Monday, September 30, 2013

To Find Out or Not to Find Out? That is the Question..

This is probably my most wishy-washy pregnancy yet.  Is it because I've done it so many times, or I'm getting old, or because I'm lazy and don't want to commit to any decisions?  I don't know, maybe it's just pregnancy brain.  

We are no way close to deciding on baby names, and I had originally been putting it off until we found out the sex of this wee one so that would help our (lack of) focus.    But now we are leaning towards not finding out what this baby is going to be.  Which is shocking to me, because it's no secret I want a little sister for Maggie and I'm itching to find out.  However, there seem to be more reasons not to know...

Some history:

We didn't find out the sex for the first two babies, and then we did find out for the next three.  

My last two labors have been horrible, I mean natural, and I'm going to try that route again for this baby.

Ok, that's all you need to know, let's move one.

Reasons To Find Out:

1) It's fun to bond with the baby and settle on a name early.
2) I don't want to be disappointed in any way when I look at my sweet baby's face (if it's a boy, because I'm hoping for a girl).  I'd rather be "prepared".  I know that sounds terrible, but I'm being honest.
3) We can plan for room arrangements, clothes, etc.

Reasons Not to Find Out:

1) My kids want to be surprised.  Seriously!!  They don't want to know.
2) Therefore, we wouldn't be able to tell anyone.
3) I would love to experience a natural labor with the excitement of finding out who the baby is waiting for me at the end.  I think it might help dull the pain a bit.
4) There are so few surprises in life, and this is one of them.

So what to do?  How about you all decide for me?  Tell me what you did and why and if you would do it again...


  1. I was in the same boat with Ava. I had 3 boys and 1 girl...I also wanted that sister for Colette. I think that is totally normal and NO NO NO you should not feel bad about it. Of course, you will love this child if he is a boy. Xander will be so thrilled!

    me..personally..I would find out. The waiting would just kill me!!!!!

  2. Find out!! We did not find out with #1 but did with the other two and I am so glad we did, especially with #3. It was good to be prepped that he was a boy and NOT the girl I was hoping for. It gave us time to get excited at the thought of another boy.

  3. I forgot to add... You could find out and just not tell anyone. I have lots of friends that do that..... I couldn't because I would spill the beans to everyone, but it does work for others.

  4. I'm pregnant with #5 (EDD 10/8/13) and we've never found out with any of our kids. (So far we have two boys and two girls, so this is out tiebreaker baby.) I love the delivery day surprise, and getting to pick out two names instead of just one. Plus, the suspense is killing me and is making me eager for labor to start! And I love having my husband be the one to tell me the baby's sex... gives him something special to do on delivery day. :)

  5. I am all for finding out. The way I see it, God already knows him or her--why shouldn't you? It's the exact same surprise at the halfway mark that it is at the end so I've never really understood the "we want to be surprised" reason. Would you not be just as surprised finding out earlier? Then all of the other reasons you listed for finding out. But that is just me and my two cents.

  6. We haven't found out with any of ours. I do natural labor as well, and I really do think the curiosity helps with the pushing, which is my least favorite part.

    Plus there's something so exciting about the It's A . . . part. And I'm sure I would blow it if I knew but wasn't supposed to tell the kids.

    Good luck deciding, I've never found out so it's not so difficult deciding, but if I HAD found out before, if I knew that power . . . Well I just don't know what I'd do!

  7. I vote to find out . . . but just because I am curious!
    I found out with my 3 little ones mostly because I like using pronouns. I like being able to say "he" or "she" and to start using their name within our family . . . but we always try to keep the name a secret for everyone else until the baby is born (mostly because I don't want to hear other people's opinions or stories about the name!).

  8. I will maintain with my dying breath that the four times Ken said, "It's a _____" in the delivery room were the most intense and amazing of my life. There is nothing that compares to that feeling of exhaustion with the final push, followed by a joyous pronouncement of who you've just welcomed. It's amazing.

    And as for the very honest admission of hoping so much for a girl that you're worried about needing to be "prepared" if it's not, the delivery room discovery totally wipes that out. We didn't find out with JL, and I was so so hoping for a girl that I was afraid that I'd be disappointed if we had another boy. Yet, the final push, and the "It's a boy!" and it was so amazing that never once did I have those feelings of disappointment that I was worried about.

    I think maybe when you know in advance, there's time for you to brood about your response, you know? But when you find out as you're being presented with this brand new soul, well, brooding is the last thing on your mind.

