Scared of Gender Disappointment

Ever since we found out were were expecting another baby I have been on the fence about finding out it’s gender before the birth. Here in Aberdeen it is not possible to find out gender at any of your routine scans, and so you have to pay privately for an additional scan if you want to know the sex. This makes it a definite conscious decision to go and find out the baby’s gender.

After having Piglet nearly 2 years ago, I always said I would find out the gender of any future baby while I was still pregnant. By the end of my first pregnancy I found all the unknowns a little irritating, and I knew I wanted to do it differently the next time. I have been dragging my heels though, as I am scared of gender disappointment.

Scared Of Gender Disappointment | I am not the first nor the last person to have a preference on my baby's gender. We have been deciding whether it is a good idea to find out the baby's sex in advance, or whether we should wait until it is born. We are scared of gender disappointment

It seems such a taboo subject doesn’t it? The concept that you would be disappointed if you baby was one sex or the other.

Back before I had children, before I met JHogg even, I would have been able to tell you that in my ideal world I would have a son first, and then a daughter. If I’m honest I’m not really sure where this mental image came from, but I have always known that is how I would like my life to play out.

With Piglet, I somehow always knew he was a boy. I subconsciously referred to him as a him, even though we hadn’t actually looked at the gender. Anything I bought I picked unisex items, but still swaying towards the slightly more “masculine” side of things (are baby things masculine?!). I don’t know if I really knew, or if it was just because I was hoping for a boy, but I wasn’t at all surprised when he turned out to be a “him” at the end of it.

Scared Of Gender Disappointment | Piglet holding hands

On the flip side, had he turned out to be female I think I would have been thrilled. As much as I say I wanted a girl first, there is no doubt in my mind that I would have been anything other than over the moon with a daughter. Despite having no male cousins, there now seems to be a bit of a girl drought in my family with everyone having sons, and so a little girl would have been an amazing surprise.

I do believe that with your first it is easier to be more open to either gender. You are just starting your family, you have nothing to base a preference on and are more likely to be happy with what you have. But that is just my opinion of course!

Scared Of Gender Disappointment | Piglet in Daddy's arms

So what is different this time around?

This will be our last baby. JHogg never wanted more than 2 children, and although I would LOVE to have more, I know that the strain it puts on my body doesn’t really make it feasible. Add on the financial aspect of a 3rd child and it is just not something we are really considering (although ask me in 5 years time 😉 ). This baby is our last one, and for those that know me it is no real secret that I would like a daughter.

The issue I’m having, and I guess the reason behind this brain dump of a post, is that I’m scared of gender disappointment. I am scared of how I will feel if this baby turns out to be a boy. That feels like a horrible thing to say, but it is true. The unknown is worrying for me.

It’s awful to think that this baby would be in any way a disappointment to me, or to it’s Dad, purely based on it’s gender. Because of course it is not the baby’s fault in any way, the issue is purely our own.

Scared Of Gender Disappointment | Piglet holding Mummy's hand

I would love a daughter. But equally, I think Piglet would love having a baby brother. I have 2 sisters and a brother and I think that the relationship between siblings of the same sex is different to the relationship of those of the opposite sex. By hoping for our last child to be a girl, I am denying Piglet the chance to have a brother to grow up with.

To say I am confused is an understatement.

Many people believe you should leave gender a surprise, as it is impossible to be disappointed when a baby is placed on your chest. For me, I’ve decided that’s not a risk I’m willing to take. I have a lot of regrets for how Piglet’s first few hours of life played out, and I have so many plans for how I will make sure things are different this time. I don’t want that time tainted even slightly by gender disappointment.

Scared Of Gender Disappointment | Piglet with name plate

This evening, at 18:05pm, JHogg and I are going to find out the gender of our next baby. We will tell our family and friends first, and then I’m sure we will want to share it with the world.

I have no idea how I will react, or what I’m going to feel. But I do know that the gender is already set, and I would never wish to change it.

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  1. 9th January 2018 / 3:58 pm

    YES! So good to hear someone admit that they aren’t entirely neutral about this!
    I think how you feel is very healthy and perfectly normal and you said yourself that the babies gender is set – cannot wait to hear which you will be having.

    • OddHogg
      9th January 2018 / 4:05 pm

      I think more people need to be open about this sort of thing. I know I’m not alone but many people wouldn’t admit it!

  2. 9th January 2018 / 5:57 pm

    I’ve spoken about this before (and actually have a post in my drafts if I ever get round to finishing it). Like you I’ve always thought I would like a boy then a girl. I have an older brother and I guess I wanted the same. I found out the gender of both my babies at the 20 week scan (I was in Fife at the time and they tell you there). When the first was a boy I was over the moon. And then we found out the second was a boy too and I definitely was disappointed. I’m glad I had the rest of my pregnancy to get used to the idea because I wouldn’t have wanted to have those emotions at the birth. To be honest though, even though I love both my boys to bits I still haven’t got over the fact I’ll never have a daughter. We’re definitely done at two though – I won’t be trying for another, and anyway I think I would be even more disappointed if it was another boy.

    I hope you find happiness and acceptance whatever the result at your gender scan.

  3. 10th January 2018 / 8:29 am

    I get what you are saying. After 3 girls and then a boy, I desperately wanted number five to be a boy. So my son wasn’t too outnumbered, I found out at 20 weeks and was a little ahh never mind. But this soon past when I saw her wiggling around on the screen. Since a few days after the scan I’ve parked those feelings and embraced having 4 daughters and 1 son who loves being the ‘special’ one!
    I look forward to hearing what you are expecting

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