Gender Fears and U/S - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 03-18-2005, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Here's to hoping someone can offer some thoughts or a clue by four to help me out.

I have one DS who's almost 3 1/2. I lost a pregnancy last year on the date that is my due date for this new little bean (5/18). I'm in the care of a lay midwife and planning a homebirth.

My backup OB has offered me U/S on the occasions I've gone to see him. Part of me wants one just to reassure myself that there isn't anything really wrong with the baby (it's a persistent, nagging, but low-level fear that since my body failed at one pregnancy, it might have failed in a different way for this one). The other part of me wants to have the u/s done so we can determine the sex of the baby. That part of me is terrified, however, of finding out.

See, both my family and my husband's family all think I'm going to have nothing but boys. It annoys the living crap out of me because both families have placed a bit of an undue emphasis on having a girl (which I shamelessly cashed in on growing up with my family, :LOL ). So I have this unconscious/conscious desire to have a little girl. Plus I want a little girl for purely selfish reasons, too - I want one of each at least.

Whatever I have, I know I will love, and it's not like I'd be unable to keep having kids (I've never had fertility problems, and neither has DH that we are aware of). But after the difficulties I've had with this pregnancy, I'm not so sure I want to be pregnant again. But I'm so torn. I'm so afraid that if I get a u/s and find a kickstand, I'll be crushed. I know if I find out at the birth, I'll have the cute-baby and mommy hormones to soften any disappointment over gender I might have.

I have this intuition that says this one is a girl. With DS from the get-go, I kept referring to him unconsciously as "he," "him," "little guy," "little man," etc. I had his name picked out pretty much the day the double line showed up on the pee-stick. With this one, I've been referring to her as a girl, although when I talk to her, it's just to say, "sweetheart" or "little one." Her name came to me within a week of finding out I was pregnant.

I have a list of reasons why I think this one is a girl, too:

1. DH's family may have many boys in it, but there are girls there too, and his mother and father both had relatively even splits down the middle.

2. We're now past thirty, and older men tend to produce fewer male swimmers than female swimmers.

3. We didn't have sex on the day I ovulated - we had it two days before (but we didn't have sex on the day I o'ed with DS, either)

4. I've always had a feeling, and both DH and I have had dreams--long before we even thought of getting married or having kids--about a little girl.

5. This pregnancy has been very different from DS. I've had a harder time of it with morning sickness, and just about everything hormonal. I'm also carrying differently--straight out instead of spare tire. I speculate that the hormone cocktail it takes to make a girl is different and maybe less compatible with mine than the one produced by/for a little boy.

I'm afraid to find out. Yet I'm also afraid that my birth will be marred by a gender thing if I don't find out and have time to adjust. And I would hate myself if I looked at my second child and only saw what could have been, rather than what is.

Can somebody smack me already?
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#2 of 7 Old 03-18-2005, 01:23 PM
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I can't smack you. I can only give you my perspective from my point of view, as I have similar issues.

We had a level II ultrasound this pg because DS was born with a cleft lip & palate. I'm not the type to typically have an ultrasound at all, though. The reason I decided to do it was because although I have not had major fears during this pregnancy about a recurring defect, I realized that I needed the reassurance that there was none so that at the time of birth if there happened to be a defect, I could avoid any feelings of disappointment, as well as any fear that might hinder me while in labor. If you would feel reassured to know that this baby is okay by an ultrasound, then I say go for it if you think that it will aid you in dealing with the rest of your pregnancy and your labor and birth. I don't personally feel that ultrasounds are great things, but in some situations, they become necessary, even purely emotional situations. You could also work on these feelings without an ultrasound, which I'm sure you are anyway, and feel good about the health of your baby and your labor & birth despite not having had an u/s.

As for the gender thing. I personally really really really want a girl. I wanted a girl with DS, but didn't feel confident about calling the baby "she" though we did the whole pregnancy (rather than "it" or "he", my midwife mama uses "she"). At some point, I had a few dreams and became to believe I was having a boy, which I did. This pregnancy, I have been convinced possibly before conception that I am having a girl, though we did have sex on the day I O'd and the day before and two days before and four days before (we were TTC! :LOL). I feel very confident in using the pronoun "she" and do so all the time. I haven't gone so far as to not have names picked out for both genders, and sometimes I stop myself from calling this baby by the girl name that we have picked out, but I'm still fairly certain (of course, I could be wrong). Does part of me feel disappointed at the prospect of having another boy? yes. Do I feel that knowing so ahead of time will give me time to adjust? no. The reason that I don't think that knowing the gender ahead of time will aid me in not feeling disappointment is because I think the let down will actually be greater if I know ahead of time as opposed to finding out at birth. The reason I think is is of course for one thing about hormones. Actually, that's probably the only real reason! I know that the intensity of giving birth is so great that finding out at the birth will be tremendously exciting and that there won't be a huge let-down, though there may be a little let-down. I always felt a little let down that I didn't have a girl the first time, but that was also tied to having a boy with a cleft (though I'm glad he was a boy with a cleft rather than a girl with a cleft - for totally socially superficial reasons). When I would see perfect little babies out & about with their mamas, I was typically annoyed and more so when they were perfect little girls. That is of course a not-so-nice reaction to have, but the truth nontheless.

