Why not finding out the gender of your baby is way cooler than knowing

Eliza’s 16-week sonogram. You can see her head at the bottom, with her face looking up so you can see her profile. But no private parts! We didn’t want to know.

Pregnancy is on my mind.  It’s probably because I have so many pregnant friends.   I promise it’s not because I am pregnant.  (As my stream of consciousness takes over, I’m reminded of a conversation I overheard at Eliza’s school yesterday.  A mother of three asked another mom of two, “So are you ready for a third?”  The mom of two replied with a chortle, “Are you kidding?  I want my life back.”)

Most of my friends have decided to find out the sexes of their babies, but a few have chosen to wait until their children are born.  I have done it both ways: Eliza was a surprise, but we found out Zach was a boy for Greg’s sake.  In his words, he needed to be able to mentally prepare himself if we were going to have two girls.

I know it’s not a big deal either way, but I highly recommend going the surprise route.  In fact, if we ever have more children, I will never find out the sex again (on purpose, at least).  Here’s why.

1. There are very few good surprises in life once you become an adult.  Many have said, “Yes, but it’s a surprise whether you find out during a sonogram or when the baby comes out.”  Trust me.  As someone who can vouch from personal experience, it is different.  With Zach, we didn’t find out during our sonogram.  We had the technician print the gender-identifying photo and put it in an envelope for us.  Then we sat on the patio that night and opened the envelope by ourselves amid the fireflies in our backyard.  And then I was sad that the surprise was revealed.

2. It can help you through labor.  As I struggled through back labor while Greg tried to take my focus off the pain, he had me imagine we were doing fun things with our child – we were watching our son ski down Riva Ridge in Vail for the first time, or we were sailing with our daughter.  And that gave me a few seconds of respite to wonder, “Oh right – I’m going to meet you soon.  Which one will you be?”  The cat is almost out of the birth canal bag!

3. I believe your emotions can affect your baby in utero.  Greg and I had always thought our first child would be a girl from the dreams we had had about having kids, so I think I would have been a little disappointed if I had found out my first was a boy.  I didn’t want to make him sad or feel unwanted in there.  Conversely, I felt like if the child came out and I was told, “It’s a boy!” I would have been ecstatic because, well, he was out, and well, there he was!

4. Your family might have hopes, too – ones you don’t care to hear.  Maybe your parents really want a girl because they have 9 grandsons and no granddaughters.  Or maybe there’s pressure to commit to carrying on the family name, making a Herbert Whiting Virgin VI.  (That’s not a joke – our nephew, Whitt, is the 5th.)  I think once family members can meet a baby, boy or girl, they will fall in love regardless of what their hopes are for gender or names.

5. I saved money.  The baby girl clothes didn’t call to me every time I went shopping.

6. I saved other people money.  Nor did gender-specific baby gear or nursery decor shout at me, either.  So I never needed a shower for Zach because I had everything I needed, and He wasn’t going to be subjected to a pink baby carrier or car seat.  Our nursery was khaki, yellow and green.

7. You do not NEED to know for planning purposes.  I challenge anyone to come up with something you must plan that requires the child be a boy or girl.  Trust me, I am a planner and type-A and a control freak.  And I survived, as did every planner in human history until roughly 25 years ago.

8. You can’t get the sex wrong once the baby is born.  I have two good friends who were told from initial sonograms that they were having girls.  One’s sister-in-law had hand-made her pink baby shower invitations when they found out they were, in fact, having a boy.  Our other good friends just found out at 31-weeks that their little girl is actually a little man.  Although they are equally as excited, the dad said, “It’s like this baby girl I thought I had is gone.”

There is my case.  I know I probably won’t change anyone’s mind either way, but perhaps there is a mom out there who can’t really figure out what to do, and this will help her decide.

I’d love to hear whether you found out or waited for the surprise, and why!

22 thoughts on “Why not finding out the gender of your baby is way cooler than knowing

  1. I agree with all your reasons, Christine! We waited to find out with both girls, and it was really fun both times. You definitely do not “need” to know. They both have exceptionally girly rooms that I’ve been able to decorate after their arrival. Also- like you mentioned- it’s not smart to buy pink or blue bouncy chairs, Bumbo’s, swings, etc unless you are certain he or she will be your only child!
    HOW-ever, although we have 99.9% ruled out the possibility of a third, should that .01% win out. I think Chuck and I BOTH might “need” to be know if we’re going to be dealing with three girls!

    1. See, that’s where I think maybe I would cave, too. That I understand. I think I was just so bummed that the surprise was revealed with Zach. But now that I have both sexes, I think that does make it easier to wait for the surprise. =) The other reason to find out, which I didn’t address, is if you really want to name your baby and start talking to him or her by name while pregnant. I can’t really argue with that desire, either. 😉

  2. For child #1, we had the tech write it down in a little card and we opened it on Christmas morning after we woke up. We only had to wait 20 something days for that one. The room was painted green (I now wish we had gone with blue).
    For child #2, I found out at the 20 week ultrasound and my wife didn’t. She regretted not knowing near the end, but I don’t know how she feels about it now. I waited to paint the nursery until after the child was born (pink).
    As a male and someone who doesn’t get all hopped up on goofballs for surprises, I would prefer to find out. I’m a lot more excited about the actual baby human popping out.

    1. Hi Nathan! Congratulations on Maura! She’s beautiful. I LOVE the Christmas morning idea! Okay, so that is maybe as cool as finding out when the baby comes out. 🙂 As far as baby #2, at first Greg and I agreed that he could find out and I could wait for the surprise. But then I was afraid that he’d slip and tell me at some point. And I also thought it was more important for us to find out together (whether that was during pregnancy or at birth) than for me to get my way and wait until Zach was born. I can’t believe you were able to keep it from Meredith! I do believe there are benefits and drawbacks to both knowing and being surprised, and this post is definitely more about my personal opinion than real facts. I’m sure some people are better off knowing. Thanks for writing! I have to go e-mail Meredith now before I forget!!

