Pregnancy Question

After much debate, I think we’re going to…

…wait to find out the sex of the new baby.

When I was pregnant with Toby, everything was hard to wrap our heads around, so we wanted to find out the gender to make it feel more real. And it worked: Once we found out that we were expecting a baby boy, we could easily envision holding him in our arms and reading him stories and dressing him in engineer overalls. Plus, we could choose boyish nursery decor and clothes and toys before he arrived.

But with this second pregnancy, everything already feels very real, and it’s easy to imagine holding a wriggly baby in our arms. And how amazing to have that crazy surprise at the end of a long labor, when the doctor or your partner calls out “It’s a ____!” It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it! Since this will (most likely) be our last baby, I’d love to see what that moment would feel like.

(The only catch is, I might not have the willpower to wait! At our next doctor’s appointment in two weeks, she’ll be able to see the gender, and I cannot imagine telling her to stay mum.)

What would (or did) you do? If you found out, were you glad you did? If you waited, was that climactic moment amazing? I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts.

P.S. Would you have a gender reveal party? Plus, talking to girls and having a boy.

(Top photo when Toby was a mere ten days old)

  1. Rena says...

    I absolutely did find out the gender both times! I am European and we want to know the gender as early as possible. I really don’t get it about what surprise is everyone in North America talking about – it is a surprise revealed even if you find out early. We are living in 21st century not during the medieval times! :)

  2. Julie says...

    As a non-replicating human, I would like to say that “Yes!!! I want to know “””who” I am creating””,but really, who am “i” to second guess the big G, when it comes to a new life?”

  3. My thought on this is that you can prepare better if you know. The argument is always “I want it to be a surprise”. Well it’s gonna be as much of a surprise at 20 weeks as it will be at the end. If you want to wait that’s fine but stop using that excuse.

  4. My husband and I decided at the last minuet to find out. We got to the ultrasound and just couldn’t wait. We didn’t want anyone else to know just yet so we kept it a secret from everyone for a long time. It was fun to share that secret with my husband. We ended up not having a gender reveal party like we wanted but it was still fun to call everyone up and have them guess. We waited until the very end of the pregnancy and spilled the beans right before he was born. :D

  5. We waited with our first and we’re waiting again with our second (I’m almost seven months along). I wouldn’t have it any other way. With our first, the moment of reveal was one I will never forget. The doctor showed our baby to us behind first and my husbands exact words were, “And we have aaaa… VAGINA!” Classy. And priceless. Plus, I was way off in my predictions. I thought for sure it was going to be a boy so it was such a surprise! We would’ve been elated either way but it was well worth the wait. Plus, there’s so much gender-neutral stuff out there… it makes it pretty easy unless you have your heart set on a baby-blue or Pepto-Bismal-pink room.

  6. Hi, Jo!

    I had my first child on Nov 21st, 2012, and we didn’t want to know the sex of our baby, so we actually found out the moment he was born. I must say it was difficult at times -especially when deciding on decor for the baby’s room etc-, but we managed to wait until the end, and it was a magical moment. While the baby was coming out, the doctor said: “It has a girl’s face… Ooopsss! Wait! It’s a boy!” We were super excited and, if we have another baby, I think we’ll do exactly the same.
    Love from Córdoba, Argentina.

  7. WAIT!! It’s the best surprise in the whole world. What other surprise in our life will be as wonderful! And like you said, you already can imagine a little baby with you. We didn’t find out with our son (17 months) and I’m due in June and are not finding out again. It would feel like I ruined something by knowing. This coming from a surprise LOVER…..if my Xmas presents were under the bed, I would not even peek…I hate spoiled surprises. Really wait……then you can know which way was better!

  8. I’m 38 weeks along now, and we never even had to discuss it- we both knew from the beginning that we wanted to wait to find out the sex. Maybe it’s because we’re old-school, but it’s been so wonderful to have this excitement and “unknowingness” growing along with my bump, and with each passing day.
    Science allows us to know and see SO much, and it’s a wonderful relief to be able to know that our baby is healthy and developing properly- and we love looking at the ultrasounds and 3D pictures of our little one. But there is so much magic in making a human life, I wanted to hold onto that mystery and wonder for as long as I could.
    Plus, I am a little bit of a control freak, and being pregnant has been an important life lesson in relinquishing control sometimes and letting life just BE. Keeping the mystery alive has allowed me to release some of my neurotic tendencies, and embrace the experience in a different way. There are plenty of adorable gender-neutral clothes and decor options, and I’m not stuck with all the super-frilly girlie things or the sporty boyish cliched outfits that you always end up getting from well-intended friends and family (see? there’s that control freak in me).

