There are many difficult parts of motherhood that you can never fully be prepared for. Some things can’t be explained, and need to simply be experienced. Other things are topics that aren’t widely discussed, even though they should be. And although I know there are many, many more, I wanted to share 3 hardships in particular that I’ve personally experienced.
Let’s call them the three “D’s.”
- [Gender] Disappointment
- Drying up
- [Postpartum] Depression
Since each topic is important to me, I’m going to be write about each one separately and how they have played a role in my life and mothering in my next three posts on Dayton Mom’s Blog.
The First D: [Gender] Disappointment
So many things can go wrong with pregnancy, including losing your precious baby. So when it comes to true disappointments, this one is low, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still significant. It’s a very confusing thing to experience, and I think that’s why it’s not talked about all that much.
I have 2 sons, and I’ll be honest, the moment I saw that teeny, tiny “wee wee” sticking out between my second baby’s legs on the ultrasound, I experienced some disappointment.
And that’s ok.
If you know me at all, you know that being a boy mom isn’t something that I would’ve expected. Growing up I was a total girly girl…barbies, tea parties, dress up, twirling around in those holiday dresses that fly up (you know the ones!) – that was me. 95% of my wardrobe throughout high school and college was some shade of pink, and 2 out of the 3 of the sports I played involved wearing a skirt for a uniform.
I had friends who were much less girlie than me, but I was always the one with enough makeup, hair products and cute outfits to share.
When I got pregnant for the first time, I didn’t really care whether it was a boy or a girl, I just wanted a healthy baby. I had always wanted a daughter, but at that time I had two nephews, and I loved them to death, so I knew how fun a son would be. And when the moment finally arrived that I heard, “see that? It’s a boy!” I was so happy, I cried.
But when I heard it a second time, the tears were different. I was honestly sad it wasn’t a girl. And then I felt ashamed for being disappointed, knowing so many women would do anything for a healthy baby of any sex.
However, the more I was honest with people about these feelings, the more I realized I wasn’t alone. Most moms who have kids of all the same sex have been, at one time or another, slightly, if not very disappointed. BUT that doesn’t mean they don’t absolutely adore their children. It just means they had to mourn a part of motherhood they may never experience.
And that’s ok.
Because when my second son was born, and his little, pink, squishy body was placed on my chest, I was not thinking, “oh man, I wish he was a girl,” or, “I don’t love him as much as I’d love a daughter.” The second our eyes met, I fell completely in love with him. Just like every mom who came before me has said, my heart mysteriously doubled in size. The love I have for my older son, the love I thought was so immense that I couldn’t possibly duplicate it was exactly that, and this time for a different little boy named Zeke.
So if you’ve experienced disappointment over the gender of any one of your children, please don’t feel alone. I’ve been there, and let me say it for a tenth time: IT’S OKAY. Give yourself the grace to experience the disappointment, mourn something you desired, but also know that it won’t effect the love you’ll have for your baby one bit. Because seeing a picture on an ultrasound screen is a heck of a lot different than holding your own flesh and blood in your arms.