Anybody else uncomfortable with pre-birth sex determination? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When I was pg with my first baby, all the layette depts of stores had newborn clothes in pink, blue, and yellow (sometimes green as well.) Some people were finding out the sex before birth, but not everybody. When I was pg with my 3rd,all I could find was pink and blue. I was going to buy both pink AND blue, and then return whichever ones I didn't need, but I ended up buying a ton of stuff at a garage sale and returning all of the "new in package" baby clothes I'd bought.

I felt like the only pregnant woman in the world who didn't find out the baby's sex ahead of time!

I just find it sad- it feels like some of the beauty of childbirth is lost because you don't find out the baby's sex at the time of birth. Now I'm hearing/reading all these "It's a girl!!' and "It's a boy!" announcements and the babies aren't even born yet. It just feels strange to me. Why celebrate that you had a medical procedure done?

With all the questions about ultrasound's safety, I'm surprised so many women are opting to get them done.

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#2 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 04:05 PM
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Well, I did fine out the sex of the baby. I was going to have the 20 ultrasound anyway, for many an varied reasons. Given the fact that I might never get to be pregnant again (took IVF to get to this point), I decided that I wanted the reassurance of knowing evverything was okay and on track in there, and frankly, finding out the sex did not add time to the ultrasound.

I have no problem with people finding out in addition to a screening ultrasound. It does skeeve me out a little to have an ultrasound for no other reason than finding out the sex.

Now, the clothes thing....annoys the living crap out of me. EVERYTHING is pastelly pink or blue - you can find one dang primary color in the bunch. There are no gender neutral clothes that aren't green it seems.

So while ultrasound doesn't bother me in the way it bothers you, the need to makes babies look like easter eggs - gender assigned easter eggs - really does.

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#3 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 04:14 PM
 
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I am so with Adina on this.

I am not planning on finding out this baby's gender, and clothes shopping sucks. I have no problem putting a girl in blue or a boy in pink, but I'd really like to find some nice aqua, green or even yellow outfits. They seem so few and far between. To make matters worse most of them actually say stuff on them like, "Daddy's Little Man" or "Princess Baby."

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#4 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 04:33 PM
 
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You are right, ultrasound in itself is a can of worms. After a lot of thinking, we opted to have one screening to ensure that there were no major problems that would affect our planned homebirth. I clearly saw the between the legs shot and identified that it was a girl without the tech saying it, and that was a very special moment for us when I announced it. We got teary and felt like the whole world had just shifted. I don't think it will detract from the birth for us since I don't think anything can compare with seeing that face for the first time, but I also understand how people feel that there is something sacred in the mystery of waiting. I did get a feeling almost as if I wasn't supposed to be seeing her before she was done, but it doesn't keep me awake at night or anything.

I 100% agree on how irritating gendered clothing choices are. I'm sticking with neutrals like white and green and stripes, and you really have to search. We got completely disgusted that all the items for boys feature action, like sports and transportation equipment, and everything for girls is more passive and object-oriented - flowers, teddy bears. Bleah.
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#5 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 04:35 PM
 
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We didn't find out the sex by ultrasound; we waited for birth. I thought maybe we'd find out for #2, but now having experienced the surprise in the moment, I will never do it any other way. One of my absolute favorite parts of my son's birth was calling out, "it's a boy!!" as soon as I saw his parts!

I agree on the clothes thing...not only are clothes pink, blue, yellow, or green, it's all pastel! Wtf is wrong with a nice red or royal purple? Or even dark green? :
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#6 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 04:39 PM
 
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We didn't learn our baby's gender until he was born, either, and I'm really glad! There's already enough pressure put on us all to conform to gender stereotypes without already forming those preconceptions before birth...

It was incredible to me how surprised everyone was that we didn't know yet, though. They acted like it was the most unusual thing, in an "oh how quaint; you're waiting to find out" sort of way. And we had a few relatives and friends annoyed with us for it, too. They wanted to know, and had an attitude of, "You ought to find out because we want to know," which is pretty ridiculous.

I wanted a surprise. I also think that it's part of what birth was/is to me, the mystery. Plus, I really believe that gender holds very little importance to what sort of person you will be, that many of those differences are socially enforced. So, obviously, what gender the baby was wasn't that important to me, and certainly not something that I'd need to find out ahead of time.

