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Gender 
20th-Dec-2012 04:04 pm [sex - of the baby]
I found out earlier this week I'm having a girl, and I'm having trouble accepting it.

We have a 2 year old son already. All my husband and I really wanted was one boy. After that we didn't really care. But when the tech moved her wand over to find out what we were having I could see it right away, before she even said anything. I didn't know how to react, so I made a dumb joke about having to have a rummage sale to get money to buy all new clothes. Secretly, my heart sank.

After doing some soul searching I feel like I wanted another boy because I had problems with my son. A failed induction, c-section, NICU stay, trouble breastfeeding, severe PPD... I feel like I wanted a do-over (I know I can't actually have a do-over). I was starting to feel better today so I decided to go shopping for a few "girl" outfits to try to get in the spirit of having a girl, and I think it made it worse. All girl clothes are frilly with lace, bows, polka dots, hearts, bunnies, kitties, etc. I settled on some more gender neutral stuff (yellow ducks, light green, and the one pink outfit that didn't have lace, frills, or bows that I could find).

But I'm still having trouble accepting that this is a girl. Girls are whiny, snotty, manipulative, mean... okay obviously that's just my experience with girls, but it's sticking with me. If a little boy comes up to my kid and acts mean I'll ask him to share, play nice, etc. If a girl does it, I'll tell her to beat it and play with someone else. I don't like other peoples kids in general, but I especially do not like girls.

I'm not into girlie things either. I don't like barbies, princesses, playing dress up, painting nails or doing hair. I don't do my own hair most days and my sons hair is shorter and I don't do anything to it most days. This girl is going to end up with a shaved head or (unintentional) dreads. It's not helping that everyone around me is having boys right now too. Nor does it help that my mom said, "I knew it haha!" when I told her what the gender was. And my MIL is probably already out shopping for frilly lace-filled outfits that I'll hate. Everyone else said they knew it was going to be a girl weeks ago too, and I was still holding out hope for a boy. A part of me is hoping the tech was wrong, even though it was painfully obvious. This is our last (planned) child too, so there's no hope for another boy either.

Anyone else feel this way? How did you deal? Did it get better after the baby was born? I can't stop crying about it. I was planning a VBAC but I really don't know how much I care anymore. I know that's horrible, but it's just how I feel.
Comments 
20th-Dec-2012 10:15 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry you feel like this, I was terrified of having a girl too, but for different reasons, I just didn't think I'd be any good at parenting one.

Since you're not a stereotypical girlie girl, there's every likelihood that you will bring up your daughter to be the same :) you can teach her not to be all those traits you don't like, because you
know that they have nothing to do with sex and gender and it's just your preconceived notions :)

She can wear her hair short and they do make lots of funky girls clothes! If and when she's old enough to want long hair and braids, you could always tell her to look after it herself, or learn how to braid it for her.

I'm sorry that you think all girls are horrible, I assure you they're not, and it's thoughts like these that probably make girls into bitches because ppl expect it!



21st-Dec-2012 12:39 am (UTC)
I don't think I'd be good at it either, but maybe it's because all I know are boys. I'm an only child and never got into babysitting as a teenager. Other peoples kids just annoy me haha. I don't think all girls are horrible, I just don't have experience to say otherwise, unfortunately.

If the girl looks anything like me a short haircut won't be happening. I had short hair as a kid and was mistaken for a boy constantly. It stuck with me and to this day I don't feel feminine ever and am convinced I could pass for a guy if I really wanted to (face-wise at least). Maybe that's part of it too. Our soon looks EXACTLY like my husband. That's all I've heard from the day he was born, and a part of me wanted a child that resembled me... but not a girl, because I still feel like I look too much like a guy and I wouldn't want her to go through what I did/do.
20th-Dec-2012 10:18 pm (UTC)
{{{hugs}}}

girls don't have to be girlie girls at heart. I'm certainly not one and my mother (who is a girlie girl) didn't know what to do with me so she just let me take the lead with toys and such.

(as a caveat, my icon is from my bf's wedding where I was her best girl..and so I had to get all done up..but usually I live in yoga pants..or jeans and tshirts with obscene slogans(hehe) and keans)

Edited at 2012-12-20 10:20 pm (UTC)
21st-Dec-2012 06:36 pm (UTC)
You sound like me, clothes-wise at least :)
20th-Dec-2012 10:22 pm (UTC)
You don't have to have a pink-splosion at your house. My favorite "girly" color is dark purple. So my daughter has a lot of purple clothes. And you can make "girly" things fun- IE, my husband hates tutus, I love them. We came to a compromise by- we'll get her a bunch of super hero teeshirts- Wonder Woman, Batman, Green Lantern, and match them with a primary colored tu tu.

