Why I Didn't Find Out the Gender of My Baby

Why I Didn't Find Out the Gender of Our BabyWhy I Didn't Find Out the Gender of Our BabyI'm a habitual planner, and to say I have a bit of a controlling nature is a gross understatement. So when I became pregnant with our third baby, I assumed, as did everyone who knows me, that we'd find out the gender of this baby. That was the plan because of course I had to know the sex of this baby so I could plan, plan, plan the months away leading up to the birth, right? Well, it turns out that sometimes plans are best when derailed a bit.

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As the day grew closer for me to make the magical 18-week ultrasound appointment so we could see if baby number 3 was a he or a she, I started to fill with dread. I knew that once I found out I would go into hyperactive planning mode, which for me would also mean hyperactive stress mode. 17 weeks into this third pregnancy, and it was the most relaxed and peaceful pregnancy yet. I felt happy and content, and I was quite frankly afraid of rocking the happy boat. I just wasn't ready to start thinking about planning. Nursery colors, crib bedding, names! I wanted to relish in this new-found pregnancy bliss that I had never really allowed myself to experience before.

And so at the suggestion of a few friends, we just didn't find out. We made our ultrasound appointment and confirmed that baby boy or girl looked healthy, and we looked away when the tech advised us to so we wouldn't ruin the surprise. We walked away with an ultrasound picture of the head and torso and I went on with my happy blissful pregnancy.

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When friends and family ask us why we didn't find out, I don't really tell them I'm using this as a lesson in letting go of control and relaxing a bit more. There's no reason for them to know how crazy I can be sometimes. Instead I give a standard reply of, "Since we have one of each and it's our final pregnancy, we thought the surprise would be fun." As silly as it sounds though, not finding out the sex has taught me a lot about releasing control and just letting go.

With 7 weeks to go before my due date, I have started to want to plan and finalize the nursery: nesting symptoms at their finest. But it turns out that decorating in a gender-neutral theme is quite fun and even liberating, not stressful like I once thought it would be. My reasons for not finding out the gender of baby number 3 may not be the most conventional of reasons, but it's worked for us and I haven't once regretted it, or thought it would be easier if we had found out. And we're currently taking bets on whether it's a boy or girl!

- By Andrea Howe
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