Finding out the sex of your baby: pros and cons

Guest post by Daisy Coles
By: jonny goldsteinCC BY 2.0

Finding out the sex is one of those favourite sources of conversation for pregnant women and all who know them (friends, family, people waiting for the same bus), long into early parenthood: “Will you find out/have you found out/did you find out the sex?” It’s the earliest indication of the significance society places upon the gender distinction. And aren’t we lucky we live in the twenty-first century? If we’re pregnant and we want to find out whether it’s a boy or a girl, we need only seek out a friendly health professional to smear some jelly on our tums and swirl it round a bit, and the sex of the baby will be entirely visible on that jelly-swirler’s little TV screen!

In a way it seems as magical as swinging a wedding ring over a belly to see which way it swings first (round and round for a girl back and front or a boy, they say). Apparently the jelly business has a better success rate. Baby shower organisers the world over might beg to differ.

Just because it’s easy these days to find out for sure doesn’t mean you have to, of course. Not knowing a child’s sex until the day of their birth has been the human experience for millennia, which makes not finding out seem a lot more natural. And those strongly arguing against the recent (in terms of human history) medicalisation of pregnancy and birth might tell you that the 20-week scan is unnecessary or even undesirable.

A lot of couples simply choose not to because they’re looking forward to the element of surprise. I guess, in a way, it fits perfectly in the package of surprises you’re destined for on that momentous day, so many of which are unknowable: “Surprise! I am here! I am loud! I am wrinkly and purple! I am the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen … and I’m a girl!”

Even if I can appreciate these arguments rationally, it never occurred to me that my husband and I would wait that long to find out whether we what was brewing in there was a little XX or an XY. I was dying to know.

I had heard somewhere that women’s hunches about the sex of their baby while pregnant turned out to be right a surprising percentage of the time. And I started developing a hunch. I am not usually a very hunchy kind of person, but I cultivated this particular hunch, and it grew larger and hunchy-er in my gut alongside my — well, my gut. My hunch was boy. So we talked about boys’ names, and tried out a masculine pronoun here and there in our talk of the future, and speculated with the in-laws about whether he might go hunting with his daddy.

And then we went for the scan at 20 weeks and the doctor said girl. And I burst into happy tears, realising with a flood of emotion that I had wanted a girl. Really, really badly. Why? It’s hard to say — I don’t know if I can even explain it to myself.

It may seem trite, but I know girls because I am one. I guess I had an idea, however flawed, that to get to know a son would require a constant venturing over into the unknowable other side: an act of adventuring that might be possible but often seems pretty damn hard, or at least wearying. Pregnant, my greatest hope was that my daughter would be like me; that through knowing her I would be reaffirming myself somehow. In proving herself a girl at that scan, she’d proven the first aspect of similarity between us. Having been trying to come to grips with this parenthood thing for almost two years now, I’m developing a truer and truer understanding of certain lessons: our children are not ourselves! Or even what our selves would like them to be! And nor should they be.

The most important aspect about finding out the sex for me was the strange and lovely feeling of a sudden leap in my knowledge of my daughter. It was the first and (at that point) the only thing I could know about her, and I treasured it for that. The “it” in my belly became “she” and “her.” And she received her name. The difference between “It’s moving a lot today” and “Maja’s moving a lot today” seemed semantically vast — I relished it.

I think it’s that understanding that has meant that I’m looking forward to the prospect of a second pregnancy some day with an absolutely neutral anticipation of the child’s sex. I’m revelling in that other great cliché that you hear fifty million times when you’re pregnant: “it doesn’t matter what it will be, so long as it’s healthy.”

When I think about all I’ve since come to know about Maja, that little kernel of knowledge — boy or girl? — seems so tiny really: much smaller than society would have us believe. But for me, at that time, it was very important, and I’m glad we asked to know. And if and when Baby Number Two comes along, we’ll be doing the very same. Bring on that jelly-swirling!

