The Life of Bon: On Waiting for Baby's Gender

Thursday, November 17, 2016

On Waiting for Baby's Gender

I am 29 weeks pregnant!  That means if everything goes according to plan in 11 weeks I will a) have a new baby! and b) know the gender of my baby!  I'm not quite sure which one I'm most excited for...

I have had a lot of people ask about the decision to wait to find out our baby's gender.  Well, not so much "asked" per se, as given very strange looks.  So I figured I set the record straight.  Or something.

It first occurred to me probably a year ago or so that it would be really exciting to wait to find out a baby's gender.  I didn't have a whole lot of reasoning, mostly that I feel like we wait for so little in our modern world, and I think there can be something very sweet about many periods of waiting.  The anticipation, the excitement, the preparations.  For the rest of my life I will know the gender of my child, so why not wait a few more months and add to the suspense and excitement?   I also figured that it would be a sweet "reward" at the end of delivery to get to know the gender of the baby.  I'm kind of sucker for huge "reveals" and what not--- I just love the surprise and the suspense. 

Of course, I knew the hardest thing would be convincing Greg.  He is a man who does not like to wait!  When he wants something he wants it now.  (Like when he decided he wanted to marry me in October and literally wanted to get married at Christmas.  Oh, sweet, Greg.)  When we had June we found out her gender at 16 weeks and it was all we could do to wait that long, honestly.  I thought at 14 weeks Greg would be busting down the doors of Fetal Fotos to get a peek at the babe.

So, I started trying to sell Greg on my idea long before I ever conceived.  I mentioned it all nonchalant like.  I figured if I laid it out there enough times he would just subconsciously realize that he also wanted to wait for baby.  And maybe it did kind of work that way?  I'm not real sure.  I just know he didn't put up much of a fight.  I know not knowing the gender is kind of killing him, but it was much harder in the beginning, to be honest.  That first trimester is when it feels the most tempting- I could know in a month!  I could know in two weeks!  I could know TOMORROW!  I think, though, once you get past the "I could know right now" and switch your mindset, it becomes much much easier.  I find out the gender when the baby is born.  End of story.  Stop thinking about it.  And then your brain kind of does.  (Believe it or not, there are a million other things to think about besides my baby's gender!  Thanks, election!)

There have been a few really pleasant things that have surprised us too about waiting.  Here are some perks I would have never thought of:

People kind of get off your back.  I feel like it is human nature to rush everybody on to the next stage of life.  Where are you going to go to college?  Are you dating anyone?  Have you thought about marriage?  When's the wedding?  When are you going to have kids?  When are you due?  What's the gender?  Have you decorated the nursery?  What are names you're thinking about?  When are you going to have your next baby?  ETC ETC ETC ETC.  I feel, like, though, waiting for the gender kind of thwarts people in their questions.  They see the belly, ask about the gender and then when I say that we are waiting to find out they stop asking about the next thing and the next thing and the next thing.  It's almost like it slows down the whole pregnancy in a "sit back and enjoy this period of anticipation and growth" NOT in a "this pregnancy will never end" way.  I've really enjoyed just getting to daydream about the baby, wonder what he/she will be like, enjoy feeling the movement in my tummy.  Leaves more to imagine, I guess, and I've really enjoyed that.  It feels slow and peaceful and that is what I have needed this fall and this pregnancy to be.
  • No crazy "I'm a princess, mom and dad listen to me!" onesies!  Can we all just agree that some baby clothing is really obnoxious?  When June was born we received an explosion of pink.  People were so generous and we felt so grateful for all the ways people wanted to celebrate the new baby with us.  That didn't change the fact that our new baby was dressed head to toe in pink, purple, butterflies, sparkles, you know the drill.  And baby clothes for boys can be just as obnoxious- dinosaurs, footballs, I AM BOY, HEAR ME ROAR all over the place.  When you don't know what gender you are having, the clothes and blankets tend to remain a lot more neutral- whites, grays, beiges.  I LOVE these colors and have loved being able to shop for this new one without feeling all that pressure of gender specific clothes.  I guess I just feel like overall the clothing you buy and receive is a lot more "chill" than if you knew the gender.

  • Gender neutral nursery!  Similar to the idea above, I am really looking forward to a gender neutral themed nursery.  June's nursery is pretty much gender neutral- there are pink highlights that could easily be swapped out for blue.  BUT I love June's room so much and to me it will always be June's room, so I'm going to transition that to a big girl room (and by that I mean take her crib away and give it to the baby) and just put the nursery in our spare room.  (That means we won't have a room for visitors anymore so if you come visit us, just know you're sleeping in our unfinished basement!)  I also really like the idea of a gender themed neutral because it takes away the temptation for me to project on to my child what I want him or her to be.  Make the room a camping room or a baseball themed room for a boy when who knows if that's what the boy will be like at all?  Or a princess room for a girl who would much rather play in the dirt.  I know that they're only babies, but I guess for me it takes away the preconceived gender expectations and just lets me love my child for who he or she is.

These are the three gender neutral themed nurserys I am debating between.  Which one do you like the most?
  • Takes the emphasis away from gender and on to baby.  The more I think about it, the stranger I think it is, actually, that we care SO much about what gender our children are.  And I think it's weird that the first question we all ask a pregnant person is what the gender the babe is going to be.  As if that is the very most important thing about a person.  And I guess I don't think that's the most important thing at all.  I want my child to be kind, smart, sensitive, thoughtful and a hard worker.  I hope my child laughs at my jokes.  Whether or not the child is a boy or a girl really doesn't matter at all.  Waiting to find out the gender has brought that emphasis back on just the miracle of being able to have a baby.  This one is hard for me pinpoint my feelings exactly, but it just feels like it takes away the focus from something that doesn't really matter that much to what is most important.  No matter what this child is going to be loved and is going to be a huge blessing in our lives.  This baby came at a time when we were not expecting him or her at all, and already the pregnancy has brought so much sweetness and joy in my life.  That's what I want to think about and focus on when I feel his or her little jabs and kicks in my tummy.

People always say to me, "I could never wait, I have to get everything prepared!"  I totally get that some people want to have EVERYTHING ready when baby comes, but there is so much you can do after.  It's not a big deal at all to buy a few gender neutral items ahead of time and then when baby comes buy the rest of the clothing necessities.  I still think you can feel very "prepared" without knowing the gender of the baby

I read somewhere that only 5.% of couples actually wait until the delivery day to find out their baby's gender, so we'll see if we can make it!  (Greg keeps trying to convince me that we should have the ultrasound tech put it on a piece of paper and then open it for Christmas...)  I'm feeling very excited, and overall just love this period to focus on the little life that is squiggling around inside of me.  Have any of you waited to find our your baby's gender?  And how was it?!?  Tell me everything!!!

Side note:  I can't help but start Christmas shopping already!  I don't know why, but I feel so excited to get things for my family.  I've got a great idea for my mom but I can't share it because I know she reads this blog.  For Greg I've got this coming in the mail that he's wanted for a long time, and for June I have this hiding in the closet... it's all I can do to not break it out right now!

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