Finding Out the Gender of Your Baby – Before or At Birth?

by Mama Chocolate on October 23, 2012

It’s probably the #1 question I get asked by strangers while pregnant…

“Do you know what it is yet? Boy or girl?”

…and I always answer: “We don’t know! We’ll find out when he or she is born!”

Shocked looks usually follow, accompanied by the list of reasons they have to know ahead of time.

“I could never wait…I just don’t have the patience!”

“I’m a planner. I have to know ahead of time.”

“I don’t want a bunch of gender neutral things.”  

While I am sympathetic to all these reasons, I think I have some pretty good arguments against them. And while I feel pretty strongly that we will continue to save the surprise for our babies’ birth-days, I must admit that it drives me absolutely nuts when my friends wait to find out. So don’t for a second think that I’m judging you when I discover you plan to find out ahead – I wanna know who your babies are! ;-)

This is definitely a whatever-works-for-ya decision. I’m pretty sure your children aren’t going to be scarred for life, either way. It’s just one of the 101 little things we all have to come to a decision about when Baby is on the way!

So why do we save the surprise?

 

1) I am NOT “a planner” and I love surprises.

Even if you are a planner, you can still plan ahead for a baby without knowing its gender ahead of time. There are only a few gender-related things that you really need to be prepared with, (first outfits, etc) and those are pretty easy and inexpensive to just have one of each ready and waiting.

2) We have our baby showers after baby is born.

By then (obviously) everyone knows what the gender of your baby is and they won’t give you gender-neutral gifts. I don’t want to dress my little girls in green and yellow, either. We also received a lot of hand-me-down 0-12 months clothing in both genders before our first child, so we were very prepared in that respect.

3) We keep our names secret.

We keep our name choices secret for several reasons, (mostly so no one else “steals” them, and so we don’t get everyone’s opinions about them) so knowing the gender, and thus knowing for certain the name of our baby, would be super frustrating to me. I have a hard enough time not sharing with everyone the names we have prepared. If I knew who it was in there, I would be almost certain to slip up and let it leak.

4) We don’t need time to decide on a name.

We made a very long list while we were on our honeymoon, (as we gazed out on the Scottish countryside through the train windows – good memories!) We’ve tweaked and added to that list since, but we have at least 3 more full girl names ready and 9 full boy names, so we feel pretty prepared in that respect…

5) It helps me get excited about impending labor.

I truly believe that this is one of the biggest reasons that I do not dread labor as much as the average mother. The anticipation is so built up after 9 months of wondering that I get excited about labor and the need to know helps push me through the hours of hard work.
Kim at Life in a Shoe just commented on this phenomenon as she was waiting to go into labor with their eleventh child (born last night!)

read our sweet Elanora’s birth-story

6) We plan to have several kids.

This applies mostly to the bigger baby “gear” items – cribs, nursery colors, swings, car seats, etc. It would be way too expensive (not to mention wasteful,) to have boy and girl versions of all these things. I am not going to repaint the room to coordinate with each gender, so it’s a lovely sage green.

Okay, so we’ve already had three, and they’re all girls, so a small piece of me is wishing we did some more girly things. But we couldn’t have known that ahead of time anyway – knowing that they were each girls a couple months earlier in each pregnancy wouldn’t have changed that.

And someday we’re gonna get our boy. Or John just might go all King Henry on me… ;-)

Which brings me to:

7) There is little-to-no “gender disappointment” involved.

While I don’t think you’re a horrible person if you just kinda wish for a bit that your baby was going to be a different gender, I honestly believe that the process of getting over that twinge of disappointment has to be much easier when you’ve got your precious bundle right there in your arms. I don’t want to feel like I spent a portion of the pregnancy bummed about who it was going to be.

*Disclaimer: I adore our girls and am honestly a little apprehensive about having sons, so really, I’ve been mostly relieved to be holding another girl each time, so maybe I have no idea what I’m talking about and should just shut up now.
This reasoning comes mostly from hubby, who is more impatient to have a boy than I am. To which I will add another disclaimer and note that he adores our girls and is thrilled to have them and would never exchange them for boys. ;-)

8) It cuts down on the unwanted “disappointment” comments from family and friends.