Comments on Finding out the sex of your baby: pros and cons

  1. Dude, if I could have found out the sex with the pregnancy test, I would have. I wanted to know because, like you say, it was one of the few things I could know. It made her seem more real to me. On the other hand, even though neither of us wanted a girl more, if we’d been surprised with a boy, I think it would have been tough to get used to.

  2. I am 30 weeks pregnant now. It took us 3 years, one miscariage and several fertility treatments to realise we probably would never have children. So we chose to stop the treatments, stop the hurt and grief and started to focus on our happiness and our relationship. 4 months after that decision i found out i was pregnant (NOT possible according to doctors) …we were in total shock and so incredibly scared to loose this baby we did not even want to think about the fact it was a he or she. But as we got passed the 13 weeks mark and everything seemed perfectly fine we needed something to get us out of our shock of never having children and into the now, where we were having a kid. I could not wait for the 20 weeks ultrasound 1: to find out everything really was ok, and 2: to find out who was going to join our family. The moment that changed everything was when our doctor did not say we ‘were having a boy or girl’, she said: You are having a daughter. A daughter! That sounded so much better than just “boy” Or “girl”. We decided to name her Sinne, it means Sun in our dialect. We told everybody about her and her name. Got some really negative reactions but as time creeps on people are noticing how important it was for us to make “baby” into “person” and “Daughter”. I do understand it is not for everybody but knowing that my beautiful daughter Sinne is in my belly getting ready to join our family feels so much more comfortable and real for me and my husband than just “baby”. And for the surprise element: It took us over a week to get over the fact we were expecting a daughter, within 10 weeks we will be overwhelmed by her again, so it kinda feels like i could enjoy the surprise longer 🙂

    • From a previous infertility conqueror (my word of strength), I say Congratulations!

      I’ve never seen that name but it sounds beautiful. How do you pronounce it? I’m wondering if it sounds like it does in my head.

  3. I really like your post! We did it both ways (found out the sex the first time and waited until birth the second time). I agree that I felt more connected to the actual person when I knew what sex it was and had a name picked out. The second time, we had names for both sexes but referred to the baby by a nickname. When we had her, we couldn’t stop using the nickname for a few weeks. The second time there was more shock too. When she came out we didn’t know the sex for about a minute, we were just in awe of the experience. If/when we have a third, I’m not sure which way we’ll go, probably just whatever feels right:)

  4. I thought he would be a girl. When people called me on my tendency for feminine pronouns, I would point out that it wasn’t necessarily a preference, just a hunch. Yes, I had a slight preference for a girl (my boyfriend already has two boys, and I thought it would be nice to balance the numbers a little). When I said the preference was slight, I believed myself so I was shocked at just how disappointed I was when they said boy. But I had months to get over it and be excited about my little man. I would have hated to feel even the slightest fraction of that at his birth.

    So if you have any preference, no matter how slight, no matter how many times you say it doesn’t *really* matter, I would suggest finding out in advance so you have time to get over any possible disappointment long before the little bugger arrives.

    • This is possibly my thought. I don’t have kids yet, but I always wonder whether or not I’ll want to find out. I see the merits of both sides. If you choose to not find out, there’s the anticipation. And people are more likely to get you useful gifts instead of a bunch of clothes, or if they do get you clothes, they’re more gender neutral (baby showers where the gender is known tend to be ALL blue or ALL pink, as if those are the colors the baby would ever wear). On the other hand, find out means you’ll have more time to adjust if you were disappointed. I think I really want my first child to be a girl, mostly because I don’t want ALL BOYS like my husband’s side of the family. If I’m wanting a girl, and I find out it’s a boy, that’d give me time to prepare.

      • To get around the baby shower dilemma I have a cousin who isn’t telling anyone outside of her partner the sex until the shower!

