Monday, September 19, 2016

Why We're Not Finding Out Our Baby's Gender

From the very moment you tell people you're pregnant, you immediately field a ton of excited questions. From "When are you due?" to "How are you feeling?", people are anxious to hear about your pregnancy and intentionally ask you about your plans for baby. One question that I've gotten a lot is "Are you going to find out?" And the answer, in short, is no. But you know what's really surprised me? That people can't believe we wouldn't find out. Or that we've gotten more negative responses than positive. We know we aren't the norm, so I'm here to clear up some of the confusion as to why we'd wait to know our baby's gender until they're born.


First of all, I'd like to offer up a bit of a disclaimer. I know the majority of mamas out there are choosing to find out their baby's sex ahead of time. And you know what? That's totally awesome and perfectly fine! We don't think finding out is something that's right or wrong. I firmly believe that every set of parents needs to decide for themselves, and there are some great perks to knowing ahead of time. I'll also note that some mamas may find out their baby's gender and still do some of the things I mention below. That being said, Aaron and I are both so excited about waiting to find out Baby K's gender. Here's why we've chosen to wait:

1. We're in for the biggest, best surprise ever.

I'm a huge, huge surprise lover. Like seriously, if someone plans me a surprise anything (date, party, etc), I'm theirs forever. But what better surprise than finding out the very moment of your child's birth if they are a boy or a girl? We are beyond thrilled for a sweet little one to love, and that's enough for now, but the anticipation of finding out is my favorite part, and I'm happy to wait for that surprise at the end. I just think it will be so worth it.

2. We'll get neutral items that we'll use for all our babies.

I've been to lots of super cute baby showers where the majority of the gifts are clothes. It's super handy to have cute clothes gifted to you, but we're okay with secondhand outfits and borrowed items once baby is born. We're looking forward to getting lots and lots of diapers, and other bigger items or gender neutral onesies that we can use with all of our babies, no matter what their gender is some day.

3. It will give me extra motivation in labor and delivery.

I know: meeting your baby alone is super motivating. But if I'm real, I'm not a huge fan of hospitals, and I'm a little anxious about the whole delivery thing. If I have my eye on the prize, meeting my sweet baby AND finding out if they are a boy or a girl, I think it will be huge motivation for me. I'll be so excited and anxious to meet them and finally find out that (hopefully) the whole labor business will be a little bit more in the back of my mind.

YoungLife Baby Onesie

4. There will truly be no disappointment.

If I'm honest, we're a little bit tired of the question "Do you want a boy or a girl?" We really just want a healthy baby who loves Jesus. And we'll love our baby no matter what. Yes, Aaron would love a first-born son, but you know what? He'd love a sweet little girl too. I think it's going to be pretty dang hard to be disappointed with either when we're so caught up in finally knowing, and meeting, our little one. There's not a lot of time to sit and think about their gender being any different when they're already in your arms the moment you find out.

5. It will keep us from buying lots of extra clothes and baby goodies.

I have already stopped myself about ten times from buying cute little baby goodies, solely because they are so gender-focused that I didn't feel I could justify buying both girl and boy options. Yes, we will pick out one cute little outfit for each gender to take to the hospital with us, but other than that I'm not planning on buying any clothes (except for the cute gender neutral onesie that helped us announce). We are trying to stay budget conscious, and the decision to wait is definitely helping me to not splurge.

6. It keeps us excited and focused on baby, instead of their sex.

I am such a planner that people are surprised we aren't finding out. But I truly feel that if I did find out it would make me focus more on finding the perfect cute clothes, gender-specific nursery, or items and would cloud some of the other important things to do before baby. Like taking the time to just soak in pregnancy and the amazing work that the Lord is doing in and through my body. With His help, I'm literally building a baby, y'all! How cool is that? Our baby is more than a gender: they are a unique, beautiful soul that I pray for daily.

