On not having a daughter

When I was pregnant with Einstein, strangers were constantly saying things like “Wow, you look like you’re about to pop”, even when I had several months left until my due date. With Pigpen, people kept asking me if I was going to have twins. One time, someone even asked me “when I was due” when I wasn’t even pregnant.

I don’t know why people ask and say the sorts of shit they do. I wonder if they realize how rude they are.

Nowadays, since Animal’s birth, I have been bombarded by the following:

“Wow, you have THREE BOYS???”

“Didn’t you/don’t you want a girl?”

“You HAVE to try again for a girl”

“You really need a daughter.”

Every once in awhile, I’ll come across a foreigner (usually Asian) who will tell me how lucky I am to have three sons. But the rest of the time, I’m getting sympathetic smiles or the shake of the head and the “tsk tsk, what a shame.”

I thought the pregnancy comments were terrible. Yes, they were embarassing, but nothing like this. I wonder if these people realize that they might actually be rubbing salt in an open wound, that perhaps it’s quite painful to be constantly reminded of the fact that I don’t (and will probably never) have a daughter. It’s almost as if they act like it’s my fucking fault. Like I made a decision. Like I refused a female child.

Of course, I react by smiling politely. I nod. I say “Oh yes, it’s a busy life. Lots of sports. Lots of food.” I then try to turn away, or find a quick escape. But sometimes the conversation continues, and that person will say something to the effect of “Oh girls are such trouble anyway. Boys are so much easier.” As if maybe they have finally realized that perhaps they have been rude, and they are now trying to fix it. Make me feel better. It doesn’t work.

I am afraid that one day, I’m just going to crack and I’m going to tell that person just how much I’ve always wanted a daughter. I’m going to tell them how I wished and hoped and prayed. I’ll explain how I cried after every ultrasound. I’ll tell them how I couldn’t even believe it until my boys were born and realized for sure, that the ultrasound results had been correct. I’ll give them the list of names. Mia. Ava. Olivia. I’ll tell them about the hours I spent looking at little pink dresses, hair bows, easter hats, patent leather shoes. I’ll tell them about the jealousy, when 5 of my closest friends bore daughters. I’ll share my pain of never attending a ballet recital or planning a wedding.

It’s one of those things that I really should come to terms with. I’m just not sure I ever will. I seriously imagine myself getting older, going into menopause and realizing “it really, truly is not going to happen.” I don’t think I’ll really be able to grieve it until then.

You always hear this stupid little saying: “Don’t give up your dreams.” I hate that phrase. Doesn’t anyone realize that the biggest dreams are ones you have no control over?

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2 Responses to “On not having a daughter”


  1. 1 thordora October 7, 2006 at 3:01 pm

    We never wanted boys, and got lucky with two girls. But now, I kinda want a boy, and hope to adopt one in a few years.

    I admit, I have the same “questions” for people mostly because I’m like HOLYCRAP3BOYS how do you do it?

    i’ve never thought of it from the “blame” perspective before, but it’s true-people do act like you laid sideways to make sure you wouldn’t “get” a girl.

    people are dumb aren’t they.

  2. 2 Louisa October 17, 2006 at 10:59 pm

    I just found you and I’m so happy. I’m 2 boys down and suspect I have at least a couple more waiting. But I long for a daughter. Have informed husband that he gets two more shots and then I’m changing the sire…
    Your blog is so great.


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