Do You Want To Know The Sex?

Gender_2 Last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Minnie Driver once again talked about her refusal to learn the sex of her baby. I’d probably think she was in the minority on this topic, but two of my friends are pregnant right now, and neither wants to know their baby’s gender. It just got me thinking about the reasons to find out and not to find out. Some parents think it helps with the bonding process if they can call their child "he" or "she" asap. But others seem to enjoy the element of surprise. One of my aforementioned friends is already a mom, and she told me waiting to find out the sex was the only thing that got her through labor. Well, she’s probably exaggerating, but you get the point. I know it’s an age-old question but I’m throwing it out there again: Would you want to know the sex of your baby before he/she was born? Why or why not?

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  1. by Christine F

    On July 16, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    I have two girls 4 and 20mos. My husband and I chose to be “surprised” when I was pregnant with each of them. For me, I think it was the greatest gift I could give myself after going through all of the work of being pregnant and the labor & delivery. It’s just about the only true surprise in life. I’m all set with my 2 children, but if I did have another baby, I would choose to be surprised again.

  2. by Becky

    On July 16, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Our theory was:
    It is just as much of a surprise at 20 weeks as it is at 40 weeks.

  3. by Linda

    On July 16, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    We have a 23 month old girl and another baby on the way. We found out with our daughter before she was born, and we will find out the sex of this baby in a couple of weeks. I would love to be surprised, but my hubby wants to know and wants to wait to talk about names until we know the sex. It does make it easier planning for the baby if you know. I have several friends who have found out and several who have also chosen to be surprised.

  4. by Stephanie

    On July 16, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    We found out with my 25 month old daughter and my son due in October. I don’t understand people who say it ruins the surprise. I can’t (and couldn’t) wait to see my baby’s eye color, hair color, features, hear the sound of his cry, etc. etc. All of this is a surprise, and what he/she has between his/her legs is just one small part of all the amazing discoveries you make upon meeting your child for the first time.

  5. by Tracey McMullen

    On July 16, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    We didn’t find out with our now son (almost 3). I would not have changed it. We were given the option of finding out at 33 weeks and I said no. My husband wanted to know..but I wouldn’t let the Dr. tell me.
    It was truly the greatest surprise ever and gave me that little bit of wonder through a very long labour.
    If were were to have another one…I would not find out again….

  6. by Michelle

    On July 16, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    We have two boys and didn’t find out the gender for either pregnancy. I think we were definitely in the minority. (In fact, my doctor said that we were her only patient who didn’t know the sex at the time of my second pregnancy!) We liked the anticipation of waiting the entire pregnancy to see what the surprise would be.
    Plus, one of the most special memories for me was my husband being the one in the delivery room announcing “It’s a boy!” And then he was promptly pee’d on. ;-)

  7. by Peter

    On July 16, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    I think my favorite was the couple who were told they were having a boy. Yep, certain – 100%. They then had a baby girl. THAT was a surprise.
    We opted not to know and picked out clothes/themes to fit either gender and had names ready to go for either case. We still had a bit of confusion when my wife swears someone told her that we had a boy, even when I had pics of the baby to prove the opposite (long story on that one, involving an emergency c-section and anesthetic).

  8. by Kristie

    On July 16, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    We waited until each of our children (25 months and 10 months) were born to find out what gender they were. I really wanted to know if it was a boy or girl the second pregnancy, but my husband didn’t want to. (He doesn’t get his way much, so I let him on that one ;-) ) I’m glad we didn’t find out for either one, because the anticipation was fun and hearing “It’s a boy!” and “It’s a girl!” is really neat after all the work of pregnancy and labor :-)

  9. by EllenW

    On July 16, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    We decided not to find out ahead of time the gender of our kid (now a 2 1/2 yr old boy) and it seemed to bother everyone else more than us. People kept asking us, “how do plan?” Well I wanted a gender neutral baby room anyways and once he was born we received plenty of boy clothes. We also decided not to discuss names as we didn’t want to hear everyone’s comments positive or negative.

  10. by Allison

    On July 16, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    I had to find out. There was NO way I was going to wait. For me, it was important to know the sex so that I could prepare. Yes, you can buy all “gender neutral” clothing or wait until the baby is born. But personally? I’m not all about the gender neutral clothing. I wanted to know if I could buy cute little navy polo shirts if it was a boy or little frilly dresses if it was a girl. And if money is tight, you can’t afford to wait!
    I do understand the element of surprise, and I think it’s great that people want to wait. It’s just not for me :)

  11. by Nicole (SAHM Ramblings)

    On July 16, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    I didn’t want to know until the baby was born. Unfortunately, my first was a fertility baby. High risk. Resulting in an ultrasound at every visit. I was certain that someone would let it slip and that I would be terribly upset. So I let the doctor know that once we got to the point of knowing to please tell me.
    Good thing because on the next visit, the nurse let it slip… followed by “Oh, I hope you already knew.”
    With our second, we asked again because I wanted to find out on MY terms.

