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Dealing with Gender Disappointment

I think I speak for all women when I say, “We just want a healthy baby; that’s what’s important,” but if I’m 100% honest, I was completely devastated when I found out I was having a girl the second time around.  I mean, I HATE pink, seriously.  

AH I

Now, before you go all judge-y on me, hear me out first.  I am fearful for my daughter.  Fearful for difficulty making friends, fearful for popularity contests, fearful for weight issues, fearful for eating disorders, fearful for workplace inequality- the list really could go on forever.  

On the other hand, when I found out I was having a boy the first time I was ecstatic- something new and exciting for me to face!  I accepted the challenge wholeheartedly. Throughout my entire pregnancy I felt so much joy waiting to meet this little man, but with her I had a lot of anxiety and dread.  You can’t tell from our gender reveal photo here, but I spent the better part of that day crying because I was bringing another woman into this world.  

AH II

I feel like this is such a taboo subject to discuss, but I think it’s likely that most women have experienced a little bit of gender disappointment.  I remember I immediately started googling gender disappointment, and I was relieved to find some blog posts on the subject.  This is a completely normal emotion to have, and I want to make sure you know that if you’re experiencing it now.  So many women told me, “Oh, don’t worry, you’ll love her as soon as you meet her!,” but I was still skeptical.  I knew it was likely, but what if I didn’t?!  

I have to admit I was even fearful her birth wouldn’t be as good as my son’s.  Both of my birth stories were stellar, by the way, using Hypnobabies, but I’ll save that for another post.  I struggled a lot as a young girl to make friends, and I’ve even worried that my own daughter won’t like me.  In all likelihood, she will say she hates me, at least once anyway.  I, too, struggled with an eating disorder, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone; but it could happen to her some day.  Then, all of a sudden, one of my friends gave me some really good advice:  “Abby, isn’t the fact that you went through all of this going to make you fight all the more for her?  Won’t you set a great example for her?”  It was the wake up call I needed to hear.

AH III

Now, I’m not saying that it clicked right then for me, but it did make me think.  I might not have a girly girl that loves everything pink, and I might not have a girl that can’t make friends.  Only God knows what’s in store for me, but He planned this.  He chose ME to be her mother for a reason.  So, maybe she will fill in all those voids that other things have made in my life.  Maybe I’ll show her how to not care what people think and to eat healthy and exercise; and maybe, just maybe she’ll teach me to like pink some day.  

And if I’m blessed with baby #3, I won’t find out the gender!

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4 Responses to Dealing with Gender Disappointment

  1. Erin Snead April 16, 2016 at 8:36 am #

    You are such an amazing mommy! I love your honesty and vulnerability in this article! Your sweet girl will be perfectly “her” because of the genuine way you instill value in her. Hugs to you my sweet friend! 🙂

  2. Abby Hartmann Kukes
    Abby Hartmann Kukes April 18, 2016 at 12:56 pm #

    Thank you, Erin! That is such good encouragement!

  3. Celina May 7, 2016 at 9:10 am #

    Sometimes this world can be scary for women but your friend was so right, your experiences will in turn make her that much stronger.

    • Abby
      Abby May 7, 2016 at 9:46 pm #

      Thank you, Celina! I believe that for sure!