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Stormy

Gender Disappointment Forum

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Waffle Time
Stormy

I know this has been discussed before, but I couldn't find an individual thread dedicated to it. Apologies if this is in the wrong place.

http://www.ingender.com/forum/forum.aspx?ID=6 

For those who don't know, there's a Gender Disappointment forum on Ingender.com that's dedicated to people experiencing disappointment and distress upon finding out their baby is not the gender that they wanted. Some even go to lengths of terminating their pregnancies or doing selective IUI.

Most of them, fortunately, know that this persisting mindset is a toxic one to have, and they seek out solutions and support for how to alleviate it. I can even kinda get situations where, say, a mother has had sour relationships with all of her female relatives and is apprehensive about raising a daughter, or someone has an overbearing partner who's desperate for a son after tons of girls. The ones that frustrate me are the people who are lamenting that they'll never get their perfect pink princess who they'll get to have spa days with, or, alternatively, hate that they're having a girl because they hate pink and frills (really?). I've heard multiple accounts of users complaining about their exorbitant amount of grubby boys roughhousing in the next room (who raised them to do that, I wonder?). Much of it is very interesting, but there's also some good(?) hate-reads sprinkled in.

Edited by Stormy
change of wording

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Milly-Molly-Mandy

I don’t know why your snarking on this. Gender disappointment is real. I have 2 good friends who have 3 boys and have suffered from this. 

I don’t know why you think Free Jinger is the appropriate place to post this. 

  • Upvote 5
  • Downvote 13
  • Disgust 2
  • Bless Your Heart 2
  • Love 1

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RosyDaisy

The people on that forum need psychiatric help. What they don't need is people telling them what they are feeling is ok and understandable. It's not. They need professional help.

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Milly-Molly-Mandy
4 hours ago, RosyDaisy said:

The people on that forum need psychiatric help. What they don't need is people telling them what they are feeling is ok and understandable. It's not. They need professional help.

Absolutely they need professional help but it’s an actual condition. I wouldn’t snark on someone with depression. 

If my second baby hasn’t been a girl I probably would have had gender disappointment for a little bit too. I have so many friends who are desperate for a daughter. It doesn’t seem unusual to me. 

I just feel the world is so judgemental & desperate to shame women, can’t we just accept some people feel disappointment at things that don’t bother others?

 

Maybe I just feel sensitive about this post because I probably would have had it too, and having 2 friends with it who I know love and adore their sons but would still love the experience of raising a daughter. I don’t feel they should be judged for that? 

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Melissa1977

My great-grandmother was mocked because she had 3 girls and was "unable" to have boys.

80 years later I was given condolences when I was having my second boy. Because you know, girls wardrobe is soooo pretty and they're soooo cute and boys are loud and boring.

Same town, different times.

Gender dissapointment can be a personal worry but it's mostly cultural  pressure. An adult should be able to be aware and overcome this. I know sometimes it's difficult but it's the best gift for the baby coming.

I tell you something.  Anybody will LOVE you more than your kids. Anybody. Not even your own parents. Kids deserve to be loved no matter their gender.

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Happy
ViolaSebastian

Like most things, I think that the severity matters. It's perfectly normal to be disappointed if you had two girls and were gunning for a boy, only to have another girl. It happens.  But some of those posts are horrifying--one woman talks about giving her two boys up for adoption because she doesn't love them because they're not girls. That's a call for some serious intervention if I ever heard one. 

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jozina

Agree with what ViolaSebastian said. A little bit of it is one thing, but when it gets to the point of terminating pregnancies, being terribly depressed, neglecting the ones you have or giving them up for adoption then for the love of Rufus get help and stop having any more children until you'll be happy either way.

My blessings are their own unique selves well before they're a boy or a girl. I really wonder about the psychological impact on both the kids of the undesired sex and the desired one in these families. How awful to know you're unwanted or to have that pressure to conform to your parent's/parents' expectation like that.

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Botkinetti

@ViolaSebastianThose posts are horrifying. Living with the weight of your mothers disappointment must be crushing. My finger slipped and hit the laughing button instead of the I agree button. I find nothing funny about the situation.

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Hilarious
nomoxian

@Botkinetti If you are able to access a laptop or other "real" computer, you can edit the up/downvote response.

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Botkinetti

Thank you. Unfortunately I only have an iPad. I know we don't owe any explanations for any votes but I couldn't let the laughing one stand without an explanation.