  12. by Tara

    On July 16, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    To us the “what am I having” is one of the few presents truly worth waiting for…such a lovely gift that takes 40 weeks to unwrap. Personally, despite all of the admitted planning/organizational benefits that can come from knowing, I would feel cheated if someone told me what the gift was in advance. Delivery day is soon enough to find out. We were “surprised” with our daughter (15 months) and I plan to be “surprised” in 20 weeks with our next child too…

  13. by Jennifer C

    On July 16, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    We did not find out with our first one. We had been trying to get pregnant for two years and everything had gotten very clinical and biological – not much fun at all. So, we decided we’d go “old school” and not find out the sex. I loved it. It was like the ultimate Christmas Morning feeling. Yes, we got stuck with alot of yellow duckie clothing – but I’m not a big pink fan anyway, so it saved me from having her slathered in pink her first 9 months!
    Not finding out really irritated our families. They asked us constantly if we would find out. Tormenting them was a little fun, I have to admit.
    We did find out the sex of our second. Because we knew we were “stopping” after that. If we had been expecting a boy, then I would have needed time to have a huge yard sale and re-stock on boy stuff.

  14. by stephanie

    On July 16, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    I have a 4 month old little boy. I found out I was having a boy at 20 weeks and was so glad I did. After my husband and I found out, it gave us a real connection with the baby growing inside. He had a name and I would day dream all the time of my little boy and all the things we would do together. When he was born I remember looking at him and thinking here he is the one I’ve been dreaming of.

  15. by Traci

    On July 16, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    We chose to wait to find out the gender, though I was “sure” I was having a girl for some reason (I had a boy). We chose names for both genders, went gender-neutral on decor and clothes, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. For me, it was a GREAT surprise to hear “It’s a boy” in the delivery room after a long labor and c-section. Especially since I thought it was a girl…but that was fun!

  16. by JLC

    On July 16, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    I chose not to find out because I honestly didn’t care – boys and girls are both awesome, I was fine with either one. I also wanted the “It’s a Blank!” surprise, but I never got it: after they placed my newly-born baby on my chest then whisked him/her away for cleaning (we had a meconium issue), I had to shout out “Wait! Is it a boy or a girl????” I think the doctors & nurses are so used to the parents knowing the sex of the baby that it didn’t occur to them to tell me I had a beautiful girl. So we had our first meeting without a proper introduction; we’ve gotten to know each other better since.

  17. by Michaela

    On July 16, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    We didn’t find out the sex of either of our two children, and I wouldn’t change it! It was so fun to have that “movie moment” of “It’s a Boy!” and “It’s a Girl!” and to be able to go to a waiting room full of people eager to share in the joy and to hear the cheers. It was a special thing for my husband to be the one to announce the news to everyone. I highly reccomend it!

  18. by RachelJ

    On July 16, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    We found out with both kids, but we never told anyone else that we knew! It was great—everyone knew when I was due and such but we had our own little secret about the sex. I didn’t want to tell anyone because I wanted something that only we knew and because I knew we’d get tons of “boy” or “girl” stuff if people knew.

  19. by Barb

    On July 16, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    With our first pregnancy, we wanted to be ‘surprised’ but we found out we were having twins and decided it was better to be prepared for that and find out – BUT – we kept it mostly a secret (only close family and friends knew the genders). We are expecting baby #3 in January and have decided to wait this time. I can’t wait to deliver this babe and await the news of a new little boy or girl!

  20. by Andrea

    On July 16, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    We have three children and have done it both ways. With our first one we tried so hard to find out what she was ahead of time with no succes, but we were so sure it was a girl that it wasn’t a surprise. Our second we found out ahead of time that he was a boy. With our third we wanted to wait until the birth and she was a girl. There was so much excitement with all of them that I don’t think one way or the other is less exciting. So many people say it ruins the surprise but it’s still a surprise no matter what time you find out. It was nice finding out at the birth and it was also nice having everything ready and the clothes bought for the right sex by finding out early. It’s just a preference thing.

  21. by Pirate Mama

    On July 17, 2008 at 2:12 am

    There are so few surprises left in this world! We felt that just because we could didn’t mean we had to. People for millions of years never knew what they wear having and got on just fine!

  22. by Elizabeth

    On July 17, 2008 at 8:34 am

    We didn’t find out the sex of our first baby. My husband really wanted to know, but I convinced him that the surprise would be fun. So, the second time around, we did things “his way” and found out. I thought that was only fair. Although we both took great pleasure, the first time, when people would ask, “Do you know what you’re having?” We’d answer: “Well, it’s definitely a baby.”

  23. by Katie

    On July 17, 2008 at 9:02 am

    I definitely wanted to find out. If it was going to be a girl I wanted to be able to enjoy knowing so before the birth, and to buy all the cute things in advance! We found out we were having boys (all 4 pregnancies!!!) so I was able to get most of my tears and disappointment out before each baby arrived.

