A mum with three daughters says she “cried for weeks” when she found out her youngest was another girl and wants to guarantee her fourth child is a boy.
Amber Castle, 21, loves her daughters but admits she’s always dreamed of being mum to a little boy and says she “never wanted a daughter.”
The stay-at-home mum from New York State in the US is so set on having a baby boy that she’s splashing out $15,000 (£11,000) on gender selection IVF.
Amber, who is also an influencer, opened up about her decision online, but claims she received “hundreds of thousands” of abusive messages in response.
She said: “I always saw myself with one or two kids, but after getting the same gender over and over, we tried again.
“I couldn’t imagine going through this lifetime without a son, something I dreamed of since being a child.”
Amber has had her fair share of heartache in her fertility journey, tragically suffering a miscarriage in one of her pregnancies. But this hasn’t deterred her from her plan to become mum to a boy.
She said: “Even after experiencing a loss, knowing how painful it is, wishing it wasn’t happening to you, we’re still going for IVF.
“Babies are blessings, no doubt, I just can’t imagine myself without a son and trying a fourth time with a 50/50 chance doesn’t sound right.”
Amber and her boyfriend Skilar Ryan, 20, are childhood sweethearts and have been together since middle school. the loved-up paor started trying for their first baby when they were just 16 years old.
She said: “There was something about the both of us, we just knew this was it, no ‘what if’s.
“Personally, I believe life and experience age you. To anyone else we were just some 16-year-olds, but for me, at 16, I wasn’t mentally 16.
“I’m often described as ‘an old soul’ and I agree.”
When Amber fell pregnant, she and Skilar were delighted, but their families weren’t quite so supportive.
The mum claims their families tried to encourage them to terminate the pregnancy – but she and Skilar weren’t having any of it.
On 21 September 2017, just a month after Amber turned 17, she welcomed Jaylee Nevaeh Ryan into the world.
The pair welcomed their second daughter, Brooklynn Mae Ryan, into the world on 24 April 2020, before Amber’s miscarriage in February of this year.
“I never found out the gender of our loss, although I believe it would’ve been another girl,” said Amber.
After processing their loss, the couple tried again to conceive naturally – and in March, they received the joyful news that Amber was pregnant once again.
She said: “When I first found out I was pregnant again, I was gonna keep the gender a surprise, so ultimately I wouldn’t be upset my whole pregnancy.
“But I was convinced she was gonna be our boy, I even paid for a psychic reading who told me she’d be a boy.
“So I did a blood test and when the results came back female, I remember just crying. I was so upset. I cried for weeks.
“I was so sold this was it, so when that came crashing down on me I just felt like something was stolen from me.
“Every ultrasound I had them recheck, I read story after story of people being told it was one gender and it ended up being another.
“I read the stories so often that I came to believe maybe that was my circumstance also – but, she was born a girl.”
On 30 October, the pair welcomed River Souline Ryan into the world and were overjoyed, but they’re still set on trying to have a boy next time.
As she prepares to fork out an enormous sum for the IVF, she admits she never saw herself having girls.
“I never wanted a daughter – I come from a family of mainly all girls, I have two brothers and five sisters,” she said.
“One of my brothers is the oldest and one of them is the youngest, so I never had that brother connection people talk about.
“I think this plays a huge role in why I never wanted a daughter.”
As she’s only become a new mum very recently, Amber isn’t in a hurry to have the IVF – and she knows she’ll have to save up to afford it.
When she posted a video on her TikTok channel, @itsambaslife, explaining her intention to have gender selection IVF, Amber claims she received mixed responses.
She said: “Hundreds of thousands of people left mean, vile comments. It’s not your kid, nor your money, there’s no shortage of IVF.
“Me using it won’t stop the next person, it’s there for anyone. I find this better than trying seven plus times for a boy.”
She claims people have told her: “You don’t deserve kids.”
Others have suggested she’s ungrateful when considering the number of people who struggle to conceive at all.
But Amber does sympathise with those who are struggling to have children naturally.
She said: “I feel for them, I do. But, end of the day, others’ infertility struggles aren’t my burden.
“If there was a shortage I wouldn’t do it, but there’s not and if you can pay, you can get it.”
Although she’s received a lot of backlash for her decision, Amber claims she’s also received support, which has spurred her on to keep talking about gender disappointment.
Amber said: “After posting about my gender disappointment with my girls, hundreds of people told me I was an awful person.
“But hundreds of people also told me they felt the same way.
“I found that comforting and decided maybe sharing my story would comfort others thinking of doing the same thing.”