I’m Right, You’re Wrong

by Marinka on February 17, 2011

Welcome back to I’m Right, You’re Wrong, where you get to weigh in on the moral dilemmas that my loved ones and I are facing! What could be more fun?

This week is a special treat–I had a disagreement with the very funny Teresa Strasser. The fact that we had this disagreement while I was reading her book, Exploiting My Baby: A Memoir of Pregnancy & Childbirth doesn’t make it any less valid. What, next you’re going to tell me that you can’t disagree with inanimate objects. Because I’ll never forgive my floor lamp for the things it told the desk about me.

: Is it possible for some pregnant women to really and truly not have a preference about the gender of their babies?

Cast of Disagreers
: Marinka and the hysterically funny author, Teresa Strasser.

Position One
: There are two kinds of people who tell you they don’t have a gender preference when it comes to their baby: big fat liars, and women so well adjusted they aren’t counting on their kid to help them resolve any issues from their childhood.

Position Two: There are two kinds of people who tell you that they have a strong gender preference: Those who really, really like the baby girl clothes and those who live under One Child Regime in China. Other than that, there are plenty of parents who sincerely do not care about the gender of their baby, as long as it grows up able to make a decent martini.

Where are you on this? Did you have a strong preference? Do you know people who did? Or were you in the “eh, whatever” camp.

This post was inspired by Teresa Strasser’s Exploiting My Baby: A Memoir of Pregnancy & ChildbirthFrom Left to Write On Line Book club. Oh, also, I use affiliate links for Amazon, so if you click on the Exploiting My Baby link in this post and order the book, I’ll get some coins thrown my way. I recommend that you order the book in bulk.

One year ago ...

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

February 17, 2011 at 1:00 am

I thought I cared and then I had one, and guess what? Poop is poop regardless of gender. As in if I have to change another dirty diaper I’m going to run off with my imaginary pool goy.


Sue February 17, 2011 at 2:16 am

Twenty five years ago, I had a trouble filled pregnancy,seven weeks before the kid was due I was in the hospital, with nurses and drs doing everything they could to stop the contrations and labor. They did an amino, to check on the baby’s lungs, I told the staff that I DID NOT want to know the sex of the baby, told them I would kick them where it hurts before I sued the pants off them if they told me. Thankfully the baby was fine, I could go home and next time I went into labor they wouldnt stop it. Not only did I not care what the gender of the kid was, I sure didnt want to know a head of time. Just when the kid came out the nurse said what do you want boy or girl. At the same time hubby and I said, BABY we want a BABY. She turned 25 the day after Valentine’s Day.


Hallie February 17, 2011 at 3:46 am

Well, having not faced the dilemma properly before I suppose my opinion is less worth than those who have.

I like to believe that the health of my future children will be far more important than their gender. However, I would be in heaven if I could have one of each. A boy for my bf to teach hockey to, and a girl for me so I can get as many hugs as possible without the “Mom, other people are watching us!”.

I recently heard of a woman finding out what gender her second child would be. She announced she would cry if the baby wasn’t a boy. Having a girl already, she felt a boy would complete the family. Of course, she’s having a girl…


Bonnie B. February 17, 2011 at 10:58 am

Serves her right. And I feel sorry for the kid already because you just KNOW the mom is going to forever bring up that she wished the child had been a boy.


Antropologa February 17, 2011 at 3:55 am

I have/had strong opinions, and it’s both for my love of girl things (or conversely, my total disinterest in boy things), and, I suppose, Issues I have with men. But the more pregnant I get, the softer I feel towards whomever it is in me, if they have a creepy little boy penis or not.


From Belgium February 17, 2011 at 4:02 am

I personally didn’t really care (no honestly) but my father was desperate for a baby girl. His life is complete : he now has two adorable granddaughters…


Halala Mama
February 17, 2011 at 5:51 am

If no one cared, then that 20 week ultrasound wouldn’t be so important, would it? I was certain that I was having girl. I was happy, but it was a resigned kind of happy. I didn’t know I had a real preference until the ultrasound showed it was a boy and I felt relief. Apparently I’m a advance worrier and was relieved not to ever have to pick out a prom dress.


