“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.