“Are you going to find out what you’re having?” There isn’t any scientific evidence but I’m confidant this is the second most asked question a pregnant women gets when she announces she’s expecting. The first question is, “When are you due?” Due date, however, is assigned. You have no say in when that baby is coming. Deciding on whether to find out the baby’s sex prior to delivery is your first major decision as a mom.
When I got pregnant with my third child I knew that I had to pick a side: to wait or not to wait. I had two boys whose genders were revealed through ultrasounds at 20-weeks. For my third, and final, pregnancy I had to choose if I wanted to be a “Finder” or a “Waiter.”
Finders like to know as soon as possible. Finders are planners, doers. Tell me what I’m having so I can be overly prepared. Waiters are on the quest to experience the most magical surprise in the world. A mom that waited will swear up and down and all around her uterus that waiting is the way to go. “There are no surprises in life!” a mother who waited will quip. Waiters frown at Finders and try to convince them there is nothing more exciting than when the baby arrives and the sex is finally revealed.
Was it really more special to wait?
Had I completely missed out on “one of life’s great surprises” by finding out via ultrasound? I decided to settle the debate myself. I would wait it out. Was it worth the wait?
Anxious doesn’t begin to describe how I felt with my first children having to wait until the halfway point to find out if I was having a boy or girl. I spent 20-weeks entering in my conception, menstruation, and birth date into Chinese predictor calendars; I dangled necklaces over my belly to see if they twirled or whirled; I read everything imaginable about what could possibly be growing inside of me. Waiting 20-weeks was hard enough and the thought of waiting 40-weeks was ridiculous.
During my third pregnancy I decided early on that I wouldn’t find out and didn’t think twice about it. I saved so much time and sanity trying to predict something that couldn’t be foretold no matter what the Chinese calendar prophesied. Once my mind was made up it gave me the freedom to not think about it the rest of the pregnancy.
Choosing to wait came with a weird side effect.
I couldn’t quite wrap my head around this baby. I had a deep connection with all three of my babies when they were in the womb. I relished every movement and little kick. Nevertheless, not finding out my third child’s sex meant I lacked a bond that I had felt during my previous pregnancies.
During my third “mystery” pregnancy I realized I was carrying a child I knew little about. I couldn’t refer to the child by name. I couldn’t talk to my boys about a brother or sister; their sibling became an impersonal “baby” or “it.”
Forming a deeper bond isn’t something I hear mothers talk about when they debate waiting verses finding out. Yet I felt a greater bond during my first pregnancies upon learning each time I was carrying a boy. Finding out I was having a boy meant I could start bonding with my son immediately. I began forming a relationship with him before he had even entered the world.
This baby inside of me was a complete enigma.
How could I start to form a relationship with a daughter if I wasn’t having a girl? I couldn’t form a true bond with something that may or may not exist
Forty weeks came and went and if I’m being honest I spent the last five days on the Internet entering my age into Chinese gender predictor charts. I went into that delivery room eager to meet my new son or daughter. Was I more excited to deliver this mystery child? No, I was just as excited with my first two even knowing what was to come. Knowing that I would find out the sex didn’t make me push better or make labor less painful. Childbirth was equally as emotional for me being a Waiter as it had been as a Finder.
Every mother should freely and gloriously choose when to experience the big reveal of her child’s sex. I love that Finders and Waiters always become exasperated when they come face to face with a mother of the opposite choice. Most declare, “I could never do that!” And nor should she. As for me, was it worth the wait? My daughter was worth the wait; I just wish I had found out sooner.