Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Gender Disappointment

When you think about it, boys can turn gays or little girls can turn lesbians. Girls may grow up not wanting to get married at all. Precious little boys may grow up to be hardened criminals. Your darling boy may grow up raping, abusing, or exploiting some other parent's beloved little girl. And that sweet girl you dressed in pink all her childhood life may grow up choosing to be a sex worker.

Despite all those grim possibilities however, Gender Disappointment remains a sad reality. It's also something frowned upon by society, considering that there are couples who aren't being blessed with a child. How dare anyone, indeed, to be disappointed over a healthy baby just because it isn't the right gender.

I feel sad and offended for girls born in Chinese or Indian families because they are generally considered as liabilities. We have heard of enough atrocities done to them, feeding them last, leaving them to die, throwing them away as if they're garbage. I also feel offended by parents who pay for sex selection procedures because I feel that's really tampering with nature. It's not like using ovulation charts or going on a specific diet or timing lovemaking where you just increase (or hope to) the likelihood of having a baby of a particular sex. It's like the difference between contraceptives and abortifacients, one gender is actively rejected, denied and/or killed.

But you know what? I understand gender disappointment all too well. I was not disappointed at all with my firstborn son's gender, because I really wanted our eldest to be male. But I long for a girl, have always dreamed to have a girl, was okay about having only girls, and know that something in me will die somehow if I don't have a girl.

And much as I long to dress someone in pinks and yellows (because it's cute!), I am really not that type of woman anyway. I am not girly, I don't have fashion sense and I don't swoon over shoes, bags and shopping in general.

But I have always dreamed of having a girl, someone I can relate to as a woman someday, someone I will empower as a woman in every way I know how, in every way I was not. Honestly, I have imagined baking bonding with her, pajama parties with her, talking about boys and love with her. I have imagined talking about the good stuff with her, like sex, sisters, marriage, mothers and motherhood. I have also imagined talking about the bad stuff with her, like rape and abuse and bad mothers.

I dream of getting her to breastfeed as well as adopting my other passions, my other advocacies. It's not that I want a mini-Mec exactly, more like, I want to raise a happier, more empowered woman than I will ever be.

I made sure to find a man who I know will be a great father to a little girl, because he is gentle and loving and I wanted my girl to grow up having such as a father figure.

I didn't have such fantasies over boys. It was only after having a beloved nephew and then having a son that I started imagining going on 'dates' with my son, so he'd learn how to treat a woman properly.

So yes, secondary infertility aside, I (we) would really love to have a girl for a second baby. And yes, I will be disappointed if it's another son.

Does that mean I will not breastfeed him though? Or that I won't care for him? Or love him? Or raise him as intentionally as I could? Of course not!

And if we had a girl, would I love Yakee less? Heck, the idea that I could love Yakee less spells i-m-p-o-s-s-i-b-l-e to me. But I will love that little girl a little differently.

And yes, I will admit to aching for another baby, a girl, lots of times. I am thankful, however, that the aching has not consumed me yet enough to be depressed about it, or to want to take extreme measures for it.

*~*

It was Kris Aquino where I heard it from, who heard it from Donita Rose I think, that we shouldn't put a limit on God's capacity to give us our heart's desires. Just because we have a child already shouldn't make us feel guilty about wanting another one badly, same way that it's no crime to want a child who's healthy or a specific gender. There is nothing wrong in wanting more, even though you are already blessed, so long as there is nothing wrong about what you want.

Plus, the weird thing about love is, it doesn't get divided as you have more, or find more, to love.

*~*

I recently smiled at Mama Benz' frustration over people automatically assumming they want a boy, since they already have a girl. But since I now want both genders, I can relate with the annoying people. I mean, of course you'll wish parents to experience raising both genders, and having someone they can relate with in a level that is primal.

I still seriously don't know how I am going to teach my son how to properly hold his peen as he pees. But I know what I will tell my girl when she has her first period.

But of course, I know how that's frustrating for people who want the same gender for their next child. And it may put more pressure or anxiety on couples who are also hoping for a different gender.

*~*

Lucky are the ones with no real preference. Some people didn't daydeam as much as I did anyway.

Lucky also are the ones who are blessed with what they want.

Lucky still are those who learn to live with what they are blessed with.

And my heart and prayers go out to those who start aching for this in a desperate, unhealthy way.

*~*

And please don't bring up any "which would you rather have, a healthy baby boy or a special needs girl?"

First, that is very insensitive to couples who have likewise grieved over a special needs child. I doubt that a day goes by without them feeling hurt, angry, terrified and sad. But they all usually learn to embrace what blessing has been given to them. They have found rewards in the challenges. Just read Nella Cordella's birth story. Or parents blogging about Down Syndrome. Or Rachel Coleman with a deaf child and another one with cerebral palsy.

Secondly, it's stupid rhetoric. And I will not be ashamed to say that I have never, and will never, pray FOR a special needs or sick child. I am still mourning Pyro and I don't think any parent wishes to be challenged in so many different ways by a special needs or sick child. And if God ever brings one my way, I am almost sure I will die every day.

But I am a Mom. I will love that child, defend that child, protect that child. I am also sure I will keep finding reasons to live every day for that child. For all my children.

*~*

In the meantime, may God see it fit to bless us with a second child soon. And if it's not too much to ask, let it be a girl! Just hopefully, not as moody as me. Haha.

1 comment:

Amphitrite said...

touching naman.. buti ka pa you know that you want another baby.. ako di ko sure kung gusto ko pa ng isa :)