Have you found out the gender of your baby but instead of joy you feel disappointment?
Did you hope for a girl and found out you are having a boy – or vice versa?
I have been there too!
I’d always wanted to have a baby girl.
I used to say that I would keep giving birth until I would have a girl! (lol)
When I found out we were having twins, I was excited because the odds of having a girl increased by 50%.
When we went for our ‘gender scan’, the midwife asked whether I was hoping for a girl or a boy.
I said I didn’t mind although I secretly wished for a girl.
When they told us that both twins were boys, I felt a sharp sting of disappointment.
What is wrong with me? – I thought.
You are having two boys with the man you love, what is there to feel sad about?
But I couldn’t help it.
I was heartbroken.
I had to focus very hard to not start crying right there and then, in front of the midwife.
But when the scan was over, I excused myself and went to the toilet to have a secret cry.
Although I am not sure whether I felt bad about the ‘verdict’ or about how it made me feel.
Either way, I was extremely disappointed that we were having two boys.
At that time, it was like the worst-case scenario for me.
It took some time to adjust to the idea of having boys.
It was not easy but what made a big shift in my emotions was a comment from one of my close friends who said: ‘Wow, you will have at home three wonderful men who will love you to death!’
This comment moved something in me. (How could it not, right?)
And I gradually started getting used to the idea of being a mum to boys.
Today, I cannot imagine having it any other way!
However, I know that this is not the case for everyone and some mums feel gender disappointment even years after their child arrives.
There is nothing abnormal about it!
When it comes to motherhood, nothing is actually abnormal, there is only a lot people don’t talk about.
But the good news is that you CAN do something about it.
Well, you cannot change the fact whether it is a boy or a girl you are having, but what you CAN change is how you feel about it.
And this is exactly what I am going to talk about in today’s post.
But before I do, let’s talk about what gender disappointment actually is.
What is gender disappointment?
Gender disappointment is when you feel sad when you find out your baby’s gender is the opposite of what you were hoping for.
You are literally grieving the loss of something you hoped you would have.
There’s nothing wrong with it and definitely NOT something you should feel ashamed of.
GD is more common than you would have thought!
Is it normal to be upset about the gender of your baby?
During pregnancy, your hormones are all over the place, you have about million things to deal with and think about, your mind is adjusting to the new life, and on top of that, you have to endure a lot of physical pain due to pregnancy symptoms – this is too much to deal with for just anyone.
Nothing you feel during this time is, therefore, abnormal, and in no way does it say anything about your ability as a mum.
As, Dr. Lindsay McMillan, Clinical Psychologist at McMillan Psychology, says:
“Gender disappointment is often described as a taboo topic. Yet, questions and comments from others in pregnancy or when newborns have arrived are often about the sex, or gender, of the baby. Of course, all parents want their baby to be healthy. But that doesn’t mean the longing or worries about having daughters or sons can’t, or don’t, exist. There are lots of misunderstandings about GD: that it means parents are being ungrateful. This just isn’t true, often distress is linked to the loss of opportunity to ever parent a daughter or a son.”
How do you deal with gender disappointment?
1. Don’t push your feelings away.
First and foremost, do not beat yourself up.
Your mind and body are going through so much during pregnancy so anything you feel is normal and understandable.
Don’t try to push your feelings away. The more you try to repress them the stronger they will be.
Allow yourself to feel sad.
Allow yourself to GRIEF!
Talk about how you feel with someone you trust.
If you talk to other mums, the chances are that they have experienced gender disappointment themselves.
Talking to others and listening to their advice gives you new perspectives on the situation.
It also lets out all the ‘dark’ emotions and creates space for new, more positive emotions.
Do not put pressure on yourself and give yourself some time to adjust to the fact that you are expecting a boy or a girl.
3. Journal about it
Grab pen a paper, turn the ‘thinking mode’ off, and simply offload all your emotions.
There is something magical about journaling!
Writing things down often helps us understand the reasons behind our feelings and solutions we would otherwise never have come up with.
You can also try these powerful journaling prompts:
- Why am I feeling sad about the sex of my baby?
- What does it mean that I am feeling sad?
- Do I want to feel differently about it?
- What can I do to feel differently about it?
How long does it last to feel sad about your baby’s sex?
How long you feel disappointed about the gender of your baby depends on many factors like your mental health, support system, or your approach to the situation, to name but a few.
Feeling Sad About Your Baby’s Sex? Here’s How To Cope
There you go!
I hope this post helps you understand your emotions, feel better about them and find new ways to cope!
Remember, if you feel your feelings don’t change even after a few months, don’t be afraid to seek professional help.
Now, I would love to know your opinion!
What other coping techniques for gender disappointment would you add to the list?
Let me know in the comments!