Pregnancy: When to find out the gender?
Back when my mom was first having children, discovering the gender before birth wasn’t very common, and I’m not sure it was even an option when she was pregnant with me. I’m the oldest of seven and I believe the first time she discovered the gender of one of my siblings, it was her fifth baby. Even then, the ultrasound gender predictions was a gamble. They said my sister would be a girl but we didn’t bank on that. I was still hoping for a boy, truth be told.
Nowadays, when 20 weeks comes along and you get “the ultrasound,” most people just expect you’ll ask to know whether it’s a boy or a girl. In fact, ultrasounds are so good now that you actually have to look away when the technician examines between the legs! We found out the gender with both babies and I could definitely see it for myself with both my daughter and my son.
Generally following the ultrasound, people have elaborate gender reveals. From parties, to colored cakes, to photographed envelope opening and even sky writing (if you’ve watched 19 Kids and Counting you’ve seen it!), discovering the gender can be a real blast!
There are definitely pros and cons to discovering the gender early, and I have my opinions on why both 20 week and 40 week gender reveals are great. Bonding...maybe?
I think this is just me but I felt that I bonded with my babies in the womb just a little more once I discovered their gender. This is not to say one doesn’t bond with babies whose gender isn’t known. I have absolutely no idea if that happens because I’ve never done it!
PreparationIf you know the gender ahead of time, you can prepare with pink or blue. Wait, is this a good thing or a bad thing? Well, that’s up to you! When we discovered our first child was a girl, I still wanted to get lots of gender neutral things so we could use them for all subsequent babies but all my friends and family went pink crazy on me so that for the first 9 months of her life my daughter didn’t have an article of clothing to wear that wasn’t pink. If you don’t know the gender until birth, you’re more likely to get what you registered for because people can’t impulse by when they see that adorable football player sleeper or the super frilly Sunday dress. You’re also more likely to get lots of clothing that can be worn by all your subsequent children! I have boxes and boxes of Bunny’s clothing in my basement that were ready to be used if Bear would have been a girl, but since he was a boy, they are still gathering dust.
The excitementSo, when do you want to experience the excitement of knowing if you’re going to have a minishe or a minihe? Well, my pregnancies are so awful that I needed something to look forward to early on. For us, it was a nobrainer to choose to find out at 20 weeks.
My husband was weary of doing my work and his, waking up at ridiculous hours of the morning to make me a breakfast might curb the nausea, and of coming home to a wife who was already asleep every night. I was tired of obsessing over ways to keep my food down every moment of the day, feeling like I had the neverending flu, and of having to tell my 3 year old daughter that I was too sick to snuggle her. Again. The 20 week gender reveal was a light at the end of the tunnel for us We needed that pick me up. Still, how fun would it be to have this additional bonus added moments after you’ve just completed the most difficult task of your life? I’d imagine it would be a wonderful surprise, the anticipation you’d feel with those final pushes while waiting to see if it’s a boy or a girl waiting to emerge.
The second childIf you didn’t discover the gender of the first child before birth, you probably won’t need to discover the gender of the second because you’ll have plenty of neutral things for him/her to wear and use. If you’re like my husband and me and you couldn’t wait until 40 weeks, it might be nice to discover the gender of the second at 20 weeks because you have lots of pink or lots of blue and you want to know if you’ll need to buy stuff or if what you have will suffice. We did discover the obvious, though, when our son was born into our very, pink world: babies don’t care what color their sleepers and blankets are. Duh! Now that we have one of each(and we know that babies don’t really care about color), I’d like to experience what it would be like to wait until 40 weeks for a gender reveal.
Either way, at twenty weeks or forty weeks (or maybe forty two), you will discover the gender of your baby and it will be a joyful occasion. There are pros and cons for each, but they all boil down to being prepared for taking care of a baby and really, babies don’t actually need that much when they’re young. In the weeks before both of my children’s’ births, when I was stressing over having everything we needed, people always joked around with me that babies can sleep in a dresser drawer or a cardboard box if you need them to. They really don’t need all the paraphernalia we supply them with so early on!
I think a gender reveal at any time is a blast. I’m glad we found out early with our first two and should we ever have a third, I hope I will be patient enough to try a gender reveal at birth.
How and when did you find out your baby’s gender? Do you wish you had done it differently? Why?