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Puzzled
Fascinated

After having two (three, if you count the baby we lost) sons, we thought it would be nice to have a girl. We didn’t find out the sex until the doctor pulled him out and said, a bit worriedly, it’s a boy.  In that moment I knew I was happy he wasn’t a girl because, if he was, he wouldn’t be him.  I couldn’t feel disappointment because I already loved him with all my heart.  (We went ahead with the decision to have a tubal ligation.) 

So I understand disappointment a bit,  I suppose.  But I don’t understand having it to such a degree that it overrides the love you feel upon seeing and holding that baby.  Just my experience.  

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laPapessaGiovanna
2 hours ago, Milly-Molly-Mandy said:

Absolutely they need professional help but it’s an actual condition.

Um no. Gender disappointment isn't an actual condition. Reading posts there it seems some of the posters could fit in with some conditions diagnoses, but gender disappointment isn't a condition by itself. That some people people who suffer from a mental conditions may find more difficulties in overcoming disappointments can be true, but this doesn't make gender disappointment an actual diagnosis.

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Terrie
4 hours ago, Milly-Molly-Mandy said:

I just feel the world is so judgemental & desperate to shame women, can’t we just accept some people feel disappointment at things that don’t bother others?

Being bummed the outcome wasn't quite what you hoped for is one thing. Complaining that they'll never have their dress-up doll daughter (yeah, good luck with that. I refused to wear dresses even as a toddler) or their "rough and tumble" boy to carry on the family name is nothing but sexism and stereotypes and well within the normal snark of FJ.

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louisa05

My cousin’s wife only wanted boys. The way she has treated their now 22 year old daughter for her entire life is disgusting and the young woman has been deeply hurt and shunned from her own family for her entire life.

If you can’t love and accept a child of either gender, don’t have kids.

My aunt had six boys. She wanted a girl but she loved those boys with everything in her instead and would not have traded one for anything. She showered her nieces with girl stuff and girl time to make up for it and her boys and us girls were all blessed to have been loved by her. That’s how you deal with it.

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of_the_lioness

I was sad when I found out (at an ultrasound appointment) that baby #1 was a boy. When he was born he was the best thing that happened to me, of course. When we found out baby #2 was a girl, I was over the moon - one of each! And then a few weeks later, just before the point of viability...she died in utero. After that, I just wanted LIVING babies. Anyone who hates or wants to give up their child because of its sex or gender shouldn’t be a parent. 

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Happy
ViolaSebastian
2 hours ago, laPapessaGiovanna said:

 That some people people who suffer from a mental conditions may find more difficulties in overcoming disappointments can be true, but this doesn't make gender disappointment an actual diagnosis. 

I noticed a lot of the posters talking about symptoms of post-partum depression: they can't stop crying, can't connect with their babies, express anger and irritability at the baby and other children. I'm not discounting that they're genuinely disappointed, but it makes me wonder if they're interpreting these difficulties as the result of not getting the preferred gender, instead of as the result of a mental health condition. 

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Hilarious
nomoxian

I am not a doctor or mental health professional, whether in real life or television or the internet) it seems this "gender disappointment" has to do with the MOTHERS feelings, wants, wishes, etc. It's her being focused on herself and not on her child. It has to do with her stereotypes about gender related to clothing, sports and other interests or appearances.

It makes me think of kids who come out as trans to their parents, and the MOTHER is upset because they are "losing" a son or daughter - or more accurately, they are having to come to terms with their child not being the person they think they were. Even if a kid is cisgender, a lot of the time they end up having different interests than their parents, like the kid of a soccer coach dad who prefers to sit on the side of the field under a tree and read a book. Or they are more of a tomboy girl who wants to play soccer with their brother instead of going to the nail salon with their mom.

If someone is not able to realize this naturally, and love their child for who they are, then I would hope those parents would reach out and get help. The issue I see with the "gender disappointment" group is that it's an echo chamber that, in a way, encourages or reinforces the feelings these women have. Having a place they can talk openly about thoughts that usually need to be hidden out of shame is a good thing; but without getting professional help, I doubt they are going to improve their relationship with their child. The website makes me think of those Pro Ana groups. While it's a support group in a sense, it ends up doing a lot of harm.

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Waffle Time
Stormy

Like many of you pointed out, I think "echo chamber" better suits this rather than "support group". For every person simply seeking to either overcome their gender disappointment or help others do the same, there are those who are enabling these feelings, giving into BS science and "swaying" for their desired gender (that they likely can't afford), or going down a very dangerous path of abuse and neglect. The "Considering leaving my husband and kids." thread is especially horrifying. (Want to secretly put your daughters up for adoption without your husband's knowledge or take off an leave with just your son? I think I'll snark.)

