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Posted by on January 12, 2012

The Gender Dilemma

When you become pregnant, you learn about several unwritten rules you’re not privy to when childless. Apparently, these rules are supposed to be as innate as your “motherly instinct”, which ironically I have yet to discover.

And so today, I’m spilling the beans. Consider this your spoiler alert, if you’ve never been pregnant.

Rule #1    Don’t tell anyone you’re pregnant until you’re in the “safe zone”.
REASON: Fear of miscarriage or other complications

Rule #2   Don’t tell anyone your baby names
REASON: People are rude and they will steal them

Rule #3   Don’t tell anyone if you prefer a specific gender
REASON: As Mick Jagger once said, “You can’t always get what you want”.

I’ve literally broken every single one of these rules. Go figure. I’ve never been one to blend in with the crowd. But lately, my individuality has put me in an awkward situation. And it’s all because of Rule #3.

Let me explain…. 

As little girls, we plan the lives we want to have. We talk about our future husbands and the number of babies we want to have. We even try to foreshadow the gender of those babies and perhaps their names. But, as I’m learning, it doesn’t always work out as planned.

When we got pregnant with our first child, my husband and I both said we didn’t care about the gender. We just wanted a healthy baby. We lied. The last part is true… but we really did care about the gender. My husband wanted a boy and I wanted a girl. He won that round… and I gladly gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. After all, there was always “next time”.

Round two is a little different. People naturally assume you want the opposite gender with your second child. And there’s a lot of hype about it. Especially if you’re like me and your family is lop-sided with one gender. It’s been a long time since anyone has bought any pink dresses on either side of the family. In fact, I was the last girl born into the family. No pressure.

Despite our desires to have a little girl, I really tried to remain level-headed throughout the first half of my pregnancy. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, and to be honest, I didn’t want the added pressure of disappointment from our family. Because, let’s get real, it’s simple human nature to feel disappointment when a situation doesn’t turn out as planned. After all, the law of probabilty was on our side.

At 20 weeks, we had our “BIG ultrasound” and I was unbelievably nervous. It’s that kind of nervous you feel when you don’t even really know what you’re saying or what other people around you are saying. Everything is one big blur. I honestly don’t remember much from the ultrasound… except the part when the technician started typing “boy” on the screen. What? That must be a mistake. When she typed the word “penis”, I figured she knew what she was talking about.

I didn’t even have a chance to think about what all this meant when I felt a tear sliding down my cheek. I was so mad at myself. How dare I be upset about this. We had conceived a perfectly healthy baby, and that’s the most important thing. If that wasn’t good enough, then I didn’t deserve to have another baby. I had absolutely no right to be sad. But telling myself not be sad just made the tears come faster. I felt a squeeze on my leg. It was husband reassuring me everything would be ok.

I’m telling you this story because this exact situation is played out in many families, yet few people talk about it. Why? Because no parent wants their child to ever feel like they weren’t wanted because it’s simply not true. As women, we love our babies before we ever meet them- regardless of their gender. But, that doesn’t mean the big reveal isn’t a bit surprising.

Having gone through this myself, I’m here to say it’s ok to shed a few tears. After all, the additional hormones make us extremely emotional during this time anyway. For me, I just needed to take some time to digest everything. I took the rest of the day and reflected on what it meant to be the mother of two boys. By the next morning, I had thought of 100+ reasons why having boys was actually a blessing. I was confident, happy and ready to share the good news with family and friends.

And just in case you’re wondering, we are planning to have more children. Perhaps four total. And I’m expecting them all to be boys :)

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  1. Thanks for your story!!! Honesty is so refreshing!! I too have broke all 3 rules. To be honest, I don’t really care. I don’t care what peoples comments are about how My husband and I are planning our up coming bundle of joy. I am going to be 33 when the baby is born and this is my first. I have waited a long time for this moment. And not to anyones fault, just that I have had a lot going on in my life. I was in the Army, lived over seas, served in Iraq twice and traveled the world as time aloud. I wouldn’t trade it for the world but as you can see that timeline didn’t leave much room for a baby. Now I’m out of the Army, Hubby is still in but retiring soon. So now is a good time for us.
    Also this is the first Grandbaby for my parents. They are 65 and 63 respectfully and have been dreaming of this moment. When we found out I was pregnant I was 6 weeks along. And we told my parents that weekend. My thought was my parents have waiting so long. Why keep the joy from them. And if GOD forbid, I did have a miscarriage. I would want my parents to know. I am close with them and they would know something was wrong. After I told them, I asked them if they wish I would have waiting till the “safe period” and they both said “NO” without even thinking. They thanked us for telling them.
    As far as the gender, We are not going to find out. I feel like I have waited this long, I can wait 9 more month (or 6 months as of monday) In my mind I always pictured myself with a little girl. But my gut is telling me it’s a little boy. Sometimes I am sad when I think of what I can’t do with a little boy but I have starting thinking of all the positives and I am starting to feel better about the fact. It’s only hard when I see the cute little girl clothes in the store :)
    Sorry my comment become so long. I guess I had more on my mind than I thought. I wish you all the best to you, your husband and (2) boys. Thank you for sharing your story!

    Comment by Megan — January 12, 2012 @ 3:10 am

  2. Hello Sunny! I have not listened to pregtastic very much in the last year or so, so I was excited to download an episode yesterday where you said you were pregnant with your second. I too am pregnant with my second and we are due on the same date! April 28, and I will likely have a C-section as well. Cool. I just wanted to say that this post SO resonated with me but for a different reason. I have a two year old son and even though I always thought I wanted a girl, having a little boy changed my mind. I just adore his little masculine self and when we found out we were expecting #2 I thought “I want another one JUST LIKE HIM”! I didn’t know if I was capable of loving a little girl. Anyway, fast forward to Dec. 20 when we had our ultrasound and I was just as nervous as you were. My parents and husband (who all squeezed in the room with me) were perplexed as to why I was so nervous and I couldn’t explain it to them. When the tech said “It’s a little girl!” I cried. It wasn’t dissapointment per se, it was fear of the unknown. And I am still scared, three weeks after the big reveal. I suck at hair and makeup and clothes! What if she hates me? What if she and her brother don’t like playing together because they don’t like boys/girls. I know I’ll be ok (and you will too!) but I think the initial shock and fear is totally normal, regardless of what gender you hope for.

    Comment by Kasey — January 13, 2012 @ 9:33 am

  3. Sunny, this is an amazing blog post. Your honesty touched me so much. I’ve always appreciated that about you in your role as the host. I am so happy for you and all the men (big and little) in your life!

    Comment by Jane — January 25, 2012 @ 6:27 pm

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