I am almost 34 weeks pregnant with my second baby. Like the first, we opted not to find out the gender. You are probably thinking to yourself the same thing everyone says to me when I tell them we don’t know what we’re having: “Oh, I could never do that! I’d have to know!” Aside from the one or two ultrasounds that we actually could find out the gender, it doesn’t really bother me that I don’t know. The only reason it slightly bothered me during those ultrasounds was because the technician knew and I didn’t (but I got over that pretty fast).
Believe it or not, there are perks to not knowing:
With my first, I didn’t have to buy diapers or wipes for almost 6 months after she was born. I’m still using the same bottle of baby wash (18 months later) and I have at least 3 more that I haven’t even opened. To put this in perspective, let me tell you about a baby shower thrown for my friend. She had over 70 women at said shower. They got her enough pink, girly clothes to last her baby at least 6 months. And pink blankets, burp cloths, crib sheets, toys, bibs…you get it. Fast forward to the birth of her firstborn…son! Surprise. The ultrasound tech was wrong TWICE and my poor friend went through 35 of her 40 weeks of pregnancy preparing to meet a daughter.
Tired of looking at Michaels and Jacobs and Olivers? Just flip over to the other half of the book (or if you prefer browsing baby names online, click the pink link) and start wading through Sophias and Madelines and Olivias! Unless you and your husband are one of those couples that has had baby names picked out since before they were married, not knowing the gender can be helpful. My husband gets stuck on some pretty…unique names, usually for boys (e.g.: Peregrine, Edig, Gaius, to name a few). I indulge him as long as I can (“Peregrine? Ok, we can call him Perry, right?”) but eventually it’s nice to be able to say, “What about Melody? It could be a girl, you know!”
It is so nice to know that I will be able to use the same infant travel system for my next baby, boy or girl. And the same bouncy chair, crib sheets, blankets, burp cloths, mobi, boppy, high chair, walker, etc. Not only nice to know, it is nice on our budget! I would recommend getting as much neutral baby gear anyway, even if you do know what you are having. For pretty much all the same reasons.
Knowing that all my labor pain was going to culminate in one final, squirmy surprise made all the pain worth it. Babies are worth the pain of labor no matter what…I’m just saying it was like Christmas morning, after you’ve opened all your presents and suddenly you remember-stockings! (Am I the only one?) All that pain and pushing and at the end you get to hear something you’ve been waiting 9 months to hear! “It’s a —!!” I can’t tell you the joy and reward it is to hear those sweet words, whatever they end up being, and I’m privileged to be able to wait for them again. And make all my Facebook friends wait, too.
There are so few good surprises left in life. Today’s culture is all rush, rush, rush. Instant this and automatic that. If you can manage it, this is one of the best lessons in patience you will ever have, and one that holds the most precious of rewards.