male or female

Gender Disappointment

When the sonographer jubilantly announced the gender of our baby at our 20 week morphology scan, I burst into tears. Not happy tears. Chewing her bottom lip, the sonographer looked to my husband, who sat stoically beside my side as I wept. I had a perfectly healthy baby growing inside me, but all I could see was the gender that I didn’t want it to be.

You see, this was the gender I was completely estranged from. The gender that I had always been let down by. The gender who was always vacant in my life. A gender not of my siblings, only of cousins that I barely knew.

Besides my sobbing, the car ride home from our scan was deathly silent. “We’re not telling anyone the gender. I don’t want anyone to know the gender,” I anxiously pleaded. My husband so tenderly respected my wishes. We came to an agreement that we would tell our friends and family that we were keeping the gender a surprise. Selfishly, I stole that moment from my husband. I allowed my inability to deal with trauma ruin his moment to celebrate the gender of his first baby.

As each week passed, I became increasingly detached from the life growing within. I declined a baby shower. I had no enthusiasm to decorate a nursery. I hated all the clothes that were available. This tiny person renting my womb was a complete stranger to me. Erratic thoughts toyed with my mind. My lowest point came when sobbing on my kitchen floor. I called a clinic to discuss my options. I will forever live with the guilt that I dared to consider an off switch. This is etched in the darkest stem of my brain, stored deep between traumatic memories.

At 39 weeks, I nervously went into spontaneous labour. Things were about to get real and I was not ready to meet this baby. We arrived at the hospital at midnight, under the light of a full moon, a day shy of New Years Eve. I walked into the birthing suite with nothing but the PJs on my body and a couple of staple baby onesies in my bag.

Mine was a fast labour. By 2:05 a.m. I was fully dilated and ready to push. Delivering a baby is such an incomparable experience. So primal and so empowering. But as I began pushing, thoughts flooded my mind. Am I going to love this baby? Am I capable of being a good mother to this baby? Do I have any maternal instincts at all? Because, right now, at 10 cm dilated and pushing, the only emotion I felt was fear mixed with the physical pain of a vaginal birth.

It was on my third push that I felt my husband squeeze my hand. Laying in the birthing suite, scared shitless, he showed me undying dedication, encouragement, kindness, and support. He gave me the strength that I needed in perhaps my most vulnerable hour. At 2:17 a.m., I delivered my son. With his full head of dark hair, olive complexion, and full lips, I instantaneously fell in love.

My 39-week journey taught me a valuable lesson. Although our personal attachment style develops as a child, once we reach adulthood and have a better understanding of our formed behavior, we have two options. We can hold onto past trauma and live in a cyclic state of pain and despair, or we can welcome a future without being held by the past. To my husband and my son, thank you.

About the author

Insider info, secrets, confessions, and guilty pleasures. You write it. We publish it.

Submit here.

Follow Anonymous on Facebook or read more articles from Anonymous on Thought Catalog. Learn more about Thought Catalog and our writers on our about page.