Saturday, September 22, 2012

HOW TO: Not Find Out the Gender of Your Baby

Congratulations you've decided to not find out the gender of your baby!

Now, I have two secrets for you:

A. It's going to be totally awesome. 
B. People will hate you. Openly. 

That being said, I will now dispense of my TOP 10 LIST HOW TO NOT FIND OUT WHAT YOU'RE HAVING

1. Be prepared to get flack. (I make this #1 because I was wholly unprepared for it.) When I would tell people that we decided not to find out, it was as if any decision about my reproduction was up for discussion. I actually had a friend say it was "selfish" to not find out what we were having & I had a lot of "that's SO annoying". Also be prepared for a fair bit of defensiveness from people who did find out what they are having. Neither decision is right or wrong. It just is. But it's apparently a more passionate issue for people than I had thought.

2. Make the decision &stick to it. If you change your mind, that's totally awesome. Don't let people make you feel lame if you change your mind. But like I said, you will likely get some flack so decide & stick by it through the dissension that may come.

3. Remind the ultrasound tech that you don't want to know. This is obvious but also tell them to have you turn away when they gets close to the "baby bits" area. Scott spotted the gender on both babies the second our tech got even near. Most people have their one 20 week ultrasound & if that is you than you're probably fine. I had to have 2-3 ultrasounds a week for the last couple months of my pregnancy & every time I was TERRIFIED they'd look & then let it slip.
4. Be prepared to be unprepared. Let's be honest, there are some cute gender neutral clothes, but there aren't tons out there. So, get a couple get-through-the-first-couple-weeks clothes (white onesies, grey stripes, yellow booties, etc) & then go shopping when you're up for it. We also didn't prepare a nursery until after Linc was born (or you know, still haven't 7 months later!).

5.  Be ready for a boy or a girl. I didn't buy many clothes (I had some boy & some girl clothes left over from Syd & Rob) but to bring my baby home I had a cute all white sleepy and one blue hat & one pink hat so I'd be ready for either one. We also had a list with 2-3 boy & girl names. Cover all your bases for both genders.

6.  Get ready for the nay-sayers to come around. Once it was time for me to actually be in labor everyone was ecstatic, dying to find out what the baby was. The people who were "anti" came through excited in the end. Most people said the anticipation of finding out what it was was really fun for them too. Even the nurses where excited. One nurse was SO upset that she was off shift & I hadn't given birth yet so she wouldn't be there to find out what I was having.

7.  Actually finding out is unforgettable. It was intense & exciting, like every birth is, but having Scott grab & hold the baby to announce to the whole room that we had a boy was just so much anticipation, tinged with exhaustion, tied up with finally knowing. It was a veritable concoction of awesomeness that I'll never forget.
8. You might have a hard time wrapping your mind around your babies gender. I called Lincoln "BABY" &"IT" for months after giving birth. I was so used to not knowing what I was having it took a while to wrap my mind around the concept that he was a "he". When Scott announced it was a boy I kept saying, "A boy? A boy? A boy?" Like a crazy person. Because, frankly, I'd just given birth so I was a crazy person.

9. Lastly, have fun with it. Take a poll. Take bets. Have a gender neutral baby shower. Have your other kiddos, if you have any, draw pictures/guess about what the baby might be. Embrace it! Rock it!

10. If we have another one I'd do it 100% again.


Has anyone else not found out? 
Any advice for people thinking about it?
And if you're a nay-sayer it's cool, you can leave your opinion too.
Livie's not a hater either way.


Jill said...

I had four children and never knew till birth what they were. First 3 girls, then a boy. At the birth of the boy the doctor announced to everyone in the room "this apple has a stem!" He was the same doctor that had delivered the first three so he too was wondering if the 4th could possibly be a boy!

Sarah said...

Absolutely loved this post. I had never thought about how waiting to find out the gender could amplify the excitement of the actual birth. I'm a weakling so I probably wouldn't have enough self control to wait but at least now I feel like I'd seriously consider it. Thanks for sharing!

Treble Clef ♪ said...

I love this post Olivia! We chose not to know on our first two girls, but caved on the third thinking if the baby was a boy we would need some mental/emotional prep or something:) So on daughter #3 we did know in advance. And after 8 years of waiting for daughter #4 we found out also. (We had given everything away and just decided we wanted to be prepared with stuff because we were old and tired:)

Kristal said...

I thought about not finding out with Natalie, but Matt didn't want to so we found out... and man, on your fist one, everything is so exciting that finding out the gender at 20 weeks just spread out the joy :)

I think it would be awesome to have an old school 'dad announcing the gender' moment though, I know I was super excited to finally know what Linc was.

Peace Love Applesauce- Terri said...

I'd NEVER be able to hold out and go without knowing.. I'm too OCD in the fact that I like to be in the know and have everything ready!

desert dispatches said...

I opted to find out myself, mostly because I cannot keep a secret like that, and I knew I'd have "gender disappointment" and I knew I better give myself time to get over it BEFORE ankle biter shows up.....that being said, my brother and his wife freaking love secrets and surprises, and they did not know the sex of either of their two kids until the day of birth...but I knew, I swear I did...I knew with 100% clarity and certainty that both times they were having I was never filled with anticipation and surprise...I knew the whole time. I don't have opinions either way on this issue, or on not telling the name, or on breastfeeding or on painting sons fingernails. Fun post, by the way.

Esther Noelle said...

This is a great post, lady! Seriously! I'm so glad you had a fun surprise! I was so surprised you had so many haters! But I think you are right, they totally came around at the end! Really good post idea.

Calla Bryn said...

We decided not to find out and I completely agree with this list. We will find out in a few weeks when we have the baby, and we have a poll going online through a fun site called Its been fun to hear all of the guesses and all of the old wives tales and how people look at my stomach and my face to try and figure it out. I always thought I would have to know, but becoming pregnant was a surprise to begin with and my husband and my mom were both in agreement that being surprised would really wonderful, (and if they agree its kinda amazing, so I was happy to give into this one). Looking forward to meeting our little one soon!

pascendifarm said...

I am 33 weeks with baby number 8 and have NEVER found out the gender prior to the birthday. I have 6 boys and 1 girl, so it'll be interesting to see what we get in a few more weeks! It's fun and I don't regret never knowing before hand. I'd recommend it to anyone!


Town Spouse, Country Spouse said...

Yay! Thank you so much for this post! I'm currently pregnant with our tie-breaker baby, and this will be our first time not finding out...I'm SOOO excited! This was welcome encouragement, great tips, and a fun read : )