I personally LOVE primary colors on girls. Like, think, red shirt, and overalls. :)

I wanted another boy, because well, we have all boy stuff, and I was completely terrified i'd not bond with her. The second she was out, I loved her.


And really, babies are sexless. If you want to put the kid in her brother's hand me downs, she won't care. She'll care that she's warm and fed.

Edited at 2012-12-20 10:22 pm (UTC)
20th-Dec-2012 11:30 pm (UTC)
THIS

-OP- Sorry that you're going through this! *hugs*
20th-Dec-2012 10:26 pm (UTC)
We have a 3 month y/o girl. She doesn't have lacy outfits and I have put a headband on her maybe 3 times. Yeah, a lot if stuff is pink but its not all frilly and prissy. I'm not that kind of woman- my favorite color was blue growing up :) I don't have advice on the emotional side of things just that having a girl doesn't mean she has to be over the top. We did get a few outfits as gifts that were not my style but she wore them, spit up in them and was changed ;-) my family seems to be getting her "style" and hasn't given me anything too crazy.
20th-Dec-2012 10:30 pm (UTC)
Have you always had a gender bias? My MIL has one, bad. She treats her grandsons differently than my daughter... buys them more things, etc. I think your feelings are valid and deserve more exploration! What would be the most fair for your daughter when she gets here?

I was glad to have a girl but hated all the pink frilly stuff, too. My daughter has a rainbow flavored wardrobe!
20th-Dec-2012 11:57 pm (UTC)
I can empathize. My sister in law does not want her daughter in pink EVER... she wants her to be a tomboy bc her mom is not a girl at all. She hates girl clothes so when her daughter wants something girly she literally tells her to forget about it and that she needs to learn to stop acting like such a girl...

It is emotionally damaging and horrible to witness.
20th-Dec-2012 10:47 pm (UTC)
Gender in and of itself is a social construct. The fact that girls are "catty" or "girly" is not inherent from birth, but something that we nurture into our children.

That said, you can do whatever you want with your child. My partner and I are really happy to be having a girl, but not really keen on all girly things. For that reason, we're keeping the sex a secret until after the baby shower so that we don't have all pink things. Will your girl like pink frilly bows? Maybe. But your son may also like something you don't too!
20th-Dec-2012 11:36 pm (UTC)
This. My doctor Who loving son also has a penchant for tutus.
20th-Dec-2012 10:49 pm (UTC)
You're not alone.

I was a tomboy, and am a lot like you with not doing my hair, et cetera.

We are keeping the baby's gender a surprise until delivery, but I also wonder how to relate to a girl, since most of my friends were boys growing up.

20th-Dec-2012 11:02 pm (UTC)
You're a Buffy fan, you'll do fine if its a girl. :)
20th-Dec-2012 10:53 pm (UTC)
I have three girls. They play with dolls and ponies and stuffed animals...and they play soccer, run cross country, watch Doctor Who, and have an entire shelf dedicated to their Star Wars toys. There are six bins of Legos under one of their beds, and my youngest prefers playing with train tracks to just about anything else. It doesn't have to be an all or nothing.
20th-Dec-2012 10:56 pm (UTC)
I don't have kids yet, but I did want to recommend 'Cinderella Ate My Daughter' by Peggy Orenstein. She deals with the conflicts of raising a daughter in the current girly girl culture.
21st-Dec-2012 12:53 am (UTC)
ooh, I'm a sucker for research on stuff like this. Thanks!
20th-Dec-2012 11:03 pm (UTC)
I was just sure I was having a boy and had everything planned for it, nursery decor, bedding, my father's middle name! And sure enough it was a girl. A few weeks after my anatomy scan I really warmed up to the idea and embraced it, now I couldn't imagine having it any other way, she's my heart. Now I see boys acting rowdy and running around like maniacs and think thank god I have a little girl not a stinky boy! You're going to have the best of both worlds :)
20th-Dec-2012 11:04 pm (UTC)
Girls are whiny, snotty, manipulative, mean...

My daughter rarely whines, is the opposite of snotty, so honest that she has never even tried to manipulate me (or others that I know of) other than trying to make puppy eyes and say "pleeease?", and is most certainly not mean. This is part of her personality, but just as much due to my upbringing. You can raise you daughter not to be all those negative traits either. As other have mentioned, you also do not have to raise her in what is perceived to be a "typical" girl fashion.

