Perhaps you’ve had your hopes and dreams set on having a little girl, but God hasn’t given you one. Or maybe He’s given you girls, followed by a string of boys. Or maybe it’s the other way around and you’ve only had girls and really would like the joy of raising a little rough and tumble boy to carry on the family name.
And you feel guilty.
You know you should feel blessed by the gender God has given you, but you can’t help but feel disappointed when it doesn’t turn out the way you had hoped. Sure you love those babies with all your heart, but deep in your heart you wonder if you’ll ever get your wish.
I know this because I’ve lived it.
My story probably isn’t the same as yours, but I know what it feels like to wish baby was the opposite gender. I know what the longing feels like. I know what the guilty disappointment feels like.
When Emily passed away in 2008, I desperately wanted another girl. Not that I wanted to replace her, but because I wanted to regain a little of what I had lost. Instead, I had a blond haired boy on New Year’s Day of 2009 whom we named Micah.
I remember my OB saying she felt it was probably best I did have a boy following Emily’s death, and I quickly came to the place where I agreed with her. He was a delight, and I was not sorry he was a boy for long.
When Micah turned 1, I found out I was pregnant again. This became a pivotal point for me. In my mind, I had “done my time.” I had birthed a boy child following my daughter’s death, and I “deserved” a girl. I became very wrapped up in wanting a girl. In fact, going into the sonogram, I was nearly sick to my stomach with anxiety. Because we never let the sonographer tell us what we are having, but we always look for ourselves, it leaves a shadow of a doubt we carry with us into the delivery room. However, looking at the sonogram that day, I was pretty sure I saw a boy.
And I cried.
All the way home.
And many days after that.
I compared sonogram photos of my other babies, hoping to be wrong. Hoping the little one I was carrying was not another boy.
But, he was…
Little Garin had colic and I had postpartum depression – both of these were firsts for our family. However, as Garin grew, and both the colic and PPD subsided, I began to see what an amazing gift the Lord had given me in this child. Garin was and is an absolute joy to raise. I realized I had squandered a lot of time wishing for him to be something other than what he was. I had not been enjoying my little boys because I was too busy wishing for another little girl.
When I became pregnant with our next child, I vowed NOT to waste time wishing for a girl. I threw myself into preparing for a new baby no matter the gender. We came up with a boy name we loved. I decorated in blues and yellows. And I began to ENJOY the boys God had given me.
Including the little boy named Creed born January 2013.
He was my third boy in a row, and I was thrilled!
I now have 5 boys. They are rowdy and rambunctious, but wholeheartedly devoted to their mama. In fact, I’ve come to a place where I’ve wondered if this baby is a girl, do I even remember how to be a baby girl mama again? It’s been 7 years since I had a little girl, and with Emily gone, my next girl in age is 10. My girls are at a very different stage in life than my little boys. My house is no longer filled with girly toys, but rather Legos and cars. Wrestling is a daily occurrence, and the words, “Don’t hurt your brother,” are said multiple times a day. This zoo of boys is my norm. In fact, the 4 youngest boys have taken on the collective term “little boys.” As in, “My little boys are all wearing red,” or, “Little boys, come here!”
Do I still wish for a girl? I don’t know if WISH is the right word. I would love to have the chance to raise another girl. Yet, I know in my heart it would be scary because of my circumstances – having had my last little girl pass away at the age of 7 months.
Do I feel I NEED another little girl. No, not anymore. I have learned to celebrate each precious life – boy or girl.
But, it wasn’t easy. It was a God thing.
I would like to offer you some suggestions on how to learn to celebrate each baby no matter the gender because I’m a practical person who likes to have tangible ways to help me work through difficult circumstances. These are not meant to be “band-aid” solutions or ways to just “get by.” These are ways to start training your brain to see your babies as blessings and gifts from God in exactly the gender package God intended.
*Enjoy the children you have. One thing I wasn’t truly doing was enjoying my little guys. I was looking toward the next pregnancy as the one that would bring me another chance at a girl. This is not how God intends for you to parent. Enjoy the babies you have! Find good things about having a string of boys (or girls)! Revel in the fact that these little ones were given to you and learn to cherish that!
*If you find out gender ahead of time, take that knowledge and make it special. Buy or make something special just for that baby. Celebrate – and I don’t necessarily mean a “Reveal Party” because that could backfire on you if well-meaning friends and family are disappointed and say so. Take time to enjoy your pregnancy and prepare for the new baby in a special way. Come up with a name you love. Take time to ponder who the new baby will look like. Thank the Lord for this new life and the privilege to carry this child.
*Don’t let others feel sorry for you. Even if you are feeling sorry for you, don’t allow others to do the same as that will only perpetuate your feelings of disappointment. You can be honest with those you love, but if you are going to learn to be content, you have to learn to be outwardly blessed by the gender of children the Lord has given you. You don’t have to quote Scripture to exude thankfulness. You need only to offer a smile and an appreciation for the children you have.
*Make having a lot of one gender special. This is where it gets fun! Dress them alike. Plan parties and outings and homeschool projects that cater to their gender. Be a boy or girl mom full force!
*Be joyful and count your blessings – but give yourself grace. Once upon a time, I had more girls than boys. In the blink of an eye, that changed. Of all people, I should have been thankful. I should have counted my blessings. But, in my humanness, I wanted what I did not have. Learning to see my boys as something other than stepping stones on my way to the girl I felt I deserved took time, humility, and an entire change of heart. I needed grace to get past the guilt and disappointment.
Do you have a story to share about your own disappointment? Perhaps you have an encouraging word for mamas traveling this same road. Please, feel free to share your thoughts and comments below so that others may be encouraged and blessed!