When you announce you're having a baby, one of the first questions on everyone's lips is: "So are you going to find out what you're having?"
Every parent has a different reasoning on why they made the choice they did. Sometimes, parents don't agree and just deciding whether or not to find out is a conflict in and of itself! One of my friends wanted her second baby to be a surprise, but her husband wanted to find out. They compromised (he wanted to find out for the first kid and they did) and she's so glad that he went along with the surprise! Still, they both had perfectly valid reasons for wanting to find out (or not!). Like most of what people say to you when you're visibly pregnant, "Do you know what you're having?" has got to be in the top three most annoying questions ever. I usually answer, "Well, we are hoping for a dinosaur!"
Personally, I didn't find out the gender of either of my babies. You know what I'm going to say next: this isn't a right or wrong thing, it's a what's-right-for-your-family thing. I don't think everyone should have to or even want to find out the sex of their baby! The surprise had more appeal to me as an individual, but I can understand why it wouldn't to someone else. My why? Because I'm a planner. That is to say, if there is a plan, I get incredibly anxious with any departure from it. But no plan? I can be as carefree as a sleeping baby. Ultimately we didn't care if our child had a penis or a vagina - and so we didn't bother finding out.
A few "whys" from a group of mom friends:
- I'm Type A and also we needed 20 fucking weeks to decide on boy names, apparently.
- We found out with Liam because we had genetic screening done due to me having a previous miscarriage at 19 weeks. We didn’t want to find out with Andy because I was afraid to get too attached and have something go wrong, especially with the trisomy scare and another second trimester loss between the boys.
- We never found out. I didn't care. We don't do nurseries. Plus, I totally get a thrill telling people we never find out ahead of time and then seeing their look of horror. (Note: I also love that look of horror, it's HILARIOUS!)
- We didn’t find out with our first because I wanted it to be a surprise. A nice side effect was that we got gender-neutral, useful items for the baby shower. We did find out with the second because I realized pregnancy and babies are unpredictable enough and I wanted to sew their clothes.
- I wanted to only have to deal with figuring out one name. I didn’t want to wonder and potentially build up hope for one gender and maybe be disappointed by baby being the other. (No idea if it would have happened, but it’s a fear I have) While I don’t like the pink for girls/blue for boys stuff, I felt knowing gender gave more freedom in prepping.
- We found out with Max because I didn't care if we found out or not but John really wanted to know and not have it be a surprise. We did not find out with Jeremy because I wanted the surprise, John didn't care if we found out ahead of time or not, and since he chose the first time it was my turn. I also didn't want to possibly be gender disappointed and knew if we waited to find out until after the birth, I wouldn't be disappointed either way, but might be if we found out during an ultrasound.
- Bob doesn’t really get to participate with a lot because of his job, but the gender/anatomy ultrasound was something he was able to go to. So we found out both times!
- We found out with Chris. Just because he was our first. With Lily and with this one we didn't find out. My grandma always says it's the last big surprise in life. And that always has stayed with me.
- I'd rather have the surprise. Plus I just don't really care one way or the other. Either way it's going to be a baby. And with having some troubles getting pregnant, I'm just happy we get the chance again. Also, it's entertaining to me when I tell people we're not finding out and they freak out because they would want to know (mostly it's none of their damn business and even if I did know I wouldn't tell them anyway).
Obviously this is a deeply personal choice. I'm honored that these women would share their feelings with me so that I could share them with you. And no, this is far from all of the myriad reasons why or why not. I hope you can relate to one - or many of them - and that you can feel at peace with your own decision. To Know Or Not To Know. What will you choose?
Have you ever been surprised by your baby's sex? Did you experience gender disappointment? Tell me more on Twitter @pi3sugarpi3