Though a healthy baby is first on the checklist for mothers-to-be, many moms have a secret — or not so secret — preference for their unborn babies. When a second trimester ultrasound revealed a boy instead of a girl, this mom felt devastated.

Desperately seeking sisters

The adrenaline of his birth and the way he clasped my finger tightly during feedings chased away any disappointment I felt with this sudden change in my planned family dynamic.

I always knew I would be a girl mom. Growing up without a sister left me longing for the mysterious and magical bond of sisterhood. My husband predicted my daughter would be a girl the morning I got a positive pregnancy test, and my second trimester ultrasound confirmed our prediction. During my second pregnancy, we opted not to find out the gender of our unborn baby.

I was shocked when my son wasn't the sister I had mentally bestowed upon my daughter, but the adrenaline of his birth and the way he clasped my finger tightly during feedings chased away any disappointment I felt with this sudden change in my planned family dynamic.

Dreaming of blue

I thought she was going to be a boy, and I thought having a boy after losing my dad would heal part of that ache.

Jennifer, who recently started an inspirational weight-loss blog, had a different reason for her gender preference. After her father's death, she imaged a baby boy would help her accept the loss of such an important man in her life. She shares, "I was very disappointed when I found out Cady was a girl, but it had more to do with the fact that I thought she was going to be a boy, and I thought having a boy after losing my dad would heal part of that ache. Thankfully the disappointment didn't last long."

Letting go of team pink

Robin's desire for a daughter was cemented early in her life. "I always thought I'd have a girl — I even bought a book about baby girls when I was in high school. I just couldn't imagine having a boy."

Robin with her son- gender disappointment

Finding out she was having a son during her second trimester ultrasound gave her time to adjust to the idea, though Robin went through a process of grief. Grieving the idea of a daughter while celebrating a son is a process recognized by other moms who suffered from gender disappointment. After many tears and coming to terms with a different picture of her life with children, Robin now has two boys and says, "We're done having kids and I couldn't imagine anything else!"

Moving forward

Gender disappointment can be a source of guilt during pregnancy. People judge your disappointment and think you're unhappy with your baby, and you're processing that your future is going to be very different from the future you imagined before the ultrasound technician changed your life forever. If you find yourself in tears over pink baby booties when you planned for blue, acknowledge your feelings — then let yourself fall in love with the little girl just waiting to steal your heart.

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