That said, I do understand your favouring one gender - I'm not sure how I would have reacted to having a son.
21st-Dec-2012 12:12 am (UTC)
Same here. My daughter is the opposite of those nasty things.
20th-Dec-2012 11:05 pm (UTC)
This post kind of makes me sad. I feel for you but not all girls are those things. Some boys are assholes if you ask me. There are crappy boys and crappy girls. It does not have to do with just being a girl, it is how someone is raised.

My daughter loves pink(as do I) but she also loves blue,green, orange. She loves dollies,barbies, princess, but also love Star Wars, dinosaurs, etc. She wants to be a ballerina one day and Darth Vader the next. I do let her choose.

Edited at 2012-12-20 11:06 pm (UTC)
21st-Dec-2012 02:05 am (UTC)
Couldnt have said this better!!
20th-Dec-2012 11:05 pm (UTC)
I feel absolutely this way - I don't know if I'm having a girl or a boy, but if it's a girl I'm right here with you!

Give it time to sink in? Take some day dream time and plan in your mind adventures with a little girl that are more to your gender view point?

I've got everything crossed for a boy.
21st-Dec-2012 06:02 am (UTC)
thank you. i'm glad i'm not alone. at this point i feel better ignoring it rather than trying to put positive spins on it.
20th-Dec-2012 11:07 pm (UTC)
I felt the exact same way when I found out my now 7 year old would be a girl. What made it worse was that my MIL, who bought the majority of our baby stuff completely went against my taste in things. I.e. crib set ended up with pink frilly teddy bears on it. Once I had my daughter, I have never felt a love/bond so strong. She has been the best thing that could have possibly happened to me. I still can't French braid for you know what, Cheerleading gets on my nerves and barbies are the bane of my existence, but the lessons my daughter has taught me outweigh the frustrations I go through every day with raising a super ultra mega girly girl. No matter how much I've tried to make her a Tomboy like I was, it doesn't work. I just accept it, go with it and pray to God that this baby is a boy!! LoL
21st-Dec-2012 06:06 am (UTC)
Oh no! That would have pissed me off so much!! luckily we purchased most all of the big stuff for our son and made sure it was gender neutral. Although i'm having trouble seeing some of it as "acceptable" for a girl because i've only used it with a boy, but i know that'll change. I truly hope my feelings change when she's born, but I know it doesn't change for some people. I wouldn't try to make her something she's not, of course. i just don't see myself being able to take (or even fake) a genuine interest in those girlie things and I know how damaging that can be to a child.

I'm praying you get a boy this time too! :)
20th-Dec-2012 11:07 pm (UTC)
I think it's an overgeneralization to assume that because your child has 2 X chromosomes, she will be really girly (and/or possess those other traits you expressed concern about). Your daughter will be whoever she is, and your love and nurturing will be a huge part of who she becomes. Maybe she will be a really girly girl in the way she dresses, but really athletic and into cool sports? Maybe when she is a teenager she will be just as into reading about outer space and insects on wikipedia as she is into nailpolish and boy bands? She could be a complete tomboy, maybe she'll go through a goth phase, maybe she will just be really unique. I'm a pretty big mix of girly girl and tomboy - I thrift shop constantly and I have a closet full of dresses, and I own like .. 5 kinds of mascara, but most of my best friends are dudes and I love the outdoors and sports and insects and camping and dirt! The things you expose her to and the way you treat her will have a huge impact on the kind of girl she becomes. You don't have to subscribe to the disney princess method of raising girls.

Point being, this person will primarily be your child, secondarily, your daughter. Some gender differences are innate and some are socialized, there will be traits you love and don't love about your daughter that may seem based on gender, and other traits that have nothing to do with gender at all. It seems like you have some issues to work through regarding females in general - have you had bad experiences with female friendships, are most of your friends guys? Maybe working on relationships you have with other women, and talking about your thoughts and worries with women who have daughters, would help you to work through this. I hope you can come to terms with it soon.
20th-Dec-2012 11:09 pm (UTC)
Not similar experience but just wanted to add that I am not a girly girl and my daughter loves cars, robots, tractors, and all thing gender neutral. You can also buy fabric dye for all the vomit inducing pink stuff you may receive :p
20th-Dec-2012 11:11 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry you feel this way.

