Anybody else found themselves disappointed by the gender of some poor innocent fetus?

So evidently, unbeknownst to me, I am a gigantic asshole who had already decided all sorts of things about my unborn baby. We’re at 16 weeks now and just found out it’s a… boy.

The thing is, all along I was all “oh we don’t care!” but it turns out that in the back of my brain I guess I’d just been thinking of it as a girl? And now I’m really having a hard time getting over it. Which is especially asinine considering that plenty of other women are at this stage having to get used to reconciling the perfect baby in their head with one that will have disabilities or birth defects or be dead in a year. All mine’s got is a penis! (Well, to be fair, being male he may also have my dad’s colorblindness or his bald-at-19-ness in addition to both his parents’ bad eyes and crooked teeth. So that’s not the greatest row to hoe. Sorry, kid.)

I guess part of it is that being a lady-type myself I felt like I got the problems of girls. I mean, I wasn’t looking forward to the whole princess/pink thing, but I’ve been navigating those waters my whole life and they’re familiar. Now I think about how limited boys can be in our culture (a girl can pretend to be Batman and old ladies might give her a tea set but it’s “okay”, a boy pretending to be Snow White may well run into some trouble, etc.) I was already infuriated the day we found out; we went to Goodwill and then Target to look at some little clothes and all (I was trying to get enthusiastic about this whole “it has a penis” thing) and evidently all little boys are allowed to wear is sportsball and trucks. HOW DARE YOU LIMIT MY BABY THAT IS MY JOB.

But the awful part is that I totally have this idea in my head that I can’t get rid of about what boys are “like” - they don’t read, they scream in your ears and smash holes in your walls and wreck all your stuff, there are a lot of boogers involved, etc. And on the one hand, there’s definitely some small grain of truth to that - I never knew any guys in school who read as much as I did, and there were a few girls who did, etc. Of course I also know plenty of little girls who will totally smear a booger on your wall, too. But there are plenty of sweet, sensitive little boys. And, I mean, I liked one of them enough to marry him and have a kid with him, right?

And that’s the third thing, and the really ugly nasty thing - I kind of feel like now that my baby isn’t “like” me that it got a little bit stolen from me. So what, exactly, was my attitude towards co-parenting a little girl with my husband? I mean, clearly that it was going to be more “mine” than the actual little boy will be? That’s pretty insidious, isn’t it? Some of it’s little things - I was going to crochet so many cute little girl things, and I put aside so many books from my shelves to the shelves in the nursery for it that a boy probably won’t be that interested in, you know, the stuff that isn’t that important long term. But the idea that my husband stole my baby by making it a boy, that is fucked up. (And I realized I wasn’t entirely kidding when I joked that I’ve lost it to the patriarchy.)

I mean, obviously I’ll get over it. And I’m sure most women who were sure they wanted a girl fell absolutely in love with their little boy and wouldn’t want anything else. I mean, my dad probably was a little disappointed when I turned out to be a girl and then, you know, stereotypical daddy’s girl. But I’m really thrown by my reaction to the whole thing. It’s seriously got me rattled.

(But really, boy names suck so much ass. And now we’re going to have to have a fight about circumcision. And I know how that goes.)

Urrrrgh. Will somebody please tell me that I’m not the only person who isn’t normally a gigantic jackass who felt this way?

If you didn’t know any boys who read as much as you did, then we never met. I was constantly in trouble in my early elementary schools years for reading in class, reading when I was supposed to be asleep, etc.

I have a son and a daughter, and my son is obsessed with reading right now. Amongst my friends’ kids, I haven’t noticed a tendency for girls to read more.

I’m sure you aren’t the only person that feels this way, but I would have been thrilled either way. We didn’t find out until the birth, which meant we had no preconceived notions. I’m sure you’ll get over it when you finally meet him.

Honey you’re pregnant and I hate to break it to you but the stereotypes are true. You will cry about opening a milk carton wrong sometime before you’re through.

This is a change in expectations and it’s normal to grieve about it. The only way you’re an asshole is if you keep wishing your son would turn into a girl until he’s old enough to date.

You might get over it while you’re still pregnant, you might get over it when they place him in your arms and it might take until his first grin but I can pretty much guarantee you will get over it and beating yourself up won’t make that process go any faster.

Oh, those pregnancy hormones are just great, aren’t they? I feel for you, I really do. I was in a similar boat…except that my first was a girl and then I wanted another girl. Sisters, like my sister and I were. Instead my second turned out to be a boy. And yes, I was disappointed at first. I think that’s pretty normal.

But here’s the thing…and I doubt this will help you much now but maybe something for you to look forward to…there is a special “bond” between a mother and her little boy. I don’t really know how to explain it, but I know it’s real because I’ve shared notes with other moms. A certain level of…sweetness? adoration? There’s just something there…you’re his first love.

Also, don’t buy into the stereotypes. My boy, while very boyish (obsessed with anything with an engine or wheels), is also tidier than my girl, sweeter-natured than my girl, and more academically-inclined than my girl.

And hey! Maybe he’ll be gay!

I’m pretty sure that girls can be gay too.

To the OP, you left out a couple of rather pertinent stereotypes that might give you comfort: 1) most boys love their mothers over their fathers; 2) boys are much less hassle during their teen years; 3) and with a son, you only have to worry about one penis, whereas with a daughter, you have to worry about every penis out there.

Oh, god, I hope he’s gay. Because I was all “oh shit, he’s going to get some girl knocked up” and my husband was all “you mean our infant who isn’t even born yet?” “Yeah, the one with all the stupid names.”


