This is not a post I thought I would ever have to write but I sometimes think getting it out in the open helps and this is very much a train of thought/mind dump. There’s absolutely no order to these thoughts but basically I’ve been experiencing some kind of gender anxiety; not about my gender, but about the gender of this third baby. I had always made it clear and said so many times that if we ever had any more children then gender would never be an issue; heartbeat and health came first. But I can’t help focussing on what the outcome will be at our scan next week.
As you probably know I have two incredibly beautiful boys already and while they are amazing, I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to have a daughter. We obviously don’t know the gender yet and it’s exactly that, that’s making me feeling anxious. I was awake super early this morning and knew I could easily go back to sleep – yet I couldn’t because this was playing on my mind.
Experiencing Gender Anxiety
I don’t really know when it all started, but it was probably after we got into the second trimester. The countdown to the anomaly scan was on, and with that you’re usually able to find out if you’re having a boy or a girl, and the social and self pressures really seem to have hit. After I had the boys I always got the question about ‘if we’d try for a girl?’ and I was very adamant that, actually, we’d just be trying for a baby and that was that. You can’t pick and choose what you have so it’s better to go with the flow. As I found myself pregnant with baby number three and 20 week scan day looming, those thoughts have just thinned and thinned and thinned and the gender anxiety has really hit. As time has gone on I’ve found questioning whether I do actually want a girl and, actually… yes. Yes I do.
Every other thought surrounding this baby is about what the gender is going to be and I kind of feel ashamed and guilty for feeling and thinking like this. There are women out there who are struggling to have babies yet here I am, pregnant as soon as I so much as look at a penis, but not feeling entirely on board with potentially having another boy.
There are really only a couple of reasons for wanting a girl and one of them is that I just think it would be nice to experience what it’s like to raise a female. The second, and probably most important and relevant, reason is that I want to prove that I can parent a daughter and do the things with her that I never got to do with my mum. I’ve had an incredibly rocky relationship with my mum over the years. We’ve never had the kind of relationship where we trust each other implicitly, go out to lunch, have weekends shopping with each other – that’s just not her but it is very much me.
When I was at school I was so, so jealous of those that said they’d been shopping with their mum on the weekend and later, when I was working, when colleagues told me they’d done spa days with their mums. I feel kind of robbed of those kinds of experiences and I want to be able to do that with a daughter of my own.
I don’t want to hear that ‘oh boys love their mums more anyway’ or that ‘you don’t want a girl because they’re nightmares’. I’ve heard that before and I’m sure I’ll continue to hear it from other people but it doesn’t mean I should have any less of a right to feel like I will be disappointed if it’s a boy. It’s ok to feel like this. It’s ok to want something you’ve never had before. It’s valid.
You know, I want to buy pretty dresses and frilly socks. I want to put clips in her hair and decorate a girly nursery. Some of these things may sound quite materialistic and perhaps like a daughter would be an accessory for me, but that’s absolutely not the case. It’s just that I’ve never gotten to do these things before and I just so desperately want it to happen.
Not Helping Myself
I’ve done myself no favours by joining 4 or 5 ‘nub theory’ groups, asking others’ opinions, comparing scan pictures and what not. I’ve tried the ring test and looked at my Chinese calendar prediction and I think I’ve just made myself worse by becoming slightly obsessed with it. Of course I’m psyching myself up over something that might be a total non-situation but it’s hard to not feel like I’m going to be disappointed when I’ve only ever known what it’s like to have boys. Equally, I might get a girl and she not be particularly ‘girly’ and I’m absolutely fine with that, but just to be able to say yes.. this is my daughter, these are my sons.
You may be asking why I’m even being like this and why I would even want to find out the gender at 20 weeks if I have gender anxiety so much? To be honest, if I don’t… I will drive myself round the bend. My main worry at the moment is if I leave it until the birth, find out it’s a boy, and then be disappointed and it ruin this last pregnancy experience for me. I’d rather know sooner so that I can move on in the right direction whatever the outcome may be. I don’t want to be concerned about potentially not bonding with my baby over it, or resenting a little boy for not being a little girl.
I’d always grown up saying I wanted three children; two boys and a girl, in that order. I have my two boys, but will I get a girl? We won’t know until next week but I am absolutely trying to prepare myself for the fact that my household may, in fact, be totally filled with testosterone. Either way – boy or girl – this baby will be, and already is, incredibly loved and wanted and gender anxiety is something I will definitely get over.
Have you ever felt any kind of gender anxiety, or were you disappointed to have 2 or more children of the same sex? How did you deal with it? Any words of wisdom?