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.
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?
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!