We had the (approximately) twenty-week ultrasound yesterday, the one where they check the baby's anatomy and size and make sure everything's developing normally. Of course, this is also the ultrasound when you can find out the gender. And we're having...
Exactly what kind of baby that is, we'll learn when we meet her or him next March: we decided not to find out now. Well, I didn't want to know, but James did, so I kept putting my hands over his eyes when the ultrasound tech was checking and measuring the lower anatomy, but he kept trying to peek anyway. He even spent time searching images and videos about how to read an ultrasound for the gender before our appointment, because he knew I wouldn't let him find out.
Ten seconds after walking out of the room, he announced, "We are definitely having a boy." I was disappointed--not to be having another boy, but to know already. But then he went to the bathroom and when he came out he said, "I think we're having a girl." Which is to say that we have no idea. =)
When I was pregnant with August, we didn't find out the baby's gender, keeping it a surprise for the big day. I loved the mystery of not knowing. When I was pregnant with Leif, we did find out. We had a lot of stressful and unknown events all happening that fall around his due date: moving to Stockholm, James finishing his US citizenship application process, August beginning full-time at preschool for the first time. I thought it might be nice to know something about what was going to happen that September!
I much preferred the experience of not knowing, which is why I didn't want to find out this time. We've never felt it was important to have clothes, toys, and accessories that evoke the baby's gender (whatever this one turns out to be, she or he will be wearing and playing with hand-me-downs from big brothers). We'll keep lists of names we love, but even if we knew the gender, we wouldn't give a name already; I feel strongly about waiting to meet the baby before giving him or her a name. I think it's so strange to name a baby before it's born!
That said, I did do an online Chinese gender predictor (based on maternal age at conception and month of conception), which said I'd have a girl. I entered the same info for the older two kids, and it correctly predicted them both to be boys. Just to check that, though, this morning I did another Chinese gender predictor and got a solid boy answer--so who knows?!
Did you find out the baby's gender while expecting? Why? Some people love knowing and some people don't--I'm so curious to know the "whys" for both sides!
Photo by me.
Also check out the best gift for new parents, and my little bump around twelve weeks.
We did find out, both times. The first time it was largely because I really wanted a girl, and I was worried that if I had a boy and was "surprised" by that in the delivery room, I might feel a moment of disappointment and it was SO important to me that when I met my baby that it wasn't tinged with any negativity (I knew that it was unreasonable to be disappointed, but I also knew that if I had some months to get used to the idea that I'd be fine by delivery date). I'm really glad that I had that time to get excited about meeting him, and of course once he arrived I quickly learned that the baby's sex really didn't matter much at all. I couldn't imagine having ANY other baby. The second time around I actually had almost no sex preference whatsoever, because it had become so clear to me the first time that it was totally inconsequential to the love we would feel for our children. That said, we wanted to find out because we were excited. In my opinion, it's a surprise either way - it's just a matter of whether the two surprises (the sex and what the baby looks like) happen at the same time or on different days. I didn't feel like I was spoiling anything by spreading out the surprises.
We also waited until we'd seen the babies to confirm their names, although to be honest we were about 99% sure in all three cases. I just wanted to make sure that we saw them and felt that those were the right names before we locked anything in.
Thanks for sharing this, Dava. I really wanted a girl with my second, because we thought we were only going to have two babies and I wanted one of each. I was sooo disappointed when I found out it was another boy--but then, as you said, you realize that it really doesn't matter what gender the baby is. Now that we're having a third, I don't care at all whether it's a boy or a girl -- we definitely were not "trying for a girl", we were trying for another baby!
For me, it wasn't just about the surprise of what the gender would be, and choosing which day I'd have that surprise. There was something about accepting the mystery of the being growing in me and not making any assumptions, expectations, or anything. I felt like if I knew what it would be I might start planning a future--at least in terms of hoping for certain things--and I didn't want my baby to be born into a set of expectations--though perhaps it's naive to think that's possible. That's how I felt with the first, but obviously it wasn't such a big deal with the second.
Sebastian was a surprise for us...I wanted to find out, Paul didn't, and I'm happy in the end with waiting. It feels like we know so much about everything in the world and that this moment can be a cherished surprise. Sending love your way for a healthy and happy pregnancy 🙂 xoxo
I'm sort of surprised that you didn't find out--you strike me as such a planner! But cool that you enjoyed the surprise and the suspense!
We found out – perhaps in part because I thought the shock and surprise of having a baby at all would be enough on the actual date of delivery. 🙂
Amen to that.
We're only a few weeks ahead of you! And we did find out the gender. I had no idea what was going on, so I talked over the nurse by mistake and she had to tell us again...
It must be particularly easy not to know in Sweden. There are so many gender-neutral baby things to choose from, particularly if you like grey and beige. They must have very serious babies here, if the colour scheme is anything to go by.
Love this comment. =)
Yes, it is SO much easier to find gender-neutral stuff here in Sweden than it is in the US. I do hope the grey and beige color palette suits you...