Overcoming gender disappointment

Gender disappointment is a feeling of sadness or depression experienced by a parent when the gender of the baby does not match their preference.

I never knew gender disappointment existed until I found myself on forums online trying to understand why I felt so sad after finding out the sex of my second child.

The longed for baby ‘girl’.

When you’re pregnant, people tend to ask whether you’re hoping for a boy or girl and most people usually answer that they just want a healthy baby, even though they secretly desire a particular sex. 

We had planned my second pregnancy so were thrilled when the test came back positive. I, in particular, was so excited that I convinced myself I was carrying a girl. I wanted a girl with my first child but my dreams were crushed at the scan so I thought surely God will grant my wish second time round right? I was having regular dreams of how my little girl would look like, I chose a name for her and was checking out ‘girlie’ things totally oblivious to the fact that we could be having another boy.

At the time, having another boy was NOT an option for me so when we were told at the scan it was a boy, the words hit me like a TON OF BRICKS!

I silently shed a tear lying there while the sonographer continued checking my baby, I thought to myself why am I having another boy? why can’t God see that there are so many boys in my family already? (I have 8 uncles and 8 boy cousins ) my heart was broken but I had to suck it up quickly as I felt sudden shame for feeling sad.

I thought the feeling would go away but for some reason, I was very sad & down for a long time. I didn’t want to speak to anyone, I was extremely ungrateful and even angry at God for not giving me what I desired… I just wanted to have my girl. Out of nowhere one day, I realised how dangerous being stressed or depressed during pregnancy was and this lead me to find ways to overcome my feelings. At the end of the day, I didn’t want to continue my pregnancy not loving the person growing in me…

What I did to overcome gender disappointment

  1. Acknowledgement: I recognised that I was disappointed and was honest to myself about how I felt. I also voiced what I felt to my husband (speaking about it made me feel a lot better)
  2. Being thankful: I soon realised how ungrateful I was. I was given the gift of life but I spent my time crying when there are plenty of women around the world just wishing for a baby, never mind the gender! I don’t know what it was that pushed me forward but I just started to thank God for blessing me with a healthy baby and that I was having the BEST pregnancy ever.
  3. Connected to my child: I decided to choose a name for my baby (along with my husband), we chose a name with a significance and spoke to him every time movements were felt. I went out shopping for him and once I had bought his cute clothes etc, I felt so much happiness and I couldn’t wait to meet another little man!

You are not alone…

I was surprised to discover that a lot of women experience gender disappointment but only a few openly admit it because as common as it is, it is also extremely looked down upon. Nobody wants to be made ashamed for having this feeling but unfortunately, this is what happens the majority of the time.

Perhaps you have experienced gender disappointment or you are experiencing it now? know that you are not alone. Just a word of advice, please don’t let your feelings get the better of you, confide in a person you are comfortable with and express how you feel or have felt, trust me you’ll feel so much better afterwards! If you are spiritual, you can also bring your worries towards God & ask for help and guidance during this time. Also like me, try to find ways to overcome these feelings, accept reality and realise how very blessed you are.

Since my son was born I can honestly say that I have not once wished he was a girl and strangely enough although my home is male dominated, I wouldn’t have my life any other way. My boys are my life!

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Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts below 🙂

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