Right after he was born and I held him on my belly, I knew, for I'd hooked a hand under his rear and inadvertently felt the evidence. Heh. When they were asking my husband to look and say if it was a boy or a girl, I was whispering, "boy," with a little smile because I felt like for those first minutes it was my little secret. That's one of the memories of the birth that still makes me smile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdinaL
So while ultrasound doesn't bother me in the way it bothers you, the need to makes babies look like easter eggs - gender assigned easter eggs - really does.
*laughing* Yes, that too!
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#7 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 04:46 PM
 
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I very much enjoyed knowing I was having a boy. I planned for a boy. bought for a boy. named the boy and talked to the actual boy... not just the "whatever" or the sexless "baby".

I celebrated SEEING him inside me. it was so real for my dh too. We didn't celebrate the medical intervention, but we sure appreciated it!

Actually, I'm annoyed by those who DON'T find out the sex!
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#8 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdinaL
Well, I did fine out the sex of the baby. I was going to have the 20 ultrasound anyway, for many an varied reasons. Given the fact that I might never get to be pregnant again (took IVF to get to this point), I decided that I wanted the reassurance of knowing evverything was okay and on track in there, and frankly, finding out the sex did not add time to the ultrasound.

I have no problem with people finding out in addition to a screening ultrasound. It does skeeve me out a little to have an ultrasound for no other reason than finding out the sex.
ITA!! I've also known couples who found out the baby's sex ahead of time but didn't share that info with anybody until after the baby was born.
Quote:
Originally Posted by edamommy
:

I very much enjoyed knowing I was having a boy. I planned for a boy. bought for a boy. named the boy and talked to the actual boy... not just the "whatever" or the sexless "baby".

I celebrated SEEING him inside me. it was so real for my dh too. We didn't celebrate the medical intervention, but we sure appreciated it!

Actually, I'm annoyed by those who DON'T find out the sex!
This is the kind of attitude I don't understand. My babies were always "my baby," not a "sexless whatever." Not knowing if the baby had a penis or a vulva didn't change that, or make the child any less "real."

I understand that you had a positive experience with knowing you were expecting a boy. Can you explain why you're annoyed by those who don't find out the sex?

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#9 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 05:08 PM
 
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Actually, I'm annoyed by those who DON'T find out the sex!
I found that people took this attitute with me since I didn't find out the sex. I don't get it!

I had no desire to find out the sex. I was so looking forward to the surprise of someone calling out "It's a boy" or "It's a girl!" I don't understand why people would act annoyed or whatever when I said that I didn't find out the sex. I don't care if people find out the sex but I find it almost unnatural to know the sex of your baby before birth!

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#10 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 05:09 PM
 
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The thing that really bothers me is the clothing... I just don't like the pink and blue. I think gender identity is a big, big, BIG thing for adults, though, and that's why it's so important to so many people, it seems, to be able to tell the gender of babies (because honestly, without some visual cues like the insipid blue or pink clothes, you wouldn't be able to tell). I understand that people get excited, that knowing the gender and coming up with a name can help with bonding, but I think it can go too far.

Most of our newborn stuff is deliberately gender neutral (because we didn't tell people the gender with either of our boys). It's been fun unpacking it, knowing that #3 still gets to wear them, even though #3 is a girl.

I'm not sure how much of the less gender neutral stuff (mostly bigger sizes) we'll use on this 3rd baby... there's a very cute stretch suit with fire trucks on it which was given to us when #2 was a newborn, but he was so big that he only wore it once. She's definitely going to wear the hand-me-down winter coats (mostly navy blue or primary colors). I am *not* buying another set of winter coats just so she can look girly.
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#11 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 05:12 PM
 
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We didn't find out either and I felt like it gave me some extra motivation through a loooong labor and nearly 4 hrs of pushing

I don't have a problem with people finding out. But I love the mystery. And it irks the heck out of my friends and family who are dying to buy pastel pink or blue *gag*
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#12 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 05:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla
ITA!! I've also known couples who found out the baby's sex ahead of time but didn't share that info with anybody until after the baby was born.

This is the kind of attitude I don't understand. My babies were always "my baby," not a "sexless whatever." Not knowing if the baby had a penis or a vulva didn't change that, or make the child any less "real."

I understand that you had a positive experience with knowing you were expecting a boy. Can you explain why you're annoyed by those who don't find out the sex?
*It just bugs me. Especially those who DO GET THE ULTRA SOUND but just don't want to be told the sex?!?! It's a surprise enough to have a baby- no doubt ... don't you think? I LOVE shopping and not knowing exactly WHO I'm shopping for just bugs me! Of course, I revelled in the sea of baby blue that was my house during those months! It's just my opinion. If I couldn't find out the sex I would surely go crazy!
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#13 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 05:28 PM
 
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We did not ind out the gender before birth despite having many many ultrasounds (I'm high risk). There were a couple of times when I almost caved and asked them to look.

We didn't want to know before birth for many reasons. We didn't want our baby to already be socialized before she / he was born. We didn't want all pink or all blue clothes, we wanted the surpise of it, we feel it is one of the great mysteries still left to us.

I'm very glad we didn't find out. We asked the delivery staff not to announce the gender. When DD was born, she lay on my chest for a few moments before DH and I looked together. We said "It's a girl" in unison. We were the first to know. It was very special.

We did get some grief from people during the pregnancy. People just didn't understand why we didn't want to know. I even had some people asking me for my Drs phone number so they could find out for themselves.

When we have #2, DH doesn't want to find out the gender again. I'm not sure, I think it might make it more real for DD if we can say the baby is her brother or her sister instead of "just" a baby.
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#14 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 05:39 PM
 
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We didn't find out the gender of DD before she was born. I was planning on (and had) a natural childbirth, I wanted that anticpiation at the end to keep on pushing!

For awhile I assumed we'd find out the gender for our future babies, but then both of my SILs were PG at the same time. One found out the gender, the other didn't. I was WAY more excited about the birth of the SIL who opted not to find out the gender. I'm sure if it's your own child, it's different, but we won't find out the gender of any future babies.

There are so few true surprises in life, this is one of the best ones! Not to mention I know of at least a half dozen cases where the gender was wrong.
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#15 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 05:48 PM
 
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I don't even get ultrasounds - there's really not a lot that can be done even if there is something wrong (I'm definetly operating on faith here), and I wouldn't abort even if there was something wrong (although I may have made a different choice earlier, or later for that matter, in my life.)

As for the sex, with my ds, both my dh and I were absolutely convinced we had a girl coming. Totally. It was soooo cool when I moved the cord and suddenly, our whole mindset had to switch - Hi Gabriel!! All our preconcieved notions of how our lives would be were changed. It was great. It really helped us to see our child as the induvidual he is rather than trying to fit who he is into an idea we had.

I like the excitement and possiblity that exists when you don't know. It makes the present of a child even more surprising and exciting for me.

To me, finding out the sex before the baby is born is like peeking under the wrapping paper of your big birthday present.
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#16 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 05:50 PM
 
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I have done both, found out with my first 3, and did not with any since then.

The moment when I held my slippery newborn baby after #4 was born, and looked down into those dark bright eyes, so completely in love! Then I realized, hey I don't know if this person who just stole my heart is a boy or a girl... looked and, my dream had been right, ALL boy!

It was one of THE MOST amazing wonderful moments of my life ever.

So now I don't want to find out ahead of time.

I already had a dream this pregnancy that I gave birth to a baby with a head full of dark hair, lifted the sweet warm little bundle to my chest, and oh, yeah... looked to see the gender, GIRL parts!

I'm sorry, but as much as I enjoyed having the U/S with previous pregnancies, it doesn't even come CLOSE to how great it is to find out at birth, with all those lovely birth endorphins rushing through your system and making everything even more intense. Not to mention ultrasounds are not 100% accurate. My sister was told her third was a boy. Her in-laws went all out throwing her another baby shower, buying all this pastel blue stuff... my third NIECE has long dark hair and looks just like her mommy did as a baby.

And the concept that my precious "rainbow baby" who I treasure deeply is just some "nameless sexless" being that I am not "bonding" properly with because I haven't had an ultrasound, that's fairly insulting.
How did women manage to "bond" with their babies before we had all this technology to make sure it happened? Really!

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#17 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 05:55 PM
 
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I don't do ultrasounds and didn't find out the sex with my dd and we won't find out this time either. I like seeing my actual baby, and not a blurry image and discovering for myself it's sex.

I don't care if people find out either. If it's that important, go ahead, but like Adina, I don't understand having an ultrasound for the sole reason of determining the sex.

I just buy a few neutral items of newborn clothing to get use through a couple weeks, then go shopping later. That worked well for us last time and we'll do that again.
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#18 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 05:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebeccamaryll
I like the excitement and possiblity that exists when you don't know. It makes the present of a child even more surprising and exciting for me.

