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Parent's Talk: New Parent Dilemma, Find Out the Sex of the Baby?

As a new parent-to-be, I'm deciding on whether or not find out about the sex of the baby.

It's nearly that time. That time in every pregnancy where you have THE ultrasound to find out the sex of your baby.

As that time quickly approaches for me in my second trimester, I face a personal dilemma.

As a reporter I am naturally curious and want to know everything up front as much as possible. But I have always enjoyed surprises.

My husband is sure he doesn't want to know the sex of the baby, but my certainty waivers as we get ready for baby.

Getting all the baby gear, painting the nursery and just preparing for baby's arrival is quite a bit of work. There are times when I want to get only girl or boy clothes and not worry about remaining neutral. I've always loved pink and wouldn't mind knowing if I can get pretty pink dresses and paint a name in pink on the wall.

Many argue why do colors matter when it comes to dressing or decorating for a baby? They won't know or care if they aren't wearing the gender-specified clothes. The clothes will all get spit up on anyway, right?

Right. But it seems society is geared from birth to look at things in pink and blue. And others would say to me, what's wrong with that?

I don't plan on being discriminatory when it comes to toys. If a little boy wants to play with dolls that's fine or if a little girl wants to play with mini-monster trucks or Transformers, good for her.

And yet, there is an inner struggle. If a girl wants to break through the gender barrier to play, for example, football it's been done even if she gets teased about it. It was done in my own high school. But sometimes it doesn't happen the other way. Boys can get just as much if not more flack for doing something "girly" like being in ballet classes then girls get for playing football. I've seen both. I was in dance classes with boys at a popular and well-known dance school and I was friends with a girl who was the kicker on my high school football team. At the time, as a peer, I didn't think much of it.

But let's back up a bit. I'm getting far ahead of myself. All I want to know is the sex of the baby, or do I? I think perhaps not knowing can be freeing for parents. It gives them the chance to wonder, even if that wonder gives way to gnawing curiosity. Perhaps it's less limiting then already knowing. But just because you know if its a boy or girl doesn't mean you have to buy blue or pink clothes and decor.

I'm sure there is no wrong answer. It's a very individual question. And then there is always the chance that you can't find out because during the ultrasound the baby is positioned so you can't tell the sex or what is seen at the time isn't accurate, and when the big day comes you get a surprise anyway. I've heard of both of these scenarios happening.

Life doesn't always dole out many fun surprises. Not finding this out could be one of the last fun surprises, but I have a feeling that in parenting there are plenty of surprises, big and small, good and bad and even fun.

For now, I'm content as long as the baby is healthy and happy. The rest is just details.

(What do you think? Were you glad or relieved to know the sex of the baby sooner rather than later or happy to have a surprise? Is knowing better than not knowing? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!)

About this column: Local moms and dads give their take on current issues affecting their family and yours. We encourage you to take part in the discussion.

Valerie Engler August 30, 2012 at 02:22 PM
I totally think you should find out! Believe me, just having a baby is enough of a surprise! I felt like once I knew we were having a girl, it made the last 20 months so much fun. But I'll admit, I'm kind of a planner.
Heyitsme August 30, 2012 at 05:17 PM
I tried to leave it as a surprise with my first, but I had to go through amniocentesis and I saw the DNA chart (I did reports in school on them) and I knew where to look for the sex. My doctor gave in an told me a month later after I asked. My second, I wanted to know so if I had to get different clothes, we could spread the expense out. Both were girls.
Jonell Jones August 31, 2012 at 01:03 AM
I had 3 wonderful surprises, pregnancy was a magical time for me to daydream and wonder, I even loved not knowing what name it would be, what would I be looking forward to, who would I be loving and teaching, and what I would be shopping for!? Just after the birth you are going to be gifted plenty of pink or blue when others find out girl or boy. If you can wait, there is something really magical about that moment just after you have faced giving birth when you look at your baby to find out which name it will be, and all those daydreams become your future. They will have the rest of their lives to be a boy or a girl... let them be a precious new growing life full of potential and opportunities... just a blessing. Well, that's what I think! ;)
Carol Bungert August 31, 2012 at 03:11 AM
I loved the surprise and let the doc keep the secret locked up in a file. Never ever regretted choosing to be surprised.
Meghan Gutzwiller August 31, 2012 at 03:33 PM
For your first baby, I'd recommend waiting and experiencing the fun surprise. I've done it both ways and I'm really glad I had the experience of waiting and the big reveal when he was born. Plus your first baby is a great time for you to get gender-neutral baby gear (shower gifts or your own purchases) which can be used for any future children. Good luck!

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