Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Great Gender Debate of 2013

When we announced our pregnancy to our parents one of the first questions they asked us was "will you find out the gender?" I immediately said "Yes!" and at the same time Chris said "No!" I was super surprised Chris didn't want to know. Finding out the gender was just something I always assumed we would both want, and I never even thought otherwise. But when I started thinking about not finding out, I started to wonder that maybe there was something to this whole "not finding out thing." I talked about it with friends, family, and did some research online, and these seem to be the general arguments for each side:

Source
Team Blue/Pink - You should know the gender
Team Green:
Don't find out the gender

Argument #1:
Team Blue/Pink: "You have to carry this thing for 9 months and go through the whole process, it's your body, so YOU decide. It's the least he can do for you."
Team Green: Sure, I might feel tired and exhausted all the time - and I guess being pregnant isn't exactly a picnic, but I don't agree with this notion that pregnancy is "awful" and men are "so lucky" they don't have to go through with this. I think it's an amazing process and it's one that largely Chris doesn't have any physical connection to. All Chris can do for 9 months is watch me go through "raising" our child on my own, and so much of it is out of his hands, and out of his daily life. If this is the one thing he really wants - then, why deny him that moment?

Winner here: Team Green


Arguments #2: 
Team Green: "What else will you have to be excited for in the birthing room if you know the gender already??"
Team Blue/Pink: "Um....the Birth of my CHILD?!"
Team Green: "But there are few things in this world that are surprises anymore, don't you want there to be some sort of surprise or unknown in the delivery room?"
Team Blue/Pink: "The unknown is 'What the hell is life like with a child?!' There are actually FAR too many unknowns in this entire process. If I can have one 'known,' I'll take it."

Winner here: Team Blue/Pink

Argument #3:
Team Green: I've read on message boards that letting their husband have that moment in the delivery room to come over to her and tell them the sex of their baby was a magical and amazing moment for both of them and one they wouldn't trade for anything.
Team Blue/Pink: I read Jenny McCarthy's book Belly Laughs and she said that when she knew she was having a son at 5 months along, she could visualize her life with a boy so much more clearly and intensely. She says she wouldn't trade those last few months of day-dreaming about life with a son for anything in the world.

Winner here: No clue, both sound pretty amazing

Argument #4:
Team Green: I hear that the people who don't know the gender end up getting WAY more useful items at their baby shower than the people who do. Because if people know it's a boy or girl, they go all crazy buying cute gender specific clothing, most of which the child ends up growing out of before they even get to wear. 
Team Blue/Pink: It's easier for people to shop for you and get personalized cute things if they know the gender of the child. I have a few friends who have attended showers where they didn't know the gender and said they had such a hard time shopping for them and almost every single thing the couple received, especially clothing was either gray, yellow, or green.

Winner here: I'm gonna go with Team Green

Argument #5:
Team Green: My mother's friend is a nurse in the delivery room and she says that the excitement in the room when the couple doesn't know the gender is completely different and so much better than the couples that already do.
Team Blue/Pink: I can totally see how that's true - but you also can get a really exciting moment having the doctor write down the gender and put it in a sealed envelope...then go out on a nice date night, or open it at home when you're ready and you're both sharing in a really special and exciting moment that way, too. And it's a moment you have time to take in and actually internalize together, rather than share with 10 other doctors and nurses in the room, whisking the baby this way and that and everything happening in literally the blink of an eye. Both moments are amazingly exciting and yield the same result: one just happens earlier than the other. I have already convinced myself that I'm having a boy, so that's just what and how I picture things now...with a boy. If I am handed a girl the day I deliver - I seriously think I might have a panic attack. Of course I'll be happy, but it will just throw me off and confuse me so much. Imagine planning a wedding for 2 years and you think you're marrying one person but when you get to the altar on the day of your wedding it's a completely different person. I think it would feel like that, it will just throw me! On the other hand, if it's a boy...well then, I'm mentally prepared for that.

Winner Here: Team Blue/Pink

Argument #6:
Team Green: You get to pick two names!! But at least the hard work is done and out of the way for the next child!
Team Blue/Pink: Thank GOD you only have to pick one name!

