You’re 20 weeks pregnant, laying there in a dimly lit room with that warm goop on your belly, watching in awe as the growing creature inside finally looks like a real baby and not an alien blob, and the ultrasound tech tells you to close your eyes because the next portion of the exam might give away the baby’s gender. Could you do it?
My husband and I have done it twice now. And it seems some people think we’re totally crazy for not wanting to know the gender of our baby until their birthday. Every family is different and I support whatever each expectant parent thinks is best for them, but of course I’d love to see more surprises in this world.
If you find yourself on the fence, or debating whether you should find out the gender or not, I’m here to share from the perspective of a couple who’s done it once, and is doing it again!
The mystery and wonder of not knowing the baby’s gender makes the uncomfortable moments of pregnancy a bit more exciting! And, it’s fun to hear people’s predictions on the gender and why they believe what they do. I was fascinated with the fact that almost everywhere I went during my first pregnancy, people were curious to ask what I was having and when I said we didn’t know, they immediately wanted to offer their vote. I started to pay attention and look for trends. Funnily enough, the cashiers of Rouses Markets were almost unanimously on Team Girl, which they all guessed just by looking at the way I was carrying, and it turned out they were right!
It. Drives. People. Crazy.
Some people just can’t seem to grasp how or why someone can make it through pregnancy and not find out, and I love every second of making them uncomfortable. People will ask me questions like “Don’t you want monogrammed things for gifts?!” No. No actually. I don’t want monogrammed things because I’m a practical person and I want to be able to reuse baby clothes that aren’t ruined with poop, spit up or some other questionable stain for the next baby without having to name my second kid using the same initials as the first. I appreciate that some people are serious planners, and really need to know as many details as possible in order to feel prepared for something. My husband is one of those people typically. I really thought he’d have a hard time not finding out the gender and that we may have to compromise at some point, but after getting through our first pregnancy, he now says it was well worth it!
You Don’t Need A Perfectly Adorned Nursery Right Away
“But don’t you want to know the gender so you can prepare?” is another favorite question I’ve been asked. “Prepare what, exactly?” is usually my retort. Now that I’ve had one, I know you don’t truly NEED to know the gender in order to prepare for a new baby. Babies are babies, especially newborns. You need a place for the baby to sleep and a place to change the baby’s diaper, mountains of diapers, wipes and burp cloths within a few short steps of your own bed for the first couple weeks. What you DON’T need is a perfectly adorned gender-specific nursery because chances are, you won’t be using it right away anyway. I enjoyed being able to add to the nursery decor while I was on maternity leave, and the project gave me something fun to focus on during those early days where you get a little cabin fever.
There Are So Few True Surprises In Life
I feel like my mother saying that, but it’s so very true. Many of life’s true surprises are not joyful; they’re tragic, stressful, uncomfortable or scary. But this surprise is one that no matter the outcome, is guaranteed to be full of love, relief, and bliss. It’s nearly impossible to feel let down about the gender of your baby when it was just born. I was so convinced that I was having a boy throughout my entire first pregnancy that when my little girl was born, I felt moments of shock and awe sporadically for almost her whole first year of life.
Dads Deserve Their Moment Too
It was near 11pm on a week night and I’m in a hospital waiting room still filled with family and friends anxiously waiting for a dear friend to deliver her first baby. While I love her to death, it was a “school night” after all and I was spent. But one of the main reasons I (and many of us) stayed was because we didn’t know what the gender was. I had visited while she labored, and felt, well I’m committed now! And when her husband came out to deliver the news to a packed house sitting on the edge of their seats, I got the goosebumps. He beamed. I’m more than sure he would have beamed regardless of the gender, but he got to be the one to deliver this awesome news, while she got to be the one to deliver the baby.
Carry On The Tradition
It’s hard for people so accustomed to the accessibility of today’s technology to remember that there was a time, a very long period in our history, when people couldn’t find out the gender ahead of delivery. And guess what? The human race survived and thrived. I enjoyed being able to carry on the tradition of not finding out, given my mom had 5 babies and never knew the gender of a single one!
The Ultimate Gender Reveal
One of the big considerations for today’s expectant parents is whether or not they want to have a gender reveal celebration during pregnancy. Social media has taken a fun and creative idea to new heights given all of the creative ways one can announce their baby’s gender these days (not to mention some of the failed attempts). And what fun photo ops! I know, you might feel like you’re missing out by not finding out early or having a gender reveal party.
But I can tell you this, there is no reveal like seeing your family and friends meet and hold your baby for the first time. Confetti cannons, exploding balloons and hard boiled eggs aside, THAT is the ultimate gender reveal.