        • This is actually what my husband and I are doing with our little sproglet. We’re due in Oct and we find out in about 3 weeks (I can’t wait!) but we’ve decided no one else needs to know until the baby gets here. Some people understand, some don’t. One of my aunts became terribly upset when she realized I was serious about this, according to her “this isn’t just ya’lls baby!” So we’ve been thinking of just telling everyone that we’re waiting until the birth instead (even though we’re not). Everyone seems more ok with not knowing the baby’s sex if we’re also waiting to find out. Which doesn’t make any sense to me, but *shrug*

    • I agree. With our second baby, I knew my husband secretly wanted another daughter. When the ultrasound tech told us it was a boy, I could see my husband was a little bit disconcerted. I was glad that he had a couple months to get used to the idea of having a boy, and spend some time playing with his cousin’s new baby boy, so that by the time our son came, my husband was probably more excited than me. Not that he would have been unhappy with a boy if he hadn’t known beforehand, but he’s said he was happy, in retrospect, to have the time to process that he did. Now, with baby #3, my husband is getting his wish of a second daughter, though he would have been equally as happy with another boy, after experiencing everything with our son.

    • i just want to say to this that i found out the sex of my first baby, waited until birth day for my second. i thought my first was going to be a girl and found out at the ultrasound that he was a boy! i was not disappointed, but it was definitely something that i needed to wrap my head around. with the second baby, i was thinking boy, hoping girl. when he was born (vbac! woohoo!), i did not feel anything negative when it was announced that he was a boy. we had just settled on out boy middle name after my water broke. our girl name had been set for months. i think the overwhelming sense of elation/peace that i experienced directly after his birth really did not leave any room for anything but pure joy. the dark, quiet ultrasound room was a very subdued setting and i MUCH preferred finding out after a crazy/awesome birth experience. it really was so much fun and totally icing on the cake.

    • My first son; my hunch was so spot-on! I knew the minute I saw the two lines it was a boy. I had a dream during our time of trying to conceive that the boy would be a splitting image of his father, and I was right.

      My second son; I preferred a girl. I knew my boyfriend really wanted a daughter as he had a previous son and so did I. I think my want for a girl convinced my “hunch” so when the baby proudly showed his goods on the screen before the tech could say anything, I was a bit devastated.

      I had to let myself feel that disappointment, but also because boys increase the sibling/autism risk, and we had 2 on the spectrum already. It took a month or so but I think I finally turned a corner of acceptance when we picked out the name. It felt “right”. Now, I couldn’t imagine not having my Jake.

  5. I guess I felt kind of superstitious and didn’t want to know in part because I *didn’t* want to give them a name and start to form an idea of who they might be before they were born, lest something might happen and the loss would be all the worse, somehow. Luckily it never came to that.

    I loved the surprise – had no clue with first baby, though husband (correctly) was convinced all along it was girl. He had no idea second time, but sort of convinced himself it would be a girl as he had to confess, he really wanted a boy this time! In fact at one point early on with #2 he talked about finding out the gender, so he could accustom himself to the idea if it was a girl – but he soon realised that was a rubbish reason to do it, so dropped the idea shortly afterwards.

    • We didn’t find out the sex of our baby. Partly because of superstition like Cloo, partly because of the baby shower, and partly because I know a couple women who were told one sex and delivered another!

      While there were definitely times during the pregnancy that I wished I knew, I am so so grateful that we waited. I had a horrible labor that ended in an unplanned csection, and when I think back on it now the only part that doesn’t make me cringe was the part when they held up my daughter and said “It’s a girl!”

  6. With our son we kept the surprise element, and I loved the ‘magic’ at the time of birth finding out, ‘It’s a boy!’ We now have twins due basically any day now, and we decided to find out this time, because with 2 it just made more sense to us to feel as prepared as possible. Our almost-4 year old son is SO EXCITED to meet his two sisters 🙂

  7. I definitely wanted to know the sex — I suck as surprises, lol. We were fairly certain we were having a girl (and my husband and I both wanted a girl). It wasn’t until a couple days before the big ultrasound that I had this wild dream where we had a boy.

    Sure as hell, 20 weeks revealed a Miles. So, I’ve concluded that I suck at a hunches.

    I think if we choose to have another child, that I might try to hold off and wait until the big day. It would be really, really hard though.

