To wait or Not To Wait??

My husband and I are not finding out the sex of baby #2.  We waited with our first child and felt that it made the experience exciting and special.

I am not going to try to convince anyone that you should wait…I think it is a personal decision and from what I’ve experienced, most females feel very strongly about it – one way or the other.

But I wanted to write this post to explain why we decided to wait – why it was the right decision – for us. 

Waiting to find out the sex of the baby was all I knew growing up.  I remember my 2 sisters and I having a contest to guess whether our youngest sibling was going to be a boy or girl, how long, how much he/she would weigh…Waiting to find out was fun and exciting. Not to mention that all the movies I had seen that had the birth of a baby showed the husband coming out of the L&D room yelling, “It’s a…” and the extended family screaming and yelling.  I never pictured my husband coming out of the room saying anything but that.

My mom’s side of the family believed that you didn’t celebrate or prepare anything for the baby until after the baby is born – that it was bad luck to have a nursery put together or clothes hanging in the closet.   Through the years, it’s adapted a bit – my older sister had a crib in her house but waited until after her daughter was born to put it together while my son’s crib was delivered and put together before he was born (but much to my mom’s relief, we didn’t actually put the mattress in the crib until he was born).  Additionally, in my mom’s family, females never had a shower.  Gifts and necessary items would be given/purchased after the baby was born.  This has also changed in recent years (my sister and I were both given showers) – but the need to have the baby’s room (“nursery”) all set up, painted, decorated, etc is a new concept to me.  Therefore, not knowing the sex of the baby really doesn’t change much in terms of preparation for me.

I am constantly asked how I am able to wait and not have anything prepared for my son/daughter’s arrival.  In my opinion, not much needs to be set up initially.  My son slept in our bedroom (in the co-sleeper) until he was 3 months old.  He napped in my arms, in the swing, in the vibrating chair, on the couch, in the co-sleeper, on our bed – basically everyplace except his crib!!  So we rarely used his room for the first few weeks after his birth. The changing table and dresser were used daily – but those were unisex.  My husband and I had a boy and girl option picked out for many things (we didn’t want the room to be unisex):  the name, bedding, color, and decorations in bedroom.   During the first few days at home with my son, I was able to order everything I needed to – newborn babies sleep for hours at a time and I find that I had more than enough free time to do what I needed to.  And within a few weeks, his room was a boy’s room!

Time for hospital (contractions were 2-3 min apart) - still no idea whether boy or girl!

Since I didn’t know the sex of my baby for my shower, whatever clothes (they were minimal) I did receive were unisex.  I had (and have) no problem with my son or daughter wearing whites, greens, and yellows in the first few weeks of his/her life – where am I going with my newborn baby anyway?  However, I will confess that my mom, dad, in-laws, sisters, and cousins arrived at the hospital hours after my son was born (or shipped a package immediately if they were on the other side of the US!) with a full wardrobe to get him through the first 3-6 months of his life.  So he had a blue outfit to wear home and to wear for every day after that for the next few months – if I chose to dress him in blue (or green).  It’s a tradition in my family – they happily provide the new baby with a beautiful wardrobe.  I’m blessed that my family lives so close – it definitely would have been a bit more difficult if I didn’t have them around to help with the clothes shopping!

But, despite all of that, the biggest reason I wanted to wait  was because I felt like this was the one thing in my life that I should not obsess about.  My husband jokingly tells me I am Type Z – that I am so much worse than Type A that I have gone backwards into the alphabet.  I analyze, obsess, plan, and organize to the 100th degree with EVERY aspect of my life.  I have lists, charts, schedules for everything. Literally.  But this was one of the few things in my life that I was happy to throw my hands up in the air and acknowledge that I would have no control.  It was actually very liberating to wait.

Moments after delivery & finding out we had a boy!


How do you feel?  Did you or do you plan to wait?  Or did you / are you going to find out the first chance you get??

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    39 thoughts on “To wait or Not To Wait??

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    3. We waited as well, even though our three best friends who were also preggers with us all found out … I knew though. I really, really knew. From the moment of conception I knew – and I was right. That didn’t make that moment any less exciting though – the whole OMG IT”S A GIRL?!?!? – there’s nothing like it. We were also *terrified* of finding out early and then gagging on a sea of pink or blue when we are such color-lovers :)
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    4. I don’t have kids yet but out plan is to wait. I like how you didn’t do much ahead of time. I am not really into that either! So glad you are standing up for what you believe in!
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    5. I LOVE your post! I chose not to wait and to find out. I love knowing that I am having a little girl. It makes me feel like I know her. But after reading this, I just might wait with the second one and try that too! I think my husband would like to wait as well. I wanted to get everything ready but as you have pointed out, there is really no big rush! This is helpful to new moms who ARE stressing about the planning and the preparation, as well as those who want to wait to find out the gender. Great post!
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    6. We found out with both our girls, but it is more because of my biggest fault. I have NOOOO patience whatsoever. I would have loved the surprise but the suspense would have killed me. I love how your relaxed outlook of preparing for baby reminds me so much of your running. It seems so easy even though it is so hard for people.
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    7. Love this and all the great comments. I have three boys and we found out with our first because my husband had to know (he wanted a boy so bad he said he had to prepare himself if it was a girl:)). But with my next two we waited and it was the best decision ever. There is nothing like giving birth and as the pain subsides after that last push hearing my husband say “it’s a boy!”.

