Letting Go of the Idea of Having a Daughter: Pour Your Heart Out

Six years ago, I sat waiting for an ultrasound.

This was pregnancy number three for me and most likely my last. We’d talked about how many kids we wanted and it was either three close together in age or four, with two close together in age, then a gap of a few years, then two more close together in age. Since our other two would be just 3.5 and newly 2 when baby #3 would be born, we agreed that this would be it.

Although our plans might have hit a snag. Two weeks earlier, at my check-up, the doctor had commented that I was measuring bigger than expected and she said that though she couldn’t be sure, she thought it was possible she heard two babies’ heartbeats(she quickly said it could just be an echo when she saw my panic, but she didn’t sound convincing).

Fraternal twins do run in both sides of my family, so it wasn’t out of the question that I’d end up with twins.

And then I’d have four kids under four, instead of just three. The thought sent me into a bit of a hysterical panic, trying to figure out the logistics of that little curveball.

The doctor had offered to get me in for an ultrasound right away but she advised me that I’d have a better chance at seeing if I were having a boy or a girl if I waited just a little longer.

I thought about going in immediately, but I really wanted to know if baby number three would be a girl. So, we waited.

It’s not that we were trying for a girl. In fact, I pretty much wanted to kick anyone who asked if the only reason we kept having kids was that we were trying for a girl. We never were, we never even discussed how many boys or girls we wanted, just how many kids.

But still, this would be my last baby(or babies if there were twins) and if I were having another boy, I wanted to know. After having two little boys already, I knew I’d love having another. But still, I knew it was possible that I could have a girl and I needed to know before the baby was born.

I wanted that time to buy all things pink and purple if it was a girl and to take a few breaths to let those things go forever if I weren’t. To have the day my baby was born be completely filled with joy and not one single moment of sadness over not ever having a daughter.

When I sat and waited for that ultrasound, I thought about the possibility of twins. I prayed that if I were carrying twins, I’d have either two boys or two girls, not one of each. I worried that if I had a boy and a girl, the morons who liked to comment that I only got pregnant a third time to try for that girl would then say something along the lines of “You finally got your girl!!! Oh, and another boy.” As if the boys would automatically not be anything special because I already had two of those at home, but oh, that girl! Now, she’s something to celebrate.

I didn’t want to ever hear those thoughts. To have that boy ever hear or feel anything like that.

So I prayed that the babies would be the same sex. And I vowed that if I were only carrying one baby, the gender wouldn’t matter one bit.

When Hubs and I went into that ultrasound, the technician let us know that I was only carrying one. That my due date was off by about two months(that’s what happens when you have two babies around your house- you lose track of things like the date of your last period).

And then she moved that wand on my belly and there was no denying that I was having a boy.

As she continued to take measurements and make small talk that I’m glad Hubs kept up with, I didn’t say a word.

I took a few moments to let go of the idea of having a little girl in our family. Of a girl who might be like me in the ways that my boys were like my husband. Of having someone who would, while not evening the numbers in our home, at least make it so I wasn’t the only female. To accept that while I’d already been a boy mom for the past three years, I was always going to be one.

I looked at that baby on the screen and knew I’d love him. But I did need those few quiet moments to process not ever having a girl. That was why I wanted the ultrasound to find out instead of waiting for the surprise of delivery.

I didn’t want to have any of those thoughts when I held that baby in my arms on the day he was born. And I didn’t.

I love being an all-boy mom. I don’t ever wish I had girls instead of boys. I don’t even wish I had a girl in addition to the three boys I do have, because my family is complete with the five of us.

Still, I needed that moment, six years ago, to let go of the thought of having a daughter.


My beautiful boys.


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  1. says

    Aw, this made me tear up. You have such beautiful boys. And honestly, my son is easier than my daughter. I so wanted a little girl and I thought she’d be sweet and dainty, not loud and feisty. 
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  2. says

    Well, I found the courage to read it. And as expected, I am crying. You so eloquently said many of the thoughts I had – especially the not wanting to be sad in the delivery room. Thank you for opening up about this topic. I hope I find the peace you have found soon. I know we are done at 4 boys, but a part of me still misses the daughter I will never have. 

    • Shell says

      I knew I was going to have that moment of sadness. I didn’t want it in the delivery room. I’m so glad that I got it over with at the ultrasound. Not that I’ve never had any other twinges of wishing I’ve had a girl (I should write about that soon), but I do feel like my family is complete with all my little boys.

    • Shell says

      Agreed. And it’s a surprise whenever you find out- whether it’s in the delivery room or the ultrasound. I preferred the surprise earlier!