7. It's another way for me to release control.

Obviously, you can still trust God and find out your baby's gender. But for me, choosing to wait even though I could find out is another way to remind myself of the truth of this pregnancy: that God is in control, that this baby is His, and that ultimately I am not the one in command. I'm giving up the very thing I so desperately cling to most of the time: control. I'm also fairly certain that I'll feel totally out of control at times as a mama, so why not practice that now, right?

Parents Praying for their Baby

8. It takes the pressure off of names and other people's expectations or opinions.

We already have boy and girl names that we really like, but we're keeping them a surprise. Once baby is born, of course we will happily introduce them to the world and tell the story of their name, but for now it's a special secret that only Aaron and I share. And this way, we also avoid hearing everyone's opinions or cautions on the names we truly like. In addition to names, we're taking the pressure off of everyone's initial expectations for our baby based on revealing their sex alone (especially those who don't really know us well).

9. It's fun to guess and dream and try to figure it out.

The old wives' tales predict if you're having a boy or a girl, so it's fun to look at those and see if they'll be correct. Friends, family, my students, and pretty much everyone else gets in on the guessing, and I love the way it helps people feel like a part of our pregnancy as they guess and feel involved. At the end of the day, I love the uncertainty that I have when it comes to gender, because it just builds my anticipation (and I should probably get used to uncertainty as a parent since I'll be clueless for a while ha!).

10. It helps us enjoy each step of this amazing process, instead of rushing to the end.

Some folks say it would kill them not to know, which is totally fine. You gotta do what you gotta do. But we feel like this is helping us practice some of the patience that we'll need so much of as we parent. We've got the rest of our baby's life to know their gender, and we honestly feel like waiting four more months won't hurt. I tend to want to rush on to the next step or stage in life, and so we are consciously making this choice as a part of our desire to slow down and enjoy each step of this journey, instead of racing ahead to the end. This is just one way we're enjoying these sweet little moments as our family of two becomes three.

One thing I'm definitely finding out already about parenting is that there are a bajillion choices to make, and about a million different opinions on how to make them. There's no right or wrong way to approach finding out your baby's sex, but these are the reasons we're waiting. We know that sweet Baby K will be worth the wait!

Have any of you other mamas waited to find out the sex of your babies? What did you think? Cheers to all the wonderful mothers out there who have brought the most incredible, sweet bundles of joy into the world. Y'all are amazing!

Currently,
Kelsie

58 comments:

  1. Good for y'all! I have a friend who just had her third and they were surprised by the gender each time. We found out each time and, while I might have wanted to consider going the surprise route, I think it helped this last time to know we were having a girl, give her a name, and talk through everything with the kids. I'm just glad y'all are doing what's right for your family!

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    1. Thank you, friend! I can see how it would be helpful with your older kiddos. We are so excited!

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  2. I love this! when that time comes, I don't currently plan on finding out for all of these reasons! I don't want to be bids pointed ahead of time if it's not the gender I want and I know I'll love it when it's born no matter what it is!

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    1. Thank you, Cassandra! Totally! It will be such a fun surprise.

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  3. I always thought I would want to know before but you bring up some really awesome points. I especially like the one about trusting God. You go girl!

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    1. Awesome! Thanks so much, lady. I'm so excited to share some day before we know it!

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  4. These are great points! I don't have children yet and don't think I could wait to find out. I think I totally get the need for motivation during. I think I'm gonna be so scared!

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    1. I'm pretty nervous, for sure, but I know it will be worth it! Thanks for reading :)

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  5. Not finding out is gonna be a huge surprise! That is so exciting!!

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  6. It is really amazing to keep it a surprise, my parents did when I was born and they were totally sure I was going to be a boy but SURPRISE! I was a tiny little girl, I think it is a wonderful idea!

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    1. That's so funny, Sydney!! We are pretty pumped about it!

