From what I gather of the people around me, other bloggers, people on the Bump, etc, I would say that most people find out the sex of their baby at the 20 week ultrasound. As most of you know, when we were pregnant with Spencer, we chose not to find out if we were having a boy or a girl until he (well, it or Puddin at the time) was born. This time, B really was interested in finding out at the 20 week ultrasound, so we did. I thought I'd share my experience with both, in case others are debating whether or not they should find out at their ultrasound.
With SYT, it truly did not matter one bit if he was a boy or girl. That was a huge factor in not finding out. We didn't care, we knew we wanted a relatively neutral nursery (we wanted to always keep the nursery a nursery and move the older child up to a bigger room), we wanted the surprise factor, etc. I've heard people say that they bonded with the baby better once they knew the sex, but, to me, once we found out we had a healthy baby growing inside, I could have cared less if it was a boy or girl. I felt extrememly bonded to "Pud" and I felt like I had the opportunity to dream for all 41 weeks about all the possibilities that existed for that baby. Since we didn't know, I could dream of dresses and dance class and two hours later be dreaming of hockey and exploring. It was awesome to be able to do that. I had no preconceived notions of anything throughout the pregnancy.
Another really nice thing is that we got very, very few clothes at my baby shower. Instead of being bombarded by blue or pink, we received bottles and a baby tub, blankets and breastpump parts, a car seat, a storage bench, a diaper bag, a swing, the monitor, etc. We did get a few neutral sleepers and some onsies which were great. But, honestly, for the most part, I wanted to dress my baby. I'd been dreaming of that for years, and I didn't want other people's taste to dictate what my child wore just because I felt obligated to those outfits. A few weeks before I delivered, I bought both boy outfits and girl outfits that I knew could be returned and then my mom returned all the girl stuff once we knew that Puddin was actually Spencer. It worked really, really well for me. I loved that we had all the stuff we needed from our shower, and I got to lovingly pick out all my little ones clothes. We did get a lot of clothes as gifts after he was here and I was definitely grateful for all those that we received (and they all ended up being super cute!!).
With this baby, we often heard at the beginning of the pregnancy, "Oh, I hope you get your girl" or "Are you having different symptoms? Do you think you'll get a girl this time?". All of this talk made B really nervous not to find out. He was really worried that if we didn't find out, when we had the baby and if it was a boy, people would be so upset that we didn't "get our girl" that they wouldn't be excited about this baby and the fact that it was healthy, normal, and ours. He wanted any last shred of disappointment for family/friends/strangers (because they always have an opinion) out of the way early enough that the birth would just be exciting itself. I understood his reasoning and, since I was so adamant the first time around about not finding out, I was totally fine with it being his decision this time around.
Once we found out that we're having another sweet baby boy, I did sense a little bit of disappointment from a few people (I was not upset by this and I completely understand and agree that girls stuff is so much cuter that they just wanted to have a little pink in this family!!) but for the most part, I don't really think that people cared either way. It's not their life and it's something that is nice to know but in no way will affect them, so it's just not a big deal. It really didn't matter to me in a practical way this time as we knew if we would have a boy, it's the exact same season as Spencer, so we have every last bit of clothing possible, and if it was a girl, my mom would go nuts buying stuff anyway. It's going into the same nursery, and we were just going to pink it up a bit if it turned out to be a girl.
Now though, I do feel a bit of disappointment in finding out. Not that it is a boy (I'm dying over having another cuter than a button Spencer!) but in the fact that there is no surprise, no mystery. I am a planner in every sense of the word, but I have nothing that I have to plan for this time anyway, so finding out didn't change that. Buying a double stroller (ugggg!) doesn't change regardless of sex! I feel like I have nothing to look forward to for the next 16 weeks. The baby is healthy (thank God!) and the baby is a boy. Soooooooo, now we're just waiting. I guess there is some mystery in what he will look like, but that will change so much over the first few years of life that it's not a big "surprise" moment like the sex is. I don't know, I just don't get why it's so important to know everything at 20 weeks. I realize that it's obviously HUGE to most people (over 90% of Americans find out the sex of their baby prior to delivery), but after doing it both ways, I can honestly say that if we have a 3rd child, we won't find out that time. I just really, really, really like the dreaming, the mystery, the possibilities that come with not finding out.
I realize that a lot of people out their totally disagree with this, and that's fine. We all have different ways to bond with our babies in waiting, we all have different ways of preparing for being a mommy. Finding out suits some people to a T. I have numerous people who have told me that they are shocked that I didn't like finding out because they see me as so typical, so straight as an arrow, such a planner, etc. And I see myself that way too. But I really, really loved the shock and amazing surprise I felt last time and will really miss that this time around in the delivery room. Ah well, live and learn!! Either way, I can't wait to hold this little, precious bundle of love in my arms!
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