Waiting in anticipation for the 20 week scan, the sonographer asks the all important question that the parents ‘to be’ have considered since the pregnancy test turned positive.
‘Would you like to know the sex of the baby?’
I personally knew since the pregnancy test turned positive that I would find out the sex of our baby boy Elijah, the idea of a surprise did appeal to me, but I chose to keep his name a secret instead. I felt knowing the sex of our baby would be more beneficial for us as a couple and the reasons were numerous;
- Mental preparation: The ability to mentally prepare for life after pregnancy and looking after your boy or girl. The circumstances around how the birth happens cannot be controlled but knowing the sex of the baby can provide an element of control. This means you can focus on the birth. Read about my birth experience here.
- Physical preparation, buying items that are tailored: Usually items that aren’t gender specific can be quite bland and neutral.
- Exploration of names and aid with bonding and connection during pregnancy: The name you choose is for lifetime, it’s a very big responsibility so it needs a lot of thought. Also, it can aid with bonding by naming your bump at a time when you may not feel connected with your baby yet.
- Training pets: If you have any pets, particularly dogs, it can really aid with their training by getting them used to your chosen name.
- Extended family circle preparation: The rest of the family can prepare, and may also buy gifts tailoring to gender.
- Imagining the future: When you are pregnant it can feel like a really long time, being able to imagine the future and what it will be like with your baby, daydreaming etc. can really help you through those tough pregnancy days.
- Preparing other siblings: If you have other children, it may be beneficial to find out the sex of the baby so they can prepare for their new life as an older brother or sister, this may also reduce any feelings of rivalry or jealousy.
- Family traditions and wanting to be surprised: Inevitably traditions of family or the older generation may have preferences that they may like to be surprised about the new arrival, whilst we asked many people if they wanted to know the sex of the baby, when people said no, it was difficult to track and we often said by mistake using pronouns etc.
- If you want to know the sex but keep it a secret from everyone else, it can be tricky not to make references in conversation: If just the care givers know the sex of the baby, and don’t wish to tell anyone else, it can be difficult to remember not to make any references towards the sex of the baby in general conversation.
- Mistakes during scans when identifying sex: Even though scans are a lot more accurate, mistakes can be made. There have been instances where the all important body part looks like it isn’t there but really it’s just the positioning of the baby or vice versa. This would be particularly bad luck if you had numerous scans all indicating towards a particular sex.
- Emotional shock if a mistake was to occur: If a mistake is made, the emotional and mental preparation gearing towards one sex can be shocking after the birth.
- Cost of mistaken sex identity: The cost of tailoring towards a particular sex can be an expensive mistake however gender roles and associations are changing so this may not be as much of an issue.
I’d love to hear your perspective, do you want to know the sex of your baby? If yes/no then why? Get in touch!
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