Friday, December 16, 2011

Gender Anxiety

Okay this is really more than just gender anxiety, but the gender part plays a big role. I have been holding off writing about this for fear of coming across ungrateful, but this is just weighing so heavily on my mind that I have to get it out and I really hope I don't offend anyone in the process.

I'm terrified of finding out the gender. With Addison we were SO excited for our 20 week scan to find out boy or girl (now I know there are a million more things you could find out at this time as well). Sticking to the gender part though we were just so thrilled to learn she was a girl. It was the icing on the cake as Brian thought Crawford's only produced boys and looking at his family history had me pretty much convinced as well.

My whole life I dreamed of being a mom, but in all those dreams it was always to a little girl. I dreamed of pink, tea parties and ballet. I knew having a daughter would complete me in ways nothing else could. When we found out Addi was a girl those dreams only intensified. I know I would have learned to dream in blue, but hearing those words "it's a girl" was a joy like no other.

Now I find myself believing this second baby is a boy and that terrifies me. I know so many that lost boys and would do ANYTHING to have another little boy and it's not that I don't want to have a son, it's just that I don't want to miss out on the things that having a daughter means.

And then there is the bigger issue. Addison's room is pink and her clothes are pink. If this baby was a girl she could share most of Addison's things (as sisters do). We would change the room a little, but for the most part it would be the same. Her clothes would get passed down (some wouldn't work because of size and season, but that wouldn't leave many to box up).

A brother would mean everything goes. Pink walls would need to be painted blue and ALL her things would need to be boxed up. We didn't change her room one bit after she didn't come home and to do it now makes me feel ill. It's not like her room is any kind of shrine and I knew that some day it would need to be someone elses room, but now that is actually getting closer I feel like I can't breathe.

I keep telling myself healthy and alive is all that matters, but then I think quietly to myself and a girl...I need a girl and then I feel guilty and awful for thinking that the gender matters because we are just so lucky to have any baby at all.

My brother is one of the best things that ever happened to my family and if our son was anything like him life would be good and while Brian is amazing now....let's just say he wouldn't have been the kind of guy I would have hung around growing up...I wasn't into green long hair...did I ever write about how he used to have green hair!?!? Yuck! Seriously we are lucky we didn't know each other growing up because I never would have gotten over his green hair phase. Luckily I have only heard stories and try to block it out as much as possible.

Anyways back to my worry. I haven't been sleeping because I have been so worried about this ultrasound, worried about them finding a problem and worried about hearing for sure that we are having a boy. Pretty much every other blog I read from a BLM says that they don't care what their baby is as long as it is healthy and alive, which makes me feel like the worst mom ever because the truth is that I do care. Trust me I am pretty sure know that I can and will love a boy if that is what we are given, but damn those pink dreams just aren't going anywhere.

Brian is SURE we are having a boy and has convinced himself of that. I have tried to convince myself as well because the last thing I want to do is have gender play a role in my grief, but the more I convince myself the harder time I have with my grief over having a daughter.

A daughter would be no replacement for Addison, but it would mean that there would be a void that would be filled with all the things moms and daughters get to do and dads and daughters because lord knows Brian aches for this just as badly as I do.

Most people I know have already had their 20 weeks scans even before their 20 weeks and I purposely scheduled ours after. I needed it to be after Addison's birthday and then there is the other part. This scan makes this baby even more real. We are really pregnant, this is really happening and one way or another I will be delivering another baby...dead or alive. I just can't fathom losing another and yet I can't really grasp getting to bring one home, but I know we have to bring one home...we just have to. After this scan there will be more confirmation and they could tell us something is really wrong and I just can't go there. I need to believe this baby could come home with us (even in the smallest way) and I can't have anyone take that away from me...if I could hold off on this scan for another month or so I would probably do it and yet I don't want any surprises so here is it...almost here.


  1. I have a lot to say but have to run to the dentist so I'll be back later to comment. I cared. I wanted a girl. We had a boy. He's the best thing ever and we couldn't imagine it any other way. But I did have to get used to the idea and adjust. And he will never be dye-ing his hair green. I have 2 brothers and a husband who have all never had green hair, so don't worry too much about that.

  2. Oh, thank you for saying this. I also hope our little spark is a girl - much, much less desperately than I hope s/he is alive and healthy, but it's still there.

    It bothers me, too, but I've been trying to think about it this way: we lost our individual children (your Addi, my Elizabeth) and we can never get them back. But we also lost having any living child in our lives - so we try for rainbow babies. We also lost a daughter - so we hope for another daughter. It's natural to want to recapture as many little pieces of the life we had planned as possible, even in a different form.

    And I also know both of us would love a little son fiercely with every part of our broken hearts.

    On a different note - thank goodness I didn't meet my husband until our late twenties either! I never would have given his drunken (and sometimes bleached blond) self the time of day if we'd met sooner :)

  3. I hear you on this 100%. And it does not make you ungrateful. I was struggling with the same worries before we found out, and thankfully, we are having another boy. I didn't want a boy before Hayes, but after losing him, the thought of not raising a boy was enough to do me in. And the mere mention or thought of taking down his nursery made me sick. I seriously don't think I could have handled it. Also, I was terrified that my sister's next baby would be a boy, and I would have extreme issues with that. I really do want another girl one day bc I love the girly stuff, and raising Sloane has been so much fun, but I knew that a major set-back was heading my way if this baby had been a girl. Even though I know I would have been able to be excited after a while, it's a lot to deal with to think of not using our babies' things and raising the opposite gender. I know that you can handle whichever comes your way, and I will be thinking of you bc I know how hard this is. If you are having a boy, just give yourself time to grieve the loss of a girl for this go-round, and hopefully you will get one in the future. I will say, now that we are having a boy again, we are getting a lot of the "replacement" idea crap. No one has said it to me yet, but they have to Jason. I will punch the fool who says it to me. At least there wouldn't be that if you had a boy. Hugs!

  4. I feel you sister!

    I am one of those annoying people who doesn't really mind either way. I really, truly wanted both a boy and a girl and some spares.

    Before we found out with Jack, I would have sworn he was a girl.. And to be honest, I think I always kinda thought I would have all girls, and while I quickly grew to love the idea of a boy, part of me longs for the sweet little dresses, and seeing my husband cradle a baby with a bow in her hair. GAH.

    But a boy... Now that I've lost one, I want to meet his little brother... I still secretly hope they find a second baby in there and I have b/g twins (yes, I realize this makes me crazy, but you know... lol).

    Whatever happens, you will get through this and love the shit out of Addison's brother or sister. And as I believe is always the case, one day you will look back and realize you have been given exactly the baby you are meant to have right now.


  5. First of all - in no way does hoping for a girl make you a bad mom! I too hoped for at least one of the twins to be a girl (I really wanted one of each). When we went in for our anatomy scan, she first thought Baby A was a girl (his legs were crossed). She wasn't 100% sure, so she wrote "???Girl???" on the u/s picture. Right before going over to Baby B, A uncrossed his legs - BOY for sure! I felt my heart sink a bit. Then finding out Baby B was a boy too... I was happy everyone was still alive and healthy, but a part of me was a little sad. I felt horrible about feeling this way too. So many other women have been through much more than we had to even get pregnant and here I am, sad that I have two baby boys. I think it's natural though. We all have dreams of having a certain gender, and when it doesn't come true, you can't help but be a little sad. That being said - these boys are AMAZING and I can't imagine our family any other way!

    And a comment about Brian's green hair... I know where you're coming from there too! I would never have dated Troy if we met in high school during his "cowboy" phase! HA!!

  6. I know exactly how you are feeling. I had really wanted a girl from the start and when I first found out I was having a boy I was angry. Still can't believe I was angry about it though. I know sex shouldn't matter as long as the baby is healthy, and I would like a girl and a boy one day, but right now all I want is a little boy. What if that was my only chance at a boy and now its gone forever. I think its going to be hard either way, we were ready to raise those babies, my boy and your girl. If the baby is the opposite of the desired sex there is definitely some grief over the gender that will take place. But I know we will love the babies know matter what.

    My husband says I wouldn't have like him if I had met him when we were younger. He had a purple hair phase.

  7. You are totally normal and those thoughts/feelings go along with the territory. I know you remember my drama with the whole gender thing, but having living children makes my situation completely different than yours.
    Do not feel bad because you will love this baby more and more the farther you get along and once you know if it is a he or a she. The initial feeling may sting a little if it is a boy, but once you learn your baby is healthy that is all that will matter, I promise!!!

    BTW, I am still holding out hope that Addison's little sister is baking in there :)

  8. I had all the same fears. And I was sure Emily was a boy too. I think I convinced myself more out of needing to be prepared that I may not have another girl. It does make you feel very robbed of all the dreams you had in your head. I was afraid to have another girl for fear I'd be "replacing" Addison. And I was afraid to have a boy for fear of never getting to raise a girl. I finally realized it didn't matter what gender the new baby was. I'd always be robbed of Addison and there was nothing that would change that, make it easier, or make it less painful. I have another girl and I still feel all the sadness of not having Addison. It didn't really affect me like I thought it would. But when Emily was born and we saw girl parts (didn't find out ahead) I really was in shock cause I had convinced myself (and everyone else) that we were having a boy.

  9. I think it's like most things about being babylost. "Normal" preggos feel the same fears/hopes/concerns but it's intensified for us because our hopes/fears/concerns are loaded with our grief too.

    We wanted a little girl after too - which was odd because when we were pregnant with Emma, we both agreed that a boy would "fit" our family better. (We already had a boy and a girl and we felt our daughter needed to preserve her "only" label!) but then we lost a daughter and suddenly that's what we wanted. But, it was gentler for us than for you, probably because we already had one child of each gender at home with us, and without ever implying any one of them is ever a replacement for any other child, we knew a little about being parents to boys and parents to girls.

    We didn't find out ahead of time - we didn't have a nursery. Baby was going to be in with us (and STILL is now at 23 months!). Plus, we felt that finding out at birth would mean that any other emotions would be swept aside by relief and elation ... and so it was. When they held him over the curtain and I saw boy bits, I melted. I fell in love completely and wholly and utterly. He lights my life and I adore him. And it is right that he is a boy - he looks so much like Emma, it helps to have that major difference.

    But, there is a part of me that would love another daughter, a sister for my living girl. One of the reasons I have accepted my husband's desire to be done is that I fear I would be bitterly disappointed if I were not to have another girl - better to be grateful for the beautiful, beautiful babies I am fortunate to be raising.

    So, I understand and don't beat yourself up about hoping for another little girl. I hope your anatomy scan goes really well and that baby is wonderfully healthy - and that your gender fears are resolved somewhat.

    (And sorry for the epic comment!!)