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Why I Kept My Baby’s Sex a Surprise

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When I log onto Facebook and see “Gender Reveal Party” videos, I cannot resist both watching and re-watching them. Having the elation of discovering the sex of a child both caught on film and shared with loved ones is invaluable and pretty incredible if you ask me.  When it comes to my friends and family getting pregnant, I understand why they find out what they’re having. And in all honesty, I get so excited around that 20-week mark if they are finding out. Nevertheless, if asked my opinion by undecided parents-to-be on the subject, I do put in my two cents about why I just love the idea of a surprise. When they decide they can’t wait to find out, I’m secretly a bit happy that I don’t have to wait either. Here is where I get a bit hypocritical. While I get why they find out, I wouldn’t.

I think my decision started to form around the time my mom had my youngest brother. I’m pretty sure that was her only pregnancy she could have found out as the technology had just been developed. She decided to have the baby’s sex be a surprise and I think she was pretty smart in doing so. You see, as a young girl I already knew what having a brother was like. And I wasn’t particularly taken with the idea of having one, let alone another. My existing brother was way too into sports, didn’t listen to my telling him to be the baby when playing house, and couldn’t figure out why Cinderella was upset when we were actually watching The Little Mermaid. What a loser. My journal entries, discourse at school, and imaginary play were all about my soon-to-be-born sister. Had my mom found out the sex, she would have initially faced a very crestfallen girl. After said grief had subsided, I know she would have faced a very ornery daughter… for the remaining four months of her pregnancy.

Instead, I heard the baby was born, had a brief moment of despair that God hadn’t taken heed of my orders prayers. I wiped away my tears, got ready for the hospital, saw my youngest sibling for the first time, completely forgot I had ever wanted a sister, and never looked back. Without a doubt, my little brother was the highlight of my childhood.

Of course, the patent line from parents-to-be is that all they want is a healthy baby. Yet, deep down inside, many of us are leaning towards a gender, even though it may be ever so slightly. While I have been witness to so many people finding out what their baby is and being thrilled, I have also known it has been something some have had to come to terms with. Though I have always known I would love my children no matter who they were with all of my heart and soul, I always wanted to have a daughter.

Finding out before my children’s respective births could have depersonalized their gender. In contrast, finding out at the same time as hearing my baby’s cry for the first time created a vortex of feelings and thoughts. A flood of unconditional love, realizations, excitement, and visions of what the years to come might hold cascaded into one tiny moment. Their sex so totally personified, I fell in love with them. Their sex was the icing on the cake.

For those wondering about clothes and preparation, we did buy some gender neutral clothing: yellows, whites, duck prints. Though they were cute, I wasn’t thrilled with them.  The saving grace in this situation? Once baby had arrived, there were so many people that want to visit! And visitors do not tend to come empty handed (especially with the first born). On top of it, I still had my baby shower. Again postpartum timing is great to because everyone wanted to see baby. In a very short time we acrewed more gender specific baby clothing than I knew what to do with!

The truth is that every baby is an unrepeatable, extraordinary gift. Finding out whether they are a girl or boy certainly doesn’t diminish their uniqueness and their value in the world. However, discovering their sex at the moment of my kids’ respective births was a thrill and surge of immense love unlike anything I’ve ever experienced or will likely ever experience again.

Did you find out or not? If you were to do it again, would you do it any differently? Please join the discussion and share with me why your choice was the best for you <3

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24 thoughts on “Why I Kept My Baby’s Sex a Surprise

  1. I found out with both. I couldn’t imagine waiting. Although, I can certainly see the appeal. If we were to have a third, we would maybe wait, but only because we already have one of each. This is a great post! Your reasoning is understandable, besides that, everyone is different!!

    1. Everyone is different! And I think finding out has its merit too. Not only do you get to plan but I wonder if you start developing more of a relationship with the baby because you can get more of an idea of who they are. Thanks for your comment <3

  2. I found out with my son. It felt like a nice little break in my pregnancy, since it was half way. We found out near Christmas and used that as our “gift” to our parents. We kept the name a complete secret from our family, though, until he was born. I think with our second I’ll still find out, because I’m nosy and want to gte adorable clothes.

    1. Love the gift of it to yourselves and I don’t blame you for needing a jolt a the midway mark. I love how you managed to keep it a secret from everyone else. I don’t have that much self control! I think that’s so awesome!

  3. We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our fourth surprise baby (only about a month to go!) While I understand people wanting to know, I personally love the surprise, the waiting, the wondering the dreaming. There are lots of reasons we choose to wait (you can read them all here: http://www.beyondmommying.com/blog/2013/02/15/the-mystery-baby/) but really, I can’t imagine doing all that work of labor without the magnificent gift of finding out everything about my new baby all at once in that moment after birth.

    1. Congratulations on your fourth!!! As you can tell, I love surprises too. And I couldn’t agree with you more! Looking forward to reading this 🙂

  4. We did it different each time. With our daughter it was a surprise & I agree with you that the moment your baby is born and you hear their cry and what the sex is it’s incredible, no better surprise in the world!
    With our second we decided to find out, for a couple reasons: planning and because the age gap is so large between our two we thought it would help our daughter prepare and understand who was coming. I’m glad we experienced it both ways, I was surprised how emotional I was at the ultrasound when she told us, it was different but still an amazing moment! Great read Alana : )

  5. We did not find out beforehand and we would have been happy with either a boy or a girl. It was lucky that we had a daughter though because we had agreed on a girl’s name but couldn’t decide on a boy’s name. It was nice to have all those red, green and yellow clothes before the pink came flooding in.

  6. What a beautiful post! I remember being on the fence about finding out the gender of my little one. But ultimately, we did, and found out we were having a bouncing baby boy.

  7. I didn’t find out with my second child, but I wish I hadn’t with my first either!! I’m the one that always tries to convince everyone else why it was awesome not to know. But I’m with you once they decide, I can’t wait to hear what they are having either 🙂

  8. Hi Alana, Stopping over from the Mommy Bloggers LIKE Swap. Kudos to you for being able to wait until your babes were born to find out the gender. I was too impatient with both of mine and was anxious to know. I am not a huge fan of surprises so I enjoyed finding out. It also helped me personalize the baby in my tummy a bit more 🙂

  9. I can see the appeal either way, but there is nooooo way my husband could handle waiting. He couldn’t even hold it in to let me surprise people when we f0und out! lol We had a 5 year old girl, 3 year old boy and 3 week old girl. We were equally thrilled with the gender of our baby each time, to be honest. The time I actually cared most was the last, since our oldest intensely prayed for a couple of years for a baby sister, and I had a feeling my medical issues during pregnancy would prevent me from wanting another child after this. We wanted to know for sure to prepare her if it were a brother, since she is intense. She’d come to terms with the fact Mommy and Daddy don’t get to choose what the baby will be, finally, and then was beyond ecstatic to find out she was actually getting her “dream come true”. lol

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