"Exceptional Care for Families with Newborns"

Gender Disappointment. It’s Real and it Sucks.

Gender disappointment

Do you remember being a little girl and wishing, hoping, praying that the baby doll that you played with, loved and cared for would actually COME ALIVE?!?!

Yea, it was a fantasy but oh how awesome it would be. To actually be able to bathe and feed and diaper that sweet little baby… GIRL!!!

That’s right, you’ve been imagining yourself as the mom of a sweet pigtail wearing, spinning dress rockin’, ballet dancing, soccer playing, future best friend for… YOUR. WHOLE. LIFE!!!

And then, you get pregnant!!! She finally lives in your womb and in only 40 or so weeks, SHE will be here!

She will be in your arms. The precious DAUGHTER you have been wishing, hoping and praying for will be here before you know it!

The pregnancy progresses and you are on top of the world. You think about your little girl all day, every day.

You are POSITIVE that this baby is a girl.

So positive that when the ultrasound technician is doing your scan and says do you want to know what gender this baby is? You proudly say, “It’s a girl!”

You beam with pride and that’s when she destroys the dream that has lived in your heart since you were 6 years old…

She says, “Actually, this is definitely a boy…”

You can’t believe it.

It can’t be true.

She’s a fucking liar.

Why is she saying that.

You fight back the tears.

You just want that cold slippery shit wiped off your belly and your stupid maternity pants pulled up over your deceitful belly.

You make it to the car and that’s when you lose your shit.

Grief.

Anger.

Misery.

Anger again.

Grief.

Loss.

Grief.

This is Gender Disappointment. It’s real and it sucks. 

Best described, Disappointment is the sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations. Gender Disappointment involves the expectation that the baby you are carrying is of one gender and experiencing sadness or displeasure in finding out it is the other.

And… It IS OK TO FEEL THIS WAY.

Gender disappointment does not prevent you from loving your baby or bonding with them. It simply means you are disappointed to learn that your expectation of the gender of your baby will not be met.

Overcoming Gender Disappointment

I promise you that you will not overcome this quickly. This is a process and you must give yourself time to grieve the loss of the child you were expecting in order to fully embrace the one that’s coming.

You must acknowledge your feelings of disappointment. You may even need to seek professional support to help you navigate it. You can also take some comfort in the nonjudgmental support provided by a doula.

You may hear sentiments from your loved ones that you perceive as negative:

“Just be grateful you are even having a baby. Some people can’t.”  (as if you didn’t know that…)

“Boy, girl, why does it matter? As long as they’re healthy.” (Duh.. The desire to have a healthy baby goes without saying…)

“You’re being ridiculous. Get over it.” (How bout you avoid this person and stick to people who validate your feelings instead?)

Do something tangible as part of your letting go process.

Write a letter. 2 letters! One to the baby you thought you were having, and one to the baby you actually are having. 

Let yourself feel the feelings. Be kind to yourself. And above all else, know that you are NOT alone in these feelings. 

Authored by: Randy “The Rock n’ Roll Doula” Patterson