Sunday, April 11, 2010


How does one deal with disappointments?

Is it based on how we were raised? Our religious convictions? A combination or other things entirely?

I am one of these people who pray on things. I pray that if things don't turn out the way I would like that I will accept this as God's will and be able to bear it. I don't always succeed.

Recently one of my best friends became pregnant despite being told she would have a very uphill battle to do so. She did need some minor help, but got pregnant immediately and is nearing 20 weeks.

She had always wanted to have a little boy but had been, since getting pregnant, getting herself used to the idea of a girl. Her husband has a son from his first marriage who has 2 half-brothers on his mom's side. The men in her family were all about wanting a girl this time around. My friend is a people pleaser and would have loved to have given her husband and step-son a daughter and sister, but, was thrilled at her ultra-sound last week to find out she was having a boy and that they were just as happy.

She told us that she did feel a twinge of something, but Jeff quickly assured her that she was only human (before I could even process a thought! sometimes my husband really amazes me) and those things happen and we shouldn't feel guilty about them. I told her that during my first pregnancy when I didn't know the sex of the baby, I had no expectations. I only looked at yellow clothes. I had long lists of names for both sexes. I listened as one person told me I was having a boy because I carried low and another tell me I was having a girl because I threw up EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. When Shelby was born, I had a very hard time believing I had a girl. For one, my husband's family told me almost daily that they only had boys (and he is one of four boys). And since I had no expectations, I am sure I would have been just as surprised to be the mom of a boy. But I got that twinge. When Shelby was about four months old I was shopping and saw so many cute little boy outfits. In my mind I thought, "So this is what I would have bought for a boy." The feeling lasted a brief second as the sleeping baby in my cart that I never imagined I would have reminded me of the gift I had been given. And two short months later I was pregnant again, this time with the first of my two boys. After sharing this with her, my best friend said she had gone to the mall the day after her ultrasound and saw all these little boys with their mothers and thought to herself, "This is what I get to look forward to!"

But I know many women who have cried for days on end after an ultrasound where they found out the sex wasn't what they were expecting. And in one extreme case, I know of an intact family who turned their daughter over to social services after she was born because she wasn't a boy. I'm not posting these as judgment, just as a contrast to the other example.

I know people who do not find out the sex of the baby simply because they fear they might not like their own reaction. I find that opinion extreme because honestly, even if you follow Landrum and Shettles to the letter, there are no guarantees you are getting what you are trying for. And I have seen people be downright competitive. For what? I have no idea.

Disappointment is something I feel when my team doesn't make the playoffs or I don't get a job offer I really want. Disappointment is when I expect something better than what I end up with. Wondering what if about a baby...I don't qualify that as disappointment.

And I while I don't fault people who may have a much different reaction than my own, I do sometimes wonder about the degree of the reaction. I wonder if people remember that God is always in control, not us.

1 comment:

Ambrose said...

You know, we often think of the gender preferences as some sort of backwards thinking often seen in other countries (like, idk, China). While we definitely see it here, we can see it in the US. My best friend's brother and his wife had secured a private adoption with a young unmarried woman and her boyfriend. The doctors and the ultrasound techs all said the baby was a girl. Of course, my friend and her parents starting buying girl things like crazy. When the baby was born---you guessed it by now, I'm sure. A boy. It was only after learning he had a son the birth father started yelling in the hospital about needing to challenge the adoption. No challenge made it into court, thankfully.

Of course, I blame modern medicine in a way. We are so deluded that we can plan and control, what with birth control pills, and IVF, and ultrasounds, and planned inductions and planned unnecesary C-sections (not you, of course), and surgical sterilization that we forget who really is the Giver of Life.