It’s a What??? Dealing With Gender Disappointment


pregnant mom looking at ultrasound while dealing with gender disappointment

When I found out I was pregnant with my first baby, I ran straight to the mall. I ended up buying a 0-3 month hot pink polka-dotted bathing suit with an attached tutu (you know, because where else would I want to be right after giving birth than a sandy beach? Pfffff.) and a pair of teeny, tiny, gold sparkly Mary Janes. Her name was Ruby. She was going to be sassy, and strong, and sparkly, and I couldn’t wait to meet her.

It’s a What?!

Fast forward to Christmas eve – 16 weeks pregnant. Matt and I couldn’t possibly wait until the 20 week scan to find out the sex, so we drove 40 minutes and paid $60 for an ultrasound on a freezing cold morning in Cambridge. Some bumper to bumper traffic and a few hormonal meltdowns later, we arrived.


“Can you move a little Miss, I can’t seem to see the important parts.” “Can you stand up? Maybe drink a little and jump up and down. We need to get this little one to move.”  “Oh! There is it!  Look at that!  It’s a boy!” Time stopped. I looked up at the screen. Now, for those of you that worry after the ultrasound that maybe the technician messed up and told you the wrong sex, you have never seen a penis on an ultrasound. This was not a maybe-those-are-just-long-lips kinda thing. This was a fucking dick and balls, clear as day, staring me in the face.

Gender Disappointment Attacks!

If you have ever seen Tyrell Owen in the end zone (yeah. I am that cool.) that is what Matt looked like upon hearing the news. Fist pumps. Jumping. Yelling. And then there was me – pregnant, belly exposed, feeling nauseous, sobbing. Now, I don’t mean like kind of crying but hiding it, I mean losing-my-shit crying.

Now, of course this is insane. I have a wonderful healthy baby inside of me. Many women would give anything to be in this position. I get it, of course now I get it. But in that moment, I had instantaneously time traveled to this little boys wedding where he was marrying a crazy, controlling biatch who hated my guts and wanted him to move Alaska. Who the hell was I going to get a pedicure with?! Yeah — I was sobbing uncontrollably about a lost pedicure a few decades away. WHATEVER. I was unglued.

On our way home we stopped at Petco to get my sister-in-law a fish for Christmas (she was the lucky one that got me as her Secret Santa). I was stomping around Petco, bullshit, wiping away tears while I picked out a bowl, some neon orange rocks, a weird plastic fern, and a blue beta fighting fish.

That night we surprised Matt’s family with a picture of the ultrasound at dinner. I wrote, “It’s a Boy” on the frame. Everyone was thrilled. Christmas morning we did the same thing for my family except I wrote “It’s a Fucking Penis!”. My two brothers reacted similarly to Matt. My mom gave me big hug as I cried through a smile saying, “I’m okay, I’m okay.”

Realizing the Truth

Fast forward and now I am living happily ever after with my two little penises.  And of course, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have actually learned that I can have it all. I shop in the girl’s section for pants until the boys are at least 18 months old. Nice, tight little nut huggers. I paint Rex’s nails, and we load glitter into his dump trucks. I put Rocky in little gold moccasins that have almost lead to divorce on a few different occasions.

I do hope to have more kids, so maybe someday I will have a daughter.  But I am pretty certain only dicks come out of me, and I think I’m good with that. I will say, even if I give birth in the dead of winter – if it’s a girl we are leaving the hospital and heading straight to an indoor water park, and that chick is gunna rock that pink polka-dotted bathing suit like she owns the joint.

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  • I am so glad that I am not the only one that has gone through this. This is my third and final pregnancy; too hard on my body. I had morning sickness the moment I was pregnant and it continued midway through my second trimester! I could have sworn that I’m carrying a girl but, low and behold there was a penis on the screen! I cried a little, just because I don’t like to cry in front of others but, I felt the same way. Who am I going to go get a mani/pedi with, dress shopping with, share womanhood stories with?? I love all of my boys and their future spouse better realize I will go momma bear on her if she hurts them!