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  7. This is so so important! My aunt waited when my baby cousins were born and it was just way more special. I don't want my kids to be pigeon holed into blue and pink, so I'm planning on doing a grey theme. That's theme for my cousin's baby shower too!
    Shaguna | gold&hearts

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    1. I agree- gender neutral nursery and shower for the win!

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  8. This is pretty cool. There's not many people who wait to find out their baby's gender anymore and I'm not going to lie I'd be right there with everyone else wanting to know. The best reason you stated for me is the neutral clothing that be used for all the babies. That's very logical and smart. Also, people do tend to get hung up on the gender of the baby and forget other important little details. As long as you are both happy and you have a healthy little baby then nothing else really matters. Congrats on your soon to be bundle of joy :)

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    1. Thank you!! You're totally right, we are very much the minority. We are so happy and excited for baby. Thanks for reading!

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  9. Not finding out the gender is such a nice little surprise!! I am so excited for you.

    http://xoxobella.com

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    1. We think it will be so worth it! Thanks for reading.

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  10. I know a lot of people that did not want to find out the sex of their baby. I don't see anything wrong with it. It is all a personal preference. It def keeps the surprise going!! All that matters is that you have a happy and healthy baby.

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    1. For sure! I agree. We will love our baby so much, no matter what.

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  11. I know couples who have done this and loved it! Such a fun surprise!

    Greta | www.gretahollar.com

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  12. More power to you! I could NEVER. I am such a planner and I hate surprises, haha.

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  13. Can't believe you've got some negative feedback! My parents didn't want to find out the sex when they had me and they said it was the best surprise.

    Alix | www.apintsizedlife.com

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    1. Yeah, it was pretty surprising how many people didn't hide their opinions at all and gave some negativity. We aren't letting it get us down though!

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  14. This is such a personal decision for each family, and go you for making the right decision for you! I hope that your pregnancy continues to go well. <3 It will be so amazing when you find out!

    xoxo A
    www.southernbelleintraining.com

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    1. Most definitely! Thanks for the well wishes. We can't wait for Baby K to meet the world!

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  15. It's only relatively recently that people have been able to find out the sex of a baby before birth, so it's funny that people already think it's weird not to. I have several friends who have found out ahead of time and several friends who haven't.
    Myself, I would lean toward not finding out, but I know my husband would lean toward finding out.

    Honestly, disappointment on the part of the family can be real. My little brother was 7, and when he found out he was having a 5th sister instead of a little brother, he cried for hours and refused to come inside the house for all that time--claiming he would only come inside once the baby had turned into a boy. By the time the baby was born, he loved her like crazy and they've always had a special bond ever since, but if he'd only found out he was having a 5th sister when he met her for the first time, it wouldn't have been such a happy meeting for them(what can I say, 7 year old boys with 5 sisters are not the most diplomatic of creatures...). By the time his 6th sister was born he was used to it, haha!

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    1. That's such a great point! I can see how disappointment is very real! That's a whole lot of sisters ha.

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  16. You make some great points here. That said, I'm not sure I'd be able to wait, haha. I'd be so anxious just to know!

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    1. Totally ha! I'm a little anxious, but it's helping me slow down and enjoy it!

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  17. We knew with both of our boys, but it would've been so much fun to wait. Glad to see you are waiting, it'll be such a beautiful moment!

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    1. Thank you! We are excited for this beautiful moment :)

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  18. We waited to find out, and it truly was a great surprise. You touch on the main reason I wanted to wait, which was for other people not to gender-stereotype the poor kid, before she (or he) arrived on earth! That starts happening pretty much the moment a baby is born, and I really didn't want it to happen any sooner. And, like you, people were absolutely amazed (and some were even annoyed!) that we waited. Enjoy the surprise!

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    1. Oh yay!! For sure, it's amazing how quickly it happens. Thanks for the well wishes.

