Monday, April 25, 2016

Not finding out the sex: thoughts at the end of pregnancy

I'm now most of the way through two pregnancies in less than two years, and in that time, I've completely changed teams. With Dalton, waiting 20 weeks to find out the sex felt like a tortuously long time, and I hated waiting even that long. Then, I found out I was pregnant again before his first birthday, and there was no doubt in my mind that we wouldn't be finding out the sex until the baby arrived.

My loving husband wasn't so convinced - in fact, he was still firmly on the original team. He had these delusions that he would just find out alone at the 20 week ultrasound and let me enjoy my surprise. While I have confidence in his abilities in many, many things, going approximately 5 months without blurting out the correct pronoun for the baby was not one of them. Also, a major reason for not finding out was so we could experience that moment together, when the baby arrives. He still wasn't convinced, so I just had to pull rank - it's not really something we can compromise on, and one of us has to carry this baby for 9 months and then deliver it, so, I win. Sorry not sorry. However, as I predicted, now he's happy we waited and excited for the surprise.

A lot of people have complimented my willpower in not finding out, but I really don't deserve any compliments. I'm honestly so excited to find out at the end that it's been really easy, and I have enjoyed keeping it a secret. Sure, I was tempted at the two ultrasounds where the sex was visible, but that was fleeting (and it helped that Eric wasn't even at the second one since it was unexpected and I rushed out while Dalton was home napping with him).

I really wanted to record all my thoughts about not finding out the sex at the end of this pregnancy, and time is running out! As soon as the baby is here, I know I'll forget what our lives were even like before he or she joined our family (stupid things parents say that are actually true, at least for me) so I need to get on this blog post. While a healthy baby is absolutely 150% the priority, like many pregnant ladies, I have a lot of complex emotions about whether I'm having a son or daughter. I'll also address the questions that we've gotten a lot from people.

1. Realism

I don't think I could have waited to find out the sex with my first pregnancy, and that's something that truly impresses me when people do it. I found the idea that I was actually going to have a baby, and be a mother so unbelievable. I was still in denial it was actually happening while I was getting sent home from work in early labor! Finding out we were having a boy was like an anchor to give the whole idea some sort of basis in reality.

Really needed to break up this text with a picture. 

Probably like most moms, there was never that disbelief in the second pregnancy. In fact, it was a very different approach. I felt like it took me months to even believe I was actually pregnant with Dalton. With this baby, while of course I was still very fearful of something going wrong in the early days, but as soon as I took the test, my thoughts went to how life with a second child would be, rather than just trying to get my head around being pregnant. I didn't feel the need to know the sex to make anything "real", that's for sure.

2. Bonding

I thought maybe knowing the sex would help with bonding before the baby is born, but, eh. Of course I feel a bond with my unborn child while pregnant, but so far my experience with Dalton has shown me that that bond is pretty much a joke compared to how I'll feel when the baby is here. I don't feel any less connected to this baby than I did to Dalton before he was born. Even though I knew he was a boy, I still had no idea what he would look like, act like, or really what it was like to live with a newborn period. Also, with a newborn, does the sex really matter anyway? Other than making diaper changes somewhat different? Babies pretty much do the same limited activities regardless (eat, poop, cry, maybe sleep once in awhile if you're lucky).

3. Complex emotions

I don't really know how to title this one, but I have all the feelings, and I want to try to express them without sounding like an asshole, because I truly don't take a healthy pregnancy for granted for one single second and honestly just want a healthy baby, girl or boy. BUT. This could very well be our last child. We always knew we wanted at least two, so with Dalton, there was no doubt we would at least try for another. Knowing this could be it is a different feeling.

First of all, I would LOVE to have another boy. I mean, I have a boy, and I love it now, so imagine doubling that. And how great would it be to have two brothers who get to grow up so close in age? That's an easy one, because it's all I know right now. I keep picturing the baby as a boy, because that's been my only experience.

I've always, always wanted a daughter. Even when my mom was pregnant when I was six, I was obsessed with the baby being a girl (which it was, obviously that was a sister and not a daughter, but that's where it all began). I have an amazingly close relationship with my mom, and I wanted to experience that as a mother myself. If this baby is a boy, that means it's fairly likely that I never will. I felt like that would be a tough pill to swallow during an ultrasound. When the baby arrives, I know I'll be thrilled beyond belief, and so happy there won't be any room to be disappointed about missing out on that relationship.

