Kate Wicker wrote in her Bits and Pieces post
that they will not be finding out the gender of their little one prior to his or her birth and I completely understand and sympathize with her reasoning. We, on the other hand, intend to peek as soon as we can and hope this little one isn't too shy for good reason. We have two boys and two girls already. Of course, the boys would love to have another brother and the girls are rooting for a bundle of pink to dress up and adore. This child will tip the estrogen/testosterone scales (because we don't count the dog) and I think my big kids need as much time to mentally prepare for that as possible. There have already been hesitant questions about changing room configurations and what not. I think their concerns and questions are completely normal for older children who aren't really sure how a baby will fit into their lives and who are trying to figure it all out. I figure that this is one area where we can help them, by finding out ahead of time if the little one is a boy or girl.
There is another reason we have decided to find out and it has to do with our personal past experiences. I remember after Sunshine was born and we had our "perfect family" according to the worldly definition of perfect... one boy and one girl, we decided that needing to know the gender of our third baby wasn't that important. We had plenty of blue stuff and plenty of pink stuff that had only recently been used. We didn't take a peek as we had with the first two and we kept telling everyone we wanted to be surprised. Be very careful when you tell God you want to be surprised! He has quite a sense of humor!
Having carried a boy and a girl already, early on I started feeling like #3 was a boy. From my morning sickness to the way I carried, everything about the way I felt made me think I was having a boy. I even made a very simple baptismal gown with a pilgrim collar and bow tie and decorated it with silver ribbon. Not overtly boyish, but certainly not frilly.
When the day came and my midwife announced, "It's a... It's A GIRL!" we were most. definitely. surprised
! But then, and maybe this was just me, I felt... guilty. I didn't feel like I knew this beautiful baby girl. I had spent the past 7 months thinking she was a he. We hadn't even finalized a girl's name when we went to the hospital (I didn't think I'd need it) and in fact ended up changing Shortcake's name twice before her birth certificate was officially filed. I looked at the simple, plain baptismal gown I had made and looked at my husband and blubbered, "I have to go find her something frilly to wear right now!!! It has to have lace and poofy sleeves and pleating!!!" OK, so maybe that was the post-partum hormones talking. I couldn't imagine putting her in that thing I had made because I had unknowingly let myself imagine it was for a boy child. (BigBoy ended up wearing it when he came along and I thought he looked quite dashing in it.)
So, it was then that I realized that some women can handle the surprise and some can't.
And I'm OK with that. : )
What about you... do you enjoy the surprise or not?
P.S. My mother maintains that she knew all along that Shortcake was a girl and that I should have just listened to her!
Your mother sounds great! LOL.:) We were "surprised" with the first 3 who were all girls. After that, we had to know and had found out with the other 4 children. It turned into needing to know because of planning purposes. It also helps to know the sex of the child, I agree, for bonding/getting to know your child ahead of time. You anticipate what he/she will wear, come up with nicknames, and plan room situations. Everyone in our family has enjoyed getting ready with names, clothes, and all that other good stuff.;) I love to mentally prepare, too, for the fountain urinators or the mastitis I got with all my girls. I don't think there's a way you can go wrong surprise or not.:) I hear good opinions either way. I guess I'm just not a surprise gal unless it's my husband surprising me with a cruise!;)ReplyDelete
I can totally relate to how you felt after being surprised. With my first child we couldn't find out the gender ahead of time because someone covered up with an umbilical cord. I was hoping for a girl, but assumed I was having a boy. Despite the fact that the nursery was unisex, I was mentally preparing the blue and yellow room for a boy. It took me months after the birth for it to fully sink in that I had a little girl who looked so adorable in all of her frog clothes. Poor kid. Second time around we found out the gender and I sat on edge for months worried that the technicians at three different ultrasounds could have been mistaken that I was really having a girl. I decorated a girly nursery, and brought both girl and boy clothes just in case they were wrong. They weren't. I'm now on the fence as to whether or not it's better to find out or be surprised. I suppose either way it's a surprise, isn't it? Peeking certainly gives you a head start on having everything ready ahead of time.ReplyDelete
I always thought that I'd like to be surprised. Up until the moment of my first ultrasound when I suddenly wanted to know. Come to think of it, I don't generally like surprises so I don't know why I thought that was a good idea. I do much better if I have time to get used to an idea. It was hard enough to wrap my mind around the idea of "boy" after two girls. I'm so glad I had time to get over the surprise and weirdly ambivalent feelings after the ultrasound so that our first meeting was just a warm welcome of the person I'd been expecting.ReplyDelete
I've always kind of envied people who let themselves be surprised but know myself well enough now to know that since I have the opportunity to know ahead of time it's a very good idea for me for me to take advantage of it.