  • Yep! Three boys later, I’m living in a Sausage factory. Even the dog’s got one. And we’re going through all of the “You don’t want to try one more time??” You know, because being pregnant is a lot like grocery shopping when you’re hungry, and you can just run back out ten minutes later…

  • With two boys at home and 18 weeks pregnant with #3, I absolutely have to find out.
    We didn’t find out with the first two, and I was just a tiny bit bummed when #2 was a boy (in all honesty). I don’t want this baby to hear my first words to him to be “Oh, crap.” So I need time to process… prenatally.
    And if it IS a girl, we need time to shop!!

  • That’s so much of why I don’t find out gender beforehand. I don’t want to have that moment, for even a second, of disappointment. It’s much harder, if not impossible, to be disappointed once you’re holding that sweet baby in your arms. 29 weeks in with baby # 4 now and a girl would be soooo much easier (we already have all girls). I just know, no matter what comes out, I’ll be overjoyed to be his/her mommy.

  • I was so convinced I was having a boy – and knew I’d be upset if I found out the baby was a girl – so I didn’t even bother finding out. I waited for that delivery surprise, and after 29 hours of labor I couldn’t have cared less boy/girl other than that the baby was OUT OF ME! I did have a moment of "did someone say girl?!" but then in an instant I no longer pictured my little boy and fell madly in love. She now wears some boy shirts – with bows of course 😉 And, if we have any more, I’d love another little girl (so I’ll probably end up with that boy!).

  • BEEN THERE!!! but. sad to say I was the opposite… i wanted a boy and was convinced… but… now, couldn’t be happier!

  • I have two boys. The first one we didn’t care what gender it was because we didn’t have either one yet and either one would be an adventure. Was quite happy to learn the first one was a boy because I loved having an older brother and was happy that his siblings would get to have an older brother as well. The second one we wanted a girl and thought for sure it was a girl because my second pregnancy was so very different than my first. I was so much sicker for far longer. When the technician said it was a boy I was mildly dissapointed but accepted it because nothing about my kids would make me stop loving them. My husband was utterly dejected and it took a couple of days to come to term with the fact that he wasn’t going to have his darling little princess yet. He had even started buying girl clothes because he was so sure and so hopeful. We even had her name already picked out and had been referring to the baby by that name. The youngest son is now 3 months old and we adore him just as much as we adore our oldest. But we are still holding out hope that the next child will be able to wear the cute pink clothes we have put away.

  • That is a hilarious read. Honestly, I’ve been pretty judgemental about people who have a preferred sex for their baby… I know I shouldn’t (opinions are like assholes, right?). This was a refreshing lil read and I’m going to try and be more understanding of everyone’s right to their own feelings!

  • I too can relate to this, but in the opposite direction. I grew up with all brothers, most of my friends were guys, and I couldn’t imagine raising a girl. Whenever I pictured my future child, I saw a little boy running around. When the ultrasound tech said ‘two dots and a line, that’s it’s hoo hah!’ I had a confused moment of ‘two dots and a line, that’s balls and a penis, right? What’s a hoo hah?!’ until I realized there was no penis there. The sadness that came after wasn’t necessarily that it was a girl, but more that I had lost the little boy that had been living in my head for the last four months. Of course now that I have her I couldn’t even imagine having a boy, and she’s the best thing ever. But at the time? And for my first? It took some getting used to.

  • Recently I’ve seen a handful of posts like this, in which women who wanted a little princess bemoan the fact that they’re having a son. A child isn’t an accessory or a plaything to dress up. You don’t have a child to serve your needs (to have a girlfriend to get pedicures with and keep you company when you’re old). My second-trimester ultrasound experience was confirming that my baby had indeed died and that I was, in fact, having a miscarriage. I would have given anything to have a happy baby, even–gasp!–a boy. I appreciate this blogger’s honesty; it’s probably hard to admit feeling disappointed about your baby’s gender. I just can’t relate to this post.

    • Agreed. This is a human being we are talking about not an accessory. People really take for granted having a healthy baby and the fact that they can actually have children. It’s just selfishness. This mindset is dangerous and can only lead to harmful actions.

  • Thanks for talking about this. I desperately want a girl, and I’m not sure what I would do with a boy. Of course love him to bits and put him in little bowties. But I would be like you, just bawling on some poor ultrasound tech. I’m not yet pregnant so it is all yet to be seen, but I live in fear of this. I luckily have a friend group where it is mostly safe to express this without too much judgement, but there is still such a stigma about talking about it at all. So thank you!

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