When I was pregnant with our first, the idea of being “Team Green” and not finding out the sex of the baby sounded fun. We went to the 20 week ultrasound with every intention of not finding out, but got the “money shot” as the tech so eloquently deemed it in an envelope just in case my curiosity got the best of me. I think I made it to dinner that night before I found out we’d be having a girl.
Then about 12 months later, I found out I was expecting again, and I knew I didn’t want to find out the sex this time around. Now, I’m not normally a go with the flow kind of person, but I felt this sense of calmness about having some unknown with this pregnancy. Maybe it was because there weren’t many unknowns this time around. Being just a year postpartum, I knew how my body would change, I had experienced labor and delivery (and immediately started bargaining with The Universe for a much easier one this time around) and the newborn days were still fresh in my memory.
As harsh as it sounds, I just didn’t care if it was a boy or a girl. I was more concerned with juggling two children and surviving. However, just about everyone I spoke to seemed to have a deep seeded interest in the sex of my baby. Strangers at the grocery store, family, long time friends, virtually everyone I encounter suddenly questioned my sanity because “How could you NOT find out?!” As if I was robbing them of something by withholding the information.
Their reactions seemed to fall into four basic categories:
“I’m a planner. I’d have to know!”
I loved this one, because there was a hint of doubt in their voice. As if not knowing if I was having a boy or a girl was stunting my preparations for motherhood. Look, I’m as Type A as they come, or at least I was until I became a parent. I love me a good list and I thrive on organization and consistency, but you know who doesn’t? A baby. They say God laughs when you make plans, but in my experience, kids laugh even harder at well laid plans. Plus, I pretty much knew what I’m preparing for…a baby. Now if there was chance it could have been a tiger, then, yeah, I’d like to know.
“How will I know what to get you?”
This seemed to be where people felt the most personally victimized. I felt so fortunate and thankful that people were so excited to shower our new baby with gifts, but would they not be as excited to give a gift after the baby was here? In the event it’s a girl, we were pretty set on clothes. Our kids were only 20 months apart, so all of our big gear was still in good condition and still pretty current with what’s on the market as far as the new fangled baby contraption you can’t live without. Diapers make great gifts. Just sayin’.
“Oh I can tell you what it is! I’m really good at predicting!”
Oh, you’re really good at 50/50 guesses? Do you need to see my palm first? I bet my love line is really long. This response was particularly fun the second time around since I carried higher than I did with my first, which, of course, to anyone trained in the ancient wisdom of the Old Wives guarantees a boy. (Side note: I DID have a boy, so take that for what it’s worth.) Even better, it was usually accompanied by a request for me to stand up and display my body for inspection so Miss Cleo could make her guess, which obviously is every pregnant woman’s dream.
“Isn’t it just KILLING you not to know?!”
Nope. Not even a little bit. In fact, your exasperation at me not knowing made me love my decision even more. It was a short lived mystery. I did get to find out eventually whether it’s a boy or girl. It wasn’t that long ago that no one knew the sex of their baby before it’s birth day, and somehow mothers lived to tell the tale. Ultrasounds weren’t discovered as a result of the rash of babies who suffered ill consequences because their mothers were underprepared due to lacking the key piece of information of their genitals. I found out with my first and it really didn’t make a difference to me about how I felt about the pregnancy or having a child. This could be my last pregnancy, so why not?
I get why people want to find out the sex of their baby, especially when it’s their first pregnancy. There’s so much mystery, if you can get one piece of information to help you see how much your life is going to change, why not have it? By adding a second child to our family, I expected nothing less than pure chaos (Spoiler: thats exactly what we got), and that would have been inevitable whether we added a son or daughter. My only defense against the chaos is to learn to go with the flow, and this was a pretty good place to start.