Melissa February 17, 2011 at 6:56 am

I was thrilled when I found out my first was going to be a boy. Scared shitless to have a daughter because of…yep…unresolved issues with my mama that sparked Clytemnestra-like fantasies of beheading her on a regular basis. So when I found out my second was a girl…I was nervous. And ambivalent. 10 months later…I’m in heaven. And having a girl has actually gone a long way towards healing the relationship with my own mater. I now only want to behead her about once a year (my mother, that is.)


ChiTown Girl February 17, 2011 at 7:52 am

Well, I didn’t want to know, via ultrasound or any other test, but my gut told me from the moment of conception that I was having a boy. Part of it was probably wishful thinking, since I ONLY wanted a boy (I do NOT do girly!!) but part of it was just, what? Motherly instinct? I don’t know, but whatever it was, I was right! Kudos to the staff at my doctor’s office for never spilling the beans. I had a not-so-easy pregnancy, and had at least 10-12 ultrasounds, and no one ever slipped and told me.


Miss Britt
February 17, 2011 at 7:54 am

“women so well adjusted they aren’t counting on their kid to help them resolve any issues from their childhood”

Yeah – that is so NOT me. Which is why I was desperate for a girl.


Ginnie February 17, 2011 at 8:46 am

I promised my husband that if we only had boys, whichever one we decided was the last would wear pink ruffly panties until he was two. I wanted a girl so bad I could taste it. I even thought the second one was going to be a boy, and was RELIEVED when we found out she was a she. Does that make me a horrible person? So far we have two sweet (most days!) little girls and, honestly, the thought of having a boy terrifies me. Of course, I will love a boy if we ever have one, but I’m really glad I got my girls first. 🙂


the mama bird diaries
February 17, 2011 at 9:43 am

I did not care about the gender. As long as it was a boy.


K-line February 17, 2011 at 9:53 am

I wanted a girl for the dress up potential, because I hate hockey and because secretly I think girls are better. But don’t tell anyone.


Awesome dude February 17, 2011 at 9:57 am

It doesn’t really matter, but if you are truly lucky you will get the girl.


Taint-Isis February 17, 2011 at 10:00 am

I wanted girls. I got girls. I was happy. Especially the second time, as I felt like having a boy would be kinda like having an alien at that point. That being said, I would’ve been fine if a boy had shown up.

On the other hand, if I’d been a boy, I would’ve been an only child.

I’m a little confused, though… Which position is yours?

I’m here via K-Line’s link yesterday, by the way. Parenting blogs are new and slightly frightening territory here. 🙂


Becky February 17, 2011 at 10:09 am

I agree with position 1, I think. Mostly. Kind of.
I was equally terrified of either gender. Some days I wanted a boy because the thought of raising a teenage daughter gave me hives. Some days I wanted a girl because I only have sisters and I don’t know anything about raising a boy.


kathy February 17, 2011 at 10:27 am

I found out for both at 11 weeks, so I didn’t have time to want one or the other. Well, I did have time actually, but I didn’t know what I wanted. I was just scared shit about having a kid at all. My first thought upon finding out the first was a boy was, “Well, I won’t have to worry about him coming home at 17 and telling me he’s pregnant.”

When I found out #2 was a boy, I was a little disappointed but then relieved that I wouldn’t have to buy all new clothes.

So yeah, I definitely had more of a preference the second time around. And I consider it a good thing I had boys because I definitely had issues with my mother. The only thing that sucks about two boys is not having anyone to tell me that those cargo jeggings were NOT a smart fashion choice.


annie February 17, 2011 at 10:33 am

I didn’t care until we got to our 3rd then I was all “Please God, give us another girl so I don’t have to dress a boy in the 100’s of lacey pink things I have in storage!!”


anna see February 17, 2011 at 11:24 am

I was a bit bummed when I found out I was having a boy for kid #1. Please don’t tell him. Thanks.


christy February 17, 2011 at 12:15 pm

I was THRILLED my first was a girl, and equally as thrilled my second was a boy. If it had any other way I really would have been bummed. So be it!