We had this experience. My wife and I both were sort of hoping for a girl. As we should have predicted, the universe inevitably found out about this and thus ensured that we would have only boys. (Things went exactly the opposite way for my sister- she didn’t care either way, but my BIL wanted a son. Girls only for them, of course.)

The good news is that those gender preferences are but a dim memory, completely swept aside as soon as we were confronted with the reality of a little flesh-and-blood male baby. Note that “baby” is singular. It wasn’t even an issue with our second one. We just loved our first son- the one of the gender we supposedly didn’t want- so much that the gender of the second didn’t matter to us, even though it was going to be our last one and we already had a boy.

But yeah, it does seem to be much harder for everyone to find boys’ names they like than girls’. And the clothes issue was a problem for us, too, as it is for many who don’t care much for sports. Half the onesies for boys out there feature teddy bears holding baseball bats. And half of those have some odious statement on them like “Mommy’s l’il slugger.” At least you can find toddler clothes with bugs and dinosaurs.

Good news on the booger front, though! Your son may spare you the grossness of boogers wiped on the wall by just eating them.

Not me, but both my mother and my sister in law are the kind of person who expect the world to conform to their expectations without them having to do anything about it, both of them take it as a personal offense when it does not, both of them had firstborns of unacceptable sex. Mom took about 36 years to forgive me, SiL still hasn’t forgiven my nephew.

I know other people who were surprised by the sex of their kid (Dad most definitely wasn’t expecting a daughter, nor was his brother who also had one, simply because their family had leaned heavily male for several centuries) but who were happy about it; or who got the opposite of expected but got over it quickly (doctors had promised the mother of my friend Juan Carlos that it was a girl, the mother had already bought a ton of stuff in pink - he’s the 5th of 6, all boys).

The way I see it, if it takes you less than 36 years to forgive the kid you’re doing fine :wink:
ETA: I wouldn’t call my cousin Paul “sensitive” within his hearing, but he’s the one who snatched the best books from Abuelita’s house as soon as they were up for grabs. We are the same age and used to have these sort of staring contests when we both were visiting at the same time, since we liked the same books. Never got in a fight over “that’s the one I left half-read the other day!” but things could get a bit tense.

Probably don’t show him this thread when he’s old enough

Oh, I doubt it will matter - he’ll either hate me for not cutting part of his penis off or hate his father for cutting it off. Either way.

I had three boys, so yeah, I’m familiar.

But, what happens is, the baby is born, and as the baby grows into a wonderful little person, you love the baby, and you’re so incredibly glad that he is him, and you realize that if he was a girl, he wouldn’t be him, and then you’re so, so glad that he wasn’t a girl, and that he is him.

That’s what happens.

Meaning the issues they’re imagining could be resolved by having a gay son could have cropped up anyway if they’d originally had a daughter and she turned out to be gay.

Yes, but Oreo made a joke which doesn’t need to be taken as a serious comment.

Happily, our daughter turned out to be the gender I’d hoped for. That was a huge relief… because I know exactly what you mean. You remember what it was like to be a little girl. You know what makes little girls tick. And now… it’s a boy.

Ditto to people who have said that your hormones are making this seem much harder than it would otherwise.

But think: you’re going to spend the rest of the pregnancy trying to imagine your little boy, right? And then he’ll be born. And that baby you imagined will be gone, and a complete stranger will have taken his place. And that little stranger, believe me, will know exactly who he is and what he wants from the minute he comes out, and a lot of the time, it’s going to be different from what you wanted for him.

And that would have happened if he’d been a she, too.

First hard lesson of parenting. They’re their own people.

You’re at 16 weeks? I’d vote for hormones for the emotional swings.

My wife also wanted two have a second girl and then our son came along, and she fell in love with him.

Our daughter shares a lot in common with my wife, but we have our own great relationship as well.

Things generally work out.

Oh I was a big ol’ jackass too… twice! The crazy thing is (and this is not to get your hopes up, because both times I had the poor-man’s sonogram at the clinic!) both times I was told it was a boy and I ended up with two lovely daughters.

I did not want a boy. Period. I never SAID anything, but I just did not want a boy. There’s nothing wrong with little boys. . . I just did not want one! And I was horribly disappointed when I was told they were boys.

Somehow I guess I willed my fetuses to alter their sex organs. You could try that? :wink:

Anyway, don’t you dare feel bad for it. You’re not an asshole. For many, many years parents-to-be wished and hoped for boys. Girls were a burden. We’re just now getting popular so it’s completely normal to be disappointed when you don’t get what you really want. You’ll get over it when you smell those baby toes.

I have three boys and a girl and the boys were the cuddlers, the ones who liked being rocked and kissed goodnight. Now that they’re in their forties, they’re the ones who still ask for advice/help/opinion and actually listen.

Little girls are cute and all, but there’s this thing that happens when they’re in their teens. :slight_smile:

I dunno, the ultrasound looked pretty clear. Like, I can’t always tell what they’re pointing at but either it has a penis or it was giving me the finger in a very odd way. I’d think it was more common to be told girl and have it come up boy, but you’re at least one example of the opposite.

And yeah, I was kind of worried about having a teenage girl in the house. Having been one, especially.

Since no one else addressed this one, I’ll point out that I’m a boy, and “Digital is the new Analog” is a perfectly cromulent name.

Seriously though…I don’t have any kids, but I have lots of friends who do. And they love the baby that showed up, regardless of the image they created while he or she was still in the womb. I’m sure you will, too.