‘Are you hoping its a boy or a girl?’ ….always the question you get asked right around the 20 week scan and with my second pregnancy I received mixed reviews when I responded that I really didn’t mind.
With your first baby when you say you don’t mind the gender, you’re met with understanding nods, ‘As long as its healthy thats all that matters’ they say, but somehow with the second baby you’re almost made to feel like you should want the opposite gender to your first child…the ‘ideal’ family, a boy and a girl. Ive spoken in previous posts about how I always knew I’d have girls and as much as I really didn’t mind what I was having second time round my heart and body told me it was another daughter, I would have been very shocked if they told me otherwise at the scan, and actually because I’d built up this picture of ‘sisters’ in my mind, maybe even a little disappointed.
The day came to find out the gender of our second baby and of course they announced she was a little girl. I was so so happy and teased my husband about having to live in a house full of of women…I think he was just happy about all the money he’d save due to handing down Mila’s clothes!!
We waited to announce her gender to our family with a ‘gender reveal cake’ at our house a few days later and it was a really special moment for us. Mila was of course non the wiser that this meant one day she would have someone trying to steal her clothes and make up, but she was of course just happy about the cake.
The weeks went passed and my bump became more noticeable – noticeable enough for strangers to feel comfortable commenting on my pregnancy without any embarrassment and when they asked me what I was having and I proudly said another girl I was shocked at how many people were so openly ‘disappointed’ for me!! I had an elderly lady in a supermarket tell me sympathetically ‘oh thats a shame, never mind!’ and another stranger say ‘Oh No!! Will you be trying for a boy next?’ …I became almost accustomed to these responses and I definitely snapped that ‘Actually, I’m very happy about it’ a few times.
Of course all we ever want is for our baby to be born healthy and worrying about whether its a ‘pink or a blue one’ can make us feel guilty for even thinking about it when people are dealing with ‘real issues’, but Gender Disappointment is real and is actually more common than you might realise. It comes in lots of forms, I know of mums that have sobbed at scans hoping for the opposite gender to just having a little, very short lived wobble like I did. It typically only lasts until the baby is born but if not recognised and spoken about can manifest into something more and in some cases even trigger Postnatal Depression.
I have to say that these comments from strangers did make me wonder…am I missing out? Were our families secretly disappointed…was my husband? As this was to be our last baby I would never experience having a little boy and even though I’d always been more than fine with this I found myself looking at the newborn boys clothes when shopping for our baby girl with a little pang of sadness.
Those feelings didn’t last long after talking to friends about it and talking definitely made me see sense. Strangers unimportant (and quite frankly sometimes plain rude) opinions and reactions shouldn’t effect my excitement and I soon got back to being happy in my little dreamy, girly bubble!!
Speak to your partner, confide in a non judgmental friend or even join an online forum if you’d prefer to talk to people a little more anonymous. Talking always helps and once you get that little bundle in your arms, whatever he or she is, you’ll feel like the luckiest mummy in the world!
lots of love,