    Not to mention, it gives me the best “out” when people try to ask about baby names! Easy- we don’t know yet!!!

  9. I know I am absolutely late on this, but I thought I would share. My husband and I had our first child last April and we decided not to find out the gender. Being totally Type A, I thought it would be THE HARDEST THING EVER but it really wasn’t. In fact, it was really liberating. We picked out a boy name and a girl name. I didn’t feel obligated to go with a gender specific nursery (which I wasn’t wanting anyway, but I felt like if I knew the gender I would feel obligated). People thought we were nuts, but hearing the doctor say “It’s a…” and hearing that little cry was the best.

  10. I am currently pregnant with number 5! My first 2 were a surprise, I found out with the next 2. All 4 are boys! So now, I don’t know what to do! I want to say we are going to be surprised…but I not sure I can wait that long to find out!

  11. With my first pregnancy we found out.. it was so new and so much uncertainty knowing gave us some control over the situation. When we expect another we may or may not.. not sure.

  12. We found out this time – my husband REALLY wanted to know and I preferred a surprise, but figured I make more pregnancy decisions by default so I let him call the shots. And boy was it obvious at the ultrasound! I don’t know how we could’ve kept ourselves in the dark.

  13. We waited with our first and are waiting with our second, due this August, as well. It is the most fantastic thing to hear, “It’s a… BOY!! (in our case). If you can make it through this next appointment without being tempted to find out, it will be well worth the wait! Best of luck. :)

  14. One of my best friends is a midwife, who once pointed out to me that finding out at your 20-week scan (which is when we can find out in the UK) is no less a ‘surprise’ than finding out on the day you give birth – whichever day you choose, it’s still a monumental surprise, because either way you can’t possibly know what’s coming.

    I have a 4.5 year old son and an eight month old baby boy – we didn’t find out with the first, but did with the second because our older boy was three when I got pregnant and had an understanding of what was going on. We felt it would be nice for him to be able to ‘bond’ with his little brother or sister before he or she arrived, to be able to talk about him or her and get used to the idea. I was SO sick for the first 20 weeks of my second pregnancy, that I kind of assumed it was a girl. So I got a real shock at the scan when they said ‘boy’ and I admit that for one tiny moment, I felt a little sense of ‘I’m never going to have a daughter’ as we’re definitely only having two. But I’m so glad I felt that at the scan and not at the birth. The birth of my first son was an incredibly traumatic experience for which I had to have counselling (therapy). And in contrast, the labour and birth of the second was extremely magical – it sort of repaired the emotional and psychological damage and fear I was left with from the first. I wouldn’t have wanted any tiny sense of disappointment – however momentary – to take away from that magical feeling and sense of immense achievement.

    I am one of three girls and never even imagined I would have a boy, let alone two! But man is it GREAT! Congratulations on your second pregnancy. It’s a total roller-coaster and INSANE most of the time, but when you see them falling in love with each other, your heart will want to POP!

  15. If you care about the gender, then find out! IF you really don’t care, then wait. That is so personal :) If you decide to find out, then once you find out you will have time to envision and dream of your new family the way it is going to be, not the way you were wishing. Such a lovely process. Because, in the end, it is your child and you will be so happy and completely in love no matter the gender. <3

  16. We found out with our first, and I thought it was even more important to find out with our second. This way we could involve my son more — he is already planning all the things he can do with his younger brother, and he can relate better to his friends who have younger brother. From a practical point of view, I also wanted to know whether I had to take all those baby blue pijamas to the consignment store :)

  17. KH says...

    We are expecting our third baby in March and we haven’t found out ahead of time with any of them! We request that my husband be the one to tell me the sex of the baby rather than the doctor, and it makes for such an intense, incredible moment for the two of us (not that it wouldn’t be that way if you already knew what you were having, but for us it was just the icing on the cake).

    I also had two somewhat scary birth experiences and I found it incredibly distracting (in a good way) to focus on “soon I’ll know if we have a daughter or a son” when things were getting a little unnerving. This baby’s birth will be a planned c-section, so it adds an element of “surprise” to this experience, too.

    As far as logistics are concerned, we just bought all gender-neutral baby gear/clothes beforehand and were gifted with plenty of gender-specific clothes after our children’s births.

    Congrats to you!

