of that. I'm starting to think that maybe if I find out the gender via ultrasound, I will have a good amount of time to get used to the idea before the baby is born.

The other issue is our family and friends. This also sounds terrible, but literally *everyone* will be upset if we have another boy. I was hoping that if we didn't find out the gender ahead of time, I wouldn't have to tell everyone and hear the responses. (Once the baby is born people are happy no matter what, really.)

Should I find out the gender? Should I wait until the birth? If I do find out the gender, should I keep it a secret from everyone else? (Tell them it's a secret or just tell them we don't know?)

*Hey everyone--we had our ultrasound yesterday and yes, we are having our FOURTH boy! I am excited, although there is that bit of disappointment. Pregnancy is exciting itself so I think after the baby is born and the years go by, I'll have to deal with the emotions involved with never having a daughter.

Since it did turn out to be another boy, I AM glad that I found out ahead of time-thanks everyone for their advice!

We have planned not to tell anyone, but it's been extremely hard not to say "he" when we speak about the baby to family members. I think we may have to spill the beans soon or else it will slip out regardless.

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#2 of 48 Old 04-29-2008, 05:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamasBoys View Post
The other issue is our family and friends. This also sounds terrible, but literally *everyone* will be upset if we have another boy. I was hoping that if we didn't find out the gender ahead of time, I wouldn't have to tell everyone and hear the responses. (Once the baby is born people are happy no matter what, really.)
That does kind of sound terrible, TBH. That is a toughie. I voted find out for yourself, and keep it a secret. Just say "I don't know"...

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#3 of 48 Old 04-29-2008, 06:59 PM
 
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I voted "find out the gender and keep it a secret." I would have found out the gender at our ultrasound for almost that same reason. I worried a bit about how I would bond with the babe if it was a boy, because I have wanted a girl for years. However, we found out at the ultrasound the babe had a different idea. He/she didn't want to show us "the goods" so to speak. I've decided that I should be happy we're having a baby at all, but my situation is different than yours. Put in your place I wouldn't even let my family know that I was going to have an ultrasound, or if they know tell them the babe wouldn't cooperate (goodness knows they don't always ) I hope everything turns out well for you and yours.

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#4 of 48 Old 04-29-2008, 07:13 PM
 
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I voted find out the gender and keep it a secret. I just had baby #4 and did not find out the gender. He is my third boy and I had been wanting a girl, although I was fine with either. Obviously when he was born, I was thrilled. I just looked down, saw him and my husband and I both smiled at each other and said it's a boy! I struggled with baby blues for a few weeks after the birth, not really PPD, but I did feel a great loss at not having another daughter. But since you are prone to PPD I would leave time to adjust to having another boy if that is what your sweet baby turns out to be. Good luck with your decision!
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#5 of 48 Old 04-29-2008, 08:48 PM
 
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i voted find out and keep it a secret.

Really, I would just suggest that you pray or meditate before you go in for your ultrasound and ask that if it is right for you to find out now, that the baby would be in a good position to see what's goin on. If not, then baby will hopefully be in a shy position and not showing off his/her stuff.

With my 2nd we weren't able to find out even though we desperately wanted to.

I also have a dear dear friend with 6 boys. She has wanted a daughter more than anything. She's done having kids now but judging by her reactions & experience & what I've seen of her with her reactions through it all, I can understand some of what you're going through from an outside perspective.

With the last little guy she found out at the ultrasound, and didn't tell anyone for at least a week. She was devastated that she didn't get her daughter again, and to "announce" that it was a boy, she sent a general email out to all of her friends and family (after 6 babies, and with her personality type, an email wasn't too unexpected of an announcement). In the email she told them that she loved the baby, boy or not, but that she was also very sad that she didn't have her daughter, and asked for support instead of disappointment & other negative comments from friends and family. There were the stray one or two who were insensitive, but the majority of people who loved her followed her wishes. And her baby boy is one of the cutest little guys on the planet I think.
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#6 of 48 Old 04-29-2008, 08:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamasBoys View Post
The other issue is our family and friends. This also sounds terrible, but literally *everyone* will be upset if we have another boy. I was hoping that if we didn't find out the gender ahead of time, I wouldn't have to tell everyone and hear the responses.
Really? Wow, that seems so sad to me. I can't imagine people being happy with one gender over another. A baby is a baby, and something to celebrate. I like boys or girls...either one is a joy.