People feel much more free to make weird comments for some reason when the baby isn’t born yet. Not many people are going to say “Aw, man! I bet you wish he was a girl, huh?” to you, sitting there with your blue bundle in your arms.

9) It builds suspense and excitement in family and friends.

Have you ever experienced the slightly anti-climatic moment when a friend or family member’s birth is announced, but you already knew pretty much everything about the kid except how much he weighed and what time he came? Obviously it’s still very exciting, but I like being able to make the big announcement to the world and getting comments like, “Your three girls are going to have so much fun together, congrats!” while we are also basking in the newborn baby-moon.

Besides, when I’m going nuts waiting for my baby to show up, fun things happen.

10) We don’t do ultrasounds without a medical reason.

I am not convinced that ultrasounds are completely harmless. They may very well be, but at this point, I am not convinced, so without a concern-based reason to check things out, we will continue to avoid ultrasounds anyway. If we ever are in a situation where we need an ultrasound, I suspect I would feel a little more scared about the pregnancy and perhaps want to know the gender if possible (since we were there anyway) to help me bond better with the baby.

Now. All of that said, here is…

 

Why I wish we knew ahead of time

 

1) I would absolutely want to know if it was at all possible in the event of a miscarriage.

I pray that I never have to go through this, but if I had a miscarriage, I believe that it would be very important to be able to name the baby, (and I don’t care for non-gender-specific names.)

2) I do think it would help pre-birth bonding.

I would love to be able to talk to my baby by name, pray for her by name and let her Papa and siblings talk to her by name before birth.

What about you?

Did you, or will you, find out the gender of your baby, or are you a wait-it-out gal, too?

Tell me why you made your decision!

 

Happenings of the Harper Household
Head on over and check out other bloggers’ opinions on Finding Out Gender Before Birth during the Friendly Debates with the Danielles!

{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

Danielle @ We Have It All October 24, 2012 at 5:26 am

I LOVE this post – LOVE it! I love all of your reasons! I think it’s so cool that you guys have so many names picked out! So now I wanna know… are you going to have all of those kids? Oh and your disclaimers cracked me up :)
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Mama Chocolate October 26, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Ha! We’ll see…probably not. ;-)
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Sarah Jane October 24, 2012 at 7:05 am

Great post. We have one child and found out before hand. The thing I loved was being able to call our daughter by name {Charis}, especially since we live in society that does not value children.

I totally get that you get to avoid the gender disappointment. My husband was hoping for boy, but he’s glad he knew before hand because it helped prepare him. I was wanting a girl and got what I wanted.

After all this said, I ultimately believe it’s up to the parents on deciding what will be done.
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Melissa October 24, 2012 at 7:50 am

These are all great reasons! When we were pregnant with Baby #1, I wanted to know because I wanted to prepare for everything. I definitely am a preparer!

When we got pregnant with Baby #2, I thought it would be fun to be surprised, I can’t imagine that feeling in the delivery room when they tell you! But when Baby #3 was added in there with Baby #2 (ha!) I had to know what they were!

IF we had a #4, I might convince my husband to let that one be a surprise.
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Mama Chocolate October 26, 2012 at 1:04 pm

That’s something I forgot to add in there…if we were to discover that we were pregnant with twins, I’m pretty sure I would want to know. That would just be a little too much suspense!
Congrats on your girls on the way! How exciting!
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Alison October 24, 2012 at 8:39 am

Number 8! YES YES YES. Hahaha I also didn’t want to find out the gender of Baby 3.. cause well I didn’t want to be upset if it was a boy again. I would see him and just fall in love. Not be bummed while he was still in their baking. Of course with the miscarriage I did find out it would have been a boy again. I would have had 3 adorable little boys driving me crazy. :)

But I think it’s fun to be able to wait and have a surprise!
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Kendra Krebs October 24, 2012 at 8:46 am

I’m a total planner and it would drive me nuts not to know! Although back in the day no one really new until the baby had arrived!
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Vicky October 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm

We didn’t with any of ours and loved it! When people asked, “What are you having?” I’d answer an alien, a puppy, etc. Confused, they’d ask boy/girl and I’d tell them we didn’t want to find out because it didn’t really matter, as long as the baby was happy (I never said healthy because what if the baby wasn’t?). I don’t need to have everything so planned out months in advance and it keeps me from spending too much money before the baby has even arrived. I don’t like how people refer to the baby’s name before the baby is born, to be honest it kind of creeps me out, that and I want to be able to switch it when I’m at the hospital if I want.

