Extreme disappointment upon learning the sex of a child.

Has anyone experienced this, or known someone going through it.

I felt a twinge of disappointment when we found out my youngest was a boy, but it was transitional, and now he’s our little sweetie. My mother, who has been dying for a granddaughter, was upset until the end of my pregnancy, but the minute she saw him, she fell in love.

My best friend’s husband was very annoyed at having a daughter, to the point where he cursed in the ultrasound room, but now he dotes on his little girl. And now I have another friend who is pregnant, she just found out it’s a boy. She’s so upset that she’s going to see a therapist, because she’s been doing nothing but crying about the sex for the week since she found out.

Does this happen often in your experience, or do I just travel in particularly strange circles? Do you think badly of people who experience this level of emotion over the gender of their child? Why or why not?

I think your reaction and that of your best friend’s husband are pretty normal. I wasn’t like super-psyched to have a daughter, but I hadn’t really built up this whole fantasy about how perfect things would be with a boy either, so it took me a whole couple minutes to get over it. I was just happy that the rest of the ultrasound showed things progressing normally!

Now as to your other friend, perhaps she needs to visit the pediatric ward of the local hospital and meet some parents coping with children with much worse “afflictions” than being born with a penis. If it weren’t for the possibility of pregnancy hormones playing a role, I would definitely think less of her for it.

I’m curious: Why were you disappointed? Did you have a life of dolls, dresses, etc. planned out with a daughter? Were you surprised to feel disappointed?

Of course I think badly of them. They are not well adjusted to one of the sexes. This must come out often in their interactions with others and it is infuriating to watch.

I think a little disappointment is normal if you already had an idea what you were going to have or what you wanted to have, but getting so upset you’d need therapy seems a bit over the top. After all, you can’t control the gender - that’s pretty much set from conception, so you have to assume that there’s a very good chance that things won’t work out exactly as you planned. Was your friend maybe having other issues, too, necessitating therapy or was the entire problem the sex or her baby?

Edited to add: I wasn’t disappointed that my son was a boy, but I was surprised. I’ve lived in a family of women my entire life, so it had occurred to me that I might have a boy, but I never truly thought that’d happen. I didn’t care in the end - I was just happy we both got through the birthing process ok. And I wouldn’t have him any other way.

I did want a daughter, mainly because I would love to pass on my mitochondrial line in particular, which will die out if I have no female children. I’ve explored those issues since the birth of my son, because I wanted to know whether or not I actually wanted another child eventually or if I just wanted a girl. I didn’t want to bring another child in the world just to get a girl. So, I am now at a place where I have realized I do indeed want another child one day in the future, but I am totally ok with the possibility that I may have only boys.

I was amused when my mother told me that a friend of hers is about to become a Grandmother and everyone is really excited that the baby is a boy, because they will be using the recently deceased paternal Grandfather’s first name as the baby’s middle name.

I didn’t hear anything in that which would make me think that they would have been disappointed with a girl, just that this is an extra boon to having a boy.

Being surprised to have a girl (or boy) isn’t weird to me. And preferring one or the other is ok*, but the depth of disappointment requiring therapy and weeks of crying is just wrong and wacky.

Healthy baby is first priority–or should be.

Although, thinking about it, I’ve heard of plenty of cases of tomboy type daughters who got treated almost like boys because they had no brothers and Dad wanted someone to raise in his own image (not neccessarily that explicitly expressed).

Still . . . . babies are boy or girl by chance rather than intent mostly, and should be treated as blessings regardless.

*I’ve known more than one person who would have more seriously considered having a third child if it came with some guarentee of being the opposite sex as the older siblings.

Is there something special about your mitochondrial line? (And if so, what? I’m nosy, not snarky).

No, just an ego thing. My mother raised me with a lot of ‘female pride’, I guess. She was pretty feminist when I was growing up, (Ironic, considering the fact that her actions since my father’s death have been anything but.) and so I was always taught that the mitochondrial line is special, containing our unique femaleness, because we are the ones who pass it along.

I’m not sure if I can articulate it better than that. It’s a philosophy I’ve mostly rejected now.

Um, your mitochondrial line will be passed on to a baby of either gender.