    • When we get around to having kids, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to handle the wait either. My husband DEFINITELY won’t be able to handle it if we keep it a surprise. He hates surprises of all kinds. He doesn’t even like it when I say that dessert is a surprise.

      • Yeah, on top of everything else that’s going on during a pregnancy, it sometimes just felt like choosing to find out the sex was a sort of pleasant early surprise.

      • Love this line so much: “He doesn’t even like it when I say that dessert is a surprise.”
        I am in that boat but my wife made us wait. She was correct that this way we ended up with way more neutral clothing and toys than we otherwise would have received. I think she made the correct decision for our family (because we really didn’t want lots of gendered stuff), but the waiting was hard!

  8. I really liked this post. I found out the sex of both my kids before they were born and I’m so glad that I did.

    I just wanted to say to those finder-outers, that the whole idea that finding out is “unnatural” is silly. I know you didn’t mean it that way in your post, and I know that you found out, but we do about a bazillion “unnatural” things during pregnancy, so this one isn’t really any different.

    Sometimes doing things the way your grandma did is awesome, but that doesn’t mean that doing things a new way is bad.

    • Every pregnancy is so different from the next, so finding out the sex early (with clear images on the screen, of course, as both my sons were proud of their bits) gave my unstable pregnancies some stability.

  9. This is such an interesting question for me because the “Hunch” I had even before I “officially” knew I was pregnant was that we were having a boy. At 20 weeks, the ultrasound technician told me the baby was a girl. Eight days before the baby was actually born, we went in for an “emergency” ultrasound and SURPRISE! Our little Ayslin had testicles. 🙂 Our son, Liam, was born eight days later. It was definitely a roller coaster ride and has complicated whether or not I want to find out if there is a second time. I think I sometimes need that reminder that technology can fail.

  10. I’m so happy to wait and find out when the baby is born. For awhile at first, I really wanted a girl, and now at 31 weeks, I really don’t care either way. I love both name options that we have and when I look at clothes, I ohh and ahh equally over the boy stuff and the girl stuff.

    My biggest reason for not finding out is that our child gets a period of time when their gender isn’t a primary part of who they are. My baby is a currently a fetus; it is busy developing its brain, its lungs, all of its vital organs, even parts of its personality. It’s listening to the music I listen to, and hearing the howls of my dog when it wants to play. Gender is important, but I want to give the baby some time before gender becomes its identity.

    That said, I am a little jealous of those who have decided to find out and the temptation is certainly there. Mostly because I love clothes and have little to no patience for surprises.

    • When we figured out a boys name (the girls name was picked back when I agreed to take my husbands last name) I got excited for either too! It was still hard getting through the ultrasound and not begging the tech to tell me but I’m glad we made it through! I can’t wait to meet our kid, boy or girl!

  11. I was adamant that I didn’t want to know the sex beforehand. Heck, children spend their lives being gendered by people. I wanted to give my kid an extra four months with no gender expectations (and slow the onslaught of pink/blue gifts).

    But my partner wanted to know. It’s not that he hates ‘surprises’. More than at birth, the big moment for him will be becoming a parent, not the sex of the baby. He felt he’d be so overwhelmed by our first baby, the sex would be incidental. So we agreed to find out, and not tell anyone else.

    I didn’t expect to feel so excited about knowing. I didn’t care which sex the baby was, but the new information felt exciting – a halfway point boost (especially since I was still experiencing sickness). And oddly enough, I wanted to share, which completely surprised me. I wanted our families to feel that same excitement. So we told them (and made them promise not to buy only pink stuff!)

  12. I don’t think I could bear to not find out because I am another of those people who hates surprises, hates not knowing things, and also because I can read ultrasounds and I will want a good look at ours to reassure myself. However, I think we will not be telling anyone else, for fear of the deluge of pink or blue.

    • What sucks is, you receive all gender neutral at your shower, and then as soon as the baby is born everyone shows up with piles of pink or blue anyway, as if to cancel out their prior gift or to make up for it!

      • Maybe we just won’t tell anyone ever. Actually, people mostly know my hate for pink and pastels. I’m thinking our one-day baby is going to have a lot of black clothing!

