Living Columns & Blogs

Gender selection

I read with mild interest a few weeks ago an article on gender selecting your future children.

Given that I am one of the lucky ones with one of each, my initial interest in the article was minimal at best. After I had my daughter, I can't count how many people said to me, "Neat that you have one of each gender and you can be done now!"

Before becoming pregnant, I identified with a number of the women quoted in the article who said that they wanted a girl. Long before we had kids, I used to tell AB that I only wanted girls. Of course, he fell square in the boy camp. In the end, despite desperately wanting a girl, I think I figured whatever happened would be fine. After all, what can you really do about it? Or so I thought…

During my first pregnancy, I was sure the baby I was carrying was going to be the little girl I dreamed of. We didn’t opt to find out the gender, instead going for the surprise. It was truly one of the most anticipated moments finding out the gender of our baby at birth.

A boy. Not only that, but also the first boy born on my mom's side of the family in 50 years. It was no wonder I wanted a girl. They were all I knew!

Becoming the mom of a boy was hard at first as I struggled to find cute boy clothes and had visions of those rough-and-tumble beings that made me nervous most of my life. I envisioned every fragile item in my house broken and bugs and frogs becoming part of my daily life. Very soon, though, I changed my mind and fell in love with being the mom of a boy. And I also discovered I really don't have a problem with bugs or frogs.

My mother-in-law -- the mom of three boys and one girl -- once told me that she felt that she was meant to be the mom of boys and that in her honest opinion, she was a better mom to her sons. (We are always our own worst critic; we all believe she was a great mom to all four.)

I started to believe that I, too, was meant to be a mom of boys. My mom agreed from her experience -- she was the mom of two girls and routinely laughs at my sons antics as "things she never had to deal with!"

When I was pregnant with our second child, we once again opted not to find out the gender and I was again sure I was carrying a little girl.

The strange thing, though, was this time it wasn't wishful thinking. I remember telling friends, "I think I am having a girl" and feeling a touch scared at the prospect.

I was so used to boy things and loved the cute boy clothes that I had managed to find, and I looked forward to reusing them.

I also wondered how my husband would react to a girl. Would he be disappointed? He used to remind me of my record in guessing genders of unborn babies... something like 0 out of 26,794.

I am never right in guessing genders. Given that, he was flat-out convinced we were having another boy.

Sure enough, though, I had my first hit with my second child. A girl!

As I read the article on gender selection the other day, I tried not to feel upset with the people who declared such a need for one particular gender that they would undergo expensive procedures to ensure a child of that gender.

After all, from where I am standing, I have the best of both worlds. Maybe if I had ended up with my second boy I would feel that need to have ruffles in my house and wonder how much that was really worth.

Oh, and for the record, my daughter is the bug-obsessed one. She believes she is giving me a wonderful gift when she walks up and motions for me to hold out my hand and deposits a wriggly critter in my hand.

Would you consider gender selecting? Why or why not? And anyone else care to share their experiences?