  18. i wasn’t sure i wanted to find out the gender of our baby boy even though my husband did. when we were at the ultrasound appointment, before we could even talk gender, she had the ultrasound wand on the x marks the spot. she didn’t say anything, but it was UNmistakable. two little legs, and a very obvious twig and berries in between. i yelled out, ‘it’s a boy!!’ no surprise for me :)

    – caroline @thecopperavocado

  19. We are actually doing the reverse :), our daughter (and our first) was a surprise! And with this second baby we are throwing a ‘gender reveal’ party. We are due just about the same time you are.

    Morgan @

  20. We waited to find out with my daughter and I’m glad we did. My husband wasn’t too keen on waiting but in the end he loved it. Everyone, even strangers, would ask if i was having a boy…so we had in our heads we were having aboy. When I heard the shock in my husbands voice say “its a…girl?!” is something I will always cherish and a feeling that cannot be replicated outside of that climactic moment.

    I’m the opposite of others I guess and find that waiting to find out with the first makes the most sense. There are so many unknowns as first time parents, and neither of us had strong preferences of the gender that it wasn’t a big deal not knowing. It is really exciting having that moment of surprise in the delivery room. With #2 I don’t know if we will do it again because as others said, I may want my daughter to be able to know if its a brother or sister.

    I don’t know about others, I think a previous poster mentioned it, but I think the downside is I think I would have felt a stronger bond while pregnant had I known what we were having. But I was really nervous about parenthood most of my pregnancy, so it may have been just been me.

    While I certainly understand you waiting, I always like knowing what other people are having! So for selfish reasons I’d like you to find out!

  21. We are having our first in April, and we are waiting to find out! It’s true it’s the on e real surprise in life. At our 20 week Ultrasound the tech gave us printed images that didn’t reveal the gender. She also have us two, taped together, that do reveal the gender. We have them with the others but we are not tempted. We are saving them for our baby book ;)

  22. We waited to find out the sex of our baby.

    It was the most incredible experience of my life. After pushing and meditating for three hours, I felt that blessed ring of fire, and then everything spilled out….and there was crying. Sweet gentle soft crying, as he was coming out! My doctor was so soft spoken, “Nicole, reach down and get your baby.” I almost was paralyzed because I was in disbelief. She said it again to both of us, and my beautiful husband and I reached down together and brought this absolutely new, perfect, creation with a little red blood on him, to my chest. In this moment of pure bliss we almost forgot, but my husband turned the little one over and told me, “It’s a boy.” A BOY!!!!! Ahh, it was incredible.

  23. I just has my first baby last Friday and my husband and I knew from the beginning we wanted to wait to find out the gender. I wanted that “It’s a ….” moment once he/she was born. We had a beautiful little girl and we are so happy (although we would have been either way).

  24. I am currently 35 weeks pregnant and do not know the gender of baby on the way. My husband REALLY wanted to know – but i always wanted to surprise. Now that my date is coming nearer and nearer I must say that i am so STINKIN’ excited to find out boy/girl – it is really keeping me focused on the good/exciting part to labor rather than all of the scary bits. (This is my first!)

    Good luck with your decision! My advice – if you aren’t QUITE sure if you want to know – don’t find out in 2 weeks…. you can always find out at a later appointment! :)

  25. Just posted about this on my blog:

    We are at 29.5 weeks and still going strong on “Team Green”, as they call it. I wish there were options for cuter “neutral” stuff out there (besides the usual ducks), but I am shopping for stuff in white, ivory, grey. Either way, I don’t want any princess gear or toy truck stuff… yet (Good luck, I know, after the baby is born)! Congrats to you and Alex and Toby!

  26. as my brother-in-law said: it’s a surprise no matter when you find out-whether before or after the birth.
    we loved knowing for both pregnancies what (who!) we were expecting. for the first we didn’t tell anyone, so it was still our secret, but for the second we did.

  27. I am due in a few weeks and we are waiting. I think next time I might found out just so I know which things to save and which things to maybe get rid of, but I am excited for the surprise with this one and am enjoying everyone’s theories and guesses.

  28. I found out the genders with my first pregnancy because I was having twins and that was surprise enough! I did not find out what i was having with baby #3. It was really fun not knowing, but I’ll admit it was easy not knowing because i already had a girl and a boy. I’m pregnant with #4 now and not finding out this time either.
    Personally, I think gender reveal parties are a little too “look at me!!” I think announcing tout pregnancy and baby’s birth, with a baby shower in between, is plenty. Maybe a family only gender reveal would be ok. But the over-the-top invite everyone parties are too narcissistic for me.

