When are you due? What are you having? Those are the two questions you will get asked over and over and over again once you start to show. Everyone wants to know when your baby is coming and more importantly if it’s a boy or a girl.
Whenever I tell people I’m not finding out the gender I get a couple of standard responses. 1. Shock and confusion 2. Curiosity as to how on earth we can handle the suspense 3. Annoyance that we aren’t finding out and RARELY 4. Understanding and camaraderie with the few people who also choose to stay team “yellow” or “green” or “grey”.
Thanks to social media, the ‘gender reveal’ has become as popular and commonplace as the baby shower. Grandiose celebrations with cakes, confetti filled balloons, exploding baseballs or other fun ‘surprise’ revealing tricks have become incredibly popular. And with it, keeping the gender of your little one a surprise has become less and less common. I mean, who can pass up a good party or social media post?!
So, here’s some reasons why we chose (for our first 2) and continue to choose not to find out the gender of our little ones.
- It is WAY more economical. Babies go through stuff FAST. And the stuff is incredibly expensive. When you find out the gender, then all of a sudden all of those things become gender specific. The pink blankets, ‘boy’ themed onesies, burp cloths with flowers on them, bouncers adorned with footballs and monster trucks. And don’t get me started on the nursery. Since we didn’t find out for our first, all the clothes and baby gear that little ones fly through faster than you can blink is gender neutral and completely useable for a boy or a girl.
- It’s exciting! There are only so many truly amazing surprises in life. Waiting to find out the gender is one of those. The anticipation and guessing makes it all the more special when you deliver and you find out in one of the most intensely beautiful moments that you have a boy or girl.
- It gives daddy a special role in the delivery room. (Especially for those daddies that may be a bit, well, squeamish, for the cord cutting.) Having dad be the one to announce the gender gives him a special role in the birthing process (you know, aside from being the one to hold your hand as you scream profanities.)
- For my c-section mamas it can give you something positive to hold onto through fear. I had an emergency c-section with my first, a failed vbac with my second and will have a repeat c-section with my third. C-sections are scary and can feel like an unnatural and disconnected way to deliver. Going into my second cesarean, I held onto the excitement of not knowing who I was about to meet. Especially when you have a scheduled C-section date, you miss out on that ‘when will the baby come’ anticipation, so for me, having the anticipation of will it be a boy or girl gave me a hint of that unknown excitement.
So when you ask me why I am not finding out the gender, my response is…why not? In our society we are so used to instant gratification. I truly believe in this digital age of having everything conveniently at our fingertips, we’ve lost the joy and art of just waiting. Yes, no matter when you find out the gender of your little bundle of joy, it will be an exciting moment. But I promise you, when your baby is born, and you have waited 9 long months of swollen ankles, it will be that much more exciting and beautiful.