Not a fan of surprises..
So, should you find out the gender of your baby? Well, firstly it’s important to do what is right for you. I had to spend a long time thinking about it as I am not a huge fan of surprises and like to know what’s what at all times. I organise everything for my family, from holidays to parties I take over early on as I like to know that everything has been taken care of and this means I don’t become that annoying person who asks about the plans every 5 minutes. I don’t like not being in control and if I organise something and it goes wrong, then I only have myself to blame. This is part of the reason I chose the name The Swan Effect Mum for this blog as on the surface I try to look like the mum who is gliding through life with not a care in the world, but if you looked under the water you would find me paddling frantically away trying to get all the jobs on my every expanding list done.
Why I decided to find out the gender of my children
I am in awe of all parents who decide not to find out the gender of their babies. That takes a high level of constraint that I will, unfortunately never have.
I always thought I’d want to wait til the birth to find out if I had been blessed with a girl or boy but the thought of not knowing was too much for me. I decided to ask my partner if he’d like to know and he didn’t mind either way as long as the baby was healthy, so we agreed we’d find out at the 20 week scan.
There were so many reasons other than my impatience; Firstly, my partner already has two daughters from his previous marriage and I wanted to know if a son was on the cards early on, not that he would have minded and kept joking that he wouldn’t know what to do with a boy as he was used to girls by then ha! Secondly, I didn’t want to have the same conversation over and over. The same “Oh, do you think it’ll be a boy or a girl?”, “You’re all front, I definietly think it’s a girl” etc etc. To me, it didn’t matter what the sex of my baby was, as long as he or she was healthy that’s all that mattered.
Thirdly, we had been told numerous times from family and friends that they had baby items, equipment and clothes dependant on if we had a girl or boy. As I am someone who likes to save money where I can, it made perfect sense to find out the gender so that I could kindly accept the generous offers put to us and then make a list of all the items we needed to buy before our baby arrived. Once we knew we were having a girl I was inundated with toys, blankets, baby bits and bobs and clothes. I’ve saved so much money in the last two and a half years by accepting gifts, donations, finding items on Facebook Marketplace and looking for offers. I wrote about this in more detail in my ‘being a mum on a budget’ blog early last year if you’re looking for any tips.
Another factor that helped me make my decision was that I found the first trimester tough! The anxiety of knowing there is a little human growing inside of you, who you can not yet feel, the stress of having to keep it a secret for a whole 8 weeks and then the worry of miscarriage, I swear I can’t be the only one who always checked their tissue when visiting the loo? It was so mentally exhausting! This made me want to know who I was carrying, start that bond and give him/her a personality and maybe even a name before he/she was born. I’m glad I did as it really did help me picture my daughter in my mind for the next 20 weeks.
What others thought..
I thought I’d ask my friends over on The Swan Effect Mum Instagram account what they did when they were pregnant and I was happily surprised to see a good mix in the answers I received. I thought I’d dig some more and asked them their reasons behind their decisions. Here are a few of the responses I got back:
Those who decided to wait
“You don’t get many surprises as you get older so this had to be one!”
“I thought it would be magical finding out after birth and it really was”
“The first time I didn’t want to find out as I thought it would be a magical surprise after labour”
“To keep it a surprise”
I loved the guessing, the wondering. It felt, for us, like the best kind of surprise”
Those who found out at their 20 week scan
“Because I have to be organised, especially with the twins”
“Not a fan of surprises and I wanted to know so I could bond with her before she came”
“Just had a funny feeling it was a girl and wanted to know if I was right”
“I wanted to bond with my babies and think of them as a person and name them”
“Because I’m inpatient!
“More prepared as we were due week before Christmas”
“I couldn’t wait!”
“I like being prepared”
“Because it added to bonding difficulties not knowing the first time”
The popularity of Baby Reveal parties
The first recorded baby reveal party announcement was in 2008 when Jenna Myers Karvundis was pregnant and wanted to have a party and thought that having a baby reveal get together with family and friends would be a great idea. So Jenna, during her 20 week scan asked her midwife to seal a note contiaining the gender in an envelope and then baked two cakes, one pink and one blue. This is the day that the popularity of the gender reveal parties was born. It’s funny, but I was reading an article in The Guardian where Jenna had been interviewed and has since explained that she has mixed emotions about starting this phenomenon as it concentrates on the gender and not the actual baby. If you have a chance you should read it, it’s so interesting to hear how some people can regret their decisions.
I myself, decided not to do a baby reveal as it’s just not something Phill and I would do. But I did have baby showers. When I had my first baby shower so many family and friends kept telling me that there was no such thing back in their day and they are right, it’s a very new trend that has become more and more popular in the last few years. I was in two minds whether to have a baby shower for my second daughter as it was during the summer of 2020 and the pandemic meant that many venue were closed and there were still many social restrictions in place. But after speaking to my partner, I decided to throw a backyard baby shower so that we could all keep social distant but still get together to celebrate the new addition to my family. It was amazing to see my family and friends after so long!! I would definitely recommend this if you find yourself in the same situation this year, my friend has just thrown her sister in law a virtual baby shower with great success (how 2021 hey?)
So, should you find out the gender of your baby?
So, should you find out the gender of your baby? I think there is no right or wrong way. It’s all about personal choice for you and your family. Don’t be shamed for wanting to know (which I had experienced quite a bit the first time round) and don’t be shamed for waiting either. As you can see from the responses above, these ladies all did what they wanted to do and at the end of the day that is what is most important.
Girl or Boy, you’re going to love that little human more than life itself. You think you know love before babies, but seeing that little face for the first time will blow your mind!! Seriously, It’s addictive!! So much so I went through it all again 2 years later ha!
I was blessed with two beautiful girls. Would I have liked to have given Phill a son? Hell yeah!! But does he love all 4 of his daughters with equal amount? Hell yeah again!!
Anyway… I heard boys wee and fart everywhere from other mum friends and quite frankly I’m not sure I would have liked that! I’ve been a girl, I know how girls think, I can be the one to explain all the girly milestones that they will be facing over the years and I also know what an absolute nightmare the teenage years will be (please God, don’t let them be anything like me at that age *crossed fingers*).
Thanks again for reading guys. Please comment below and let me know if you found out the sex of your baby or not and your reasons behind your decision.
Did you do a baby reveal party? If so, how? Balloon? Cake? Fireworks?
I’m always so interested in the different views on the subject.
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