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To Know, or Not to Know

A good friend of ours who is also pregnant again wrote a recent post about the discussions she and her husband are having regarding whether or not to find out if the baby is a boy or a girl. She wrote that they did not find out the gender of their first child until it was born, and they loved waiting. This time, however, I guess they are toying with the idea of finding out sooner.

Stephanie and I were talking about this last night. We never thought about not finding out the gender of the first two. We found out as soon as we could. I think this is best, because gender is such a fundamental part of a person’s identity. It makes up who they are. A person’s name, also a fundamental part of a person’s identity, is often a function of that person’s gender.

Any way that I can know more about my children – and the sooner I can know it – the better. Delaying the knowledge of whether it is a boy or a girl, just to savor the anticipation, seems like – on the day of the child’s birth – waiting until the next day to hold her just to think about how nice it will be. I want to know her now.

Stephanie mentioned last night that she has been thinking about waiting to find out the gender of this third one. I told her she could wait if she wanted. I’d support that. But as for me, at the first sonogram I’ll have the technician whisper it in my ear. And I can keep a secret. I told Stephanie that if she changes her mind and wants to know, she’ll have to wait until the next sonogram.

Honestly, it doesn’t matter to me if we have a boy or a girl. I’d be happy with either, but simply because we already have all of the clothes and other equipment for a boy, another boy might be cheaper right now.

Yesterday, we were at Sam’s Club in Fairbanks loading up on staples. Not actual staples of course, but paper towels, sugar, Cheerios, etc. In the middle of one isle was a pallet of pink boxed play sets obviously marketed toward girls. Each set consisted of a miniature sized stroller, portable crib, bouncy seat, baby carrier, and play tent/floor mat that are to be used for the care, comfort and entertainment of dolls. Stephanie stopped in front of this altar of consumerism and prayed. “See?” she asked. “This is why we need a girl. So I can buy things like this for her to play with!” There is probably not much she could have said or done to make me hope more for another boy. I mean, we already have all of the full sized versions of these things. The last thing we need is a bunch of pretend ones. I feel walls closing in.

Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 01:53PM by Registered CommenterBrian Rozell | Comments8 Comments

Reader Comments (8)

I for one loved not knowing what gender my baby was before he was born. Before we got pregnant Teddy said he didn't want to wait, but once we got pregnant, he warmed to the idea of not knowing...knowing that he would be the one who got to tell me. It was a very special moment when he looked at me with tears in his eyes and said "We have a son! And he is beautiful!"

It was also really fun pissing people off because they either thought we knew and were not telling them or the fact that they couldn't understand why we wouldn't want to know.

Just my thoughts...I know it may be slightly harder to not plan where you live, but you are set if it's a boy and you have Jan to buy you all the girl clothes if it's a girl...she really likes to shop!! :)
November 26, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMel
One consideration though is that ultrasounds are not always accurate. If you'll remember, we were told TWICE that our little Tobias was going to be a girl. We had a name picked out and clothes bought and washed by the time we found out that it was actually another boy (two days before he was born). So, finding out early isn't always the best way to go...

At least now, either way, we do have clothes! And a name. :-)
November 26, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterWife
My how things have changed since I had children. We never knew what we were having and the surprise was always a special moment. Even when Mel was born and the nurses and doctor were saying oh you are having a boy and then another beautiful girl! The look on your father’s face when Brian was born priceless! I just pray for a healthy baby and a safe delivery. Love you all....:<)
November 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMom
Having a girl really has brought out my inner pink. I have always told myself that my daughter won't play with dolls, she'll hike through the woods, and have a bug collection. This summer, we were interviewing potential babysitters. One woman had two young school aged daughters and her house was a little girl mecca with not one but three kitchen sets, hundreds of dolls, and all the accessories. As I eyed the playroom, I thought, "my house will never look like this." But E immediately picked up a doll, her blankie and dolly bottle (even though she was breast-fed) and took care of her 'baby'. When it was time to leave, she cried, and cried, and cried crocodile tears because she had to leave the doll. Even her beloved Grover who was waiting patiently in the car couldn't comfort her on the ride home. So I questioned myself:"She's a GIRL. She should have a doll to play with if she wants one, for pete's sake!" So we drove from the little girl mecca directly to Target and picked out a doll, which she still plays with nearly every day four months later...
November 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCarissa
Y'all are pregnant?! Man, I haven't been keeping up with your posts! Congrats! My husband, Clarke, and I are thinking about trying for our third in the Spring. Congrats, again!!!!
November 28, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMindy
Carissa and I debated whether to find out Elaina’s sex before she was born and ultimately decided not to. During the ultrasound I almost had a change of heart though. Knowing that I could find out right then and there was so incredibly tempting that I almost caved in. After the ultrasound I asked the Dr., "I'm curious, I’m not asking for you to tell me right now, but do you know what it is?" He replied, "No, you told me not to look." Yeah right....I’m sure he knew what it was and probably got a chuckle knowing that I was a centimeter away from changing my mind and he denied me. I guess subconsciously I was hoping he would tell me, but I'm glad he didn't.

For our 2nd child, we have decided to wait and find out the sex when he/she is born. There is something about waiting that makes that moment in the delivery room exponentially more spectacular. Philosophically speaking, I feel that waiting until the day of birth provides a sense of humility in this fast paced information crazed world of ours. Our generation is not used to waiting for anything…..except maybe a Warbelows flight at 50 below zero. My point is that it feels good to be able to wait for something so special and then savor in all of the glory of him/her when they arrive. Plus, ultrasounds aren’t always accurate so why bother? Just ask Tobias.

Oh, and I love not telling people what names we have picked out. For some reason it seems to drive people nuts! Plus I want the name of our child to come from us with no influence from anybody else. Although, I’m always open for suggestions….I like what you have done with Shade-E Shade.

I'm trying to convince Carissa that we should name our child Norbert if he is a boy. That has a good ring, eh?

I miss you guys…..this would have been an awesome conversation to have in the sauna!

November 28, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBryan
I forgot to mention this.

You found out the sex of your first two kids and one ultrasound was wrong. You should consider not knowing the sex until birth so you will have experienced the entire gamut of pre-birth awareness.
November 28, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBryan
Funny, I wasn't aware we'd made a decision to wait till I read Bryan's comment above... I've been working 5 pm-2 AM this week, and we've been like ships passing in the night. Guess he forgot to tell me his thoughts. :)
November 30, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCarissa

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