  3. says

    It’s weird, but I never wanted a daughter.  Somehow I knew before I ever had kids that I was going to have two boys and sure enough, that’s what I got.  I am enough girl for the house, so I think everything is balanced out over here and I don’t miss not having a little girl around.
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  4. says

    This is one of the things I’m scared of when we start having kids. I’d love a boy. I WANT a boy, but I want a little girl so badly. My mom and I have our differences (although we are still close) and I always see my aunt with her daughter and how close they are and I want that so badly one day. I already know if our first is a boy, then we will try for a girl and I’m scared I’ll be disappointed with the 2nd boy. 

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience! It makes me feel better and reminds me that no matter what, I will love whatever child we have together, even if I am the only girl in the house!
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    • Shell says

      From what I’ve heard from moms of all boys (or all girls), feeling some sort of disappointment is totally normal, but most of us get over it!

  5. says

    What a wonderful post. You wrote so well what many of us moms experience, whether it’s about boys or girls. I had 2 girls first and the entire time I was pregnant with my third baby, I was asked SO many times if I was “finally getting my boy?” Over and over. Right in front of my daughters. It made me almost want another girl just so I could love her every bit as much as people thought I would love that special boy. Of course, we were so happy and thankful to have another healthy baby, whether it was a boy or a girl, but it can be hard to reconcile the reality with what you expected or dreamed about.

    Your sons are beautiful and are lucky to have such a thoughtful and loving mother.
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    • Shell says

      When I was pregnant with my third, I heard similar things about finally getting that girl. In some ways, how defensive I had to be to the peanut gallery prepared me better for him to be a boy!

  6. says

    I love what you said here.  I am a boy mom, too, and I feel exactly the same way you do.  I wouldn’t change it for anything, but I did have to let go of certain dreams and expectations when I found out.  
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  7. says

    Oh, this is a very good post. Hubbi and I are only planning on having 3 kids, too. We have too girls right now and even though I’m a bit desperate for that boy, when I really think about it, I honestly just want the kid to be healthy. It’s a cliche answer, but it’s so true. So many things could go wrong and I’ve had a few scares in my family, so a healthy baby, despite the gender, is all I care about. Sometimes I do long for that boy, but then I think how I love my girls and what they bring to my life. Even though I can’t do anything more complicated than a pony tail and I avoid make up unless absolutely necessary, I still think I’m a good “girls mom”, lol. Man, you’re totally making me wanna do a PYHO post on this! I’m rambling!
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    • Shell says

      You should do one! :)
      I know it’s a cliché, but I said the same, I just wanted a healthy baby.

    • Shell says

      No, I totally hear you. For a little while, after we decided we were done at three, I had to readjust my feelings because I really thought we’d have four.

  8. says

    Oh, how I get this. I really do. I had always wanted all boys. Prayed for it. I am the oldest of 5 girls and I had enough girl drama to last a lifetime. When I was at the u/s for the twins, I was so nervous. I was either going to be a mom of a boy and two girls, a mom of three boys or a mom of two boys and a girl. I knew how to be a boy mom. I was more nervous that it might be a girl or girls. It was one of each and I heard a gazillion times, “Oh, how nice, you got your girl.” It made me hurt for Tommy. Then I got pregnant with Rocco and heard, “Oh, too bad Belle won’t have a sister.” I got looks of pity when they heard it was a boy…as if it wasn’t special to have three boys and a girl. After he passed and I got pregnant with Gia, not one person dared say anything. Bottom line was I wanted a baby and whether it was a boy or a girl, I was going to need to do some let going myself either way. I think that is totally normal. I bet if your third was a girl, there would have been feelings of letting go of being a boy mom again. As moms, aren’t we always letting go of some ideal we thought of in our heads? Btw, your boys are such heartbreakers! Those eyes and those smiles…melt my heart.
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    • Shell says

      People really do not think before they open their mouths, do they? It drives me crazy!
      At this point, I can’t imagine my family any other way than packed full of loud, adorable boys.

  9. says

    I had a very similar moment w/ our gender u/s with D. We really wanted a girl (for no really good reason) and when I found out it was a boy, I had to take a few moments too b/c it’s a strong possibility he will be our only. I’m glad I took those moments so I could fully and joyfully turn away from a Paris-themed room to planning a room just as sweet for a precious, much-wanted baby boy. Wonderful post, Shell.
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    • Shell says

      I wouldn’t change it, either. When we decided to stop at three, I actually had a few people say to me something to the effect of how they “knew” we’d have another if there was a way to guarantee it was a girl. I was so appalled. No, we were done having kids, no matter what the next would be.

  10. says

    Oh girl I so hear you!  When we had our last I prayed and prayed I would have a girl that time.  I remember the moment they did the ultra sound and said you’re having another boy.  I was in tears, it took a little while to process it and then I was over it.  I so wanted a little girl for all the same reason.  But I got a very loveable little boy that is all mommy’s boy.  My mom says because he knew momma wanted a girl that he is extra special for his mom :)

    • Shell says

      It seems like it’s totally normal to have that moment where we need to process and adjust our expectations. It’s not about being sad about what we’re getting, but about letting go of what we thought our lives might be like. My boys are all so sweet and loving.

