Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Sex Factor - Why I'm on Team Green

Back in June, when I was pregnant for the first time, I told Brian I didn't want to find out the sex of the baby until it was born. It wasn't something I was on the fence about. I was positively 100% sure I did not want to know the sex. Just like a lot of little girls fantasize about their weddings when they're little, I skipped that part and fantasized about being a mom. Picking out baby names, singing to my growing belly that was actually a stuffed animal under my shirt, and finally bringing that baby home where I could wrap it up in a blanket, give it a bottle and rock it to sleep. Never in these fantasies did I find out the sex of my baby in a dark ultrasound room at my 20 week appointment. Maybe I'm being old-fashioned but this is my first baby and I want that special moment in the delivery room.

Of course Brian disagreed with me the same way he disagrees with me about everything but this was a battle I chose. No matter how much he argued I didn't budge.

These days hardly anyone waits to find out the sex. They find out around 20 weeks and by this time they usually have a name picked out so the baby is named before they even leave the dr's office. They then call their families and closest friends to announce the news. After that it goes up on Facebook so that every person they've ever known in their entire lives now knows the good news as well. And that's it. A baby is born.

The mother, meanwhile, is still pregnant for another 4 or 5 months! The family goes on for the second half of the pregnancy referring to the baby by name, getting the baby's name embroidered on bibs and blankets, buying block letters to spell out the baby's name on the nursery wall and I'm sure this is all tons of fun...but by the time the baby is born it's old news. The parents just experienced one of the biggest events of their lives and nobody gives a shit because as far as they're concerned, that baby was born 5 months ago. The parents come home from the hospital and it's kind of anticlimactic. Their lives have changed forever. There's supposed to be a celebration but there's nothing but a crying baby. There's no banners or balloons, no phone calls, and really no visitors except maybe the grandparents. Nobody even pays attention to the first photos anymore because they saw the 4D pics months ago. It's Postpartum Depression just waiting to happen if you ask me.

I'm not trying to be an attention whore or anything, but I think having a baby, especially a first baby, is a HUGE deal! Being pregnant is exciting and all, but that's just foreplay. Having that baby, that's the main event and I want all of the celebrating (mine AND everyone elses) to be done then, not now.

Explaining this to Brian didn't get me anywhere. He said I was being melodramatic as usual and that finding out the sex is just as exciting at 20 weeks as it is at 40 and imagine how hard it's going to be to prepare for a baby when all you can buy are things in green and yellow. So I decided to make a pros and cons list and I thought I'd share it with all of you so you will understand why I made this decision as well.


  • The last few weeks of pregnancy and the labor itself are pretty rough (from what I hear). Some women say it makes labor easier if they don't know the sex of the baby. They tend to cope with the pain better, push harder, and not give up as easily as those who have known the sex for months. I don't know if there's any proof of this but if there's a chance for an easier labor I'll take it.
  • When the baby comes out the dad gets to announce the sex to the mom. Then the dad gets to run out to the waiting room and make the big announcement to everyone else (assuming there's anyone in the waiting room). It's the dad's big shining moment and he'll be thankful for it later.
  • If you know the sex of the baby you're gonna buy every cute thing you see and forget about all of the stuff you actually need. Before you know it you'll have 30 bibs that say "Daddy's Little Girl" and a dress for every day of the year but no money left to buy diapers.
  • Same thing with everyone else. There's just something about baby clothes that everyone loves. Even the toughest guys can get all marshmallow-like when in the company of a preemie-size pajama set. If you have a shower you can end up opening up outfit after outfit after outfit. A friend of mine had a baby shower a few years ago and she got 13 pink blankets, like 25 pink outfits in size newborn and nothing else! I'm not trying to sound ungrateful. Of course I'll appreciate anything we're given but if people don't know the sex they're more likely to buy something less cute but more important, like plain white onesies and socks; boring but needed. Some people will find some cute gender-neutral clothes and that's great but in the end the baby will have a good balance of cutesies and necessities.
  • Since we don't know the sex we have to get gender-neutral everything. The car seat, stroller, swing, high chair, play pen and nursery decorations will work for a boy or a girl so when we have another baby we don't have to go out and buy all new stuff!!!
  • Have you ever opened a Christmas present early and even though it was something you really wanted you felt kind of disappointed? I'm dying to know the sex of my baby but I really feel like it'll be a better experience if I wait.

  • Some women say that knowing the sex and being able to call the baby by name makes them feel closer to the baby while it's in the womb.
I can't think of any other cons because I don't consider gender-neutral shopping to be a con.

I'm glad I wrote this blog and reminded myself why this choice is so important to me because our big ultrasound is in 3 days and I was starting to waiver a little. Especially since I started registering this week and everything on there is yellow, green or brown. But it would probably be just as boring if everything was pink and purple or blue and green, right? I told Brian we can find out the sex for the next baby but for now we're playing for Team Green.


Just a girl... said...

my friend did a black & white baby room and it was awesome!

Susan said...

I didn't want to know either. It was back before ultrasounds were routine and "knowing" would actually mean an additional medical expense and the hassle of having it done at the radiology department of the hospital!

We did pale yellow walls and white furniture and lime green dotted-Swiss curtains. We got a white bookshelf and the changing table / dresser combo, although white, had primary colors between the drawers. The bedside lamp was white with a yellow shade and a nightlight in the base. I used markers and a cool coloring book to make art for the walls that I matted in bright mats and left unframed. The teddy bear, rocking chair and area rug were all brown.

I am a fan of the Green Team. The most important PRO is "because it is my choice not to know." Don't let them wear you down!