Monday, October 17, 2011

Mum stuff | Would you select the gender of your baby?

Its not too often that I feel compelled to comment on something that I read in the newspaper. Today is different. The SMH has run an article titled "When parents select baby's sex" and its got me many people out there would choose the sex of their baby if they were given the choice?

In our experience, Andrew and I decided to wait until our babies were born to find out what sex they were. There are so few great surprises in the world, and we wanted to experience the biggest surprise of all. I cannot even begin to tell you how joyous that moment was. Just before Seth was born, we asked the midwife not to tell us, we wanted to look ourselves. I remember Andrew lifting that little baby leg and bursting into tears..."IT'S A BOY!!". We were thrilled beyond belief! I would not have traded in our little boy for anything.

When I was pregnant for the second time, I was so certain we were having another boy, and I was so excited that Seth was going to have a little brother. We even picked the name Brodie, which means second-born son in Scottish.  Bub was born, and the midwife announced that we had a little girl...what!! I was in complete shock. Of course, I fell in love with my daughter instantly, but it was a very confusing time. I remember the nurse rousing me to come and feed my baby the next night, and I had to ask her again what we'd had. lol.

Would I have chosen the sex of our children? Absolutely not. We've been blessed with two happy and healthy babies, and that's all we ever asked for. People often assume that we don't need to have any more children because we "got one of each". This comment always annoys me. The article talks about couples wanting to select the gender of the children so that they'll have a gender balance. Just ridiculous.

So what happens when you do have two children (or more) of the same gender?  At my Dad's retirement dinner last year, a co-worker asked him if he had any children, to which he replied..."yes, I have two daughters". The response..."oh, what a shame you didn't have a son"...said with pity. I love my Dad's reply though..."Why? I love my two beautiful daughters and I wouldn't have it any other way". I can't believe that my poor Dad still has to justify his children after 37 years...and let's face it...he scored two great son-in-laws.

Another friend, upon having her second son, and still in hospital, had a relative ask her if she was going to try again for a girl. Geez, give them woman a break. Her son was only 2 days old! Her sons are the same age as Seth and Emeline, and cherished just the same as any baby. She loves her boys and wouldn't swap them for the world.

I have friends who have lost children, and who have not been able to fall pregnant at all. Do you think those women would want to select the gender of their baby? I don't think so. The gift of a much wished for child is a blessing...whether its of the pink or blue variety.

I have no problem with people knowing the sex of their child before they are born, but I draw the line at gender selection.  What are your thoughts?  Over to you...

Edited to add...when I wrote this post, it was written purely from a gender selection for "vanity" point of view. I completely agree with selection to eradicate/avoid genetic diseases. Loving everyone's point of view...keep those comments coming. Thanks everyone.

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