Whenever someone finds out you’re pregnant, one of the first questions they’re likely to ask is “is it a boy or a girl?” or “are you going to find out?”. Our 20 week scan is rapidly approaching and after much discussion we’ve agreed that we would like to find out the sex of our baby if possible. Which has got me thinking, do I have a gender preference?
When I was pregnant with Max, I was convinced I was having a girl. All the old wives tales pointed towards a girl – the severe sickness, the fast heart beat, the cravings for sweet things, the high bump. And I have to admit that my preference was for a girl. I come from a family of girls and I felt that I would know more instinctively how to be a mother to a girl. But now I realise that as soon as your baby is placed into your arms, whether they’re a boy or girl is the furthest thing from your mind. And once you’ve met them, it seems like they could never have been anyone else – it was like I’d known Max for years, like he’d always been a part of my life.
This time around though, my feelings are more confused! I definitely don’t have a preference this time around – there are pros and cons to both (boy = we have lots of clothes already, girl = I probably don’t need to redecorate my office to be a nursery!). But I think when anyone who is already a parent considers having another child, you picture a little replica of your first in your mind – for me, another little blond haired boy running around. You love your child so much that you want to do it all over again, and because you have that visual reference, that’s what your mind imagines. Of course, I realise that they’ll be their own person. The likelihood of my husband and I, both dark haired, dark eyed, having another blond haired blue eyed little one is pretty slim, even putting gender and personality similarities aside. But your existing child is your only visual marker for what your next child might look like, so it’s natural to imagine them being similar.
On the other hand I would like to experience being a mum to a girl. It’s highly unlikely that we’ll have a third child as I find pregnancy very hard going, so this next child will be our last. I have a wonderful relationship with my Mum, and there are things that we enjoy doing together that I’d love to do with a daughter when they’re older (Max has already revealed his distaste for shopping!). But I think it would be nicer for Max to have a little brother – I can picture them both running around together, having fun (or more likely, having a blazing row, I’m not totally naive!). But I suspect that’s just my own feeling from having a little sister who I get on really well with. After all, there’s nothing to say that a sister and a brother can’t be just as close as two brothers or two sisters? I know plenty of brothers who don’t get on, and plenty of brothers and sisters who get on wonderfully. And certainly at the moment Max is equally happy playing with either boys or girls, so I don’t think he would have a particular preference.
Did you have a gender preference? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.