If I had 2 in there, I’d want to know though. Twins is a big enough surprise!
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Mama Chocolate October 26, 2012 at 2:03 pm

I never even considered how it probably cuts down on my over-spending in preparation for baby, but I’m sure that it does! When there’s the *possibility* that a boy is on the way, I’m not nearly as tempted to buy all the frilly tiny dresses I see (but don’t need because they stay in their jammies for the first couple months anyway, LOL!)
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Mimi October 24, 2012 at 2:27 pm

I think I found out with one of my kids, but not the rest. I wanted to be surprised each time. It’s the pinnacle of the entire birthing experience…”it’s a…” I think if we were meant to know what we were having God would’ve given women a window in their bellies. lol Just kidding. To each their own. I’m not a planner and I don’t care what the sex of a baby is. =)
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Darcy October 24, 2012 at 2:55 pm

I like knowing ahead. I feel like there’s already so much happening on the birth day that the surprise of baby’s sex is just as fun mid pregnancy. Plus with my high risk status and extra monitoring there are too many ultrasounds being done for me to be left in the dark.

For each we had names picked out either way, nursery is green and main big baby gear items are neutral… But we like the bonding that we feel we get from knowing. I feel my daughter is prepared a little knowing a brother will be coming and letting her learn his name.

But if someone else wants to keep it a surprise until the end – good for them! It’s just not for me :)
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Natalie L. October 24, 2012 at 4:00 pm

We found out with our first two, which were hospital births. Next time around I’m hoping to have a home birth, so we probably won’t find out beforehand. One of the nice things about finding out beforehand for me is having time to make something for baby. It takes me several months to get back into sewing after a baby is born, and I want so much to dress her in something I made just for her (we have 2 girls). It’s kind of funny too, with both my girls before we found out I was absolutely sure the baby would be a boy. If I had to wait the whole pregnancy, there’s a chance that I would have been so sure of my feeling that I’d have had lot’s of boy stuff waiting for the birth!
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Roxanne D. October 24, 2012 at 7:03 pm

What a great post! I would love for our next baby to be a surprise. My husband wanted it to be for our second child, but I get so excited that I just can’t wait. LOL! I really want a girl next time, though, so it will be really hard to wait, but just imagine the extra excitement if it turns out being a girl!!!
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Danielle H October 24, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Well as you know I found out with all three of my girls what I was having and rather early in the pregnancies too. I just am too impatient to wait it out….. but I loved reading all the reasons that you do choose to wait and they all make perfect sense. It’s just so funny that my reasons are pretty much the same. You and your hubby already have lists of names… my hubby and I have the hardest time agreeing! You have the baby shower after baby is here, we do before. You’re not a planner….. I am such a planner it is a bit borderline OCD, hehe. So awesome how we are all so different! Also…. that whole thing about people not saying much about how I didn’t get a boy when I had my third girl…. it still gets said and she is 2 months old and usually by complete strangers. I just don’t get it…. all I want is healthy babies – boy or girl…. God will bless me with what he sees fit. And now I feel as though I am rambling. LOL. Anyhow…. can’t wait to see all of Elanora’s birth photos!!
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Mama Chocolate October 26, 2012 at 2:05 pm

