When I became pregnant with Lance I instantly knew I did not want to find out his gender ahead of time. I wanted the… surprise! There are very few adult surprises left in this world, and having the opportunity to experience one of them firsthand and “in the moment” was something I did not intend to miss out on. And we’re not just talking about any moment; we’re talking about THE moment. The moment of all moments when you bring a child into this world. Of course, opposing viewpoints will quickly quip, “it’s still a surprise at the ultrasound… it’s a surprise either way!” Yadda, yadda, yadda. There’s no moment of surprise like THE moment.
Initially, Jan was not quite as keen on the whole “let’s be surprised” philosophy as I was. He wanted to find out the gender at our 20-week ultrasound, but I used every pregnancy card I had to convince him otherwise. “Listen, I’m the one carrying this baby. I’m the one packing on the pounds. I’m the one waking up in the middle of the night to pee and then tossing and turning my way back to sleep. And I will be the one up all hours of the night nursing this child. We’re not finding out, and that’s that.” Bam. And just like that, the gender would be a surprise.
He quickly jumped on board though and got just as excited as I did as the weeks left in my pregnancy ticked down. I even made a deal with him that for a second pregnancy we could definitely find out the gender, but for this first one I wanted the surprise.
On the day Lance was born there was no moment like THE moment when we heard our doctor exclaim, “It’s a boy!” Happy tears of wonder, exhaustion, and yes oh yes, surprise schlepped down our cheeks. Jan was utterly blown away by the news.
Like any parents who do not find out, we an inkling and feelings and predictions about what we thought we were having. Jan thought we were having a girl. I even openly admitted to wanting a girl if I could choose. We had our girls name picked out early and often referred to my growing bump as a girl. We even frequently tried to imagine what life would be like with ribbons, dolls, pink, and frill.
It wasn’t even until a few weeks before I delivered that we had a serious talk about “what if it’s a boy?” We desperately needed to agree on a suitable boys name and start having some conversations about what life would be like with trucks, trains, dirt piles, and burping at the dinner table lectures. When we did get around to having this discussion the name Lance Robert seemed to fit our would-be boy, and I began to daydream about snuggling a little boy.
I will never forget shortly after Lance was born and Jan confessed to me that finding out we were the proud parents of a baby boy in THE moment was just about the coolest thing he had ever experienced. Followed by a, and I quote him, “let’s definitely not find out again for the next baby.”
And so here we are, almost two years to the day later, about to go into our 20-week ultrasound. Are we going to find out the baby’s gender this time around?
Thrilled to hear Jan say he was up for another surprise, even though it was well before I could even begin to think about being pregnant again, I stored away his words and revisited them in my mind from that first moment I saw two pink lines on a stick. Although I could probably be swayed to find out if he really wanted to, I am equally excited to experience the thrill of finding out in THE moment a second time. In fact, I am downright giddy when I think about it. What will our baby be? Girl? Boy?
I do feel like we are in the minority on this decision. Friends ask, “Why wouldn’t you find out?” and “It’s so much easier to prepare and plan when you know,” and “Oh please, find out. It’s going to drive me crazy!” I always find this last remark funny because it really does not my bother me not to know, but it certainly drives a certain personality type through the roof not to know. Occasionally, I feel tempted and think to myself Wow, we could actually know right now what we are having if we want and that gets me a little anxious, but in the end I think it is SO much more fun not to know. Again, few adult surprises left in life, folks, and that’s what it all boils down to for me. I realize it’s a surprise either way, and I am sure it must help you plan and prepare and bond, but there is only so much you can plan and prepare for. And I know, I am going to love this baby either way so bonding is easy.
That said, for the second half of my pregnancy please join me in the predictions, speculations, what-ifs, name suggestions for each gender, and the overall curiosity and wonder over this babe’s gender.
Once again, a part of me wants a girl. First, it would different. I know and love what’s it like to have a little boy. But a girl? What would that be like? Would she look like me? Growing up I always wanted a sister and I had two brothers. When I became pregnant for the first time, I wanted a girl. She wouldn’t be a sister, but a daughter would be even better! I could teach her to be brave and strong and smart and beautiful all the while braiding her hair and taking her shopping. But then I had a little boy. And I love having a boy. He is my littlest love, and the way my heart melts when he hugs me and kisses me and says “I need Mommy” is something I wouldn’t trade in for the world.
Another part of me currently thinks I will have another boy because it is my destiny to live in boy worlds. I endured it growing up, and so far I am living it in my own home. I think I even want a boy for Lance. When I imagine him growing up with a little brother, just two years younger, I see friendship and a strong bond and typical arguments and rivalries and brother romps and an irreplaceable closeness and connection that only brothers can have. Plus, I cannot deny the fact that it would certainly be easier given the fact that I am already well-equipped for another little guy.
But then when my friend Sally shows up at her sister’s wedding wearing matching cowboy boots with her little girl and when I see other friends dressing their little ladies in the cutest ruffled outfits with matching polka-dotted hair bows, I think oh I really want to have a girl!
When I came up with the idea to write about this topic long ago, I started a draft post in WP and simply wrote:
Write a piece about pros/cons to finding out the gender. Disclose my view and our decision not to find out.
And there it sat in my drafts, untouched for weeks. In my mind I continued drafting, but I never put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) until this past weekend. I started with some modern-day research. I put a call out to my Facebook friends. To find out baby’s gender or not… thoughts on this topics? I hastily typed into a status update. Within a few hours I had several thoughtful, articulate responses on this topic. As I imagined, many of the responses either encouraged me to find out or disclosed how they just “had to know” for legitimate reasons such as planning, bonding, focusing on a name, etc. Indeed it seems like the modern-day norm for expecting parents to find out the gender, but for those of us who hold out we are a passionate lot. My Aunt Sharie said it best with her comment, “I always like the anticipation and surprise!”
As I prepare for my 20-week ultrasound in September and all the joy and curiosity it will entail, I am at peace with our family’s decision to keep the gender a mystery until THE moment. Despite tempting reveal party brides from my friends and “I want to know!”‘s from family I can only say, it’s a surprise. Hearing the doctor say, “It’s a boy!” when Lance was born will always be one of my majestic moments in life, and I can only sit and wonder what the doctor will say in January 2013.
If you have interest in reading more about this topic, or if I need to give you a few more good reasons why we are not finding out, check out 7 reasons not to find out your baby’s gender in a blog post on Baby Center. Or if you need creative ideas for a reveal party check out Gender reveal party at Simply Made with Love. Ultimately, it is personal decision for every couple.
Thank you to everyone who commented on this topic on FB. Let’s keep the discussion (and the fun of the unknown gender) alive.
Ideas for good gender predicting games and/or old wives tale theories, anyone?
The Banter Lady
Editor’s note: Please take all gender stereotypes in this post with a grain of salt. My husband and I will love our baby no matter who he or she becomes.