To Be Surprised?

Pregnant with my 1st baby. [name_f]Do[/name_f] you think it’s better to find out the gender ahead of time or wait to be surprised?

I personally really don’t care if I have a boy or a girl. And in some ways I think going in gender-neutral will be beneficial. Ex. for the big purchases (stroller, car seat, etc.), I can pick things that will pass down to other kids better without being fazed by cute gendered items.

But knowing would be beneficial in planning for the kid. Ex. picking names, getting family excited, clothes, etc.

I’m just not sure if the simplicity is worth the loss of momentum / excitement I’m feeling when I guess. And that has been a big motivator through the start of my pregnancy and might help me push through hard weeks later.

[name_f]My[/name_f] husband and I truly don’t care what we get. And unfortunately, once you find out, you can’t unlearn it. So we need to make up our minds before the mid-pregnancy ultrasound in a few weeks.

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[name_m]Just[/name_m] had my first, and my SO and I waited for birth to find out. There were moments of curiosity that made us wish we knew, but they weren’t killing us and in the end we were glad for the surprise.

It is very much personal preference; in prenatal class many women cited wanting to plan (being type A) as their main motivator to find out whereas those who didn’t know wanted to be surprised.

Personally my motivation was my SO having a gender preference and wanting to avoid prolonged gender disappointment in case it wasn’t what he wanted, plus just figuring it would be nice to be a surprise as I didn’t really care either way. [name_f]My[/name_f] family actually took bets on gender since we didn’t know. It turned out the SO did have gender disappointment at birth, but with the baby right in front of him it only lasted a couple seconds before he embraced what we had.

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We just had our first baby and we did find out the gender but it was not at the ultrasound and it was pretty far along in the pregnancy. [name_f]My[/name_f] main reason for wanting to find out was because everyone was so obsessed with if it was a boy or girl and I didn’t want his birth to be overshadowed by everyone asking about his genitals. I didn’t think it mattered at all what gender he was so I wanted everyone to get it out of their systems before he came. It also helped us pick a name more, and another reason I’m glad we did find out is because we were very convinced it was a girl so finding out it was a boy was a weird adjustment. It really didn’t matter but it was just strange to go from having a certain image in my mind and then having to change those ideas. I think if we had waited til his birth it would’ve been even more difficult because we would’ve had even longer to keep thinking of the baby as a girl and then suddenly would’ve have a boy instead.

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Nobody can decide what’s best for you and your family.

We did find out, but with my second (the first child with my husband) I wasn’t sure what to do for a very long time. [name_f]My[/name_f] husband preferred finding out while I wanted it to be a surprise.
We never told anyone else though, my husband and I were the only ones who knew the sex of our children before they were born. That way everyone had to buy gender neutral things, which is what we prefer. So that could be an option for you.

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We didn’t find out without first and don’t plan to with our second either- having said that we already had two name options for a girl and one for a boy so if we ended up using our boy name first time round I think we’d have been more tempted to find out this pregnancy as we’d have had to come up with another boy name and we can’t seem to agree on any!!

As far as not finding out went, I really enjoyed the anticipation of getting to meet the baby and also getting to know their character through their movements and patterns before they were born without any gender influencing us. [name_f]My[/name_f] husband definitely wanted a boy (he’s one of three boys and most of his cousins are boys so I think he felt like he would know what he was doing more with a boy!) but when our daughter was born it was love at first sight. He’d still like a boy at some stage but knowing how cute our current daughter is he’s excited at the prospect of either a girl or boy this time round.

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We have waited for all of our children to find out.

We had an amnio with our last child so could have known definitively, this pregnancy had NIPT testing and could have known early but also made the decision to wait until birth.

The rebuttal of being prepared I don’t understand and I am the ultimate planner, organizer, scheduler. Before the birth of all of our children we choose a girl and boy first and middle name set.

All of our births unfortunately were scheduled c-sections. It was always a wonderful moment when the doctor begins to lift the baby and my husband says it’s a …!

There is so much excitement from friends and family as the time approaches wondering who the baby will be.

Let me stress everyone can make the decision that is right for them and the birth of a baby will always be wonderful but recently we’ve had family announce in advance boy/girl and full name before the baby was born and it didn’t feel the same excitement and anticipation knowing every detail in advance.

With our last birth our first born was older and more aware and it was amazing when they found out.

We always desired to have more than one child so it was really nice at our baby shower to receive neutral big ticket items and basics to use again and then once baby arrived the welcome to the world gifts were more typical girl/boy clothes and blankets.

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The way I see it, you either get surprised sooner or later. Both can be special moments because you are finding out more about the little life you are bringing into this world. We live in a world where we have the option to find out, so it is fully up to you. I don’t think there is a right or wrong here.

We had testing done around 10 weeks and found out right around 12 weeks. We were relieved to find out everything seemed okay. Finding out we were having a boy was an added bonus. I will never forget logging into the site, my eyes searching for “low risk”, and hearing my husband gasp and say “it’s a BOY!” It helped me get through the rest of my pregnancy, especially in the hard moments, to know that I was having a boy and to call him/pray for him by name.

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Wow, I’ve never read every reply in a thread before now…

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I found at at the 20wk scan, because I figured the tech would know and my midwife would know and I didn’t want them knowing something about my baby I didn’t. I knew I would feel like if they were keeping that “secret” from me, my brain would wonder what else they were keeping from me. Not logical, I know, but that’s why I wanted to know.

It did make it much easier to get my husband to help choosing a name! And we still had just as much excitement at meeting our baby even though her name and sex were known in advance.

