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. 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).

    • 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 🙂

  2. 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!”

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

    • 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.

  5. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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?

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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. ^^

  9. 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.

  10. 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:)

  11. 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)

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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 🙂

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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 🙂

  21. 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).

  22. 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!

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

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