Gender Disappointment

Not currently pregnant.
But I would be interested in hearing anyone’s accounts/experiences in gender disappointment and how you got over it/dealt with it.


Not mine, but I read this a while back:


Thank you. I had a read.

Honestly, I think it’s sexist. I don’t understand why it’s such a big deal what your baby’s gender is? They aren’t that different.

I would be very upset if I found out that my parents were disappointed that I was born a boy, when they really wanted a girl.


People can have different hopes for different reasons and that doesn’t mean they all are sexist.


It’s not to say that you would love a child more if they were one sex over the other — [name_m]Just[/name_m] that maybe you would have an easier time raising a boy, or have a girl’s name that you love but nothing for boys seems like “the name”.


Can I just say that any baby is an absolute blessing. And I think gender preference is not the same as being sexist myself. As a mother of two boys I idolise my son’s. I was looking for mother’s experience of feeling gender disappointment. ( It can happen) [name_m]Hence[/name_m], why I put this topic in momberries section.


I get what you’re saying, but I think that like @ethelmary said, there are all sorts of reasons one may feel disappointment/worry.

People who have experienced a particularly violent or emotionally detached or other tricky relationship with one parent might feel anxious about having a baby of the same sex as that parent, not because they assume all men or women would be like that, but because they haven’t had those models of a positive relationship in the same way.

For me, I did experience (only about 24 hrs thankfully!) of disappointment when finding out my current babe is going to be a boy. Not becausr boys and girls are oh so different, but because whether we like it or not society at large is still pretty sexist in many ways, and as a woman myself I feel more confident teaching a girl about the ways in which society is sexist toward women and how she can have the strength to be part of the change and get through.

But with a boy I find that much scarier… I think with feminism society has become much more accepting of girls being “boyish”, but it’s further behind accepting boys being “feminine”. So while having a girl felt like a huge range of possibility - she could like karate or ballet and like frilly pink dresses or tractor tops with trackpants - I guess I’m afraid that having a boy is straight away somehow limiting the experiences we’ll have together. I’m worried that if his personality WOULD prefer sewing and ballet and pink frilly dresses, it will be much harder for him to recognise and express that personality, particularly when starting school.

So for me it’s not that I won’t absolutely love the baby I have, and I wouldn’t ever wish him to be a different sex or gender to the one he is, but it’s just a fear that maybe his/my world have already closed in a bit before he’s even been born, if that makes sense?


Yes I do see how you can have worries about that sort of thing, I guess I was thinking of people who want a boy because they think they’re better than girls or vice versa. [name_u]Or[/name_u] because of gender stereotyping, that they think if they have a boy, he will be obsessed with sports and blue and playing with toy cars, when they wanted to paint their room pink and buy toy dolls and other stereotypically ‘girly’ things.


So this is my story on gender disappointment but in reverse if that makes sense. I was so relieved when I found out I was having a girl. I really really wanted a girl and felt panicked about having a boy. I had tried to get my head round potentially having a boy decided that if the baby was a boy his name would be [name_u]Noah[/name_u] and tried to embrace boy things just to feel more positive about potentially having a boy. I was desperate to find out the gender and full of anxiety the day of my 20 week scan I was tearful and really nervous. Anyways the sonographer said that she looked like a girl (the hospital advised that they can never say for definite the gender of the baby but she said she was 95% sure it was a girl) and I was so overcome with relief & happiness.

I think the reason why I was desperate for a girl is because at the time my child’s father was completely absent (this is not the case now he’s fully on board and happy to become a dad) we were not talking and the idea of raising a son without a male influence was very daunting. [name_f]My[/name_f] child will be of mixed heritage as my child’s father is [name_m]Black[/name_m] British of Ugandan descent and I’m of mixed white European/Celtic ancestry and I was concerned about having a son in a climate where a black man can be killed by police with little consequence. I was so worried about having a mixed race son without their father present as someone to guide them when ultimately I wouldn’t be relatable to them as not only am I white but I’m also a woman. I had so many thoughts running through my head it was so worrying in my head I felt like if I have a girl at least we can bond over being women even though I would never fully understand as I am white.

