This is a post I’ve started and stopped writing 100 times. It was started because I’ve always been open and honest in my blogs and I want other women to know they are not alone in how they feel about things. It was stopped because I felt like it wasn’t the right time, or people might misunderstand, or I would be judged. There is an incredible stigma that comes with discussing gender disappointment and this stigma and lack of understanding from others can become very isolating, depressing, and make it even more difficult for a mother to sort through the often roller coaster of emotions that comes with it. However, today seemed like a good day and I realized that by staying silent I’m helping no one and that being afraid to speak up for fear of what others might misunderstand is foolish. In this day and age EVERYONE has an opinion about something so it is impossible to pour out your heart and expect everyone to see your side of things. So I write this with confidence in knowing I am not wrong or a bad mother or ungrateful. I am human in every sense of the word…and what’s more raw and powerful than being human??
For anyone who doesn’t know I am a mother of 3 boys and we are expecting our 4th and final boy in April of 2016. My husband’s family is ALL boys so really my fate has not come as a surprise to anyone. I am a true and true girly girl who has never been shy about being afraid of bugs, prefers manicures and lattes to beer and won’t be caught dead camping outside…with no toilet..EVER! Because of this, having all boys has been an adjustment that I think I have done well at for the past 9 years. It hasn’t always been easy but I’ve learned to enjoy alone time and just do girly things by myself. This has been very lonely at times but I suck it up and deal with it….because there isn’t another choice.
When we got pregnant with this baby I really did not get my hopes up for a girl. I continually focused on a healthy baby and knew that we would have what we were meant to have. Before our ultrasound I of course envisioned what it would be like to have a girl (as I had done 3 times previously in my other pregnancies) and allowed myself to have those thoughts without the feeling of getting my hopes up. I also equally envisioned another boy and did the dreaming and plotting with that scenario. The moment we saw that it was a boy on the ultrasound it honestly didn’t even phase me. I expected to feel a moment of sadness, a flicker of disappointment, a tear in the eye but I felt the most peaceful feeling. It was so unexpected I didn’t really even know what to do with it at first. I took it for the gift that it was and expected all the visions of a daughter and ballet class to just fade away from my mind.
If only that had been true…..
It took about a week for my feelings to change. I woke up one morning and was very agitated and moody. I couldn’t quite put my finger on why until I was researching baby names and came across the girl name I wanted. It hit me like a ton of bricks. It was a feeling of anger, confusion, disappointment, irritation and then just sadness that just blew me away all at once. This is what I had expected at the ultrasound not a week after. I didn’t talk about it much because every time I did no one really understood. Everyone always says, “Gender doesn’t matter as long as their healthy.” or “So many can’t have babies you should be thankful you have had so many.” They’re right of course and I agree with them but it’s not that black and white.
I wasn’t sad I was having a boy but rather sad it wasn’t a girl. While this seems counterintuitive I assure you they are two COMPLETELY DIFFERENT things. They are two separate feelings that must be worked through in order to move on. I am overjoyed and beyond thankful for this little boy growing inside of me. Having a desire to have a girl doesn’t diminish him or his existence nor does it make me resent him or feel any differently about him than I would my other kids. He is already loved and a part of this family.
The sadness comes from knowing I’ll NEVER have a daughter. I will live my whole entire life without knowing what it’s like to have someone who you can wholly relate to on a hormonal and emotional level. I had all of these plans and dreams about disney princesses, sleepovers, spa nights, first haircuts, proms, and weddings. I envisioned spending days with my daughter getting mani/pedis, drinking coffee and listening to her feelings, her life and her experiences. I imagined shopping for a homecoming dress and disagreeing on the glitter or color but ultimately giving in because I know what it’s like to be a teenage girl and how important these memories are. I knew we would have arguments, I pictured her hating me at some point….thinking I was being cruel or mean and ruining her life but then I pictured hugs and tears and a feeling that tomorrow would be a better day. More than anything I wanted a daughter so that I could teach her to be strong, courageous, loving and proud of who she is every single day she looked in the mirror. Maybe those were things I always wanted so was hoping to instill in a daughter.
Now I am faced with knowing these moments will always live in my mind and in my dreams. Perhaps, that’s the best place for them….sweet and innocent and unmarred in my most safest of vaults inside my mind.
I have boxes in my garage that are filled with my old dolls and things from when I was a little girl that I have held on to my whole life to pass on to my daughter. I can’t bear to look at them without bursting into tears. Deep down they are just things and things will never change the past or the future so eventually I will find the strength to get rid of them in hopes another little girl somewhere will get as much joy out of them as I did.
For now I will grieve because gender disappointment really does feel like a loss. I feel like my daughter, that was always a possibility, is now gone….so I will grieve. I will let her go knowing there is a reason she is not an existence and make peace with the fact that I was not chosen to be her mom. With each day it will get better. It already has.
I am so thankful for my boys and honored that I was chosen to be a mom of boys. There is no shame or disappointment in that. I love my boys as much and maybe even more than I would a daughter and I would never trade a single one of them for any girl on earth. I am excited to add another boy and see the 4 of them grow up and have each other. I am thankful that when me and Jared are gone they will have all of these moments and memories to fall back on. They are my world and will never be disappointments.
Life goes on and changes and grows. Time goes by much too fast to dwell on what we don’t have but for now I will allow myself time to grieve and process so that I might move forward with understanding and a sense of clarity. Don’t ever be scared to feel how you feel and know that those feelings always allow us to grow and be better people for having them.