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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

To peek or not to peek?

Despite the fact that a day sometimes feels like a year, this pregnancy is flying along. In approximately two weeks my hubby and I will go in for bub's 18-20 weeks morphology scan. I know, that means I'll be half way! At the moment though, it means first and foremost that Corey and I have approximately two weeks to decide if we want to find out if we are having "an Arthur or a Martha" so to speak or if we want to be surprised on the day bubs born.

With our first pregnancy we chose not to find out the sex of the baby before she was born. It didn't bother us much until the night before I was due to be induced. I couldn't sleep at all I was so excited wondering if baby was going to be a boy or a girl. With all the drama of the birth (and Alexis' big head) it was such an amazing moment when the midwife said to Corey, "well dad, what do we have here?" and he said, "a girl!". I was so excited. I couldn't believe it. I cried tears of joy. The truth is that I really really really wanted a girl (sometime in my life. It didn't bother me if I was blessed with 4 boys first) and I felt so blessed to have been given one so easily. I can say with almost certainty that I would have been just as happy that day if I'd been blessed with a beautiful healthy baby boy, but we'll never really know will we. I'd told myself the whole pregnancy it was a boy. Corey said the whole time it was a girl. He was right! At the end of the day it didn't matter to us either way we just wanted to meet our baby!

If I'd found out the sex of the baby during my morphology scan while pregnant with Alexis would we still have had that special moment when she was born? The "it's a girl" surprise moment. Could I have saved myself hours of guessing the gender and thinking of boy and girl names?

With the first pregnancy Corey and I wanted to wait to find out the sex of the baby a) to prove to ourselves that we could b)because we wanted unisex newborn stuff anyway so we could recycle it for multiple children c)because for us personally we didn't want to go "pink overload" or "blue overload" because we think babies look cute in white d) so our friends would be thoughtful with any gifts they chose to buy instead of grabbing the nearest pink or blue thing e) for the sense of mystery and intrigue f) for that magical moment when Corey discovered for himself when she was born and g)some of our family really wanted to wait and be surprised and we knew we couldn't keep a secret if we knew, h) because we thought if we are ever going to "wait and see", it's going to be the first baby.

We told ourselves from the first pregnancy that with the next baby we would find out. The reasons to find out seem more prominent this time than last time. This time if we find out the sex of the baby early we can prepare our daughter Alexis for the arrival of a little sister or the arrival of a little brother, rather than "the baby". Also if it's a boy I can just pull out and wash the unisex clothes (and some boy handmedowns that Alexis looked so cute in) and pack the pink stuff back up. I have no qualms dressing a girl in blue. Little girls look awesome in blue. But no boy of ours will ever wear pink. Sure he can use pink sheets and towels but not pink clothes. Not in public anyway ;). If it's a boy I can do the reading on hygiene etc for little boys, because right now I have no idea. If it's a boy we can think about boy names. If it's a girl we can think about only girl names and save us some hassle because boy names are hard! It will also be nice to not refer to baby as "it". Then again, is any of this worth it? Is having baby identified and named four months early really necessary? Does it compete with that moment in the hospital? Does it take away from the suspense when you send a message out "Firstname Secondname is here", as opposed to "it's a girl/boy!"

It's not as though Corey or I has our heart set on a boy or a girl and needs to mentally prepare for the "disappointment" if we don't get the one we want. We have verbally agreed that if this baby is a girl we will try again for a boy in the future. If down the track we have three girls and the fourth baby is still a girl then maybe Corey might need some time to get his head around that, but for now I'm sure an other little girl or a little boy would both be received with as much joy. We are second guessing whether we want to find out or not. Once we find out we can't "un" find-out. If we don't find out and we really want to know later we can always book another scan.

A decision has to be made soon. Or perhaps we won't have to decide. If we go into the ultrasound and the first thing the sonographer picks up is the identifying bits in all their glory then we won't have a choice will we? If the baby is discrete like Alexis was then we won't be tempted until the sonographer says "ok I'm going to go look to make sure everything is ok with the genitals. Now is the time to not look if you don't want to know." Will we peek? Or not peek? That's the question.

Did you find out the sex of your baby at the scan or did you wait til birth? Did you name your baby before birth or did it just come to you when you first saw them (we had a short list and when we saw Alexis we knew which names to choose), or did you umm and ahh for days? What I'm most interested in is if anyone has multiple kids if you waited for a surprise for the first baby but found out with the other(s), was it any different for you? Was it less exciting on the day? Or is the whole experience of meeting your baby for the first time a surprise enough? Meeting a new life for the first time has to be a pretty magical experience doesn't it.

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At May 17, 2011 at 11:05 PM , Blogger Kristy said...

We found out both times... I wanted to wait with Mackenna, but Todd was really keen to find out and wouldn't have been able to wait so he talked me into it. With Piper, there wasn't really any question, we just did. (We instictively knew they were both girls, so they just kind of confirmed it.)

We picked Mackenna about halfway through, but I wouldn't let us call her that, or tell anyone, so we could change it if she really didn't look like a Mackenna. We didn't have anything else picked out as a solid option, so it was just a given when she was born. Piper, we were still deciding on after she was born. We had a few things shortlisted but nothing that stood out as 'her name.' (We find boys names easier.. have the perfect one picked out, but probably won't get to use it now cause Todd doesn't want any more kids :(... ah well, next dog.. LOL!)

