Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Let's talk about sex, baby.

Other than pressing me for names, the number one thing that people have asked me about since learning I am pregnant is whether or not I am going to find out the sex of the baby. And going on to offer me opinions on which sex baby they would prefer that I have. (I'm not entirely sure, but I don't think that their preference will do anything to persuade the Powers That Be..could be wrong, though).

With my anatomical ultrasound coming up on July 3rd, I have to say that I am torn. Right down the middle. With leanage to one side. Clear as mud? I thought so. We very specifically did not find out the sex of The Boy before he was born. With three (!) sets of grandparents eager to buy us Baby Stuff, we didn't want them going overboard on pink frilly dresses or blue sports-themed paraphernalia. I am very much against pre-emptive gender-typing. I figure that they will get enough of that crap growing up and they don't need us to enforce while they're still babes in arms. But - more importantly - we didn't want to ruin The Moment. I don't think that there are many moments more dramatic in an ordinary person's life than the moment when, sweaty and exhausted from labour, someone announces triumphantly "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!". That's drama, baby, and I am all about the drama. People have told me that it's just as dramatic to find out on the day of the ultrasound, but I remain unconvinced. Moments, to me, are about setting the stage, and waiting for the precise second when your words or actions will have the most impact. It's about keeping yourself and your audience in the most excitingly tense state of suspense possible.

BUT - now we have the Boy. He can barely understand the concept of "brother" or "sister", and it just makes it more confusing to tell him that he may have one or the other, but we're not sure which. Also, if Baby Earth turns out to be a boy, well, we're all set for clothes and toys. If Baby Earth is a girl, I'm sure I will find something girlie to buy. I'm totally jealous of the cute girlie clothes out there. Plus, I kind of want to know. You know? This is it for the family and I want to know how it's all going to turn out. I'm impatient. Plus, eventhough we didn't find out the sex of the Boy, we knew - without a shadow of a doubt - that he was going to be a boy. Finding out would only confirm what we already knew to be true. This time, I'm not so sure. Well, I still think it will be a boy, but that's mainly because I don't know what it's like to have a baby who isn't a boy. What on earth would I do with a baby girl?? That may sound odd, seeing as I am, myself, a girl. But then, I wasn't looking after myself as a baby, now was I?

Since all that really matters to us is that we have a healthy babe, it shouldn't really matter to us what sex the baby turns out to be. And it doesn't. I also have a hard time passing up a truly dramatic moment, just because I'm impatient. I'm going to have to mull this over something fierce before my next ultrasound. It would help if you told me whether or not you found out. If you did, what made you decide to find out? Was it still a Big Moment?? Oh, and go over to the sidebar and vote on what sex you think it will be, will you? Look at me creating a poll - I'm a techno-wiz! (Mr Earth wanted me to create a gambling pool where people would send us money, but I vetoed that. Although, if you want to send us money, feel free..)


mayberry said...

2 kids, 2 surprises. Mostly for the reasons you gave. Since we didn't know the first time, we had gender-neutral newborn clothes/stuff - which worked out when our second turned out to be the opposite sex. Good luck.

Also: nymbler.com is my new favorite thing.

Gabriella said...

we were also torn between finding out, then when I went for my ultrasound, there was another couple next to us behind the curtain and they found out the sex at that moment, and they were all excited. So I said to my husband let's find out too! Only thing was we weren't able to. The technician tried everything, making me move all around, different positions. Nada! But now thinking back I should've known it was a girl since nothing was visible.

cinnamon gurl said...

We didn't find out in advance, although at one point I was dying to know. I'm glad I didn't cave though.

I used to think that it made more sense to find out with the second, figuring that one of each was ideal and you'd need to steal yourself if it didn't turn out that way. But now, I don't think that one of each is ideal. Now, I see that a child is an individual more than their sex, and it really wouldn't matter to me if we had another boy or a girl (down the road... way down the road).

Good luck making your decision.

bubandpie said...

I found out both times - never hesitated about it, my only worry was that the ultrasound wouldn't reveal the sex.

I loved finding out. In Bub's case, I was taken aback and disappointed, in one sense, because I was sure it was a girl. Even so, I was overjoyed just to know that much more about my baby - and I'm glad that I didn't spent 9 months assuming I was having a girl and having to make that mental adjustment while I was also dealing with the aftermath of an induction/forceps delivery. (A friend of mine had a boy after having the same hunch I did - and it's not always true that the joy of having a healthy baby completely obliterates that strange sense of loss, of the baby you had envisioned having.)

When I was pregnant with the Pie, I thought I was having a boy - it was like you said, that's all I really knew, having already had the Bub. I have incredibly happy memories of finding out that she was a girl - I always think of it when I drive in the area of town where the ultrasound was done. I don't think I've ever seen my husband as giddy as he was that day. I find it hard to believe it would be that dramatic after hours of labour and being up all night - in fact, one friend of mine who waited for the "surprise" said that she actually forgot to ask if it was a boy or girl until about 15 minutes or so after the baby was born.

One big advantage of finding out ahead of time is that YOU get to be the one to tell people. After the baby's born, usually the father does a lot of the phone calls, or friends call around with the news - at the very least, people are going to be finding out on the phone instead of in person. I always really enjoyed telling people the news - and I continue to LOVE hearing the news from people - my day-care provider just told me the other day that she's having a girl, and we both cried and hugged and acted like idiots.

Christine said...