        • I hope you have better luck than we did – although we didn’t find out we had a daughter till birth, at least half of her baby clothes were pastel pink, despite me being very vocal about not being crazy about pink and absolutely loathing pastel colours. I think it’s in part that some people (especially the older generation) really prefer to see girls in pink and boys in blue despite what you request, but also partly because it’s actually damn hard to find bright baby clothes (especially in colours other than blue or pink), at least here in Australia. All the bright stuff I’ve bought have nearly always come from online. I had friends try very hard to buy me gender neutral stuff and I ended up with a whole bunch of white – it’s hard to find even black stuff unless you get online. I have found Offbeat Mama to be a great resource for online sites for bright baby clothes though – have a look through the archives and you should have some success. Good luck!

          • Goth shops are your friend for awesome black and red and purple baby stuff, sometimes with skulls on. I mean, there’s not a huge range but i always see some stuff.

          • Even now, I’m considering learning to sew so I can make my boys some badass clothing because it is damn near impossible to find rad clothing for boys that aren’t brown, blue, camo, or gray!

          • People also want to see kids in pink or blue just so that everyone KNOWS that it is. AS with dogs, abies are pretty nondescript, so people like it if you indicate through clothing whether it’s a boy or girl so they don’t have the awkward moment of mistakenly calling a boy a “she” or visa versa.

    • I am desperate to find out but I am considering not just to keep people from the Pink and Blue insanity. I get that folks want to know this little person, and there are precious few facts available, but yikes!

  13. We didn’t find out the sex, and when we had an emergency c-section we asked the doctors to not say the sex aloud, but to just show us the baby. I was behind the surgical tent, but they showed my husband and he turned to me and said, “It’s Lucy!” Getting choked up remembering that moment, meeting her for the first time.

  14. I’m not pregnant yet, but when we get there, my husband has already said that he’d like to know the sex so he can feel more connected. He expressed worry about not feeling as in tune with the baby because he’s not constantly feeling the baby move, and knowing something about the baby would help him assuage that. The flip side is that I’d rather be surprised.

    So we’ve come to a compromise. We’ll both find out the sex of any baby we have, but we won’t be sharing that information with anyone else until the baby makes its appearance. As a bonus, this compromise might help avoid the baby shower blues and pinks that Jamie mentioned above.

    • We’re finding out in a couple weeks, but won’t tell anyone until the actual baby shower. Figured it was a fun way to get everyone together for the “gender reveal” without having an extra party, and they’re already there with gender neutral gifts. When we broached this topic with our moms, they panicked at the thought of not knowing until the birth, as they want to shop, decorate, and prepare as much as possible themselves. By revealing at the shower, we get a while to giggle and keep secrets, but everyone gets the time to prepare.

  15. Reading the article and comments has given me a lot to think about as we start peering forward at the road toward trying to have a child (it will still be a little while). Until recently, I hadn’t thought about it, but a part of me really does not want to know because of the gender issue. I pretty adamantly want our child to be whoever they want to be so I worry about the expectations we would have building (or family members would have). At the same time, after reading the comments, the idea of connecting more to the baby through that first answer is appealing.

  16. While pregnant I fell squarely in the “I don’t want to know because I don’t want a ton of pink or blue baby stuff” camp. My husband on the other hand desperately wanted to know. At the 20 wk ultrasound we agreed to play it by ear as to whether we found out or not. The first clear shot the tech got was of “Baby B” (we were pregnant with twins) laying out spread eagle. So their was no denying Baby B was a boy. So we figured since we knew about 1 we should know about the other (a baby girl). I was kind of disappointed to lose the surprise but I changed my tune a few weeks later when I was put on strict hospital bed rest for preterm labor. Due to some complications we almost lost my son. In those few uneasy days where we didn’t know what was going to happen I would lay in my hospital bed and focus all my energy on my son. Hold my stomach, listen to his weak heart beat and send him my energy and love. I don’t think it would have been the same to focus my energy on “baby b”.