What I didn't expect was, now that it's getting close, I'm starting to get scared about having a girl. My bond is so tight and close with Dalton, I can't imagine having that with any other child, but at least a boy is familiar so it seems to be more likely to be possible. I think this is just a variation on the "how can I ever love anyone as much as my firstborn" theme that every second time mom seems to experience though, and I'm not actually too worried because I know I will.

I just love the crap out of this kid. 

4. Names

I know for some couples choosing two names is a serious downside to waiting to find out, but we really lucked out there. We had boy and girl names picked out for years, maybe even before we got married in 2008. The girl name was easy, since obviously we didn't use it last time. We were positive any other boys we had would have to just be Dalton 2, Dalton 3, etc, because we didn't seem to have any other boy names in the entire world we both agreed on. Then, this past summer, just before I got pregnant, we heard a boy's name that we both loved, so it was game on. Now, I'm really obsessed with our boy's name and desperately want to use it, and Eric feels the same about our girl's name.

5. Clothes

It never fails to crack me up how shocked and outraged people get when I say we're not finding out the sex (people our age, generally people of the previous generation get really excited about it). "But what if it's a girl? What will she wear?!". Um, she could wear a green onesie with dinosaurs just like a boy could? Sure, if we have a daughter I won't be dressing her in Dalton's old "ladies man" outfit, but she can use whatever we have, even if it's blue. Also, last I heard, Target isn't closing it's doors when I deliver, so any urges for adorable newborn girl clothes I feel can still be fulfilled. I'm extremely lucky anyway and I have all of my niece and nephew's newborn - 3 month clothes in our basement, just waiting, so I'm good either way. That's where I picked out the two going home outfits from!

Of course, now that I'm 37.5 weeks, I'm extremely antsy to find out what this baby is, but you know who else gets antsy at 37 weeks? EVERY PREGNANT WOMAN EVER. I'm hardly unique there and doubt I'd be feeling any more patient if I knew the sex.

Whether or not you have or want a kid, what team are you on?  Find out the sex asap, or wait until the birth? Now I can't imagine going back if we did have a third kid, but I guess I'll see for sure once the baby is here!


  1. I CANNOT WAIT!!!! I have such mixed feelings. Personally, I am feeling boy, but Harrison has been unwavering on his prediction of girl. idk idk but did I mention I CANNOT WAIT?

  2. Well, you've convinced me damn it. If we were to have a third (which is now biologically impossible), I'd totally be on team wait until birth. This post made my eyes well up which just indicates what a complete waste of a human being I've become since having children.

  3. We didn't find out w/ #1. I totally pulled rank on that one. We did find out w/ #2, since my husband really wanted to know. If there is a #3, we'll find out only because I'm going to have to work hard to convince my husband to have a #3, and I'll sweeten the pot by letting him find out if it means another baby. But personally, I like the surprise. I also like how upset random people get when I can't answer the "boy or girl" question. Like it affects their lives so much?

  4. I feel the exact same way as you do re team boy or girl for the second kid. I have always always wanted a girl. I got a boy. And now I love him so unbelievably much that if I had another boy I would be just as thrilled. I am so close with my mom though that I want to replicate that with a daughter. If we have another boy, I know we will most likely want to try for a third, which is good because I always wanted three kids. But if we have a girl, I may stop at 2... so I don't know. I told my mom just the other day, " I totally get why people have 18 kids and counting because you mean I can love this many people THIS much?!?!?!" I want all the babies!! haha..

  5. I have one daughter and I did not find out! It was awesome, but I will say that once she was born, finding out the sex was kind of the second (or third or fourth?) concern of all of us in the room. My midwives had my husband tell me since she went right to my chest and it took him a minute or two. But I wanted a surprise because, if it was a girl. I did not want everyone to get her lots and lots of pink, frilly stuff. I'm not that girly and I don't want my girl to be. A baby is a baby and that was all we cared about.
    My husband kind of wants to know ahead of time if we have another so he can brace himself for not being disappointed if it's not a boy. Obviously we don't care either way, but he's kind of hoping for a boy because he thinks one and one would be nice. I still have time to convince him that no matter what, a second baby will be different than our girl. Oh and we picked one name for the baby that we used no matter what. Yeah gender neutral!

  6. We did it the same as you; found out with the first, didn't with the second. If I ever had a third, I would find out.


Thanks for commenting! Comments make me probably more happy than they should.