Did you find out the sex of your baby? #I've got a parenting question!#gender#pregnancy February 22 | Offbeat Editors offbeatempire @offbeathome runs these advice questions as an opportunity for our readers to share personal experiences and anecdotes. Readers are responsible for doing their own research before following any advice given here... or anywhere else on the web, for that matter. Hailey has her 20 week appointment in two days, and is wondering whether or not they should find out the sex of their baby. What do you think? Photo by Abigail Batchelder, used with Creative Commons license. I am pregnant with my second child and I have my 20 week ultra-sound in a few days. I didn't find out sex with my first child, but this time I am unsure about waiting. I feel like I want to know, but you can't unring a bell and I worry I will be disappointed once it is done. I would love to hear people's take on finding out sex — did it help you bond sooner to your in-utero baby? Did you feel at all disappointed once you found out? Did you feel less or more excited about the birth once you found out? Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo PREVIOUS Moving back in with the 'rents NEXT Clean your whole house in 20 minutes a day (even if you're a sloppy work-from-home type like me) Show/Hide comments [ 169 ] I hate surprises so I HAD to know the gender of my baby as soon as the time was right! For one thing, I am a planner and it helped with registering for gifts and planning the nursery. More importantly, I felt more bonded (I should say more deeply bonded, because the bond would have been there either way) because we were then able to settle on a name and regard the baby by his name whenever we talked to my tummy or about him. But it's such a personal choice, you have to decide what's right for your family 17 agree Those are words out of my own mouth. I wanted to know for all the planning reasons but it ended up helping me to identify this "thing" growing in my belly as a real person with whom I could bond. 7 agree Likewise. I am pregnant with my first and plan to find out. I don't think in the long run it makes that much of a difference (I will love my child either way), but finding out is helping me grapple with the imminent parenthood when I have never really had that "mothering" drive to have oodles of babies. 2 agree I didn't find out with my first but decided to with my second. I was afraid of the lost mystery and debated back and forth on finding out but I can honestly say it didn't make a bit of difference. I'm not closer with my unborn baby now that I know he's a Ben and not a Charolette than I was with my first son. I don't think it will take away from the specialness of our birth either. 3 agree For me, Geneviève is my first pregnancy. We found out the sex about 7 weeks ago, and I can say that it's definitely helped me to bond a bit with her. For one, I'm not calling the baby "it" anymore (and while I realize pronouns might change in time for various reasons, I like being able to use a specific one for now). For another, it helps to make everything feel more real for my husband and me. She's a real person to us now whereas before she was this unexpected thing moving around inside me. Honestly, we were both totally excited about any sex, but I think I would have been too impatient to wait for it to be a surprise. Though we have been getting a lot of unhappy comments about "spoiling the surprise" for others…as if it's not our choice to share happy and exciting news. However, I will say that I don't think it has made me more excited. I was already excited enough regardless of sex. If surprise means a lot to you and you can handle the suspense, I'd keep it a surprise. You've already done it once, so you know what to expect suspense-wise. 6 agree The Christmas before our girl was born, my brother bought us a huge pile of children's books. When he gave them to us, he said, "This is a present for both of you and for Alice." It was the first time someone called her by her name and it made her real like nothing else had. I thought of that when I read your comment. Good luck to you and Genevieve. I requested to know the gender, and now I get to talk my 28 week old feotus by name – I love that! Plus, I think that it really helped make the whole baby thing less abstract for my husband. He was constantly refering to her as "The Kid" up until he chose her name. Now she's more living being and less future object. 3 agree We still call our 7-year-old "The Kid." 6 agree We decided to find out the sex of our little fetus/baby at 20 weeks, and are happy with our choice. However, when it comes to finding out her gender, only time will tell. 1 agrees yep, I too start a bit when people ask the gender of my baby 8 agree Touche. 2 agree Thank you! how many people have I corrected this pregnancy!!! What do you mean by you know the sex but not the gender? From http://www.who.int/gender/whatisgender/en/ Sometimes it is hard to understand exactly what is meant by the term "gender", and how it differs from the closely related term "sex". "Sex" refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women. "Gender" refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women. To put it another way: "Male" and "female" are sex categories, while "masculine" and "feminine" are gender categories. So while you can know the sex, ultimately your child will choose their own gender identity. Chances are high that sex & gender will line up along standard lines, but there's a lot of wiggle room. 13 agree Thanks for the clarification on this (and so quickly!) But letting the kid choose his gender? How does that work? Do you have children? 1 agrees I don't have kids, but I am familiar with the theory from my sociology classes. Pretty much the child's sex is predetermined, but how he or she chooses to express themselves is their gender. You could have a masculine acting girl or a feminine acting boy. They choose whether they're into dolls or trucks or blue or pink (I'm totally stereotyping here, because society has labeled certain things acceptable for boys or girls and what they like isn't always the same as those ideas.) By being supportive of their choices and development, you're letting them choose their gender expression. 5 agree We did not find out the gender, and I'm so glad we didn't because it didn't make any difference whatsoever. There wasn't one thing gender-related that we had to deal with that would make us regret not finding out. And selfishly, we loved that we got to hear "IT'S A ___!" like we've always dreamed of. The only difficult thing was that we had to pick not one, but two names! 6 agree We wanted to be surprised by our first bub, but tried to find out for our second. Tried and failed, because on all of the ultrasounds she had her hand covering herself very modestly. *Laughs* I found out with my daughter and in hindsight, I do regret it. I'm now pregnant with my second and won't be finding out… really looking forward to the surprise I didnt find out, but I KNEW I was having a girl and I was right. But for the next baby, we will find out because it will be the last one. We will then go through the piles of clothes we have been hanging on to and decide what to keep and what to donate. 1 agrees I've only got the one, but we didn't find out the sex ahead of time. We enjoyed the surprise and had two names picked out that we really liked. For the next one, whenever that is, I don't know. It might be easier to explain to Roland if we can tell him whether he'll have a brother or sister. I'm not sure lol. 3 agree I think it's probably different for everyone, but I can honestly say that yes-I was happy to have found out. I am not really one who likes surprises though either. It did help to bond imo because I was calling the baby by name each time @ around 5m. Of course I think this can be achieved with a pet name as well, but for me, saying "him" or "her" helped. Well I always knew I was having a girl. I could just feel it! So when I found out that she was a 'she', I listened to a Queen and jumped around singing with the hubby! I liked being able to call my belly Penny, and I liked being right! Although, I kinda wanted to be wrong when she was born, that way I could say "SEEE!" to all of the people who insisted in getting her pink things and not gender-neutral like i wanted! 2 agree Totally agree with that last statement. The one thing that bothers me about sharing the news with family is that they think they can buy her all pink stuff now. What about all those other awesome colors?? 20 agree Hmm … I totally intend to find out, but you've now given me a pretty good reason to not necessarily *share* that I've found out. I'll have to give it some thought. 9 agree That is exactly what my husband and I did. We found out but chose not to tell anyone, mostly because I wanted to avoid the onslaught of gender-based gifts. And well, the lesson is…people just waited until after the birth to give us gender-based gifts. People just can't seem to help themselves. I chose to find out because I did have a preference and I wanted to give myself enough time to deal with it potentially being the "unpreferred" sex before the birth. I didn't want to potentially be "disappointed" by something as ultimately inconsequential (I have since realized) as the sex immediately after the birth. 9 agree This! I'm still kinda inbetween wanting to know or not but one of the main things that's making me lean towards not knowing is the fact that people won't buy half as much pink or blue crap. And unfortunately they'll do that even if you request they don't buy a lot and please not this or that colour. So, you end up with your house completely cramped and no way to politely donate or chuck it since the gift giver keeps a close eye on it (yes, I mean you MIL). I could keep my mouth shut no matter how much people dig but I'm not so sure hubby dearest could 😀 3 agree I see where you guys are coming from but keeping the sex a secret for that reason really backfired on a friend of mine! Basically hardly anyone gave her a gift for her baby shower and instead waited till after bub was born THEN gave her tonnes of pink. Thing was she had already bought everything they needed (after not getting it at her shower) and so ended up with waaay too much stuff. Just something to keep in mind. 2 agree We're also waiting to find out, partly because of the pink/blue stuff issue. If something similar happens to us, though, I think my response would be to donate all the pink, and if anyone objects to my not keeping their gift I would point out that I already had such and such an item, and it's such a shame they weren't comfortable gifting necessary items until after I'd already purchased them myself. 