Earlier this week Ian and I went in to our clinic for our baby's 20 week ultrasound. Our tech asked us if we wanted to find out the sex of our baby, and we said "no". She was sweet and said she would make sure not to look too hard.
After people find out you're pregnant the next question after "how far along are you?" is usually "is it a boy or a girl"? It's been really interesting to see the variety or responses we get. I've had people say "good for you" and I've had people get annoyed that we wouldn't want to find out, and others have congratulated us on our patience or strength (which is funny to me because I don't see myself as patient or strong). Before I was pregnant the first time, I had never really thought much about finding out our children's sex in utero. I wasn't really sure why I didn't want to find out with Iggy, but I now have a list of reasons to wait again and thought it would be fun to share.
Disclaimer, I'm not saying that I think it's wrong to find out. I simply want to share why we chose not to:
Pink or Blue
When told that we were not finding out the sex of our baby, many people would bring up something like "don't you want to decorate?" or "how will you know what to buy?". We are hoping to have more children, so it was nice that instead of getting all pink or blue, many of our baby items (carseat, travel crib, blankets and sheets, toys, newborn clothing, etc) are gender neutral. So as long as we take care of things, we'll be able to use them for future babies.
I Love to Shop
I know myself and I like to plan and shop and prepare. For me, knowing the sex of our baby would have led to a lot of shopping. When I was pregnant with Iggy I did buy two little dresses, because they were second hand and I couldn't pass them up. Maybe we'll use them next time. But not knowing what we were having helped us save money. I didn't go crazy buying gender specific items. Instead I focused on things we would actually need… and cloth diapers.
Motivation During Labor
Before Iggy was born I was terrified of labor. Absolutely terrified. One night I made Ian sit out on our porch when it was below 30 degrees. I was panicking. What if I died? Would he make sure this baby got to know my parents? Who would help him raise our baby? I mean, crazy. I remember reading in Ina May's Guide to Child Birth that she asked a woman who was in labor and crying "what are you afraid of?". Dying. I was afraid of dying. But I didn't, and I had a swift labor and delivery. But it was still hard work, and I still hit that wall where I thought to myself "death might be nice right now…". My girlfriend who was standing by my head said "Jacqui you're about to meet your baby", and I got this burst of energy to push through the fear and meet this baby I had longed and prayed for. I wanted to know who this person was.
…when I heard my husband exclaim "it's a boy!"It still brings tears to my eyes. There was nothing as sweet as hearing my husbands words over our sons first cries.
My grandmother is especially discreet when it comes to talking about the details of pregnancy. I used to think she was just old fashioned, but I appreciate her view now. I'm an impatient person, and I like to know how things are going to pan out. Pregnancy has taught me to slow down and allow life to be revealed to me. There are few true surprises left in life, we want to enjoy the beautiful ones.
And just a few final thoughts:
-I am not a patient person in general. I'm a planner, so I don't think that waiting to find out your baby's sex is only possible for patient people.
-We went in to the hospital with several names and a couple of front runners. Not having a name chosen through pregnancy was not a problem for us. And as some have suggested to me, it did not hinder our bonding with our child.-Not finding out the sex of our children will save us from disappointment. It's hard to be sad that you have a girl and not a boy when you're holding your brand new baby ;)