Winner here: It doesn't really matter

Points:
Team Green: 2
Team Blue/Pink:  2
Undecided: 2

Source
So you can see how we were at a crossroads. I wrote this post a while ago and printed it out to discuss with Chris. We went out to lunch and spent a good solid hour discussing each point. What it ultimately came down to was Chris saying "Look, if you really really want to find out the gender, I'm fine with that." But the question was, I didn't know if I really really wanted to know. The more I thought about it, the more intrigued I was by the idea of waiting to be surprised. It would be a real lesson in letting go of control and practicing self-restraint. I can assure you, if I know I'm having a girl, for instance, and I happen to be browsing Etsy for say...cute girl headbands...I'm going to buy them. But if I don't know, I'll hold off a bit, wait and see if I really need them, and go from there. At this point, we have decided not to find out the gender. I may change my mind as we get closer, but for now, I am ok with that decision.

What about you? Will you find out your baby's gender, or want to find out the gender of your child one day?

28 comments:

  1. It's a tough decision and one I'm glad I didn't have to confront. Daddy and I always sensed we were having a girl. Both times. Trust your intuition! Exercise that muscle! As a parent of either gender intuition is your most powerful guide.

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    1. Well yea..I'm totally trusting my intuition that I'm having a boy..but when what does that say about me and my intuition when they hand me a girl in November?! I'll feel totally betrayed!

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  2. Wow I loved reading all those interesting points! Several of them I had never thought about before and are fairly valid reasons for not knowing, especially getting more 'practical' items from the shower. I've always assumed I would find out. Maybe we'll do a hybrid--Matt & I will find out and then not tell anyone else. I can see how it is hard to choose and as long as you feel good about your choice, that's what matters!

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    1. My friend plans on doing that! I'm very curious to see how well she does holding out and not telling anyone..I think it would be sooo easy to just slip up and say "she's kicking" or "he's kicking" and then we'll all know! It's a good idea though. I always assumed we'd find out too..that's why I was so shocked when I found out Chris didn't want to...it was just something we had never discussed!

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  3. haha this was my husband and I a couple of months ago. I always thought I wanted to wait and my husband wanted to know and for most of the same reasons above but I started picturing a certain baby and I felt the same way, would it throw me? We felt like we could connect more with the baby if we stopped saying "it". We did decide to find out and we are having a girl, which means that I can't go on Etsy or Pinterest nearly as often because I want to buy things. We did register for gender neutral things, though, because I want to be able to use them for multiple children. With the exceptions of swaddle blankets and towels, not much else is pink. We also did a mini gender reveal party with our families and that amped up the excitement. I don't like it when people find out and then they just say, "Oh, it's a .." like it's nothing. I wanted to recreate that big moment that happens in the delivery room. I also felt like it was a girl but I was picturing a boy, maybe to prep myself? haha So I'm glad I know. Although, it hasn't made the name thing any easier! I think that regardless, you will still be just as excited in the delivery room to get your hands on that little baby and to know that he/she is yours!

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    1. That's something I've thought of...I don't like saying "it"...it definitely does lack a connection to something. I like the idea of the gender reveal party, and making it a big special moment. Did you two find out beforehand and then reveal it to your family, or did you find out at the same time as everyone else? In the end, I agree...either way we will be just as surprised and happy in the delivery room. Thanks for chiming in!

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  4. It's such a tough decision. Chris and I were going to be surprised...and then couldn't hold out. We found out, but didn't reveal it until my baby shower - which cut down on the gendered outfits and people actually got us useful stuff! Best of both worlds for us! I think with our second we'll host a gender reveal party since I probably won't have a shower.

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    1. I honestly was just thinking about this last night. That when it comes down to month 7 or 8..I might not be able to hold out and want to know the gender. But if I find out after my shower (or don't tell people until then) when so many things are already decided and purchased, it won't really matter much. Hmm...the wheels are turning...

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  5. Oh man, I don't think I could NOT find out. I told my husband that I think the only way would be if it was our third child and we already had one of each then we wouldn't have to "plan" so much. But I'm a control freak. Haha

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    1. I usually am the same way! And I always thought I'd HAVE to know! Maybe I'm just trying to prove to myself that I'm not a control freak? or testing myself to see if I have the willpower to hold out? I'm not sure..but for now, I'm fine with not knowing and we'll see if that all changes around month 7 or 8!

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  6. I hope you guys can hold out and not find out. I personally couldn't do it because I am a control freak and would have to know the gender to do the nursery, haha! But that's awesome that you guys are deciding to wait.

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    1. LOL I know what you're saying (read above). We only have one extra bedroom besides ours anyway..so it's inevitable that our first two children will have to share a bedroom when they're young, so we'll have to keep things gender neutral there anyway...so that also helps with the decision.