That's exactly it. I thought I could be one of those lucky women who truly can let themselves enjoy the surprise, but I found out with our one time around that I am not. I just really don't like surprises. Grace, I don't even think I would like a surprise vacation unless I had enough time before to plan and prepare.
I wouldn't much like the surprise vacation either. (Fortunately my husband knows me well enough not to do such a thing.) Once when I was in high school my dad came home on a Friday night and told us to pack bags we were going to the beach (Galveston most likely, about 5 hours away). I stayed home with my mom and didn't go on that trip not because I had any real plans for the weekend but just because I couldn't shift mental gears that fast.ReplyDelete
The only surprise we had was also our 3rd, also after already having one boy and one girl. Except the reason we didn't find out was because we were living in Korea. They didn't tell gender there because of the preference for boys. We also had a girl. For our next pregnancy, also in Korea, we needed a high risk ultrasound which they didn't do at the Army base hospital. We had to go to a Korean civilian hospital, which was quite happy to tell us that we were having a boy. Maybe because we were Americans? Maybe because it was a boy?ReplyDelete
There would be no surprise anyway for you no matter what you did, because Beatrice insists you are having a girl, no matter what anyone says. Oh, and her name is Dora. Just a heads up!ReplyDelete
Wow Barbara! I had no idea!!! :)ReplyDelete
Well it's a surprise up until you find out anyway --whether before birth or after. :)ReplyDelete
We like to know ahead of time. I like being able to prepare, mentally, emotionally and practically (which baby clothes bin do I need to get out, inspect, wash and see what's needed). And we like deciding on a name.
But I think it's fine either way and I do get a little frustrated with the idea that's often hinted at that it's somehow "better" to not know. I had one friend tell me that if God wanted us to know ahead of time He would have provided a window into the womb. I replied that He did when He inspired man to create the ultrasound! ;)
We've done both. Of six kids we have found out twice before birth, kid #3 and kid #6 and both times they were boys. We like the surprise factor but with each of the times we found out we felt we needed to know for practical reasons. I have c-sections so it was fun to have the birth be a surprise since we don't do the traditional "when will we have a baby" waiting. :)ReplyDelete
See, now unlike Nicole, I have C-sections and prefer to know, because I'm not feeling good enough to go through clothes afterward.ReplyDelete
We've done both, with our first, we had a surprise, but I caught myself always listening to the Ultrasound tech trying to figure out if they meant to say "he" or if it was an accident.
I've found I know the baby much better if I put a name with the baby and the kiddos do too. we pray for God to tell us the name and each time, we've gotten answers.
One of our babies we didn't find out til 32 weeks and didn't tell anyone, that was fun. (our 2nd)
Plus, the Virgin Mary knew, didn't she?