  17. i really appreciate your take on this whole thing – where you say at the end it’s less important than society would have you believe, but at the time it mattered to you. for the first 20 weeks i wasn’t sure i wanted to know, but when the 20 week ultrasound came up, i HAD to know. (my husband swore he knew from the moment i told him we were pregnant and he was right). but i was completely surprised by the amount of pressure from the more ‘mainstream’ people in my life to know the gender – how much of a difference they felt it would make in the gifts they would buy or how they will treat the little one once she’s here. so i appreciate seeing such open viewpoints on both sides. and part of me, reading the responses from those of you who didn’t find out, wishes i didn’t know so i had that surprise when we meet her. but like i said, it’s refreshing to see a viewpoint that says, yes, maybe to some of us it’s something we really want to know, but at the end of the day, there’s so much more to who our children are than their sex. so thank you to the original poster and all the commenters.

    • We decided for the sake of narrowing down our name choices, we would find out. But we’ve only told a handful of close relatives, all sworn to secrecy. Like Leah said, I’ve been surprised (and annoyed) at how much pressure we’ve gotten from other people to tell. My coworkers insist that they can’t buy any gifts for a baby without knowing the sex. I don’t get it.

  18. I definitely had a preference (I was hoping for a girl), so finding out helped me bond with my little boy before he arrived. We opted not to tell anyone, though, in order to avoid gendered gifts, which I think is practical if you’re planning on more than one.

    • I think that’s important too, actually. If you have a preference either way, it would be a shame to be disappointed on that day. I think if you find out beforehand you can perhaps learn to appreciate it?

      • Not finding out helped me get over my preference. It was one of the reasons we didn’t find out. I realized that the baby’s sex was just the first of many things I couldn’t control about my baby. By the time he was born I was equally ok with a boy or a girl and I was totally excited just to meet whomever emerged.

  19. When I was pregnant with my son, we chose to be surprised at delivery with news of the sex of our child. The whole time I was pregnant, I felt like it was a boy. It was so nice to have the surprise at the end of the journey. However, If we have another child, I will find out the sex. I want to have both experiences. Also, I feel like I didn’t bond as much (with my fetus?), as silly as that may sound. Because it was ambigous what was going on in there, we just referred to the baby as “Ziggy” (After Ziggy Stardust!).

  20. I’m a labor and delivery nurse and I have to say there is definitely an element of extra fun or “magic” with an unknown sex baby. Healthy babies and the end of hard labors are always joyful but there is something really cool about the surprise. That was the main reason we opted not to find out with our first daughter and will have another baby of unknown sex this February.

  21. Another interesting point that someone pointed out to me – knowing the physical sex of the baby doesn’t mean you necessarily know the gender, and it’s interesting/useful to consider that they might not be the same. So perhaps not knowing the physical sex would be enabling in terms of not making assumptions about gender?

    • Yes- I was actually quite triggered by reading this article, as someone in the trans/queer community…

      And not just the gender- but the physical sex as well. We know there are other combinations besides xx and Xy and we know some babies are intersex..

      And as you pointed out, we know the sex that the doctor assigns (it’s a boy! It’s a girl!) may be accurate for some but totally and painfully wrong for others.

  22. I’m 23 weeks pregnant with my second, so we’ve been thinking about this A LOT lately.

    We found out both times. First is a boy, second’s a girl.

    Like many of you, I am concerned about putting too much emphasis on gender, but I guess I’ve come to the conclusion that if one waits (in this day and age), they might be putting even more emphasis on gender. “It’s such a big deal that we’re going to be surprised!” Instead of, “it’s a girl, cool, let’s move on.” Just my perspective, of course.

    I totally agree with Robyn that physical sex doesn’t always match gender. But I don’t think not finding out helps much with that issue. If you find out at 20 weeks or 40, that child will still most likely have a gendered name. Their clothes will be gendered (no matter how hard we try to be neutral). And people will treat them differently, even if WE make a point not to. I think, the important thing is to show them that we will always love them for who they are, that we will honor and respect their choices. What pronoun we used in the womb won’t matter if they end up having to deal with gender identity issues. I’m sure it will matter if we’re loving and supportive at that point (and have been forever and will always be).