Roxanne February 17, 2011 at 12:28 pm

I was really in the “eh, whatever” camp.

Although I think there may be a small part of me that is a little relieved my only child is a boy. Teenage girls terrify me.


adil February 17, 2011 at 12:36 pm

The first time around I honestly didn’t care. No preference. I just wanted the baby to be healthy and happy and to get out of my body. DH wanted a girl because he has 3 younger brothers that he kinda raised, and no sisters. And in the end, she was a girl. Yay! The second time around, suddenly, I did care! I really wanted another girl. Mostly because of fear of the unknown, and becasuse I wanted to use all my hand-me-downs. Turns out, she was a girl, too. Double yay!


February 17, 2011 at 12:37 pm

I’m on your side. Always and forever. 🙂

ps. You know I’m a good kiss up.


Phoenix Rising
February 17, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Currently I am experiencing the thrill and excitement of a drama filled teenage girl. That being said, God help me if I do get pregnant again, it had better be a boy.


February 17, 2011 at 12:57 pm

I didn’t know I had a preference, but we found out that it was a boy at 20 weeks and we were both stunned, as both of us had troubled relationships with our older brothers. I think we imagined the baby would beat us up and steal our lunch money. And I always say, it’s a damned good thing we found out, because by the time he was born we were more or less over it, and fell madly in love with the little peanut, and now I can’t imagine having a girl at all.


February 17, 2011 at 1:03 pm

I was pregnant at the same time as commente #2 (Hey, Sue!) only I had a doctor that didn’t believe in running unnecessary tests (read: quack.) Since I had a problem-free pregnancy I didn’t have an ultrasound or an amnio or anything. It drove me NUTS!

I am slightly OCD and I wanted to know so I could plan the room and buy clothes and coordinate and I didn’t care if it was a boy or a girl I just wanted a DAMN COLOR SCHEME! Is that too much to ask.?

Anyhoo, I was sure I was having a boy and instead I had a girl and, as far as she is concerned, I’ve been getting everything wrong ever since. She will be 25 on April 1 (no fooling) and she cannot mix a decent martini.

So, yeah, I failed at motherhood. I blame the lack of a pre-planned color scheme.


February 17, 2011 at 1:40 pm

I secretly wanted a girl but would have been fine with a boy the first time around. I got the boy, and was legitimately delighted. The second time around? I needed to know ahead of time what to expect, since I would have been deeply sad not to have a girl and didn’t want THAT to be the poor child’s first emotion from its mother if it turned out to be a boy. Thankfully, I got the girl.

But, honestly, I think you should have asked this: Is it really, truly possible for some pregnant women not to know that they are pregnant at all until a baby falls out of their bodies one day, and then they’re like, “ohhhh….I thought I had pretty had heartburn today….”???!? Because seriously, the people who think that’s really possible are just all in denial as far as I’m concerned.


February 17, 2011 at 1:42 pm

I really, really wanted one of each, in no particular order. That put a lot of pressure on the second child, who delivered admirably by having a penis.


Marie February 17, 2011 at 1:44 pm

My whole life I knew I only wanted boys. I was a tomboy and had no interest in girl things. I just wouldn’t know what to do with a girl. We didn’t find out the sex during the ultrasound. When the baby was born and they announced “it’s a girl!” I cried and said “It’s just what I wanted!” And I meant it. (I got twin boys the next time.)


February 17, 2011 at 1:47 pm

I have had 5 kids.
The first time I found out I was pregnant, I wished desperately for a girl.
After my boy was born, I figured… well, that’s alright, my next one will be a girl.
Then I had another boy. But third time is the charm, right? Wrong.
When I got pregnant the fourth time, well… law of averages say it’s going to be a girl, right? I’ve overstayed my 50% chance.
After my 4 boys, when I found out that I was pregnant again, I had given up. I wasn’t going to wish for a girl. Obviously I can’t have girls. With all these hand-me-down boys clothes, it’s pointless to have a girl. I steeled myself for another boy.
Guess what?
It was a girl!
Half the time I wish she was a boy too. Having little people jump on you and hit you with toy trucks is simpler than being screamed at by a two year old because you chose the wrong pair of shoes to go with an outfit.