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  7. Okay so here are my thoughts:
    -It's a surprise regardless of when you find out so I actually hate that argument. I was SHOCKED when I heard it was a boy during the ultrasound. I was convinced it was a girl so I was glad I knew early so I could process the whole thing for a while.

    -Even though everyone knew the gender we didn't tell anyone the name so my husband still had the excitment of announcing our sons name to our family in the waiting room after he was born. And it gave everyone something to still look forward to finding out the day of.

    -So my experience was very unique in that I had a C-section and had to be knocked out during my son's birth and didn't wake up until he was already cleaned up and swaddled so had we not known the gender I would have missed the big moment of finding out the gender along with my husband. For that reason alone I'm grateful I knew what we were having beforehand.

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    1. Ok, these are really great points and things I never thought of. We don't plan on sharing our names either (I don't need people being all "judgy" when I tell them what we've picked) But yes, that's still a special "surprise" thing to announce then. And the c-section - I would hate to miss out on that moment with Chris! Ah! Thanks for sharing your experience, I love having all these things to consider (even if they make my head spin!)

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  8. I always thought I would want to know gender as soon as possible, but Aaron wants to be surprised, and the arguements for team green on here made me a little more open to that idea... I think it is a surprise either way to find out whether it is at 20 weeks or at the end. Good luck with your decision!

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    1. Thanks Natalie! Sounds like you two are kind of in the same boat as us: You thought you would, he doesn't want to - but you can easily see the pros and cons of both sides. Thanks! we'll see how long this "decision" not to find out holds out!

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  9. Have you seen the gender reveal cake? Ha ha:
    http://cakesdecor.com/cakes/52530

    I have nothing to add of use to this conversation other than my love of ducks. You guys will make the right decision no matter what.

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    1. LOLOL omg Kate, I love that cake! I've never seen that! Hmmm..this might be enough to turn Chris's decision around. Will report back :)

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  10. Well, Eli and I aren't planning on having kids, but I had always assumed if I /did/, then I'd want to know (also because of the fact that I'm anal and the planning the nursery thing). Most of your points for Team Green were things that I had never thought of! And @Shannon, I think your post is great! I love the idea of keeping the name a secret and having that to reveal at the birth.

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    1. I agree, Shannon brought up some good points. I considered myself anal too..so this will be a good practice for me...(if i can hold out!!)

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  11. My husband and I have a deal that if we have a boy and then a girl, the third will be a surprise. I'm a planner and I have to know what this baby is (we hopefully find out in an hour!) but after waiting 2 years for this baby I'm anxious to call this baby by name because we've prayed for so long for this little person. I don't believe for a second that it will be any less special finding out now as opposed to the birth day. Whatever you decide to do will be right for YOU!

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    1. I love that deal you've made :) You two have certainly earned the right to find out as soon as possible after all the time you've waited. I can't wait to hear what you're having!! I think if we don't find out for this one, i'll want to know for the second (because I'll have to know if I will indeed def. be having a third or not depending on what it is! LOL)

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  12. Good for you! My brother and sister-in-law wanted to know, and they're having a boy. I think I'd be afraid that at some appointment an ultrasound tech or nurse, or even your doctor, would accidentally let the news spill!! I think I'd find out just because I'm such a nut about planning!

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    1. I've heard stories of doctors and nurses slipping and saying the gender in front of the couple. So..it does and can happen. You just have to be diligent about telling alllll people as soon as you see them at the doctor's that you are NOT finding out the gender, but of course, things happen.

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  13. It's great that you thought things through and considered the pros and cons on both sides. I personally think I will want to find out the gender, buy gender-specific things, etc., because I am just way too impatient to wait nine months. I also really want to have a gender reveal party with family and friends.

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  14. oh i wanted to know for my son but maybe with the second one...we may be surprised...that would be a lot of fun!!

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  15. I haddd to find out...I don't really like the yellow and green colors so I knew I wanted to figure out baby clothes and room things. I also wanted to figure out names. Personally I don't like surprises. Once we found out the gender we felt like our baby was even more real...we would talk about her using her name. Now maybe with baby #2 I would like to be team green...hahah

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  16. I really had to know. I don't think for my first baby that I could have waited to find out. I can see both sides, really, but I just don't think it's for me, or us as a couple. That's great you both could discuss it and see both sides of it. I'm sure the suspense will make your parents and friends crazy! haha But it will be such a fun surprise the day he/she is born! :)

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