Look at it this way...if you have a girl this time, it will be the daughter you wanted, and if you have a boy, then he'll fit right in with your family with lots of brothers, and you already have all the clothes. Either way, it's a blessing! Enjoy it!
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#7 of 48 Old 04-30-2008, 01:07 AM
 
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Another vote for find out now and keep it a secret.

You don't want to mess around with PPD, and you do want to be able to welcome this babe with all the joy he deserves. And if it's a boy (I'm betting it will be), and you already know that, you'll be able to look at him as his own little self, not simply "another boy." I'm not usually a fan of finding out the gender, but in this case, I think you have good reason to.

As for everyone else - none of their business! Let 'em wait, and then let 'em be disappointed if they really want to.
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#8 of 48 Old 04-30-2008, 01:13 AM
 
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okay, so I'm pretty much against any elective ultrasounds, but if there is were any medical reason to get one, I would and check on sex as well. Because it sounds like being prepped with this information ahead of time could be really helpful, I'd find out so that you can deal with the feelings now
and not during those highly emotional post-partum days (as if now isn't highly emotional, hehe). As for sharing with others, whatever you want to do based on what you find out.

now if there is no reason to get the ultrasound, it'd take a lot more thought for me, personally, before making that decision. but if I felt like it would have a big impact on the after-birth bonding, I'd probably consider that enough reason to have one.

Karen happily partnered mother of 3 beautiful girls (teen/toddler/newborn).
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#9 of 48 Old 04-30-2008, 01:41 AM
 
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I voted to wait because, for my own reasons, I was going to attempt finding out and keeping it secret and managed to keep the secret for about 3 hours and regret telling my family, as things went exactly as I feared they would. If you do decide to find out and keep the secret, just know that it can be very difficult not to tell someone, and once one person knows, it seems like everyone knows.
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#10 of 48 Old 04-30-2008, 01:46 AM
 
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I personally would not choose to find out. I dont think it s a bad thing if you do, but I refuse to see children as products of a gender binary. I would recommend taking a lot of time before the birth reflecting on why you want a girl, what you perceive is different between raising girls and boys, etc.

You might come to the conclusion that you really are just so used too the idea that you should have a girl, with everyone hoping for a girl that you are making a bigger deal of it than what you really feel. Perhaps it is because you want to share your experience of motherhood with a daughter, in which case you will also be able to do that with daughters-in-law or nieces. Maybe it is just that there is something about raising boys that you find difficult or unpleasant and that might be resolved. These are just ideas.

If you really think that having a boy would help trigger PPD, then you can do the ultrasound and prepare yourself.

Single mom to E (2004) and D (2010)
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#11 of 48 Old 04-30-2008, 01:57 AM
 
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I'm pregnant with my 4th boy. We have found out with every pregnancy and while I don't have a history of PPD, I was afraid that I might have a problem with it if we didn't find out the gender before hand. I REALLY felt like my intuition was telling me girl and I had a hard time accepting what the u/s showed us. There was even a lingering doubt that the u/s was right because this little guy was very shy. I ended up getting a 3D u/s at 26 weeks and that is when I really accepted that he is a boy and fell completely in love with him (he has adorable chubby cheeks!)

If I were you I would find out and not tell anyone or send out an email to the effect of what autumnbloom said.

Good luck to you!
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#12 of 48 Old 04-30-2008, 03:13 AM
 
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I personally would not choose to find out. I dont think it s a bad thing if you do, but I refuse to see children as products of a gender binary. I would recommend taking a lot of time before the birth reflecting on why you want a girl, what you perceive is different between raising girls and boys, etc.

