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Sunday, April 28, 2013

The gender debate

The common belief amongst the older generations these days seems to be that finding out the gender of your baby is one of the last true surprises in life and thus it should wait until birth. However if you read anything about the young people these days (usually written by those aforementioned older generations) the common consensus is that we all want everything now. We need instant gratification and don't want to wait. I don't normally fit into the stereotypes for my generation, but in this case I do if not by accident.

T and I always knew we wanted to find out the sex of our baby. Not because we are impatient or don't like surprises, afterall it was a big enough surprise finding out everything worked and we infact managed to get pregnant in the first place. And well being impatient - I think I've done my fair share of waiting just to get to the pregnancy part so why drag it out another nine months longer. Admittedly they did make me wait five months to find out, but that's still better than nine.

I mainly wanted to find out because I want the baby to have an identity. I didn't want to go around saying it for months because it seems so impersonal like the baby is an object instead of a tiny little person. He or she sounds so much more caring. Also there is the added bonus of being able to go buy the correct clothes, which by the way are very gender specific these days. Its hard to find so called neutral clothes because even the white ones will have a lion or cat or something on them which makes them gender orientated. Gone are the days of plain white, grey and yellow clothes - good luck finding anything other than singlets and the occasional onesie in those colours.

Of course once you find out the sex of the baby and tell people (which I thought about not doing just for fun) then everyone starts telling you how they know someone who knew someone who was told it was a boy and it turned out a girl, or vice versa. Everyone seems to love to inject a little dose of negative thinking into pregnancy at some point. Seriously why cant people just be happy for you? One such comment did make me have a minor flip out and rethink everything I had just bought for the baby (and second guess whether the ultrasound tech actually had any credibility), but that's because the comment was made to me literally five minutes after I had just blown $100 on very gender specific baby items. The ultrasound lady was actually really lovely and assured me she had never got the sex wrong for any baby in the 12 years she has been doing her job. Considering shes the only one who can actually see inside my belly I'm going to back her over the numerous old wives tales and random stories of people who know someone who's cousins daughter was told the wrong sex. Just to be on the safe side though the cot, pram, car seat and basically everything other than clothes will be gender neutral (but moreso because I don't want to have to buy new ones if the next baby is the opposite sex).

If people are so judgemental about those who find out the sex of the baby then how come one of the first questions they ask is "do you know what you're having"? I guess so they can unleash their endless knowledge on the topic vaguely disguised as advice. At which point the polite response is to smile and nod and make general conversation about why their opinion is obviously right (this goes for all pregnancy advice not just gender related).

For the record I would of been happy with either sex because I'm so thrilled to even have the chance to have a baby of my own. The baby is soon going to have both of us firmly wrapped around her little finger, especially daddy. At least that's what the stereotypical old wives tales tell me.

Toni x

Would you like to comment?

  1. Finding out the sex of your fetus is a non-bailable crime in India. There are serious issues -an elaborate caucus has been hellbent on extinguishing the female ones out here.

    Coming back to our twins, well never really found out unless they arrived, although I suspect the radiologist was aching to tell us. My wife had a troubled pregnancy due to an overdistended ovary and all our energies were focused to see her (and the twins) through.

    But precisely, you have burst the balloon of hypocrisy with a single question, 'If people are so judgemental about those who find out the sex of the baby then how come one of the first questions they ask is "do you know what you're having"?'

    1. I cant believe it is a crime in India to find out. Did your twins arrive safe and sound?