    1. Hi Masako. Please go ahead and share my content, just be sure to credit it back to peeinpeace.com. Please pass on where you’re sharing it, too, so I can see it. Thanks! What a compliment.

  3. Heya! I am really glad I came across your list. My husband & I are expecting our first in October & we have decided to wait. Well, today, my girlfriend (who is also due in Oct) found out the sex of her baby-it’s a girl! I think I was feeling jealous that she knew & had a moment of weakness & decided that I HAVE to know when we go for our next sonogram. After about an hour of stewing on it, I’ve regained my will to wait. I am glad I read this because it reminded me that I really want to be surprised. My husband also really wants to wait to find out but he is willing to know if I change my mind. We are just looking forward to a healthy baby. I am sure I will have periods of wanting to know but I feel like the pay-off is so worth it! 🙂

    1. Thanks for reading and for your feedback, Samantha! Congratulations on your first baby. Pregnancy is so amazing, isn’t it? Whatever you end up doing in the end, whether you find out or not, a healthy baby really is the best blessing. Keep me posted! =)

  4. Hi, just found this site and I really liked your reasons to not find out…..my husband and I had no desire to find out in advance, the only time I found it hard was the last few wks when I was seriously “nesting” but never bad enough to give in. The baby was breech which meant I had ultrasounds all the time, I always told the Dr straight away not to tell us accidentally, my friend who was pregnant at the same time was told “accidentally” at 37 wks during a routine scan that it was a boy.
    One more reason to add to your list is that if you are having a C-section, which I ultimately had, you can tell the Dr you want Dad to announce the sex. I loved that my darling husband had the spotlight that day after me being the center of attention for 9 mos.

  5. We didn’t find out either for pretty much all of these same reasons! My husband kind of wants to find out when we get pregnant again, but I told him no way! We are only having 2 (hopefully!) and if my second isn’t a boy (I already have a girl) I will be seriously sad for a while. If you wait til *THAT* moment, there is no sadness, only JOY and RELIEF! I know it doesn’t matter if I have 2 girls and I will really be ok with it, but I don’t ever want my child to think I am anything less than thrilled that they are perfect and healthy and who they are!

    1. I totally agree with Danielle! I think I kept strong and didn’t find out again because I didn’t want to feel that meaningless disappointment if it’s a third boy. I’ll just skip forward to the bliss of having a (fingers crossed) Healthy baby boy or girl! I know it’s horrible to say you’d be “disappointed” in such a blessing some just can not have but we all have dreams and we can’t help how we feel when they aren’t perfectly met. But I think it’s safe to say once your child 3rd boy 5th girl whatever it is is here we just fall madly in love!! Not finding out is a great and exciting way to skip that MEANIGLESS gender disappointment.

  6. Hi I’m Christan. I’m 21 weeks pregnant with my third 😊 I have two boys whom I kept a surprise. This one is killing me! But I’m staying tuff. I enjoy daydreaming of both, get my girl or have three boys!!! Both totally exciting! I feel that’s a big pro to keeping the gender a surprise. Endless day dreaming! And like you said how can you possibly be disappointed once you have them in your arms 😍 thanks for you post it helped me rember how cool the surprise is and why I do it!

    1. That’s very exciting, Christan! The surprise with our third, Ethan, was really wonderful. I daydreamed a lot about my daughter getting a sister and my son getting a brother, so when he came out I was so happy it was a boy (and would have been equally content with a girl). I was a little scared about how my daughter would react because she wanted a sister so badly. But she fell in love with him instantly. I pray all goes well for you and your third little blessing!

  7. Well I’m Monique a mother of one daughter who’s 14 & I’m 19 weeks pregnant. I really liked all your reason to not wanting to know. (Although #1 is my favorite.) So as I wait to enjoy the day I delivery, I will just think of you and many others who waited for the SWEET SURPRISE.😁😊😍😊😁Forget their opinions it’s what I want😉.Thanks Christine

    1. Congratulations, Monique! The update to my post is that I had a third child and did not find out. I really did not have a “feeling” because I thought it would be a girl (as my daughter was begging and praying for a sister), but all my dreams were about having a boy. I got to pull the baby out myself, and I laid him on my belly, but he was face down! So then I said, “What are you?!?!?” and flipped him over and saw he was a boy. Then my husband and I just embraced and were so ecstatic. Our daughter adjusted to him being a boy instantly as well when she met him (but I think she would have been upset knowing it was a boy before he was born).

  8. Hello,
    I found your post off Pinterest and totally agree with you about waiting! Both me and my husband have had dreams about having a girl first and if we had a boy he would be the 5th. A little crazy that you wrote about 2 things I’ve been thinking about lately. Thanks for your post!

  9. Hi there would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with?
    I’m going to start my own blog soon but I’m having a hard time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.

    The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs
    and I’m looking for something unique. P.S Sorry for being off-topic
    but I had to ask!

  10. I agree about waiting to know. To me, there is something so special and empowering about not knowing. At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter the gender, as long as the baby is happy and healthy. Plus, everyone knows you’re having a baby, so when the baby is born, it is really just the confirmation of what everyone knew would happen anyway. But if no one knows what you’re having, I think the excitement is so much more heightened, and I think it’s just more “fun” for everyone. I will never forget the sound and emotion in my husband’s voice when I heard him say “it’s a boy!” at my son’s birth.

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