18 August 2015

Everyone wants to know, boy or girl?

A picture of baby clothes
When you share the news that you are pregnant, there is one question which passes everyone's lips. It's as if their lives depend on knowing - what are you having, a boy or a girl?

Personally, I find it a little bit baffling. Actually I find a lot of the questions I've had so far throughout this pregnancy baffling. It's as if as soon as people know you're pregnant, questions you'd never usually ask someone are laid bare and totally acceptable to ask a pregnant woman. I've been asked questions about my body and how it's changing, whether the typical things have happened to me yet; swollen feet, bigger (and sore) boobs, longer nails and glossier hair. I've even had people try and discuss the movements and schedule of my toilet breaks! Who knew going to the toilet could be so fascinating, but when you're pregnant, nothing is off-limits. From the moment we made it public knowledge that we were expecting a baby, there is one question we have been asked repeatedly - and I'm talking on a daily basis. Are we having a boy or a girl?

The funny thing about this question is that in the UK unless you pay an extortionate amount for a private early gender scan, you can't actually find out the gender of your baby until your 20 week scan, but we've been asked from as early as 11 weeks. Some hospitals don't even give you the option to find out, which I think is a decision made by hospital trusts based on area in the UK which you live, because of the high rate of abortions if the gender scan shows the baby is not what the parents want it to be.

Our 20 week scan is next week - I am exactly 19 weeks today. I'm incredibly excited and unbelievably nervous to go to our scan, because it is such an important scan and so many important life-changing checks are done. But what adds to those rising nerves is the big question mark hanging over us by everyone asking if we're going to find out what gender our baby is. Well I'm afraid you're in for a long wait, because we don't want to know!

There are a couple of reasons we want the gender to be a surprise. Admittedly when I was younger and I first started getting broody in my late teens/early twenties, I always said "If I get pregnant I'll find out what I'm having to prepare". Who knew my opinion could change so much in just a few years? (A few? Pull the other one, Sophia, you're nearing 30!)

001. The gender of our baby will make no difference whatsoever on how much we can prepare for a little human being coming into our lives. I once thought that finding out the gender would be a life-saver, the one thing in a confusing and magical time which would make everything simpler. Because if you know if you're having a boy or a girl, you can get all the things you need and it'll be just right for your baby, won't it? Nah.

Finding out the gender of our baby would make it easier for everyone else, not us. Neither of us are fussed by pink or blue. I'm lucky enough to be in a relationship with someone who, although at times can wind me up something rotten, actually thinks a lot like me. I don't care what gender our baby is, because I'm not interested in gender specific clothes and products. In fact, I'm the opposite - I don't want to buy anything gender specific for my baby. Was that a gasp I heard? The amount of people who have given me a look that's the perfect mixture of shock, surprise and overall confusion when I've tried to explain that I disagree with gender stereotypes and think gender specific clothes and toys at a young age can (but not always) contribute to issues later in life, is highly amusing. I'm a Psych grad, what do you expect?

I grew up massively influenced by a parent who wished and willed me to be a Princess, who wanted me to wear pretty pink dresses and longer for me to be a well-behaved perfect little girl, when all I wanted was to wear jeans and skater shoes, t-shirts and listen to metal music. Still to this day I feel like I was a disappointment, because I wasn't the little girl I was expected to be, and that is not something I want to put onto my children.

Does that mean I won't let them have pink clothes if they are a girl and blue clothes if they are a boy? Of course not! And I fully expect people to buy gender specific clothes once our baby is born, but that doesn't bother me; I just don't want an entire wardrobe of pink or blue. If when shopping for new clothes when our baby is at an age where they can help pick and chose what they wear and we have a girl who wants a tutu or a boy who wants nothing but t-shirts with cars on it, I won't stop them - but I also wouldn't stop a boy picking up a princess dress or a girl who wants a toy builder's belt. If we have a girl and all she wants to do is play football and build cars, she can play football and build cars. If we have a boy who wants to play with dolls and have a doll-house, he can play with dolls and have a doll-house. I want our baby to be happy, with a healthy mind that is their own, and that is way more important to me than knowing the gender so we can 'prepare'.

I know lots of people will disagree, and I completely support people of the opposite opinion, because - and this is the important thing - your decisions about your own children, family and life are your decisions to make, and ours are ours.

002. We want the gender of our baby to be a surprise, and I want my partner to be the one to tell me what we have created when our baby arrives. It sounds so simple yet confuses so many people. The amount of people who have told us we are crazy to keep the gender a surprise, who have warned us that we'll wish we found out so we can bond with our baby, is astounding.

We don't need to know whether Gizmo is a boy or a girl to bond with them. I am already so incredibly in love with this tiny human that is only just nearing half-way to being fully made. We fell in love with this baby as soon as we found out we were expecting, even more so when we bought their first teddy at 8 weeks because we were too scared to buy clothes yet in case the worst happened. We talk about our baby every single day and marvel at all the changes they are going through inside of my body which has completely and utterly wowed me. Every movement I feel makes my heart swell and I can't wait for my partner to feel these increasingly more powerful kicks too. Knowing whether we have a boy or a girl wouldn't change any of that, it wouldn't make us love them any more or any less.

We live in a world where everything about our lives is obvious, in the public eye, open for everyone to see. We live in a world where technology has over-taken us, where our lives are spent glued to social media and we know every last detail of the lives of celebrities who don't even know we exist. We are creating artificial intelligence that could one day do everything for us and people are never giving up on finally creating the ultimate hover-board. Nothing is a surprise, nothing shocks us, nothing makes us marvel. Everything is easy.

When nothing else in our lives is a surprise, we want this one thing, this one magical, wonderful, incredible and awe-inspiring thing to be a secret, to be a surprise that we only find out when our baby is born. I don't want a computer to tell me whether our baby is a boy or a girl, I don't even want the midwife or doctor who delivers our baby to tell us - I want my partner to be the first one to tell me, "We have a girl" or "We have a boy". Because that is something we'll never get again with this baby, it's the one thing about our pregnancy, our baby, that we can keep a surprise, the thing which we are both counting down the days and weeks to.

We will love this baby, boy or girl, with every ounce of our being, and that is what matters.

Last week: Fact or fiction? Avoiding products in pregnancy.
Next week: Halfway there | 20 weeks pregnant.

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34 comments

  1. I dont think I would be able to wait but I respect those who do! As long as the baby is healthy :)

    congrats once again!

    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

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    1. Oh trust me, it is hard when you know you could so easily find out, but we don't have long to wait realistically :) Definitely, the baby being healthy and happy is the most important thing to us xo

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  2. Love this post and huge congratulations on your pregnancy! I have a 12 week old son (still sounds weird!) and we were the same as you. When Felix was born my partner told me the sex and it was so amazing and surprising and special. Throughout the pregnancy we were torn between whether we thought we were having a girl or boy but I was still so shocked when it turned out to be a boy. He is so amazing and we love him to bits. I wish you a healthy and happy pregnancy and birth :) the time flew by for me so hope it does for you too! Sarah xx

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    1. Thank you so much Sarah! I am sure when our baby is here we will find it just as weird saying we have a son or daughter. It will definitely take some getting used to as first time parents. I seem to change my mind everyday on what I think the gender of our baby is, although my partner seems set on Gizmo being a girl! I can't wait to find out, that's for sure :) Thanks again Sarah xo

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  3. aww your reasons for waiting are really sweet, i personally don't think i could but i'm super excited for you!

