This was supposed to be an article about matching sister dresses.
After navigating the capricious world of dating, accomplishing the feat of a happy marriage, overcoming the sometimes heart-wrenching process of creating a home and getting and staying pregnant with a healthy baby a person should be happy, right? But for some, a dark, unsettling doom comes in an unexpected form: Gender Disappointment.
I'll admit I was fully expecting news of a boy to come of this pregnancy, probably because I grew up in a two-child home with a brother. I entertained the idea of a little man to dress up in jon-jons and christen with an animal hippy name but c'est la vie. The moment I found out our second baby was a she, my heart switched to delight. Sisters! Matching sister dresses! I got a sewing machine and some patterns and now I'm set for a life of double frills.
Not all women feel this way. Many women mourn the gender news of their pregnancies, some even to the point of considering termination or adoption. People can't help their feelings, I suppose, and it must be horrible to be saddled with these. Read these quotes from women experiencing the bizarre problem of disappointment in their child's gender . . .
"I am very upset. i don't want this child. i am afraid i can not love it [ . . .] I DO NOT want this gender baby. I don't want an innocent life to suffer [ . . .] i am depressed. I wish i didn't have to carry this child to term. i hate to feel it move inside of me. I know i am a terrible person. [sic.]"
"What scares me is that I don't want this baby. I don't want to see it. Or hold it. or know it. I feel like I've wasted my time and effort."
"I never would have imagined anyone wanted a girl."
"I am extremely disappointed in the gender of my baby. So much so that I wish I weren't pregnant."
"I'm having a very unwanted boy [ . . . I'm] being forced to have a life time of a boy i do not want. I dont even want to live myself. I hate my partner, cant even look him in the eye. I feel my life is ruined forever. [sic.]"
"After finding out this baby is a boy, I'm thinking of doing something horrible like walking on freshly waxed floors with socks."
These are not isolated incidents. Women all across America and the world are writing in to gender forums expressing thoughts nearing suicide over the genders of their babies. It doesn't seem to have anything to do with how many children they have or even whether it is a boy or a girl they are carrying. The only commonality is they are very, very upset.
To people who have children with health problems, or those having trouble conceiving (or getting into the right partner relationship to begin with!) gender disappointment seems to be the most asinine, disgusting of human emotions. After all, how can these women balk at the richness their lives are giving them when there are people who don't have a baby at all?
However, many mothers can relate to a tinge of GD at the ultrasound. Few take it to the extreme. In the latter cases, it might have more to do with underlying depression or anxiety about the pregnancy in general. But still, it's hard to sympathize with a woman who actually rejects her baby based on the sum of its parts.
Filed under: Uncategorized