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11.2.11

Pink or Blue....is it really that bad finding out?


Finding Out The Sex

For us there was absolutely no question for us over whether or not we wanted to find out the sex of our first baby….of course we did! There was far too much temptation and for us, if we can know, then we will know.
I remember when we went into the scan, I was sure we were having a boy, 100% sure. We asked the sonographer if she could tell us the sex then to please do so, she was a little funny at first and stated that she couldn’t promise she can tell us but if she can see anything she will let us know, I said that I understood, she also said about it not being 100% accurate, again I said I understood.
We were then told…..boy! I had been talking to the sonographer quite a lot during the scan and she seemed to loosen up and be a little more friendly than overally professional, which was lovely!
I asked her to take her professional hat off for a second and asked if she was me, would she confidently buy blue clothes. She said yes! So, result!! 

We didn't keep the sex a surprise from family and friends, and if the pregnancy came up in conversation with strangers (which it does tend to when you are walking around with a big bump) we would share the sex then, if asked. 
I was surprised to hear a few comments from 2 family members (my dad and my nan) friends and strangers stating that we had 'ruined the surprise' and that 'giving birth won't be as special now'. These weren't jokey comments, they were completely serious, which shocked me even more.

For me, knowing the sex meant I was more prepared for his arrival, we had chosen his name, which he reacted to whenever we spoke to 'bump' and made us feel like we had that bond with him already, although I am not saying that someone who doesn't choose to find out the sex of their baby has any less of a bond.
We didn't feel like we had lost out on anything by finding out the sex, and I don't think that by not knowing the sex would've made my labour and birthing experience any different at all.
I'm also quite impatient!

I asked via Twitter, Bountys baby forum whether any other mums found out the sex of their baby and the reasons for doing so:
  • @MetalMummy84 "I did so I could prepare for her arrival. Although for the first 2 scans, they thought she was a boy, so prepped wrong!" [cont after reply] "We prepped and got a few boy outfits, planned names and found out at 24wks she was a girl. Oops!" Metal Mummy Blog
  • Vicky on Bounty replied: "i have 4 girls...we didn't get the chance to find out the sex of the first 2, but with the second 2 we found out we were haveing girls at the 20 wk scan...this time round i want a surprise as the best part about going through that hard labour is the joy at being told what sex your baby is or even looking for yourself"
  • Esther on Bounty replied: "i am due 2nd July 2011, i am finding out the sex next week (can't wait).  i didn't find out with my first child, but decided that we would this time as we have so much girl stuff that if i am having a girl, i need to star sorting through it, if i have a boy, i need to start seeling it off!  Also, the last time i got to about 28-30 weeks and started to get really frustrated at not knowing the sex!!!!!
    Last time i did all the old wifes tales and a lot of them were true, tried it again this time, but found they all seem to contradict each other. 
    Will let you know what i am having next week.  My little girl has also said that I am having a boy, my sister is pregnant and is not finding out the sex, my little girl beieves she is having a girl. 
Once Charles was born the very first thing I did as he was pulled to the top of the water [water birth] was to check I did indeed have a boy.
I felt like I hadn't lost out on the 'surprise' element because 
  1. I didn't know what kind of labour I was going to have.
  2. I didn't know what he would look like, how much hair he would have, what colour his hair would be.
  3. I didn't know whether or not I'd be able to breastfeed.
  4. I didn't know what sleeping would be like, if we would get into a routine.
  5. I didn't know if we would bond straight away.
  6. I didn't know what kind of personality he would have.
  7. etc etc etc
I found this article about the Ultrasound diagnosis of fetal gender very interesting. It includes information of a study by B J Whitlow et al, entitled "First trimester diagnosis of gender" and goes into further detail of the accuracy of gender diagnosis.
Reading this article has made me feel slightly less anxious if we are told the sex of this baby is a girl. We have previously been told [by friends] and read on baby forums that there is less chance of a sonographer being correct if they state the baby is a girl than if they state a boy, so I felt that couldn't go ahead and buy dresses or skirts and so on. But judging by the photos in the article it is clear to see that although there is no visable penis, there is "accurate indication of the female gender". 

I personally don't see any right or wrong answer over whether or not someone should or shouldn't find out the sex of their baby. And I think there are far too many debates on baby forums with far too strong opinions on the subject. 
I think its the same as our parenting choices....if we choose to do something a certain way, who is to tell us we are doing wrong?
What I think is clear is that it most certainly doesn't ruin the experience of giving birth or effect the love and bond between parent and child.