ETA: Ah, well, I get what you’re saying: your son won’t pass his mitochondria on. Well, mitochondrial DNA doesn’t really code for much of interest - mostly electron transport chain proteins and stuff they need to reproduce - and it changes very slowly, so someone out there has some that are pretty much the same.

My sister cried for 3 days when she found out she would have a boy. She just really really really wanted a girl.

But she had him and loved him. And then 3 years later when she got pregnant she was a little EEK! when she found out she was going to have 2 more boys at the same time!

My mom wasn’t too pleased apparently when she found out I was a girl; she’d already had my brother, and she felt a lot more comfortable/prepared to have another boy. Not to mention she already had “boy stuff.” (My parents were quite horribly broke back then.)

One look at me once I was born and she wouldn’t have it any other way, she says. I have no reason not to believe her.

I can see really wanting one sex over the other; as long as the disappointment doesn’t continue after the kid’s born, I see no reason to judge an honest desire to have a girl vs. a boy or vice versa.

What does surprise me a bit is the fact that people are so open about it; like not wanting the kid at all and having it anyway, this sort of emotion is really, IMHO, not something to share with other people. What if it gets back to the kid later on? And who wants to defend this feeling later, when it’s evident that you’re over it? Or, even worse, when you’re NOT?

I didn’t know that. My mother always made it sound like it was some magical thing.

I don’t know of anyone who was seriously disappointed at their child(ren)'s gender. When my wife was expecting our first child, we called him “Hermione”, but we probably would not have used that name if he had ben a girl. After than we had a boy, then a girl, then a boy. The only disappointment was that between child 3 and child 4 we had a stillborn child, who was a girl. Two daughters would have been nice, but we were still happy that the last was a boy.

Well, I know people who aborted till they got their kid of preferred gender, so I’m going to go ahead and say they were pretty disappointed upon initially finding out.

And on the opposite side, I know people who are over-the-top excited about the gender of their child such that they go around saying “Thank GODS we’re having a boy because a girl would have been sooooooo disappointing. Boys are so much better, they can accomplish so much more…”


Which, totally petty of me, but I refused to even send the person a congratulations card at that point because it was a pointed jab at my family being the only one on either side with no sons. I figure their brat is going to have all the self-esteem validation he needs on account of the herculean effort he put into growing a teeny-tiny desi penis.

I am just over-the-moon happy that I come from a) an all girl family and b) that there were no ultrasounds where I was born. My culture is very heavily weighted to preferring boys and while my father’s cool and non-into it, he had to de-program my mom from the attitudes she had been raised with. I’m pretty certain some supernatural being was smiling over me so I got a little sister. If it had been a boy she would have outright loved him more than me.

I truly had no preference about gender when I was pregnant. My husband wanted a boy because he was terrified of raising a teenage girl. When we found out we were having a girl, his shoulders sunk for about half a second, he asked the ultrasound technician if she was sure, and from then on, you couldn’t wipe the grin off his face. Of course, he is totally wrapped around her little finger (and we’re both terrified about raising a teenage girl).

I can understand feeling a twinge of disappointment if you really had your heart set on one gender or the other, but therapy is probably a bit over the top. Although, hopefully through therapy, your friend will get over the disappointment so that she can truly enjoy being a mother to her little boy when he gets here.

That sucks. That’s messed up.

Which culture is that, if I may ask?

I have known a few people my age who had parents and grandparents pissed off at their sex … mostly all women :frowning: one of whom was living with her divorced mother when I knew them because the mom had to have a hysterectomy [something about the uterus being torn too badly to repair enough to carry any longer] and the father refused to not have a son. He was originally going to force the mom to give her up for adoption and get preggers again ASAP to get a son. When she couldnt have any more kids, he traded her for someone who could. Asshole.

My dad had a son and 2 daughters, and he was perfectly pleased with my sister when she popped out [eldest kid] - he had hours of footage of her [he liked his movie camera, one of the cute little 8mm ones, he would have adored one of the ubiquitous video cameras of nowadays with sound!] And I think he had more footage of me than my brother also. I know he treated my brother and I the same, my brother learned to sail boats, and shoot guns, so did I when I evinced interest.

Fair enough-- I just couldn’t tell from your first post whether your mitochondrial line was special because you are you, or because you are a descendent of Cleopatra or somebody. Either is valid, especially in small doses.

Lucky it wasn’t Caster Semenya.