To me, finding out the sex before the baby is born is like peeking under the wrapping paper of your big birthday present.
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#19 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 06:50 PM
 
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We didn't find out the sex of our baby until she was born and it was truly the best surprise of my life. Especially because everyone had told me they just knew it would be a boy. Finding out her sex was one of my favorite memories of her birth.

I loved being able to think about and talk to my little baby while it was inside of me without knowing the sex. I figured it was the only time in its life when it wasn't going to be defined by everyone's preconceived notions of what a girl or boy should be like.
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#20 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 07:15 PM
 
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I don't see anything wrong with not finding out, but to us, it just would feel artificial to have the information available (our decision to have the u/s wasn't based on wanting to know the sex) and refuse to know. I agree with everyone who said that gender's not that important, and that's part of why I don't view it as a big surprise that should be saved until birth. I'm much more interested in the surprise of getting to know my kids as people, and that's not going to happen until I meet them anyway.

But like I said, if other people experience learning the sex differently, then I think it's great to wait until birth. Just because some people like to eat their frosting as they eat the cake doesn't mean that those who save all the frosting till the end are wrong!

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#21 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 08:06 PM
 
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the pastel easter-egg, pink-or-blue clothing bothers me, too. hanna andersson all the way, baby! from the secondhand store, of course... unless the grandparents are buying it.

i think what bugs me most about the idea of finding out the sex of a baby in utero is the idea that somehow "seeing equals truth". i had this amazingly intellectually sexy, older, gay man college professor who actually did a research project about the development of the department store in paris in the 1800s and how that related to the cultural idea that all things that can be seen must be true. but just because it's a cultural idea doesn't mean that seeing is the only way of knowing, just that this "truth" has been the predominant way of thinking for a century-plus. seriously, this professor was fascinating.

and i can respect people making informed choices about having or not having ultrasounds for medical and health screening purposes, but i do have a harder time understanding those who would have an ultrasound exclusively for the purpose of finding out the sex of a baby.

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#22 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 09:41 PM
 
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I did not find out with any of my 3 pregnancies. With #2 I was high risk and had a least 4 u/s (3 very short ones and the one long one at 21 wks that discovered my non-exsistant cervix and put me in the hospital for 10 wks. I had 2 girls and I still did not find out what #3 was until he was born. I would never trade that moment for anything in the world! All 3 times, when you look down and see you baby, just wonderful. With #2, it was probably 5 minutes before we even decided to look. With #3, my dds (7yrs & 5yrs) got to announce the gender of their sibling, they will never forget that experience. Do you think they would have remembered if I had told them upon coming home from a midwife visit (actually they attended most with me), besides they had so much fun with the anticipation.

About the clothes, I love to shop. I got organic cotton kimonos and sleepers in natural from Under the Nile, Ecobaby, and Gaiam. Within 2 days of his birth and a few clicks of the mouse viola! he had a few blue outfits, no biggy. How much clothing does a newborn need anyway?

I don't think anyone got annoyed with me for not finding out, or at least they didn't act annoyed.
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#23 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 09:51 PM
 
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It's a fantastic surprise no matter when you find out.

I don't really get having a non-medical u/s, but if you're having one (or tons of them) done anyway, why not? Granted, I totally respect people who choose not to find out, as many of my friends have done.

For me, knowing what the baby is allows dh and I to focus in on a name for our baby. Both of us seem to have trouble bonding until our kids have names. I know lots of people pick out two names, but for us it just doesn't seem to work.

As for baby clothes, I'm totally sick of the easter egg colors, too! Seriously, what is wrong with a little vibrancy to their clothes? Babies see bright colors better anyway. UGH!

And, people will probably tell you that you have a lovely girl anyway, when your child is dressed in all blue with trucks and puppies all over their clothes. And, vice versa.
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#24 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 10:08 PM
 
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We chose to have a 20 week u/s with this baby, not specifically to find out the baby's sex, but to give us some reassurance that everything looked normal and it was ok to continue planning a HB. I know some people probably think thats weird, but I needed it for my own reasons. I figured while we were already looking, we might as well find out, since we had also known that our first baby was a girl. I do feel that when I found out the sex of each of my child it made them more 'real' to me...maybe I'm screwy or something then If we have a third child, I don't plan on having an u/s and if for some reason I truly needed one, I don't think I'd want to find out the sex. Part of me wishes I still got to have that surprise this time, but part of me is glad to know that my instincts were right and to plan for our little boy.

