Being Disappointed In The Sex Of Your Baby Doesn’t Make You A Monster, It Makes You Human

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gender socksPeople say a lot of dumb things to pregnant woman. No matter if it’s your first kid, your third or even if you’re expecting twins, the question of a preferred sex and whether you are “trying” for a boy or a girl is a common one. Most moms-to-be will say that they don’t care what the sex of their baby is, as long as it’s healthy. But there are woman who do hope for a particular sex, and being disappointed about it doesn’t make you a terrible person.

I always thought I would have a daughter, probably because I grew up with a sister. Despite having no scientific evidence to back me up, I believed this meant I was somehow destined to have girls too. At the same time I also thought having a boy would be great because I could experience new things I wasn’t exposed to as a child. Then I found out I have severe infertility and I realized what I wanted didn’t matter.

When fertility treatments worked and I got pregnant with twins, I was ecstatic. I hadn’t known if it would be possible for me to be a parent at all, let alone a mom of two. Obviously, the most important concern for me was the health of my babies, but so many people, from strangers to immediately family, chimed in on what sex they hoped the babies were.

When it was time for my 20 week anatomy scan, I was really excited to find out what I was having. Was it two girls? Two boys? A boy and a girl? One baby and one pterodactyl? Once the scan started there was so much to focus on– from their brain development to the formation of their limbs– it didn’t really hit me until we were in the parking lot that I was carrying two little boys. My husband and I were so excited we scrapped our plans for a gender reveal then and there and called our families from the car to share the news. It was amazing and wonderful, but people couldn’t help expressing their disappointment if they hadn’t guessed the winning combination.

At first I was upset that people cared so much about the sex of my kids. One of my closest friends told me I should drive myself off a bridge when I told her I was having two boys. I know she was joking, and that her own desire for a daughter was influencing her words (she had several 3D ultrasounds during her pregnancy to insure she wasn’t carrying a boy). But they still stung.

I have other friends with one child who have told me they were disappointed in the sex of their child or that they want another child mainly so they can try to have a baby of the other sex. As someone who struggled to have a baby, it’s sometimes hard to hear, but I admire the honesty.

I know it’s not uncommon. Some people use extreme measures to ensure their children are a certain sex. There are those who try to time when they have sex in the ovulation cycle. Others take chance out of the equation by adopting a child of the preferred sex. Girls Gone Wild founder and professional misogynistic Joe Francis and his partner had elective in vitro fertilization so they could select female embryos. While I didn’t care enough about the sex of my children to use any of these outside influences, I can understand a little about where the impulse comes from (except for Francis, because I can’t even with that guy).

As it turns out, I actually love being a mom to boys. I wouldn’t change a thing and I love them for who they are. I understand that the relationship you have with your kids isn’t dictated by their sex. I’ll always be close with my boys, though I hope to draw the line somewhere short of making them compete in pageants with me like Buster and Lucille Bluth.

Because of the complications in my pregnancy we’ve decided that these will be our only children. I’m happy with and grateful for the family I have, but there will always be a part of me that’s wistful for the third child, the potential daughter I’ll never have. Having these feelings doesn’t mean I love my existing children any less. It just means I’m human.

(image: AngelaWade/