*sigh* Yeah, we still have gotten a few comments from random strangers. How are you supposed to reply to that?? Especially when your three daughters are right there with you and listening?
I would never, ever want my girls to think we wished they were boys, and I don’t understand how people could think or say things like that. It’s bizarre to me.
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Alesha @ Full Time Mama October 24, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Wow, all great reasons! I am one of the ones who says (and KNOWS this for me) that I absolutely could NOT wait that long. It was hard enough waiting the 18 weeks. With our 4th, I found out at 15 weeks and every day seemed like forever. For me it’s not being prepared as much as just wanting the connection in a different way. And as far as names, it took us until mere DAYS before our 4th was born to agree on a name, and we had the longest with him! LOL!
That said, I think it would be SO fun to have that surprise at birth, but I just can’t wait. Sheesh, it killed me having to wait to find out with you and Courtney! LOL!
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Susan October 24, 2012 at 10:39 pm

I would tell people that knowing the sex of the baby beforehand takes all the fun out of labor! ;-)

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Rosey October 25, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Oooh, a baby shower AFTER is such a cool idea!!

I knew with the last two, but not the first two.

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Jessica October 25, 2012 at 4:56 pm

I found out with my first, but with this one I’ve found out twice with two different answers. lol. It’s a little different and I’m not sure if I like the suspense yet or not. We have a whole lot of random colored hand-me-downs now though.
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Melissa October 26, 2012 at 10:01 am

We found out and I’m very grateful we did. There was a huge shift in the way I felt about my pregnancy when I could start saying “he” instead of ” it.” I don’t believe in naming baby before birth, so that was the big surprise we shared. I plan on finding out again next time, but haven’t decided yet if I’ll tell everybody again or not.

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Jennifer Chidester October 26, 2012 at 10:04 am

Love this! Always said if we had a third, I’d wait to find out the sex. First one, I was too excited. Second one, I felt like I knew the sex already, so why not. Good for you! And I LOVE the neutral colors in this post for the clothes & gear. Neutral tones look so clean & classic– win/win!

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Jesica H October 26, 2012 at 10:10 am

I love the idea of a baby shower after baby is born. What a novel idea! Lol. Think I will have to consider that if I ever have another.
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Yolanda October 27, 2012 at 1:06 pm

I only have my one girl but we were so antsy to find out :). I was too excited and just wanted to know what stuff we could buy for the baby. We were over the moon when we found out we were having a baby girl. I could see why waiting would be good too… but as you said, it truly is each individual family’s choice. :)

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Katelyn October 27, 2012 at 6:03 pm

I agree with everything, but especially 7-9! Who can make disparaging comments with your baby staring at them? And no one dares question a named baby. But we will see if I hold fast if I ever NEED an ultrasound….

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S B October 28, 2012 at 10:54 am

I found without with the first while going through a high risk pregnancy. Once #2 is finally conceived, I would like to do a gender reveal shower where we all find out together in last trimester.

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Sarah S. October 29, 2012 at 8:28 am

I love this post it is so fun!!! We found out with Susannah! Mostly because we were already having an ultrasound. With Emmaline it was so fun to wait to find out! Pretty sure that’s how we want to do it from now on! However if we do have another ultrasound I think I wouldn’t be able to wait to find out! Haha! Also if I ever find out I’m pregnant with Twins I’ll probably be in to much suspense to not know as well! ;-)

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Rachel October 30, 2012 at 10:49 am

I definitely agree that it’s a personal thing. Your list of reasons is what works best for your family and that’s great! We found out with both our girls and will continue to find out…I’m very MUCH a planner and don’t like surprises…lol. My husband also agrees on wanting to know as soon as possible. Waiting for the 20 week ultrasound is plenty long for me. ;) I loved being able to say “she” and “her” instead of just “it” all the time…it makes it so much more real and personal for me being able to do that. And we DEFINITELY need the time to decide on names….we found out at 20 weeks with both our girls and with our 1st we settled on the name during the pushing phase, and with our 2nd it wasn’t until a day or two after her birth. :) We don’t agree much on names we like so we need the time to talk it thru and find all our options. But that’s what works for us, and I definitely don’t think that our reasons and decisions are what works for everyone!! :)

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Beth November 2, 2012 at 7:58 am

I really like this post. It’s something I’ve thought a lot about because I would really like to do it your way hopefully sometime in the future. I thought your reasoning on the gender disappointment point was very interesting. I’d like to find out ahead of time next time because I want to make sure that I don’t have any gender disappointment feelings mixed in with the happy birth feelings. I love my little boy so much and I’m so grateful for him, and I know that I would love another little boy, too. But I want a girl so badly. I think it would be good to have some time to get over any disappointment feelings early on, so that I can get on to nothing but happy and excited by the time he gets here.