3 agree I was very, very nervous that our families would give us tons of stupid over-the-top princess pink stuff at my baby shower etc. if we told them we were having a girl. I was pleasantly surprised to find that although I received 'girly stuff' it wasn't always pink, and in fact most of what we got is purple, blue or red. Maybe it's just my family? I love bright colors, and pastel yellow and green just don't do it for me. I wanted hot pink, bright orange, green, blue and purple. Also, I love vintage 60s & 70s bold contrasting patterns, which I incorporated. Unless your mom has Disney fettish, I wouldn't worry too much about the princess stuff. That's not really in vogue at the moment anyway! Just look at carters.com (my favorite mainstream baby store!) We decided to find out last week, but haven't told anyone yet because of the pink/blue issue along with random people's generalizations about what girls/boys are like. But now I'm having second thoughts. Maybe some gender specific stuff wouldn't be bad…ALL green and yellow might be boring. I'm also afraid we won't be able to sustain the secret! 2 agree It's not a bad idea to keep this secret…People will still buy you lots of gender specific stuff after the baby is born. Plus, it's nice to have some things (like stroller/car seat, etc) as gender neutral, in case you have more kids later. 1 agrees I'm not a parent yet, and have no plans for the near future. However I do know that I would want sex-neutral items for specifically the above reason. We intend on having multiple children (fingers crossed), so I'd like to be in a position to reuse the items. A request will be given for sex-neutral coloured items so they can be reused by us at a later time. As a side note, I've purchased some light/bright blue clothes as a gift for a sex-unknown-baby-to-be for a friend. Regardless of colour the babygrows were too cute! I'm 15 weeks pregnant with my first, so I have been thinking about this a lot lately. For some reason, I don't seem to get any reassurance from ultrasounds, doppler, tests, or anything. Oddly enough it almost distances me from the baby, like I have to get a stranger to be the middleman between me and the baby. So I think that I'm going to wait until it's born to find out the sex. Plus, I love surprises! But I honestly think that there is no right or wrong way… do what feels right for you, for this pregnancy. Good luck in your decision! 4 agree I concur with the other posters. We found out we're having a girl at my 18 week ultrasound. I feel like it made her less abstract (and put an end to our boy-name troubles!). There was one reason that I really chose to find out: I had already convinced myself that it was going to be a boy (I'd dreamed it! I also dreamed I'd give birth on February 17 and here it is the 22nd and I'm still pregnant–oops). And because I had myself convinced, I was beginning to create this idea in my mind of my future son, our relationship, etc. I knew if I gave birth and the baby turned out to be a girl instead of the boy of which I'd convinced myself, I'd feel like she was a total stranger. Knowing this, I decided to find out. I'm so glad that I did! Now let's just hope that the ultrasound tech wasn't wrong! 2 agree Because my partner is a gender sociologist, I feel compelled to point out that what you're really finding out (or not) is the sex of the baby. Gender is a social construct and not measurable by physical tests. That said, we chose to find out the sex for both of our sons mainly because I'm an information addict. It didn't change anything to know for us though. One good reason to find out would be if you're undecided/uninformed on the issue of circumcision. In that case, if you found out early that you were having a boy, you'd have plenty of time to do your research and make an informed decision. 23 agree I totally just changed the post title, but would like to acknowledge that I had it as "gender" originally so that your comment makes sense. Considering I received my BA in Sociology, it kind of kills me that I overlooked that. 2 agree We're going to find out the sex, but only my partner and I will know. We're not telling anyone because I know people will either start bombarding us with blue things with construction trucks or pink things with princesses. 2 agree Of course, there's also intersex! It gets even more complicated! Intersex isn't actually all that unusual, I don't think. 5 agree wow. i really had no idea that gender is a social construct and i admit, i don't really get the difference between sex and gender, even knowing this new bit of info… 2 agree Sex is biological..i.e. the parts you are born with (penis vs. vagina vs. ambiguous). Gender is much more than that..what you identify as. I don't think it is as simple as that but it is an easier way of explaining it. 1 agrees i mean, i guess that makes sense to me but i'm old-fashioned, maybe. to me, a girl is a girl and a boy is a boy, based on their bits. regardless of sexual orientation, if a girl is a tomboy, she's still a girl and if a boy is effeminate, he's still a boy. that's just the way i think, so it's interesting to look at it from this lens of disassociating biological sex from gender. 6 agree I do not have kids (yet) but I photograph newborns at the hospital and always like to hear about the parents experience with finding out or not finding out. The most memorable though was the time the parents were told they were having a girl and out came a cute little boy. I think it was really tough for the parents who packed all kinds of pink and purple things in their hospital bags and you could just see on their faces that they were still in shock. I think I will choose to wait just because I think it would be so exciting (like Christmas) to find out on the day of but I hear good things about both options. 2 agree If I'm honest with myself, I'll admit that I wanted a girl, and was very glad we found out we were having a boy at 20 weeks so that I could grow to love the idea. Since I'm only having one child, I had to fully release sadness over the fact that I'd never raise a daughter. It was an emotional process I was glad to get out of the way BEFORE my son arrived on the scene. 1 agrees I was about to write a comment that said the exact same thing. I wanted a girl and for some reason was always sure I would have a girl. I had to deal with quite a bit of disappointment after the 20 week ultrasound – but I'm also glad I worked out all of that emotional stuff before he was born. For me, it was almost like a grief & loss experience – I had to mourn the loss of the girl I had imagined. By the time Felix arrived I was in love with him and with the idea of raising a boy. 8 agree That's how it was with my second son. My first one, from the moment the test was positive, I just knew he was a boy. I would have went to Vegas on those odds. So when the ultrasound showed boy parts, I wasn't shocked. With the second, I couldn't truly tell if he was a boy or girl, and was really really hoping for a girl. I too had to go through some disappointment when he PROUDLY displayed his bits. I'm glad I had the time to work through that or else the first few months would have been a difficult road. 1 agrees I also wanted a little girl but when I found out on December 23 that I was having a little boy- I was happy (that's what my husband wanted). I think I'm glad I had time to adjust to knowing he's a boy and get excited about buying little boy clothes instead of the little dresses I had imagined (and I know I am kinda buying into gender constructs by buying what's seen as 'boy' clothes but for now I feel like I can just buy based on his sex until he decides to define himself gender-wise). So I was glad to find out and be able to talk to Xander and tell other people about Xander and make him seem more 'real'. Same for me as well! I was convinced I was having a boy. I would tease my husband that our baby was a girl, but deep down I knew my baby was a boy. So when the technician said "it's a girl!" what did surprise me was the sudden depression I felt. It took me a few days to mourn and feel depressed and just let it go. But like others said here, I am SO happy that I found out ahead of time so that I could get VERY excited about having a girl. I'm very afraid for what could have happened to me emotionally if I had waited to find out. As for others buying me tons of pink stuff? My friends and family know me well, I have so many great colors in my baby's wardrobe! Pinks, blues, orange, black even! Make sure that you register for gender neutral items (like green and yellow) and spread the word about loving ALL colors. People will get the hint. My baby is due in 4 weeks….if she turns out to be a boy…well, we get to go clothes shopping again haha. I was convinced I would have a boy. I am a tomboy, how am I supposed to raise a girl? The world wouldn't do that to me. When I was about 16 weeks along, our friend, who is an ultrasound tech, secreted us into the hospital with a big group of friends. He hadn't done a pregnancy ultrasound since school, and we were early, so he didn't want to hazard a guess, but after I prodded at him for a while, he told me that he thought it was a boy. Duh, I wanted to say. Fast forward a few weeks. When my husband and I went in to have our official ultrasound done, it was quite a surprise when she told us we were having a girl. Although, I was excited and happy, I did have to re-order things in my head. I felt like I had lost the dream of having a boy, but I do love my little girl. Of course, now she's three and will only wear dresses. At least she likes dinosaurs. 