One of the most common questions people ask when we tell them I’m pregnant is, are we going to find out if we’re having a boy or a girl. I couldn’t tell you whether they really want to know, or whether it’s just something to say in response to the news. I guess it’s a mixture of both.
With just over 3 weeks until our 20 week scan I’ve not quite made up my mind. I’ve always thought that I wouldn’t want to find out, that it would be nice to have a surprise at the end of 9 months plus however many hours of labour, and that people know too much about babies before they arrive these days – some people even announce the name, which only leaves the due date for people to speculate about.
But, talking to my friends about their experiences has started to sway my opinion. For starters, they all agree that meeting your baby at the end of labour is reward enough. And there are plenty of things we don’t know about Pea – who will he/she look like, what colour hair will he/she have, what colour eyes will he/she have, how much will he/she weigh? I can’t imagine any mum ever has said that their labour would have been more enjoyable if they didn’t know the baby’s gender. The impression I get is that when the time comes the only thing you are thinking about is how much pain you are in and when will it end.
One of my friends has just had her second baby. She didn’t find out with her first but tells me that all she wanted to know at the end of her labour was that her baby was OK. She wasn’t properly able to digest that the baby was a girl until some time later, by which point the element of surprise had passed. She decided to find out for her second and was able to share the excitement of having another girl with her husband and daughter. I can say from experience, having unexpectedly been present at the birth of number two, that when baby shot in to the world we were all more concerned by whether she was breathing than whether she was a girl or boy.
Another one of my other friends found out with baby number one and describes the moment her baby was placed on her chest as feeling like she’d been presented with an alien. She’d been in labour for 3 days and was exhausted. The fact her baby boy had arrived safe and sound was the only thing that mattered.
Of course none of us can predict how long labour is going to take, how we will feel afterwards, and we have absolutely no control over our emotions. Everyone’s birthing story is different and some new parents obviously do experience that immediate rush of love and excitement when they finally meet their baby. But, in the experience of my friends, I get the feeling that the honest feeling about baby’s sex at the moment it’s delivered is indifference – and I suspect that applies to more people than would be willing to admit it.
If we decide to find out at the 20 week scan (dependent on Pea’s cooperation on the day of course – let’s not forget that it might not actually be possible to tell) then I know that we will both be excited and we will both be able to share that for the rest of my pregnancy. It will make it easier to choose baby names (and I’m really struggling with boys names at the moment so it would actually be useful to know) and I’m sure it will impact on other decisions that we make as we prepare for Pea’s arrival.
Some people like to know whether to buy pink or blue. I have no plans to establish our child with a gender specific colour scheme, and whether we repaint the room that’s going to become the nursery is still open to debate. Even if we do, it’s going to stay the same colour – a very pale green. I’m also loving grey right now, which goes so well with a mix of bright or muted colours. I guess what I’m saying is that for decorating and purchasing plans, it’s going to make very little difference.
One thing I do know is that if we do / are able to find out Pea’s sex in a few weeks time, it’s going to be our secret – the rest of you can enjoy guessing. After all, none of us can change the outcome, and there’s a 50:50 chance of getting it right!
Did you find out the sex of your baby? Did it make a difference when he/she was born? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.