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'Oh, it's a boy?' The reality of gender disappointment

It seems shallow to complain about not getting the gender you wanted when a baby arrives; many pregnant women are conditioned to say they’ll be happy with whatever they get. But even though the issue of gender disappointment isn’t talked about very much, it shouldn’t be shrugged off. Having spent months anticipating a specific outcome in the delivery room, some new moms are devastated over

It seems shallow to complain about not getting the gender you wanted when a baby arrives; many pregnant women are conditioned to say they’ll be happy with whatever they get. But even though the issue of gender disappointment isn’t talked about very much, it shouldn’t be shrugged off. Having spent months anticipating a specific outcome in the delivery room, some new moms are devastated over the sex of their new baby — but they feel they can’t say anything about it, lest they seem completely ungrateful for the gift of a healthy child. In an Associated Press report, one mother described her heartbreak upon giving birth to a son: “You're kind of bummed in the back of your mind. There's not going to be any pink dresses. There's not going to be any scrapbooking. That's not going to happen," [Christine Lich] said. Lich gets tired of people making comments such as: "Are you going to try for the girl?" or "You need to have the girl." Even now, four years after her third child, she can't bring herself to buy clothes for a little girl's birthday because she just can't look at the outfits. Lich’s experience might seem extreme to some, but it does touch upon a rather taboo topic — moms expressing any type of disappointment over a child’s gender without an army of naysayers screaming “Be thankful you even have a baby!” Is there any room for moms to talk frankly about gender disappointment without being accused of bad parenting or a psychological disorder? Have you ever had a pregnancy or parenting issue that you felt you were forbidden to discuss? Related content:Gender disappointment plagues some moms