1 agrees This is exactly why I wanted to know. I wanted a girl and my biggest fear was that it would be a boy and that I would be upset and not be able to love him as much. From the very beginning I had a very strong idea that it would be a boy, but sometimes I would still call it by my girl name in my head. In the moment of truth at the ultrasound I was totally unsurprised. Halfway through the appointment I went to the bathroom and said to myself, "well, this way I probably won't have to deal with princess culture." I am planning on only having one child, and it took a few days to grieve that broken female genetic line/bond and also to get over the idea of not being able to pass on certain heirlooms/toys. But I made a list of all the things that I will be able to enjoy doing with my CHILD regardless of being a different sex. I found out that there are still so many special things that the two of us will be able to share. Furthermore, I decided that I can still give my baby some of the things I wanted to pass on. My old soft pink blankey that I always had is still going to be his because love and comfort doesn't care about colour and the baby quilt that my great-grandmother made for me when I was born is still a connection to a family that I finally realized was important to me when I found out I would be contributing a new member to that family. Maybe he'll never want the dollhouse that my parents made for me, but I am so happy to be having a boy, THIS boy, that I can't imagine anything else. I'm so glad I found out because it allowed me to commit my full self to this little baby without worrying. That all said, we refuse to tell anyone else the sex and are looking forward to being able to surprise everyone else. 5 agree Hopefully you might have already discovered this, but your son will probably love your dollhouse! At least at a younger age like 3ish There's no right or wrong answer to this, but if I could have found out the baby's sex with the first at home pregnancy test, I would have. I really, truly, deeply did not care what the sex was, but I really, really wanted to know. It made everything a little more real to me, I guess; on the other hand, it made it harder to get anyone to buy anything gender neutral. My sis found out the sex at an early ultrasound and had the ol' switcheroo pulled on her at a later one, which really just reminded all of us that it didn't matter either way. 3 agree haha i was Matthew, right up until the day i came out. then i was Nicole. 4 agree same with me. i was brandon before i was born, and jennifer after. 1 agrees My grandma thought she was going to have another boy when my mom was born. The only advice I can give you is go with what your heart tells you and don't let anyone change your decision. Unfortantely I feel that happened to me. I was head strong on not knowing then through people saying "well you don't want a bunch of yellow and green for your baby shower" or "how can you decorate the baby's room" until I really started thinking like that as well. This is my first and I'm having a girl (so they say, but I won't believe that until she's born) and I swear for my 2nd child I will NOT find out! If you find out, do it because YOU and your other half want to! Good luck with your decision, it's not an easy one when your on the fence. 2 agree I'm an English teacher – "they," the word a cousin used, is inappropriate and "it" is uncomfortable for me. We looked, but the baby wasn't cooperative. The tech said that she's 80% positive the little fish is a she… so we say "she" since it won't hurt if she's not and if she is, it's better to use a gendered pronoun than "it." Whatever you choose, remember that you don't have to tell anyone else. I'm building a human, not a princess or a firefighter. I enjoy the vague quality of our "diagnosis" as we can defer the pink explosion coming from the mother-in-law. 6 agree lol, I'm a linguist and have a different perspective on epicene 'they'. It might be officially ungrammatical, but using the plural pronoun instead of the singular in contexts like these (where the actual referent is still singular) has actually been around since early Modern English (Laitinen 2007 'Agreement Patterns in English') and many folks today consider it more polite than gendered singular pronouns. It makes me feel much better about my automatic use of 'they' in casual & oral language contexts. : ) In regards to 'it', sometimes I feel like if "It's a [boy/girl]!" is grammatical, then 'it' should be an OK pronoun to use elsewhere, too. But they're different 'it's, so it still makes sense that we're ok with one and not the other. : P Sorry, just had to geek out for a sec. 15 agree I found out with my son, and it was very exciting! Though we were both certain we'd be having a girl, so there was a couple moments of mental readjusting when we found out. That said, I've been debating not finding out next time. For one, regardless of sex the kid is getting to big brother's baby hand-me-downs. Also, I'm curious what that moment post-birth is like. BUT I also know that I want a girl next time, and I agree with what Ariel says above — I don't know if I want the birth of my child colored by my moment of, "Aww maaaan." Soooo I don't regret finding out the sex, but I'm curious what it's like from the other side. 1 agrees we didn't find out, but i also can't tell you what that moment post-birth of "it's a ____!" is like, because i was so out of it from 23 hours of labor that i didn't hear the announcement! i was the last person in the room to know that i'd just delivered a little boy. 2 agree Aww, bummer! I can imagine it being hard to focus at that very moment — honestly, I know I stared at my son when they were cleaning him off, but I don't really remember it. Childbirth is a weird experience. 1 agrees I found out the sex of our first and only child basically so I could figure out if I was right or not. I had the feeling she was a girl from the time I took the positive pregnancy test, so when the time came I asked to see. I had been looking at ultrasound pics online and everything, so as soon as we got to that part of the ultrasound I looked at it once and said that's a girl. The tech was even suprised and said yep it is. I also didn't want to go that long without knowing for sure. I found out my first was a boy and dealt with the disappointment that I had. I had wanted a little girl so much and had been convince that he was a girl. I found out that my second was a boy, but I knew fairly early on with him just from my own intuition. So, that was no problem to accept. We decided not to find out the gender of our third because we had a homebirth midwife and would have had to pay out of pocket for an ultrasound. So, we actually decided that we wouldn't have an ultrasound unless there was some indication of a problem. As much as I wanted a girl, I knew that if I didn't find out, I had to accept this baby as a separate individual. I think that I am closer to this child both in and out of utero. I felt no disappointment when I heard, "It's a boy". I just maintain that I'll adopt a girl at some point. 1 agrees I found out with both. I don't do surprises and now I know (well almost know, 95% sure) this is a girl I feel more bonded to her than I did when she was it or fetus. And she has a name I can refer to her as. It just makes it more real for me. I knew I was having a boy and the ultrasound confirmed it. We found out to satisfy our own curiousity and for the benefit of generous family members. Plus I invited my mom to the appointment and she was so overjoyed to be there when we found out. It was a special moment. I don't think our family would have let us wait a full 9 months to find out. When my cousin was pregnant she did not find out the baby's sex, but her in-laws bought her all boy clothes anyway because they wanted a boy. She now has 3 boys. I think with the first I won't–I like surprises, so having an extra one is fun! But with a second I think I might, so I can get the first one excited about the new little brother/sister in advance. We didn't find out, and it was awesome! I will say that I was surprised when Jasper was a boy, because I was convinced he was a girl, and was stoked about the idea, but as soon as he came out and I got to see that it was a boy (that was my BIG rule–no one saying what the baby was, but letting us see), I was so over the moon. 4 agree We went into the ultra sound and I waited until my family was in there w me to find out the gender. It was a boy and I was FLOORED!! I was so excited! yes, we started calling him by his name right away. it helped me bond. yes it did had it been a girl..I wouldn't have loved her any less. but I was just so happy to know the gender! I'm going to find out next time too. I love that we have the technology to do that. why wait? it's one of the fun things in life I think. finding out and bragging! and then you can get the clothes and stuff. althought sometimes it's not 100%..LoL… I wanted to know if the doctors and technicians were going to know — I'm just that curious. But I didn't tell anyone else except my partners until they were born. I had twins, so I also didn't know which one was going to be named what. We called them by their in utero nicknames instead, which worked fine. I know this will sound REALLY weird, but I had a super odd intuition with both of my children from the moment I found out I was pregnant that my 1st was a girl and my 2nd was a boy. For the first baby, I waited to find out until she was born. There was a ton of gender neutral stuff available 10 years ago, however. And I didn't mind green and yellow so much. However, I also bought a lot of pink stuff because I KNEW she was a girl. As it turns out, she was indeed a girl and I was right. Flash forward 10 years to baby number 2. I started looking for clothing and other items early at yard sales and goodwill. I noticed the extreme lack of cute gender neutral stuff. So, I started checking things out online, also. Also an extreme lack of cute gender neutral stuff. However, I had this deep rooted feeling that he was going to be a boy, so I started buying boy stuff. When it came time to the ultrasound, I was so convinced that I decided to talk my partner into agreeing. She did, but she really didn't want to share the moment with the ultrasound technician. We decided to take an envelope with us to our appointment, and ask if the tech would look for us, but not tell us. Instead, she could put the results in the envelope and seal it shut. Later, while alone, we peeked inside. Three snapshots of our sons little manhood along with a note that said "Congrats! It's a boy!" We were super happy! I cried. I was super happy knowing that again I was right and that I was getting what I secretly wanted. 