“Are you going to find out the gender?” It‘s one of the most common questions you‘re asked when pregnant.
At 31 weeks pregnant with our third child, we have a few friends who are going insane because we don‘t know what our baby‘s gender is. This brings me joy, because that‘s the kind of friend I am.
It‘s a divisive topic. Some people want to know, others don‘t.
In my first two pregnancies, I was so anxious I didn‘t want to find out because I convinced myself that if I did, the loss we would feel should anything happened to our babies would be so much greater.
I know now this is ridiculous – nothing would lessen that blow.
Maybe it was my way of keeping some distance to something that was taking over my life in that time of huge change. Plus, I felt like it would be a reward for me to be surprised with the gender after all the hard work of childbirth.
But in truth, I couldn‘t have cared less what I‘d given birth to in those moments when the midwives encouraged me to look to see what our babies were.
What? Can‘t you just tell me? I just did what I did and now you want me to MOVE MY HEAD?
I was stunned that our girl, 5, wasn‘t a boy. And stunned when our boy, 3, wasn‘t a girl.
How silly to have decided for myself that I knew what was coming based on nothing at all, really. So much for that maternal “I just know”.
We haven‘t got up to talking about names yet, but that‘s part of it too.
For me, it‘s all part of the fun.
Yet that‘s the bit that drives other people insane. These people, in my experience of talking to others about this, seem to face the most judgement.
Of course, those who find out still get that surprise and the news to share, they just get it sooner.
One friend had so many people tell her: “Oh, you can‘t find out” that she started lying, telling people they weren‘t going to.
Another friend described having someone demand to see her scan so she could make arrangements for when their baby was born! (Having kids is a great time to cull any selfish people from your life).
Another friend had the radiologist write the gender in an envelope for them.
Her husband didn‘t want to know, and she did, so she looked, and somehow kept it a secret from him. I could not be trusted with that.
Whatever you do, as with everything else in parenting, someone is sure to throw their opinion about your choice at you.
By the third time around, this stuff just bounces off you for what it is – nothing that really matters.