    8. We waited with our son and we are waiting with this one too. I always thought I would want to know but after becoming pregnant it become a non-issue – either way we were just excited to have a baby! The funny thing is that it took about 5 minutes after he was born for us to even ask what the gender was :)
      My mom is an obstectrics nurse so this time we made sure the ultrasound tech didn’t give us any below the belly shots – that way she isn’t tempted to figure it out!
      It truly is one of the few real surprises in life!
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    9. im 19 weeks pregnant and we’re having our anatomy ultrasound in a week…we are going to find out what we’re having bc i cant take it anymore!! haha i just wanna know so bad! i definitely respect people who wait though…its such a personal decision no matter what you choose, it’s unbelievably special either way :)

      • Oh I agree, Amy – whatever decision is made by the parents is the right decision for them…I’ve heard of some awesome ways of finding out the sex…one of my gfs had her dr seal up the boy/girl news and she took it to her baker – the inside was going to be either pink or blue (you couldn’t tell from the white frosting outside) – And she had her whole family with her (parents, siblings, cousins)…When they cut the cake, it was pink – thought it was a sweet and fun way to share/learn the news together! Are you doing anything like that?

    10. I would have really liked to wait to find out but my husband really wanted to know so we did. Although that moment of “It’s a…” would have been special, the delivery of my daughter was no less climatic or exciting. My sister didn’t find out with her first and we all held our breath until the doctor proclaimed it was a boy. Both were special in a different way.
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    11. Its not something I feel strongly about, but I do like finding out:-) With our daughter we found out but kept name options a secret. We will do this same this time around. We will be finding out on April 30th:-) I like the added connection of being able to talk to the baby by name. But I can also understand the appeal of surprise. And its so great that you have such a supportive family with strong traditions. I think families with strong traditions are usually the most closely knit and supportive:-)
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      • I think keeping the name a secret is a great idea =) It’s definitely tempting to go either way – LOL =) So excited for you to find out – it’s so close! =)

    12. I like that–type Z! We found out on both occasions; just couldn’t wait! But I totally get why people would want to wait until you meet the little guy/gal. There are no right or wrong decisions when it comes to birthing a baby, just what’s right for the family involved.
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      • Oh gosh, Lisa, I agree with you – I try to stay calm and not get worked up too much when I’m expecting. Not finding out definitely helped with that!! =)

    13. HA! Type Z — that’s a good one!! I seriously think I’m right there with you — so so so TYPE A it’s not even funny. So Type Z it is. 😉

      But seriously, I never even thought of what it would be like for siblings to wait until the ‘big reveal’ — I’d only ever thought of it from the parents’ perspective. Probably because I’m a triplet so I never got to experience the “waiting game” for a new sibling before! I love the idea of waiting though, for that reason alone.

      For me — if we ever have kids, I think I’d choose to wait too. MOSTLY because I probably wouldn’t trust that the doctor was accurate enough in telling me if it was a girl or boy so I’d be afraid to paint the room too girly or whatever, until I knew for SURE that it was truly a girl. Haha, see? Type Z!!
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      • Hahaha. I love that you wouldn’t trust the doctor to get it right =) That is awesome…but so true b/c I’ve heard stories about parents having everything ready for a girl…and then whoopsie – it’s a boy! LOL.

    14. With our first son, we planned on waiting because we thought it would make it extra special and plus, how often to you get a true surprise. But, when we went into the ultrasound, as soon as they asked, “do you want to know what you’re having?” my husband and I looked at each other and said, “YES!!!” Zero willpower. I’m kind of glad that we did because I’m a planner and it put me at ease. We also found out with our 2nd more for logistical reasons – to keep or get rid of the baby stuff we had and also to help prepare our son for the arrival of a little brother.
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      • Christine – that’s so funny b/c that’s what I thought would happen with my son each time we went in…a few times my hubby and I would look at each other and it was hard to say “No” when they asked! LOL. My cousin waited for her first but then for logistical reasons (like you) found out for the 2nd! =) Totally makes sense to me!

    15. We wanted to find out and we were happy we did, but we got A LOT of comments from people telling us we were wrong to do so. I know everyone has their own opinions but I wish there wasn’t the constant need to push them on other people. I completely respect your decision to wait and wish that others had respected our decision to find out.