1 agrees We did not find out the sex of our son. We loved the mystery! It was so fun, like knowing you will be receiving a present you want! Also we didn't want to settle on names until after we met the baby so we went into labor with two lists. Our family put a lot of pressure on us to find out, saying that they didn't "know what to buy." My husband and I told them calmly that "baby" needed the same things no matter what the sex was. We decorated our nursery in a green jungle theme and honestly I think people bought us LESS STUFF because of not knowing. However time will tell on our choice with the next baby. It depends a lot on my son. I think it might be easier to explain to him if I know that he is going to have a little sister or brother. But I would rather not find out and have one more wonderful surprise in my life. 2 agree What weirds me out is when people ask, "Do you know if it's a boy or girl?" and I respond, and they say, "Oh, is that what you wanted?" Um, well I wanted a baby…so…yeah, it is exactly what I wanted. My husband and I never questioned that we would definitely want to know the baby's sex at our 20 week ultrasound, for us, the 15 weeks we waited to find out was enough of a surprise! I'm super impatient. I was also sure he was a boy and I wanted confirmation. Another issue was that I really, really hated calling the baby "it" or "She or he." Personally, our ultrasound tech told us that if we wanted, she could leave her report with the sex in my records, and we could ask any time. So far every single medical staff member has asked if we know the sex before discussing the baby with us to avoid any slip-ups. It's reassuring to know that if we hadn't wanted to know, we still wouldn't know! We found out for our first child. I always thought I'd always wanted to be surprised, but realistically we needed to find out. I wanted to know what gender the baby was so I could get gender specific stuff. I hate the pastel yellows, greens and beiges that gender neutral stuff offers. After finding out I definitely felt more bonded to the baby. I actually started to use her name, instead of "it". I think it also helped Tyler (my husband) bond as well. We plan on finding out again if and when we have another. Good luck! We weren't going to find out and then, after some moderate complications at 14 weeks we decided we wanted to find out and then we decided that we didn't find out. I really did not care if we found out early or not and let my husband decide. The night before our appointment he was stilling going back and forth and I told him that the decision was his and when the technician asked he should answer. He decided to find out, which was wonderful! The twist for us was that we kept it a secret from everyone else until our daughter was born. I wouldn't have had it any other way! we were able to have our own little secret and keep everyone surprised. It was perfect for us! (And, for those who wonder, we wanted all the clothing, bedding, nursery walls to be gender neutral so we didn't "accidentally" spill the beans. It also encouraged people to get us things that were "us" (i.e. robots and dinosaurs) instead of flowery, saccharine pink things) We didn't find out, and while it took a lot of convincing by my husband, I am totally glad we didn't know. I didn't want all blue or all pink prezzies, I didn't want to "name" the baby beforehand, and having all the 1000 customers that I saw at work every day try and guess what it was, and for what reason they thought so, was really really cool. I am still not sure if we'll find out or not for baby #2 should we be so blessed, as it will mean the difference between future bedroom sharing or a future house selling.. but I'm not going to worry about it til the time comes. In my heart I want to know.. but the surprise was so cool, I might be more easily convinced this time Plus I think it will be a really cool surprise for Else to find out if she has a brother or sister at the same time we do! I think it will be awesome to see her make her guesses too. No kids yet, so obviously this might change. My husband and I have decided that whenever we do have a baby, we'll find out the sex and tell our families, but not tell them what name we've chosen. That way, there's still some mystery surrounding the birth, but hopefully it will make things easier for our families to shop for baby. Though, even with the amazing medical technology there is today, nothing's guaranteed! I worked at a store that sold some baby decor, a couple came in and bought a cart full of boy decor, then several weeks later, returned it all. When asked for the reason, the dad said, "Well, three ultrasounds said it was a boy, but when she made her debut, we saw the ultrasounds were wrong!" My sister-in-law did that with her first baby– they found out the sex, but didn't reveal the name until he was born. They wanted to have something about the birth to share as a big surprise to everyone (besides the gorgeous baby boy). They did give us all clues, though, and we had a family betting pool going with his name (among other things). None of us guessed right! I would love to be surprised! But, at the same time, I hate surprises. I'm 18 weeks, and the main thing keeping me from knowing the sex of my baby, is clothing, accessories, and of course, nosy grandparents to be. Out nursery plan is gender neutral (Nightmare before christmas theme. Painting the walls, and black nursery furniture, along with all of my various TNBC knik knacks.) But I would really like to know what type of clothing I will be buying…. also, I REALLY want to know if I should start calling my belly Faye, or Orin. 😀 I agree with all the other comments that a) it's a personal decision, b) it does make it easier to plan, especially with a second child (like another poster, I wanted to know whether I had to buy any new clothes or if my son's hand-me-downs could work) c) it helped me to bond with each baby and d) it's exciting to find out no matter when you find out. I hated when people would say to me "But don't you want to be surprised?" Um, it was a surprise. It was just a surprise a few months earlier! Like several others, I really wanted to have a girl but knew our odds were very low (there are almost no girls in either of our families) so I wanted to know ahead of time both so I could accept it and get used to the idea of having a boy (and get excited about it) and so my extended family would get over the idea of another boy before he arrived. My boy has taught me SO much, I am glad I had a boy first. And then the second time around, I was thrilled to find out I was having a girl 2 agree I found out with both of mine, mainly because i couldn't stand the expense any longer – and nosy grandparents, i've got to admit, were a factor too. With our daughter, I tried desperately to limit the amount of pink that my mother sent, but failed miserably. I just decided that I wouldn't buy her anything pink, to help balance it out, since everyone else was sending pink things. Our second was a boy, and we did the same thing – told everyone, tried to limit the amount of gender-specific crap being bought for us (although really appreciating the generosity) and bought mostly gender-neutral stuff ourselves. With #3, who will hopefully exist within a few months, we'll find out again, because I really want to see if I can finally guess the sex correctly. I was barely sick at all while pregnant with my daughter and had absolutely horrible morning sickness with my son, so having #3 and guessing based on how I feel before 20 weeks should be interesting. My wife and I were convinced that our little fetus was a boy. We were a bit worried because we both came from families of only sisters and don't know anything about raising boys. We had to find out during the ultrasound so we could prepare ourselves. We were quite shocked to find out that she's a girl. I'm not pleased about the explosion of pink stuff from our relatives but I like pastel yellow and green even less so I'm living with the pink. And returning or consigning some of the stuff. We settled on the name about a month after the ultrasound but have been keeping it a secret from everyone except the cat and our lawyer (so she could prepare the second-parent adoption forms). Now we are just waiting to meet her, and to make sure she's really a she! I'm four days late and counting. 2 agree We did not find out. Our main reasoning was a) there are very few surprises in life and this would be a splendid one, b) we didn't want to preconceive anything at all about the child and wanted to encounter the child on his/her own terms once he/she was here, and we felt that if we knew the sex we might start idealizing our child a bit more, picturing it a certain way, our relationship a certain way, etc and c) we just really wanted gender neutral gifts and in fact cannot even understand the notion that one has to know the sex to buy clothes, prepare a nursery, etc. Since we hoped for any future kiddos to share our first child's room, we definitely wanted gender neutrality even if we had known the sex. It was great fun to wonder. We had to go back and forth on circumcision and we did need to decide that, as it turns out, because we did have a boy, but even had we had a girl, I don't think it would have been time wasted as it led to interesting discussions. I do think I personalized the baby — known by a nickname — less than my friend pregnant at the same time who found out the sex of her child and started using the name. In fact, I was afraid I wasn't going to love the child! It was all abstract to me. (Funny now as I adore him beyond belief.) So, perhaps this would have been different had I known the sex. But I also think I wanted the baby to be a bit abstract until he/she was here. That was partly our point in waiting. I will never forget the moment when my husband told me the sex at childbirth. I think the nurses had fun, too. It was generally just a lot of fun. If we have another, I think we will likely be surprised again. True, our son might want to know, but we think we will use it as a teachable opportunity to show him that it doesn't matter if it is a boy or a girl. My sibling is transgender so we are already going to have to explain to our son that his uncle was my little sister growing up, so this can be just one more challenge! I am not militant about this for others. I think it is a go your own way thing. But for me — less so for my husband perhaps but definitely for me — I think this is the only real path for us. I will say that not wanting to know the sex made the 20 week ultrasound take on a whole new significance. It really reminded us of the real purpose of the ultrasound, which is to screen for problems. I think we were very conscious of the various things that might be found at that ultrasound because we weren't waiting for the big news. 12 agree There was no question about us finding out the sex. My reason has always been that it would really bug me to know that some technician or my doctor would know, but I wouldn't! Eff that. Of course then we went with midwives who didn't recommend ultrasounds unless medically necessary, but I still HAD TO find out, so we went to one of those just-for-fun ultrasound places. Knowing which one of our future children was in there (we've had names picked out since we started dating) made it so much more real. I knew who I was talking to, I knew that we had roughly 20 weeks to reach an agreement on circumcision (and it took about that long, too!). Had it been a girl, we would have needed about 20 weeks to figure out her middle name. Anyway the moral of the story is I'm glad that we found out because having a baby is stressful enough, I'm glad we got all that other stuff out of the way beforehand. 