I'd love to hear you talk about finding out or not finding out the sex of the baby. Here's the dilemma I'm facing:
I'm not pregnant but we are starting to try for #2. We've always wanted at least one boy (and our first was a girl). For some odd reason, I had decided that I didn't want to find out the sex with the next baby thinking that that would reduce any disappointment if it turned out to be a girl. Of course I feel like I have to say that I would love any baby, but I would be lying if I didn't admit that I would be disappointed to not have a boy next because we are only planning on having two children.
I had just about convinced my husband to not find out the sex and now he is making me second guess my decision. He really thinks we should find out for convenience sake, but I argue that it doesn't really matter because we won't be re-doing the nursery or buying new things no matter the outcome.
I am an extreme Type A kind of girl and I hate surprises in general so in a way it was kind of an exercise in discipline to see if I could really do it (you know, character building), but now I'm starting to back out thinking that it would just be so much easier to know. I'm just so afraid that if I find out ahead of time that it's a girl then I will be more disappointed than if I'm there in the hospital when the doctor announces that it's my new daughter. What are your thoughts on finding out the baby's gender when you can vs. not finding out? There may be some of your readers out there with some advantages/disadvantages to either scenario that I haven't already thought of.
At first I thought I would just reply to Courtney's email and NOT do a post on this: I've reached my LIFETIME LIMIT on hearing "It's like opening the present before Christmas!" and "There are so few surprises in life, I don't want to spoil one of them!" But then I couldn't resist: I really, really like hearing what you guys think about things. Um, as long as you don't say either of those two things, because LIFETIME LIMIT.
It's hard for me to say for sure, since I found out midway every time, but my feeling is that the surprise is the same either way: it's merely an issue of finding out sooner (less time to wait) rather than later (more time to wait). I disagree with the point of view that it's only a surprise if it comes a few months later. I was MIGHTY SURPRISED at each ultrasound, and disliked people implying that the Window of Surprise Opportunity was only open during the birth itself.
Also, for me, the boy/girl surprise is not as big a surprise as the baby itself. I like to spread the surprises out: the boy/girl surprise midway, and the Baby Itself surprise at the end. I can see, though, how it might be nice to have the two surprises happening simultaneously, so that the Baby Itself surprise can overshadow the boy/girl surprise if necessary. Or, you might instead be thinking you don't want the birth of the baby tainted by any disappointed you might feel if the baby was not the sex you were expecting or hoping for.
One of my primary reasons for finding out midway is that it takes me awhile to adjust to new things, and I wanted plenty of time to get used the situation EITHER WAY. (Another primary reason was that Paul REFUSED to wait, and said that if I didn't want to know, HE'D find out and not tell me.)
A lot of people like to know ahead of time because of gifts. In my circle, everyone gives presents AFTER the baby is born anyway, so it doesn't matter.
I think it's more exciting for OTHER people when someone waits until the birth to find out. It's hard to beat the "It's a girl/boy!" announcement.
Some people like to find out midway so that they can feel more connected to the baby, or more prepared for its arrival. I feel that way. The first half of the pregnancy, I feel weird not knowing if the baby I'm imagining is a girl or a boy. I feel happier during the second half, when I know.
Since I like baby names so much, you might think I'd want to wait until the birth so I could choose two baby names, one for a boy and one for a girl. But I find the name hunt exhausting as well as exhilarating, and I have more fun with it when I know what half of the name book to look at. Also, I hate the idea of putting so much effort into finding two perfect names, knowing I'm GUARANTEED to lose one of them. And because names are such a hobby of mine, I've even found that they can affect what I hope for: if I find a great girl name but a meh boy name, I start hoping for a girl so I can use the great name instead of the meh one.
Some people like to wait longer because they find the anticipation stimulating, and the excitement of wondering helps them to get through the pregnancy and delivery. I find anticipation wearying and stressful.
I don't think either way is "better;" I think it's only a matter of preference. The boy/girl element isn't the Christmas present, it's only the wrapping---and you can see the wrapping paper in August and still not lose the magic of Christmas.