You buy a test. You pee on the stick. Wait, for what feels like the longest 2 minutes ever. Then you see those two little lines. You’re pregnant! And then enter all the emotions.
If your brain is at all like mine, after you see that positive pregnancy test a thousand thoughts and questions fly through your head.
Is this for real? Is the baby healthy? I can’t believe there is a baby growing in me! What will our family say? What will childbirth be like? I need to research doctors. I can’t wait to buy cute little clothes! Will the baby look like me? Is it a boy or a girl??
The question, “she or a he” is a big one. It’s hard not to think about it and wonder. I have found too that it is one if the most asked questions by family, friends, and even the random stranger who feels like conversing. People want to know the gender!
Over the last several years the art of the gender reveal has developed partially because of this obsession. Some reveals are simple and may involve just a photo with a piece of clothing or something pink or blue. Or it could be an elaborate party with more of a public and dramatic reveal. I know people who have done gender reveals on both ends of the spectrum and even somewhere in between. But with each of our pregnancies we chose a different route; we waited until the baby was born to announce (and even discover) the gender..
When I found out I was pregnant with my oldest both me and my husband just agreed that waiting to find out the gender would be fun. So we did. And I really don’t regret that at all! With our younger girls we also waited to find out, too. Here are a few of the perks that I think come along with waiting until delivery for your gender reveal.
Instead of just getting pink EVERYTHING, we got neutral toys, clothes, and baby gear. We have a lot of grey, green, and yellow baby gear (and newborn clothes) which is very versatile. Sometimes if you announce the gender most of the baby gifts you receive can be cute gender specific items, but they may not necessities. If you don’t announce the gender then you are probably more likely to get more useful items at baby showers. And that will be beneficial for both that specific child and also for any possible future children.
No Unplanned Surprises
OK. This may seem like an odd one, because waiting to find out the gender IS a surprise. But if you are planning on a surprise it is different than maybe being surprised by finding out at birth that your baby is a different gender than you originally found out. Although it is getting to be far less common, it can happen that sometimes the gender announced at the ultrasound is wrong. They are pretty accurate, but not 100%. And sometimes you finding out the gender all relies on the baby cooperating the day of your ultrasound.
I can just imagine the shock at birth when you think you know what to expect only to find out you are compelety wrong. There is still excitement, but I imagine all of that preparation that now seems silly. I would much rather just wait to find out for sure when the baby is in my arms.
It’s Just Fun
Other than the practical reasons, I honestly think it is just more fun to wait. One aspect to that fun is that it really does drive people crazy. Maybe that makes me a bad person, but I kind of enjoy that I can do that to people. Some family and friends just want to know SO badly, but I just smile and listen to their guesses and tell them to wait and find out. It’s fun to kind of keep a secret, but I don’t even know the secret either.
Also, it builds the suspense of labor and delivery wondering who your little one will be. Yes, there are already a lot of emotions involved in labor. But this just makes it more exciting for me. It also helped me look toward the end of labor and even get through the hardest parts. By the end of 9 long months I was so ready to know.
Whether you find out in an ultrasound room, at a gender reveal party full of friends and family, or in the delivery room I’m sure finding out the gender of your baby is a fun memory. But for our family I will remember with each of our babies that moment and cherish it.
For my oldest, it was after a loooooong labor and I was one tired but overjoyed mama when she was born. My husband and I expected the nurse or midwife to loudly declare “It’s a girl!” or “It’s a boy!” Instead we looked at her expectantly and she told my husband to check and announce. It was priceless having him tell me “It’s a girl. It’s Ellie” as he laid her on my chest.
It was a similar sort of story for our next two daughters. I delivered our second and actually saw it was a girl and then got to excitedly say, “It’s a girl!” My mom was in the room for her birth, so right there we got to introduce her to our baby girl to the people around us. And then again with our third, she was born and my husband was the one who told me “It’s a girl!”
Those first moments are full of such joy. I love that part of that first meeting involved me finding out they were each a girl. If I have another baby I would totally wait again to find out. And when people ask if they should wait I also recommend it. It may not be for everyone. But it’s fun, it’s a little different, and I think totally worth the wait.