Having a baby means lots of decision making, and a lot of these decisions are made in the first few months of pregnancy. Where will you have the baby, who will be at the birth, drugs or no drugs, breastfeeding or bottle feeding, visitors or no visitors. But before all that, there is one decision parents have to make that can be quite controversial – gender reveal. Should you find out the sex of the baby or not?
It’s such a personal decision, but one that is increasingly common these days. It seems to be a question most people get asked once they announce the pregnancy. And there will be a whole range of different opinions as to whether you should find out the sex of your baby or not.
We decided not to. I had always said that I wouldn’t find out the sex of my baby, as I wanted it to be a surprise when he or she was born. I liked trying to guess what I was having from old wives tales, and it was fun to have other people try and guess too. I even did a game at my baby shower where people had to guess the gender, date and weight of the baby. It was great fun, and also a lovely distraction when we were counting down the days for the baby to be born as I was ticking off the people who had got the date wrong as we went along.
As much as I loved not finding out what we had, I don’t judge people who do want to find out. There are so many reasons for someone wanting to find out what they are having. A close friend of mine recently found out what she was having, and as many excited mums-to-be do, she put a status of Facebook about it. I was shocked and a bit annoyed on her behalf by some of the comments. Most of them along the lines of “no, don’t do it” and “it’s the only surprise you’ll ever get in life” but the one that really got me was “it’s a real shame you are finding out”. Sorry, but no. No-one has the right to say that to someone – it’s not a shame at all, it is a personal decision and there is no right or wrong answer!
I was curious to find out how many people do find out the sex of their baby nowadays and their reasons for doing so. I enlisted the help of my fellow bloggers to share their thoughts. There was a real mix of people who found and people who didn’t, and a whole host of reasons as to why!
We found out with all three. First one because we were just excited. Second baby was because 1st was only 16 months when he was born, so we wanted to talk to him about it and help him. Same story with third baby – we wanted the older two to know what was going to happen, especially as they were only toddlers themselves.
We didn’t want to know and agreed that we just wanted a surprise. The sex of our baby made no difference so we just saw no reason to know in advance. No one questioned our decision
We found out the gender of baby number 1 and kept baby number 2 a surprise. Baby number 3 is also a surprise but we wanted to find out, it crossed legs or something during the scan! The usual reaction to that when we tell people is “oh well, you have one of each anyway”. Yes this is true, but sometimes it sounds like they are inferring this one is surplus to requirement!
I found out my eldest as I was soo excited and I couldn’t help myself. Baby no2 I wanted to know if I was having another boy or another girl. I needed to know as we lived in a small 2 bed house. If it was a boy they could share and a girl we would of liked them to of had separate rooms. I remember being told he was boy and I was gutted! (But that’s another post)
With baby no 3, I remember the feeling of guilt after baby no2 was boy and at this point I couldn’t care if baby was a boy or girl, I couldn’t change it and I was quite excited at the prospect of having 3 boys!
We didn’t find out the sex. We wanted to, but they couldn’t see it at the scan, so we figured we were just meant to have a surprise. I’m so glad we did – that moment when my other half said “Mads, it’s a girl, we’ve got a daughter!” will stick in my mind forever, I’m so pleased that he got the chance to tell me and it was amazing. Lots of my friends wanted to know what we were having so we had a few people disappointed that we didn’t find out, but I’d make the same decision to have a surprise every time!.
It’s a very personal decision though and everyone has their reasons for choosing what they do 🙂
I have 3 children (all girls) and didn’t find out before hand what I was having as I love a surprise and what better surprise can you get!!! I did get a lot of pressure from family to find out – with my last pregnancy my SiL even tried to use my dead MiL to find out !!! (She said her mum came to her in a dream and told her to tell me to find out !!!)
But I’m glad we stuck to our guns because it’s the best push incentive!!!
I found out with my first as was so excited and just couldn’t wait. We decided not to find out with number two but number two turned out to be number two and three! So with twins on the way we wanted to be prepared & organised as best we could so had them gender sexed at 16 weeks.
We had a surprise both times at it was absolutely magical to find out at the end of my long & difficult pregnancies and labours. Wanting to find out what I was giving birth to definitely added a bit of motivation which I needed! We didn’t see it as a problem not knowing, as we just bought gender neutral and colourful things, and we weren’t bothered either way with either pregnancy. My cousin’s wife was told multiple times they were having a girl and they bought everything in expectation, and the baby turned out to be a boy when it was born, oops!!
