When we found out we were pregnant with baby #2 we had all intentions of not finding out the gender. We didn’t find out with our daughter and loved every moment of guessing through the nine months. I’ve always been a huge planner that likes control, so people close to me were surprised I made it through the pregnancy not caving (especially when we ended up needing additional ultrasounds!) Even though our decision drove our family and friends nuts, we wanted to do it again, because in the end it really didn’t matter if we were having a boy or a girl.
To me there are positives and negatives of both decisions. With our first pregnancy it was nice to not know. We decorated the nursery in gender neutral colors of grey, turquoise and orange, registered for gender neutral baby items and held off on buying clothes until after the baby was born. Not getting a ton of clothes at baby showers was helpful, because instead, we got items that we actually needed for baby. It was probably a good thing though, because if I had known we were having a little girl, there would have been no way I would have held off on buying every adorable baby girl clothing item for the next four months. It was also enjoyable to hear all the guesses from people and see how accurate old wives tales can or can’t be!
I was shocked when my husband announced in the delivery room, “It’s a girl!” because I was convinced the entire time we were having a boy. How wrong my mother’s intuition really was! It’s a moment I will never forget and thought it would be great to experience a second time around.
We went in to our 20 week ultrasound planning to not find out the gender again. We told the tech we weren’t finding out, and she kept the secret from us. Our appointment with our doctor came next, which wasn’t what we had expected. She didn’t give us the “all is okay with baby” that we were hoping for, and we decided to do some further genetic testing to make sure baby was 100% healthy. We had a week of waiting until we got the genetic test results. I found out from some friends that the genetic test would tell us the gender, and I began to think more about our decision to not find out with baby #2.
Was it really that big of a deal to wait until we deliver to find out? I started to rethink our decision.
The main reason for us not finding out is we liked the surprise and waiting, but we already were experiencing a waiting game for big test results on our baby’s health and future. I felt like I was being put through enough surprise and experiencing plenty of anxiety with the unknown of our results.
At our daughter’s 20 week ultrasound she cooperated beautifully for the camera. We were able to get great profile pictures of her, 3-D images that allowed us to see her features and videos that helped me instantly bond with her. This baby was a different story. The tech wasn’t able to get any good images of the baby. It was curled up like a little ball with knees and hands covering its face. She had me do everything to try to get the baby to move, but I seem to create stubborn children!
I didn’t feel a bond with the baby at all and really wasn’t feeling super excited about the pregnancy. I wanted the same feelings that I felt when we saw our daughter’s images for the first time, and I just wasn’t experiencing those same emotions.
So many pros and cons…
We’re pretty sure that this baby will be our last, and the more I thought about it, I knew I would barely have enough time to shower when taking care of two under two, let alone wash all of my girl clothes if we were having another girl or buy a new wardrobe if we were having a boy. I also barely have enough time to think of names for both genders like I did the first time around. Especially when my husband and I can’t find names we agree on! Finally, on the one decent ultrasound picture we had, we thought we saw boy parts. (Possible second career as a sonographer?)
During the week of waiting for our genetic test results, my husband and I debated back and forth if we were going to cave and find out, if presented the option. We weighed the pros and cons, and in the end were supportive of each other to find out if the results told us. After the waiting game we had experienced, we decided again that it didn’t matter what we were having, but this time for different reasons.
My doctor’s nurse called me on my birthday, of all days, with the news that all was okay with our baby and it was 100% healthy. Sighs of relief and a week of anxiety, stress, and worry were lifted. Next she said, “The results also give me the gender. Do you want to know?” The nurse knew that we previously didn’t want to know and was tempting me with the results. My husband was right there with me and I asked him if we wanted to know. In a split second decision he nodded yes, and I agreed. She said, “It’s a girl!”
In that moment, I felt the same surprise that I felt in the delivery room when our first daughter was born.
This time the surprise came 20 weeks earlier, but it was still there. We were excited and couldn’t believe that we would have two little girls. I instantly felt bonded with our new daughter knowing I had another little girl in my belly and had no regrets of finding out in that moment.
While I sometimes feel like a hypocrite for caving and finding out this time around, I see why people do find out the gender before the baby is born. It’s allowed me to know I don’t have to shop for a new wardrobe since our daughters will be born in the same season. Our older daughter can say, “Hi, baby sis!” to my belly (which she does on a daily basis). And we can focus on finding names for one gender (which we still are undecided about).
I’m happy we waited the first time around, but am just as happy we found out for this baby. I’m thrilled my daughter will experience the bond of a sister. I am excited and terrified to be a mom of girls, and I can’t wait to see how alike or different they will be.
Did you find out the gender for any of your pregnancies or did you have a change of heart on finding out the gender?