Dealing With Gender Disappointment
By amotherthing on June 04, 2014
I'm finding it hard to be enthusiastic right now, despite the fact I have every reason to be. Yesterday we had our big 16 week gender scan, which culminated in us finding out the amazing news that we are expecting a beautiful, healthy baby.....
And while I am over the moon about him being healthy, and I am excited at the thought of another gorgeous boy to add to our family, I am feeling overwhelmed with sadness. I know it's selfish and completely disgraceful, and I loathe myself for feeling this way, but I can't help being completely devastated that I will never have a baby girl. I will never know the joy of raising a daughter. I keep trying to focus on the fact that this baby is very loved and very wanted, but since the moment I saw the ultrasound, I have had tears that I just can't stop.
Please don't get me wrong - I am very happy about us having a boy. I am so grateful that he is healthy and that he is growing well. Everything about this baby makes me happy.
But it's not what I HAVE that is killing me... it is what I never will have.
Mark and I agreed long ago that three was our limit. We seriously considered stopping after two. But when we found out we were expecting a third, we both knew that this would be our last - no matter what. Pregnancy is not easy on me. It is physically and emotionally very hard and extremely draining. And while we could adopt in the future if we really felt we needed to, I don't see it happening. I am already overwhelmed with two kids, and this third is going to put a lot more stress on us that is going to be tough.
I spent all afternoon and evening crying yesterday, and I spent my whole night quietly sobbing while Mark slept. This morning I didn't want to get out of bed, and even my kids and husband coming in couldn't bring me out of my funk.
I'm sure you're judging me right now - but probably not as harshly as I'm judging myself. I am beyond mortified that I can't stop crying. I am shocked and angry that I can't seem to get past this. As long as I focus on the baby boy that is coming, I can smile and laugh and look forward to the future. But as soon as I remember the girl that never will be, I lose my senses completely.
I had a beautiful name picked out. I imagined the clothes she would wear and doing her hair. I thought of teaching her one day to put on makeup. I looked forward (in a strange way) to the teenage tantrums of a girl who is just like me. I thought of how she would look. I imagined her whole life, and I have pictured for months exactly what it would be like when the sonographer smiled at us and said, "It's a girl."
I tried to be lighthearted when I told my mother the news. I drew it out with staccato texts. It's..... A..... Healthy..... Baby.........
As she waited and urged me to reveal, I swallowed hard and finished with "boy." And then I added, "There, I said it. It's real now." And I sobbed.
I couldn't bring myself to say much to anyone. All those friends and family who were waiting with anticipation to hear the news were probably surprised that I didn't dress it up with any flowery prose or big important reveal. I posted the sonogram photos with a noncommittal "Well there we are then."
Everyone was enthusiastic, and it made me feel even worse. Why couldn't I just be happy? Why couldn't I just suck it up and realize that not everyone gets their way? I need to focus on the good - a healthy baby boy whom I will love with all my heart. I need to focus on the joy of having three brothers who will be the best of friends.
And yet, I can only focus on what I'm missing.
I've had a few people tell me, "Oh, but girls are all drama. You're lucky to have boys." Some have said, "But boys always love their moms best , and you'll always be the most important woman in their lives."
I know they speak the truth and from a place of sympathy and kindness. But none of it helps.
I am bereft.
And the more I cry and feel bad, the worse I hate myself. I genuinely can't understand my own reaction.
How can I be so happy about the son we will have and yet so unhappy about the girl that never existed in the first place?
I feel so empty when I should feel full. I want this awful feeling to go away, and yet it stagnates. It sits in my heart like a block of ice, filling me with fear that I will let down this beautiful baby by not being as fully invested in him as I would have been a girl. And while I know that I will love him (indeed, I already do!), I worry...
I just want to stop crying now.