There is nothing biological to influence a female child to be "whiny, snotty, manipulative, mean" or to make her love ruffles, bows and frills. I thought that I initially wanted a girl but I knew (or thought I knew) from day 1 I was having a boy. I wasn't disappointed when they said it was a boy and tbh it made me excited just the same (a baby is a baby is a baby). A lot of the anxieties you seem to be expressing re: girl culture (or your perception of girl culture) are not inherently female and you have the power to produce a lovely, wonderful girl-child free from all of these traits.
Raise your girl like a boy, or better yet raise all children like children bc the gender mess is something we inflict upon them. Put a baby in a pink/blue onesie and they won't magically change.

I hope things change for you.
21st-Dec-2012 12:15 am (UTC)
There is nothing biological to influence a female child to be "whiny, snotty, manipulative, mean" or to make her love ruffles, bows and frills

This

Edited at 2012-12-21 12:15 am (UTC)
20th-Dec-2012 11:37 pm (UTC)
I understand how you feel about the gender thing... I feel the same way about boys. I know nothing about boys so when I found out I was having a girl, it wasn't really like I jumped for joy either. I was not really ready to accept any gender at that point since it was surprise pregnancy and as much as I loved my child before it was born... I was downright terrified! All I kept thinking was, "OMG... one day she is going to be a teenager... is she going to be like me?!" I was a tomboy as well. I am not girly... but for some reason after I had her, I realized that it did not matter. I would explore the world of girls with her. She wore a lot of yellow, blue, pink eventually and purple... I then had fun organizing her outfits, My best friend later had a boy and she did the same thing with him that I did with my daughter. Matching them up. Honestly? Personally, me having a girl was better for me. I remember being a child and I remember what kept me interested... with girls you can give them some toys (I liked cars when I was a kid and spiderman and ponies... care bares) I was a tomboy... my mom was not girly and I was heavy set through my teens and had only guy friends.


I guess what I am trying to say is that,,, this is your child :) No matter what gender it is, you can determine how he/she turns out. She is going to love you no matter what, you are her world and whatever you like she will like. My daughter takes after me. When someone would pick on her at school... I told her to say, "Tell them that your mommy says that they are wrong and as long as I know that I am beautiful and awesome that is all that matters." Kids are going to be kids, we can only protect them from s o much. My mom never did my hair as a child and I liked it that way. So breathe, it is going to be OK :) Do not be ashamed of how you are feeling.... you cannot help how you feel. Have you thought about counseling? I wish you the best of luck and congrats!
21st-Dec-2012 12:09 am (UTC)
My first was a girl, and I wanted another so.bad. I was surrre it was another girl going into the ultrasound, except when I would think about the baby in my head I would automatically use male pronouns. I cried and cried and cried after I found out I was expectihg a boy. I still have nit been able to go through all of my daughter's clothes that we saved. I know how to do girls. I am a girl, I have 5 nieces, I like little girls. My daughter us not super froofroo, but I like hairbows and simple dresses. I seriously considered therapy to deal with it. I regretted the pregnancy for many many weeks.

My 9 day old son is sleeping on my lap right now, and I can't imagine anything different. It helps that he is super chill, when my daughter has always had a BIG, loud demanding personality (that I adore, but it still is tiring). Both of my children were love at first sight, but with him all the anger, resentment, bitterness, disappointment, and sadness went away in a split second. I still wish for another daughter (and we are probably done having kids), but it is not as bad as I feared.
21st-Dec-2012 12:23 am (UTC)
This is what I'm hoping will happen. I'm an only child and our family is pretty divided, so all I really know is boys (my son). Before he was born I was terrified of babies in general and didn't feel a connection until I got to hold him the next day.
21st-Dec-2012 12:13 am (UTC)
You are making a lot of assumptions about girls that are jsut not true.

You do not need to buy frill and lace If I was having girl there a would be huge pink and frill ban in our house, I HATE gender stereotypes based on someone's sex.
Also, you are thinking that all girls are the same. I was not a girly girl and have never been one my whole life, I had more cars and trucks than the boys I knew and I would have died if someone got me lego, I played in mud and climbed trees and I would Never worn lace and frills. In fact it taken me twenty years and my pregnancy to get me to wear dresses again and skirts more regularly.

