At the moment, my response to that question is “we don’t know” or “we won’t find out until we meet the baby” or “it’s a surprise!” but my snarky side always wants to say “we’re hoping for a human.” 🙂
That’s right, I’m one of those people who isn’t finding out the gender beforehand. My wonderful boyfriend wanted to but he easily acquiesced to my wishes because I “was the one doing all the work” (his words). I asked him why he wanted to find out, he said “because [he’s] a planner.” The way I see it, small human beings aren’t that different from one another (in terms of their needs) depending on gender… so he can plan for a human being. There are so many reasons that I didn’t want to get a sneak peek at “the plumbing” so I thought I would share them with you. Before I do that though, I thought I would share the reactions of those around me when they find out I don’t want to know in advance.
There are 3 distinct reactions:
- Other parents who also didn’t find out: “That’s the best! It’s so much fun!”
- Other parents who DID find out: “Oh well… everyone’s different…”
- Non-parents who plan to find out the gender when they’re pregnant: “Oh, I could never do that! I would have to know, I would need to plan!” (These tend to be the people who hate my decision the most)
- (Non-parents who either never plan to have kids or who also wouldn’t find out just move along to different questions)
So why don’t I want to find out? Well first, I’m hoping to have a second child at some point (I love my own brother! I totally want to give the gift of a sibling to my own child). Since I can’t find out this imaginary #2’s gender now, I have to buy all gender neutral stuff (for the big stuff at least) anyway.
I honestly don’t care about the gender. I would love to have one of each gender and since I have neither right now, what does it matter?
I hate the idea of gender stereotyping someone who hasn’t even been born yet. I think our society loves to gender stereotype (just consider the debate about women on the front lines in the military right now. I feel like half the arguments coming from old men are something about women being too frail. Yes, some women are little and frail… so are some men! And some women could “kick my lily ass” – to quote Offspring – but I digress). I’ve heard/read that once some people find out their child’s gender, they start to gender stereotype the fetus: Oh, he kicks like a soccer player, she kicks like a ballerina, I’d love for him to grow up and be president, I’d love for her to be a good cook. I hate this! First off, I hope my kid is a good cook either way because I’m terrible! And most of my female friends did soccer leagues as kids too, so why can’t she kick like a soccer player? I don’t want to gender stereotype (and I don’t want anyone else doing it on my behalf).
Also, I have heard so many stories of people being told that they are having a girl and when they give birth it turns out to be a boy: surprise! (or vice versa) That seems really scary to me. And even if I were told one thing and then a few weeks later (still before birth – which is something else I’ve heard) told something else, that seems like a bummer to me because now you’re picturing one person and then you have to readjust your thought process.
While I don’t think I would actually do this, I’ve heard that some women mourn the loss of whatever they aren’t having. For example, they are told they are having a boy, and they spend a few days being sad as though they lost a daughter. I don’t imagine you have that same emotional loss when you’re actually holding the sweet child and learning the gender for the first time. It’s a sad thought to me to have feelings of losing a child while you’re currently pregnant with a healthy, living child.
And the final reason I don’t want to find out is actually for my wonderful boyfriend. He’s 50% the parent, just as I am, but I’m getting 90% of the attention and credit. And while I’m sure a lot of people think that makes sense because “I’m doing all the work,” I don’t feel that way. During the first trimester, T had to care for both of us. I didn’t clean anything (I didn’t even really clean up after myself) and I didn’t feed myself. I was a useless glob most of the time. He had to take complete care of me. Plus, we hadn’t told anyone that we were pregnant, so he couldn’t even commiserate with anyone, all he could do was say that I was sick. He did a boat load of work! He’s still doing more than his half! (He won’t let me near chemicals so he’s doing all of the major cleaning and he has to clean out the litter box every time because pregnant ladies aren’t allowed to). So I love the idea that I get to deliver the baby and he gets to deliver the news. I just picture him running out to a waiting room filled with our expectant friends and family shouting “it’s a girl!” or “it’s a boy!” and having love radiated at him. I know that I’ll get plenty of love after delivering said person, I want him to have a moment too.
Yeah… the birth! 🙂
Other perks include choosing names (which I’ll post about next week). I thought it was fun to think of names for both genders. I like both of the names we came up with and I hope to get to meet them both some day.
Also, it’s funny hearing people’s guesses for gender. So far, a bunch of people have told me that I’m having a girl because I had a lot of morning sickness. But I’m also carrying low… which means a boy. And there are a whole bunch of the other silly ones, I can’t wait to hear more of them!