Tuesday, October 4, 2011

You Know I Hate Surprises

It's shocking that I haven't yet written about today's topic.  It's a topic that women and couples consider well before a baby is ever conceived.  It's a topic that dictates so many other baby topics, like names, nursery decor and baby shower gifts.  It's classic conversation for baby crazed peeps.

Any guesses?

To know or not to know...the baby's gender.  Can you handle the surprise?  Or must you know.  One might think that a general character trait of surprise-loving or surprise-averse would hold true when it comes to knowing a baby's gender in advance.  It would make sense that the girl who loved her surprise 16th birthday party became the woman who loves not knowing whether she's carrying a boy or girl.  But, I'm not so sure.

True surprises involve a complete lack of control.  You can't worry about or plan for a true surprise because you don't know where or when IT's coming and you usually don't know what IT is.  When it comes to a baby's gender, it's not a true surprise.  You know where (in your uterus), you know when (on your due date or close thereto) and you know what (a baby).  You even know the gender to a large extent because it's one of only two choices versus an infinite number of possibilities.  It's like knowing that your surprise birthday party will be either at a baseball game or a fancy restaurant.  You could opt to wear an outfit that would work for both scenarios or nix the surprise to find an outfit that would be perfect for one or the other.  When it comes to knowing the baby's gender, sometimes the girl who loved her surprise 16th birthday party becomes the woman who wants to avoid wearing a sequin cocktail dress to a ballgame.

Keeping IT a surprise

  • Siblings - When siblings are involved, especially siblings who are old enough to understand gender, it can be torturesome for them not to know.  Sometimes a big brother truly needs to know whether he can expect another football player...or a ballerina.    
  • Baby Shower Gifts - The gifts will probably be practical.  Family and friends will avoid gender specific gifts, which are usually in the form of clothes, and keep to the essentials that are needed by boys and girls alike.  On the other hand, you might get to the due date without a single gifted clothing item.  Buying a yellow onesie just isn't as fun as a mini pink tutu or blue overalls.
  • No Mistakes - When there's no advanced notice of gender there's no chance of such notice being wrong.  It's very rare nowadays, but once in a while a little girl ends up being a little boy because the little boy hid his little mister during the sonogram.

Knowing All About IT

  • Names - Coming up with a name for one gender can be really, really difficult for some people.  A surprise gender means preparing two names, which might be twice as difficult.    
  • Nursery Decor - Gender specific nursery's feel personalized without having to splash the little one's name on every flat surface.  Also, there's just more gender specific nursery decor than gender neutral.   It can be hard to find unisex products that fit your taste.
  • Curiosity - Curiosity killed the cat.  While I'm confident it won't kill you, it could drive you absolutely nutty.  

Thankfully, there's no wrong choice.  And, in my humble opinion, sequin cocktail dresses are perfect in all scenarios.   What were your reasons for learning in advance or keeping it a surprise?  


Jessica said...

I marvel at how many people I know who have chosen to keep the baby's sex a secret. I am not this type of person. If it were possible to find out the sex while peeing on the pregnancy test stick, I would do it. It's not that I hate surprises (really not a huge fan of them either), but rather I don't care for gender neutral clothing/decor/mindset. Frogs and ducks do absolutely nothing for me, and the last baby shower I attended was gender neutral and just seemed a little boring - no great presents to make everyone go "oooooohhh". It also weirded me out to be referring to a baby so far along you could see a footprint outlined on the mom's stomach as an "it". I marvel at these people, but I will be painting my nursery pink or blue.

Leah (it's me) said...

Jessica - I hear ya. I'm pretty sure the curiosity would drive me nutty. More than that, I'm someone who will struggle like crazy over picking a name for one gender...the thought of picking two names is too much.