Whether you chose to find out midway through your pregnancy or when you meet your bub, hearing those words "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!" is often a magical part of having a baby. For some parents however, gender disappointment is real and in certain cases, extreme.
One mama-to-be took to Reddit to share her own experience after discovering the gender of her baby. In the post, the woman explained that she and her husband went to their ultrasound appointment together and learned they were expecting a daughter.
But dad wasn't happy.
"When the doctor told us we were having a girl I could see his jaw quite literally drop at the expression on my husband's face," the woman shared. "He dropped the papers he was holding and walked out."
In fact, the father-to-be was so unhappy he wasn't having a son that he refused to speak to his wife for the rest of the day.
"At dinner I finally say to him that if he was only planning on being a good father to a boy he should let me know now," the mum continued. And while she notes that he "reluctantly agreed to post a gender reveal announcement" she said he's also being telling her to watch what she eats "because mothers who get overweight during pregnancy apparently pass on impulsive eating habits."
And her suggestion for the couple to undergo therapy was also met with disdain.
"He says that I'm the only one who seems to be upset around the house, but if I needed to deal with my insecurities, so be it," the woman continued."The only good part is that my sister in law has come around to having a niece."
Redditors were horrified not only at the father-to-be's reaction to expecting a daughter, but his behaviour towards his wife, too.
"It's like he never considered the possibility that he could have a girl. Seriously, what was his thought process when he decided to have kids? "I only want a boy. If it's a girl, I'm going to throw tantrums," one person commented.
"You're married to a misogynist, and he's going to mess up your daughter if you let him," said another. "That comment about controlling what you eat? His behaviour will directly contribute to your daughter develop eating disorders"
"I want to give you good advice but am blinded by white hot anger and just have mean things to say about your sperm donor," added another.
While gender disappointment isn't uncommon, (a 2017 survey by Channel Mum found that a quarter of parents admitted to feeling disappointed if their baby wasn't the desired sex) most mums and dads find that their feelings pass once baby arrives. For others, however, the grief can render them almost unable to function.
In a recent article for The Conversation, Tereza Hendi and Tamara Kavali Brown discuss their research into the phenomenon. "[We] found no evidence gender disappointment is a mental illness," they note. "Instead, we argue that at the heart of many testimonies is the belief only children of a certain sex can do certain things, or have particular traits."
According to the authors, "When parents speak about gender disappointment, they say they're sad about missing out on particular activities, relationships or experiences with their child, not physical attributes associated with sex. Yet, there is no guarantee an individual child will identify with the gender assigned to them at birth or develop the desired attributes. There are also no reasons to believe the parent couldn't have the desired experiences with any child."
And their recommendation is in line with the poor mama-to-be's own suggestion - therapy.
"Counselling to dispel some of the beliefs underlying their suffering would be a good start."