10 Mar 2016

Finding out your baby's gender


A few of my friends are currently or have recently been pregnant, and there seems to be a host of fellow mummy bloggers whom I follow who are also currently expecting / have given birth over the last few weeks. What I’ve noticed is that the majority of them found out the gender of their babies during pregnancy.

It’s lovely to see and hear them speak about their boys / girls, share in their excitement and their plans for blue or pink.

It’s struck me though that John and I really seem to have been in the absolute minority with not having wanted to find out the gender of our babies – both times.

It’s such a personal decision, of course, and everyone is very different, but John and I were unanimous from the start that we wanted the sex of our babies to be a surprise. I can’t actually put my finger on the exact reasons. It was just a gut feeling. An instinct. We liked the element of surprise, and our thinking, I guess, was a bit along the lines of that life has so few genuine revelations these days that it was nice to keep up that last bit of mystique until the birth.

It’s curious actually, and an utter paradox, because it goes completely against my character. In every other sphere of my life, I hate surprises. Heck, not only am I a virgo, but also German, so it goes without saying that I like things that I can plan ahead, that are predictable and that I can prepare for, and hence avoid the element of arbitrariness and surprise as much as possible.

But in this instance, it was absolutely clear to us that we wanted to keep guessing who these little beans were who kept growing in my tummy and kicking the living daylight out of my ribs. There was something magical in keeping everyone – including ourselves – guessing (not that many people believed us that we genuinely didn’t know; most people just thought we just didn’t want to say).

I remember walking into our 20 week scan, both times, and being asked whether we wanted to find out the gender, with the sonographer clearly anticipating a “yes”. But a “no” it was, and luckily the scan didn’t show anything too obvious – or at least we didn’t really know where on the pictrue to look and how to interpret anything other than the head and little arms and feet, so it remained a welcome enigma.

For that same reason we refrained from having a 4D scan done (also because we find them a little spooky and creepy – *sorry, I know that lots of people love them, so each to their own, obviously*).

I think part of me was also a little scared of finding out too much too soon. I am a big worrier, and I was anxious that I might jinx things, that something might happen to my little baby if I treat her / him like they were already here. Silly, I know, but anxieties are very rarely rational, are they?

It’s hard to describe the feeling of elevation / revelation when first Becky, and three and a half years later Alex was placed in my arms and the midwives shouted out “it’s a girl” / “it’s a boy”. Especially the second time round it was the best surprise ever, because we honestly thought we were having another girl (not that it mattered either way).

Of course every birth is special and magical, but for us, having that extra element of surprise made it an even more amazing experience.

How about you? Did you find out the sex of your babies or did you stay old school like us?

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