    • Shell says

      I love being a boy mom, too. I do have a few nieces and so I shop that side of the store for them!

    • Shell says

      I knew I wanted at least 3 babies. Babies. Not boys or girls, but babies. I did think a girl would probably be in there somewhere, but I love how things have turned out.

  11. says

    We already had one of each when I got pregnant with my third and I really wasn’t rooting for either gender just a healthy and easy baby (did not get the easy part :)).  I didn’t realize how badly my husband wanted another boy until we were in that ultrasound room and I saw how disappointed he was with the girl announcement.  At the time I was pretty annoyed because I just wanted to celebrate our baby girl, but now I realize that he just needed that few moments to get over the disappointment.  And in the end he got to name her so it all evened out!
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    • Shell says

      I think the disappointment is more common that people think but most people don’t like to admit to having that moment!

  12. says

    I so appreciated this post. I’m pregnant with my second son and have a very, very strong feeling that when we go to have a third, it will also be a boy (I could be wrong, but I haven’t been about my other two boys so far). Even while being pregnant with this boy, when people would ask me what I was having and I told them, they’d say, “Oh, well, that’s still good. They can be buddies at least.” or “Oh, well maybe the next one will be a girl.” Who said I wanted one?! I’ll take whatever I can get, as long as it’s a healthy baby! I don’t get it. In any case, your boys are adorable and being the mother of boys is awesome. :)
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    • Shell says

      I remember people telling me that when I was pregnant with my second, that maybe the next would be a girl. At the time, my oldest was barely a year old and I was pregnant- I wasn’t looking to have another any time soon, let alone be worried about if that baby would be a boy or girl. People say the craziest things.

  13. says

    When I was pregnant with our daughter, I was praying so hard for a girl. Pregnancy was far from easy for me and I knew it would probably be my last one. And that pregnancy did actually begin as a twin pregnancy…and once I’d accepted that, I was just hoping one of them was a girl! Several weeks later, we lost one twin…but we did get our girl.

    My sister-in-law now has three boys. She said each time she got pregnant, she prayed for another boy. She said she just didn’t think she would have made a good girl mom…she’s content with having my daughter around.
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    • Shell says

      I’m so sorry for your loss. xo

      I joke around that I wouldn’t know what to do with a girl because I’m so used to be a boy mom at this point. My mil had two boys and so far just has grandsons.

  14. Angie says

    They are beautiful boys!
    I remember when B was born and they said “it’s a boy!” I said “It’s a what?!” I was completely shocked. Haha. Wouldn’t trade being a boy mom for anything though!

  15. says

    My husband is one of four boys.  When his youngest brother was born, the nurse looked at my mother-in-law and said, “I’m soooo sorry.”  My poor mother-in-law’s heart dropped thinking the worse.  The nurse continued with, “it’s another boy.”  I think if she had the strength, she would have punched her out!  She loves all her boys and never once cared if she had a daughter or not.  And your boys are beautiful!!  They must bring you so much joy!  Great post.
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    • Shell says

      I would have wanted to kick her. That’s so terrible to say to a mom! I love my boys and wouldn’t change a thing. :)

  16. says

    Oh I love this. I have one of each and we are done. Sometimes I still want another. And yes we are still young enough to have many more if we wanted. But as you said, our family is complete. And I wouldn’t change it for the world. But I love that you knew and realized that you needed/wanted to let it go so that when your 3rd was born you would have nothing but joy. :)
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    • Shell says

      I had a harder time letting go of the idea of having a fourth than I did letting go of the idea of having a girl. I did finally make peace with it, even though I’m told I’m not too old to have a baby now. *I* feel like I am, but I know plenty of women who have babies when they are older than me. But, for us, we are done and I’m happy with that decision at this point.

    • Shell says

      Oh wow! By the 6th, I would have just assumed it was another boy! When I was pregnant with my third, people would ask what I was going to do if it was another boy. I gave them weird looks and asked what, do they think I’ll put him back? LOL

  17. says

    I wanted a girl SO BAD when I was pregnant with my first. And second. And third. I never ever envisioned myself as a boy mom! And although I did end up with two girls, they are totally outnumbered by the six boys and I LOVE LOVE being a boy mom more than I ever thought possible.

    But I totally understand the need to let go of the idea you have in your head- I went through that with several of my pregnancies. I also wanted to come to terms with exactly who my baby was before the delivery room, just in case because I didn’t want to be disappointed or upset about it on their birth day.
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    • Shell says

      I’m very glad I found out at the ultrasounds what all of mine were. It did help their birthdays be full of happiness and not having to adjust expectations. But I do love being a boy mom, so much.

  18. says

    people always have something to say, huh?  as if those stupid questions HAVE a good answer.  part of me always wanted to reply with “i hope your parents weren’t hoping for a boy (to a  woman) just to stick it to them.  when we had a girl, it was oh now you have to try for a boy, and when we had our third it was, well, i’m sure you want another ___ 

    and once dd #2 came, everyone started asking us when we were going to try for another boy!

    i would have done the same thing- i’d want that moment of sadness and letting the dream go before that beautiful new baby was put in my arms 
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    • Shell says

      People confuse me with their need to make comments on things we can’t control. After I had my three boys, a girl I went to high school with kept fb’ing me, asking me if there was anything I’d done to try to get a girl because she had a boy and she wanted her next to be a girl so if I’d tried anything special, let her know so she’d know that didn’t work.
      I wrote back that all we’d done was tried for a BABY. And then I blocked her craziness.

  19. says

    I love this post and I love you! I don’t know if you know how awesome I think you are, but now you do. I can’t relate too much on the gender thing, of course we think about possibly adopting in the future and it would more than likely be a boy. But I do remember worrying if having our second daughter was a good choice and the repercussions of what we were doing to our then, only child, but as soon as I held Lil C in my arms all that disappeared in a moment. 
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    • Shell says

      Well, that compliment made my day! :)
      I do remember that feeling of being anxious about a second child, especially since we had ours so close in age. I was rocking my oldest a few nights before his brother was born and I started crying, imagining how different things would be for him. But of course, that all went away as soon as the baby was born.

    • Shell says

      I think it’s natural to have a little disappointment if things don’t go how we originally imagined them. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. We get over it. :)

    • Shell says

      I really think the twin thing is what helped me adjust better. The thought of four under four terrified me. I mean, I knew we’d make it work if we had to because we would have had no other choice. But I really, really prayed that we didn’t have to!

  20. says

    I can somewhat relate to this post. When I pregnant, I just knew it was a girl. I was 110% sure. That is until they said it was a boy. I needed a few minutes after the ultra sound to accept. I do love my son but was surprised by him. LOL

  21. says

    This made me tear up and nod my head continuously. Last January, I found out we would be having #2 in October, making our first 2.5 years old. It was a complete surprise. In March, I had emergency surgery because I had a heterotopic pregnancy. http://momsmessymiracles.blogspot.com/2014/01/miracle-2.html We then decided that this baby (if he made it) would be our last. We were blessed with another little boy in October. I know those feelings of being “outnumbered” and almost disappointed, but our family is complete. And our little boys will be like mommy in their own ways, they just won’t dress like us or have long hair we can put in pony tails :-)

  22. says

    I had made peace after babies #5 & 6 were both girls (the other 4 at home were girls too) that I would never have a son. And I had accepted it. Then, because of miscalculations of fertile times, I ended up pregnant again. I didn’t tell anyone I was even pregnant until after my 22 week appointment where I had my ultrasound (it helped that I was living 1000 miles away from any family). I found out it was a boy. I was just happy it wasn’t twins again because I already had 2 sets within the last 4 years. I kept getting the “Oh, you kept trying for that boy, huh?” Honestly, no. We were content with the 6 girls we had; he just snuck up on us. Although, if he had been born in place of any of the girls, I would have absolutely stopped right there. He is a handful compared to his sisters.
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  23. says

    I am totally right there with you! I have 4 boys and hear all the time asking me where is the girl and are we going to keep trying. Our family isn’t complete yet, and I do hope for a girl, but not as a the world is over without one.
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  24. says

    I can totally relate. The week before my ultrasound my Mom and I went dress shopping at a second hand store. I know that if #3 was a boy we would never be able to do that. I was glad we did. When I found out he was a boy I just re-sold everything. Now I am just hoping my brother has some girls.
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  25. says

    I believe things turn out the way they should. It’s funny, you get the girl comment and my husband? He often gets the “oh you didn’t get a boy” comment.
    I wish people would stop and think before speaking.
    We are happy we have two healthy children.
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  26. says

    I do love your honesty as always!
    I get asked a lot if I would like a girl if I was to try for a third child. 
    For me, if I wanted another, it wouldn’t matter if it was a boy or a girl. It would just be a matter of wanting a third. So I understand where you’re coming from.

  27. says

    Such a sweet post, you need to save or print out to have them all read when they are older!  I know how people can make you feel about the gender of your kids.  I had a son then a daughter but while I was pregnant with my second and found out it was a girl some people responded by “Aren’t you glad it’s a girl” . I was like, well I would be just as happy if it were a boy.  Kids are a blessing no matter what the gender.  And your boys are PRECIOUS!!!  
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