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What will it bee?

May 3, 2013

The two questions you get most when you’re expecting:  “When are you due?” and “Is it a boy or a girl?”  No one asks if you know if it’s a boy or a girl, they just ask which it is.  At first I’d answer, “I don’t know!” but that always led to, “When do you find out?!” So now I say, “I don’t know, it’s a surprise!” and wait for the puzzled look.  I guess I get it.  I always assumed I would find out when the time came.  Until my husband, around 12 weeks into our pregnancy, asked me, “Do you want to find out the gender?”  At that point, I actually paused to think about it.  I would’ve been fine either way, but I left it up to him in the end and he wanted to wait until the baby was born.  I’m glad now.  It’s fun waiting for that big surprise.  I know that moment, when we finally discover if we have a son or daughter, will be the most exciting moment of our lives.

gender neutral diaper cake

The totally adorable diaper cake at my shower.

There are definite benefits to not knowing the sex of the baby.

  1. The gifts we’ve received from all our generous loved ones have all been essentials.  We don’t have bags full of pink ruffled tutus and blue onesies with trains on them.  But we do have diapers, our car seats and stroller, swing, bassinet, bath gear, nursing gear, humidifier, all the practical stuff.  No one likes shopping for gender-neutral clothes.  I don’t blame them.  It’s all green or yellow and features either monkeys, turtles or ducks.  Yawn.
  2. We have saved a TON of money.  It’s not tempting to buy cute little things for a baby when you don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl.  Most of those cute little things would’ve been unnecessary anyway.  I’ve bought a few toys and a few pieces of clothing, but that’s about it.  If I knew one way or the other what the sex was, I’d have spent a lot more money.
  3. Since we’re pursuing a “natural” birth, I think not knowing will give me more motivation.
  4. It gives my husband a big, fun part of the birth.  He gets to be the one to announce “It’s a boy!” or “It’s a girl!” I am so excited for him to be able to share the big news.  That’s a lot more fun than cutting a cord.
  5. Everything we have is neutral, so it can be reused if we have a second baby.
  6. I read something a labor and delivery nurse wrote that said that the births where gender was unknown were, in her experience, the most joyous.  Similarly, I’ve never talked to anyone who waited to find out who regretted it.
  7. Plus it’s kind of fun to torture friends and family with the suspense.

So how about drawbacks?  I’ve heard a lot, but none of them applied to us.

  1. You can’t bond as well with the baby.  False.  People forget that even just 30 years ago it was uncommon, and sometimes impossible to find out the gender of an unborn baby.  That didn’t mean moms of babies born before gender prediction ultrasounds were widely available weren’t bonding with their children.  Frankly, I love this baby just as much without knowing what kind of genitals it has.  I think this argument is totally silly.
  2. How can you decorate?  First of all, no problem.  There are a lot of really cute ways to decorate a nursery without it being princesses or dinosaurs.  Second, we aren’t decorating.  For right now, our bedroom is baby’s bedroom.  In our case, we wouldn’t have had a nursery anyway, and even if we did, I’m not really the type to go all theme-y.
  3. What do you call the baby?  We call it Baby mostly.  As for pronouns, we say he/she/it interchangeably, whatever comes out.  It’s not a big deal.  I’ve heard people say they just couldn’t call their baby “it.”  Give me a break.
  4. What about names?! Well, we picked one of each.  It was a little more work, but a lot of people have two names picked out before they have their ultrasound anyway.  I didn’t find it was really that difficult to put the extra thought and effort into picking another set of names.
  5. How do you buy clothes?!  We kind of don’t.  We have some plain onesies and footie pajamas and sleep sacks.  That’s all any baby needs for the first few weeks.  We can shop later.  As for the infamous “coming home” outfit, that doesn’t apply to us either.  We go home four hours after the baby is born.  The last thing on my mind will be if the baby has a cute outfit on.

The speculation is kind of fun too.  I like hearing everyone’s guesses and their reasoning.  A cashier at the drugstore told me with complete confidence she thinks it’s a girl.  A week later another stranger would swear on his mother’s grave, just by looking at me, that it’s a boy.  The predictions are pretty evenly split between girl and boy.  Just for fun, we’ve done a lot of the Old Wives’ Tales and gender prediction tests.  The luck of all these is that they’re true 50% of the time.  We put no trust in any of these methods, which is good because our results are really mixed.

  • Less morning sickness means a boy.  I had none.  BOY
  • Carrying high means girl, low means boy.  I can’t tell which I am.  INCONCLUSIVE
  • A watermelon-shaped belly means girl, basketball means boy.  My bump is definitely more the former.  GIRL
  • The ring test (Put your wedding ring on a string and dangle it over the belly.  If it moves in a circle, girl.  If it moves back and forth, boy).  Circles.  GIRL
  • Craving sweet stuff, girl.  Craving salty stuff, boy.  I haven’t had a lot of cravings.  INCONCLUSIVE
  • Baking soda test (pee in a cup with baking soda, if it fizzes, it’s a boy).  Didn’t do it.  I think it’s a cruel trick that a woman who can’t see anything below her bellybutton has to pee in a tiny cup at every prenatal appointment.  I’m not doing it at home for funsies.  INCONCLUSIVE
  • The Mayan Method.  If your age at conception and the year of conception are both even or odd, girl.  If not, boy.  I was 32 in 2012.  GIRL
  • Chinese Gender Prediction Chart.  It depends on which one I use online.  Some say girl, some say boy.  INCONCLUSIVE
  • My usually terrible skin has cleared up completely during pregnancy. BOY

We’ll know for sure in about 44 days.  Just please, don’t wager any money on it.

——–

Note:  I know there is controversy in this modern world about the use of the words “gender” vs “sex.”  I understand why some feel there is a difference, but I use the terms interchangeably.

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