  29. We didn’t find out for our first and the surprise was nice but I felt like I didn’t get to bond with my baby boy while he was in my belly still. I think it’s because you can’t refer to them by name and I had a hard time planning a nursery. Now I’m pregnant with my second and we found out by having the ultrasound tech write it in an envelope and doing a small gender reveal with family over Christmas. I think finding out with them at that moment was just as exciting as when I delivered. Plus I get to design a gender specific nursery :) You can’t go wrong either way and congratulations on your second pregnancy.

  30. In most health authority areas in the UK they refuse to tell you. We have a (free) national health service – if you want to know you have to pay to see a private doctor to find out.

  31. I’m not a waiter anyway (There are plenty of surprises around birth) but with number 2 in particular I wanted to find out so we could prepare our older child. I actually struggled a bit when I found out I was having a boy (I was so in love with my daughter) that I’m glad I found out then — once the baby was born, I could fall totally, completely in love with him and I had a bunch of darling baby boy clothes waiting.

  32. I thought for SURE I would wait to find out the gender. So when we got pregnant in June, I convinced my husband to wait to find out. Then, around 4 months, it was keeping me up at night!! So we decided to compromise with a gender reveal party. We brought the sealed envelope to the baker and had them do cupcakes that were stuffed with the appropriate color frosting. We bit into the cupcakes with our guests and found out the gender with everyone. (Not peaking at the envelope for WEEKS was the hard part!!) It was actually SO fun prepping and sending out invitations and all of that. The anticipation was wonderful. If we’re blessed with another child, I WILL wait until their birth. ((Because some days, I secretly wish I had!))
    Here’s a glimpse at our party:

  33. We just had our first baby and didn’t find out, and I have to say, it was the best experience ever! My husband felt strongly that he didn’t want to know, and I hadn’t thought enough about it to say one way or the other. So, we went with the surprise. I’m so happy we did! Think about it: how many true, real surprises of this caliber are left in life? You just can’t beat that moment. :)

    And the moment lived up to the hype. I loved wondering every day who this little baby was going to be — a girl or a boy today? It was so much fun. I was pleasantly surprised at how it kept us from attaching too many gender-related expectations of him or her. Instead, we were just focused on this baby, not who he or she will become or do in life, and it made me feel so in touch with the experience of just being pregnant….without assuming too many things about him or her. I also secretly got a kick out of how it drove everyone crazy that we didn’t want to know. :)

    Our baby was a boy and we couldn’t be more in love. Enjoy your second pregnancy!!!

  34. With our first baby I wanted to find out for the same reason as you, but my husband very adamently did not! So during the ultrasound, he left the room for a minute while I learned the sex!How I managed to keep that secret was a small miracle. It worked out well because we each got what we really wanted at the time. However, my husband did mention that he wouldn’t have minded finding out. He was actually quite surprised by how much he didn’t even care at the delivery! Once the baby was born, we were so enthralled by him that at least 20 minutes passed before he even thought to check! For our next little one, i would love to be able to wait, but i know in my heart that i just won’t be able to. I think that without a solid reason to wait, I just won’t be able to do it, and I haven’t yet heard a reason that makes me think: yes! that sounds amazing! i will totally wait!! The surprise at the ultrasound at 20 weeks was still amazing and surprising and real and exciting and all of those wonderful things!

  35. found out for my first two which of course was nice. loved to shop and prepare but our third babys gender was a surprise and the most exciting thing i have ever done in my life. i can still play that moment in my head in slow motion like it was a movie i was watching. there are few surprises in life anymore and it was wonderful. also i saved a shit ton of money from not shopping :)

  36. Congratulations!! So exciting!
    I’m due next month with #2 and were surprised with #1 but I’m finding it WAY harder to not know this time around! In fact I had a u/s yesterday and I pretty much tried to talk myself and husband into just finding out and I’m SO glad we didn’t. As I keep telling people (or continuing to convince myself), the not knowing makes the whole labor part really worthwhile….or so I like to believe. There are few really wonderful surprises left in this crazy world and I rank the surprise of finding out the sex of your babe when he/she enters the world at the top. Whatever you decide will be exciting….but my vote is to enjoy the suspense for the rest of this journey!

  37. I am a very superstitious person and had always said I was not going to find out the gender when I had children. That said, I found out almost two and a half years ago that I was pregnant with twins. Although people thought I was crazy, I stuck with my gut instinct and didn’t find out the genders! Because of constantly being monitored, I was at the doctor and having ultrasounds more regularly than a singleton so I can’t say I was any ultrasound tech’s favorite patient. However, the delivery was so exciting and moving, especially when we found out we had a girl and a boy. I would absolutely wait the next time as well.