  24. by Katie

    On July 17, 2008 at 10:24 am

    I have one 11 month old daughter, and we waited to find out. We came up with a cute gender neutral baby nickname that we called her while she was in the womb. There was plenty of bonding. Instead of a pre-baby shower, my church threw us an after-baby shower, so we got tons of girly clothes in all the right sizes. It was a wonderful surprise. I would do it again.

  25. by Kiara

    On July 17, 2008 at 11:10 am

    If it’s a girl, it is one way to avoid the pink stuff!!

  26. by Sandy

    On July 17, 2008 at 11:30 am

    I have absolutely no patience, so we chose to find out the gender. However, I just knew it was a girl, so when the ultrasound tech told us, it was kind of a letdown, not a surprise at all.
    To make up for it though, we got an even bigger surprise. After all of the measuring and looking at our little girl, the tech said, “Oh.” We freaked out a bit and asked what was wrong. She showed us: “This is the body, and the head… and here’s another head!” It was twins! And the second one was a boy, which I’d had no intuition about at all.
    It was a huge surprise for us, coming at 20 weeks and my second ultrasound!

  27. by Donna

    On July 17, 2008 at 11:54 am

    In our case we adopted and so to us we did not know what the sex of our child would be until we were picked by our birthmom, so our baby room went up with a lot of fun and funky colors that would fit either a boy or a girl. Once we found out we were having a girl, a few girly (bright pinks) were added to the room to give it a little more feminine look. My husband really wanted to know the sex of our baby, I was indifferent, it did help us decorate a little different once we did find out.

  28. by Megan

    On July 17, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    My husband and I are trying right now for our first and one of our favorite things to talk about is boy v. girl and names, colors, etc for each. The excitement of being able to do that stuff before the baby comes and my utter lack of patience for anything will probably compel us to find out as soon as possible what we’re having.
    But the angel on my right shoulder nags me just a little bit because I know that I should have more patience and this seems like the ultimate test to me (as if the struggle of trying to conceive weren’t enough). I know I’ll need plenty of the P word once the baby arrives and part of me just wants to prove that I am strong enough to hold out.

  29. by camiesmom

    On July 17, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    I guess I am too cheap – I wanted to know what I was having, so I could purchase all the right stuff ahead of time. I did buy a gender neutral crib set and decorated my daughters room in blue and read – but since blue is my favorite color that was understandable. BUT, as time went on and I got close to delivery, knowing what I was having made it easier to pick out items that I found on sale before her birth.
    Of course, there is always that little feeling in the back of my brain that maybe the doctor was wrong and I was going to have a boy.
    When people asked what I was having – especially those who I didn’t know well. I would smile and say ‘A baby!’

  30. by Cathi

    On July 17, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    I did not want to find out the sex of our firstborn. Having that be a wonderful surprise was something I had always envisioned. My husband wanted to find out, but went along with my decision, because I was doing all of the work, of course. Now he agrees that it was wonderful to announce to me, “It’s a girl!!!” I am also very thankful that all of the “staples” aren’t pink. You get very sick of pink very fast when you have a girl.
    We lost our second baby due to some chromosomal problems, so when we got pregnant again I NEEDED to find out the gender to make sure that EVERYTHING on the baby was in perfect working order and right where it was supposed to be. I likely would have been surprised again otherwise. Oh, and baby #2 was another girl, so I’m really glad not everything is pink.

  31. by Sandy

    On July 18, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    Oh, I forgot to add, that it was so fun confusing people when I was pregnant. When they asked if I was having a boy or a girl, I smiled and said, “Yes!” Boy/girl twins are so fun!

  32. by Karen

    On July 18, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    The one and only time I was pregnant we decided NOT to find out the gender and we were having twins. As other commenters mentioned, it drove our families nuts!
    Our 2.5 yo girls’ birth was so exciting, and I think it was more so because there was that element of suprise.

  33. by Cynthia

    On July 19, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    I decided to wait to find out if my baby was a boy or girl based on the attitudes of other women. I had observed that the women who knew what they were having were so prepared that all they could focus on at the end of their pregnancy was their discomfort. The women who didn’t know were still planning and wondering what the sex of their baby would end up being. They rarely complained about pregnancy.
    My husband nor his family were happy with my decision, but it was a special moment when he got to introduce them to our daughter.

  34. by Thrifty Karen

    On July 19, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    Absolutely!!! We found out with both of our children just as soon as we could. It was still a surprise. With #1 we thought we were having a boy, but we were having a girl. With #2 we thought we were having a girl, but we were having a boy. lol

  35. by Katrina

    On July 21, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    We didn’t find out for either of our two little ones. It began with our first pregnancy when my husband really didn’t want to know. I didn’t care one way or the other until people kept saying we would cave in and ultimately find out. That was tantamount to issuing me a challenge, so we waited. Then, the amazing look on my husband’s face when the doctor let him tell me what the sex was at birth sealed the deal for me. I got to experience everything else about the pregnancy first, giving my husband this special treat was priceless.