On ‘not finding out’

“Are you going to find out?” “Do you know what it is?” “Do you know what you’re having?”

It’s no secret what these vague (in any other circumstance) questions are talking about, and they’re almost guaranteed to come up in any conversation about pregnancy/baby.

Tomorrow morning at 9 a.m., we could find out “what it is.” That is, boy or girl.

But, “We’re going to be surprised.” (Our standard answer. Again, seemingly vague, but that’s just the language of pregnancy.)

Most people have a positive reaction when we tell them this. Like a “way to fight the good fight” kind of positive reaction. This is especially true for those who were surprised with own their kids (duh) and those who don’t have any kids themselves (not sure why this is – possibly because surprises are fun and they’ve never been in the situation to make this decision, so it seems fun too?).

But I know we’re in the minority. Most people do find out whether they’re having a boy or a girl, for many practical reasons: buying clothes/accessories, decorating the nursery, picking out a name. And as one friend has been quoted saying, “Then you get to be surprised three times: when you find out you’re pregnant, when you find out the sex and when the baby’s born.” Good point.

We have our own practical reasons for not finding out, though. For one, we I my mom and sister won’t get carried away buying an excessive amount of adorable baby clothes. At least not until the baby arrives.

More seriously, Peter has said he doesn’t want to start projecting a personality on our little one before he or she is even born. Clearly, that can happen even if we don’t know whether it’s a boy or girl, and once he or she is born it probably will happen without our even realizing it, but Peter wants to at least let the peanut enjoy its time in the womb without having a set of expectations to live up to.

For me, I think the excitement of finding out the gender and meeting our baby at the same time will be so overwhelmingly happy, I can’t even imagine it. I’m a fan of delayed gratification (so is Peter). And I wasn’t planning on painting the nursery pink or blue anyway.

I’ve also always had some weird thought that it’s virtuous to not find out. Like it’s some sort of display of discipline. I realize that is completely ridiculous, and I wouldn’t be opposed to finding out in a future pregnancy, but I think because my parents were surprised for all three of their kids I’ve always had it in my head that it’s the right thing to do. Silly.

(Side note: Peter’s parents didn’t found out for their four kids — but after having three boys, they were pretty much banking on a girl. When Peter was born, he didn’t have a name for several days. They were planning for a Miriam.)

Your turn: Did you/would you want to find out the gender of your kids before they’re born?

2 thoughts on “On ‘not finding out’

  1. Katie Madsen says:

    Hey Alison, I am finally checking out your full blog and reading posts I missed. You are so creative with your pictures and I love reading what you are going through with your first pregnancy. I just had to share…when I get pregnant, I don’t want to find out the sex either. I love the surprise of not knowing!


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