Jane Millar February 17, 2011 at 2:05 pm

I totally genuinely did not care what came out (as long as it did eventually come out….!) I just wanted a happy healthy baby and that’s what I got!
I was however convinced throughout my pregancy that I was having a boy, so much so that my first word on hearing I had safely delivered a girl was “really?”!
Good job though as we had no boys names to give said baby and a really long list of girls names!


February 17, 2011 at 2:09 pm

I believe Young Ladrinka had an answer to this dilemma with his “goy” solution.


February 17, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Sigh. I want a girl. So bad. And I think it has a lot to do with my wonderful, fabulous relationship with my mother (no sarcasm, she really was my best friend). I also want to raise an independent, self sufficient woman who loves herself and isn’t limited by her assigned gender role. I know. I’m an idealist.


February 17, 2011 at 2:28 pm

I can’t agree or disagree. I really wanted girls and I got them!


February 17, 2011 at 2:29 pm

i honestly didn’t care what the sex of my baby was. but when i do get pregnant with my second i will care. i want a girl dammit.

but once i found an entire website & forum dedicated to gender disappointment. those women = complete asshats.


Amy H February 17, 2011 at 2:45 pm

After having 2 boys, when I announced I was pregnant I felt like everybody ELSE cared about the gender I was having. I really was fine either way. When I found out it’s a girl, I had mixed emotions…I know boys. A girl is a whole new challenge. But everybody else couldn’t be more excited. Probably because they like buying cute pink baby clothes.


Mwa (Lost in Translation) February 17, 2011 at 3:08 pm

I never wanted to have a kid if I really cared what it was (I was meant to be a boy, as were my two sisters – bummer) but when I heard what they were it turned out that the first time I really would have loved either (it was a boy), the second time I was secretly quite thrilled to have the other (a girl – yes, that’s the other) because you know it was different, and then the third time I was a touch disappointed for about a second (it’s a boy) because I do love the clothes and the hair until I decided I loved to have a boy more anyway because girls can be such a pain.

So I guess I really don’t care but sometimes I do a little. But actually not at all. I’ve had some wine, you may have noticed.


Tanya B February 17, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Well — not to be a Debbie Downer, but I had infertility issues and I honestly DID NOT care about gender. I just wanted a healthy baby that I was able to carry to full term. That being said — I have a boy AND a girl and I LOVE LOVE LOVE having a girl. 🙂


Amelia February 17, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Of course I would have been happy either way so long as it’s healthy. But I really wanted a girl the first time, I have only sisters, and I worked at a girls group home for 10 years. Boys are from Mars for me and I was super nervous to be a first time mom to begin with, so I wanted to start with what I’m familiar with. Next time I would really like a boy so’s he can take care of me when I’m old and I don’t have to call a handy man or car mechanic. Unless my daughter wants to do it, then whatevs.


February 17, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Okay, I figured I’d come back and actually read the post and answer it. Ha.

The first time, I really truly wanted a girl. Probably because I’d always wanted a sister. Which makes no sense, but there it is. I ended up getting my girl. I’d of been happy with a boy too, but when she was a girl, I was thrilled.

The second time, I wanted a boy. Just because I hoped a boy would be easier than my insane little girl. They actually told us she was a boy. She was a delivery room surprise girl. It was hysterically funny. In the end, I’m kinda glad she was a girl, because watching my daughters be sisters is awesome.

The third time? I sooooo wanted a boy. Something new. I was also completely convinced he was a girl, even after they said, no reallllly it’s boy. Uh huh. I am happy he ended up a boy.

Either way though? I’d of been happy. It’s not like I’d want to put them back and try for an exchange. OWIE.


elizabeth-flourish in progress
February 17, 2011 at 9:41 pm

i cared so much that i actually got down on my knees and prayed right before i went in for the ultrasound. the only other time i’ve gotten on my knees to pray for something is when i realized that nordstrom’s had sold out of my size in a shoe i had been fawning over. just kidding. maybe not.