Anyway, my point is that I feel that finding out by u/s and finding yourself disappointed will just give you a lot of time without that actual baby in your arms in which to feel disappointed, rather than giving you a lot of time to adjust to the idea. I'd say it'd be better to work on not having much expectation (and probably more effective) than to work on not being disappointed. Once that babe is in your arms, you most likely won't care at all.

Also, you can have the u/s for the reassurance of seeing the baby is okay without finding out the gender. Of course, it's getting kind of late to have an u/s that's going to tell you much anyway.

Good luck!

anna kiss partner to jon radical mama to aleks (8/02) and bastian (5/05)
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#3 of 7 Old 03-18-2005, 01:37 PM
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Awww Jen,

I don't think you should be smacked at all. I got over the whole fear of U/S thing because I've got some high risk factors going on and I get a few more U/S than average. But that's just ME - your experiences are obviously different.

I think I understand a little of how you feel about the gender thing although I was in the reverse. We have the daughter I've always dreamed of so I wanted the challenge of a marvelous little boy. And bingo! There's a kickstand.

But I remember the conversation with DH on the way to the OB when we were discussing if we REALLY wanted to know. P was softly chattering in her seat behind us and we decided we, "do girls good" so another daughter would be a blessing.

You might have a natural moment of disappointment if you see a kickstand on the U/S (you are dreaming of a daughter!) or you might just feel a tremendous amount of peace at knowing with a little more certainty is currently living inside you. But I can tell from your post that whoever is right there with you will be loved, regardless of the gender.

Good luck with whatever you decide.


secular classical-ish mama to an incredible 5 year old DS and an amazing 6 year old DD.
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#4 of 7 Old 03-23-2005, 03:20 PM
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Ok first let me say you do not need to smack yourself. Everything you are feeling is totally normal!

With the first pregnancy I was ok not finding out, but DH really wanted to know (and has felt the same with each of them) so I went along with his wishes. We were seeing an OB and the U/S was standard procedure, and at the time I had no reason to question it.

I was excited and new it was a boy before the U/S. With #2 I wanted a girl. Period. I have an aunt who passed away when I was in college and my dream was to name my 1st daughter after her. I wanted a girl! At the u/s I sobbed when I found out it was a boy. I was very disappointed. But then over the next 15 weeks I got excited about having two boys and really happy about it. I am glad I had that time, that way there was NO disappointment to cloud my feelings about my baby at the time of birth.

The funny thing about all that is, the reason for my disappoinment (wanting to name her after my aunt) is a moot point now. DS#2's middle name is Lee, the same as my mom, my mil, and my aunt. And this time knowing I am having a little girl well it was neat to think of other names and not be locked into naming her after my aunt.

So I guess what I am saying is if it will help you to get the u/s and find out, giving you time to adjust to what ever the results than do it for your own peace of mind. If however you think that it will only add to your stress then don't.

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#5 of 7 Old 03-24-2005, 11:42 AM
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I can understand! with DS I REALLY wanted a girl and was scared to find out because I thought I might be dissapointed so we didn't plus we wanted a suprise. When I had him it was WONDERFUL and of course I wouldn't trade him for any girl.
Now with this one we aren't having an U/S so we can't find out but I secretly would LOOOOOOOOOOOVE a girl and am thinking it might be.
Personaly I woundn't find out but thats just me!
Also I figured if there was something wrong I wouldn't be able to change it anyway and all it would do was make me worried so we just decided against it all together but I understand if this isn't how you feel.

Amanda, wife to Ed mama to Logan, Phoenix, Indigo and snuggle bunny EZRA RAIN has arrived
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#6 of 7 Old 03-24-2005, 07:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for sharing. You have helped me think some things through. I'm not going to do the u/s after all. As one poster said, if there was something wrong, I wouldn't be able to change it anyway, and I'm coming to terms with being okay about being surprised. Plus, it's getting a little late for a useful U/S anyway, so the problem is sort of being taken care of on its own.

But I really hate the arrogance of strangers right now, presuming to "know" or guess the sex of my baby. I had one woman come up and say, "do you know what you're having?" When I said no, she replied, "I do." I'm thinking, "Nobody asked you, b****, or "great, now tell me what my next pap smear is going to look like," or "now make yourself really useful and tell me what next week's Powerball is going to be."

But maybe that's just me being grumpy and big. Anyway, thank you mamas!
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#7 of 7 Old 03-25-2005, 07:17 AM
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"now make yourself really useful and tell me what next week's Powerball is going to be."
:LOL :

Oh yes I like that one best!

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