If you follow me on social media, by now you know that we’re having a bouncing baby boy!! Today, as I type this, I can feel him kicking and squirming around and I’m reminded how special this journey is. I’m reminded that this little boy is mine and I’m his. I’m already proud to be his mother and my heart grows more for him with every jab. I cannot wait to meet him!
I could look at his sonogram photo all day long. I’ve already memorized his squished little face – he looks just like my husband already! I’ve completely fallen in love with him, and I’ve dedicated myself to loving this little guy for the rest of my days. If that’s all I ever do in life, I feel like it’s enough.
I wanted to take this opportunity to address a topic that I feel doesn’t get enough coverage: gender disappointment, or in layman’s terms: not getting the gender you desired. I think in general people shy away from this topic for a lot of reasons: shame in having a preference, out of respect for those who have struggled with infertility, believing it should be enough to just “have a healthy baby”, etc. I’m not downplaying any of those reasons, but I’m also not cool with suppressing the feelings I have and I don’t believe that my feelings on the gender of my baby should have a negative impact on anyone else’s life, period. I thought that I might help someone who is struggling with similar feelings, and for me, that good outweighed the bad.
Now that I’m sort of blurring the lines into pregnancy & mommy blogging, I expect the haters to come at me with full force, as they have done with my mommy-blogger friends for years. So, please know that I understand not everyone will agree with everything I have to say, and that’s A-OK, but I have a right to my opinion, as do you. I have no patience for trolls or hate-filled comments, and let’s be real – this is my space, so be considerate.
Also, just another disclaimer here: I’m not here to start a discussion on what gender means, or anything of the sort. I know there’s a lot of discussion about this happening right now, but it’s not happening here. Please and thank you!
My Desire for a Daughter
For this entire pregnancy, my friends and family have known I was crossing my fingers for a little girl. I grew up one of 4 girls, and after losing my mom last year unexpectedly, I’ve really missed that mother-daughter relationship in my life. I believed having a little girl would help fill that hole in my heart. For me, wanting a girl had nothing to do with the cute clothes or doing her hair. Girls are what I know. Boys are completely foreign to me, so naturally, a girl is the “safer”, more comfortable sex for me going into parenthood.
I talked about these feelings to close friends and family and because they know my heart, they got me. They understood that I loved whichever baby was growing inside of me, and that I hoped it would be a girl. They understood that I could feel both things at the same time. Neither feeling really affected the other.
In hindsight, I’m grateful that I had people who heard me. I’m grateful that I didn’t feel the need to bottle up these feelings. It’s because I was able to express myself in a safe space that I was able to cope when my husband and I opened the envelope containing the gender. I immediately saw a penis jetting in-between the legs of our child and I took a long deep breath. Our first child is a boy.
Letting Go of Previous Dreams & Finding Peace
It took a moment for me to let go of my previous dream that maybe, somehow our first child was a girl. Once I let it go, I was really ok and I was ready to start bonding with my little boy. I love my baby regardless of gender, but it’s ok that I felt the way that I did. I had a preference for the sex of our child, and I didn’t get my way. Life moves on, and really it has a funny way of working into better things.
I know that this little boy is going to challenge me and will help me grow in ways I didn’t think were possible. Hindsight is 20-20, but I can see how I might be better suited to mother a son: being a boy mom will push me outside of every comfort zone I’ve ever known. Being outside our comfort zones is how we grow and isn’t that what life is all about anyway?
To my boy,
I love you with all of my heart and you are exactly who you should be. I hope that you will grow up to be understanding and considerate of others and that you allow yourself to feel whatever you feel. Even more, I hope that you learn to work through those feelings in a healthy way, like I’m learning to. Thank you for making me a mom and teaching me the first lesson of parenthood: joy through disappointment. I am overjoyed by you.
I’m curious to know if any of you have dealt with any type of gender disappointment in your own lives. Gender disappointment doesn’t mean you have to stay disappointed. It doesn’t mean you spend your entire life pining for the gender he or she wasn’t. Gender disappointment is just a feeling to work through like everything else, and I’m thankful to have been able to work through it my own way. I know that this little guy is who he’s supposed to be, and I’m so glad to be his mom!