A standard question I’ve come to expect from interested parties: “Are you going to find out the sex?” It seems simple enough; there are only two answers, after all. But this question prompted a serious discussion in the North household. Arthur and I had both been adamant about our positions long before we planned to conceive, and now an actual decision needed to be made.
I strongly believed in the element of surprise, while Arthur staunchly supported the benefits of finding out. “This way we’ll know what colored stuff to get,” he argued. I shot right back with, “We can do gender-neutral colors and then choose a gender-specific accent color after.” He tried another angle, “We can cut the name options by half if we find out before.” “We already have options on the table, so I don’t see why it would matter to cut it in half.”
Back and forth we went, until it finally boiled down to the fact that he really wanted to know and I really didn’t. The suggestion that he learn the sex and keep it a secret was thrown out; I knew there would be too much risk of letting a pronoun slip. Eventually, from word of mouth, we learned of a couple who had found out with their first two children and let the third one’s sex be a surprise. Their feedback (and a frantic search for gender-neutral items that weren’t clearly of the male persuasion) ultimately resulted in my change of heart.
The mother admitted there was no benefit of waiting. In fact, it made it more difficult because they didn’t know whether to bring out the girl or boy gear stowed away in the basement. The clincher for me, though, was what the father felt. He found it harder to connect with the baby in utero because he couldn’t picture what his child would be. With the knowledge of the sex during previous pregnancies, he could develop an easier bond with his son or daughter.
And that’s when I realized I was indifferent. We’d find out eventually, right? But Arthur needed this opportunity to feel more involved with the pregnancy. I know he’d bond with our baby regardless of whether there were pink tutus or blue baseball hats in our future—that was never in question. If finding out the sex before delivery helps him imagine our future life together as a family, well, I wouldn’t want to hold him (or future me and little Roo!) back.
So the 20-week ultrasound appointment’s set! And now that we decided to definitely find out, I’m getting more excited for that big day. We’ll get to spend a longer time looking at him or her than if we weren’t trying to get a shot of the goods, which is something else I never considered before. Besides, now I’ll have more wiggle room in the registry department …