Before becoming a mom, I spent hours dreaming of my future child. What color hair? How tall? Will he or she have curly hair and freckles like my husband or straight hair and green eyes like me? Will I have a boy or a girl?
So, let’s talk about sex for a minute.
The gender of your baby typically guides planning the nursery, the clothing, the name. It’s exciting for our dreams to become a reality.
Modern science allows us to find out the gender of our babies at a fairly early stage, and the planner in me was determined to find out the sex as soon as possible with our first child. At our 20-week ultrasound, I was full of giddy excitement as we went into the ultrasound room to find out the gender. We found out we were expecting a healthy baby BOY!
The sex did not matter. We would have been thrilled with a boy or a girl. But now it was really real. We could paint the nursery, finish registering for gifts and fill the closet with adorable clothes. My Type A heart was so happy!
We were having a cookout the next weekend with close friends, so we saved our big news to share in a gender reveal announcement. (Gender reveal parties are hit and miss with some folks, so no cringing if you fall into the “miss” category!)
We had cupcakes with blue icing in the middle, and everyone cheered after they bit down into the treat. I know they would have cheered whether it was blue or pink…well, almost everyone. Our friend’s 8-year-old daughter was really hoping it would be pink!
By the time I was 38 weeks pregnant, we were READY:
Nautical nursery, CHECK!
A closet full of blues and greens in all sizes, CHECK!
The name picked out, CHECK!
Finding out the gender in advance helped us feel prepared to enter this new phase of our lives.
The Second Time Around
Pregnancy number two did not come easy. After years of fertility treatments and doctor’s appointments, ultrasounds, bloodwork, and shots that I had to give myself during certain times of each day, plus stalking the calendar for the next treatment, the next pregnancy test and having it all timed and planned, I was ready for surprise and spontaneity. I suggested to my husband that we not find out the sex.
I am pretty sure he was shocked that those words came out of my mouth!
After discussing it at length for weeks, my husband agreed to wait. Either that or he caved because he loves me so much! Deep down, I did not think I could do it, especially because I was considered high risk and had ultrasounds all the time. At every appointment, I had to challenge myself not to find out and remind everyone I interacted with at the appointments of our decision, hoping they would not accidentally slip and ruin our surprise.
Looking back, I feel like we were able to spend the pregnancy concentrating on our oldest. We were not spending our time decorating the nursery and shopping. Instead, we took advantage of the last few months as a family of three, and did minor preparations:
Painted the nursery a soft neutral grey, CHECK!
Purchased a few gowns & onesies for the hospital and diapers for the changing station, CHECK!
Gave special attention to the soon-to-be big brother, CHECK!
The night before my scheduled c-section, I had a moment of panic. We had finally decided on two potential boy names and two potential girl names.
However, I walked into the bare nursery and worried that we were not prepared.
The anticipation that morning to find out if this sweet baby was a boy or a girl was indescribable. The waiting room was full of family and friends anxious for our gender reveal. And the hospital staff sensing our excitement, shared in our eagerness to finally find out what we had waited nine months to discover: boy or girl.
It was time.
When my doctor completed the procedure, he held up my sweet baby BOY! “It’s a boy!”
The staff clapped and cheered. I wish I could bottle the joy in that room; I will remember that moment forever. My husband went to the waiting room to have his moment and share the news with everyone who had been waiting. He knelt to show our son his phone with a picture of his new brother.
Even though my husband told him that Mommy had a boy, my son’s response was, “I have a sister?” Obviously, we did not prepare him well on what to expect!
From a mom who has both found out the gender early and waited until birth, I can honestly say there is no wrong answer. Finding out the sex of our first baby was right for me because, as a new mom, I needed the intel for my preparations and confidence. Waiting to find out the sex of our second baby was 100% the right choice for me because the thrill in the delivery room was a joy I will cherish forever.