You might come to the conclusion that you really are just so used too the idea that you should have a girl, with everyone hoping for a girl that you are making a bigger deal of it than what you really feel. Perhaps it is because you want to share your experience of motherhood with a daughter, in which case you will also be able to do that with daughters-in-law or nieces. Maybe it is just that there is something about raising boys that you find difficult or unpleasant and that might be resolved. These are just ideas.

If you really think that having a boy would help trigger PPD, then you can do the ultrasound and prepare yourself.
I feel you are being EXTREMELY dismissive of the OP's feelings which are completely relevant and normal.

A daughter in law and/or niece is nowhere near the same thing in most cases as a daughter. Just my two cents.

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#13 of 48 Old 04-30-2008, 03:21 AM
 
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I wouldn't find out the gender and I think it's terrible that your friends and family would express how upset they are about you having another boy.

Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012)  Married to awesome SAH DH.

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#14 of 48 Old 04-30-2008, 04:14 AM
 
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I've only had my DD... and we didn't find out when we were pregnant with her. I was POSITIVE it was a boy. Literally positive. They didn't tell me (she came out blue) for a couple minutes and then when handing her to me wrapped said "Here is your daughter"... UMMMM WHAT?!?! I can tell you it took me months to really wrap my head around it and grieve that I didn't have the boy I thought I was going to have . Granted I was happy I had a daughter and in with her it was a huge shock to me. I didn't really tell anyone but discussed it a bit with my hubby here and there.

When discussing whether or not to find out this one my husband told me that we were going to find out because he wanted me to know. This time I didn't care but I knew I didn't want those feelings like last time. When we went they told us their best guess was a girl : I would have rather not found out. We are going for another ultrasound for other reasons and will find out. If it wasn't for that then I considered going for a 3D for gender only. Because now that I *kinda* knew I NEEDED to know. And it's eating at me that I still have a month left, and I'm trying to tap into what this baby is but after my experience from last time I really am trying to accept both and see myself with both... but of course this time after she said girl I went "whoohoo" and now I'm fearing that I'm setting myself up again if it's a boy.

Both genders for me are greatly wanted and it really doesn't matter but I've always been a person that attaches to things really quickly and even when I was little if I saw something in a store and wanted to get it and was offered another choice, even if it was better I had to go with the first thing. So I'm feeling a bit detached from this pregnancy without knowing.

Now with my novel I'm going to go vote find out but keep it a secert. Our family is much like yours... but with names and births and parenting ideals.

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#15 of 48 Old 04-30-2008, 04:36 AM
 
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Especially since you have tendencies to PPD, I think an u/s to prepare yourself is a great idea.
You don't have to tell anyone in your family anything either.

Happily married with two tots (babyboy.gif J 10/18/08) & (babygirl.gif T 5/03/10) 

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#16 of 48 Old 04-30-2008, 05:57 AM
 
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I did it this time. I have never found out before. But I knew in my heart this time I really did want another girl. I really, really did. I felt bad about it, because I have always been a proponent of the idea that whatever you have is just right and you will be happy etc etc and it's most often true. But I have traveled on the PPD trail once, albeit lightly, and I knew that I was putting myself at higher risk by not finding out the gender.
And sure enough, it is our third boy, and I was disappointed but am now getting really excited about it and I'm so happy to meet him. I am really glad about our decision. It was really done just for my mental health, and we are keeping it a secret from everyone IRL.
So from my perspective, do it. If its a boy, you'll have your day or week or month of mourning that daughter, and you'll be ready to meet him with a smile, which is what he deserves! If its a girl...welll....let the shopping begin :
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#17 of 48 Old 04-30-2008, 06:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lovingmommyhood View Post
I feel you are being EXTREMELY dismissive of the OP's feelings which are completely relevant and normal.

