Fortunately, Celia found a therapist who helped her understand the devastation she felt over having a boy.
Venis, RNC, director of nursing at Princeton Family Care Associates in Princeton, New Jersey, and president of Depression After Delivery Inc.
“If you in any way, shape, or form have a preference for either sex, it is interpreted as you are not being a good person, that you are not a good mother.” Celia, a New Jersey mother of two, remembers sharing her disappointment over having a boy with some coworkers.
I was in the toy department when my eyes zeroed in on a beautiful little girl sitting with her legs tucked neatly underneath her, quietly playing with a small wooden horse.
Kicking up a storm beside her was her little brother, who was noisily trying to shove a square puzzle piece into a round hole.
It was at that moment that I realized everything I had been looking forward to in having a child was intricately tied to having a daughter.
Dressing her in frilly clothes, braiding her hair, eventually helping her plan her wedding, and spending countless hours chatting over mimosas at fancy day spas—all of it gone in the instant it took the technician to cheerily chirp “it’s a boy.” Also, the prospect of having a girl eased my fears of motherhood.
Considering the innumerable societal, familial, and personal issues surrounding children, it is no wonder many women suffer varying degrees of sadness, isolation, and depression over the sex of their baby.
So what can women do to avoid, or at least ameliorate, these feelings? Ruth Wilf, CNM, Ph D, a certified nurse midwife at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, suggests that expectant parents reconsider finding out a baby’s sex through an ultrasound or amniocentesis.
“Or ‘My mom always wanted a granddaughter, so if I have a boy, she’s going to be disappointed in me.’ They personalize it, like they somehow have failed.” Compounding Gail’s sadness about having a boy was her mother’s obvious disappointment over the news.
“She had visions of the three of us girls going shopping together,” says Gail.
Unlike my sister-in-law, who had endured nearly two years of agonizing infertility treatments, I had become pregnant quickly.