On Not Finding Out the Gender of Our Baby

12.20.2019


31 weeks! Single-digit weeks, people! Hold me.

I've always thought not finding out the baby's gender before he/she was born sounded so fun. That's what my parents did for all four of us, and I have had a handful of friends who have done it over the last couple of years. 

When I was pregnant with R in 2015, gender reveal parties were only really starting to be a "thing." Now it seems like everyone does them! I personally don't have any desire to host one myself, but I love attending them. 

For both R and J, Jordan and I found out together in the ultrasound room during our anatomy scan. We kept it a secret just the two of us for a few days until we could see our families in person to share the news. I loved finding out during the ultrasound! After we told our families (through a balloon pop for R and a colored streamer pop for J, both so fun), we texted/called other family and our close friends.

We have friends who have done it where the nurse writes the gender down on a paper, and then they go out to eat later and open it together. Other people give the envelope to a close friend and have them plan the gender reveal for the couple to find out for themselves in front of everyone at a party. Some people do the early blood test, and I've had friends go to one of those third-party ultrasound places and find out before the official anatomy scan.

There's truly excitement about finding out the gender of your baby whenever and however it happens. Everyone has their own preference, and there's absolutely no right or wrong. I don't regret finding out about R and J the way we did it, but I told Jordan that if we were able to have a third baby, I wanted to wait until delivery. I think it was a lot easier to make that decision since we do have one boy and one girl, and Jordan was totally on board. (Not that he really had a choice since I'm the one growing and pushing out this baby LOL ;) But I did want us to be on the same page about it.

Even though I always thought it sounded fun to wait, I also thought it sounded really hard to wait so long! Who is in there? What's his/her name? Nine months is a long time!

But guys, I'm telling you, this is the most fun ever! I love it! 

For one thing, it's so nice to not have people constantly asking me what the baby's name is going to be. We chose not to share the name with anyone other than immediate family for R and J, and maybe I'm just overly grouchy about it, but I found it so annoying that people acted so weird about us not sharing. Don't get me wrong, a lot of people were fine with it, but a lot of people also acted semi-offended we would dare to keep such a secret from them. Even strangers! Good grief. But since we don't know the gender, whenever someone asks what I'm having, I say "We are waiting to find out," and then people get so surprised that they don't even bother to ask if we have names chosen yet. It's the best!

It also seems like in general people ask me way fewer questions. I think they just get surprised I don't know and don't think to ask anything else. Like, I still do know my due date and how far along I am, but I rarely get asked about it!

I am loving the extra anticipation. Obviously you're excited and anxious and anticipating the birth of a baby either way, so I'm not saying it's necessarily more exciting this way, but it's just an added layer of fun. And since I'm emotional about all the things these days + mildly panicking about giving birth again (I cannot for the life of me decide if I want to get an epidural or not; that's another post for another time; also yes, I'm nuts. don't @ me. I know epidurals are the wonder of all modern medicine. I HAVE MY REASONS), it's nice to have the excitement and unknown of whether this baby is a boy or a girl to look forward to.

It's actually strange to think about people knowing the gender of their babies, and thinking about how we knew that R and J were a girl and a boy before they were born. A friend of mine is due a few weeks before me; she's having a girl, and she was talking about her baby moving and said, "She's been moving a lot lately." It took me a minute because I got so confused by the reference to "she." I said, "Oh! I forgot you know you're having a girl." That was so funny to me.

The last thing I'll say is that it's actually not as hard as I thought it would be. Unless you have a high-risk pregnancy and are going in for ultrasounds every week, after you don't find out at the anatomy scan, it's not like there are a ton of chances to change your mind. It's not like I have a picture hidden somewhere in my house or a word written down on a piece of paper, and I'm not going to take off work to head to our nearest Peek-a-Baby, so really now I just have to deal with it even if I wanted to find out!

This post is not an attempt to convince you that you should wait to find out the gender of your baby! Like I said, it's super exciting no matter if you find out at 10 weeks or 40 weeks. But I will say that I'm loving the suspense this time and recommend it if you're considering! It's so fun.

How and when did you find out the gender of your baby?
What do you think about gender reveal parties?
Kaity said...

My work BFF just had her first baby a few days ago. She kept it a surprise which was really fun. I love the idea of it, but I don't know that I have the self-control not to find out. I want to plan! Like you said though, it's also probably because I don't have one of each like you do :)

Angi said...

