Did you find out the gender of your baby before he or she was born?
I found out with both of my girls ahead of time with a gender scan. I’ve always joked that I love a good surprise, but just prefer the surprise at 16 weeks instead of 40. 😉 Jamie was deployed both times, so my mom got to hold my hand and find out right along side me at each. My two best friends were also at my side for Hadley’s gender scan. Very precious memories! Here’s a video from four years ago telling Jamie over Skype that our first baby was a girl.
A few weeks back I asked on Instagram if there were any topics you’d like to see me explore on the blog, and one reader/friend immediately chimed in with this:
“So we’ve been talking about not finding out the gender if/when we have a 3rd baby! Would love to see what your readers think about that!”
How fun, right?! I told her that I thought that was such a great idea, and she went on to say that they’re definitely leaning toward a surprise. Eeeeek! I love it!
I’ve actually become super intrigued by this topic in the last few months because one of my close girlfriends is due any day with their third baby, and the gender is a surprise! They already have one boy and one girl, and because they’ve always wanted to wait until the birth to find out the gender, they figured this baby was the perfect opportunity to do just that since they already have clothing and items for both a boy and a girl at home.
I couldn’t agree more. How perfect! I adore this particular family so so so much, and just imagining that moment in the delivery room of her husband telling her the gender just makes me burst with happiness for them. I’m also personally dying to know if it’s a boy or girl (my money is on a girl!), so that’ll make the arrival news even more exciting for everyone.
You may have seen that I hopped once again on Instagram Stories to “poll the audience” and kindly asked for your feedback and experiences with this topic. I must say that reading your responses was quite convincing to wait until the birth. Not gonna lie – makes me want to have a third baby just for that experience. 😉
Not everyone was interested in that element of the surprise in the delivery room and gave solid reasons why they prefer to find out the gender ahead of time. Lots of ideas to weigh for both scenarios.
Before I share a few reader responses, I want to share the responses from a few very, very special women in my life who also waited until the birth to find out the gender of their first babies: my mom (with me) and my mother-in-law (with Jamie).
From my mom:
“It didn’t matter to me what the gender of my first baby was, but I always knew that I wanted to have a daughter at some point. When the doctor said I had a girl, I think I was a little bit in disbelief. My main thought was is the baby healthy? When I heard you cry, it was a beautiful sound. I think at that moment, there was nothing wrong in the entire world. I had a healthy baby daughter. I felt the most relieved and extremely blessed. I thank God for you everyday as I do all my children.”
From my mother-in-law:
“When I found out I was pregnant with our first child, we didn’t want to know the gender. I wanted to be surprised, and lock eyes with the little one who kicked under my ribs all the time. The one who made me crave the strangest foods, and who helped expand the love I have in my life. The explosion of emotions I experienced looking into our son’s eyes the day he was born, I will never forget. I prepared the nursery for a gender neutral room. It didn’t matter to us, if we had a boy or girl, we just knew we had a gift. I was told at a young age that carrying a child could be difficult, or even impossible due to endometriosis. Jamie’s birth was 2 days from Christmas, which made the element of surprise better!! I just was given the best present ever, a healthy baby!”
From a military wife:
“My husband and I waited to find out the gender. My husband deployed two weeks after our daughter was born and my clearest memory from the birth was him holding her for the first time and saying “it’s a… girl!” It was magical and we plan to do it again when we have more kids. That memory helped me get through the deployment because it was something he got to know first in a process that is so much between the mom and baby. Cons: We had to have extra testing done in the last few weeks (ultrasounds every week) and I wanted to know so badly towards the end since we kept seeing the baby! But the nurses were great and said that you’ve made it this far, you have to wait!” Pros: We have gender-neutral stuff for the first nine months of baby’s life, so we are set if we have another one, boy or girl.”
From someone who needs to plan:
“I HAD to know what I was having with both of our babies. I’m a planner by nature so I wanted everything decorated and stocked before baby came. I didn’t want to have to do everything in neutrals!”
Don’t worry about the clothes:
“Lots of pros! The delivery room is so fun! The doctor and nurses get so excited because it’s rare that a family doesn’t find out. For us, we will have plenty of newborn-3 month gender neutral clothing for our next baby. It saves money! You get tons of necessities at the baby shower instead of getting a ton of clothes. We got more of the things we needed, and after (our daughter) came people bought us cute girl outfits so you get double the gifts! I could go on and on about the pros. I don’t think we’ll find out with the next one either!”
From an expectant first-time mom on why she’s waiting:
“We’re currently expecting and are waiting until baby arrives to find out the gender. I’ve read a lot about how finding out the gender can lead to gender bias before baby is even born (ex: Talking more softly to baby in the womb if it’s a girl, engage in more physical activity if it’s a boy, etc.), but beyond that, I think it’s all about the surprise for us. I’m sure a lot of people who waited have said this, but knowing we’ll get to find out just seems like it will make labor easier, or at least give me something to look forward to/encourage me. I just don’t love the “just wait until she starts dating” or “boys are full of trouble” stereotypes people tend to automatically assign baby when they find out what you’re having.”
Something to look forward to when pregnancy is hard:
“I waited with all three of my kids. I had really bad morning sickness with all of them, and waiting to find out made it worth it for me. Plus, it was something to look forward to at the end of labor. You’d be amazed how excited the nurses and staff were while I was in labor.”
It all depends:
“I think that decision solely depends on the mama’s personality! Do you want that added surprise in the delivery room? Are you okay with being gender neutral when decorating your baby’s nursery? Or are you more of a type A personality? Do you need to have all of your ducks in a row before he or she arrives? I’m that type A person and I had to know the gender beforehand because I like to plan ahead. Also, it was easier for me to bond with my baby before they were here knowing their gender.”
What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear!