Gender disappointment and its effects

Have you experienced gender disappointment?

I did for the briefest of moments.

Bryce and I wanted to know the twins gender early as we had to buy double of everything and admittedly wanted to avoid potential gender disappointment.

Ideally, we thought it would have been lovely to have a boy and girl. One of each. Done.

Watch our genuine reactions to our gender reveal here.

For having a mini Liss, whose hair I’d brush, dress in sparkly shoes, tutu dresses and teach how to wear makeup, would have been nice… but I did know deep down I only wanted boys at heart.


Payback’s a bitch

As a daughter and a Mum, I now understand how much of a pain in the arse I was to my Mum – especially as a teen/young adult.

My room was always disgusting. I was moody, hormonal, I’d lie, borrow (without asking) Mum’s makeup, straightenter, shoes, clothes, I’d take coins from her wallet or sneak off with her alcohol.

If I had a daughter, I’m sure God, Buddha, Allah, Flying Spaghetti Monster (seriously, it’s a deity – Google it!) – whoever your God is – would have universally paid me back with a daughter like myself or worse.

Seriously, the Flying Spaghetti Monster community wear colanders on their heads – COLANDERS! Image: Google

Not saying that a son can’t do those things of course.

Mum, if you’re reading this: I love you, I’m sorry and I now understand why you had grey hair so young.

But I digress.

Finding out gender: element of surprise or planning ahead?

Not everyone wants to find out the gender of their baby.

They simply may be happy with either, so long as bubs is happy and healthy.

If you have longed for a baby girl your whole life and you find out you’re having a boy – it is understandable that you will be disappointed.

It doesn’t mean that you will love your baby any less.

Yet disappointment is a part of human nature.

And hope is a powerful feeling and when it doesn’t come to fruititon, we tend to have feelings, whatever they may be; for weeks, months or longer.

Some experience it as a type of ‘grief’ or ‘loss’.

Grieving like it’s a loss

Of course, I mean no intentional harm in using those two words as being anywhere close to the gut-wrenching grief of the loss of a child.

I simply mean many have a desire or dream about their little one and not everything works out according to plan.

Like myself, you may not have considered kids, so gender wasn’t an issue.

Maybe you dreamed of having a child your entire life and always wanted a specific gender.

Perhaps, as many do, you hoped for ‘one of each’.

Sometimes, it’s just not meant to be.

Picture this:

You have three beautiful little boys already.

You and your husband agree to try once more, hoping with sheer determination (legs in the air and all!) that it will be a girl. You pray to the genetic Gods for that extra X chromosome, only to find out – you’re having your fourth son.

You are utterly devastated.

And let me tell you, it is okay to feel this way.

“At least you can have a baby.”

You are allowed to feel sad for wanting something and it doesn’t turn out the way you had hoped.

Whether it be having a fourth son and never getting your dream of a girl.

Whether it be going rounds and rounds of IVF compared to someone who falls pregnant first go.

Whether it be not being able to have a baby at all.

To be blunt – your feelings, whatever the situation, are valid for that is what you feel.

Not everyone has to agree but should absolutely respect your feelings.

For they do not always know or understand the reasoning behind it.

“Maybe having children wasn’t on the cards for you…”

What if a woman said the above statement to another woman who had tried absolutely everything to have a baby?

Who are they to make that call?

Why would have all this love, hope and need and not be allowed to have the one thing you desperately desired?

At the end of the day, I see it as whether you agree or disagree, we don’t always get what we want.

And we can feel sad about that, but should not shame others for having what we want.

So, how to overcome gender disappointment?

I am not a medical professional so I cannot give you advice on how to overcome feelings of gender disappointment, except to tell you to speak to a medical professional if you feel like you cannot overcome them alone.

Speaking to someone like a friend, family member or your significant other can help greatly to bring you some perspective.

And at the end of the day, all you need to think about it the long run is “this too shall pass”.

PANDA – supporting the mental health of expecting, new and growing families.

1 thought on “Gender disappointment and its effects

  1. Bruna Barnett

    Liss you were correct in everything you said and can so relate to when we found out that we were having twins through ivf.
    We have one of each which we are so blessed with. We didn’t find out what our genders were so it was a huge surprise and we just bought neutral colours. When we found out 3 1/2 years later we were pregnant again naturally we did find out we were having a boy and deep down I thought I was having a boy. We were happy as my girl was a hard baby and boys are easier. Having two boys they are easier than girls. We are very blessed with our 3 amazing young adults 💙🩷💙


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