It's a tough decision and I'm glad we found out, but still would have loved not to as well. It was good to be able to refer to them both as 'her' and to be able to prepare mentally & practically, but I think there is so much excitement and emotion in the 'its a boy/girl' moment too. I can say meeting your baby for the first time knowing what gender they are is is an absolutely magical experience as well! Both of us had tears in our eyes in both delivery rooms!!

And LOL at the 'no boy of ours will wear pink, but girls look great in blue'.... exactly the same here!!!

At May 17, 2011 at 11:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We found out we were having our little girl, Jason thought it would be easier for him to bond with a she or he, rather than an it. We loved decorating the nursery etc, and putting a little bit of planning in place with colours and stuff. We had secretly named Izy for a while, but didnt tell anyone. The nickname and the sentiment behind cricket was just as meaningful. Sure we upset some inlaws by finding out, but it was our babu and our experience to consider. I was happy to support Jason with his 'need' to find out. For us the moment of meeting our beautiful darling girl thar we had bonded with so intimately was just as very special as any surprise could have been. Comes down to choice, and being comfortable in the choice you make. X

At May 18, 2011 at 1:54 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did want to know what I was having.. I guess in a way to prepare for him/her. If I had my time over I would have suprised myself but I was 17 and felt I needed to know. I found out with only my sister in the room. We both cried and thought of baby names all the way home. We had a ball going through baby books for names although i didnt decide on a name until he came. It was good to be able to say 'he' instead of 'it' and call him a carlton supporter when he kicked my ribs.

I found out again with my daughter. My best friend from primary school came in with me and although I hoped for a boy we cried at the news of a daughter. We planned her name but the middle name changed multiple times!

At May 18, 2011 at 2:54 PM , Blogger Julie said...

I had my 18-20 week scan last week, so know what you are going through. Hubby and I thought about finding out the baby's sex for quite a while, and in the end we decided to ask the sonographer (as they hadn't said anything to us).

We didn't find out with our first, as we wanted it to be a surprise. Knowing the baby's sex this time round will make things a little easier, especially in organising clothes, rooms etc. We want to keep the name we choose a secret, I don't want people calling my baby by its name and its not even born...especially if it doesn't suit that name and we call it something else.

We've only told a few people who wanted to know, such as family and a couple of friends. I haven't announced it on Facebook so for the people who don't already know it'll be a surprise to them.

Although we know what we're having, it'll still be a surprise on the day when we meet our little one.

Enjoy the scan :-)

At May 20, 2011 at 9:49 AM , Blogger Dorothy said...

I found out with both of mine and I was glad I did. I was so set on having girls that finding out early that I wasn't gave me time to get used to the idea.

I admit I don't understand the whole wanting it to be a surprise thing. I wanted to know everything about my babies before they were born, to make sure they were OK and to get to know them a bit better.

At May 20, 2011 at 11:20 AM , Blogger Toushka Lee said...

We found out both times. I'm a control freak by nature and don't like surprises. I like planning. However, I wish I had waited to tell people we were having a girl because our house was full of PINK before she was even born. I am learning to deal with pink. We named both kids before they were born too. I think the birth part was enough of a surprise for me.

For people that like the surprise, it is a great moment. So, I think, after reading your post, you should wait. I think you can read about boy stuff anyway and reread it if it's a boy. Pull out the unisex stuff anyway. Talk to Alex about the baby and get her excited about the surprise too. And also, for relatives and other people, the second baby is not as exciting as the first and wont be given the same attention - it happens. so the surprise will be cool in that respect too. Hope that makes sense.

At May 20, 2011 at 11:46 AM , Blogger Melissa said...

We found out both times. The first time because my mother was dying and we wanted her to know, in case she didn't live to see him.

The second time I didn't want to know - I wanted that surpise sooo much. My husband wanted to though, so we did.

I wish I'd gotten that surprise moment though.

At May 20, 2011 at 1:24 PM , Blogger Gemma @ My Big Nutshell said...

I have had three children and we chosen not to find out for any of them. The first two were girls and the last was a boy. It had to be a boy too because we had only one name picked!

All of them were lovely surprises (even when i was screaming out for the hole to be closed!) and it was great for us to involve our family and friends. They all got a huge surprise too when our boy was born!

best wishes with your decision.

At May 20, 2011 at 4:08 PM , Blogger Muddled Up Mumma said...

I have one little boy for now and I did want to find out the sex but was talked out of it by my mum. So glad in the end that we kept it a surprise. We had both boy and girl names ready... Good luck with it all... Visiting from FYBF.

At May 20, 2011 at 9:37 PM , Blogger Glowless @ Where's My Glow said...

Like Toushka, I'm a control freak and needed to know. Pretty sure I'll do the same again for the next one :)
Some sonographers will write it down in a sealed envelope for you so that you can announce "It's a ___" at a family dinner or something.

At May 20, 2011 at 11:09 PM , Blogger Rhianna said...

I never found out with any of my 3. There was never ever any doubt about number one being a girl, my heart of heart just knew and even dad was pretty certain she was a she :) Next time round I wasn't as certain but I was still fairly sure. The last one I was even more unsure of but still mostly expected a girl. She was actually handed to me before anyone had looked for chest to chest, as she was a little slow on breathing. When this still didn't seem to work they took her off me and it was at that point I looked to see what she was, only I thought I saw a bits and pieces if you know what i mean. It was maybe 3 minutes before I heard someone say she was a girl.

To me waiting to find out is half the fun. Like you kept saying, to you at this point in time it doesn't really matter what the baby's gender is, you will love and cherish it regardless. Enjoy this wonderful time xx


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