Now that I’m well into the third trimester of pregnancy, it is quite obvious that I am expecting. It seems like everyone will comment on my growing bump; from relatives, friends, coworkers, even complete strangers like the cashier at the grocery store. Of course one of the questions that always comes up is if I’m having a boy or a girl.
With my first pregnancy, I didn’t want to find out the sex. I loved the element of surprise and wanted to focus on the baby itself. And now that I’m having my fourth child, I’ve kept up the tradition of not finding out. I know it’s not for everybody, especially when that fun piece of information is readily available in an ultrasound or a blood test. Getting everything together for the baby is exciting and it’s nice to have it all planned out with the personalized touches before the baby arrives. As much as I like to be prepared, I do love a good surprise when I know I’ll be just as happy with a boy or girl. Those cute personalized details can always be done later on.
Some of the things I’ve loved about not finding out the sex:
You really look forward to the due date.
I know, I know, every expecting parent looks forward to the due date. It’s nine months of waiting to meet your newest family member, but when you don’t know what you are having the suspense really builds up, especially once you go into labor.
You can keep things neutral.
I didn’t want to find out what I was having for my first baby because I was buying and receiving baby gear that I wanted to use again for my future kids. By staying neutral, I could keep things from getting too boyish or girly. I know that neutral isn’t the most exciting, but I’ve enjoyed dressing each baby wearing the same outfit at the same age, or getting my money’s worth from the winter gear they only wear a limited amount of times.
You focus more on the essentials.
When you prepare for a baby you are going to need the same essentials, whether it’s a boy or girl. It’s easy to go overboard on the cute little outfits, accessories, and toys, but when you don’t know the sex it’s easier to ask yourself if it’s really necessary. Besides, you can always get it after the baby is born.
You get to see other people’s reactions.
People have all sorts of reactions when you don’t know the sex. Some find it refreshing, especially in this day and age when it seems like everyone is having gender reveal parties. Others seem flabbergasted that someone would purposely not find out. Now in my fourth pregnancy, I’ve seen a wide variety of reactions. I’ve had many people ask me what I’m hoping for or they see me out with my boys and tell me they’re hoping I finally get a girl. Some people like to guess what the baby will be and it can lead to interesting conversations. It’s entertaining to hear the old wives’ tales and all the ways to predict the sex of the baby, like the heart rate, cravings, carrying low or high, Chinese birth calendars, etc.
You don’t need to impress your baby.
A baby boy won’t be traumatized if he’s wearing pink, and a baby girl won’t be upset wearing outfits featuring construction vehicles. They aren’t begging to wear the hottest name brands, not yet anyway. They won’t give a thought about their nursery theme, and when they hit toddlerhood they’ll start to have their own ideas for their room. Some people put a lot of pressure on themselves to make sure it’s all coordinated and Instagram-worthy, but in the end a baby really just wants to have its needs met; to be fed when hungry, to be comfortable and to be loved and receive attention. Sure, lots of people love to go all out or have a certain vision become reality, but if having everything perfect and coordinated is overwhelming or feels too unrealistic just remember: your baby won’t judge you for it.
So what am I hoping for? Honestly, I’m excited for either sex. If I had a preference I would have definitely found out. Either way, he or she will be a perfect addition to our family.