Gender disappointment is one of those controversial subjects that isn’t discussed or brought up very often. It’s a subject that seems to be hidden away by those that are going through it. For those of you that are experiencing it though, it is a subject that is all too real for you.
Some people go into pregnancy not caring whether they want a boy or a girl. Others have planned out their children and what they will be for as long as they can remember. Little did we realize when we were making our plans for our future, that we really don’t have a choice in the matter. For those of you that have desired a certain sex and ended up with the opposite sex, you know the feelings of disappointment it can bring. Whether you are a first time mom wanting a specific sex or you already have one or more children of a particular sex and want the opposite, it can be a hard to adjust when you find that the child’s sex isn’t what you had desired.
You know you love your child, but you feel a sense of loss at the same time. It is almost like you are grieving for a child that you may never have. You feel like you have to put up a front for people and act like you are happy with what you were given. You may worry that people might think you are ungrateful for a healthy child or that you are acting selfish. Unless others have experienced this “loss”, they simply cannot understand and sympathize with your feelings.
What Can Gender Disapointment Result In?
These feelings you may have are not to be taken lightly. They are serious feelings and should be dealt with in the same fashion. Gender disappointment can lead to:
- Loss/grief – Although you haven’t actually lost a child, this feeling of loss is very close to losing a child that you did have. If you have dreamed of having a girl and you end up never having a girl, it’s almost like this child has been taken away from you forever.
- Depression or sadness – This loss can lead to sadness or feelings of depression
- Jealousy or resentment – You may find it hard to look around at all the other parents that have the girl or boy you have always wanted
- Guilt – You might feel guilty for feeling this way about the sex of your baby. You need to realize though that you aren’t disappointed in the baby, but disappointed in not being able to follow through with your dreams of having a boy/girl
- Anger towards yourself – You may feel angry at yourself because you feel you should just be happy your baby is healthy and not worry about what he/she is
What Can You Do About Gender Disapointment?
What should you do if you have these feeling?
- First of all, you need to know that these feelings are perfectly normal. Just because people on the outside may not understand these feelings or make you feel bad for having them, what you are feeling is okay.
- Talk to your spouse and express what you are feeling. Your spouse may not share the same feelings since their wishes for a child might be different. It that’s the case, talk to another parent you may know that has gone through this same thing. Find out how they managed to cope with their feelings.
- If you cannot come to terms with your feelings and are experiencing depression for an extended period of time, it may be necessary to seek professional help. There is nothing wrong with asking for that help if you need it
Sometimes, you may not have these feelings of gender disappointment, but you may experience some from the outside. You may have in laws or a spouse that were hoping for a certain sex. You need to be aware that their feelings are valid and they may be experiencing the same feelings of grief described above. They too might need to talk things out and get their feelings out into the open without any worries of rejection.
Usually, once the baby is born, it’s easier to cope. Once you are able to hold, love and care for this beautiful new baby of yours, you will forget any regrets you might have had. Don’t be surprised though, if these feelings of loss come back once in a while. This disappointment may never fully go away, but you can find ways to deal with it. You can always hold onto the hope that someday down the road, your child/children will bless you with some wonderful granddaughters and/or grandsons.