With this pregnancy I wanted a girl, I ended up getting a boy and while I did harbour some similar thoughts to yours, I smacked myself on the head and told myself to stop being stupid, your little girl will a be reflection of you...not of girls. If it matters so much, try to make her into a tomboy and don't knock tea parties and until you try them, tea and cupcakes are awesome and you never know she might want to have them while in a super nerdy/geeky outfit *shrugs*
21st-Dec-2012 12:21 am (UTC)
I wasn't a girly girl either (obviously). I don't have any experience with any non-girly girls though. Maybe it's because a lot of parents push stereotypes on their kids. *shrug*
21st-Dec-2012 12:15 am (UTC)
I was the opposite when I was pregnant - I wanted a girl SO much and got a boy!

Frankly? You will love your child, regardless of the fact that you think you won't know what to do with her. Parent your daughter the way you parent your son and everything will be fine (unless you're pushing your son into a specific gender type/characteristics, in which case you need to think seriously about why you're doing that).

Your daughter will be her own person. She may love pink and princesses, or she may love trucks and dinosaurs, or (one hopes), she will love lots of things. And you will love her.

My son likes wearing my necklaces and hair clips and also adores Doctor Who, the color red, gardening, helping me bake cookies, ninjas, zombies, pirates, knights, doing crafts...he's his own little person and I wouldn't trade him for a million girls. That doesn't mean, if we did have a girl, that I wouldn't love her just as much.

21st-Dec-2012 12:19 am (UTC)
Not all girl clothing is ugly. Though I will agree that a lot of it is. Of course, a lot of boy clothing is ugly too, there's just less of it to dig through.

If you're not a girly girl, there's a very strong chance that this little girl won't be either. I'm not especially girly either. I'm also not into trains, but my son is, so I learned about trains. If your daughter is into princesses, you'll learn about them, though you still may not enjoy them.

Little girls can be bratty. So can little boys, but I think it's more accepted in little girls because there's a handful of people who think it's cute? Disgusting. You don't have to have a bratty little girl anymore than you have to have a bratty little boy though. For the most part, that's all in how they are raised.

Honestly, if I were you, I would still go for the VBAC and still try to have that "do over." I know how you feel in regards to that, having had a failed induction and c-section myself. But having that, at least TRYING, might help you bond with this little girl.

And of course, like they always say, once you are actually holding that baby, everything is different.
21st-Dec-2012 12:46 am (UTC)
A baby is a baby. Grown ups assign gender-based traits on infants.

Also, ALL children are whiny, snotty, manipulative and mean. Kids are little jerks.
21st-Dec-2012 12:53 am (UTC)
Regarding clothes:

I'm expecting, so no babies yet, but I have to say that regardless of the gender, I HATE most popular baby clothing. I'm a graphic designer and the typography on half of the stuff I see makes me cringe (WHY IS IT ON EVERYTHING??? lol that's just a serious hang up of mine). I hate the stereotypical girl vs. boy items (the extremes for either gender). I'm dreading getting that stuff as gifts, but I KNOW I will. Most of my family has completely different taste in clothing than me and my mom has already made it clear that "babies need to be dressed like babies and not little adults!". And you know, I'm the one that LOVES "adult" clothes on babies--pea coats, leggings, cardigans. So that will be fun...

Here's my thought: most baby items are given as gifts in sets. You can ALWAYS mix and match items. So if I hate the fluffy hot pink tutu from one set, I can still use the cute black leggings underneath with something else.

And what's worst--the stuff I do like is extremely expensive and just not realistic for a baby who will grow out it so fast.

My goal (which may not work, but I'm trying) is to make a pinterest board with lots of stuff I like. A lot of the people who follow me on pinterest will be buying clothes for the baby at some point, and MAYBE they'll get "my style" when seeing my pinterest board? I have my doubts about this though, ha. I know I personally really try to buy baby clothes that matches the parents personalities.

Ok that was a huge rant about baby clothes. I'll end it there! I would try to tell people that you like more gender neutral stuff OR you could just wait to tell everyone else in hopes that they steer clear of hot pink and purple.

Edited at 2012-12-21 12:55 am (UTC)
21st-Dec-2012 01:01 am (UTC)
Yes, i agree on adult styles on babies. It looks much much nicer and so much more adorable. I plan on getting ym son a whole bunch of grey and black leggings and cardigans to wear through the winter next year.

Edited at 2012-12-21 01:03 am (UTC)
21st-Dec-2012 01:10 am (UTC)
For what it's worth, my parents always said that I was much more pleasant & easier to raise than my brother. My brother was the 'whiny, snotty, mean' one and still is to this day. There's really no telling what your child's personality will be based on their gender.
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