Being Pregnant

The Tears Behind this Gender Reveal Video is All too Real for So Many Parents

Two images. One of a very excited expecting mum, with her husband, surrounded by blue confetti as they discover they are having a boy. The other – a very tearful expecting mum, also as she discovers she is having a boy.

It’s the same woman in both images, taken on the same day, just hours apart.

gender reveal and gender disappointment video
Source: Tiktok

The images are stills from a gender reveal video TikTok US mum Nicole Shamlin shared with her fans. Nicole is already a mum to a little boy and found out she would be having another boy in September.

Gender reveal video hits home

Like so many expecting parents, Nicole shared the gender surprise with friends and family with a confetti gender reveal. As Nicole and her husband, Holden, popped the confetti, out came an explosion of blue – the sign another baby boy was on its way.

Nicole and Holden look over the moon in the video as they laugh and cheer amongst the smoke and streamers.

gender reveal and gender disappointment video
Source: Tiktok

Nicole’s TikTik then pans to her lying in bed, in tears, just hours after the exciting reveal.

She writes over a clip of her teary-eyed in bed,

Me later that night grieving the fact I’m not getting my baby girl just yet.

How can I love another boy?

Will I be replacing my first son?

How can I love two sons?”

The honest TikTik has reached over 250,000 people, most likely because it’s such a relatable feeling.

Gender disappointment is something so many parents experience. In fact, one in five expecting parents experiences some sort of gender disappointment.

For some, it’s only a fleeting thought, one that lasts maybe an hour or a day. For others, it can plague their entire pregnancy and longer.

Read how to overcome gender disappointment 

Nicole’s video showcases something that we often don’t showcase to the public – this double-sided emotional coin of finding out bub’s gender.

Yes, she’s happy and excited and so grateful and blessed. But there is a tiny part of her that wanted a girl. And this is completely okay. Blame it on hormones, or a childhood dream, or whatever. It’s perfectly valid to feel this way.

‘This is sad’

Of course, some commenters couldn’t help but take it as a personal attack on them, claiming Nicole should be more grateful.

“This is sad. I went through years of IVF. I was just thankful to have one live child. Healthy is what you should care about, not the sex,” one person said.

Another said, “I am sure there are plenty of mothers who would take that baby boy off your hands.”

‘I know this feeling’ 

However, the majority of people were supportive of Nicole’s honesty.  Many commenters also share their own gender disappointment moments.

One said, “I cried at my ultrasound when I found out he was a boy. I feel awful now because he’s amazing, of course, but pregnancy hormones are crazy. It will be OK!”

One person added, “I know how you feel babe. I didn’t want another girl. I really wanted a boy but it is what it is as long as my little girl is happy and healthy I don’t care.”

“I’ve just found out last night I’m having my third boy, I know this feeling,” someone else shared.

@nicoleshamlin #greenscreenvideo Gender disappointment is real. I only felt that way for a day. Now we are beyond excited and thankful.💙💙💙VIDEO IDEA FROM @patricialeeann09 #genderdissapointment #boymom #genderreveal ♬ that way slowed – vibe sounds

‘Your feelings are valid’

Nicole followed up her video by thanking her supporters and sharing that those initial feelings of gender disappointment have now subsided.

She is beyond excited to be welcoming another baby boy into the world but also has a message to anyone who feels or felt like her.

Your feelings are valid. And just because you have gender disappointment, doesn’t mean you’re gonna love that child any less. When finding out the gender you may have that expectation of getting your girl or getting your boy and when you don’t get that it’s okay to grieve that loss.”

According to Melbourne-based clinical psychologist Renée Miller,

When the baby is not the hoped-for daughter or son, some people experience mild to extreme disappointment, grief, and even depression.

Before you judge with “surely a healthy baby is all that matters”, let’s make it clear that a healthy baby is the wish of all parents. But for some parents, the meaning of their baby’s sex is so deeply rooted in their psyches that the loss of their hoped-for child can be devastating.” 

Dr Miller explains that often we need to free ourselves from our own projections of parenthood in order to overcome this grief.

When we acknowledge our grief and accept our reality, we can more readily foster the kinds of relationships and experiences we value with our children, irrespective of their assigned sex.”

Dr Miller also says it’s important to seek psychological help “where you’re so upset and grieving so intensely that it’s more than just a transient disappointment — it becomes a fear of having that baby, not being able to bond with the baby, feeling depressed or even anxious about how to raise a baby with that gender.”

Therapy can “be a helpful way to learn to see and appreciate the arrived baby for the unique individual they are, whilst recognising that it’s OK to mourn the loss of the idealised baby.”

What to read next

Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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