I had a 27 hour labor and a 48 hour labor with no epidural. You can do it if you set your mind to it! Feel free to message me about it. People get weirdly defensive on both sides of that aisle ;)

I think it’s cute you aren’t finding out! I bet it’ll be so much fun to find out once he or she is here. But 9 months is a looooong time, way too long for me. I could never not find out, it would drive me insane lol

Jenny Evans said...

We found out the gender of our first 4 babies without even really considering (or realizing that we could consider) not finding out.

Decided not to find out with #5, and it was a really good decision for us. That pregnancy ended up being complicated, and I remember being in the hospital on bedrest getting poked and monitored constantly and hoping none of the nurses messed up and told me, because I liked knowing there was still a GOOD surprise coming at the end (boy or girl, I knew we'd be thrilled,) because at any moment a poor result on the monitor or a doctor doing his/her rounds of the hospital that day could deliver another bad one.

Of course, the moment of birth was so intense I don't remember having much of a real reaction to the news. With #5 it was an emergency C-section, with #6 (where we also didn't know the gender) I had just pushed a baby out of my body and felt like I'd just run a marathon. I was actually annoyed like, "Stop shoving that baby in my face and just let me BREATHE for a second!"

So in both cases, for me the best part to savor the surprise was where you're at right now. I expected it to be this awesome moment to find out at birth but I don't even remember absorbing or reacting to the news at the time there was so much going on. Maybe for the dad in the room it's more exciting at that moment, though.

Audrey Louise said...

K never ever ever would've agreed to not knowing. He's a total control freak (and truthfully, I am too). But I had trouble bonding with baby when I was pregnant. Finding out her gender lifted the fog for me and really helped. It didn't solve the issue but it was very beneficial for me. If we had a boy and girl already I'd totally do what you're doing, though! I love that! You and your family will be so surprised and excited when baby makes his/her arrival!!
(Do whatever you want- I know you've been there before. The epidural was one of the best decisions I made in my entire life. Hahahaha. I'd love to read your thoughts on it, though!)

Carolann @ Finding Ithaka said...

have a couple of friends who have done this and I really wanted to do it! But Nick thought that was absolutely insane and told me he needed to "mentally prepare" for the gender, which I thought was kind of odd since a baby is a baby no matter the gender in the beginning. Once we decided to find out the gender I became obsessed with finding out and I took one of those blood tests at 9 weeks! It worked out great because I was able to get a lot of hand me downs from friends who had girls so that helped with my nesting instincts. I'm not sure what we would do for #2! It seems to fun to not know that I might have to try it! I also didn't tell a single person the name, even my own family, which made them really annoyed (which in turne annoyed me because hello none of your business). To be fair we really didn't 100% agree on it until she was born, even though we kinda knew.

Amie said...

I found out ahead of time but if for some crazy reason we ever had another one I would totally wait! Love it!

AnneMarie said...

I'm so excited for you! I'll send some prayers your way as you prepare for birth. There is such a wealth of resources about birth (medicated and unmedicated) that I think it can honestly be a little overwhelming to figure it all out. I'm sure that whatever you choose, you will do great :)

It's really interesting to see your thoughts on not finding out the gender! My parents didn't find out for any of my 5 siblings or myself, and it was always fun to play the "guessing game" at home while mom was in labor. But personally, I love finding out ahead of time, and I like being able to know every part of the baby I am seeing on ultrasound. I don't know if I'll always find out ahead of time, but for now it's working out well :)

Torrie said...

I've always thought it would be fun to find out the gender. I photographed a birth story for a couple who waited to find out, and it was super exciting---I felt like it definitely added even more to the emotion and feeling of the moment.

Having now done the unmedicated route and the epidural route, I can say there's definitely an up-side to both. I liked that the unmedicated route gave me more control--I was able to tell where I was in the process, I was able to get up and move around and change positions, and it was pretty awesome to be able to stand up minutes after giving birth to take pictures (ha ha). That being said, for me personally, I'll be having an epidural from hereon out, mostly just because my anxiety about having another complication (and dealing with it without any pain medication again) was sky high, and the epidural really just helped me to have one less thing to worry about, since I was already worried about our third being a preemie anyway. Someday I should do a post comparing the two ways, but if you have any questions in the meantime, don't hesitate to ask!

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