Anyways after the initial happiness/relief about having a girl a feeling that lasted a few moments when I looked at my baby on the screen I realised that whether I was having a girl or a boy I was just happy to be blessed with a healthy baby and all challenges my child will face we will face together.

So in a nutshell I am familiar with gender disappointment and I think in some cases it is a complex issue rather than as black and white as I want a girl to do stereotypical girly stuff with or I want a boy do stereotypical boy stuff with.


I have a hard time wrapping my brain around this topic. But, just because I don’t understand how someone could be dissapointed doesn’t make their feelings any less valid, I just see any child as a blessing and ultimately believe it is out of our control and we’re given what we’re meant to have. Those are MY beliefs. [name_f]My[/name_f] heart aches for someone feeling such complex emotions surrounding the birth of their child and would hope that they could get the help/guidance they needed to deal and process through those emotions rather than resenting the child or feeling somehow responsible or guilty. This reminds me of a documentary video I recently saw talking about birth during Victorian era and how it was believed that the mother was solely responsible for what gender the child was born and thus was guilty or bad if they created the wrong gender that was hoped for. That it was some sort of punishment if the mother was not holy or pure enough. [name_m]Can[/name_m] you imagine!? And especially now that we know it is the father’s contribution that determines the gender, how tragic.

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Just wanting to add that there can be health concerns related to the sex of your unborn child. Some genetic disorders and diseases are more common in one sex than another and worrying that your future child is at a higher risk for a condition is stressful and upsetting to say the absolute least. Yes, the sex of the unborn child is one of the few tests a pregnant person can undergo and not receive a “bad” result.

I don’t think we’re responsible for our first thought on an emotional matter, so feeling disappointment seems natural. [name_m]Just[/name_m] like it seems totally natural that someone could have pictured themselves with a child of a particular sex. It’s allowing that disappointment or sadness to influence the relationship with the child that would be cause for concern (IMO).


I really wanted a boy and found out last week we are having a girl (20 wk scan). I wanted a boy because my mom and I have a strained relationship and I don’t want to replicate that with my own daughter. I used to babysit for a family with 2 boys and I felt very confident of my ability to mother a son. Honestly, the first couple of days I was sad and worried. [name_f]My[/name_f] husband is absolutely ecstatic to have a daughter and his enthusiasm is catching. Also searching for cute feminine (not frilly) things for the nursery helps. I’ve also been journaling and working through my feelings about the mother/daughter relationship and searching for examples of good relationships in the media I consume.


I kinda had gender disappointment with my kids. I thought I was having a girl during my 1st pregnancy for some reason and I have a much younger sister and she was like my little baby when we were younger. So I had a dream in my head of this little girl. I also think girl names are so much more fun and knew that my husband was super picky about boy names (he still is). So when they told me we were having a boy, I had to kind of let go of the idea I had in my head so really for me it was more of an adjustment of letting that idea go. And I also knew we would have to come up with a boy name, which was not an easy task. It didn’t last very long for me. I started planning his nursery and picking out clothes I liked and was so excited for our boy. He is almost 4 now and I love him to pieces. With our second child, I was conflicted. I wanted another boy because I love the relationship I have with my son, but I knew this would be our last child so I also wanted a girl so I could experience that and get to name a girl! So I knew I would kinda be disappointed either way because I had a dream of another boy and of a little girl. We ended up with a girl which I was so excited for, but still had to let go of that image I had of one more little boy.


Our kids are BBGBBB (not counting our DFD, who just moved on to another placement). I’ve definitely been there with feeling somewhat disappointed (temporarily) when finding out we’re having a boy. It does pass! I love our sons so much and could not imagine life without them. It’s okay to have these feelings, though, and to be human. If/when we go for #7 (soon!) I am going to focus on being excited about picking a name for a new little boy (we make lots of boys). And we are going to do the “team green” thing this time, keeping in mind that any child is truly a gift regardless of their sex. I’ll also work on shopping for gender-neutral clothes.
I hate it when people beat themselves up for having certain feelings. [name_u]Or[/name_u] when people judge one another for gender disappointment. Let’s get real, it happens. Let’s start supporting each other.