  38. Joanna, we waited on both of our boys and I wouldn’t have done it any other way. You are right – that moment of ‘it’s a’ is so very very special. And it was so fun during the pregnancies to deliberate over both boy and girl names. For me, it felt just a little more special when we had the baby since everyone was on pins and needles to find out what it was going to be! It’s really hard to wait, but I think it was absolutely worth the wait.

  39. I am currently pregnant with my first child. We are not finding out the sex ahead of time because I adore surprises. I know it will be a surprise if we find out now orr later. But I have always dreamed of finding out if it’s a girl or a boy just as I have holding my child for the first time at the birth. Sounds like a magical moment and I can’t wait! Sidenote: my husband had always said he would probably want to know ahead of time but now that we are actually expecting he wants to be surprised as well.

  40. can you tell me where the rug in the top pic comes from? you’re the cutest!

  41. We waited both times (two daughters) and the delivery room announcements were the two most thrilling moments of my life, truly. So I always say wait. You can do it!

  42. I wanted a boy so bad, I did not want to find out. When the doctor said, “it’s a boy!”, my husband said I let out the sweetest noise he’s ever heard. I think it also keeps people interested! I hope you wait it out!

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  44. We were only going to do it once, so we waited for the surprise. I still knew in my heart that I would have a boy; I’m such a tomboy that I had no idea what I’d do with a girl.

    Then I heard those marvelous words, “IT’S A GIRL!” and I’ve never looked back. It was worth the wait.

  45. Toby is so teeny in that picture! What a doll. Does he like looking at pictures of himself as a little baby?

  46. We waited and I wouldn’t have it any other way. For me, finding out first would have been like opening gifts before Christmas! I am so glad we did. It’s the best surprise ever.

  47. Joanna,
    Just to say, I have 2 boys (didn’t know the gender, best moments of my life when I found out at their birth), but I bristled at the comment of “having a third to go for your girl”. I always wanted a girl, but now with my two boys I couldn’t be happier, and always kinda roll my eyes when folks ask me about a daughter.

    I’m the one who wrote you about the “reveal” I saw at Cafe Cluny, and although it was delightful, waiting to know is a thrill like no other. Congrats to you!!!

  48. we waited to find out with both our girls and those moments when we found out are 2 of the most special memorable moments in my entire life…..

  49. No, I didn’t find out … I like the big surprise at the end of 9 months…love it when kids I know nowadays are opting not to find out the gender, I’m seeing it more often than not in my circle lately…

  50. Wait! Not only is it SO fun for the couple, but it’s also incredibly exciting for friends and family. Everyone will want to know immediately what you had and it creates this great joy around the whole event. Plus, after 33 hours of labor it was so memorable to hear the doctor say “It’s a…” and I looked down and screamed out “girl!”.

  51. We’re expecting our second baby in April and found out it was a boy when we had our CVS test. We just thought it would be easier to prepare if we knew. We don’t mind telling people it’s a boy (like we did the first time) but we are not telling anyone the name. It’s also nice to be able to tell our son that he’s going to have a brother!!

  52. We waited with both of our children and it was the BEST surprise ever! It was awesome to get that announcement as the baby was born. And it drove everyone else in our family crazy, which was just fun!

  53. I didn’t find out the gender of my baby. The OB handed her to me right as she was born, and so I got to be the first one to check and see what gender the baby was. It was really gratifying to be the one to do it!

  54. I have always wanted to find out in advance but when I told my MIL that my cousin was having a “surprise” she said that was a stupid idea because friends and family need to know whether to buy pink or blue gifts. At that moment I changed my mind. I realized that I didn’t want to have a gender role forced upon my unborn baby by my in-laws. They are infants and should be allowed to have their personalities shine through independently of their gender.

    Also, I very much dislike pink.

  55. i will never forget the moment the midwife screamed :”It’s a girl!” Bianca (this is her name) is the our first child and founding if was boy or a girl, and her face, was the most emotional moment in my life! And it was so funny listen everyone prediction:”your belly is large and low, it’s a girl! No, you are so slim, it’s absolutely a boy”!!

  56. We’re expecting our first baby in June and we’re going to find out in 6 days! I think you had the same feelings with Toby as we’re having now…it’s all a little surreal!

  57. i will never forget the moment the midwife screamed “it’s a girl!”. we made the choise to not know about sex, even bianca (because this is her name) was the first child! And was so funny during pregnancy listen to everybody make a prediction about the gender (you know…”your belly is large and low, it’s a girl! no, you are so slim, it’s a boy!”). and when she was born… the most magic moment ever!!! Elena