Oh, and I got a fair bit of criticism for not wanting to know, both times. People at work just couldn’t believe that I’d prefer a surprise and some of my family were annoyed. With the second one we knew we didn’t need to buy much to begin with as all our newborn and 0-3 stuff was gender neutral already.
We found out with all five of our children. Our first because we were too impatient, and our second because we wanted to know whether to keep our sons clothes if we were having another boy. After our second son died we knew that future pregnancies would be very stressful, not to mention high risk, and so we decided to find out the sex to help us, and our eldest son (8) bond with the baby. I don’ think it took away from the surprise in any way, for us the surprise was knowing what they looked like.
Yes I found out I was desperate to know with each of my 3 pregnancies. With baby no 3 I even paid to have a 3D scan at 16 weeks. I had lots of scans for complications and always asked then to check it was a boy/girl again. The funny thing looking back when my second son was born he wasn’t breathing not that I knew it. The midwife was in a rush to get him out the room to resuss. The midwife said “she’s” fine and I was like no we’re definitely having a boy. She double checked on her way out the door and shouted back yes it’s a boy. 10 mins later he was fine and back with me. Just a bit shocked at how quick he was born.
We didn’t find out with either of ours. I always said I’d want to know what we were having if we had a second baby, but when we found out I was pregnant I changed my mind. I had gestational diabetes so lots of extra scans, but we held off on asking if it was a boy or a girl. It was so tempting to find out, especially as my husband works in the x-ray department so his colleagues who scanned me knew what we were having! We guessed we were having another boy as the pregnancies were so similar, and we were right!
We didn’t find out. This is predominately down to the fact they don’t tell you at my local hospital so you have to pay for a private scan to find out the gender. As a high risk pregnancy I already had an increased number of scans (1 every 4 weeks) so it didn’t seem necessary to pay for another!
We didn’t find out. I wanted a surprise but now that I reflect I think it was a way to keep the whole thing less real. It wasn’t a planned pregnancy and not knowing the gender kept it intangible I think .
That being said I’d want a surprise again as it was a wonderful moment.
I found out I was pregnant at 27 weeks, completely unplanned – at that point, it didn’t feel real, I had nothing ready and I wasn’t prepared in the slightest. I needed to find out the gender to try and get some grip of the situation, finding out I was having a boy let me feel like I was back in control in the smallest of ways. If I fell pregnant again, I’d stay Team Yellow, but for my situation, it felt necessary.
I didn’t find out with no 1 or no 2 but did choose to find out with no 3. I was curious to know what it was like to know from such an early stage, and being our last baby, I was eager to know what our final ‘line up’ would be.
I found out the sex of all three of mine – my daughter (last baby) was “sexed” in the baby scan clinic inside the store I was working in with two close friends, who also happened to be colleagues holding my hand while my husband was off to football in Lokren!
It was a surprise to find out we were having a little girl as I fully expected another boy but I was delighted!
We didn’t find out with the first one. We also asked that my husband be the one to announce the sex in the delivery room, and amusingly enough when the time came his eyes were so full of tears he couldn’t see anything and guessed (wrong)! The midwife gently shook her head at him 🙂
Second time around we found out. I wanted to manage my first-born’s expectations, and also my own. Because after a long journey to parenthood (both my kids are IVF babies), the first time around I genuinely didn’t care what gender we had. But second time around I had a preference for the same again, so wanted to know up front if that wasn’t to be (and also to have a chance to stock up on things for the opposite gender)
Willow was our first and we were ‘Team Yellow’, even before we got pregnant. So few things in life are a surprise anymore and with ever advancing technology, it’s easy to get what you want, when you want it. The gender of our baby was a sweet surprise we wanted to keep, to find out without intervention, but instead find out as she made her way into this world. My partner was the one to tell me we had a little girl, which was something I’ll never forget. We would definitely wait again next time, leaving the gender to be a surprise. I believe in gender neutral upbringings and so knowing whether we have a boy or a girl really makes no difference for us.
We found as as we’re the sort of people that just need to know. We didn’t tell anyone else though.
Most people were lovely. Some, however, we really surprised that we were happy having a son. As a female same sex family they thought we’d want a daughter. We were quite the opposite actually!
So, you can see there is quite a lot of people who did find out and quite a lot of people who didn’t! And there are lots of varying reasons as to why people made that decision.
When we decide to have our next baby, there is a possibility that we will find out what we’re having at the 20 week scan. I will have a lot of decisions to make during my next pregnancy due to the way my first labour went, so we may decide that knowing what our little bump is will make these decisions less scary. But whatever we decide, it’s OUR decision, no-one else’s.
Did you find out the sex of your baby?