When you’re pregnant there are a few questions you can often expect people to ask; ‘Is this your first?’ When are you due?’ and almost inevitably, ‘Is it a girl or a boy?’
Today with the ability to find out as early as 8 weeks into a pregnancy, many choose to do so. And with the options of color-filled cupcakes and confetti cannons, revealing the gender of your baby has become a spectator sport.
It is true that for some, finding out isn’t a big deal, just something you do now because of the medical technology available. Either way, people love to know and are often surprised when you share that you’re not telling or that you decided not to find out.
I have to admit, with my first pregnancy, I loved people’s reactions when I told them we were letting it be a surprise. Many were astonished and said there was no way they could do that themselves because they would just have to know or need to plan. There were some who thought waiting for the birth was exciting, and I would be lying if I didn’t say it was a little fun to stress out grandmas with anticipation!
Now that we are expecting our second child, we did things a little differently this time and did find out. It is truly an individual decision that can be influenced by various aspects, and there is no right or wrong way. But here is why we didn’t find out with our first, but did with the second. It may not be what you expect or think!
Finding out Baby’s Gender
I do need to start by saying when I told my husband I didn’t want to find out with our first pregnancy I caught him off guard. My “type A”, planning and organized personality tends to not be a fan of surprises. But when I really thought things through, I decided I didn’t want to know. Surprisingly, my laid-back husband did want to know and this led to us coming to a compromise where we did things my way.
One of my main reasons was a little more “type A” than not. Truth was, I did not want a bunch of pink or a bunch of blue things! Clothing, blankets, toys, you name it. I wanted neutral items. This is where my planning and slightly controlling personality trait comes out. I always knew I wanted more than one child and I didn’t want to be stuck with a bunch of things that I couldn’t reuse.
In contrast, my second main reason is totally opposite from my personality. There just truly are not that many real surprises in life anymore. I decided this was a surprise I would be OK with. I envisioned this big moment where our family was eagerly waiting in the waiting room and my husband would walk out and share the news. To me, this was the best kind of “gender reveal.” And even though it drove him crazy not knowing our baby’s gender for 9 months, he will gladly admit how special that moment really was.
When we found out we were expecting again, I knew right away I wanted to find out. Ironically, I wanted to know if the baby items I had from my daughter would suffice or if I would need to buy something different (which I was hoping to avoid by not finding out the first time around!) It seems crazy but I feel I have more to do to get ready this time. Not only do I have to prepare for a new baby but I need to prepare my daughter to become a big sister. I want to help her understand and envision things as best as possible and most of all, I want her to feel part of the experience and important. She got to play a part in our small family gender reveal and can now proudly say she has a baby sister on the way.
Bonding with my baby is much different this time around too. I am so busy keeping up with a 2-year-old that if it weren’t for the aches and pains and frequent need to go to the bathroom I would forget I’m pregnant. By knowing I have another little girl on the way I feel more connected to her. This can be the reason some find out baby’s gender the first time around!
Knowing or not knowing, it can be so special whatever the reason or whatever the choice.