Walking around with a big pregnant belly, the two questions you’re guaranteed to be asked are 1. When you’re due, and 2. The sex of the baby. I know that I disappointed many-a stranger by giving such a generalized answer as “January” to the first question and I baffled many-a stranger by saying that we weren’t finding out the sex. Heck, I probably baffled many non-strangers too.
Some would simply be amazed. In awe that I could just let a baby cook in me without figuring out which type of genitalia it possessed. Some told me that they wish they could have not found out, but they were too weak or too interested or someone around them really, really, really wanted to know. Though really, it’s the passive position to not find out since you take action to find out. Some told me that they just had to know the sex of their babies so they could prepare or connect or Just. Know.
Personally, I’ve been on both sides of the coin. With Peanut, I found out around 19 weeks that she was a girl, even though my husband didn’t want to find out. He said he’d prefer not and I agreed, but then when it came down to the ultrasound I made a quick decision to know. With Twig, I knew right off the bat that I just didn’t want to know at all. Even if we’d had an ultrasound, I would have been very clear that they were not to tell us the sex of the baby.
So why was I so adamant about it this time around? Put simply: expectations.
When you find out what sex your baby is, you’re likely going to tell those around you. As I stated above, even strangers are dying to know whether that little bundle of joy is full of ovaries or testes. Sure, some people can keep that kind of secret, but being the person I am and absolutely dying that I couldn’t shout to the world that we were pregnant before the grandparents even knew (since one set was on vacation and we wanted to tell them all at the same time), I know I wouldn’t be that type of person. When you tell people you’re having a boy/girl, you immediately start hearing stories that you’re going to have to get rid of breakable things in your house before they hit 3/lock them in a room once they hit their teenage years. You’ll spend all your money replacing large, broken furniture/buying 5,001 hair bows. They’ll be difficult potty training/disciplining. In short, by telling someone the sex of your baby, you’re opening yourself up to every sexual stereotype known to mankind and projecting the weight of all that bias onto someone who hasn’t even taken their first breath.
In my case, a question that often followed the discussion about how absolutely crazy I am for not finding out the sex of my baby was whether I wanted it to be a boy or a girl. Generally, my answer would be to say, in a joking tone, that I want it to be a baby. Everyone would laugh. Some would prod further and I would say that I honestly didn’t care, so long as it’s happy and healthy. With good friends we’d go onto a discussion of my trepidations of having my second baby be one sex or the other, generally along the lines of boys have scary parts that I don’t have or understand, but we’d like to spread the family name, so I continued to be on the fence about the penis versus vagina thing.
Though when I was pregnant with Peanut, it was a very different story.
From somewhere nearing the moment that I found out I was pregnant, I was convinced the baby was a boy. It came to me in a dream, I believe, some blur of me eating ice cream with a little boy. I blame having recently read the Twilight novels. Regardless, in my mind, I was having a boy. In my body though, I was having a girl.
When I found out, I was actually sad, honestly sad. Sad that I had a perfect, healthy, beautiful little girl in me. Sad to be carrying this wonderful little girl who people often comment might as well be my clone. Sure, it was a fleeting sadness, but it was sadness nonetheless. And four years down the road, what does that sadness equate to? Guilt. Yeah, moms need another thing to feel guilty about.
When you don’t know the sex of your baby until they’re born, it’s not something you really get sad over, or at least I’d imagine. I’m not really the best person to comment on this since I was happy either way the second time around. Regardless of your expectation, you’re a tad bit tied up with other matters when you find out the baby’s sex at the birth. Honestly, I forgot to even check until my mother reminded me, and even at that I asked Peanut what the sex was, to which she proudly exclaimed that it was a girl. Sure, if I would have known the sex of the baby ahead of time I could have screamed “Get her out of me!” instead of “Get it out of me!” (Yeah, you try pushing out a 9.5 lb baby in less than 3 hours), but honestly, does it make the statement any better in the end?
Really though, let’s get to the thick of the matter. I hate pink. That’s reason enough to not let anyone know when I’m having a girl, right? Right?
Did you find out the sex of your baby? Why or why not?