Diaries Magazine

Should You Find out Your Baby's Gender?

By Sjay235 @naturalmommainm
Phew! We've just returned from a few days away in England, hence the radio silence. 
While staying with Simon's parents, his mom showed me this article. Sarah Sharples spent £3000 on pink clothes and accessories in anticipation of her daughter's, Lily-Mae, arrival. Imagine her surprise when Lily-Mae did arrive...as Joseph! The article says that at every scan, Sarah had been told her baby was a girl, only for them to be ever so slightly wrong! Luckily, Sarah had receipts and tags still on the clothes and was able to return many of them them and exchange them for blue. And a quick paint job sorted out the pink nursery.
It got me thinking about finding out the gender of your unborn baby as, obviously, it hasn't been so long since I was in that situation myself. Incidentally, I should point out right now that whether I wanted to or not, my hospital do not tell you the gender of your baby, for the very reason above. There have been too many cases like the one above where hospitals have said "Yep, that is a girl/boy!" only for them to end up saying "Oh, sorry about that, it's actually a boy/girl" and getting sued. So many hospitals now do not reveal gender, even if asked. So, should you find out your baby's gender? Well, that's a question only the parents can answer and is a very personal decision, but here's how it went for us...
Should you find out your baby's gender?
When I fell pregnant, Simon and I had conflicting views on the matter. Simon did want to find out the gender of our unborn child, but I definitely didn't. Since he didn't want to know without me, we chose not to find out (although we would have had to go for a private scan if we did want to.) So, we bought a few neutral sleep suits, borrowed a heck of a lot more from Helen and chose two names. Initially, I had an inkling my baby was a girl, but everyone I know kept saying "It's going to be a boy!" so about half way through I started to agree. After all, let's face it, none of us knew, so my guess was as good as anyone else's, and I then became convinced the baby was a boy. My granny, meanwhile, was busy praying to the Big Man for a girl after 5 baby boys born in our family in 5 years!
I still remember as clear as day - through my drug induced haze that is - when the baby arrived and they held 'it' up for me to have a quick look. All those drugs, and that peculiar bit of umbilical cord made me think "oh yeah, it was a boy." Turns out I was thinking out loud, only to be told, no...you have a girl! I can honestly say I have never been so surprised and overwhelmed in my whole life. So we took our little lady home in her white and cream sleepsuits, to her black pram, green walls, and gender neutral everything. The pink started to flood in, and now we have more than enough girly bits to see us until Christmas.
Should you find out your baby's gender?
One of the most asked questions during pregnancy must be "Do you know what you're having?" To which I always replied "A baby." Sarcastic, yes, but when you get asked 10 times a day, it does get rather irksome. Many people were surprised when I said we were keeping the gender a surprise, and it does seem that the overwhelming majority of people do find out their baby's gender. On a pregnancy website I joined two groups of ladies due around the same time as me and, in both, I was one of only two who chose not to find out the gender. I definitely felt left out as the 20 week scans arrived and people started revealing whether they we in Team Blue or Team Pink, but we soldiered on until the end. It seems that, unlike when our generation were born, finding out the gender of your baby is now totally normal, and almost expected. I know plenty of people who have found out the gender, and used that to inform their choices on what to buy for their baby. I also know people who have found out, but not told anyone, or people who have found out but still not bought anything gender specific. It seems there is something to please everyone when it comes to a baby's gender - from all consuming pink/blue to our end of the neutral spectrum, and everything in between.2
So, do I wish I had have found out Isabelle was Isabelle? Not at all. I mentioned in a previous post that I am not a pink wall paintin' kinda girl. I'm not a pink ANYTHING kind of girl. I think that, if I had have found out Isabelle was a she, I would have felt totally out of my depth for the remainder of pregnancy. I am not a girly girl, and the thought of PINK overload, tutus and tea parties would have scared me witless.
Should you find out your baby's gender?
I think, perhaps, if there were more options then we may have considered finding out. Or if we were only planing on having one baby. If that were the case, it would have been nice to have a few pink bits and bobs around the house, waiting for Isabelle. However, we hope that we will be blessed with more babies, and so would like to use all our baby things again. If we bought everything in pink (pink bouncer, pink pram, pink furniture, pink towels) and our next baby were to be a boy, we'd have to shell out the money all over again. I have thought this a few times about someone I know who is planning on having more children, but everything they own is totally gender specific. That said, some people may not see that as a negative, but it is for us.
People have asked if I would consider finding out the next time round. I can definitely see an advantage to that - knowing whether or not you need to get a whole new set of clothes. Since we already have the neutrals, the answer is nope. That moment when I was told Isabelle was a 'she' was the best moment of my life - the sheer surprise, coupled with the relief that she was here safely was unbelievable, and I wouldn't pass that up that moment in the future for anything.
So, poor Sarah Sharples got quite the surprise herself when Lily-Mae, sorry Joseph, arrived, and I am sure that she wouldn't change him for the world. What about you? Did you chose to find out the gender of your baby? Why or why not, and would you do the same again?

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