Gender Surprise- Did My Doctor And Tech Ruin It?

I’ve wanted to hold off, to be surprised by the sex of this baby. We managed to make it  through 2 ultrasounds where we could find out. I was stronger than strong, never once asked. The doctor and the ultrasound tech, though, well I think they already spoiled it for me… Or am I reading too much into things?

At my 13 week ultrasound, the doctor at the maternal imaging center asked as he scanned the baby if I’d like to know, and I confidently replied no, mostly shocked that that was even an option at only 13 weeks. I didn’t have an early genetic scanning ultrasound with either Kendall or Leyna. This time around, I didn’t opt for it so much for the scanning, but so I could maybe start to feel like this surprise pregnancy is real.

“Because I could definitely tell you if you want to know,” he said. And again I declined.

Then I laid there thinking, “Well shit, dude. If you can ‘definitely’ tell at 13 weeks, didn’t you just tell me it’s a boy?” But I let it slide because, like I said, I’d never been to this ultrasound before, so maybe it’s definitely easy to tell it’s a girl then, too.

Minutes later, he said, “He looks great…” and went on to list off something about measurements and growth. I glanced over to see his reaction to the slip.

But he had none. No reaction at all. He’s either an amazing poker player, or he just uses “he” to talk about all the babies he sees? I’d convinced myself of the latter option up until our last ultrasound this week.

This time it was a (super sweet) tech at my midwife’s office who did the 20 week ultrasound. “So, are you guys finding out the sex today?” When Scott and I replied in unison that no, we were not, she seemed disappointed. “Okay…” she sighed.

She told us when to close our eyes at the proper times, and all was well until later in the scan she said, “Have you guys seen anything that gave the gender away?”

Well, no… I hadn’t. I was being careful to mainly look at the baby’s head or look away when I didn’t know what was on the screen. Scott had been entertaining Kendall and Leyna (because I unknowingly scheduled this joyous event during Spring Break… and then we freaking forgot the iPad).

I spent the rest of the time thinking how could we have seen anything to give away the gender other than a penis? GAH.

Baby #3 at 20.5 weeks

I’m now convinced it’s a boy. I even called it a he accidentally yesterday. Don’t get me wrong, I’m 100% happy with a boy! (Or a girl) But I’m not going to be happy to have tried to keep it a surprise from myself and everyone else all this time only to find out that it was spoiled for us.

Or was it spoiled for me? Is this my mother’s intuition kicking in?

Now, let me end all this by saying I get that these hormones swimming through my body make me irrational about a lot of things. My over-thinking is in high gear. Maybe they both said those things to make us think it was a boy and really it’s a girl because they get to play mind games like that?

What do you think? Boy or girl? Surprise ruined or not?


50 Things to Do Before You Deliver: The First Time Moms Pregnancy Guide
Available now: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

  • 71


  1. She might not have been meaning it was a boy when she asked if you saw anything that gave it away. My husband and I could both immediately tell we were seeing little girl parts when we had the ultrasound for our first baby. Either one can be pretty obvious if you get the right angle on the shot :). I think you can still just call it mother’s intuition if you end up having a boy.

  2. I have a girl (obvious things are obvious) and she was called a “he” by the person who would NOT tell me the gender because being 19 weeks and 6 days is NOT being 20 weeks and in BC we are NOT allowed to know until 20 weeks period.

    I had also had an earlier u/s where the tech said “I have a pretty good idea what this baby is by what I can see” which also gave me boy thoughts but, clearly what the tech “saw” was a lack of penis.

    Think of it this way – people often are told their baby is one thing, and then said baby is born the opposite gender. I’m not sure there is a 100% accuracy on this so, assume that even if someone thought they saw a peen, they weren’t being asked to mark and identify it and maybe they were wrong.

    It’s still a mystery! If you’re not ready to toss all Leyna’s baby stuff and shop blue, then you don’t know for sure. Put your mind at ease and feel confident that it’s most definitely (probably) a human, and you don’t know anything else 😀

  3. Your gut is probably right, but if it helps the ultrasound tech called mine a “he” the whole time (they aren’t allowed to tell us here but can put it in the doctor report at request and the doctor can tell us) then wrote in the report it was a girl. So, they may just by default say “he” and the “did you see anything” you can totally see either way if you have a good enough view, I don’t think it meant “was anything sticking out” haha 🙂

  4. I had sort of been hoping you’d have another boy because I have 2 boys and a girl and I love love love watching my boys together. But then again I grew up with a sister and I want that for my daughter and yours, too. So, gosh, I guess you won’t know for sure til baby comes and you’ll either now be REALLY surprised to meet a girl or you’ll be surprised at how surprised you still are to find out it’s a boy. 🙂

  5. I dunno. I think you’re reading into it a bit much. I think most people first reaction when referring to something androgynous is to say “He”.
    Then again… With the “definitely tell” part…
    You’ll never know until “Christmas morning”!! 😉

  6. Urgh I am gonna be the negative Nancy on this one. I think it;s a boy and spoiled for you! But… I love boys so the spoiling stinks but the boy news is great!

  7. I’d say it’s definitely still a surprise. We found out at 12 weeks with our daughter during a comprehensive genetic scan, and there was no doubt in the technicians mind, so I’m guessing there are probably indelible markers for female (even if the genitalia isn’t fully developed or visible). And I’ve heard many docs and nurses refer to unknowns as “he”, I think it might just be a fallback when they don’t know the gender. Either way, you don’t know FOR SURE, so it’s a surprise on a technicality, at the very least 😉

  8. I’m an xray tech and work very closely with lots of ultrasound techs. Many use a generic “he” or “she” when scanning, or some just say “baby”. I would bank on that and keep believing its a surprise! Also, yes, you can sometimes tell gender as early as 13-15 weeks (just based on the right angles and position of baby), I have friends who have found out both boy AND girl that early, so no worries there either.

  9. I think he def ruined the surprise unfortunately. We found out both our kids gender at 14 weeks. With a boy they always say we definitely know. Our Dr. said you can always mistake a vagina for a penise but a penise is always a penis. With DD they would always tell us that they were 60% sure, then when we had our 20 week Ultra sound they said 80% but they never flat out called it. DS was called a boy right away.

    I think he slipped the second time saying “He” 🙁

  10. If it helps, at our last ultrasound at full term the tech used he the whole time. We had a girl. I think they just prefer to say he or she rather than it.

  11. I agree that “he” is just the general term. I also think that you can tell boy from girl very easily if you get the right view. With my son and daughter I had no doubt that their determined the wrong gender. When I shared my son’s ultrasound photos with my sister in law her fears that they could possibly be wrong about her having a daughter were relieved. Her doctor told her that they could determine gender at 12 weeks so I dont think it has to be a boy for them to tell you. I think you can still be pleasantly suprised when the baby comes. I understand how easy it is to become convinced but I don’t think they told you any thing!

  12. I hope the surprise isn’t ruined…and I guess you won’t know until the day of the birth. That being said, our 20 week tech ruined if for us too, but didn’t know for sure until the baby was born. He said something about “he…or she” but totally stumbled after he said he and then threw in the or she. I tried to convince myself that he just stuttered or refers to most babies as he (which isn’t the norm…most people use she), but in the end had another wonderul boy. Good luck!!

  13. Okay, I definitely think you’re reading too much into it. It could totally still be a girl…. in fact, I sort of hope it is just because you think it’s a boy now! 😉 And techs still get it wrong all.the.time. He could’ve thought he was seeing something he wasn’t even seeing… especially as early as 13 weeks?! Come on!

  14. when i was pregnant with baby two we found the sex but werent telling until chrsitmas! we were at a friends and she slipped out for some reason so my friends got all excited thinking i had told them then they though i was upset for the slip,,, little did they find out on xmas that she was a he!!! then they wondered if i planned the slip! hahah.. sometimes he / she comes out when you dont mean it as it sounds better than it!

  15. What did your intuition tell you before this? Did the pregnancy feel more similar to the first or the second? (My third was the only girl and from the beginning the pregnancy felt different. Not emotionally, but physically.)

  16. I wouldn’t read too much into it. When I had my 12 week ultrasound with my second son, the doctor explained that the genitals at that age are basically the same, it’s the angle that gives it away. The tech could just as easily have seen a girl.

    Not that it isn’t a boy, but you won’t know for sure until you deliver.

  17. Our techs used he and she frequently with both of our girls when we were team green–I think it’s just a reference instead of saying ‘baby’. I wouldn’t read too much into it at all. I’d be more inclined to think they were using ‘he’ to throw you off.

  18. My guess is that it’s ruined…sorry. I’d say it was more from the 13 week scan than the latest one. If they said they’d take a guess or that they thought they tentatively knew, that’s one thing. But seeming so confident in what they saw tells me boy.

    We had a similar situation with the 20week tech saying HE a few times – at least I swore he did. My husband said he didn’t notice. Then another tech came in and I thought she said SHE (they were talking low and fast, so it was hard to tell). A third tech came in because baby wasn’t cooperating with letting them see the heart, and I thought he said HE. So I think it’s a very reasonable theory that each tech has a default setting of gender they refer to since it’s so hard to remember to say IT. However, our baby was a boy. So I’ll never know if it was slips or default.

    As great as I know having multiple sons is, now I kind of hope you have a girl and get an honest to goodness delivery surprise!

  19. I’d say, it’s still a surprise. I usually call babies “he”; it’s easier to say he, than he or she. I don’t know why I call babies “he”; it’s not that I think anything less of girls. I LOVE my daughter.

  20. we didn’t find out and both times the nurse/techs several times said he and acted like we were having a boy (like didnt you find out?) or something and yet ,,, we have 2 girls!!! so.. yeah. I think they’re just being neutral.

  21. This EXACT thing happened to me with Rocco, and I was really pissed off about it. It’s one of the few surprises we have left in these “Know-everything” times, yannow?

    (But I still wasn’t sure, still used to say to my husband, “It could still be a girl!”) xx

  22. i swore at my 20 week ultrasound my tech ruined the surprise… we said no to the gender, she took all the measurements, then left so i could use the bathroom to see if we could get the stubborn baby to move and walked back in the room and went “oh shes still asleep”. i was CONVINCED it was a girl for the next 20 weeks because of that. But nope, it was a boy!

  23. People are pronoun challenged.Trust me, I teach 7th grade English…I know these things. Also, my ancient in-laws still call my TWO YEAR OLD daughter “it”. As in, “how’s it doing today?”. IT?! SHE is fine. Ugh, all the cuss words. Anyway…he is definitely the default so I wouldn’t stress.I also knew she/it was a she/it right away on ultrasound. So, you never can tell 🙂

  24. Yup, you can tell at 13 weeks, especially when it’s a speciality scan like that being done. Our tech offered to tell us and she said she only does that if she’s 100% sure.

    Techs and Dr.’s will often refer to babies as he or she without even thinking or assigning a gender to it.

    FWIW, I was convinced we were having a girl. We have a sweet little boy. 🙂

  25. No … Surprise isn’t ruined. My tech kept calling our girls “he” even after we found out. It’s just what they do. But 13 weeks??? That is something – I didn’t think they could see anything then either. Yay! Surprise. How exciting. And what a cutie pie little fetus!

  26. We didn’t find out for any of ours (well, IIIIII didn’t find out w/the first; my husband did. When I went to the bathroom, he asked, and the tech told him. Bitch. But, he never told me, so it was fine.) I think most techs say he or she just in general but they also, when you say you don’t want to know, usually say something like I say “him” for either so don’t think I’m telling you anything. The tech gave it away when I was having my son, though, the day he was born. I’d gone in because he’d been moving so much less and she was all he he he. SHUT UP.

    So no, I don’t think it was given away. You haven’t been told boy or girl directly, so let’s just go with one or the other, kay?

  27. No matter what the doc and tech said, I think the surprise isn’t ruined. A very very close family friend WANTED to know the sex of her first, was told her entire pregnancy that it was a boy, and then at delivery found out it was a girl. Don’t convince yourself of one or the other because they didn’t definitively say anything, so either really is still possible!

  28. Well, for us we were finding out but not *at* the ultrasound. The tech sealed the gender in an envelope and all that. Anyway, as soon as she turned the screen on she was all, “AH! Cover your eyes!” and I instantly knew it was a boy. That was at 16 weeks.

    So… maybe they can tell it’s a girl that easily but I would guess your instincts are correct… yay boys!

  29. Jamie McMillan on

    Suprise not ruined. Our ultrasound tech insisted she saw a labia. Man was she wrong. Even if the ultrasound tech & doc thought they saw not bits, it’s not uncommon for ultrasound techs to be wrong 🙂 I also had a lot of people refer to my unborn babe as he, I’m not sure why. Congrats btw!

  30. I found out both of my two (girl first, boy second) and my mothers intuition was wrong the first time. Second time around I felt boy mainly because everything was different that time around. That said…. Your intuition may be right, but I too side with those folks agreeing that “he” may have just been a term of reference not necessarily gender. With our first one tech told us how it was so easy to tell either way. Hamburger or hot dog….. One they said that. And you looked at either of my kids ultrasounds it made total sense. So you could still have a hamburger swimming around on there! But as long as there aren’t 5 I’d say relax now and let it be a surprise regardless of your gut feeling!

  31. Sounds suspiciously boy. I had a tech once who told me she doesn’t even look (down there) if mom doesn’t want to know because she will slip up and say the gender. She also told me there is no reason to look and she would really have to go searching to find out. But “I can really tell you, etc” is what was said to me when I was pregnant with my son–not my daughter.

  32. I’m going to take the third option and say the doctor and techs are totally screwing with you just because they can. 🙂 But in reality I think it’s still a surprise…look at it this way: you’re not going to find out for sure until delivery anyway (right??) so it’s still a surprise until s/he makes his/her debut.

    For the record, I’m going with a boy…that seems to be the sex of most of the 2013 babies.

  33. Michelle Kersey on

    At this point Jill. I’d still say it’s a surprise. Most people do use “he” as the general. And, I could tell my daughter was a girl before the tech told me. I saw it on the ultrasound. Seriously. No lie… not trying to make you feel better. I’d be more convinced in an u/s tech slipup if they used “she” instead of “he” in describing the baby. 🙂 Simmer down hormones. Simmer down. 🙂 Enjoy the pregnancy and be surprised. Because, you really don’t KNOW for sure. <3

  34. Dawn Shaw Johnson on

    I think it’s a surprise! We chose to find out the sex of my last baby. Both sonograms confirmed it was a girl. However, the doctors and nurses always referred to “it” as a he! Even up to the point of 7 cm dilation, haha. It wasn’t until she was out in the world that they finally said “She”! So, I wouldn’t fret. Don’t put too much weight on their choice of words. It may be a boy…but then again, it just may be a girl 😉

  35. Caffeine & Enthusiasm on

    Heck, I know someone whose doc told her she was having a girl, was put under for a c-section due to a complicated labor and woke up with a boy. Nothing is definite until the baby has been evicted. Nothing has been ruined.

  36. Elizabeth Zimmerman on

    We waited to find out and the tech’s always said “he”. I guess that’s just the go-to gender phrase…

  37. Evelyn Braman on

    get over, don’t think too much, is everything the right size? grwing well, organs where they need to be? then don’t worry if it’s “spoiled” and be thankful its growing normally boy or girl.

  38. Emily Jankowski Newton on

    I had the same experience as you with #3. They said he at 13 weeks and told me they could tell what it was. (Keep in mind I have 2 older boys.). Then at 20 weeks we decided we didn’t want to know- because I didn’t want to punch anyone in the face for saying 3 boys… Too bad,”

  39. Meghan Herbeck on

    I think it is still a surprise. I found out around 13 weeks that it was a girl- there are apparently three distinct lines if it is a girl. So they could have been seeing that!

