To Know Or Not To Know…


Pregnancy is such a joyful, stressful, life-changing journey….and at the end, you have your bundle of joy to love and raise and educate and worry about (stay tuned for posts on all these issues!).  If you have been pregnant during the last 30 years or so, you surely heard at least once a day after Week 20, “do you know if you’re having a boy or a girl?”  Or, “are you going to find out what you’re having?”  Depending on your answer, you may have been surprised at the reaction you received.  For women pregnant today, you too will inevitably face this question frequently. What stance will you take as you enter your 2nd trimester of pregnancy?  There are two seriously divided camps on this issue.

On the one hand we have the “old-schoolers” who claim that ruining that glorious surprise just takes all the fun out of it.  Back in the days before ultra-sound technology, there was no choice.  You found out whether you were going to stock up on pink or blue(to add to your neutral white, yellow and green) the day your baby was born.  You picked (and fought about) a girl name and a boy name.  Maybe it should have stayed that way.  Old-schoolers love that precious moment when the doctor (or partner) announces the baby’s gender.  If there are siblings, they love to tell them after the birth and hear them shout out with glee at the news.  They bask in the preparation and mailing out of the birth announcements, the phone calls to grandparents on the edges of their seats.  They just love the NOT knowing.  And of course, emotion isn’t the only factor that motivates their opinion.  They also point out that doctors and technicians make mistakes, nobody’s perfect after all.  What if they get it wrong?  What will all the Type A gender detective parents do then?  They would much rather hear all the guesses and enjoy one of life’s genuine surprises.

The “gotta-know”ers feel quite a bit differently.  They argue that finding out at 20 weeks gave them just as big a thrill, and a bit of a head start.  They too experienced the breathtaking gasp of that incredible announcement; it just wasn’t amid the drama of the labor and delivery suite.  They were then able to make the necessary phone calls and update their baby registry.  They were able to plan the nursery down to the last detail.  But more importantly, they were able to start bonding with their little one by name.  And what if they are told the wrong gender?  Gotta-knowers today pooh-pooh that suggestion.  Perhaps 25 years ago there were occasional errors, but with current technology, you can practically get a magazine quality image of your baby.  And, they boast, they do not have to succumb to relatives (and strangers!) balancing a spoon on their belly or dangling a crystal in an unorthodox attempt at predicting their offspring’s gender.  They don’t have to be eyed up and down and around to determine “how they are carrying” and to hear the pronouncements that gaining weight everywhere surely means a girl.

Of course there is no right or wrong opinion.  You can even change your mind; there is certainly no law against that.  Whatever your stance, it is the right one for you, and that is all that matters.  It’s just one of the many interesting (and somewhat controversial) facets of pregnancy.