We had a very similar experience with our third child, our sweet Meghan Elizabeth. Having already had our "perfect boy and girl" in the preceding four years, we didn't think we needed or wanted to know ahead of time either but I, too, thought for sure I was having a boy! I wasn't completely sold on her name as we headed to the hospital, nor was my husband in complete agreement with my boy name (Zachary Michael). Since he was so sure we were having a girl we agreed that he could name her if she was, indeed, a girl and I could name the baby if it turned out to be a boy. Surprise! He was right! I remember feeling so unsettled after her gender was announced, like "Wait, are you SURE?" I never waited to be surprised after that. I much prefer knowing ahead of time now for the many reasons you mentioned: bonding ahead of time, practical arrangements, gentle transition for big kids...ReplyDelete
Boy or girl, I continue to pray that your baby is growing strong and well! :)
I would really like to be surprised one day, but I don't think I can until I have at least one boy along with the girls, just because it is so difficult to find clothing that is gender-neutral nowadays. When my mom was having kids in the late 70s/early 80s, there was lots of yellow and green generic stuff out there. I have tubs of girl clothing and no boy clothes, so even though I feel like that is a kind of lame reason, there it is - simply for the clothing planning issue!ReplyDelete
I agree that it is nice to prepare siblings (and parents!) so they can get to know the baby more personally ahead of time, but it would still be fun to have a surprise!
Our first two were surprises, and we found out with the third--only because we had two little girls at that point, and really needed to know if we were going to have to buy blue stuff. We didn't!ReplyDelete
Charlotte, the funniest thing I remember from when you were expecting Shortcake is that at the time you were discussing buying your first set of bunk-beds for the Professor's room (though I don't remember if you actually bought them before Shortcake was born). I didn't think anything of it until *after* Shortcake was born and your sweet birth announcement mentioned "surprises," and you told me in one of our chats that you'd really been convinced she was going to be a he! Suddenly, bunk-beds in the *Professor's* room (as opposed to Sunshine's) made total sense. ;)
Oh, and OT, but my Hatchick wants us to arrange another play session for herself and Shortcake soon. They had so much fun on Saturday! :)
I do feel a twinge of guilt that it's because of people like me who like to know ahead of time that the availability of gender neutral stuff has decreased significantly! But only a twinge... yellow and green are my two least favorite colors!
Erin #2 aka Red,
Crazy of us, wasn't it? That's how convinced I was! Although, in my defense, I still maintain that God allowed me to be that convinced on purpose so that He could give us what we said we wanted which was a surprise! And we did put the oldest two together in The Professor's room for a while although I don't remember if we got the bunk beds before or after either.
Oh and that's an affirmative on the future playdate from Shortcake!
I just found out I'm pregnant (with my first) two days ago and I already know that this is going to be a source of contention between my husband and I. He is dead set on knowing the sex and can't understand why you would ever not want to. I, on the other hand, want to be surprised. I don't see it as a big deal to buy only gender neutral things until the baby is born (especially since we want more, so it will be nice to have things we can reuse no matter the sex of the subsequent ones) but he can't imagine anything being "gender neutral"...ReplyDelete
Any suggestions of how to solve this? We are planning to go with a midwife, and I'm hoping that the pregnancy is so healthy that we won't need to do an ultrasound and therefore won't have to worry about it.
DH and I are 'tell us ASAP' people! I like to mentally prepare, nail down a name, and have all the baby stuff ready. Our 3rd child (and 3rd boy!) is due next month and being able to get his big brothers ready for the event has been easier knowing the gender. They are excited to meet their new brother and talk about him a lot. I don't think I would ever want a surprise if I could help it. After all, finding out at 20weeks or D-day is still the same amount of surprise!ReplyDelete
-Marie in Dallas
I agree, Charlotte. I guess I meant "surprise" like, "Surprise, we're going to Spain in October!" which he told me in July.:) I also have to organize things down to the gnat's eyebrow so he's learned to know better than that.:)ReplyDelete
Nah, I don't think it's because of people like you wanting to find out that there are less gender-neutral clothes... it is because the baby stuff marketers want us to have to buy more! ;-P They know that since many people do find out ahead of time, they can get us to buy all gender-specific stuff and perhaps have to do it again when the next baby is not the same gender! I do know that personally, I would put a boy in a girly carseat, because we have a really nice carseat that happened to be on sale in the girly print. I don't think it would give the infant a complex or something. ;) However, I do know people who bought only pink and purple cloth diapers and will absolutely not put them on a boy - under his clothing - even though they cost $20 apiece. I wouldn't care about that, although I would stop short of putting my boy in a dress!ReplyDelete
Have you seen the Chinese gender predictor charts online? They claim to have this high accuracy rate, and for me, it happens to say that both my first would be girls, which they are. It says this one is also a girl. But I did it for my mom's four kids, and it was only correct on one of us out of four. Obviously it's just for fun, and I do wonder if it is something that somebody just made up completely and not really some ancient Chinese chart...
