Did you find out the sex of your baby?

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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?

Ultrasound Week 21 09-2 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?

Comments on Did you find out the sex of your baby?

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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. 😀

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

    • 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. 🙂

  24. 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)

  25. 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 🙂

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