Is it wrong to be upset on finding that the sex of your baby isn’t what you want?

Is it wrong to be upset on finding that the sex of your baby isn’t what you want?2017-02-23T13:57:30+00:00
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Firstly, please do not hate yourself for feeling this way. You are not unusual nor abnormal to be feeling disappointed. Many women have regrets over some aspect of pregnancy, birth or their baby. Some of these regrets may be very fleeting – others may linger for many years, simmering below the surface.

Often these regrets may appear, to an outsider, to be relatively trivial – compared to the ‘real’ problems suffered by some women. This view is insensitive and unhelpful. What matters is your perception of the problem, and the degree of your personal hurt. You have every right to feel sad and upset. (But please don’t feel a failure! None of the ‘popular’ ways of choosing the sex of an unborn baby have any scientific backing – so feeling guilty about not ‘doing it properly’ is no more logical than feeling inadequate because you can’t control the weather!)

Secondly, try to give yourself time. For almost all women, pregnancy is a roller coaster of emotions. Your hormones, tiredness, niggling health worries, family demands – all these things tend to heighten our emotional response during pregnancy. Time alone may ease your distress. Concentrate on taking each day as it comes, focusing on the ‘here and now’, rather than jumping ahead and tormenting yourself with the future. Choose a simple relaxation technique and practise it often so that you can relax your body at will, and clear your mind, for a while, of unwelcome thoughts.

Thirdly (and perhaps most importantly), please find somebody to talk this through with. I sense that this is a major problem for you – certainly not one that you should expect yourself to deal with all alone.

I understand why you feel unable to talk with your family, fearing that they may just try to minimalise your distress. (This is a very human response when those close to us are unhappy and we can do nothing tangible to help.) There are, however, other people, whose role it is to support people struggling to deal with difficult situations.

Have you considered talking to your midwife or health visitor? Please do not feel that they will judge you harshly – both will have met similar situations before. Alternatively, you may feel that your GP is slightly more ‘removed’ and therefore easier to talk with. He or she will also have access to a range of professional counselling or mental health services.

You may also feel that it is appropriate to talk with ‘Relate’ since this problem clearly has implications for your relationship with your husband. You can be counselled alone, or with your husband. You could also contact ‘Parentline’. This charity offers emotional support to all parents, plus information about further sources of help.

In some ways, you are fortunate to have found out the sex of your baby at this stage of your pregnancy. You have time on your side – time to work this through before you meet your baby in person, time to arrive at some kind of acceptance so that your disappointment does not sour those precious early days together.

Hannah Hulme Hunter