10 September 2009

It's A.... Baby!

Peggy at Perfectly Happy Mum has asked for posts for the next chapter of her parenting blog, A Mother’s Secrets. This time she wants to know if, when you were pregnant, you wanted a boy or a girl and if you found out what you were having before he or she was born.

I’m going to be controversial here, or certainly in the minority. I didn’t want to find out the sex of my babies before they were born. This is my personal opinion. I don’t want to offend anyone who wants to know what they’re having, it’s your choice. This post is about how I feel and about my choices.

So why didn’t I want to know what flavour my babies were before they were born?

You don’t get many surprises in life, why can’t you wait for him or her to make an appearance to find out if you have a son or a daughter? How much nicer for the birth announcement to start with ‘It’s a Boy!’ or ‘It’s a Girl!’, rather than ‘He/She’s here’.

I loved choosing a boy’s name and a girl’s name. We kept both names a secret, even from our parents. I loved buying vests and babygros in neutral colours; creams, whites and lemons.

Your birth partner doesn’t really have much to do on the day, so before they cut the cord, they can identify the sex of the baby. Then they can sit down again.

The scan at around twenty weeks is called an anomaly scan for a reason. Most people say ‘we’re going to find out if it’s a boy or a girl today’. They’re actually going to find out if the baby is developing as expected. When I had my twenty week scans my first question was ‘is it okay?’, and certainly not ‘what is it?’. The sonographer commented that I was a rarity. She said that normally couples ask ‘what is it?’ way before she has finished checking that the baby is okay.

I understand it is exciting to find out what you’re having, but I promise you it’s just as exciting – if not more so – to find out on the day of the birth. I’ll never forget Andy looking at the brand new Presley and saying, his voice choked with tears, ‘we’ve got a boy’.

I had loads of scans with Cash. He was a small baby and the hospital were concerned about his development. I had at least one scan a week from twenty eight weeks. I saw a few disappointed faces leaving the sonography rooms. One man stormed out shouting ‘ it’s a bloody girl’. Charming.

I thought Presley was going to be a girl all throughout my pregnancy, until the last two weeks when I changed my bet. If I’m being honest, I think I secretly wanted a son. Gosh, that sounds terrible now I’ve typed it. It wasn’t a desperate yearning, I just liked the idea of having a son. If he had been a girl I wouldn’t have been disappointed. I believe I wouldn’t have given it a second thought.

When I was expecting Cash I thought he was another boy as the pregnancy was so similar. Again I thought another boy would be lovely as they are only a year apart in age, they will play together. If he had been a girl, I know they would have still played together. Again, I wouldn’t have given it a second thought.

If we try for baby number three, and that’s a big if, I still wouldn’t mind what sex the baby was so long as it was healthy. A lot of people have said to us, ‘oh, you must want a daughter next’. Of course, that would be lovely, but so would another son.

All children are lovely. If you get pregnant in order to have a boy, or a girl, you may end up extremely disappointed. If you find out at twenty weeks that the baby is the wrong flavour you will be disappointed for a lot longer. Once the baby arrives, it really doesn’t matter what it is so long as it’s well, so why put yourself through it. Also, these scans aren’t always accurate.

A new baby is perfect whatever the colour babygro.

Photo credit: www.ecotopia.co.uk



  1. I didn't find out for the first two...boys. But I really couldn't not for the third so they wrote it down on a piece of paper for us. We looked of course but didn't tell anyone at all that we knew- a girl. Did the same for the next two, girl then boy, with the last one it was for practical reasons but didn't find out until about 34 weeks.Didn't tell anyone ever that we knew because I do think it's sad that there is no surprise. They still don't know we knew before.
    In a way I wish they wouldn't tell you though but I found the temptation too great.

  2. I found out for both my children. And told everyone. I could not keep quiet about it anyway. Like you, I respect anyone else's decision. However, I don't understand why you would not want to find out.

    I think not finding out is first of all a bit disrespectful. It would have felt (to me) like not caring enough, not being interested. (I'm not saying other parents aren't - that's just what I was feeling myself.)

    Also - I was sure I was having a girl. I have two sisters, so does my husband - we only have one brother between us. It just felt normal. I had to seriously recalibrate my brain after finding out I was having a boy. I was just as happy - it was just hard to get used to it.

    Also, I found it really hard to find unisex clothing that didn't look completely boring. Obviously that wasn't part of my reasoning, but I just thought I would add it because you said you liked it best.

