“Do you know what you’re having yet?”
These are the responses expecting mothers are accustomed to hearing after telling someone they are pregnant. So what’s next? That usually depends on a mom-to-be’s answer to the last question. For those of you who are not finding out the gender of your baby—read on!
What it’s Really Like Not Finding Out the Gender of Your Baby
Not finding out the sex of your baby? Expect the unexpected.
Answering that “Do you know what you’re having yet?” question with a “We’re not finding out” frequently prompts someone to share how they could never do that. They go on to explain how it’s because they are such a planner or have a type-A personality. Well, I’m here to tell you that even the planners can survive pregnancy without finding out. And it won’t drive you crazy — at least for the most part.
In my day-to-day life, I would consider myself to be a planner. Working off of a schedule and to-do list is certainly in my nature. So when my husband and I decided early on that we didn’t want to find out if we were having a boy or a girl, I picked my mindset. Once I did, I was able to take on the nine-month journey expecting the unexpected.
Gender reveals are off the table when you’re not finding out the gender of your baby.
Okay, so this is a no-brainer, but a gender reveal party is something that moms-to-be will not experience during their pregnancy. For those first 20 weeks or so, most women go through pregnancy, not knowing the gender of their child. However, at that big 20-week checkup, or following genetic testing results earlier on, that all changes.
Cue the gender reveal parties, social media posts, or private celebrations with your partner.
When my sonographer performed the 20-week anatomy scan, I explained to her that I did not want to know the gender of my child. Periodically during her check, she would say, okay, now this is where you want to look away. I’m a marketer and someone with absolutely no medical background. I hardly knew if I was looking at the head or the torso during those scans, but I obliged.
I’m going to be very honest. This is where it got a little bit harder to stick to my “expect the unexpected” mindset. Part of me wanted to peek and see if I could make a not-so-medical analysis of my own, but I held off. Since then, my curiosity to find out has died back down. But I certainly had a moment where I wanted to know so that I could share the exciting news with my friends and family and fuel my planner personality.
You’ve got to go gray, yellow, or green when you’re not finding out the gender of your baby.
This brings me to my next point — decorating the nursery and shopping for clothes. How does one not finding out do it? Simple.
As you would expect, my nursery will be mostly gray. However, I’m okay with this. I honestly would probably have planned it the exact same way if I did know the gender. This is my first baby, so neutral paint and furniture will allow me to use the nursery again for future children of either gender without changing anything.
And no, it won’t be boring or plain because, following the birth, I plan to purchase items that truly make it unique for my son or daughter. Trust me. I have been looking! I have a shopping cart full of both boy and girl decor on the websites of my favorite stores. I plan to do a little bit of online shopping in those early weeks following baby’s birth.
The same goes for clothing. Excessively shopping for cute baby clothes would be a weakness of mine. So this is when not knowing the gender has certainly come in handy. I can stick to what is essential and not go overboard! Following my showers, I plan to make a list of the basics that are still needed and go from there. After all, the clothing needs of a baby don’t change depending on gender. And there are a lot of adorable gender-neutral patterns and prints available.
But you’ve got the element of surprise!
So what has made me stay strong and committed to my “expect the unexpected” mindset? I’m going to chalk it up to the element of surprise.
What I didn’t tell you at the beginning of this article is that following the “We’re not finding out” statement, the other response that I receive is one fueled with the most genuine excitement. People will tell me how this is the experience that they had and that it was indeed the best surprise ever. They go on to explain how it is something unlike anything else. Others share that it makes labor and delivery seem slightly less miserable because you’re working to find out who that little miracle on the other end is.
While everyone’s experience is unique and special, it’s looking forward to this sweet, genuine surprise that has me waiting to find out and has put my planner mindset at ease.