Dear Chrissy wrote a fascinating post on Babble's being pregnant blog entitled Gender Disappointment - No One Wants A Boy? about how some new moms become so disappointed when they find out via ultrasound that they are having a boy that they continue hoping and praying for a little girl.
Chrissy expressed my feelings on this topic best when she said, "I’m sure we all have some idea about what we would like to have with each pregnancy, but I still just can’t wrap my head around how so many women seem to feel absolutely crushed at the thought of having a boy, to the point of having feelings that they may no longer want to keep the baby, or even that they may reject the baby when he is born."
This post brought up an interesting memory for me that I thought was relevant to share.
Growing up, I was more of a tomboy — out playing in the woods, making mud pies, playing ball with my brother's friends, than a "girly-girl." I never played with baby dolls, I never planned my dream wedding with my Ken doll, and I never thought about becoming a mommy. In fact, it wasn't until after my husband and I were married for six years that I even began to consider the idea. And when I did envision myself as a mommy at that time, it was always with a little boy. I don't think I ever fully crystallized the idea into words, but I just saw myself as a little boy's mom.
Once we started trying, I got pregnant quickly and I was soon swept away in the world of a soon-to-be mom. My husband and I decided not to find out the sex of the baby and be surprised on the big day. Still, all throughout my pregnancy, I have to admit that I was hoping the little peanut growing inside my belly was carrying a Y chromosome — right up until the last week.
I don't know what flip was switched or what hormones started to surge, but I clearly remember that in the last week of my pregnancy, I did a 180 and I wanted ... needed ... craved a little girl. It was then that I became disappointed, because after so many months of envisioning a little boy, I felt certain that I had actually wished one into my body. But I suddenly wanted a little girl more fiercely than I could have ever imagined.
One week later, at 5:36 in the morning, my daughter was born. And the first thing that I did when I saw her was to shout, "IT'S A GIRL!" in the delivery room. I couldn't have been happier. And even one month before I could not have imagined this intense happiness over having a little girl.
Would I have been happy if that baby had been a boy? I know that I would have. I would have chalked up that final week to surging hormones and kissed my baby boy's head just as tenderly, and with just as much love. But I can't help but think that even though my brain thought for almost a full nine months that it wanted a boy, my heart took over in the end and filled me up with love for the baby girl that I was carrying.
Will the same thing happen to the women in Dear Chrissy's post who feel convinced that they want a little girl? Will they wake up on delivery day wanting a baby boy more fiercely than they could ever imagine? I certainly hope so.
Is it OK for new moms to feel a twinge of disappointment when they find out that the sex of the baby they are carrying doesn't quite jive with what they had envisioned? I think so — because I think in the end, once a baby is born, it brings with it a surge of love that can wipe away any preconceived notions and leave behind only love for the baby in your arms.
Did you experience gender disappointment or have a gender preference when you were pregnant? I'd love to hear your story!
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