    Rachel // Style Soup

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    1. Thank you Rachel! It's definitely taking some patience, as it's so difficult when you know how easily you could find out if you wanted to xo

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  4. You're doing what I want to do... have my hubby tell me what we created at the time of birth. People are so nosey when it comes to pregnancy. It really is nothing to do with anyone but mummy and daddy. It's magical and a blessing :-)

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    1. I definitely agree. I appreciate people are curious and excited for us, but at the same time in my personal life I'm not very open or overly excitable etc if that makes sense? I'm not used to people being so intrusive I guess! xo

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  5. Great post Sophia! I really don't think people should question those who wish to keep it surprise or people who want to find out. It's all a matter of personal preference and since pregnancy is such a personal thing, it only really matters what the individual / couple wants. I'll be so excited to get a message from you once you've given birth so I know who I'll be introducing my little Mr too but either way, they're going to be such a beautiful little child. xo

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    1. Thank you lovely! Exactly. At the end of the day it's down to the person/people expecting the baby and no one else. It doesn't make the decision right or wrong, it's simply a decision that only they can make! So excited for our baby to meet your little Mr xo

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  6. 100% agree with you! (Not that I'm pregnant or anywhere close to having a baby yet!). I hate the idea of my home being filled with either pink or blue baby gifts, and I've heard the annoyance in people's voices when a relative kept the gender of her baby a surprise and they asked 'well how am I supposed to know what to get it?' it seems absurd to me that the gender of the baby should make that much difference to the gifts people will buy or how they will treat the baby! When I do become pregnant I fully plan to respond to the question of 'what are you having' with the answer ' well...I think I'm having a baby, but who knows, it could be a velociraptor!' x

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    1. EXACTLY! It's easier for other people, not us - and I have to admit, I think that's down to laziness. Yes it is harder to find gender neutral stuff for a baby, but it's not hard if you actually look. Being a boy or a girl doesn't change what they might need or want at all. I think I'm a big fan of your future-answer! xo

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  7. We found out the gender because we are purely too impatient to wait, we also had both boy and girl names ready and it's lovely being able to call him by his name already. I 100% understand where you are coming from though and wanting your partner to tell you the gender will be so sweet. I've heard so much rubbish about being pregnant, the awful intrusive questions, it's so annoying! And although we are opposites in finding out the gender, I totally understand why you would want to wait. Have you found that people are really judgemental regards to absolutely everything!?! It's driving me a little insane. You writing that we make our own decisions for our own children is so refreshing to read, so many people are trying to ram their opinions on what we should do for our children and it's not fair.
    Good luck with your pregnancy!
    I love the cat toys you showed on Instagram, they are so cute and I need to get them haha! xx

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    1. I have to admit, there are times I wonder HOW as someone who is naturally impatient, that I am managing with the idea of not finding out. I think I would struggle if my partner wanted to find out because then I'd be in two minds but because both of us want to wait, it's much easier knowing we 'could' find out but don't have to.

      I've found people to be more confused than judgemental - with most things, that is. A couple of people have been extremely judgemental with our decision to go gender neutral in our upbringing and to those couple of people I tried to explain in stupid terms why, and then gave up. Some people aren't worth wasting breath on explaining, especially when it's not something we need to explain. It's our decision and that's as simple as it needs to be. But that said, I think most people would be too scared to be judgemental with us (in person, cos trust me I know people will be online!) as I'm not one to take crap.

      Thank you so much lovely. Good luck for the rest of your pregnancy - or parenthood if you're now given birth! xo

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  8. We didn't find out with either of our boys altho I thought. I knew because they were boy shaped bumps😉

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    1. By the 'gender myths' I think we're having a boy, but my partner thinks we're having a girl! Either way we'll be happy :) xo

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  9. Aw, it will be amazing when your partner tells you what you have both produced and grown. An extra special moment in this special time for you both.
    I hope all goes well for you all at your 20 week scan next week.
    Kate http://iihmakeupandglitter.blogspot.co.uk/ XxX

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    1. I definitely think it's a moment neither of us will ever forget! Thank you, it's tomorrow and I'm more excited than anything now xo

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  10. Could not agree more with you, think it makes a lovely surprise!

