When your family is made of almost or completely of all girls or boys, having a baby of that same gender can almost feel “wrong”. How can you handle comments from others, and perhaps even disappointment in your own home?
I have no intuition when it comes to baby gender during pregnancy. Absolutely none.
When I was pregnant with our fifth, I was certain it was a boy because the pregnancy felt the same as my son’s. Girls always gave me some sickness, but I felt awesome the whole time with him! Clearly, the fifth baby would be a boy.
She’s very much a girl. She seemed to be one at the ultrasound, along with the second scan done later, then she happened to be born a girl, and believe it or not, she’s still a girl at 22 months old.
Before we found out what our sixth baby is at our recent ultrasound anatomy scan, people would ask if we thought it was a boy. If we were hoping for a boy. Or just tell us that it better be a boy.
I started using the line that a friend said once: We specialize in girls. My husband calmly said he’d assume it was a girl until proven differently. And though we never really talked about it much, I think we both had a tiny little hope that it might be a boy to bring a little balance and a brother for our son.
When “GIRL!” was announced I had to laugh. But I also knew that I’d need to handle potential comments from others, as well as a little disappointment in our home.
Handling Comments from Others
Sometimes I’m shocked by the things said to us about having so many daughters. Similar to the comments said to large families, I don’t think that anyone means to be hurtful or disrespectful in most cases, though.
My son often gets “You poor boy!” Other men have tried to commiserate with my husband (who, by the way, never shows a hint of disappointment): “Oh, poor Jesse!”
No doubt moms of all boys or a solitary girl surrounded by a pack of brothers deal with similar responses.
Having a few oft-repeated lines has become necessary for us. We want others to know that we are thankful for each of our daughters, girls are valuable to their father, and sisters can make a brother feel special.
Some that have worked for us:
- The We specialize in girls! I shared above makes our situation seem like an expert assignment.
- We are just so thankful that the Lord has blessed us with each of them.
- My son is going to be an excellent husband someday!
- God gave him a sister that loves to catch snakes, toads, and frogs with him. They’re special buddies.
- We’d love another son someday, but we wouldn’t trade any of our girls for anyone.
- God sends the ones we need and He knows best.
- The world must need all of these lovely daughters of ours!
Handling Disappointment in Your Own Family
Though my son loudly said “Hooray for a new baby!” after the ultrasound was over, and though he made me so very proud to rejoice in a baby and not worry about the gender, I also know that it is completely natural for him to have a little disappointment. Even two of my daughters were rooting for a boy!
When we learn that our baby is the “wrong” gender, giving our family members an opportunity to calmly voice any disappointment might be what they need to process the news.
I told my son how proud I was of him. But I also let him know that I understand how he might feel a little disappointed to not get a brother, and that feeling is okay.
We’ve talked about how much joy any baby brings and about how much he loves his little sisters. He’s reminded me of what it’s like to have a new baby in the house. We have focused our attention on the amazing blessing of any baby, while still giving some room for honest feelings.
Handling Disappointment in Your Own Heart
And now, the hard one.
What if you yourself feel a little, or maybe even really, disappointed to learn that your baby is the “wrong” gender?
What if the ultrasound tech tells you that it’s another girl, or another boy, and your heart was simply set on the opposite? You prayed for the opposite? You hoped for the opposite? Your intuition told you the baby was the opposite?
Mommies are supposed to love their babies and not care if it’s a boy or girl, right?
Momma friends, what you don’t want to do is heap guilt up on top of disappointment. Just like it’s natural for my son to want a brother, and my husband to want another son, it’s natural for me to want another son, too!
Maybe it’s the opposite for you, and you’re dreaming of a daughter that will grow to be your best friend. But God has only blessed you with boys. Then what?
Give yourself room to work through the disappointment, knowing that you’ll love that baby just like your others. The gender of this child eventually won’t matter, probably on the day he or she is born, if not earlier.
You’re not a bad mom for having those feelings.
Though I laughed when I learned it was another girl, I will admit that there was a tinge of disappointment when that tiny speck of hope for a boy was gone this time. But I’m okay with that.
I know this baby will be an irreplaceable member of our family. She already is! Whatever gender disappointment there might be or have been at one time will fade into a faint memory when she’s in our arms.