This isn’t something I have ever spoken about before. It’s not something I have admitted to for fear of sounding like I didn’t love my little boy who was growing inside me. I didn’t want people to think I was selfish or a bad mum. I didn’t want to let my husband down.
Right from finding out we were pregnant I was convinced we were having a little girl and my husband was sure it was a boy.
I knew that he desperately wanted a little boy. Someone to carry on the family name. Someone to play Lego with.
He knew that I desperately wanted a little girl. Someone to dress up like a princess. Someone to play Barbie’s with.
We already knew that we would find out the gender of our baby at the twenty week scan, so when the time came and the sonographer announced we were expecting a boy, the emotions flooded in.
I turned to my husband who instantly welled up, overcome with emotion. But I felt strange. I didn’t cry.
I was over the moon to see my husband so happy, so proud of his little boy, so proud of me for giving him a little boy. I was pleased I could do that. That I was providing him what he wanted.
But inside I was sad. I was disappointed. I was ashamed that I was sad and disappointed.
We began telling our families that this little baby was a boy and everyone was so excited. We went to the shops and bought him a little babygrow, proudly announcing it on Facebook to our friends and family that we were having a mini Darryl. Congratulations poured in from all angles, and still I felt numb.
I’d promised to bake a cake and take it into work the following day, revealing the gender to my colleagues with either a pink or blue sponge.
I tried to hide these weird and unnatural feelings when I spoke to them, to anyone really, and especially to my husband.
I felt guilty. I felt it made me a bad mum and I wanted to be an amazing mum.
I’d never read about gender disappointment online. I didn’t know it was a thing. I thought I was the only one. That I was being selfish and that my gorgeous little boy, my little man who just wants his mummy and daddy to love him, deserved so much better than I could give him.
As the pregnancy progressed, I started getting more excited. We started looking at clothes and toys. We decorated his nursery and chose him a name. I became at ease within a few weels, happy even, about having a little boy, dressing him up like his daddy, playing cars.
When the big day arrived and he was finally put into my arms, I cannot describe that feeling. The love, the happiness and the excitement was instantaneous.
He’s now three months old. I write this as he is laying on me, fast asleep, tiny little snores coming out of him. And he is perfect. He is more than I could ever have wished for. His smiles melt my heart and I realise that I cannot imagine him being anything other than what he is.
He is my son. My little boy. My everything.
Gender disappointment is a real thing and it is something that should be spoken about more often. It is not something to be ashamed of. It is not something we should hide away from.
We all have images in our heads of what our family will look like and if that doesn’t happen, it’s OK if it takes time to deal with. That doesn’t make you a bad person or a bad parent. It makes you real.
But when you hold your little boy or girl in your arms, when they look up at you with their big round eyes, when they nestle into your skin for comfort, you will love them unconditionally and at that moment realise that nothing else in the world matters.