1 agrees This is off-topic but I keep reading comments that reference pastel yellow and green as the only gender-neutral options for baby clothes and decor. But what about orange and red and purple and royal blue and pretty much any other color? We even dressed our boy in pink onesies from time to time and it was CUTE. 9 agree AMEN! http://offbeatmama.com/2009/08/gender-neutral-baby-clothes 3 agree I once made the comment that I didn't mind pink or blue hand me downs from other families because no matter what sex my baby is, they can still wear those colors. The family and friends were horrified. And apparently a girl wearing blue is way way way more acceptable than a boy wearing pink. 4 agree In my experience, if you don't tell people, they will get you yellow and green things. Each item will come in 3 colours here: blue, pink and "yellow, green, white or beige" So, perhaps people are referring to yellow and green because that's what they received at baby showers. We found at 20 weeks that we were having a girl. The doctor said he was 98% sure. We were thrilled! I was so sure it was a girl and I REALLY wanted to have a girl. I had to go back for a second ultrasound at 26 weeks. At that ultrasound the doctor realized he had made a mistake. We were actually having a boy. That was a really hard experience for me and my husband. I had this disconnect with the baby I had been bonding so intensely with. I felt nearly disgusted and then ashamed and guilty for feeling so bad about being SO sad about having a boy. I really had to grieve for awhile. In retrospect, had I found out that I was having a boy at 20 weeks, I am sure I would have felt a lot differently than I did after having 6 weeks to bond with the idea of having a girl. Now, I am nearly 40 weeks and expecting this boy any day now. I am happy to have a boy and I've had time to be thrilled about raising a wonderful son. 1 agrees When I had my first they only did an ultrasound if there were concerns. As my pregnancy was running smoothly we had no opportunity to find out baby's sex. I had already decided I wanted to decorate the nursery in red and blue regardless of sex so that wasn't an issue. After my daughter was born I realized I never really thought of "the baby" as anything other than a girl. When I was pregnant with my son we decided not to find out. I was pretty convinced he was a girl until he "flipped" to breach at 35 weeks, necessitating a c-section. I thought no self-respecting girl would do that to her mother and maybe this baby was a boy after all.:-) Either was truly OK with us, and the anticipation was part of the fun. We lost our first child at 18 weeks due to a health/genetic issue. I'm now 35 weeks pregnant with a boy. I found it helpful to know the sex so that I could refer to him by name, because I spent a lot of the early months of my pregnancy afraid to "buy in". Being able to call him by his name has made him more real, and less ephemeral for me. I do not think that would necessarily be the case for everyone. However, I have been stunned and irritated by all the people who have this conversation with me: Them: Do you know what you are having? Me: Yes, it's a boy Them: Your husband must be happy. Me:… smiles politely ( thinks in head, no in fact my husband doesn't judge his manhood by the number of penises he creates in the world) Them: Have you picked out a name? Me: Connor Them: Oh that's a good name! Me… smiles politely (thinks in head, fuck off, I don't need your approval.) I blame the hormones. 1 agrees I get "Oh, your husband must be sad you're not having a boy" and it just amazes me that people could even say something like that. My husband is quite happy about our little girl, thank you very much. And then they tell me the name I picked out is bad because it has an accent. Oh the horror of using a French name for a girl being born into a French speaking family! People are evil. 1 agrees See, that is even worse. At least the people talking to me are saying my husband must be feeling something positive. I'm not a super-friendly-talk-to-everyone kind of person. So I've found the phenomenon where strangers feel free to ask me personal questions and then offer their opinions on my responses totally bizare. But then, I find being pregnant to be the most absurd thing I have ever done. 2 agree While I never got bothered by those comments, I do wonder why people assume fathers will put more value on having a son. My husband was really eager to have a little girl, and had to kinda fake it when the ultrasound tech turned to him and said, "Dad must be excited, right?" A few years off from critters also, but my husband also really wants a girl someday. I'm the one that would prefer a boy. He has actually mentioned how he wants tea parties and such. No critters yet, but I'd be tempted not to find out just to avoid any pink should the critter be a girl. On the other hand I'd probably let t slip and I think my family and friends are respectful enough to not load us down with overly gendered items if we asked otherwise. However, only time….will tell. We're not finding out (which is driving other people crazy apparently). Our reasons are: 1) We don't want to get inundated with super gendered clothing before baby is even here. We're trying to be upfront with people that green and yellow are not the only gender neutral colours – basically, unless it's a dress, is covered in flowers and says I'm a princess or Mama's boy on it, it's probably neutral enough. 2) I'm actually way more curious about what the baby will be like in terms of personality and likes/dislikes than what junk it has (that's the whole gender-is-a-social-construct thing speaking). 3) We don't have a nursery to decorate anyway, and even if we did, we'd probably go with something neutral. 4) We had already picked out names for both. 5) We want to have that 'it's a whatever' moment at the birth. 6) Neither of us have a strong preference one way or the other. I think if one of us was feeling very strongly about wanting a boy or girl, we might be swayed to find out, but we don't at all. 7) Using 'it' or 'baby' doesn't really bother me. I've got friends who go by 'they'. All of that said, it's a really personal choice. I get a bit defensive about it because we've had a lot of people question our decision in frustrating ways (making lots of assumptions about what it means to be biologically female/male). That said, you can't un-know once you know…so that's something to consider if you're on the fence. 5 agree I would have used they (it sounds less impersonal than it) but twins run in my family and that would have just brought up another round of questions that would have been annoying to answer. I hate surprises (except for my son, best surprise ever) the first time I saw him wiggling around on the ultrasound I knew he was a boy. A few weeks later it turns out I was right. If I could go back and do it all over again, I would still find out the sex, but I would not tell anyone. When people know what the sex is there is a tendency to buy a ton of gender specific clothes. (which is a selfish reason I know, but I really don't like the color blue) I'll be honest, when I found out my first child was a boy, I was super bummed because I wanted a girl SO BAD. Sure, it might have effected how I looked at the pregnancy a bit, but we were high risk so the chances of me finding out anyway were pretty high. However, it gave me time to adjust to having a boy before I met him. So there's that. We found out for my daughter, too, and that was just icing on the cake If you are unsure: Don't. I really wanted to know with both my pregnancies, but I am so, so happy that we didn't find out. Honestly, the surprise is worth the wait. It can even make for a pretty great story, too (I didn't believe my husband when he told me we had a boy, so I had to have our midwife confirm that it was, in fact, a boy … still makes me smile to think about). 1 agrees My mom had that kind of moment with me. She already had two boys, and had made sure she was okay with having another boy like my brother (energetic is a good word) running around. Even though she really wanted a girl, she'd basically convinced herself I was a boy, so when they said "It's a girl!" She responded with "What? I don't believe it, let me see!" It's still one of her favorite stories to tell 1 agrees I didn't find out the sex of our baby. We both think that it is one of life's true surprises and wanted to experience that moment when the baby was born and my husband got to announce whether it was a girl or a boy. Not knowing just made me more excited for the birth day, and I think it actually helped me be less fearful of labour–I was too excited to find out the answer to the 9 month long question! Aside from that, I'll never forget the moment when my husband excitedly announced, "It's a girl!" 2 agree I am 20 weeks pregnant with my son, and we just found out that he is a him. I'm glad we found out. Before I got pregnant I thought that I wouldn't want to because it doesn't really matter to me which I have (and it still doesn't), but NOT knowing was making me anxious, and I can't imagine having that anxiety hanging over me for the next 20 weeks. I feel much more calm now that I know, and I love being able to call him by name and stop using "it". I think that it is also really helping hubby get that we're actually having a baby, now that he's his SON, and not just seemingly hypothetical. I've never been pregnant, so this may change, but I've never wanted to know the sex. I don't want the gendered gifts, and I don't want to make assumptions about my child's character/personality before they arrive. I don't really have a logical explanation, but it's always irked me when people name and talk about their babies as if they were already here. 3 agree To your second point, I just wanted to offer a different perspective. When my unborn baby wakes me up in the middle of the night moving around and when she responds to loud noises or lights, etc. it kind of does feel as if she's already here. My life has already changed because of her so sometimes it's difficult not to talk about her as if she's already here. 3 agree I decided not to find out and I don't think we're going to this time either. Firstly, I like the surprise, and secondly – perhaps this sounds weird in the context of some posts here – I didn't want to bond *too* much with an unborn child. Maybe I've just inherited that old Jewish pre-birth anxiety! But if you have a gender, you have a name, you start building up expectations, maybe even to some extent a life story. To me it would just make everything so much worse if, for whatever reason, it turns out that the person you've bonded with just can't happen. On a pragmatic level, second time around, it would be useful to know if we could clear out all the skirts and dresses and so forth we're keeping hold of… but I think we're going to resist. 