When the tech asked if I wanted to know, I said, “only if it’s a girl.”


dusty earth mother February 17, 2011 at 10:22 pm

I happen to be midway through “Exploiting My Baby” (so you won’t be getting any coins from me, sorry) and while I was in the first camp (I really wanted a girl the first time and a boy the second time and that’s what I got–score!), I think that for a lot of people, it really really doesn’t matter. I just weren’t one of them people.


Loukia February 17, 2011 at 11:34 pm

At first I thought you actually met and interviewed her – that would have been so cool! So hmm. From what I recall, I don’t think I cared either way if I was having a boy or a girl. But you know, pregnancy brain… and now, mom brain… zero memory. All I know is once I found out the sex, I was excited, and started shopping and getting the nursery ready right away! Also, fine. Okay, I never knew I could love a baby boy as much as I did when he was placed in my arms. Baby boys, oh my GOD, my heart. I truly love being a mom to two boys!
I’m still depressed you’re not coming to BlogHer.


Lady Jennie February 18, 2011 at 3:22 am

I don’t think the Duggers care whether or not the next one is a boy or girl.


Emily February 18, 2011 at 10:03 am

I loved Teresa’s book, and this subject was one of the reasons why I did!

I had always pictured myself with a girl and my husband loved little girls. When I found out I was having a boy, I have to admit we were both a little disappointed. We felt wrong in that disappointment and my husband said, “Let’s make a vow that we will never speak about this again.” But that didn’t last because I am a blogger.

When people would ask me what I was having and I said a boy they would say things like, “Your husband must be so happy!” It was a weird feeling.

But I knew my son was a boy at 13 weeks, we picked a name and I bonded with him in utero.

Now I cannot imagine having a little girl and I realize that God gave us the child we were meant to have, as he will be our one and only.


b a seagull
February 18, 2011 at 10:33 am

My dad died while I was pregnant. I was sure that i was delivering a quiet, gentle boy with big, blue eyes and wire rim glasses. Instead I had a dark, noisy girl. THE LOVE OF MY LIFE. Rarely does anyone care about gender once they are holding their child.


lisahannemaniac February 18, 2011 at 1:44 pm

With my first I did not care what I was having. We didn’t find out, but I was positive it was a boy – And I was right. Now that I’m pregnant with my 2nd, I was positive it was a girl. We decided to find out this time around. I was wrong. I shed a tear, because I was so shocked. I couldn’t figure out whether it was because I really wanted a girl or I really wanted to be RIGHT. I have a feeling I really wanted to be right.


Becky February 18, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Babies who group up to make martinis? Obviously I have not trained my boys well at all. Is it too late to start with an 8 and 9 year old?

I have to agree with most here that I didn’t care about gender, as we opted not to learn the sex of the baby ahead of time. However, now that I buy clothes for my many nieces, I’m happy that I get to buy for boys. Because nothing they wear comes with “Hot”, “Nasty”, “Yummy” — or the like — emblazened across the ass.


deborah l quinn
February 18, 2011 at 4:20 pm

When I found out I was pregnant w/boy #1 (note what this implies) I felt gypped: I mean, does a tomato plant suddenly sprout lima beans? NO. I don’t much like boys, basically, husband excepted (and sometimes I’m not even sure about him) – and so the universe decided to play a big karmic joke on me and give me TWO boys. And frankly, if you could 100% guaran-damn-tee me that I’d have a girl, I’d have a 3rd kid. But if I gave birth to another boy, I would run away and join a convent, where everyone pees neatly into the toilet and flushes when she’s finished.
That said? My boys have my heart wrapped in their grubby fists; they are the most splendid, wonderful, adorable, brilliant children who ever lived. And I’m hoping that one grows into a gay man (so I ahve someone to shoe shop with) and the other marries a nice orphan girl (who will comfort me in my old age).


Liz @ Peace, Love and Guacamole
February 18, 2011 at 9:50 pm

I didn’t care so much with my first born…but guessed the gender and was immediately terrified that my very first chance at having motherly instincts would be all wrong. Luckily my instincts were right with each kid.


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