Marc and I decided very early on, even before we found out we were expecting, that we wanted the gender to be a surprise. When we announced our pregnancy one of the most common questions, if not the most common, was ‘when do you get to find out the gender??’. We received our fair share of blank stares when we said we didn’t want to. I realized pretty quickly that not finding out the gender is definitely not the norm nowadays, and many people don’t quite understand why we would choose to limit ourselves. My own future in-laws made a comment about “taking the fun out of it” by not wanting to know the sex… but how will you pick a name? How will you know what clothes you need to buy? So you’re just not going to decorate a nursery? And my all time favorite remark: “So what am I supposed to get you for a gift?”
I actually had a coworker tell me he couldn't gift us anything since he didn't know the gender and it made me feel quite awkward… because I suppose it was sweet of him to think of us, but I really wasn’t expecting anything, yet it wasn’t nice he made me feel bad for not finding out the gender, so screw him… I think?
It can be difficult to plan for your first baby when you don’t find out the gender while living in a hyper-gendered society. Pink or Blue, Daddy’s Princess or Mama’s Boy, Trucks or Unicorns, and the list goes on (and on and on and on).
So why did we do it?
Because it made every single day of our pregnancy that much more exciting. We had sleepless nights just discussing name options, we got to pick out two names not just one! I would look over at the empty bassinet to the right of me and just imagine a tiny baby in there, I didn’t care if it was a boy or girl. We had no expectations, which is probably the biggest pro in not finding out the sex. Also, it was fun to watch people squirm when you said you weren’t finding out the gender. It’s like I said I was pregnant with a dog. Everyone has so many opinions and you get so much unwanted advice, it really is nice to have this one thing that no one can take from you.
Another lesser known pro? We totally spent less money while planning. Every outfit we bought we loooooved and would look totally adorable on a girl or boy, which means less money to be spent on the next pregnancy too! Our bouncy seat? Gender neutral. Crib? Gender neutral. All the adorable, cozy, cream colored baby knits? Gender neutral.
Even our going home outfit was gender neutral (though I did buy just one hair bow just incase we had a girl, which turned out to come in handy). I put some money to the side to use on clothes once the baby came and did know the gender, it was very easy to wait. And truthfully, if we had a boy, I wouldn’t of really needed anything ‘gendered’, I’ve never been one for dinosaurs and trucks. But I’m biased because baby girl florals are my favorite.
Lastly, that moment when they laid Florence on my chest and announced she was a girl was the happiest and most exciting moment of my entire life. We had a daughter. A daughter!
There’s no right way to do it. This was our path and we loved every second of it and are so excited to get to do it again.
If you are considering not finding out the gender, just make sure your choice is based on what you want to do and not at all what friends and family (and coworkers) want for you. Haters gonna hate.