I wouldn’t say “disappointment”. But with all three I think I have had gender “surprise”. As I’ve told you before I’ve been team green three times and as a result have gone 3 pregnancies clueless.there’s so much “information” out there that can help you figure out if youre having one gender or the other (you know like laying down and seeing what way the shoe string tilts to—— quite scientific huh?)… well with each of mine I’ve always guessed wrong.

[name_f]My[/name_f] second one I was convinced I was having a boy mainly because twice I had a midwife and a doctor look at me and I felt hint at that Inwas having a boy. One said to me “you look like a boy mom.” Another said, “Wouldn’t it be so great if you had another boy.” I thought it was their ways of helping me cope so I wouldn’t be disappointed not having a girl. I’ve since learned when I go Team [name_u]Green[/name_u] that not even my delivery team knows what gender I’m having that they are just as surprised. But Indidnt know that at the time so when my daughter was born… shock! [name_f]My[/name_f] husband was shocked as well because he never saw himself as being capable to parent a girl so one of the first things he did was call up his brother and dad to ask for advice on how to enter parenting a girl. Two years later and he pretty much rocks at it!

I think the best way to handle it, from my experiences is to just keep focusing back on the little one in front of you.

I think also to maybe find out the good in both outcomes. With my last one we told my older two, boy and girl, that we were either going to have a [name_u]Mercer[/name_u] [name_m]Mayer[/name_m] family or a Berenstain [name_m]Bear[/name_m] family. [name_f]My[/name_f] son really wanted the baby to be a boy my daughter really wanted a girl. We explained to them (and ourselves) the joys of what could come with both and the joy of a new addition in general. My third was a boy and even though it wasn’t what my daughter initially wanted her and her little brother are pretty much best friends and have pretty much been since the hour he was born and she talked to him via FaceTime (because of COVID!).

With each pregnancy we’ve brainstormed in two names and in doing so we fell in love with the arrival regardless of which was born. Which has meant “disappointment” in who wasn’t born but absolute joy in who was. I’ve seen you already brainstorming your possible future son or daughter and in doing so a joy comes over regardless which way it goes.

I will say in general if one hasn’t conceived yet but knows that there will be harbored resentment over the unexpected gender coming then I would likely advise holding off TTC because that new life doesn’t need that type of condemnation over their life but my assumption is in most cases that love prevails in the end.


I had some disappointment with my second. [name_f]My[/name_f] first is a girl, and she was desperate for a sister. I have a younger brother who I got on with well as a kid/teen, but we’ve grown apart as adults. Several of my friends have sisters and it seems like they are as close as ever, and I longed for that for my kids. I also think my mom feels less connected to my brother – once he found videogames as a preteen, that was it. And my husband has cut his mother out of his life (for very valid reasons) and I guess everywhere I look it just seems like mothers “lose” their little boys while their daughters stick around. So that’s where I was coming from.

My second is a boy. I had the feeling early on that he was, so even though I was disappointed for the reasons above, I think convincing myself that he was a boy early on made it so I wasn’t shocked, and that helped me process. We also struggled with boy names, so the disappointment combined with not knowing his name until after he was born to experiencing some name regret as well… it all led to having a difficult bonding experience at first, I’m going to be honest. But he is a busy, cheeky 20-month-old now, and oh my goodness how my heart melts when I see his smile. As he grew and showed his personality more and more, I felt more connected and the disappointment disappeared. So it was a process and it took time, but it won’t be forever.


I’ve never experienced gender disappointment myself, because for me it honestly makes no difference. But my SO did with our oldest and our twins. [name_f]My[/name_f] SO has a very difficult relationship with his father, he didn’t live up to his father’s expectations for a son, apparently, and he’s still struggling with that. I guess for this reason he was really hoping for a daughter when I got pregnant. He always had this romantic view of a father-daughter relationship, and I myself have a very strong relationship with my father, so this convinced my SO even more that bonding and building a strong relationship with a daughter would be so much easier than with a son. He adores all three of our sons (and my oldest, his stepson), but I know that he’s still dreaming of having a little girl one day.


What is a DFD…?

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Dear foster daughter

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