Other than with our first daughter, who EVERYONE thought was a boy (LOL), we've liked knowing. We were still antcipating the surprise of what/who they looked liked. Marveling in their beatiful features and calling them out by their names.ReplyDelete
No surprises here, thank you very much :) We found out with all three (all boys). And I'm VERY glad we did with #3. I was so sure it was the girl I always wanted (so I thought). When we found out otherwise I was extremely disappointed. It took quite some time for me to fall in love with the idea of a boy, and I'm forever grateful that I was able to do that before he was born. Plus it's nice to be able to plan and wash just one set of stuff (or replace as needed) and plan rooms, etc.ReplyDelete
we were surprised with our first 2 (girls) and this time around, we decided our life is too up in the air to have another thing left unknown, so we found out we are expecting our 3rd girl. I did like being "surprised" but I knew both times it was a girl. My hubby really felt that number 2 was a boy and I think he was a bit disappointed - not that she was a girl, but almost like he was mourning a son he thought he had gotten to know. He never said anything, but I could feel it while we were in the hospital with her. This time, we found out it was a girl and are so happy with the experience. Plus,, it's nice to find out when you are NOt in pain!! :) It was joyful.ReplyDelete
And, I do agree, it helps the siblings get used to the idea. I am not one for thinking there is a right or wrong way, but when asked I tell people I think a surprise for the first one is great, and then I would find out!
I am guessing girl for you this time. Although, I am always wrong about other people.
I once read a book that suggested not knowing the gender of the child is better because it affects the baby inside the womb. Don't know the science behind it but since you had that experience of being "surprised" do you notice any difference in your relationship with that child? Just curious! Thanks and God bless you and your family.ReplyDelete
For our baby boy, I HAD to know. There was no way I was going to wait, and apparently everyone who knows me was surprised by that! They all thought I would wait to be surprised. There is something so beautiful about calling your baby by his name in the womb ... it's like you already know him before he's born. I'm so glad I found out!ReplyDelete
For our next (God-willing, I hope soon!) we will find out. If our second is a girl, I toyed around with the idea of being surprised for any subsequent children. After all, we will have had boy and girl clothes, so it's not like we'd have to prepare too much...
But you make a good point. KNOWING your baby even before he or she is born is just something so lovely. There is a theology of naming, and a name is something sacred. I loved knowing my little Travis Joseph, and calling him that, while I rubbed my pregnant belly.
An idea I really like I actually just saw on 19 Kids and Counting ... having one (or both) of the grandmothers be the only ones who know and then have them find some cute way to let the rest of the family, including us!, know. I'm very close to both my own mother and my mother-in-law, and I know they would be just THRILLED to be the only ones who know, even if only for a few days (or hours!)