4 agree This. Maybe I'm obtuse but I don't see how it's possible to bond with someone you haven't met. Like the parents who were expecting a girl and gave birth to a boy and were in shock – they had spent months "bonding" with a baby that didn't exist. At least for me personally, I have an active imagination and I find it easy to fall into the trap of imagining this perfect life with this perfect baby who grows up to be a concert pianist. I think knowing the sex would make it that much harder to be realistic about what things are going to be like. Maybe I'll have a baby who sleeps 8 hours at a stretch and reads at 22 months, or maybe I'll have a colicky baby who loves Barney and Nickleback. But either way, things will be harder than I can imagine now, and I want to be as realistic about that as possible. I just don't want to set myself up for disappointment because of my runaway imagination. No no! Please don't gender your baby before it is born! Why would you bond with it in a certain way if it was a certain gender? 6 agree This is the number one reason why I am not finding out. I do not want to start treating baby like a boy or a girl. I don't want my partner or our families to either. My kid will have its whole life to have to live up to expectations based on sex. Why start now? 5 agree I've been dreaming my whole life (well, since i was 16!) about that moment when my baby is placed on my chest and i get to peek between it's legs to find out for myself! A friend of mine has found out at 20 weeks and isn't telling anyone, not even her hubby, i have no idea how she's going to keep it to herself for that long! I'm 11 weeks pregnant with my first baby and I think we're going to do it old school. Although I'm impatient and I would definitely like the opportunity to plan my baby buying better, I think knowing the sex can detract a little bit from the drama of the birth announcement. I know that when family members have given birth and I've known the sex (and sometimes the name of the baby) the birth itself is kind of a non event because there are no surprises. I really really want the joyful phoning around of family and friends to say "IT'S A…!" when the time comes. 2 agree I feel like that when I've known what a babies name will be and they've been using the name for a while – sort of an anticlimax almost 2 agree I did, but I also HATE surprises. Like, seriously, honestly hate them. I'm the kid that would peek at her Christmas presents because she had to KNOW, not because of excitement, and who was GLAD when her (now) hubby spilled the beans that he was going to propose soon rather than having it a surprise. Needless to say, I was MORE excited, and bonded more easily, knowing what was going on in there. ^^ We found out the sex, but did not tell anyone! When I saw it was a girl I did not want ten tons of pink frilly things. My mom was convinced it was a boy, so she sent boy things. No biggie. We were also quite strapped financially so knowing what the sex was was really helpful in bargain shopping ahead of time. Also we struggled with boy names, so it took the pressure off. I wanted to know because my husband was stationed far from me most of the pregnancy. It helped us feel closer to each other and the baby to know. I can't wait for the next one though; we are going to wait so we can both be surprised! Hopefully he will be with me most of the time:) We are still trying to concieve but I KNOW I want to know if only to plan. My husband on the other hand does not, I told him I'd be happy to not him but he says I'm to honest a person to not be able to hide it. On the other hand if we are having a girl I would not tell anyone because I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo not a pink person and it seems like no amount of begging keeps people from going on pink binge. plus I would really love a boy, I adore my nephew and how active he is (of course I was also super active as a babe so I guess thats not really a good reason) I really wanted to know. I had started calling 'it' a 'him' from right near the beginning and was so happy to be right about the sex. I was getting a lot of hassle about my choices of baby colours and clothes ('but what if it's a girl?!' for choosing red/white/gray/black) so although i'm not happy that everyone is now 'fine' with my colour choices, at least i'm not dealing with all the hassle (especially as i just started uni). It also helped us with naming as my partner's grandmother died in december (before we found out) and there was a bit of 'name the baby blah' pressure that was also lifted when he was proved to be the wrong sex for the name. ITs our first, we're 33 weeks, and we're waiting until we can verify sex for ourselves. PEople keep asking "what are we having?" and we keep answering "Last we checked, a baby." People also keep asking if we are finding out the gender, and i pointed out that the kid could hardly express itself fully in its barely formed state. Maybe I'm missing out on important bonding, but I dont honestly think knowing the sex would have made a difference. And oh how we have been saved from an AVALANCHE of gendered crap!!! Dinosaurs, ducks, and frogs are on every piece of baby clothing we got at the shower. 3 agree I'm torn- hubby doesn't want to know, I kindof do. But I also have a strong feeling that it's a girl and I know momma's instict is right 75% of the time. We found out at our 21-week anatomy ultrasound, confirmed at another (doctor requested) ultrasound at 29 weeks and then once again at our 3d ultrasound at 30 weeks! We always wanted to know not so much for the nursery, but for us – it seemed so much more "real" once we could call baby a "her", not an "it" and could call her by her name. It's gotten more and more exciting for us and we just love talking to her and feeling like she has a real identity already. That said, I don't know if we would have been any less excited to *not* know the sex, but it has been really cool for us, it being our first, to be able to prepare for our little one, knowing her sex. 1 agrees We did not find out the sex until the kids were born. Some of our reason are founded and others not so much. Our not so founded reasons, To piss off the family and friends (Oh the threats we go because we were not finding out) and If it was a girl, I did not want to be flooded with pink clothes (I am a tomboy), The guess games where a blast (Chinese calendar, what I craved, etc). Our founded reasons, To us it is the last true good surprise and it really didn't matter to us. We would be happy any sex we were given. It did allow us to get to know the baby's personality thru his/her movements. When they would kick, we would go thru the gambit of sport they could play. At times we were questioned on what if it is a girl, response was "she could play football". We did have to come up with creative names, Himer (Him/Her), Shim(She/Him), and any other names that fit their action while in the belly. So in other words, we love not finding out but our guesses where right-on Intellectually I felt I didn't need to know. An MA in Women's Gender Studies leads to that sort of thing, or at least the feeling that you shouldn't care. In fact, I was tempted to tell everyone it was the opposite of what it was just to have a "teachable moment!" Only slightly kidding. However, by the time the ultrasound came, I really wanted to know, if only so we could start seriously considering names. And it turns out that even if we didn't want to know it would be hard to ignore the obvious evidence that presented itself. The tech was an intern and so she wanted to double check with another person before she told us and we both said it was pretty obvious. Boy! Not only did this let us pick his name, which it is true has made me and his community feel closer to him, but it also confirmed my suspicion that if you have a degree in Women's Studies your first child is most likely gonna be a boy. Evidently its the universe's way of ensuring that we have feminist men. 3 agree Well, this is my second pregnancy and the thought has crossed my mind to keep the gender a surprise this time. With my first I wanted a girl so badly, so I absolutely HAD to know what I was having and of course it was a girl. This time I am hoping for a boy. Everyone keeps telling me to make it a surprise but my hubby definitely wants to know what it's going to be and me… well, I don't like surprises all that much so I'm thinking I'll probably find out. It just makes naming easier and when people ask, "Gifts.. girl things or boy things?" I know exactly what to tell them. We've found out both times for two reasons. First, and more importantly, it gives us time to not only pick a name, but to also begin calling the baby by name, even before he's out (both of ours are boys). Second, then we know what to plan for. We don't go all out boy = blue/girl = pink, but if we did happen to have a girl, I wouldn't mind picking up a few more feminine items than what we have for the boys. After debating whether or not to find out for some time, the husband and i decided to find out. I was so happy we did because as soon as i heard we were having a boy he stopped being the baby in my tummy and started being Noah We were almost forced to find out, for genetic reasons. My grandma had 4 stillborn sons, and each of her daughters had a stillborn son, all causes unknown at the time. Fortunately one of my aunts did a lot of research to help cope with the pain, and it looks highly unlikely that I could be a carrier. I'm not finding out. I feel like the surprise is an important part of the birth experience (for me at least). When Ben and I first started talking about having kids (you know, when we met in middle school