A daughter in law and/or niece is nowhere near the same thing in most cases as a daughter. Just my two cents.
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So from my perspective, do it. If its a boy, you'll have your day or week or month of mourning that daughter, and you'll be ready to meet him with a smile, which is what he deserves!
ITA with both these posts. I would find out and keep it a secret. Your feelings are perfectly normal and valid.
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#18 of 48 Old 04-30-2008, 09:28 AM
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I would find out so you can prepare yourself.

I have 2 boys and am pregnant. I will be finding out. I am assuming it is a boy since I've already had 2. At this point I am just thrilled to be having a 3rd child. I finally got DH on board to try. For myself...I figure plan on boy and be surprised if it is a girl. I grew up with all sisters and would love to experience a mother daughter relationship as a mom. This will be it for us. I truly believe we are given what we need and what is best for our family, though that may be hard to see or understand sometimes.

I have a cousin who would find out the gender and keep it a secret...she has 4 boys. Even if I wanted too I couldn't keep it quiet it would slip out in some stupid way.

Best wishes to you. I hope you get your hearts desire.
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#19 of 48 Old 04-30-2008, 09:43 AM
 
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I would find out and keep it a secret. I wouldn't want to deliver, be disappointed, then feel guilty for being disappointed. If you know now, you can sort through those feelings and be excited by the end. My first was a girl, and I wanted a boy. My second was a boy, and I wanted a girl. In the end I did want one of each, but not in the order they came. It turns out that I am very happy now with their order. I know thats not quite the same, but its ok to be a little disappointed. Its just nice to work through that before they arrive. There is no need to tell anyone if you don't want to.
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#20 of 48 Old 04-30-2008, 09:51 AM
 
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I would find out. I kind of agreed to have children, period, with the assumption that I would have a girl. DH and I both assumed we would have a girl and were both taken aback when we found out via US DS was a boy. I wasn't devastated... but it took some getting used to. Now, of course, I'm thrilled with him and all his boyness, but I'm glad I had time to prepare myself before his birth. So find out, and then decide whether to tell people.

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#21 of 48 Old 04-30-2008, 11:01 AM
 
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Find out for yourself and let the relatives wonder. GL to you.
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#22 of 48 Old 04-30-2008, 11:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lovingmommyhood View Post
I feel you are being EXTREMELY dismissive of the OP's feelings which are completely relevant and normal.
I completely disagree. I think the OP's feelings are valid, but I also believe you can acknowledge valid feelings while also striving to identify the source of those feelings. Right now the OP is a slave to 50/50 odds and luck-of-the-draw, whereas soso-lynn's input allows the OP some power in identifying, managing, and releasing negative feelings that may be holding her back, regardless of what the baby's gender is. The power to manage your feelings is a skill that could also be incredibly helpful if she faces PPD again.

Plus, it's important to be sure that these feelings are dealt with appropriately... I know of several women who comment that their fathers wished they were boys, and while they were still loved, this expectation negatively impacted how they were raised. Surely we wouldn't wish the same fate on the OP's children.

To answer the OP, if you think you will have negative feelings to deal with if this baby is a boy, I would find out and tell people. Might as well deal with it before your life turns into roung-the-clock nursing and exhaustion . Plus, if you're thrilled, you'll want to spill the news anyway; and if you're disappointed, keeping it a secret and pretending that everything is ok can push you closer to depression (and keep in mind that depression doesn't necessarily wait until after the baby is born).

Good luck, whatever your decision!

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#23 of 48 Old 04-30-2008, 11:42 AM
 
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I completely disagree. I think the OP's feelings are valid, but I also believe you can acknowledge valid feelings while also striving to identify the source of those feelings. Right now the OP is a slave to 50/50 odds and luck-of-the-draw, whereas soso-lynn's input allows the OP some power in identifying, managing, and releasing negative feelings that may be holding her back, regardless of what the baby's gender is. The power to manage your feelings is a skill that could also be incredibly helpful if she faces PPD again.