      And on a happy note…gah!! I am so excited for you :-)
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      • That’s awful that people were not respecting your decision. Having it ingrained in me that you wait 9 months made it difficult, at first, for me to understand others’ reasoning for wanting to find out. But after some discussions with my gfs, I have come to respect and understand that it IS a personal decision and that no one should try to strong arm the expecting couple into finding out or not finding out. Each couple does what is right for them and their baby! =)
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    16. I could not stand to wait for either child. I was waiting to do a pink, girly room with dresses and bows. I had everything ready for my kids 2 months before they were born. I even washed most of the clothes a month early. BUT, that said, to each his own. I commend you for waiting. 😉 Good luck and god bless. Either way I wish for you a beautiful healthy baby.
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    17. My husband I I did the same thing! :-) We loved waiting to hear what the gender was both times. We don’t have many true surprises in life, so we wanted to make sure this was a guaranteed one. We had a girl the first time around and a boy the 2nd time. We did not have to worry about clothes either…as soon as our family and friends found out the gender–they all bought at least one gender specific outfit! We had so many people angry at us for not knowing the sex ahead of time too…I was not expecting that. It’s not their concern–mind your business! 😉 Great post !

    18. My husband and I aren’t finding out the sex of our baby either – only 3 months to go! I’ve always wanted him to be the one to tell our families and friends “we have a son!” or “we have a daughter!” – there’s so much of pregnancy that focuses on the mother I feel like it will be something special for him.

    19. I can’t imagine NOT finding out (if I ever had kids), but I love your reasoning for waiting. I’ve never heard of the traditions you mentioned — not decorating your room or buying the gifts until after the baby is born — but it actually makes the waiting make more sense to me. I love learning about different family’s traditions, it’s so cool how different people celebrate special occasions like this! :)
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    20. I am also totally impressed with anyone who can and wants to wait.

      I am finding myself a bit less stressed and controlling about everything the second time around. The first time, it would have have given me much more anxiety to not know. Picking a name was really hard, and would have been doubly hard if I would have had to have both genders picked out. The biggest reason that I wanted to know is that I just hate surprises, universally. I think half the fun of any event is in the planning, the preparation, the anticipation, and for me surprises take away from that a bit. I will be finding out this time around also (in about 10 days) – and can’t wait to know, so I can start planning, names, etc!

    21. Of course, these are my sentiments exactly, Michele!!! I have yet to hear a reason to find out the gender prior to birth that convinces me to feel differently. I truly enjoy the excitement and anticipation of NOT knowing until the baby makes its arrival. Knowing the sex beforehand, in some ways, makes the birth a bit “anti-climatic”. Waiting in the hospital or at home for that phone call, adds to the thrill when the first thing that’s said or asked is “It’s a girl/boy!” or “Well, what is it?” There is definitely some excitement lost when you know before-hand. However, I do understand that we are living in a culture where information is so readily and easily accessible, and often we want to “know” immediately. The temptation is there to find out gender, and for some, it’s too much to resist! However, I am a product of my generation on some issues, and this is definitely one of them! So, I look forward to Grandchild #3 in late September….for now, referred to lovingly as “Pumpkin” by Mommy and Daddy…and in the meantime, our family will happily speculate and conjecture as to whether AJ will welcome a baby brother or sister….

    22. I wanted to wait and my husband absolutely could not. We considered one knowing and one not, but he is a terrible secret keeper and I know would slip. But, as much as a big part of me wanted that surprise, the control freak in me needed to know. Thank God I did find out because my nesting phase was to the extreme. I cleaned incessantly, including my garage where my husband once found me one hot July afternoon, lifting and moving heavy items onto shelves or to be thrown out. He immediately banished me and my response during moments like this (there were many in my case) was “I’m newting!!” I needed everything in its place….clothes washed, take home outfit packed….2 months before he was born. My niece was 6 weeks early and I had a fear of going into labor without being prepared. So, I totally agree, it’s a decision that really should be based on your personality. If you are slightly OCD like me, finding out may be good for you. If you are more relaxed, then you can probably handle waiting. When it’s time for number 2 I will probably find out again. IF, and this is a big IF because I really doubt I will go for a third child, then I can probably handle waiting. Maybe….haha

    23. Absolutely commend you on this! Always impressed with couples who can wait and like hearing why it is they want to wait. Just not sure I have the ability to go so long without knowing!! But I’m not in that stage of life yet so I guess I’ll have to see what the fiancé wants when we are married and starting a fam. Great post, Michele!

    24. I have absolutely no patience whatsoever so I had to find out. It wasn’t about planning the room or getting the clothes, it was just about me and my lack of patience. Lol.
      That has to be the best surprise ever, though. Giving birth is already so emotional – I can’t imagine what it would be like not knowing the sex of the baby, too!

    25. Thanks, Krissy!!! To be honest, I am too…It’s always one of the first things I do when I go into the doctor’s office…I remind them that we aren’t finding out! And they were really great about not focusing at all on “that area” during the checkups =) So I never had any pictures or anything that showed something I didn’t want to see yet =) LOL