and started comparing notes about life goals) we both fervently asserted that we wanted the old school surprise of birth–not knowing the gender. Fast forward 10 years to when we got pregnant….suddenly we weren't so sure. The mere act of conception had made us so excited about our baby that we wanted to know every little thing about him or her–plus my tendency to be irritated by gender roles made me want to know so that I could start working against them early on. We also knew that since our families are somewhat traditional americana some of the decisions we wanted to make *cough* CIRCUMCISION! *cough* would need some defending (which I lovingly call "educating"). All if this culminated into a family wide battle of the sexes so to speak with every well wishing relative telling you why finding out or not (essentially whatever they had done) was the best way. In the end, Ben and I went our own way and decided yes, we wanted to know. She's a girl. At the moment I was told I felt uncertain….I really needed to take a personal gander at those genitals because I was afraid of referring to her as a girl when he was really a boy! But once I was comfortable that what I saw was true, I was really excited. We hadn't had any preference for or "feeling" that we were having one gender of another, so the surprise was still there, just early. Next, I was afraid of en-utero gender assignment. Yes, that happened. As soon as we told our families the "little princess" and "sweetie pie" talk started. And the pink gifts ensued. I would up sitting down and having a talk with my father in law in particular about this, saying I realized that he was showing his love for her, but that I thought such and such could be detrimental for such and such reason. It's something people do without even realizing it, so be prepared for that. Personally, I feel like I've gotten to know my baby so much more now that I know her gender. We are able to use her name, which helps make her an individual, not just an extension of my body. I feel her movements and I think how strong and amazing she is. It's an experience I wouldn't give up and a decision I wouldn't un-make….and even with all the gender assignment issues, I'm glad we're able to face them now instead of when I'm an (even more) hormonally ravaged new mama. Best of luck with this decision and the rest of your pregnancy! We didn't find out with our first. I wanted to, but my husband felt strongly we shouldn't so I went with it. By the end, I was SOOO glad that we didn't know. Because he was breach and I had to have a planned c-section, the only thing that was a surprise was his sex. The date, time, duration etc were all planned for me so at least having a little surprise in the mix made a huge difference to me as I struggled alot with not being able to give birth more naturally. A lot of people have mentioned being able to name the baby if you know the sex. We had at least two names picked out for both genders, but since we decided to wait, we didn't tell anyone our choices. Since I work as a receptionist, this saved me tons of hassle with conversations and we set up a baby pool, so people could take a guess if they really wanted to. Then, when our son was born, we talked about his names, either Talon or Taliesin. I looked at my husband and just said, "he's not Tal". We looked over our names again and found that he is Declan Rhys. I feel more like he had a hand in choosing his own name. 1 agrees We found out the sex of our daughter at my husband's insistence, but should we decide to have another, I'm putting my foot down on that. We won't be finding out. I was drowning in a sea of pink and purple before she was born and now that she's two and all into Princesses and girly things, I'm really thinking, I'd like those nine months free of gender stereotypes. I've ODed on pink, purple and girly. And she's only 2 and a half. I figure if we don't know, people can't turn their noses up at the idea of buying both "gendered" toys and "neutral" nursery decor. But as for the way I felt about the baby, I don't think it made a lick of difference. I mean, I loved her the minute those two lines popped up. I didn't love her any more or feel any closer once we had a name for her. Altho she was always, "The little Punkin Head" and still is. "drowning in a sea of pink" was definitely one of the main reasons that we decided not to find out. Going the gender neutral route on clothes and nursery decor was fairly easy for us but incredibly frustrating to in-laws and others around us. We ended up having a girl and have since tried hard to not surrender to the pink, pink, PINK! (which means lots of trip to the store to exchange things from friends/relatives) Many of my friends tell me I am fighting a losing battle but I'll keep fighting as long as I can! 2 agree I'm pregnant with our first child. I didn't want to find out, but my husband did. (Something about his family only producing one female the past three generations, so he really wanted to see whether he had the super sperm to change the trend). I remember feeling giddy at the ultrasound when we saw the baby's little penis, but not even a few hours later, I was struggling with the decision. I felt disappointed for at least a week. I had so been looking forward to the surprise factor. I wanted to work really hard to push this little thing out of me, and then get to meet it with all of the hoopla attached. Losing the possibility of that ideal was hard. My husband didn't realize how important it was to me, and we've since agreed to not have the typical 3D ultrasound that our midwife's clinic offers. Not knowing what my son looks like is my last little shred of surprise 1 agrees We chose to learn the sex of baby T. for a couple of reasons. The baby's name-we were convinced we were having a girl for some reason and had a name immediately. The what if a boy posed a challenge with names, thus we chose to learn the sex then know if we needed a boy name or not. Maybe silly, but coming up with a boy's name was hard for us. The other factor, I know it would have driven me nuts not knowing and trying to plan. I may have been a wee-bit disappointed at first because we loved the girl name, but when I learned the gender of my babe I did feel more connected, like an ah-ha moment of "so this is who you are…". It's all personal and what you feel is best. Ultimately I think it would have driven me nuts if we chose to be surprised. I'm convinced now that baby boys are the best : ) Good luck! We didn't find out the sex of our baby because we wanted to be surprised. A bonus of this is that we avoided a lot of baby blue and pink stuff coming into our lives. In the end it meant we got a lot less stuff from people but that was okay with us. My cousin just recently had a baby, both her and her husband knew the gender and had a name picked out but they refused to let anyone else know about it. It was good for a mystery, she nearly told me but we we're all excited with Xavier was born My finance and I decided we wanted to know the sex of our child just to be prepared. Being first time parents, we weren't too sure what to expect. Now that we know, it was decided that we would be surprised with the next one. If I even let that happen. With knowing the basic things we would need, I think it would be easier to not find out time you give birth. Though I personally don't like surprises. My little one just arrived Saturday. We didn't find out beforehand, although I was pretty sure he was a boy (he is). I thought that I might have an urge to find out when we reached the 20 week anatomy ultrasound, but honestly, once we saw his little heart fluttering around and functional, I did not care. I just didn't. His genitals aren't that relevant to whether or not he continues living, biologically-speaking. To see a functional heart was a much more emotional thing for me. That creature inside me is alive! We handled the pronoun problem by switching from month to month — we used "he" in September, "she" in October, etc. (but mostly just around each other, as it was confusing for other people). Not knowing was confusing for a lot of other people in our lives. And I got really tired of people asking me, "Do you know who it is?" (No, I haven't met him yet…) or, "Do you know what it is?" (I was kind of hoping for a puppy, but they tell me it's a baby.) But people say annoying things when you're pregnant regardless. The harder thing for most people is that we still don't have a name. We have a short list, but he's still just "the baby" for now. It's making all our family members squirm. 2 agree We had planned to not find out the sex of my son until birth, but he had other ideas, and proudly displayed his junk front and center on the ultrasound. I told everyone that I wanted a boy, and am not disappointed, but I was a little surprised that I mourned not having a girl for a while. First of all I think it's a surprise no mater *when* you find out. For us it was fairly anticlimactic because at the first ultrasound it was only a " I see something down there so I'm 90% sure you have a boy." So although we were surprised and excited, we still had a tiny bit of doubt. when we saw for sure that he was a boy at 20 weeks, we were seeing somehting that we kind of already knew. Nothing is ever 100% certain, anyway. We were told we were having a girl. We named her Ayslin, called her by her name whenever we referred to our growing baby, and although we stayed as gender neutral as possible. Then, nine days before the Droidlet was actually born, we had to go in for an "emergency" ultrasound and found out Ayslin actually had testicles. I would have been in for a HUGE surprise in the delivery room. At that point, part of me almost wished we hadn't found out from the get go and it would have all been a surprise (and I would have received far less clothes and more useful items at the baby celebration!). We are going in to find out March 7th. I really have no preference on finding out or not, but my husband is not one for surprises. I see the positives in finding out and not… but I am happy we are going to find out (as long as the baby is facing the right way) because we can finally settle on a name and let our friends and family know exactly because they want to help so bad, which is nice. We were in the unusual position of having a choice between finding out the sex, and having an extra 200$ in the bank. Around here hospitals don't tell you, you have to go to a private clinic. Throughout my pregnancy I felt not knowing the sex of my child was protecting him/her from being treated like anything