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    1. Thank you Georgina! It's going to be the best surprise :) xo

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  11. omg congratulations! :) I felt like having the gender to be a surprise when I was pregnant, but as soon as the scan day came I couldn't wait and wanted to know either way lol! Awww I'm so happy for you. But you're right, I think too much thought is put into the tiniest of details when you're pregnant. xx

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    1. Thank you so much Louise! I totally didn't realise you were a mumma :) xo

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  12. That is exactly the way I would want it done. It's so nice. Can't believe your 20 weeks next week!!

    Rachael x | N o v e m b e r S t o r m s | | I n s t a g r a m |

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    1. I know, time is going crazy fast! xo

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  13. Firstly congratulations on your new little life growing inside of you. I'm a mum of 3, 24-22 & 15 and I didn't find out the sex of any of mine until they made they way into the world. I was convinced no 1 was a boy, she wasn't! I was equally convinced that no 2 was a girl and he wasn't! No 3 was another & I had an inkling, but when she was born, my sister cut her cord, I was so in love with her that it was a good few minutes before I even thought to look!! I really personally feel that the surprise is half of the fun, it's like waiting for Christmas to find out what you have! On the gender thing also, my youngest daughter has been buying clothes from the boys/mens section for several years, she has her very own style and carries it off really well. She is now just starting to want to do more girlie things, I know she's been in my dressing table and she now loves watching Top Model with me!! You have a great attitude to raising your child and he or she will thank you for it. My sister's youngest boy is often snapped wearing a princess dress & he's a really happy little soul!!

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    1. Thanks so much Gilly! I've put a few theories to the test, like the sound of the heartbeat, nub/skull theories etc. Some say we should be having a boy, some say a girl! It's going to be such a surprise for us either way, I can't wait to find out what our baby is but I also really can't wait for it to be the last push I need to get through the labour and birth. Thanks so much for your lovely comment :) xo

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  14. I think it's great you don't want to buy or own gender-specific items/clothing. I'd be the same.

    Catstello | www.cattitudeandco.uk

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    1. I think more people should be! But, as with anything to do with parenting, it's an individual choice and we feel this one is right for us :) xo

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  15. I found out that Seb was a boy but then didn't find out with Quinn. Can honestly say, for me,the surprise was the better experience. I actually bonded more with Quinn in pregnancy than Seb because the circumstances surrounding my pregnancy were different - gender, or lack thereof, made no difference. With Quinn I had an (unintentional) unassisted birth with only boyfriend and I present so the moment we met her and discovered that we had a daughter was totally magical. I have the same attitude as you towards gender specification and we have very little pink.

    www.ashleighlawrencerye.com

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    1. I have to admit, the idea of not getting to the hospital in time and M having to deliver our baby terrifies me ha! xo

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  16. I think it's lovely that you've decided to wait. There are very few real surprises in life that can either be lovely or lovely! Good on you both!
    Carys
    xxxx

    www.frecklesandfrocks.com

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    1. Thank you Carys :) We can't wait to find out whether we have a little boy or a little girl, but it will be so worth the wait! xo

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  17. Spam reading all your pregnancy posts and I just adore this! I'm 17 weeks and I feel exactly the same about a gender reveal and gender stereotypes.
    I actually really dislike all the candyfloss pink outfits for girls and much prefer gender neutral outfits! Plus we will have a good kit ready for number two should we have a second! Now that's preparation!!

    Rach // illustratedteacup.com

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  18. Spam reading all your pregnancy posts and I just adore this! I'm 17 weeks and I feel exactly the same about a gender reveal and gender stereotypes.
    I actually really dislike all the candyfloss pink outfits for girls and much prefer gender neutral outfits! Plus we will have a good kit ready for number two should we have a second! Now that's preparation!!

    Rach // illustratedteacup.com

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