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  19. I believe that these days most of the toys are perfect for both genders. Long gone are the days where boys HAVE to play with cars and girls HAVE to play with dolls. We should let them give them a choice to choose what they like because of their personality and not because of their gender. Great post!

    http://ireviewuread.com

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    1. We have come a long way for sure! Thanks for sharing!

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  20. Good for you! I know a lot of people wait, and I feel like it's a test of patience (or it will be at least for me!) I think it's awesome and admirable that you're sticking to your beliefs!
    xoxo

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    1. Thanks so much, Ashley! It is a test of patience, but we are excited about it.

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  21. I love all your reasonings for not finding out ahead of time. My sister found two children and waited until the birth with her first to find out the gender. That was a lot of fun! And I was totally right with my guess that she was having a girl! :) She found out with the second.

    Also I don't get why people always ask if a couple wants a girl or a boy, either. Your answer is perfect! And I think most parents feel that way.

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    1. Thanks, Crystal! That's so fun. I agree, I think most parents feel totally that way and are happy with any sweet baby.

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  22. I love these! I honestly am still contemplating waiting to find out our next!

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    1. Thanks, Lauren Jane! I'm excited to share how it feels on the flip side!

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  23. Loved the honesty of this post. I don't think there's any "right" or "wrong" way to go through your pregnancy, and you've got to do what's comfortable and feels right for you. Thanks for sharing!
    Kayla || Keynotes from Kay

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    1. Thank you, Kayla! You're so right, even though people make it feel like you have to be one way.

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  24. What an exciting time! I love what you said about being reminded that it is God that is in control and how we sometimes need to give that up -no matter how much we cling to it. So very true. <3

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    1. Thanks, Amanda! We are thrilled for sure. And I'm amazed how God is teaching me so much already.

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  25. I love your reasons for not finding out!! My parents didn't find out with me or my sister, and my mom says it's truly the best surprise of your life. And she says it's not disappointing if you think you've gotten your hopes up one way or the other, because once that baby is there, he/she is absolutely perfect and nothing else even matters! It will be such a wonderful surprise for you two, how exciting :)

    Stephanie | www.stephanietherese.com

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    1. Thank you SO much, Stephanie! I'm thrilled for that moment. For sure- it will be perfect in that moment.

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  26. Good for you - it keeps it and makes it all the more exciting! Years ago (my girls are young adults now) we elected not to know what our firstborn was..... and we received a beautiful girl! I respect your decision and blessings to your wonderful future ahead!

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    1. For sure!! That's so fun. We are very excited!

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  27. It's crazy you even have to defend your decision -- people are so funny; they feel like it's OK to comment on and judge things that literally have nothing to do with them. Personally, if I was having a kid I'd find out the gender and I have my own personal reasons for why - but if anyone else wants to be surprised, I get that too! Do you, girl! And congrats :)

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  28. I'm pretty much the exact opposite when it comes to surprises. I can't handle the anticipation but I love your reasons for not wanting to know the gender just yet. Congratulations by the way! xx Merisa | Monogrammed Magnolias

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  29. Kudos to you! You'll find that with parenting you can never make everyone happy. Someone will always think you're doing it all wrong. Don't worry about them, just do what makes your family happy. I love your reasons behind not wanting to find out just yet. I think the build-up of suspense makes it all more fun. :) Good luck!!

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  30. I loved finding out the gender of my son ahead of time but my sister in law was pregnant while I was and they chose not to find out and I think that's great too! Every couple needs to do what's right for them!

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  31. Honestly Kelsie, you might've convinced me to wait on my own someday...your reasoning is SUPERB. AHHHH I'm so excited for you!!!!!!

    Coming Up Roses

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  32. Such a great post. I always flip flop on how I would handle this. On the one hand, all the things you listed are COMPLETELY true (I love thinking of it as a way to save!) on the other hand I'm a total control freak and might just give in to torture...

    Either way, boy or girl, I'm so happy for you :)

    xxox
    Laura @ www.cookwineandthinker.com

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