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Courtney Joyner November 5, 2012 at 12:47 pm

We are a team-green family too! :) I AM a planner, but there are plenty of things that are knowns. The sex of the baby is a fun surprise. We want 4 kids total. I don’t want to have to buy the big things over and over because we had a girl and now have a boy. Getting things in a “neutral” color was great because we are set for all of our kids on the big things. The clothes come as they grow anyway, so we are just buying what’s needed as time goes along. :)
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LL November 13, 2012 at 8:17 am

we found out with the first one – I was too curious – and the second time we knew we were having identical twins – I wanted to know what I was up against. I don’t do well with big surprises and do much better when I can anticipate what is coming.

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LL November 13, 2012 at 8:20 am

how funny I missed your appreshension of boys comment earlier – I was VERY apprehensive about having girls ;) and that was another motivation, especially the second time around – btw, we have all boys.

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LL November 13, 2012 at 8:21 am

how funny I missed your apprehension of boys comment earlier – I was VERY apprehensive about having girls ;) and that was another motivation, especially the second time around – btw, we have all boys.

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Jodi M. November 13, 2012 at 8:23 am

You have a very well-thought out rationale. I have 4 children, none of which I waited to find out the gender (impulse control issues) and how I wish I had. What an exciting way to create extra excitement for the impending birth!

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Niki Mattes November 13, 2012 at 8:28 am

Great post and for sure after birth, I like the excitement about it and the surprise

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Stacy November 13, 2012 at 9:42 am

I always asked the gender of the baby. I was too excited to wait to find out.

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Susan Alexander November 13, 2012 at 10:06 am

I want to have it be a surprise next time (now that we have 2 girls and a boy), but my hubby insists he really likes it better when we know. :( I definitely like knowing, don’t get me wrong, but I think it would be fun NOT to know for once!!

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Karen D November 13, 2012 at 11:13 am

I do not believe in unnecessary procedures ie ultrasound and am concerned about its effect on the child. In the old days, finding the gender at birth was how it was done. You are preparing for a baby! What difference does knowing ahead of time make?

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Christie November 13, 2012 at 11:20 am

We have 5 children and one on the way. We found out with the last 5 of ours the sex ahead of time. The only one that was a surprise was the first one. I am a planner by nature and find it hard not to find out ahead of time. However, your reasons for not finding out are very good reasons. All of our big baby stuff is non gender since we have a big family also. The last two babies I have toyed with the idea of waiting till birth to find out but instead have not been able to stick with that. I must admit that naming and calling the baby and praying for the baby by name while still pregnant is a nice feature of finding out. We also baked a pink or blue cake (depending on the gender) this time around and allowed our other children to cut the cake in order to find out what the sex of their new sibling is. That was a lot of fun. It has given my boys who are outnumbered already by the girls a little time to adjust to the fact that another girl was on the way. But, maybe waiting would have been better and there would not have been any disappointment for them once the baby is actually here. So many things to contemplate…

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Yvonne D November 13, 2012 at 1:48 pm

When I had the ultrasound they asked if I wanted to know. I said, no. I already knew…and I was right.

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Jen Breedlove November 13, 2012 at 2:22 pm

I’ve given birth to 3 babies and we found out ahead of time for all of them. We had one of each first, so I was tempted to let the third be a surprise, but I’m just too much of a planner :)

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michelle riebeek November 13, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I have loved finding out! But now that we have one of each the next one will definitley be a surprise!

