Why I Wouldn’t Wait To Find Out Our Baby’s Gender At Birth Again

“Honestly, by then I didn’t care if I had just birthed a cat. An alien. Whatever. It was OUT! REJOICE! But I guess other people wanted to know, so they picked the baby up off my chest.” – from Lowell’s birth story

We didn’t find out if our 3rd was a boy or girl until birth. We found out with the other two- a boy, then a girl- and we were up for the surprise the 3rd time around. Plus, we lived in a 3 bedroom house with no room for another nursery. He would either go in a boy or girl’s room. There was no real need to know, I told myself.

It wasn’t a bad experience. Not knowing kept me from overbuying and over planning. It was fun to hear what others thought he might be.

It was not a life changing experience, though. There wasn’t this moment when they said “It’s a boy!” that I felt, like, so overwhelmed with joy that we were just finding out in that moment- that we’d saved the surprise. It was a little anti-climactic.

I know, I know. They say there are so few surprises left in life. I would argue that the surprise of a cysticle while pregnant was all the surprise I needed last time I was pregnant.


I don’t regret not finding out with him, but the honest truth is there was some time in the hospital that I spent saying goodbye to the idea of him being a girl, while I held a healthy, beautiful baby boy in my arms. And that felt strange. Even though I really knew deep down he’d be a boy (perhaps because maybe 2 of my US techs and doctors blew it for me), I still went in prepared for him to also be a girl. So that was a natural letting-go process, I think, and I tried not to let myself feel guilty about it.

There was no question we would find out boy or girl with this one as soon as we could, mostly because of what I felt those few days in the hospital, and because I knew the two older kids could possibly deal with those feelings this time, as well.

Of course, kids 20 years ago found out if they had a brother or sister at the hospital when they met baby for the first time, and we all adjusted just fine. But if technology can keep me from having to watch my 5 year old daughter crumple her face and cry at the discovery that she will only ever have brothers while I’m surging with new mom hormones and sitting with an icepack between my legs, I’m all for it.

And so we did find out- it’s another boy!- and she did cry. And I did a little, too. I’ve told this story already. 

Now we have 20ish weeks to say goodbye to the idea of a girl, and celebrate this healthy little boy whom we are so very grateful for, all before he makes his grand arrival. And I’m glad we’ve done it this way this time. Again.

I think I need to unfollow RuffleButts though.

50 Things to Do Before You Deliver: The First Time Moms Pregnancy Guide
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  1. UGH! I just made the mistake of clicking on that RuffleButts link!! WHY WOULD YOU POST THAT?!?!?!?!!!! Now I can’t look away!! So….much….cute….stuff… and I am not even pregnant or have a girl!!

  2. Gladys Springer on

    I am from the old school of finding out the sex of my babies at birth, even though I could have known. All five of my babies were born without knowing their sex, even though I wanted the last one to be a girl. I welcomed my third son into the world just as I would have if he had been a girl.

  3. This was us too with the fourth. One and two were surprises (boy, girl). Three I found out for shopping reasons (girl). Four was because someone was going to get a bit disappointed (both big kids wanted another girl). With the last one (boy) I wanted to purge the stuff (and shop) and needed to say good bye to the idea of another girl if needed.

  4. Andrea Reynolds on

    Yes!!!! This was exactly what happened to me. I ended up having more anxiety over it than actually “enjoying” the surprise. As it turns out, I really just don’t like surprises. 😉

  5. I just went back & read Lowell’s birth story. I love how many times you said “i’m sad cause this is the last one”, “this is the last time”, “not doing this again”…etc and here you are again! Can’t wait to read the next one in 20-ish weeks! 😉

  6. Thank you for sharing this. I was the same way when I found out our second was a girl. I always wanted to have a house full of boys. My dad is one of four boys and my grandma always talked about raising them with such a fondness that I longed to have that same experience. My husband also wanted boys and for some reason we were both so “scared” of having girls. Weird, I know. But it was legit… at the time. So when the US tech told us she was a girl, while we were so happy we were also sad. I’m so glad we found out so that we could wrap our brains around the idea and get used to it. Of course, once we met her we knew that everything was as it should be and we fell instantly in love with our daughter. Now? I can’t imagine life without pink, princesses, combing out tangles, and painting tiny toenails. I understand completely how hard it is to say goodbye to an idea of how life is supposed to be in your head. But like I said earlier, life is exactly how it is supposed to be. We’re only human so feel all the feels then put a pair of ruffle butt bottoms on Rosie and have a good laugh! Motherhood. What a trip, right?

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