Both my kids were total surprises on their birthdays. And i mean surprises--I was convinced my girl was a boy and my boy a girl. No real reason except a hunch. A hunch that was wrong. But it was so, so fun. Lots of people thought we should find out the sex of my second child for my daughter, to prepare her. But we weren't that convinced that knowing would help her. And in the end i don't think not knowing hurt her ability to adapt to the situation.

Beck said...

With the Girl, I just KNEW. They could never tell during ultrasounds but it didn't matter because I had a crazed certainty that she was a girl.
With The Boy, he made it impossible for us not to know during the ultrasounds.
And with The Baby... we deliberately found out, for wardrobe reasons - I had borrowed all of The Boy's baby stuff and we were going to be in a bind if she was a boy, so we checked and were relieved that we didn't have to find a whole new baby boy wardrobe. Phew.

mamatulip said...

I found out with both J and O, but if we have a third, I'll leave it a surprise.

I give credit to those who don't find out the sex immediately -- I'm very impatient and really, I want to know everything yesterday.

kgirl said...

Totally had this exact same conversation with the other mamas at work today.
We didn't find out with Bee, but I want to so, so badly with this one. Same reasons you want to, but also because I have already dangerously begun to think of this baby as a girl - because I only know 'bout baby girls.
Chris doesn't want to know, but we may have struck a deal and my end of it is that we get to find out.

We also forgot to check after Bee was born. It was a good 5 minutes.

Bon said...

with my first, we were told girl, but had a boy. with the second, we knew he was a boy from the 16 week u/s. because in my heart of hearts i've always wanted a girl, with #3 i'd find out again so as to have a chance to grieve the daughter i may never have before welcoming my (also-wanted) son....but if the u/s said girl again i'd probably not believe it...

i think it's dramatic, and a surprise, whenever you find out. and sometimes after, if the u/s is wrong!

Pieces said...

I found out with both. I spent my both pregnancies throwing up EVERY DAY. I needed a little something to help me get through it. I am so glad that I knew. It helped me to be prepared--to look at little dresses or t-shirts with dragons and imagine my new little one here already. I never regretted knowing. Giving birth to a healthy baby was enough drama for me.

Good luck with your decision! It is a hard one.

Mimi said...

I didn't find out. Didn't want to. Wanted that moment of drama in teh delivery room (because, really, giving birth isn't dramatic enough). I really wanted to have a girl, but was sure it was a boy, and I was pretty darned curious, but it was nice to just call my belly Baby Fetus or Baby Squid and save the actual naming for the day.

As you'll read later on in the The Week of Remembering at my place, Pynchon got to announce it. A girl! I'll never forget what that sounded like.

So I say no. But then, this is your second ... Dunno.

kittenpie said...

I was very big on finding out. Why? Well...
-I am the kind of person who tries to give Misterpie his Christmas presents early, just because I can't stand the suspense. I have no patience or self-control.
-I would know what I needed to get, even though most of what I got was yellow, anyhow. (and like you, next time I'd want to know if I was all set, or needed to get some stuff in the other gender.)
-It would help narrow down the naming field.
-I would know what to look forward to, and it might make it a bit more real. I did love knowing.

bubandpie said...

Oh, Bon's comment reminded me - I never did really believe that Pie was a girl until I saw her. I was thrilled to get the u/s results, but I refused to buy anything pink unless it was under $10 - I didn't want to tempt fate.

Bloor West Mama said...

We did not find out the sex of our first. I absolutely love surprises and there ain't no bigger surprise.

I was convinced that it was a boy, mostly because everyone hoped that it was a girl as there had not been a girl born in both sides of the family for years.

The happiest moment of my life was when my husband told me that it we had a little girl.

As for whether I will find out the sex of baby #2. I have no idea... I think that I may not make my decision until I am lying down at the u/s.

Best of luck deciding:)

Kyla said...

The way I look at it is this, with an ultrasound, you get 2 surprises. You get the SURPRISE! moment during the ultrasound, and then you get the SURPRISE! moment at birth where you find out if you were either right or wrong. I like getting 2 surprises for the price of one.

NotSoSage said...

Ooh...no time to read the comments, but I SO want to because I love hearing about people's reasoning.

I didn't want to know the sex but because my genetic testing was taking longer than expected (and may not have been completed by the time the baby was born) and the disease we were concerned about affects only males and could, potentially, have led to complications depending on how the birth went, we decided to find out. Now that I know I don't carry the inherited disorder, I don't have to find out and I don't think I will (but I'm totally talking out of my ass here, how would I know?). I love the idea of a surprise.

Joe knew all along that Mme L was a girl, but I had no really strong feeling. I liked to say that she was a boy just to be contrary.

Let us know what you decide!

slouching mom said...

We found out both times. Both times I thought it was a girl. Both times I was wrong. The second time, I actively wished for a girl, because I knew I was going to have only two kids, and I reallyreallyreally wanted one of each gender. So I nearly hit the poor ultrasound technician when she made a witty to her, dumb to me comment about how it really couldn't be more obvious, what else could that be between his legs?

Uh, thanks. Yeah.

Susanne said...

We both wanted to know as soon as possible. And it was a good thing because, frankly, we wanted a little girl so much that it took a few days to get adjusted to having a boy.

A friend of mine didn't want to know and with her second child one of the ultrasounds was so clear they couldn't pretend not to have seen that it was a boy...

I'd say that is one of the things you can't exactly plan.