    Anyway, that's just what I felt. I'm sure other people love the surprise. Me? I hate surprises.

  3. I too loved the surprise and really did not care what we had, as long as baby was healthy, which was also my first question at 20 week scan.

    We had chosen a boys and girls name, and you are right its so lovely when your partner says.."We have.......".

    My hubby was really surprised that I didn't want to know, because I am one of those people who prod all the christmas presents...somehow this surprise was one I could hold out for!!

  4. I wanted to know right away. I could hardly wait to find out. I'm also one of those guys that snoops for presents way before Christmas.

  5. I'm with you. We didn't find out for either of ours. Although, I knew. Both times I knew we were having a boy. Without any doubt in my mind at all.

    If we have another, like you, we won't find out and we couldn't care less if it would be a boy or a girl. Everyone assumes we would want a girl, but if I really had to come down on one side or another, I'd probably go for another boy. Not sure I'd know what to do with a girl!

    Great post. x

  6. I did want to find out. And I was longing for a girl. I know it's fickle, I know I would have loved a boy just as much, but that was me. If there's a next time, I honestly don't care and might even resist finding out.
    However, of course it was miles more important to me that my daughter was healthy, and not getting a 20 week scan in my NHS region caused many worries.

  7. I found out - I just couldn't resist. And was over the moon that it was boy. I would have loved a girl too, but not-so-secretly yearned for a boy because I just don't see me as a "girl" mom.

    Thanks for stopping by my world and becoming a friend!

  8. Lovely post. I didn't find out with Miss E which was lovely, but with Miss M I decided it would be good to know as we could name her and it would help Miss E to get to know her new sibling during the pregnancy. It was truly lovely in that weren't waiting for 'it', we were waiting for M.
    Both times it was wonderful and I'm glad we got to experience it both ways.

  9. Chic Mama, wow, I'd forgotten you'd had so many babies! Good idea to keep it quiet so that to everyone else it's a surprise. I agree, in some areas you aren't told. That must be tough for anyone that really wants to know!

    Mwa, how funny, I hate surprises, but I didn't want to know! Well, I did want to know, but showed amazing self-restraint at each scan. I'm glad you had time to get used to carrying a boy. I was also surprised to have a boy as in both our families it has been pretty much girls first.

    Lorraine, yes, that first moment is pretty special. I'm the same as you, can't leave the tree presents alone either!

    TheMommyDaddy, there's a few of us admitting to that!! Actually I'm surprised I lasted nine months without knowing!

    Fraught Mummy, thank you. That's so funny, I have used those exact words 'not sure I'd know what to do with a girl'!!

    Cartside, my goodness, no anomoly scan? That's rough. I know they're not completely accurate, but even so... I'm glad you got your daughter and that she was healthy.

    Gigi, I don't think it had crossed my mind that having a baby of another gender would mean I was a different sort of parent. Food for thought there. It's easy to make friends in the blogging world x

    Jo, thank you. I hadn't thought about the sibling side of knowing the baby's sex before it's born. We didn't think about it because Presley wasn't even one when Cash was born! I can understand why it would be useful in preparing the older child for a new arrival.

  10. I do agree on the fact that wanting a particular sex when you are pregnant is putting yourself up for disappointment, but it is also human I think. I really wanted a boy but would have loved a girl as much as I love my boys.
    Thank you very much for your post!

  11. Peggy, you're welcome for the post. I think that even if you would prefer a boy or a girl, when they're born you can't be disappointed because your little baby has arrived x

  12. We didn't find out for either. What's wrong with the old fashioned way?? Family actually got mad at us, calling us selfish, as they could not buy pink or blue things before the baby arrived. This had much to do with other pregnant family members finding out. We thought our son was a girl, and it really was a surprise to meet him! And we thought our daughter was a boy. With such a rough pregnancy, we knew it was out last child by the time our c-section date rolled around. (Plus with a set date for the birth, I found it doubly important to keep the sex unknown, or there really is no surprise!) I would have loved to have many children, and the experience of having a girl. So when the surgeon lifted our daughter above the screen and said, can you see? And we saw! I sobbed, and felt like the luckiest woman alive.

  13. Allgrownup, and what a lovely surprise! I'm so glad you have one of each. You did go through the mill to have your babies. I hope you're well enough now to enjoy them x

  14. You have a point about waiting for the birth. It is indeed more exciting. I'm still about to have my schedule with the sonographer and I'm considering your idea. =)

  15. Headbands, the very best of luck for the scan, whatever you decide x


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