Plus, it's important to be sure that these feelings are dealt with appropriately... I know of several women who comment that their fathers wished they were boys, and while they were still loved, this expectation negatively impacted how they were raised. Surely we wouldn't wish the same fate on the OP's children.
Of course it's important to make sure the feelings are delt with appropriately but to say that the OP is driven by society/her family to want a girl or something along those lines and implying that the OP sees her kids as "gender binary" is rude & counter productive. To say that the OP could always "have that" with a DIL or a niece is dismissive. It's not the same.

I don't know if you or soso-lynn have been through these feelings but I have and trust me soso-lynns comments are not helpful. That's all I was pointing out. I guess we will have to disagree with eachother.

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#24 of 48 Old 04-30-2008, 11:55 AM
 
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My personal attitude towards u/s is that they're a medical tool, not "baby's first photo" and that NO medical tools should be used "routinely" on healthy pgs. I would personally never have an u/s just to find out gender, but if I needed one for another reason, I might find out the gender while we were at it.

In your case, it sounds like you may have a real medical reason for finding out the gender, as mental health is every bit as real and important as physical health. All 4 of your kids need a healthy mama!

But before you schedule that u/s, I think you need to ask yourself a bunch of hard questions. If it's a girl, will you regret finding out early instead of being surprised at the birth? If it's another boy, will it REALLY make a difference with PPD, or will you be dissapointed and upset during the pg and then just as sad after the birth?

If you do find out, and it's a boy, I'd keep the news to yourself until after the birth. If you find out, and it's a girl, see how you feel about things. Do you want to keep your family in suspense until the birth? Will you want to shout from the rooftops that you're finally having a girl? Do you want to play a mean trick on your family and tell them it's another boy and then surprise them after the birth?

Also, whether it's a boy or a girl, be sure to shield your sons from getting the impression that "they're not good enough" or "you didn't want them" because you wanted a girl. Some rude relative or other is likely to make some sort of comment about "finally getting your girl" or "oh, it's another boy " in front of them. I'd tell your sons how much you love and want them before they get a chance to overhear such a comment!

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#25 of 48 Old 04-30-2008, 12:53 PM
 
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I just wanted to post and say good luck to you and that I know this will all end happily, boy or girl...because no matter what the gender, this little spirit will fit perfectly into your family. I know that in no time at all, you will get to know this little person and s/he will be so precious to you, you won't be able to imagine your life without this child.

All that being said...I am a person who has much personal experience with depression and I would tell you to do whatever you need to to keep yourself mentally stable. I am so sorry you have had to experience PPD before and am wishing so hard that you can avoid that this time around.

Maybe if you find out the gender and is it a boy it will help to have the rest of your pregnancy to think of names, etc. and get ready not for "boy" but for THIS BOY, YOUR BOY, YOUR LAST LITTLE PRINCE!! You know? I think it allows you the time to put a different frame on the picture....whereas finding out at the birth, if it is a boy, could definitely throw you into a dark place simply for the fact that you will be finding this out at the same time that you are experiencing a gigantic hormone crash!

I wish for a girl for you, not because girls are better or worse or whatever...but because I understand your desire to have a relatonship with a daughter. I totally get that and I know that your frustration and feelings of dread at this issue are only compounded by your natural feelings of guilt about wanting one sex over the other. The things that motivate us to want one sex over the other are not shallow, they are very deep seated in ourselves and are extremely valid. Unfortunately, we are here to learn what we are here to learn...and we don't have control over these things.

I think that the chances are pretty strong your little one will be another boy, because you already have three...but I KNOW that the chances are 100% that this child will be a lovely, lovely child either way and that boy or girl you will love and cherish the relationship you have.

Do what you need to do to stay healthy....you have our support 100%. I don't think that sending out an email, if it is a boy, would be a bad idea...letting people know that you are not interested in any negativity might be a good idea. Some are blessed with sons, some with daughters....but all who have children are blessed...you will find your way Momma, I wish you the best of health and luck!! I know I will be thrilled for you either way so long as you both are healthy!