One of the more interesting cases is that of a user who had extreme gender disappointment with her daughter when she'd wanted a son. Much of her pleas were along the lines of "how do I get rid of these feelings?" rather than "how do I get rid of her?" Long story short, she's made some progress while coming to grips with her GD, and has since been able to bond with her child; her latest problem is that she's now overspending on things for her daughter to cope. (That's...sweet? I guess?)

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Meh
smittykins
10 hours ago, Botkinetti said:

Thank you. Unfortunately I only have an iPad. I know we don't owe any explanations for any votes but I couldn't let the laughing one stand without an explanation.

@Botkinetti, I have an iPad, and it's possible to change your reaction.  Just hit the green arrow and choose the one you want.

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NakedKnees

I echo a lot of the above. Personally, I think "disappointment" in gender shouldn't be regarded much different that "disappointment" in eye/hair color, or in birth date, or things like that. After a certain point, it's just selfish and cruel to obsess about it. I applaud anyone who seeks serious, professional help to work through such feelings rather than hang out on a web forum over it.

I admit that I'd prefer to get pregnant with a girl, just because my family has much more boys and I already have a stepson. But I don't think it's right to seek to get pregnant at all if it's a make-or-break issue... not that I want to control anyone's reproductive freedom. I just don't think it's morally right.

I'm really not a fan of grouping fetuses/infants into "gender" to the point of struggle at all. Anything is possible and it's frankly outdated and offensive to believe vagina=girl=these interests and penis=boy=these interests, so it's hard for me to feel much sympathy.

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Waffle Time
Stormy

My cousin has two young boys and has said more than once that she'd always wanted a girl. She also planned to have many more children, but, after assessing their financial and emotional situation, she and her husband decided to stop at two shortly after their second son was born. They embrace both the conventional aspects of having all boys (four-wheeling, wrestling, wearing camo) while letting them embrace their feminine side (knitting things for them, painting their nails, etc.). My cousin has a passion for horses, and had accepted that her kids might not share it when her eldest son acted terrified when they attempted to introduce him to them. Now that he's older, though, he's actually taken to riding and now has his own pony. His mother is over the moon.

(Now that I think about it, had my cousin's family had a more ideal situation to keep having kids and wound up with 4-5 boys, she'd probably see the humor in it and consider it a badge of pride! :content:)

Edited by Stormy

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Petrel

When I went for my anatomy scan the sonogram tech said it was a girl and my husband and I didn’t really respond.  I later thought she might have mistaken that for disappointment, but we just weren’t invested in either direction. 

I know a lot of people have stronger preferences, for a variety of reasons, but most get over the disappointment quickly, and it doesn’t affect their bonding with the newborn. 

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ViolaSebastian

I think I've talked about this before, but I was the first granddaughter to a grandmother who had nothing but brothers, then nothing but sons, then nothing but grandsons. I was the fourth grandkid to come along, and to amplify matters, I was named after her. I love my grandmother, but she had expectations that I would be "the girl she never had" and into ALL the girl stuff.  So lots of pink, lots of dolls, lots of lace and ruffles. Her big thing was ballet--which I was in until I started having problems with my back. I remember being terrified to quit because she was SO heavily invested in me staying in it until my senior year in high school. There was a weight with that sort of expectation, especially because I love my grandmother so much. But I'm just not the quintessential girl stereotype--and really, who is? Kiddos face enough without feeling pressured to rigidly conform to gender roles or their parents/grandparents expectations that they perform gender roles. It's just a tough place to be in, and I really feel for those kids, who have zero control over whether an X sperm or a Y sperm resulted in their birth. 

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anjulibai

I had gender disappointment with both of my children, both boys. I could go into all the reasons why, but frankly most of these responses just show a massive amount of judgment, so fuck that. I'm not going to try to explain it to people that act like I'm a horrible person for having these feelings. 

I will say, though, that having a forum like this one would have helped me a great deal when I was going through this, especially with my first boy. It would have helped me feel less alone. As it was, just knowing that there were other people (both women and men) that experienced this helped me feel better. Because a great deal of the issues around gender disappointment was feeling that you can't express it to anyone because they are going to judge you.

Which this thread shows is true. So glad I only talked about this to my husband and a therapist. 

For the record, I adore my boys and wouldn't change them for anything. 

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