Did you find out the sex of your baby?

Posted by

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. 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. 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 🙂

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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 🙂

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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!).

  11. 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. 🙂

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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!

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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*

  20. 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.

    • 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.

  21. 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!

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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

Comments are closed.