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This is a really cool idea! [name_f]My[/name_f] husband is too much of a blabber mouth, though I feel like he will inevitably slip. And he wants to know more than I do, so I don’t see it going where I know and he doesn’t. But still great advice!

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A lot of your reply explains my hesitations.

I don’t want anybody casting any negativity on this baby before it’s born. Whether that be gender disappoint, fighting over a name, style of the nursery, etc. I think the only way to avoid this is to wait for there to be a physical child. It’s hard to over think these things when you’re swept away with a newborn.

I don’t mind picking out 2 names. Honestly I plan to make a list of 5 boys and 5 girls names that all work together and save them for any future children.

The nursery is the biggest thing. [name_f]My[/name_f] parents just have “a nursery”. It was generic, gender-neutral baby. And they used it for every kid until they outgrew it. I think that’s the most sustainable option as I anticipate having babies in the family for the next 10-years or so.

A lot to think about and running out of time! But I think if we can’t agree before our appointment, we’ll just wait. Because you can’t unknown it once you find out. But if we get down the road and feel like we need to know, we can get the answer.

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Haha! You were a protective mama from day one! [name_u]Love[/name_u] this!

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[name_f]My[/name_f] sister had one set of twins and one baby afterward where she was Team [name_u]Green[/name_u] each time. Her Team [name_u]Green[/name_u] experiences convinced me that Team
[name_u]Green[/name_u] was all I ever wanted to be and have since had three pregnancies all as a surprise. So I will use that saying family can still get plenty excited without having to know the gender.

Once we had our first as a Team [name_u]Green[/name_u], hubby made the decision Team [name_u]Green[/name_u] was all he ever wanted to be moving forward. The first pregnancy he went with it because Inwas so determined but that excitement in the delivery room and his voice announcing to all “it’s a boy!” Was something Inwill never forget and his voice announcing it with each child after…. I truly never want it any other way.

It was just me and my sister so my side of the family has ever known the Team [name_u]Green[/name_u] way BUT my hubby’s side my in-laws had five previous grandchildren where my SIL had found out early on and announced not only the gender but the name. So with my first it was hard on my in-laws and they did kind of hound me about about how much easier it’s be to find out. But I was insistent and they had to deal with it. During my second pregnancy the hounding was significantly less but still there…. Again they had to deal. [name_f]My[/name_f] third no pressure whatsoever…. So the outsiders do adjust and again the excitement is there regardless of the gender is known or not!

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I had my first just over a year ago and we did not find out. I had always felt like I didn’t want to know.
[name_f]My[/name_f] husband found out when my stepson was born and was 100% on board with not finding out, even saying at the end how much better he liked not finding out.
Our thing was a healthy baby. It didn’t matter to us if it was a boy or girl. I felt like I had waited my whole life to have a baby, what was nine more months? And there are so few surprises anymore! It bothered other people a whole lot more that we didn’t find out or they could not believe we wouldn’t know.
It was truly the greatest surprise and made the somewhat complicated labor and delivery even more sweet. If we have another, I will do it again.
We did the same with gender neutral baby gear and could truly use most everything (even clothes) again for the first 6-ish months. It also encouraged people to buy us the stuff we really needed, like diapers and bottles and wipes and plates and cups, etc. not just frilly pink dresses and bows for a girl or the like for a boy.
You do you, but I loved not knowing! There were a few times I thought about asking but was so glad I didn’t. The doctors and nurses even got in on guessing the night I delivered. [name_f]My[/name_f] work did a pool on guessing the gender. It ended up being a lot of fun and of course the best surprise!

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I think it would be fun to be surprised. I’ve had hyperemesis gravidarum with my first and current pregnancy and finding out helped me mentally to start thinking about baby as a future person instead of an anonymous parasite making me miserable. I like to at least have a first name chosen in advance so I can feel more connected to my little future person, but I still bought all gender-neutral stuff because I’m opposed to the aggressive gendering of infant stuff.

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Did anyone who waited have people not believe that you actually didn’t know?

Especially with our first we had people adamant my husband and I actually knew and just weren’t telling. This was just made worse when our closest relative gave us baby fan gear for their favourite sports team, they thought we shared the secret that it was a boy… girls can like sports too!

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Yes, I had a ton of people ask if we knew and just wouldn’t tell. One lady I worked with even asked if I would let them find out and they wouldn’t tell me…. Uh no!

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So funny, sure I’ll tell a random co-worker the most personal private information about my baby that I don’t want to know!

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I think everyone believed we didn’t know and liked to guess what it would be. No one ever questioned that we were secretly keeping it.

Waiting to know is not as common though, as many health care professionals reacted with “That’s so nice! A surprise! Most people find out.” One nurse told me I was the first person in years that she talked to who didn’t know. The ultrasound technicians estimated that 80% of women want to know the gender.

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I wouldn’t be surprised if the new “gender reveal” trend has a lot to do with these. [name_m]Even[/name_m] just the simpler, social media announcements. People want the attention that comes with sharing sometimes. [name_u]Or[/name_u] they want a party to celebrate. To each their own, I’m not saying it’s inherently bad. But it does not appeal / does not matter to me.

I just think my preferred experience would be finding out when I get my baby. If there was a way to peak into my stomach like a pouch and find out, that’s the only other way I would consider.

Not surrounded by dozens of people, not disappointed it didn’t get enough likes, and not in a doctor’s office. And I don’t want one of my kid’s first experiences to be tied to social acceptance / social media because I don’t think that is any benefit to them.

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