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Jo-Ann Brightman November 13, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I decided to wait – but my husband’s family only had sons – so the odds were in that direction. I like surprises and I used greens and yellows for the nursery

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Amanda Evans November 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm

We find out. We like to name the baby (secretly!) and write them a letter about our choice. We just know it would never happen if we had to wait until after the baby came! Plus I’m pretty sure I would die of insanity if I added any more suspense at the end. I go crazy enough as it is when I’m more than two weeks over due!!
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Mama Chocolate November 13, 2012 at 5:24 pm

I should add that to my “why I wish we knew ahead of time.” We have wanted to write name letters like that, too…and have yet to finish even Katie’s. >_<

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rhonda hagymiller November 13, 2012 at 3:11 pm

I never had the option to know…and now I dont know if I would have decided to try it..sometimes the anticipation is more fun!

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Heather Capewell November 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm

I always got asked what we wanted to have, a girl or a boy. I remember my response was always, “a healthy baby, it doesn’t matter if its a girl or a boy,” I said that religiously through my first two pregnancies which resulted in happy, healthy baby boys. By my third, and final pregnancy, I did hope for a little girl, but if it was another boy I knew I would love him no less (we did end up with having a healthy baby girl who now gives her older brothers a run for their money).

We chose to find out with all three of our children ahead of time. At times I think back and wonder if it would have been more exciting, but I am a natural prepper, and curiousity just got the better of me at my ultrasounds.

Now I’m with you on the Ultrasound, but I had high risk pregnancies that required them (history of etopic pregnancy, miscarriage, and periods of fetal distress), and delivered each of my children via c-section due to unforeseen complications during my first pregnancy (unstable heartbeat and failure to progress after 24 hours of labor ended me in the OR). That being said, apart from my first child, the other two had births that were completely planned. In some ways it was nice to know the date, but I also admit to feeling like I was robbed of a rite of motherhood. I’m sure that sounds crazy, and i do not feel like I am less of a mother, but I would have liked to have the whole birth experience just once.

Names/gender… We too had lists, and a good idea of what we would name our children, but we changed it many times. we also kept opposite gender back up names just in case the technician had been wrong (I also kept outfits in grey, brown, and other neutral colors on hand). Many moms (and future moms) forget that its a human reading those scans, and they can e wrong. In fact the woman who delivered right before me had been told she was having a boy, and well a girl is what popped on out! Needless to say it was the talk of the OR unit that morning, and hubby and I were sweating bullets just a bit. Even though we can prepared with our boy names, we had redone the nursery in a very pretty girl theme. Luckily we were blessed with a healthy baby girl.

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Julie November 13, 2012 at 6:12 pm

We chose to find out. It has been 9 years since we have had a little one. I am a planner and wanted to know so I could start buying things we needed for the baby. We also needed time choosing a name. It’s a BOY : )

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Sandy November 13, 2012 at 7:21 pm

With our first four we waited until they were born to learn their gender. I was pleasantly surprised with my forth to hear the doctor announce I had a girl. I was so certain I was having a boy but secretly wanted a girl.
My fifth was nearly ten years later and I knew we wouldn’t be having more so I wanted my last child to be a boy. I had three girls and one boy and he was nearly 18 at the time his brother was born. I just couldn’t spend the entire pregnancy hoping and possibly feeling let down. After finding I was going to have a boy I was elated but still have momentary lapses of wanting another girl. We were all so excited though. He’s ten now and all boy.

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Colleen Kessler November 13, 2012 at 7:37 pm

We found out with our first, and decided not to with our second. It was much more fun not knowing — we’re due with our 4th in January, and can’t wait to find out what we will be blessed with. :-)
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Lynne B November 13, 2012 at 8:07 pm

We aren’t finding out this time (due in three weeks) but it is still the most frequent question I’m asked. This is #7 and our tie breaker (thus far) making the suspense all the greater. Once we had the names down, I wasn’t stressed either way with plenty of blue & pink (and a green nursery) on hand. We found out with two–our third for whom we had to buy more furniture to match one of the first two’s and with the fifth–was obvious on the ultrasound and I was fine with that because DH was TDY with the Navy so it was nice to find out together. On an aside, my mother has guessed right on all of the genders but hasn’t told me her guess this time!

