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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