  9. We found out with Annamarie because I really wanted to, my husband didn't really want to. I like knowing so you kind of bond with the baby knowing what he or she is. Next time we likely won't find out, just because I think that no matter how labor goes (ours was the worst I could imagine except everyone survived) so I think adding one exciting element to the end makes it even more exciting and something to look forward to through the horrid pain.

  10. Don't find out. It drive other people nuts :) We've never found out (although we only had the u/s with 2 of our 4). I feel like, as simplistic as it sounds, God kept it hidden on purpose and that some things should still have that aura of mystery about them. I have strong feelings on the preferring a boy or girl thing but if someone were to really prefer one or the other, I can't imagine them being disappointed after going through the end of pregnancy and labor and seeing that sweet baby face. You really want whatever God gives you at that point and I think that is the way He wanted it rather than be disappointed that He gave what we think is the "wrong" gender, you know? I DO like the ability to choose a name earlier but for us the benefits of not finding out outweighed that. And it's SO cool to hear the "It's a ...." at the end and even better if you get to look for yourself!!

  11. This is pregnancy número 3 for us and we have never found out. Don't do it!!! It's like Christmas, you know there is going to be a special present under the tree but you just don't know what! Only surprise you can have like that as a adult!!!!

  12. We didn't find out for either of our two boys and it really was great insentive to keep pushing!! :) and I fully believe that the anticipation does help dull a little of the pain (both of ours were all natural).
    I wanted to find out both times for all the same reasons you listed above but my husband explained that in his opinion finding out the baby's gender was the only thing we would do at the exact same time. I knew I was pregnant first, felt the baby move first, went thru all those firsts by myself to him so he really wanted to find out together in that moment. And it was AWESOME! :) I am so thankful we have that special moment together :)

  13. We found out with both of ours. I wanted to decorate their rooms and have lots of cute outfits waiting for them. Plus, I just reaaaalllllllyy wanted to know.

    Once my husband and I chose the names however, we kept that a secret until the baby was born. I did not want to hear anyone tell me why they hated the name I chose or that they knew some horrible person with that name. Because once a baby's born no one is going to tell the parents to their face they don't like the choice. But for some reason, they seem to feel it's perfectly fine while in utero.

    I think you and Phil should find out and keep it between yourselves. That way you would have a nice little secret just between the two of you and then you could plan the name. Don't tell anyone you found out though or they would spend the rest of the pregnancy trying to get it out of you.

  14. When in doubt, don't find out. That's my motto. We were close to finding out once but changed our minds on the way to the ultrasound. It's so much more exciting getting the call and hearing, "It's a girl/boy!!" rather than, "He's/She's here". But that's just me. Good luck!

  15. We didn't; and I love that your kids want to wait for the baby's birth-day!

  16. We had four boys in four years, and never found out the sex for any of them ahead of time--although after #1, we guessed boys for the rest and were right every time. (Of course, we're talking the 80's here, and sonograms weren't done nearly as frequently. In fact, I don't think I ever had one for my first son.) We LOVED not knowing until the moment the baby arrived and we heard, "It's a boy!" It was so awesome to be surprised.

    Moving ahead 5 years to 1992 when I was expecting son #5, when we were having the sonogram they said they knew the sex and asked if we wanted to know. Truthfully, my husband and I were looking at the screen and pretty much figured it out on our own, but we just said, "Sure, tell us."

    Even though we weren't having another baby because we were "trying for our girl"--because deep down, I really sort of just wanted another boy, for some reason--some people felt sad for us when they heard we weren't getting "our girl." But we were so happy.

    I don't know why we broke down and let them tell us that time--maybe it was because we were getting older and we'd been through it all plenty of times already. But I tell you, if you look at my youngest boy (he's featured in my blog today), you can see why I was in no way disappointed by the blessing God had in store for me. And I know from reading this blog on a regular basis that you won't be either. :)

  17. Never found out. Never. And was always so glad we didn't. There are few things in life as surprising as that miraculous moment. : )

  18. I used to think I'd never be "one of those" - those who found out, that is... until Bill convinced me to with Addie. It was the best thing ever!!! For all reasons stated above - but the closeness I felt with her and June were awesome. Plus, I kind of am a wing it by the seat of my pants kind of person and this gave a lot of "realness" to the experience and solidified it, if that makes sense. And it's still an awesome surprise, it's just earlier. We didn't share their names so that was a surprise (and their size, for that matter). But I'm sure it's sooo cool to wait too. I just don't think I'd be able to now!

  19. Mary knew. (you know, Gabriel told her)

    I always justify knowing by that one.

    With our first, we did not find out.
    with our 2nd we found out at 32 weeks, but did not tell anyone. Not anyone. (I only had a few weeks left)
    With the 3rd, 4th and 5th we found out. It was fun for the kids to also bond with the baby, to know the girls' names (those were all girls)
    Then with Simeon, we were not going to find out. BUT with all the things that were wrong or all the uncertainty's, I needed to know. Everyone, even Tom thought we were not finding out, so no one even asked, no one. SO I never lied and no one knew that I knew. (that was about a month before he was born. Everyone was totally shocked that I knew when they found out.

    Keep it fun!!

    There are still surprises, like the way he/she looks, their personalities, etc....

  20. We decided not to find out for a few reasons:

    1) Clothes. We'll have tons of clothes we can re-use for future babies since they are gender neutral.

    2) Surprise. I LOVE SURPRISES. I can't wait to do all that crazy hard work and then get the surprise of peeking to see what the baby is!

    3) Sometimes I feel like people are a little 'over' the baby by the time it's here when they've known the name/sex for months. I like that EVERYONE will be waiting to find out!

    4) I may not have as much self control in the future lol, so I figured all bets are off after this one ;).

  21. Another reason to find out is as a pro - life witness. Fr. Pavone recommends naming our unborn babies to share the witness of their personhood with the world.

  22. We always find out. I have NO patience for waiting, and really I think the "It's A ,,,,," is just as special in the sonogram as it is in the delivery room.
    But, really we find out because I HATE gender neutral baby clothes...seriously hate them. Dressing my babies in cute clothes is on my greatest pleasures....that's sounds dumb but it really is. I actually "deliberate" over what to dress my baby in when go out to different places. Maybe I didn't have enough dolls as a kid. LOL

    And the more kids I have, the more I enjoy picking out clothes and dressing them up, because I know the time goes by all too quickly and by age 2 or so, they are picking out their own clothes and having strong preferences for what to wear. So I enjoy going to dress them up 100% while I still can.

    Okay, that makes me sound silly, and maybe it is...but I like to know so I can be prepared with clothes ahead of time. As I said, I hate gender neturals (especially for girls...I don't mind them so much for boys).

  23. We had five girls and one boy....we HAD to find out for our son's sake so that he knew if he was going to get his brother or another sister. If you have an even split of children, then I suppose it doesn't matter as much. However, if you are heavy in one gender (as you are) then the extra time to get used to and excited about the baby's gender is helpful.

    BTW - #7 was our second boy and my son told the entire world...whether they wanted to hear or not...that his baby brother was waiting to be born. :-)

    And, just because you want to find out, doesn't mean that baby will cooperate at the ultrasound and show you what you are looking for! :-)

  24. I did not find out with our first, but I did find out with the other three. We have 4 boys. I also have a step-daughter who is the oldest, and we mostly found out about the last three because she was desperate for a sister, and we didn't want her to be disappointed with a brother. It helped to know ahead of time, and start talking about him as an actual brother, with a name. I enjoyed the surprise with the first, but I also like knowing and thinking about them specifically with a name. I was still surprised when they came out - because I was still seeing their beautiful little faces and bodies for the first time. So I'm in the "know" crowd. I also had totally natural labors for the last three.

  25. I was the only one who did not want to find out with the last one. My family was so upset, but I held my ground. In the end, the anticipation was so amazing! Even the Dr's and nurses were super excited. They don't have "mystery" babies that often now a days. We knew with two, and two were surprises. (and a fifth child was adopted, but we still didn't really know until they told us they had a referral for us, and it was a I guess that counts as a "mystery" baby, too.) Each case has been different. Never any disappointment. Enjoy!

  26. goodness I don't know how you could find out the sex after reading the comments above! it really is exciting to wait, but it is soooo hard when you know that you can find out and when you are hoping for a particular gender.

  27. Here's what I think: We didn't find out with our first and we did with the other two. I think BOTH ways were awesome. As you probably know as well. If you are feeling pulled toward not finding out this time...what the hell! Do it, lady! You can always ask the kind ultrasound technitian to write it down on a piece of paper if you change your mind ;) I think whether you are finding out in the office staring at a black and white image or holding your baby for the first time - it will be a surprise. Go with your gut. Or don't. Either way you will have a blessing very soon that will continue to amaze you (whether or not you waited to find out). But then again, this is nothing you haven't heard before. I'm excited for you. ALSO excited for you and your natural labor business!

  28. We found out with our first 3, and didn't with our fourth. I agree with Cari that that moment was one of the most amazing in my life. If we are blessed with more, I think we'll forgo finding out, but it's hard to say. I also think that there is no way you'll be as disappointed in the delivery room as you would be in the sonogram room. It's different when there's a baby to cuddle following the announcement.

    All that said, I would be really excited if you did find out. Just for my own selfish reasons, of course. ;)

  29. Oh, and I totally laughed at "my last 3 labors were horrible, I mean natural..." You are so funny!

  30. I would find out and keep it a secret! This way you can prepare a little better without having to worry about it during that fun postpartum time.
    However, I can totally see the joy and excitement in being surprised, too.
    With our latest baby, we felt the same as you: really hoping for a girl because Lucie - having 3 brothers and being the only girl - was dying for a sister! We were so pumped when we found out we were having a girl. We told the kids, and decided not to tell anyone else.
    Unfortunately I blew it. My friends could totally tell that I was having a girl, because of my crazy smile and giddy behaviour. lol. So if you DO decide to keep it a secret, work on keeping a pokerface.

  31. We find out, I am beyond capable of waiting, though part of me wishes I could because I do's one of the few surprises left in life. I'll make you a deal, if God blesses us with a girl, at anytime, I will trade you for one of your boys ;) Mothering girls terrifies me!
    Here's my suggestion.
    I think you should have the tech write it down, and then do one of those gender reveal parties...but just with your children. Record it and put it up here for all of us to see. That would be a fun way to get the 'surprise' with everyone!

  32. we always found out with everyone. I wanted to be able to know each child. I wanted to be able to bond with he or she not just "baby". I like hearing the drs say, He or She etc or by name if we chose it already and not just baby or pregnancy--so others get to bond with the identity of the child earlier. In the deliver room etc, the drs say, "Lucy" is almost out etc...not just ITS out. etc...

    Plus, have you ever seen those gender reveal parties where the technician writes down the gender, the baker makes the cake and you cut it open to see the inside (pink or blue)? I want to do that! How fun.

    To me the surprise is just knowing you are having a baby. The stress of delivery is enough for me--adding not knowing gender would stress me out!

  33. So few surprises in life...wait...

  34. I would find out! We are due in 6 weeks with #4. My daughter is 8 & the boys are 6 and 3. I don't know why but everyone was convinced it was a girl this time. We had the perfect name picked and I was so excited to get out all the girly stuff and repaint the Nursery. We knew we would find out because I am a Type A planner and since I have high risk pregnancies that land me on bed rest and end with C-sections everything must be prepared well before Baby's arrival. So, we found out - and it was a boy. And I surprised myself by how happy that news made me - even though I was certain it was girl this time & even though I "wanted" a girl this time, so my daughter could finally have a sister. Looking back, I am so glad we found out because I have been able to enjoy this pregnancy, knowing we are being blessed with another sweet little boy - instead of driving myself crazy wondering which gender. Also, finding out early gave my daughter time to adjust. She burst into tears when we did our gender reveal but she later said it was just a shock because she really thought it was a girl this time. Now, she has had time to adjust and has been so sweet helping to prep things for her newest brother. I am glad we had the chance to adjust to the news and start to bond with this little guy before his arrival rather than once he was home and we were all adjusting to the normal chaos of a Newborn. As for surprises, we decided to let the Kiddos pick the middle name for this baby. We have had so much fun listening to their ideas and playing Name That Baby. Currently, Huckleberry is the frontrunner but I am keeping my fingers crossed for something a bit more traditional :0

  35. It's always so fun coming back here to see other people's comments. I thought of something, a big reason I found out with so many, is the anxiety I get of not knowing. There is enough anxieties and worries with pregnancies (at least with me) it helped me to relax about one thing. Knowing the sex.

  36. We've done it both ways and I think I prefer to find out. For me, having a surprise at the delivery is just 'meh.' I guess I just don't think the delivery room needs any extra oomph? To think about holding the baby, about pregnancy and labor being over, revealing the name and everything is enough motivation for me to make it through the pushing stage. And I like praying for baby by name during contractions. It makes the baby feel close and personal.

    When you find out the sex you get that extra oomph 20 weeks into gestation, which I like. I just get antsy and start to feel like pregnancy will last forever and having the ultrasound and gender reveal to look forward too helps a lot. Also, I have had friends whose children have gotten really upset over the gender when the baby is born. Mom is never disappointed of course, but siblings may be. This time around my kids were really praying hard for a girl, they knew it was a girl, they had been so good that of course God would give them a girl etc. But it was a boy, and I'm glad it only lasted a few weeks until the ultrasound, instead of until the birth. It was less time for them to get worked up.

    Also, as a quilter it drives me nuts when my family member don't find out. :)

  37. We didn't find out with either of our girls. It probably saved a lot of money, because I totally would have been buying a bunch of clothes ahead of time. We have some gender neutral stuff, and everything else seemed to materialize somehow. :) My cousin put it this way: it gives you extra motivation to push when you're waiting to find out, especially if you're planning on going natural! I'll always remember when the dr tossed Grace on me and said, "Were you expecting a girl?" It was hard not knowing, but I guess we're just old-fashioned that way. :)

  38. Did not find out with our first...found out with our 2nd...and found out with our 3rd. Regretting finding out with our 3rd b/c hearing "it's a girl/boy" at delivery was the sweetest thing. It was with our middle child, too, but in a different way. I will say this...I cried when I found out Luke was a boy...and that makes me so sad now that I know could I ever have wanted a girl more than I wanted Luke???!!! I think it was the hormones...coupled with the fact that Mary wanted a sister soooo bad and cried in the minivan on the way home. (She was 5 at the time!) I feel guilty for not being more excited when I learned Luke was a boy...maybe not knowing would have been better???!!! Of course, in the end we always love what God gives us...RAMBLING here!

  39. Don't do it! Don't find out! Assume its a boy and be surprised as shitake if it's a girl.

  40. We didn't find out with our first, but I just knew he was a boy. Then we found out with the rest. I'm a big planner so having the baby stuff ready was important. Now that we are having a girl I'm glad we found out because according to my husband "he couldn't have girls" so he's had plenty of time to prepare for her arrival. We have kept her name a secret and I've promised Grandma that she will be the first to know her name after Sunflower arrives.

  41. Wanna know a secret? We knew that Septimus was a boy from my 19 week ultrasound on . . . we just told everyone that we didn't find out. We started out keeping it a surprise for the kids, but then it developed into such a sweet little secret between Rob and myself that we didn't feel like sharing it with anyone else.

    We didn't know with Francie, Fiver, Sally, Mopsy, or Baby. We did know with Bun because I had to have serial ultrasounds and Rob is too good at reading them for it to have remained a secret for long.

    I sort of agonized over finding out with Septimus -- I really do love that moment of surprise at delivery. Nothing beats it. But I also wanted to know because of practical reasons. I was afraid that finding out would take some of the fun or "magic" out of the pregnancy, but it didn't. I loved knowing he was a boy and it was so much easier to disregard the girl names and focus on boy's names.

    I definitely think that you could find out and then not tell anyone to preserve the surprise for the kids. It's kind of fun to hear everyone's guesses about the gender when you already know the answer!

    have fun. :)

  42. We waited with Ryan and are waiting with this baby! Maybe I am weird, but I love just loving the baby as baby if that makes any sense. Obviously I can't compare my experience to a situation where I knew, but the excitement of finding out if were were having a boy or girl did really help motivate me through an unmedicated labor and delivery.

  43. I think it's a surprise on the birth day because you don't know what they look like...color hair, any hair...all that! We found out for both our kids (boy #1 and a girl for #2). I needed to know so I could prepare (that's my personality). So ultimately I think you need to do what you can live with...will it drive you crazy to have to wash baby boy or baby girl clothes after the baby is born or would you want it all done before you have a newborn? I didn't have a ton of Gender neutral clothes because I don't love yellow/green stuff, so I liked to know what I needed and have it all ready...and have the room ready too. That being said, when I have #3, I do not plan to find out. I plan to wash newborn clothes for both genders and leave it at that. I have everything I need for both genders now, so why not?? When we knew the gender, we never shared it with anyone and we never shared names...too many opinions but nobody's business! :)
    In the end, do what will make you calm and happy going in on D-Day! All the best for an easy and safe delivery!


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