other than a baby. People treat baby boys and baby girls very differently, but with an unknown sex even the most rigid people are off guard and treat the baby like a baby. I still often dress my child in neutral clothing, or whatever is clean and fits. I get comments like "alert" "curious" "beautiful bright eyes". God willing, this won't be our last baby, so the gender neutral clothes I received at my baby shower will get lots of use. I'm 30 weeks along and not planning on finding out, not gonna do an ultrasound unless medically necessary (though my sister is up in arms that I won't have that first photo). It has made me think a lot about all the things we associate with "boys" vs "girls", and appreciate the gender neutral zone that much more. They are babies, they aren't partial to certain colors or ideas because of their sex, so why should I impose that on them. I am bonding big time with my little one regardless of knowing the sex, and enjoying wondering about who they will be, seeing what my intuition and dreaming reveals as well. I am thinking of some gender neutral names, my fav it Eden right now, so I can call it by its name regardless. I think it will be so amazing to find out, the way our pre-ultrasound grandmothers and great grandmothers did, at birth! Future mum (not preggers yet) But I've always wondered what I would do in this situation… A friend of mine who had 3 boys once told me she would get herself so psyched up that she was going to have a girl during every pregnancy that she distinctly remembers a moment of being really sad/upset/disappointed when one baby was born and she found out it was a boy – which she said was horrifying for her because it should be this huge moment of joy – so she felt guilty and horrible about it! My fiance and I have strong desires to have 'girl then boy then girl' and I do worry that if I don't find out ahead of time the same thing will happen to me – I'll have myself so convinced one way or the other that when I end up getting it wrong I'll be sad/upset when I should be thrilled (realistically that probably won't happen. I'll be more 'OH MY GOD I DID IT, LOOK! A BABY!') SO much of me wants the surprise moment but I'm SO impatient that I don't know if I could mentally stand waiting a whole 9 months to know! Thankfully we have inherited a LOT of baby clothing/toys/etc for both boys and girls as my Fiance is the youngest of 5, and all of his siblings have had kids but are done now. So at least we wouldn't have too many issues if we *didn't* know the sex. Man. It's going to be one hell of a decision when it comes to it, and I honestly don't know what we'll decide, but I love reading all of the stories of it making you feel like it's a real person in there by naming it before it's born. Makes me realize it wouldn't 'ruin it' to find out ahead of time. Good luck with the decision! I know this probably wasn't helpful, just gettin' my thoughts out there! I wanted to find out, and Hubby wanted a surprise. We had debated it to death and finally I gave in to letting it be a surprise. When we went to my 20 week appointment the midwife stuck the sensor on my belly right on top of my boy's gigantic wang and exclaimed loudly "well, there's his bits!" then looked at us and blushed bright red and said "Oh shit. I delivered four babies last night. I forgot to ask.". We laughed so hard. I won. :p I didn't find out for my first and I was really happy about that. I knew he was a boy. ;o) For our future second, I don't really know. I'm not attached to finding out the sex, however, I would definitely find out if I thought that it would help my son form an attachment to the baby OR help let him down easy if he's set on one (i.e. he's convinced he's getting a little brother, it might be nice to give him 4 or so months to get used to a little sister)….although, I do realize they can be wrong. Otherwise, I did really enjoy finding out at the birth. I wanted to know, because I wanted to know everything about my child. It did help with finding a name, and helping us feel the whole thing was real, and really happening (we waited a very long time to have a child). To my surprise, I found that my partner and I, who had been insisting to ourselves and to each other that we had no preference, both had a strong preference for the sex our child turned out to be. The one grandparent who was openly campaigning for a particular sex was thrilled, and thus the pink avalanche descended upon us. Next time we'll keep it a secret, believe me. I am 27 weeks and very happy that we are choosing not to find out! I honestly have no preference, and even if I could somehow choose what sex baby is, I wouldn't be able to!!! I love the suspense of not knowing and I feel like it will help get me through my (intended) natural, unmedicated, childbirth!! I already love my baby and feel very bonded. I don't think that knowing if "it" has a penis or vagina would make any impact on that. Plus, I've always been a rebel, so I can say that I do sort-of enjoy driving the extended family a little crazy with being unconventional and not knowing! The oddest argument for knowing the sex of the child I've heard was "How will we know what color of baby cloths to buy if we don't know the sex?" *Head desk* 1 agrees I wasn't going to say anything, but this has been bugging me for a while so I'd rather respectfully get it off my chest. There are a lot of comments on this post (and on others on offbeat mama) that feel to me like their implying that dressing your daughter in pink or your son in blue is *wrong*. And that this is in some way *forcing* a gender and gender expectations upon them. I understand and fully support anyone's wishes to have gender neutral clothing (I always ask prospective parents if they want gender neutral or pink/blue gifts), however I feel that a lot of women on here dont support/respect another persons want to *have* gender specific clothing. Guess what? I like pink! And purple and love hearts and fairies! Girls clothes are beyond cute. Me, my husband, my family and his family are all looking forward to dressing my daughter in pink girly clothes. I don't believe this is going to psychologically scar her – they are just clothes and as soon as she is able to choose her own we will let her (whether they are gender neutral or "boy" clothes). I just wish every second comment on OBM didnt sound like they were turning their nose down on people who are happy with gender norm clothing on babies and assume that we are all ignorant and dont realise/understand your reasons not to. Its's a parenting decision like any other where I think there is no right or wrong, just different. For the record I wore almost all gender neutral or boy clothes growing up (two older brothers + no money for new clothes). It didnt scar me any more than girl clothes would have, but it might be the reason why I now love "girly" stuff so much. 4 agree Its's a parenting decision like any other where I think there is no right or wrong, just different. Word. I think it's one of those things that's totally a parenting decision, but when one decision is so obviously accepted out in the world while another one isn't, it becomes really annoying to hear about how wrong your decision is day in and day out. Here, we can vent about this. 4 agree We chose not to find out & I'm so glad we kept it a surprise. We ended up having an unplanned, unassisted home birth & so it was my husband that got to announce that "it's a boy!!" after I delivered him into his hands. SO amazing! 😀 Also, in terms of being able to settle on a name if you know the sex, I was pretty much set on Reece if we had a little boy, but it turned out he just wasn't a Reece. He tried it on for size, but he was most definitely NOT a Reece! We both wanted a girl SO bad and we definitely wanted to find out, and we both cried with joy when we found out it was a girl. However, we have both agreed that if we HAVE a second child, we probably won't find out. I found out the first time without giving it a second thought and the next time around I had this idea that I was going to do things differently, take time, make it more special–I imagine myself being totally surprised when I deliver…but then the "next time around" got here and I remembered that I'm a planner and I don't love surprises, add to that I work in a store that sells new and gently used kids clothes, toys, and equipment and I'm SO EAGER TO SHOP. We've already bought some big items that were gender neutral because I'm not too big on genderization but I can't lie, I love pretty girlie things and if I have the opportunity to buy them, well damnit I'm going to! So in short, while I love the idea of being surprised, that's just not me and I'm going to find out ASAP. I'm at 13 weeks currently and I'm going to try my damnedest to find out at 16 weeks. My partner and I are currently trying to conceive. My family is Jewish, hers is not. We are leaning toward not circumcising, which will be a giant issue for my family. So we will want to know birth sex in advance. Otherwise there will be pressure to make a decision about a bris within 8 days after birth. I would rather have a more thoughtful dialogue on this issue. This. If we have a boy, not circumcising will be a big, big deal with my grandma. Having the time to have a thoughtful conversation rather than "Well, it's been 8 days and we didn't do it, so suck it up" could save a whole lot of heartache. This is such a great discussion! As a homebirth midwife, I get to observe lots of people deciding whether to find out, and the expectations that come along with it. I definitely have to work to not let my assumptions about gender peek through (saying what a sweet girl!) or things like that. We are trying to conceive now and constantly debate about whether we'll find out the sex! I do like shopping, so part of me wants to know because of that, but I have been enjoying buying the gender-neutral items anyway I think what it comes down to for us is that because ultrasounds are not yet proven safe, and the 20 week ultrasound is a loooong exposure to it, we're not going to do it. If we need an ultrasound for any other reason (concerns about the baby) then we might have them take a peek. But if not, I think we'll skip it. The question I always ask (myself as well) is *why* we have a preference, if we do. And I do! I'd like a girl. I'm not entirely sure why. I do think that's an interesting self-awareness question, to ask what traits we attach to a sex or why we would prefer one or the other… No judgment there, just curiosity Read more comments 1 2 › Comments are closed.