When I discovered I was pregnant back in July 2008, my husband and I were thrilled. We decided to keep it secret until we had the all clear at the 12-week scan – it was the hardest couple of months of my life but it was also lovely to be carrying such an amazing secret.
As soon as we announced the pregnancy, I was immediately hit with a question I hadn’t even thought of. “Would you like a girl or boy?”. I hadn’t even given it a thought, to me just carrying a healthy baby was all I cared about, the sex was just one of those things we’d wait until the birth to discover but have fun guessing along the way. But then I heard those fateful words “Well, I hope it’s a girl, I never had a girl so it would be lovely for me”. For you? For You? Errr, excuse me, this is OUR baby, NOT yours! I dismissed it.
However, as my pregnancy progressed I felt more and more pressure from a couple of members of our family to deliver them a baby girl. I remember those words down the phone the morning of my 20-week scan “Have a word to him upstairs please, I want a girl”. These words still make me so angry. To the point where I actually started to think I would like a boy just to p**s them all off! Harsh I know, but when your hormones are raging during pregnancy it can make you a tad crazy.
Our beautiful baby girl was born in March 2009 and she was perfect. We were so happy. I thought that would be the end of the whole ‘gender preference’ but no. It still continues now. I face regular battles over present buying, amongst other things, hearing the words “Well, I never had a girl so I haven’t experienced this or this so I want to do this, buy this blah blah blah”.
All the while I sit and suffer in silence. I’ve tried to politely get my point across but it’s getting to a stage now I’m about to snap. I’m not a ‘girly’ girl myself, indeed I’m no tomboy but I’m just not into the whole fluffy bunny fairy pink princess glittery stuff. Obviously the girl obsession within the family means we are regularly showered with overly pink, frilly, fluffy hideous items that aren’t practical at all. My husband and I want to have another baby sometime in the future and if we do have a boy he will have to make do with lots of pink hand-me-down toys because, rather than buying neutral, these family members are properly pink obsessed! A member of that side of the family is pregnant at the moment with her FIRST child and she actually said to me when she was trying to conceive “I don’t want a boy, I just want a girl. All my friends have boys” and then she topped it by making a “Bleurgh” noise and screwing up her face in disgust. I was horrified.
So, the regular battles with the gender preference from the family will no doubt continue. Only yesterday I faced such hurdles, which is the catalyst for this post.
The thing is, I’m honestly not bothered in the slightest what sex our children are. All that matters to me is they are healthy. Surely that’s the real wish that any parent should have? I read somewhere that some parents become so obsessed with wanting a particular sex that they suffer depression and bonding issues with the child. There’s even a proper term for it - ‘gender disappointment'. Google it. You’ll even discover one woman who has admitted that she would have terminated her little boy if she could have done so without anyone knowing.
A member of my family can’t have children and I have many friends who've experienced miscarriages at various stages of pregnancy but yet there are people who want to be so fussy as to choose the sex of their baby. Maybe I’m extremely naïve but I just don’t understand it. Maybe if we are lucky to be blessed with another child and we have another girl, maybe I’ll start to get the longing for a boy. Who knows?
So, my question is, what are your thoughts? Do you think it’s right, wrong or are you impartial? Do you have a gender preference yourself? Have you any experience of this that can help me?
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