These comments are interesting. My children (daughters) were born 1989 and 1990: ultrasound scanning from far from routine here then, I think, and I had scans only because I was an 'older' mother (at 37 & nearly 39). Finding out baby's sex was just incidental to the measurements etc that were being recorded as far as I was concerned, and I'd heard there could be errors so was prepared with boys' names and clothing that was mostly white or lemon or pale turquoise. We never shared the information with others. I guess I'm from a different generation. Blessings to all, and healthy cheerful babies! - from NZ.ReplyDelete
I remember my mom was pregnant with my sister when I was twelve, and she didn't know whether she wanted to find out or not, so the doctor wrote it down in a sealed envelope. When my dad, who did not accompany her on the checkup, came home from work, he ripped the thing right open!ReplyDelete
We were told our second was a girl (we already had a girl)... but we were surprised! Fortunately we had chosen names for either possibility with our first, and the boy name was one we loved. After our third baby we tried not to find out, but we could usually tell by the way the ultrasound technician spoke, even if she was trying to be neutral. With our last one (8th) we found out; we'll find out with this one if we get an ultrasound!
Can't wait until you let us know. I personally always like a surprise which is very "surprising" considering my orderly and organized personality. But I understand those who want to know. I once told someone who couldn't decide to remember that Mary got to find out ahead of time what she was having, so not such a new concept after all :)ReplyDelete
I'm not a person who generally likes surprises, but we've waited until the birth with each of our three children. We tried to find out with the first, but she was modest and we couldn't. :-).ReplyDelete
With each pregnancy we've only been able to pick a boy name or girl name - not both. But each time we have picked out the right gender name! I'm pregnant again - due the day before you! - and I'm wondering if we will keep up our track record.
I'm a surprise gal. My kids are a bit puzzled how I know that their new cousins are going to be boys when I don't know if our baby is or not ;) We have three girls and one boy and they are "hoping" for a boy, but I prefer to have something exciting to find out after the hard work of labor. And *sometimes* it gives me a little more leverage in the name department...ReplyDelete
You are going to have to explain this "leverage in the name department" a little more! I might need that! :)
I love knowing. I can knit for my little one, toy with names (though we don't name ours until we meet them) and prepare for them. Living in New England, we don't just have to consider which sex: for the clothes to be right, the seasons & the genders have to match up.ReplyDelete
On a side note, I get more "naming leverage" because I "carry the majority of the burden" :) Hubby gets input, but mama's voice is the strongest!
I'm currently pregnant with twins and we're not finding out. I;m also high risk and have ultrasounds every week or two!! But we've persevered!! Only thing we do know is that the babies are identical, so they are either two boys or two girls. No chance for a boy and a girl. The clothing issue doesn't bother me. All you need at the beginning is PJs and onsies and then you'll get gifts and start buying things yourself. I figure it'll come, so the ender neutral clothing doesn;t really last that long.ReplyDelete
I'll also say, the u/s tech I had last week told me that not only am I in the minority for not finding out, but that in her ten years of doing this she's only had two couples with twins who didn't want to find out. Apparently it is even more common to find out with twins. Not me, I don't mind waiting. :)
Congratulations again on the new one! We have never found out ahead of time and I think we've only gotten two ultrasounds between the ten kids.ReplyDelete
We always have names picked out either way but I can certainly understand the desire to want to know ahead of time.
With my babies, yes, I enjoy the surprise of not knowing gender until delivery. With other people's babies, I can't stand the suspense of not knowing gender. :) But honestly, that and flowers are the only two surprises that I tolerate well.ReplyDelete
I am so happy for you, and I was just wondering when are you due.ReplyDelete
I'm just so happy for you!ReplyDelete
We found out with ours. I have a friend whose husband finds out but she doesn't. He keeps his lips sealed and has never let it slip accidentally.
I had my first 6 children without prior gender knowledge. And I struggled attaching to each one, forgetting their name for some time, feeling like I was adjusting to a stranger. I just thought there was something wrong with me. Then babies 7 and 8, I found out (each was a girl), and named the babies ahead, and with each one, the adjustment was so much better. So now, with number 9, we just found out we are having a boy, and I am so glad to know. My life is full of enough surprises, if I can easily eliminate one, I will.ReplyDelete
Congratulations to you! It is all so exciting