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Laura November 13, 2012 at 8:50 pm

I knew the gender of all my babies, except for the one we lost. I had ultrasounds with mine and I didn’t want anyone else to know if I didn’t! I think it also helped my husband bond with the baby–”it” had a name and gender and was that much more real. One of the hardest things about losing my baby was not being able to know the gender…

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Rebecca November 14, 2012 at 9:25 am

I absolutely LOVED this post! I love all your reasons. We too have three daughters an expecting a “currently unknown to us” baby any day now! :) We have gotten ultrasounds and wanted to be aware of the gender in the last three, but a lot has changed in our hearts since (too much to go into in a comment). ;-p I LOVE the average person’s response to my saying, “Actually, we were just hoping for another person,” when they ask if we “hope it’s a boy this time.” Haha
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Amy M November 15, 2012 at 12:26 pm

I think you covered most of the things bouncing around my head when we were deciding if we wanted to know with baby #1! Hubby was much more determined to find out than I was. He had his heart set on a boy, but I really would have been just as happy with either. Now that we have a boy, I don’t know if we will find out next time…. Maybe we will and won’t tell anyone? ;)

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judi November 18, 2012 at 4:08 pm

With my first one I was told that an U/S wasn’t medically needed so I didn’t know what I was having. I got tons of green and yellow at my shower that I had to use once she was born and everyone thought she was a boy. I would have preferred more feminine items. With all my others I found out and I’m glad. I love being able to start addressing baby by his or her name before birth and I would never have had the time to make going home outfits or the money to buy both before birth.

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Debbi H November 19, 2012 at 5:20 am

I think every parent-to-be struggles with this one! We decided not to find out with our first, but at the ultrasound my husband ‘caved’ and so we found out, lol. We did find out with our others, for a number of reasons. We did share what we were having ahead of time, but we kept our names secret until the babies were born. :-)
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Elizabeth November 28, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Wow, it was like I wrote this post. We chose not to find out for pretty much all of the same reasons. We had a baby shower after the baby was born, which everyone thought was really weird. We didn’t buy ANYTHING before our first daughter was born. My sister and my MIL had each bought a single onesie and my parents bought the car seat which my husband installed in the hospital parking lot. I stopped at the store on the way home from the hospital with my day old infant to buy diapers and she slept in our bed. To this day when I tell people about it, they think I am lying or at least exaggerating, but you really don’t need much in the beginning (okay, we needed more onesies).

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brooke November 30, 2012 at 7:04 pm

After reading this I am now 100% sure I will NOT find out the sex of #3 when we’re expecting. I was 75% sure I wanted to wait, but I found out with both my boys. We have a HORRIBLE time agreeing on names and if we didn’t know the sex we would make a list of names and just let it be. I can’t wait to have a big surprise for everyone. My boys would LOVE either a sister or another brother. :) this is giving me baby fever and my youngest is only 6months!

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Shelley December 3, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Speaking from someone who has 3 girls and 1 boy…I did find out by ultrasound what gender we were going to have with each of our kids. Mostly, just because I REALLY wanted to know. I have a sister and brother-in-law who never find out. Either way is okay with me. If we do have another child though, I think I will let it be a suprise. We have clothes for both boys and girls now and haven’t experienced that additional excitement in the delivery room.

A sidenote on having ultrasounds for medical purposes: I have a nephew who probably wouldn’t be alive right now had they not caught a HUGE heart issue on an ultrasound. On the other hand, I have been unnecessarily worried a couple of times by very early ultrasounds when the doctor was trying to pin point an exact due date due to my awesome cycle irregularities. So… six of one half dozen of another?!

Here’s to letting families decide what is right for them (whether to find out/not to find out baby’s gender and having ultrasounds) and to the rest of us not to judge their decisions!

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Elizabeth - Water Rolls Uphill December 4, 2012 at 11:07 pm

My husband doesn’t tolerate surprises! He always wanted to know.
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Savannah August 13, 2013 at 9:06 am

Your post was very nice Johanna. We did not find out with the first, with our second we did find out. Now that we’ve tried both I think I prefer to wait until the birth. But I guess I had to do both to know right? :-)

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JulieK August 16, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Love this – all your reasons (both ways) are spot on… we have done surprise and NOT surprise. I loved it both ways :)
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