As someone who respects plans and loves lists, you might be surprised that I wanted no part in finding out the sex of my baby before they were born. We had names ready for either scenario and painted the nursery with stripes of yellow, gold, grey and teal. I even started responding to everyone that asked if we knew the sex with, “Does it matter?”.
Think about it, what true surprises are left in this life? Death, of course, but we’ll rule that out on the grounds that you don’t much enjoy the surprise element of it. First kisses, birthday parties, losing your v-card, college acceptance letters (is this still a thing?), free Crab Rangoon in your delivery bag–all good surprises but not quite on the same level.
Some people dream of a him or a her but we just wanted a healthy baby. Why should it matter who is hiding out in there? Our approach to the pregnancy would be the same: eat healthy, try to exercise, read how-to guides, sing silly songs into the belly button and try to decide what kind of Scientist the child will become. Our goal will always be to treat our kids as equals when it comes to opportunity and needs and desire, especially when gender and sex can be unbalancing variables. The rest of the world will have to keep up with us on this one.
Here’s what I’ve learned since we agreed not to find out:
- Nurses and ultrasound techs are very good at keeping secrets if you aggressively remind them at the beginning of every appointment. I was ready to hire a lawyer and retire if someone spilled the beans.
- Everyone has a trick to knowing what the sex of the baby will be. We just played along with patience and smiles, like when you’re watching someone do a magic trick they haven’t perfected yet.
- It’s not the baby that cares about what color they are wearing or even what style of clothing they have on.
- Some people were offended that we didn’t want to find out. I assume these are the same people that are offended if their babies are misidentified. Stranger: “She’s beautiful!” Parent: “HIS NAME IS TYLER!”
Personally, the sheer excitement that would build over 8+ months as we waited to find out what was inside was more than enough reason not to find out our baby’s sex before birth. The reveal was always going to be epic and emotional and a true surprise. That doesn’t mean we didn’t enjoy messing with people by making them confront their pre-constructed roles of eaach gender.
If we had a girl, she and I would play soccer, work on the car and BBQ together. Fact is we had a boy and there’s a good chance he will try ballet, learn to sew and know all the songs in the Little Mermaid. You got a problem with that?