I definitely hate that pretty much everything you can buy for NBs is all gender oriented. I really prefer to have some gender neutral stuff too. I really hate that SO many of the little baby clothes I've seen have sports stuff on them...we don't care for sports at all here really! And why do only girls get kitties and boys get doggies on their clothes? My dd likes both cats and dogs!

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#25 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 10:08 PM
 
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We decided not to find out the sex of ds, and we're doing the same this time around. Actually, when we tell most people that we're going to be surprised, they usually respond positively. However, nobody seems to understand NOT getting an u/s at all. Why do they bother having professional organizations like ACOG (which does not recommend routine u/s for low-risk women) if the docs don't listen to the recommendations? (Same goes for bf and peds).

Finding out ds's sex at his birth was such a great moment. Dh was sure we were having a girl. The doc said "it's a boy!" and dh laughed and said "I was wrong!" while he was laughing with a big grin on his face.

However, whether you know the sex or not, I do not understand this obsession with blue and pink. Ugggh! There are LOTS of other colors out there, so why don't they come on baby clothes?

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#26 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 10:28 PM
 
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With dd we had a "just to be sure everything is ok" u/s but did not find out the gender. With ds, we had a "less to be sure and more to find out gender" u/s : Of course, they said my placenta looked "low" (at 20 weeks) and my birth center (then homebirth midwife) had me get two more! And of course, in the end, everything was fine. When you know better, you do better...no u/s next time!

And as much as I loved calling him by name when he was in my belly, I truly adore the memory of lifting her leg and finding out for myself - SO worth the wait!

ITA about the whole newborn clothes thing...gack.
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#27 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 11:30 PM
 
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"I have no problem with people finding out in addition to a screening ultrasound. It does skeeve me out a little to have an ultrasound for no other reason than finding out the sex." AdinaL

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I have done both also, my first 2 I didn`t find out, I experienced the excitement of finding out at the birth. With my 3rd, I had become high risk so my dh and I thought it would be neat to know so we could picture a boy or girl baby, esp. since it was a subsequent pregnancy after a loss. That made sense to me then, but now I`m thinking about waiting again, all these posts about waiting are making me rethink finding out. Yet, its a surprise no matter when in a way.

Married Catholic mami : to 5 boys, : 9 6 3 : 5 mo. 5/6/02-6/22/02 (HIE)
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#28 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 11:35 PM
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I think that if I do manage to get pregnant again, I will put off finding out.

But yeah, it was a HUGE surprise at the u/s for me! I was convinced that we were having a boy. I was wrong!! In some ways, I was oddly dissappointed, and kind of glad to have some time to adjust. It didn't make any sense to me at all. But, yeah, I was surprised, and giddy for the whole rest of the week!

winner.jpg Adina knit.gifmama to B hearts.gif 4/06  and E baby.gif  8/13/12 (on her due date!) homebirth.jpg waterbirth.jpg

 

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#29 of 80 Old 02-22-2006, 11:36 PM
 
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This is so funny because DH NEVER wanted to find out with any of ours, but I was always whiny about it. (We had standard 20 week ultrasounds because I believe they are a useful screening tool and I wanted it to be comfortable with a homebirth.) I would whine the whole time about not finding out, but the truth is, I LOVE that moment when the baby comes out and you are finding out the gender of the child. When DS was born, DH was standing right next to me and yelled in my ear "it's a boy!" It was hilarious. Then when DD#2 was born, I really wanted a girl and so I was shaking from just pushing her out and the midwife handed her to me and I looked between her legs. It was amazing. I wouldn't trade it for anything. And the next time we get pregnant, I'm not going to whine about not knowing at all. It is the BEST surprise.

And as for not *knowing* the baby just because you don't know the gender, that is malarky. I dreamed all my children and saw them, as they are now, in my dreams. And I know that my dreams were true because I didn't know beforehand. I was connected to my babies from the moment they were concieved and I knew them before they ever took their first breath.

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#30 of 80 Old 02-23-2006, 12:34 AM
 
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We found out with our first (and only so far) I really don't think that helped bonding in anyway though. Next time I would prefer to wait, but don't know if I can convince dh.

Happily Married to my : 11 yrs- Mama to wild-eyed monkey boy 7-04, fiery little girl 4-07, and the happy smiley baby that sleeps 11-09!
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