Friday, 9 August 2013

Why I wouldn't want to know

If you have particularly strong views on finding out the sex of a baby, then you might not want to read this in case I say something which unintentionally causes offense. But if you're just curious to find out my take on it, then read on!

Before I got pregnant with Caleb, I didn't really have that much of an opinion either way when it came to people finding out the sex of their babies. I had spoken to people who had and hadn't found out and I could see the reasons behind both. Some people say that they like the surprise throughout the pregnancy and it keeps them going through labour, while others say that the fact you get a baby at the end of it all is reward enough.

When I fell pregnant with Caleb, I knew that I didn't want to find out the sex (I'm a bit of a hypocrite, I must say because despite me not wanting to find out, whenever friends were pregnant, I always wanted to know what they were having!). Seth did, but I won that argument! (ha, not that it was an argument, I pretty much just said that I didn't want to find out, he put forth all of the reasons why it would be a good idea, I said I still didn't want to find out and alas, we didn't!). During the pregnancy when people asked me if I wanted a boy or girl, I just said that I wanted the baby to be healthy. I think deep down I was probably leaning towards wanting a girl. I only have sisters and I could just see me being a mum to a baby girl. I kind of thought that I might have a boy though. Not based on anything to do with how I was feeling, but 2 of Seth's older brothers have 2 boys each and so I just thought that we might follow that pattern! The second Caleb was born and I found out he was a boy, all of a sudden I wanted a boy all along and all thoughts of a girl went completely out of my head!

I recently read an article about a woman who had been told that she was having a girl, spent £3000 on pink clothing and everything girly, only to then give birth to a boy. I told Seth about it this evening and said that this is one of the reasons why I wouldn't want to find out. I know that scans are pretty accurate and everything but there are times when they (or the sonographer) are wrong! If I were in that woman's situation, I wonder how easy I would find it to then bond with the baby after thinking that I was having a girl for all that time. I wouldn't want to have prepared myself for a certain sex if then I end up having the opposite. You may completely disagree with me and say that it wouldn't be a big deal at all and you would love that baby regardless. And of course, I would. It may be that I would have no issues in bonding with the baby at all.

I remember all of the feelings when I had Caleb. I was quite ill for a while after I had him due to it not being a straightforward labour and delivery, etc, etc. In hindsight, I think I probably suffered from postnatal depression and I hate to say it, but as much as I did love him and as much as I love him now, I didn't really feel particularly connected to him. It felt like he was someone else's baby and I was just trying (and what felt like failing miserably) to look after him. I think it probably took a couple of months before I started to really feel a bond with my boy, once I had started to recover. Now, I'm not saying that a mix up in the sex of the baby would cause me to have postnatal depression, but in my mind, I would want to try and minimise the chances and not find out, just in case it would be a contributing factor. I kind of sound like I'm talking it up, having postnatal depression in subsequent pregnancies, don't I?! I definitely want more children and hopefully all would go swimmingly, but would I find out what I am having with the next baby? I'll keep it a surprise, thanks!


  1. I want to find out but that's because I am rubbish with surprises! That said, I think I would still buy mostly gender neutral items - you never know!! (Plus you can pass them down!)

  2. When I had Rache and Jess it wasn't an option. As you know we found out with Sam but that's because Steve wanted to so much and for practical reasons. Having done both, I much prefer NOT knowing. For me there is an added sense of anticipation just wondering whether it will be a boy or a girl, and having the surprise at teh end is great. So when I was pregnant with Caitlin, despite Steve's offer to find out and keep it from me (Huh? No THANKS matey!), we kept it as a surprise. I think subconsciously I must have thought I was done with my girl phase and would be having another girl, because when she appeared I was so surprised and excited my heart actually flipped!

  3. OK SO many edits in that, but I can't find a way to retype it, but I meant to put thatI must have thought I was done with my girl phase and would be having another BOY. :)

  4. Thank you so much for this post Kirsty and your honesty. I had exactly the same issue with Izzy, my eldest. For most of her pregnancy both myself and Paul thought we were having a boy, despite keeping it a surprise. However after a 28 hour epidural labour, and a pretty horrific delivery for me, Izzy arrived. Initially even Paul thought she was a boy (he hadn't looked properly!). I will admit that finding out Izzy was a girl was the hardest thing and pretty disappointing, and I spent the next 18 months trying to deal with my feelings and deal with raising a baby that I had absolutely no clue about. As you say 'I was just trying (and what felt like failing miserably) to look after' her. So when I fell pregnant with Lucy both Paul and I agreed that for my mental health I should know in order to prepare myself. I think Paul would have liked a surprise the second time around, but he admits my needs were greater than his! :) Every woman's pregnancy is their own and it is their decision to make as to whether to find out or not, despite everyone having an opinion on the subject that it.....

  5. Wow!! I could NEVER keep it a surprise. That's just my personality, I NEED to know ha ha! But I felt like I could bond with her so much more when we could call baby a "her" not an "it" and things like that. Maybe one day I will be able to keep the sex a surprise, but probably not! :)