I saw it. I saw it even before she told me. It was right there and my heart was already sinking before it was officially confirmed. Hold it together, I told myself. Hold it together or you’ll look bad. Ungrateful. As soon as I got out the door my face crumpled and once inside the car the tears started to flow and they wouldn’t stop.
I was just told I was having another boy.
Gender disappointment is real. But it’s also taboo. You don’t admit it and you certainly don’t talk about it.
It’s an awful feeling. Awful because not only was I dealing with the disappointment, I was also wracked with guilt. Guilt because I had every reason to be happy. I was pregnant, and I fall pregnant very easily. Difficulty conceiving isn’t uncommon. I know handfuls of people that are having (or have had) trouble conceiving and here I am, lucky to be pregnant and unhappy that I wasn’t having a girl. Guilty because I’ve just been told my baby is healthy. Again, I know families bravely dealing with health issues or disabilities in their children. The logical side of my brain knew all of this, yet I couldn’t shake my sadness in that moment.
I realised later that it wasn’t as if I didn’t want this boy, or that I wanted him to be different, I was instead mourning the loss of my dream of a daughter. I’m the ultimate girly girl and if I had a dollar for every time I heard “ooh, I hope you have a girl” then I could easily afford that divine Mimco bag I’ve been eyeing off. I too, bought into the idea that I’d be having a girl.
When I announced to my friends that I was having another boy, the responses were mixed. They ranged from;
“That’s a shame for you, but great for Jack!” (fail)
“Awww, I was hoping you’d have a girl” (fail)
“Congratulations! Jack will love having a brother” (pass)
“I sometimes wish my two were the same gender. Your boys will have an amazing bond” (pass)
“Congratulations!” (simple and always a pass)
People’s opinions towards the pigeon pair have a huge role to play in this. Even before I conceived Jack I remember leaving a congratulations message on a Facebook status of a friend who just announced that she was having a boy, after having a girl first. A couple of comments above mine I saw “well aren’t you two clever!” At the time it struck me as a strange thing to write. As if this person thought the mother had won the gender lottery. I saw it again recently with another friend who is about to give her daughter a brother. Another child of the same gender should be a blessing, not a consolation prize.
What helped me to get through it? I named him, I designed his nursery, I bought tiny little blue onesies and I imagined the bond he would have with his big brother. I imagined them as best men at each others weddings, as uncles to each others children. Yet the thing that helped the most was talking to my friends. I spoke with three friends who have been through the same thing. I was able to talk honestly and without the fear of judgement, and for that I thank them.
Although the disappointment was very fleeting and I quickly began to get really excited about meeting my new little man, I still think it’s a really important subject to speak about.
Even before I saw his perfect little face I was head over heels in love. He and I have an unbreakable bond and I wouldn’t change him for anything in the world. God put me on earth to mother my boys and I honestly couldn’t be happier. I’m not sure that there’s anymore babies in my future (I’m very content with my two beautiful boys), but if I do fall pregnant with baby #3, please don’t ask me if I’m “going for a girl” because I wont be. My boys make me complete.
Hope everyone has an amazing week xx