Sunday, February 23, 2014

To find out or not to find out...

Should we find out, boy or girl?

Baby #3 13w3d
Such a loaded question. One that I have found generates a lot of discussion. It seems when it comes to finding out the gender of a baby everyone has an opinion.

I will start with the standard, 'as long as the baby is healthy, we don't care what it is'. Above all else this is really the only thing that matters.

I will be honest and admit that when Matt and I first found out we were pregnant with Lily, I was hoping for a boy. I have said this a million times but I KNEW I was having a girl. I have never been more certain of anything. I realized recently that I have never really written in detail about my pregnancy with Lily. I wasn't blogging at the time. To give you a little back story: We got pregnant our first month of trying, I felt terrific throughout my entire first trimester, and going in to my first ultrasound at 12 weeks I didn't have a care in the world. The ultrasound went great and I had my blood drawn for the quad screen about a week later. I came home from school on a Thursday afternoon to an email from the NP at my doctor's office stating that I needed to get in touch with her immediately. Apparently she had been trying to get in touch with me all week and sure enough there were several messages on the answering machine that we never checked. The messages stated that there was an issue with my blood work that was concerning and that I would need to be seen as soon as possible. I didn't get the email until after hours so there was nothing we could do but wait until Friday morning. Thursday night I didn't sleep at all, and I did a lot of crying. I just couldn't believe there was something wrong with my baby. I was exactly 17 weeks pregnant. The following morning we got the news were we dreading, I had elevated AFP in my blood. The levels indicated that the baby had a 1 in 30 chance of having Spina Bifida. I dropped to my knees in the living room and prayed harder than I have ever prayed that God would protect my baby. It was the worst moment of my entire life. The nurse was able to get us an appointment at a nearby hospital for a level II ultrasound that afternoon. I had told Matt that I did not want to know the sex of the baby, I thought it would make it too hard for me to let go if we found out that the baby was going to die. The sonographer was wonderful and so kind. As soon as she found the baby she asked us if we wanted to know the gender and I blurted out YES. Matt looked surprised and asked me if I was sure. I can't explain the change of heart other than to say that in that moment, looking at our baby, I just had to know everything I could about this tiny person who owned my heart.

The sonographer said that she was 90% sure she knew we were having a girl. To which I replied, "I am 100% sure." After she was done taking her measurement she left and what felt like an eternity passed while the doctor read the results in another room. He came in, introduced himself, and wasted no time in telling us that he really thought the baby would not be paralyzed. He could not promise that she would not have some nerve damage but he did assure us that her spinal column was closed and that as far as he could tell she was perfect. I of course hung on to the fact that she might have nerve damage that would not be diagnosed until after she was born and not the part where he said she was perfect...but Matt swears that last part actually did happen. Lily was born with a deep (as in I could put the tip of my pinky down in it) dimple just above her butt crack that was cause for concern and a pretty clear indication that our positive quad screen had not been a false positive. By the grace of God Lily is perfect and has no permanent nerve damage. She was diagnosed with Spina Bifida Occulta, which is a mild condition that most people live their whole lives without knowing they even have. Needless to say it was a memorable gender reveal but not one that I would ever want to live through again.

Ben's pregnancy was literally textbook in every way. Going in to our 20 week ultrasound I really did think we were having another girl. I didn't "know" like I had with Lily, I think that I just couldn't imagine any other outcome. I just about fell of the table when the sonographer said 'boy'.

Each time we have found out the gender of our baby Matt and I have been together with a sonographer sitting a few feet away...not exactly the time or place for a big celebration. This time I want to do it differently, if we do it at all. As I mentioned the other day I am fine with not knowing this time around. Matt is dead set against waiting. I personally do not understand his need to know. We already have one of each, the new house has plenty of room for all of us, and my girlfriend and I have a great clothes swap already established. There are no logistical reasons for finding out like in the past. I do think that I will feel more connected to the baby if we find out the gender, maybe?. Which is obviously a big factor in favor of finding out. That being said I have had several very negative experiences after the gender was revealed and names are being discussed. If no one knows the gender than there is no reason for anyone to know the baby's name either! I think it might be sort of exciting to go to the hospital not knowing whether we were coming home with a brother or a sister!

Dingle is so adamant that he has to know that I suspect that I am going to lose this one. If I am going to lose, then at the very least we are going to find out on my terms. In other words I want to have a big to-do over the whole thing! As of right now we have agreed to have the sonographer put the gender in an envelope and we will decide if, how, and when to reveal the gender at a later date.

I would love to hear how you feel about the I said everyone seems to have an opinion!


  1. I commented on your blog the other day, but I don't think it posted for some reason. Anyway- I am a new reader and am loving your blog :). I'm from NH, went to high school in ME, and live now in MA so it's fun to see another New Englander's blog. I can understand why some like to wait to find out the baby's sex, but for my own babies I really wanted to know. It just made me even more excited, and made me feel more connected to the baby being able to picture if it was a boy or a girl. Somehow you can picture what life will be like with that baby a little more clearly when you know if it's a boy or girl, I think. But of course there's no right or wrong way to do it. Just hard when you and your spouse don't want to do it the same way!

  2. This does seem to be a hot topic! We found out with our 1st and 3rd, but #2 was a surprise. Actually, we had a somewhat similar story to yours with #1 - we weren't going to find out, but then when there was some cause for concern at our ultrasound (choriod plexus cyst/soft markers for trisomy 18), there was just no question in my mind that I needed to know as much about my baby in there as I could. So we decided not to find out for #2, and to be totally honest, it was a little anticlimactic in comparison to finding out at the ultrasound. I was just SO EXCITED to have my baby OUT and healthy, that I almost forget that I didn't know if it was a girl or a boy. The post L&D adrenaline is so high and the love hormones are raging, so they could have said, "It's a bunny!" and I would have been elated, haha! I also feel like when we did find out, I was better able to bond with the baby and it made my pregnancies go by faster.
    I feel like I'm in the minority though - most people who wait to find out say that that moment of announcement is the greatest moment ever. So I guess it just depends.
    Regardless of whether we find out or not, we always wait to announce the name until after baby is born (we've been known to make game time decisions in that department anyway!).
    Good luck with your decision :)

  3. So interesting to read about Lily's Quad Screen---my OB had a 1 in 8 chance of Down Syndrome with her first baby (she has four now) after the screen.. It all turned out fine but she likes to tell that story to help ease the worries of the screen. So glad it all turned out well for you.

    Duh, I love finding out! It absolutely helps me to bond with the baby, to make it seem more real. We didn't tell a soul our name for Truman, and that was such a PITA that we told everyone Cecelia's name. I suspect we will tell this baby's name, too---just not on the internet. Has to be a surprise somewhere!! ;)

    Best of luck deciding! I like to find out because I feel like the birth is already magical and BEYOND special for me. Now I get to have two 'special moments' in the pregnancy;)

  4. I think you should give the envelope to me and I will plan a surprise for when and where you find out!

  5. I refuse to refer to any unborn child by name, I do like knowing names, as you are well aware I am obsessed with names in general. I like when other people find out the gender so that I can simply refer to "it" as BBS or BGS, (baby boy/girl Sither) I have no other real opinion on the matter being that I have no children and as of now if I were to get pregnant I wouldn't want to find out. I do think you'll loose this one to dingle, and of course healthy and happy is most important. Reading this entry and the above replies has made me think about the idea of "bonding" with your fetus, and I think that is a good thing, and if you know you'll bond by knowing than so be it! Whatever you decide of course we will all love IT and spoil IT rotten. Xo