Me and DH ...lovin' DD dust.gif(6/08) and DS kid.gif(11/09) Plus NEW BABY!! DD baby.gif (UC-5/12) We heartbeat.gif Water Birth/Homebirth/No Vax or Circ/BF/BW/Country Livin'! chicken3.gif

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#26 of 48 Old 04-30-2008, 01:18 PM
 
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I was set on finding out the gender of our peanut ASAP. Until I met my midwife, lol. She dicsussed how important she feels it is for a woman to wholeheartedly (and the rest of the family, for that matter) to fully accept and love the baby within regardless of gender. I'm not saying you wouldn't love the baby if it's a boy, but she talked a lot about studies she's read on how moms respond and interract and bond with the baby within depending on the gender. She also talked about the sheer important of not knowing during labor.

She says it's so important to not know for the pure motivation factor of wanting to know so badly!

Anyway, just my two cents

Jesus-loving wife to my best friend and love of my life , mama to my boys and and our little one, who was blessed enough to go straight into the arms of God (11/09)
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#27 of 48 Old 04-30-2008, 02:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by GooeyRN View Post
I would find out and keep it a secret. I wouldn't want to deliver, be disappointed, then feel guilty for being disappointed. If you know now, you can sort through those feelings and be excited by the end. My first was a girl, and I wanted a boy. My second was a boy, and I wanted a girl. In the end I did want one of each, but not in the order they came. It turns out that I am very happy now with their order. I know thats not quite the same, but its ok to be a little disappointed. Its just nice to work through that before they arrive. There is no need to tell anyone if you don't want to.
Yes, this. I wanted and expected another girl when I was pregnant with ds. I'm glad I found out he was a boy before hand so I could work through how I felt about it before he came. I had always pictured us with 2 girls so it was weird to consider having a boy. I'm glad I gave myself that time.

Amy, mom to LadyBug, SnuggleBug and StinkBug.  Expecting BabyBug in August 2011.
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#28 of 48 Old 04-30-2008, 03:34 PM
 
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Another vote for finding out via u/s and not letting anyone else know. That's just what I personally would do. They are valid points to all sides of this issue, so decide whatever works best for you and your mental health. As far as telling friends/family - again, whatever works best. I know that even if I was disappointed, I would not be willing to hear disappoint from anyone else. I would make that clear to them.

Good luck!

Baby Boy 9/08 & Baby Girl 3/11

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#29 of 48 Old 04-30-2008, 03:42 PM
 
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I say wait until birth. An ultrasound isn't going to change the gender. Why now have something to be surprised about, even if it is another boy...at least that's my theory, as I'm having trouble wrapping my head round the possibility of never having a girl too.

milk donation : mother to Ryan (6), AJ (5), Nate (2), Maia (1) all born at home, I have a kid-friendly food & bento blog, : :
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#30 of 48 Old 04-30-2008, 04:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zoebugsmom View Post
Yes, this. I wanted and expected another girl when I was pregnant with ds. I'm glad I found out he was a boy before hand so I could work through how I felt about it before he came. I had always pictured us with 2 girls so it was weird to consider having a boy. I'm glad I gave myself that time.
This will be me. This is exactly my reasons for finding out. I want desparetely another boy. With ds we didn't find out and now I wish we had, so I could have researched a few things more. If it's a girl, I am going to need the time to work through my hangups so I can fully welcome her to the world with the love she deserves. I already have a feeling it's likely a girl so confirmation of this (or not) will definitely help me work through this pregnancy better. BTW I voted find out and keep it secret....it seems like, IMO, this would be the easier option for you.

fambedsingle2.gifnovaxnocirc.gifHappy to be a mommy and teacher to D fencing.gif, born 1-17-06 via waterbirth.jpg  and A  blahblah.gif, born 10-6-08 with a homebirth.jpghomeschool.gif

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