  40. Kathryn Lievers on

    Could be either gender. When you know what to look for, its obvious for both genders.

    Try not to over-think it 🙂

  41. Avery Zollinger Benitez on

    With Caroline, I made it to week 38 and my dr was out of town. I saw a different dr in the practice, and the nurse said something about having a boy. I went home and cried b/c that wasn’t the way I wanted to find out. Then a few weeks later at the hospital one of the nurses said, “So we’re having a boy today.” At that point I was sure the surprise was ruined, but then came Caroline, a perfect little girl.

  42. Mindy Woodall on

    My friend found out via imaging she was having a girl around 13-14 weeks. She told me she knew but didn’t tell me what it was right away, and I was sure it was a boy for the same reasons as you. Don’t they have to wait and see if a penis appears before they can say for sure? But she’s 20 weeks now and they’re still sure. And “he” is often used as a gender neutral. (It’s incorrect to say “they” and “it” just sounds bad.) I think you are still unsure enough to be surprised 🙂

  43. Korrin Traska on

    My first. 3rd ultrasound. Same tech each time. Tech mentions “him” and I was quietly upset until I got upstairs to the OB and started crying to her. She exits the room and returns moments later assuring me that it would never happen again. Did I get her in trouble? Was my disappointment to her detriment? Mess with a hormonal 32 week lady and get it to ya!

  44. Maybe, maybe not. There’s nothing certain, and yes, you are overthinking it. 🙂 Remind yourself that is still totally a surprise. Our U/S tech said “he” when we got one and it ended up being a girl. Some people just use a pronoun without thinking about it.

  45. I don’t think the surprise is ruined. The bigger question, if I was in your shoes, is will this now drive you nuts? I could see myself being so bothered by “almost” knowing that I would probably give in and just want to know for sure. Warning: I can’t help myself, this is crude, don’t read if you’re easily offended: Its like a gender reveal version of blue balls.

  46. Victoria Savo on

    At our 14 week ultrasound, the tech said, “There he is!”. We were keeping it a surprise and I really don’t know if that was a gender reveal on her part or if that’s what she was just using. I felt from that day forward that I was having a boy and I was right, but I also think I knew deep down it was a boy. I think a lot of tech and doctors just use the “he” terminology.

  47. Heather Cushing on

    There are definite things present for a boy or a girl, not the presence of a penis meaning a boy and lack of it a girl. With a girl you see two lines- the labia.

  48. Gena Estep Gompert on

    Our doc referred to our baby as “he” in the appt after the big u/s when we wanted a surprise and when we asked, she said it was in the general use of the word. My SIL thought for sure she saw a penis at her U/S when she didn’t want to know too. We both had girls.
    The truth is, you never know until the baby’s here. 🙂

  49. Krista Mulcahy on

    With our 2nd pregnancy, when we didn’t want to know – they up front told us “we’re just going to call it a ‘he’ then” before they started the ultrasound. I think they’re probably used to that and do it automatically.

  50. My really good friend didn’t want to find out the sex of the baby, but her husband did. So their 20 week ultrasound was around Thanksgiving and then they had a 3D ultrasound right before Christmas. They had both techs put the results in an envelope. When they opened the first envelope it said “Its a boy!” So they told her son he was going to have a brother. Then they opened the other envelope and it said, “Congratulations, it’s a girl!” So it looked like my friend was going to get her surprise. She went back for one ore ultrasound 2 weeks before her due date and told the tech that she didn’t want to know the sex. The tech asked her if she minded if she could check and see if she was right the first time. My friend said, “yes.” Keep in mind she told her she din’t want to know, she was two weeks out and might as well at this point left it a surprise. The tech looked and said, “well I was right, it is a boy.” I couldn’t believe that the tech took it upon herself to tell my friend, especially after she said she didn’t want to know. All the tech said afterwards was, “I could tell it was really bothering you, so I knew you wanted to know.”