    This time, I toyed with not telling people so we wouldn’t get a flood of blue or pink, but the truth is, our friends and family know us REALLY well. Most of them will try hard (and really enjoy trying hard) to find clothes that are either gender neutral or SO AWESOME that I don’t care that they’re super gender specific.

    I’ve found this to be true with gifts for my son. If I get all micromanaging and make an amazon list and tell people what to get him, it’s fine. But if I leave it up to friends and family, they do a GREAT job. Way better than I did trying to control them.

    If you let your preferences be heard (gender neutral, wooden toys, quiet toys, etc.), usually people will listen! Or do we just have really great people around us? (;

    But as superficial as it seems, my #1 issue is names. I get really attached to names. I know this because the name that tied for first for my son (his name is Everett, the “runner up” was Malcolm–Everett sounded better with our favorite middle name), I’m still in love with. I want another boy now so I can have a Malcolm! And that’s crazy! I’m having a girl, and we might not ever have another boy (even if we have 5 more kids!). So I like to get the name nailed down fairly early. If you wait, you end up with two names that you LOVE. And one you might never get to use!

    Ultimately, finding out is a personal choice. And we have our own, specific, quirky reasons. (;

    • Letting your preferences be heard is important, but definitely not fool proof! When my sister had her first baby shower, the invite said that she preferred if people gave her “used” baby items from Goodwill and such, since she didn’t need much, and she didn’t want people spending loads of money on brand new clothes that would get worn once before the baby outgrew them. I was the only one that did this. Everyone else bought her brand new fancy clothes. For her second child’s first birthday, she said that my niece had plenty of everything except warm footie pajamas and dress-up accessories like fun hats. Again, I was the only one who followed her directions, and she ended up with a bunch of fancy clothes that the baby will wear once. Oh well.

  23. My fiance & I aren’t even 100% sure we want a child, but we like planning; twins run in both of our families, so we have 2 boy names & 2 girl names already picked out.
    We’re going to find out (though I would be fine with waiting), but as A put it, “When we get to the hospital, you’re already going to have a lot to deal with, so I want the name(s) written down, so I don’t have to say “Hey sweetie, what name did we decide on again?””
    We might tell people what we’re having (though I don’t think we’ll tell anyone the name(s) until he/ she makes an appearance), & thankfully 98% of our friends are not into the “pink/ blue” traditions.
    I guess we’ll just have to wait & see!

  24. We’ve found out the baby’s biological sex, though I’ve forbidden my hubby from telling anyone – he’d like to (and did in fact tell someone, I got so mad that I left the house over night, I think he got the message), but I’m adamant about not receiving gendered gifts, to which he says “then tell people not to” to which I say “learn some gender theory, it’s actually kind of impossible not to”

    We’ve got a short-list of names going… but there’s something really weird to me about choosing the baby’s name before it’s born – especially in referring to the fetus by its name before it’s born. We both feel that we’d like to wait to meet the baby before we give it something as important as a name.

    We only very rarely use the baby’s sex pronoun when we’re alone together, and never around other people.

    We found out mostly since I had a strong hope for what the baby’s sex would be (a fact that disturbs me a little – that I would have that strong a hope about it!), and hubby really wanted to know, because he’s one of those people who hates surprises. I’m excited to be able to surprise everyone when the baby is born (especially my parents!)

    • I knew my first was a girl. I told everyone no pink, nothing girly. I had zero pink until she was a few weeks old (and then it was me).

  25. “If we’re pregnant and we want to find out whether it’s a boy or a girl, we need only seek out a friendly health professional to smear some jelly on our tums and swirl it round a bit, and the sex of the baby will be entirely visible on that jelly-swirler’s little TV screen!”

    Hah! Tell that to my poor cousin. She desperately wants to know the sex and has gone several times to an ultrasound technician just to see, but darn if that little fellow refuses to uncross their legs!

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