November 20, 2008

To know or not to know

Don’t know if it’s the hormones talking but lately I’ve had a change of heart. My whole life, or at least few years of it, I have thought that I would be the type of mom-to-be who would find out the sex of her baby at the ultrasound. You know, take advantage of modern technology, and have just that much more information.

Over the years when I heard from other delighted parents-to-be that they were keeping it a surprise, I was perplexed. I’m quite sure that I also was very transparent in my confusion. I wasn’t sure why someone would not want to know. To me it was like starting a job and not knowing where it was located – “Oh, it will be a surprise.” It was like going on a plane without a destination – “Oh, it will be a surprise.” It was like eating at a restaurant blindfolded – “Oh, it will be a surprise.” That was how I looked at the whole idea of being presented with the chance to find out what you were carrying and not taking it.

So far, for the first 18 weeks or so of my first pregnancy, I would happily reply when asked, that “Of course!” I wanted to find out. Dad-to-be felt the same. We had our first co-parenting decision.

This week however I woke up thinking that I don’t want to find out. We will be having that crucial ultrasound in a few weeks, which will likely be my last time on the ultrasound table. We need to make a decision about this, and fast. Dad-to-be thinks I’m nuts. He could be right.

So, in an effort to work this out, I’m making a list: The top 5 reasons to find out the sex and the top 5 reasons not to.

5 Reasons To Find Out

1. We’ll be able to buy the right things, in the right colour, and settle on a few names.
2. We can finally stop calling the baby “it” or “baby” and start using the appropriate pro-noun “he” or “she”.
3. Knowing whether it’s a girl or a boy may help in bonding.
4. I’ll be able to counter all those weird old wives tales about caring low, caring high, caring round, etc, etc. with clear evidence of what I am having.
5. Because I always said that I would want to find out.

5 Reasons Not To Find Out

1. Forces us to buy neutrals, which will help with baby number two. (If that ever happens!)
2. Avoid the whole switch-aroo – preparing for one sex and then when he/she is born finding that it was an ultrasound ‘misunderstanding’.
3. We will be emotionally prepared for either sex, versus focusing on boy or girl.
4. Other people can continue all those old wives tales, which makes for some great baby shower entertainment.
5. What’s another four months without knowing anyway?

A coworker of mine, father of three boys threw in another point – sometimes whether you like it or not, there will be no denying what your baby is packing in the ultrasound. “Whoa, whoa, whoa, look at that!”

This baby-making stuff is crazy.


the calm before the stork on 4:29:00 PM said...

I think that even if you do find out the sex, still buy neutrals. Enough people will give you pink or blue before and after the birth and personally, my son's brown, green, red, violet clothes are for the most part my favorites.

When I had that ultrasound, I told the tech I didn't want to find out in the lab room. I asked her if she would write it down on a piece of paper and put it in an envelope, so my husband and I could look at it together, later.

I think they can pretty well control what you see because when she got to that part, she said, "close your eyes!"

After the ultrasound, I felt woozy and worn out for a couple of days. I was glad to have the envelope -- to be able to put off knowing until I felt better.

Instead of just writing the word, she'd enclosed a photo of the incriminating evidence, with a little white arrow pointing to it and the words typed on the image, "I'm a boy!"

I was glad we were home on the couch, just the two of us, when we got the news. For me, knowing in advance was good because I'd been totally irrationally CONVINCED I was having a girl so that could have been a shock, probably.

On the other hand -- I love this boy so much more than I ever could have imagined, and no idea of what one thinks "boy" or "girl" means can prepare one for the reality of "baby."

So, unless you're totally attached to one outcome or the other, I'd vote for waiting.

darkfairymomma on 10:39:00 PM said...

We decided to find out the sex of #1 mainly because we were having such a hard time picking out names. We decided to find out with #2 and 3 so we would know if it was safe to give away old infant clothes. Good thing we waited between 2 and 3 since they were both girls!

Fyreflixie on 11:17:00 PM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
verygoodyear on 11:30:00 PM said...

I can't imagine not knowing. There was never a moment when I didn't want to know the baby's sex -- and when I found out that she's a girl, I was sooo in shock, because I had been CONVINCED that I was carrying a boy. No good reason, it was just the way I felt.

Anyhow, I'm buying & requesting neutrals on the big-ticket items -- crib, bassinet, swing, stroller, carseat -- but it's brought me a lot of joy to pick out girly items otherwise, and I wouldn't want it any other way.

That said, our dear friends chose not to find out the gender of their baby and they seemed pretty content with that decision, which I can respect. It's just not the way I could do things :]

humpsNbump on 2:03:00 PM said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. I still haven't decided what to do - but I have weeks until my next ultrasound.

I really like what "The Calm Before The Stork" said about asking the tech to put it in an envelope. I was trying to talk dad-to-be into going this route and opening it with our family at the baby shower. By that point we would have already bought mostly neutrals. We'll see what happens.

"DarkFairyMomma" and "VeryGoodYear" - you both found out the sex. Exciting.

I guess my biggest concern is having the tech say that the baby is one sex, and then it being another. I know the odds all depend on how the baby is positioned, how far along you are, etc. I don't know why I am so paranoid!

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