Gestational surrogacy is filled with joys and surprises—and one of the most exciting moments is when you find out whether you’re having a boy or a girl. If you’re an intended parent, you are probably anxiously awaiting this news. Or, if you already know, you may be wondering what it will be like to raise a child of that gender—especially if it is different from your own. In this blog, we’ll talk about gender hopes and disappointments, gender expectations vs. reality, and how to prepare for a boy or a girl.
Gender Hopes (and Disappointments)
No one wants to admit they are secretly hoping for a boy or a girl. But let’s face it—most of us are. You may dream of shopping for sweet little dresses trimmed with ruffles and lace, taking your daughter to ballet classes, or getting mani-pedis with your mini-me as she grows older. Or, you may hope for a baby boy, and imagine a future filled with fishing trips, baseball games, frogs and dirt. Many parents would be happy to have a boy and a girl, and are disappointed if their second child is the same gender as the first.
As much as you know you’ll love your new baby, gender disappointment is a real thing, and it’s normal to feel let down if you learn that you’re having a boy when you wanted a girl, or vice versa. The good news? You’re likely to be so thrilled with your new baby (or so tired from lack of sleep) that any disappointment over gender will quickly fall by the wayside after he or she is born. What’s more, you may be surprised to discover your child’s unique personality and individual interests are far more interesting than what society expects from his or her gender.
Gender Expectations vs. Reality
Many girls refuse to wear pink and would rather play in the dirt or kick a ball, than play with a doll. Plenty of boys aren’t interested in sports, and prefer video games, art, music or dance to football and roughhousing. Keep an open mind and let your child explore their own interests as they learn and grow. It can be fun to find out what talents your child may have. You may also find that supporting your child’s interests helps you develop new ones. For example, you may have never enjoyed live theater—but when you’re watching your own child onstage, it’s suddenly a lot more interesting.
Are Boys Really All That Different from Girls?
As mentioned above, it really depends on the boy or girl. You may have heard that boys are more noisy, rowdy, and difficult to manage. Or that girls are quieter, more well-behaved and easier to potty train. However, if you talk to parents with two or more children, you are more likely to hear about differences between one child and another, than one gender and another. It’s common for one child to be an “easy baby” while another is more challenging. Or, one child will be outgoing and bubbly, while another is more quiet and reserved. Ask your friends who have children what they think. Then, prepare to be surprised by your own child’s behavior.
How to Prepare for a Boy or a Girl
In the not-so-distant past, parents had no idea whether they were having a boy or a girl until the day their child was born. So, they bought gender-neutral baby clothes, made predictions based on the shape and size of a woman’s stomach, and generally waited to buy pink or blue accessories until the big day. Now, we can find out a baby’s gender months in advance—but whether it’s a boy or a girl, a newborn’s needs are the same. Your baby needs love, acceptance, nutrition, shelter, and of course, lots and lots of diapers.
Go ahead and shop for the things you’ll need right away, register for the things you want, and spend the energy you have leftover on yourself and your partner, if you have one. Read books about caring for a newborn, buy a journal to write your thoughts if you’re so inclined, and spend as much time as you can doing activities you enjoy. It’s impossible to know whether your baby will grow up to be the kind of person who loves a day at the museum, a night out at a nice restaurant, or a professional basketball game, but one thing is for sure. It’s a lot easier to do those things before you have a baby. So soak them in while you can, and get ready for an amazing adventure after your child is born. You’re going to love it.
Ready to welcome your baby boy or girl into the world?
Newborn Advantage can help you find the right gestational surrogate for your new baby. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions.