Anybody else uncomfortable with pre-birth sex determination? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 80 Old 02-23-2006, 06:49 PM
 
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For me pregnancy is a sacred time since it is the ONLY time in my child's life that they live without the burdens and assumptions that surround sex and gender. The english language is kind of weird in that we have to say, "they" or "it" and that you can't even talk about a person without using a gendered pronoun. That part is a bit akward I suppose for people. I really just enjoy that my baby is just a person now and not a boy or girl. They will not ever have that again.

Its just annoying that even newborns get spoken to and talked about differently based on their sex, like "oh what a pretty girl" and "oh what a strong little guy." Last time I had a boy and it didn't take long before people started talking about how big or strong he was, (he was pretty dang chunky ) and how he was a "little linebacker" etc. Maybe he'll be a ballerina for crying out loud! I want him to decide what colors he likes and what sports/activities he likes and who he wants to love! I see so many heavy implications that go along with sex/gender I am just delighted to put it off for as long as I can and let my baby be free of it all.
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#62 of 80 Old 02-23-2006, 07:10 PM
 
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I didn't find out with dd and it was the best surprise of my life, I don't ever want to know with any of my dc. My original reason was because of the risk of being told one sex when it was really another. My first birth I ever watched in nursing school, was a young mama who had many U/S that told her she was having a girl, well out came a beautiful baby boy. This poor mom was completely overwhelmed, she just sat there and cried about her baby girl, I swore right then that I'd never find out the sex. And I wouldn't have it any other way, but whatever floats your boat.

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#63 of 80 Old 02-23-2006, 07:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Evergreen
To make matters worse most of them actually say stuff on them like, "Daddy's Little Man" or "Princess Baby."
Isn't that ridiculous? I can't stand those things.

We didn't find out the sex until birth with either of our dds. I had an sonogram at 41 1/2 weeks with dd #2 to check the AFI. Should I be so lucky as to be pregnant again, we wont find out the sex until birth. It's such a cool moment. I wouldn't want to give it up.

"I got 99 problems, but the truth ain't one." - Stephen Colbert
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#64 of 80 Old 02-23-2006, 07:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bratmobile
For me pregnancy is a sacred time since it is the ONLY time in my child's life that they live without the burdens and assumptions that surround sex and gender. The english language is kind of weird in that we have to say, "they" or "it" and that you can't even talk about a person without using a gendered pronoun. That part is a bit akward I suppose for people. I really just enjoy that my baby is just a person now and not a boy or girl. They will not ever have that again.

Its just annoying that even newborns get spoken to and talked about differently based on their sex, like "oh what a pretty girl" and "oh what a strong little guy." Last time I had a boy and it didn't take long before people started talking about how big or strong he was, (he was pretty dang chunky ) and how he was a "little linebacker" etc. Maybe he'll be a ballerina for crying out loud! I want him to decide what colors he likes and what sports/activities he likes and who he wants to love! I see so many heavy implications that go along with sex/gender I am just delighted to put it off for as long as I can and let my baby be free of it all.
You articulated this so well. What a refreshing take on this debate (although, I can't believe it's actually a debate! )
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#65 of 80 Old 02-23-2006, 08:56 PM
 
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We're not finding out, though I'd love to! We're not doing an ultrasound. I always say that we're not doing an ultrasound unless it becomes medically necessary, but I am having a hard time thinking of a reason that it would be medically necessary... Bummer, cuz I'd like to know Maybe an accident and placental abruption, but I don't want to know that bad...

I personally really like yellow and there are tons of cute newborn yellow or crème things. I like that I got 2 sleep sacks in yellow and white with duckies on them that I can't wait to dress 'the grape' in. The grape is our nick name for the baby, and I think it's cool that the baby can already have a nick name. But it was kinda neat for my sister-in-law to be able to call her baby by her name while in utero.

Car
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#66 of 80 Old 02-23-2006, 09:23 PM
 
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I understand what you mean (the op). We found out the first two times, dh really wanted to so I just went along. We were very surprised to find out dd was a girl but I *knew* ds was a boy.

This time, I just don't know and we didn't have an u/s... I'm not convinced of the benefits of u/s for diagnostic use (except for a few things, but even then sometimes it's falsely positive or falsely negative KWIM?) and I wasn't going to go to the trouble of seeing an OB to get an u/s, especially when I didn't even want to know the gender.

I'm anxious to meet "thumper"... he or she will be his or her little person and I'm very excited to get to know him/her.

I've been knitting a lot of greens/yellows/etc. I've always preferred the non-pastel clothes for the most part. We've had good luck with BabyGap and Zutano has a lot of cute stuff too that is bold and bright colors.
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#67 of 80 Old 02-23-2006, 11:36 PM
 
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For my first birth I was romantic about it and wanted to wait and not know till I had my baby. I was really looking forward to the moment when I would find out. But turned out I had a 50 hour labor and when I finally had my baby on my chest I was so happy and relieved that I completely forgot about looking to see what gender it was. My DP accidentally caught a glimpse of boys parts and asked me if I even knew what gender it was - and I didnt..
So the second time around I wasnt so romantic about it. I wanted to know in advance because I was kinda hoping to get a girl so I would have one of each. I didnt want to spend my entire pregnancy hoping for a girl. That would be unfair to the baby if it should turn out not to be a girl. If it was a boy then I wanted to know ahead of time so I could look forward to having another son rather than hope for a daughter and then get a son. Do I make sence?
Anyway we opted to find out and I was happy to be told that it was a little girl. But that wasn't the important part of it. The important part was that at that very moment my baby truely came to life to me. I had some sort of sudden realisation that a baby was actually gonna come from this and that was worth everything.. nomatter that it was a girl.

I am still undecided for next time cause now I really dont care if it is a boy or girl. I just want another baby..

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#68 of 80 Old 02-24-2006, 12:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bratmobile
For me pregnancy is a sacred time since it is the ONLY time in my child's life that they live without the burdens and assumptions that surround sex and gender. The english language is kind of weird in that we have to say, "they" or "it" and that you can't even talk about a person without using a gendered pronoun. That part is a bit akward I suppose for people. I really just enjoy that my baby is just a person now and not a boy or girl. They will not ever have that again.

Its just annoying that even newborns get spoken to and talked about differently based on their sex, like "oh what a pretty girl" and "oh what a strong little guy." Last time I had a boy and it didn't take long before people started talking about how big or strong he was, (he was pretty dang chunky ) and how he was a "little linebacker" etc. Maybe he'll be a ballerina for crying out loud! I want him to decide what colors he likes and what sports/activities he likes and who he wants to love! I see so many heavy implications that go along with sex/gender I am just delighted to put it off for as long as I can and let my baby be free of it all.
Absolutely. You described it so eloquently. That is a huge part of it for me. I don't care what other people do, but for me it was important to let that little baby just be a person for as long as possible.
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#69 of 80 Old 02-24-2006, 09:47 PM
 
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I am not on the fence on this. I am so glad I found out the sex of my children before birth. I found it to be fun, planning for them, naming them, creating their space in our home, and shopping. It was a very sacred and fun time for my husband and I and I am so glad we had those months of knowing before the actual event.

I'm not on the fence about the gender thing either. I am all for dressing your babies like boys and dressing girls like dolls. I once had all these "ideas" about gender expressed here and I dressed my oldest in very neutral clothing, not allowing people to say things that were not gender neutral around her, had a very gender neutral nursery, etc. That is for the birds! Give me my pink and blue and pastel colors! I have really enjoyed dressing my little boys up, buying them ball caps, and tennis shoes with dinos and sports logos on them that light up. And right now I am having a good time doing the girly thing. Lace, bows, smocking, jewelry, pink, pink, and more pink. My little girl is 8 m old and she just loves getting dressed up -- she will not pull her bows off and she loves to have her bling on. She will even wear :::gasp::: those giant bow bands! (lets not forget the monogrammed diaper covers and diaper bags) I'm so glad I did the girly thing, and I don't believe its going to be detrimental to who she is. My one regret is that I didn't do this with my oldest daughter. And you know what, all that gender neutral stuff didn't keep her from wanting dolls and preferring girly stuff, and doing the boy thing, didn't prevent one of my sons from wanting barbies, dressing up in girl clothes, and wanting girly stuff and the other from being all boyish. I personally think the whole gender neutral thing is baloney and detrimental to children in the long run socially, cognitively, and culturally. (and no fun for moms or dads!)

I have to go breastfeed my little princess now
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#70 of 80 Old 02-24-2006, 10:51 PM
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How is allowing a child to express their own gender identity detrimental to them or society?

I dont' think a kid is going to be scarred for life if I dress them in gender typed clothing when little, nor do I think that a girl is going to have a massive proble if I put her in something blue, or my son in something hot pink. I don't wear pink and frilly stufff every day, and my husband doesn't wear strictly blue every day either.

The clothing thing is purely for the convenience and enjoyment of the parents. To keep them from having to correct people about what sex the baby is, and to entertain them in dressing their child. The baby is too young to give a rat's butt what they are wearing as long as they are comfortable.

Older kids will express preferences on what they wear regardless of what you put them in when they are babies. My mother got put in pink all the time - she hates pink, hates the way it looks on her, and owns not one pink thing. I got put in very little pink, and mostly pretty gender neutral stuff...and I own all colors (though most of the pink has come from maternity clothing- what is up with that????!!!), and wear all colors, except green - which I think makes me look sick.

Personally, my favorite baby clothing right now is the long sleeved, royal purple tie-dyed onesie that I dyed.

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#71 of 80 Old 02-24-2006, 10:55 PM
 
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Well Adina, but ppl respond to babies/children differently depending on what type of clothing they are wearing. And infants are WIDE OPEN, perceiving the world around them, and themselves.

I didn't want to put my daughter in pink. She was already told she was "dainty," "pretty girl," and "princess" enough.

You have to actively counteract that stuff IMO.
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#72 of 80 Old 02-24-2006, 11:18 PM
 
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#73 of 80 Old 02-24-2006, 11:23 PM
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I guess I am lucky...in the group of people I hang out with - kids are kids. And no one really cares what they wear. One of my best friend's sons loves all things sparkly. Another one is a total boy (plaid and corduroy). No one treats the kids differently at all based on what they are wearing.

I refuse to buy anything for my soon to be baby that has words on it...they are all either princess, sweet or hero, strong stuff...that annoys me.

I guess my way of actively countering stuff is to ignore what people seem to think I or anyone else should be wearing. And i have been known to wear some weird stuff that is very, very comfy.

I think the clothing thinghas gotten much much worse since I was a baby though. Maybe due to the advent of ultrasound? I mean I look at baby pictures of me and my younger sister - and we were in bright colors, and mostly gender neutral type stuff.

I dunno -

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#74 of 80 Old 02-25-2006, 08:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdinaL
How is allowing a child to express their own gender identity detrimental to them or society?

I dont' think a kid is going to be scarred for life if I dress them in gender typed clothing when little, nor do I think that a girl is going to have a massive proble if I put her in something blue, or my son in something hot pink.
Is this a response to what I posted? Or something else? I hope I didn't come off the wrong way because I don't think there's anything wrong with gender coded clothing. I don't think there is anything wrong with girls who like pretty pretty princesses and boys who like monster trucks and trains (like my DS!) I also don't think there is anything wrong with people and young children that want to step out of their "traditional" gender roles. Oh, and back to the OP, I don't think there is anything wrong with finding out the sex of your baby but for me-I feel a special joy in the unknown!

I live in Berkeley and most people here are "cool" about gender things too but even here and even in my own house I have to watch myself to make sure that I am not the one who is making choices for my DS. I don't want to unconsciously give him a vibe that he should like certain activities or clothing or colors and not others. I dress him in more "boy" clothes than "girl" clothes but he has access to both should he show any interest. So far, clothes are just clothes and that's great. I don't think babies will be scarred for life because they wore pink or blue. I do think people are scarred by experiences that block off their options to expressing themselves, like implying that certain clothes or colors are appropriate for them based on their genitals. Some kids know early on that they want to be identified as a gender that is not the same as their sex. Some kids like to go back and forth and some might just like a particular color. I just think that kids should decide these things and we should be aware of the part we play in influencing and framing their choices.

If we only offer one set of choices, like "do you want to wear lavendar or pink?" That is setting up framework for them and excluding other options. I do think its fine to dress your child how you want and if you have a baby girl that you want to dress in pink all the time I think that's fine. If that girl grows up and expresses a desire to dress in a more masculine way and she is told no or laughed at or put off, I actually don't think that's ok. I think its sad and I know a LOT of people will disagree with me there. Likely, people's reactions will be stronger in the case of a boy crossing gender lines than a girl though.

And FWIW, my point was exactly that it is NOT detrimental to children (or society) to express their gender identity. Of course children should feel free to express how they want to be perceived by others, as girly girls or masculine boys or gender benders! I just think that it is remarkable how early the construction of gender begins and how invisible and weighty it is-and as a fetus or even newborn they are not the ones who are constructing their own genders, we are.
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#75 of 80 Old 02-25-2006, 08:38 PM
 
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I'm having a hard time deciding what to do with this pregnancy. I'm very obessive about things and it will eat at me if I decide not to find out. What I think we are going to do is find out, but keep it a secret to everyone else. My husband does not want to not find out. I would rather find out. I have a very hard time with the fact that I can't control every aspect of my pregnancy and birth anyway.

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#76 of 80 Old 02-25-2006, 10:10 PM
 
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I actually enjoyed finding out. I would not have had an u/s for the purpose of finding out. I had u/s to check for potential problems with my babies. My family has a history of neural tube defects and my brother had a rare but severe genetic condition. So it was important for me to be prepared for whatever my babies might be facing, if anything.

Finding out that I was having daughters was not an issue of what color clothes to buy. (I bought mostly gender neutral clothes for the first 3 mos anyway). It was a matter of bonding with them a little bit better. I can't explain why. It was just nice knowing what I was having. OTOH I can understand the excitement that there is by not knowing until the birth.

My SIL lives in India and they have a problem with abortion of female babies. It's technically against the law to find out the sex of the baby by u/s. She had to sign a waiver that she wouldn't even ask. So for her it's going to be a true surprise.

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#77 of 80 Old 02-26-2006, 02:04 AM
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I refuse to buy anything for my soon to be baby that has words on it...they are all either princess, sweet or hero, strong stuff...that annoys me.

Same here, except that I will buy it if it's cheap enough. DD has this stupid pink jacket that says Princess on it, but it was only a dollar brand new on clearance. She needed a jacket and there was no way I was paying $10 for one when I could get one for $1. She's only a year old so it's not like she'll be wearing it for very long anyway.
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#78 of 80 Old 02-26-2006, 03:10 PM
 
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Honestly, I don't see the issue. I have no problem with those who choose to wait. Me, it didn't feel real until I knew it was HIM, my Russ, coming. I had some mental problems with the whole pregnancy thing, and it was easier when I knew WHO I was waiting for, not just the baby. If you fine with waiting, go ahead and wait. I don't think my birth was any less special - I was still pushing just as hard because I wanted to meet HIM, rather than find out what IT was.
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#79 of 80 Old 02-27-2006, 11:56 PM
 
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We didn't find out DS's gender ahead of time (I actually thought he was a girl). We asked when the doc talked me into an US to check if he was still breech (why couldn't he tell from palpating?) but DS's butt was too far down and my pelvis hid his genitals. I think it's nice to leave it a surprise. We got a lot of yellow and blue clothes. I guess blue is more gender-neutral than pink. We wouldn't have minded putting him in pink, though I draw the line at frills and skirts.

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#80 of 80 Old 02-28-2006, 01:21 AM
 
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I've done it both ways. We found out with dd and did not with ds.

I won't find out when/if we have another. We had specific reasoning for finding out with dd, though. Dh and I were absolutely deadlocked on the issue of a boys' name until sometime in mid-2003. Yes, we carried on the argument even when we weren't pregnant or ttc. It was that big of a roadblock. (Dh is a IV, he wanted a V, I said over my dead body - literally.) So we found out, because we wanted to know if we had twenty weeks or a few years to resolve it. I don't regret it, per se, but that may be because it only confirmed what I already knew.

There were still... familial issues surrounding having a boy. I mostly pushed them aside while I was pregnant with ds, but it took two days of intense journaling and emotional work for my mind to allow my body to progress and go into labor. I think that if I had found out the sex beforehand, it would have been harder for me to do that emotional work, because I most likely would have hidden the issues even more deeply.

We try not to be overly gender-ized. My dd has had pajamas with a crown on them (she picked them out) and pajamas with soccer balls on them (again, she picked them out). My real challenge is going to be with ds. I am afraid that if he picks out something stereotypically boy, I will not be as open to it as I would be dd picking something stereotypically girl (within reason on both - the bizarre writing on clothes and other attitudes will NOT be encouraged). Too, it seems 'harder' to have a boy in 'girly' clothes than a girl in 'boyish' clothes. I want both of them to find their own way in the labryinth without too much pressure from the outside world. I don't know yet how well that will work. I do like to think I'm doing something right when dd picks out pink, ruffly things for ds as often as she does blue puppy-dog things.

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