  51. I think it’s a little of both! Mother’s intuition and oopsies on their parts. 🙁 But don’t let it create such an effect on this pregnancy, in a bad way, just roll with it! Maybe when she’s born you will be totally surprised! I was with my 2nd!

  52. Boy. And that was assy of both of them, especially the early one. At 13 weeks, parts are still at the point of slightly indistinguishable on the U/S so unless a penis was clearly visible, they wouldn’t have said anything. We found out about our daughter at 15 weeks and that was the first time our tech {who has been doing this for 20+ years} would give a clear “it’s a girl” even though she had suspected for the one the week earlier.

  53. Laurie Hacko on

    With our last baby the tech scanned over the private region by accident while we were looking at the screen. I saw the penis immediately. I said I saw and she said oh no that was a leg! So then I had to assume our baby had three legs one having no foot:) ugh!

  54. Kim Parsons Elkins on

    Sorry to break it to you, but I do believe they spoiled your surprise. If the Dr was SURE of the sex at 13 weeks, it’s definitely a boy. I was 15 weeks w/ my first pregnancy when they said the same thing to me.

  55. We were team green with my daughter and the tech ruined it THE DAY BEFORE I GAVE BIRTH. She is, of course, a girl. And when the tech flashed the parts it was so incredibly obvious to me. So I don’t think it has to be a boy. That being said I totally understand your disappointment at thinking the surprise was ruined. I was wanted to look at that tech and be like, “seriously? Are you kidding me?” I didn’t have as long to think about it as you will but when you are so looking forward to a surprise it stinks when it’s ruined (or perceived to be ruined). They told us they would call the baby “he” when we said we didn’t want to know.

  56. I think it’s so cute that you already have two kids but are still trying so hard to maintain the illusion of control over anything kid-related. I admire your optimism! 🙂

    I used to want a surprise until my BIL put it this way: There are 3 major days to a pregnancy: The day you find out you’re pregnant, the day you find out the gender and the day you give birth. It’s not like the birth is anti-climatic or anything if you know the gender.

    I found it helped me get to know my baby as I was pregnant. Turned her from an amorphous “it” to a real “she.”

  57. Y’know…at 13 weeks as I recall it’s all about “the angle of the dangle” and not necessarily easier to tell a boy than girl. And even then, our doctor said boy at 13 weeks, and as you know, I have no sons.

  58. Not ruined! I felt weird calling the baby “it”, so I alternated s/he – I’m sure the docs/techs do the same. & since so many people know about the three lines, it wasn’t just a penis the recent tech was worried about you seeing!

  59. At our ultrasound for #2 the lady knew so quickly that my husband and I both thought it HAD to be a boy, how could she know so fast there must be something there to see, but nope it was a girl!!! We were both shocked! And for #3 (where we didn’t find out) her HR was very low throughout the whole pregnancy (130-140/150) typical boy HR and it was a girl. While you may be right about it being a boy you will only drive yourself crazy thinking he ruined it for you. You still don’t really know yet so you can still be surprised on delivery day even if you have a feeling one way or the other.

  60. After Reid was born, I thought long and hard about my 30+ ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy and what the techs said each time. And it was totally spoiled for me too. At our big ultrasound, the tech called the baby “he” immediately after having us look away as she measured his legs. She then followed up a minute later with a “she” just for good measure. After that, the baby got called “he” all the time. I just put it off because a lot of techs just call all babies “he.” But usually, the ones that do, tell you ahead of time.

    So, to answer your question honestly, yes I think they probably spoiled it for you b/c people are dumb. BUT. The good thing about team green is that you just. don’t. know. So maybe little miss in there is really good about hiding her stuff and/or flashing her cord. 😉

  61. We are having our second set of twins, and as much as I might like to be team green… there is no way I am letting someone accidentally ruin all my hard patience for me… We have to have a LOT of u/s throughout the pregnancies. Maybe if we do this again and get 1 baby instead of the usual 2 we’ll go team green 😉

  62. jkBaby gender determination before birth and conception. Baby gender determination by photo of parents only. To do this I have an account and a group at Facebook. The group is called Baby gender by parents photo. 9b

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.