Anyone who knows me in the real world will tell you I am a bit of an organiser/control freak who hates surprises. In fact, when I got wind that Cardiff Daddy was planning a surprise birthday party for me a few years ago, it left me constipated for almost a week. True story. I can’t stand not knowing what’s going on.
So you might think that when it came to being pregnant, I would take the first opportunity to find out if I was expecting a boy or a girl so that I could be as prepared as possible and because I couldn’t stand not knowing.
In fact, the opposite was true. It’s the one surprise I loved waiting for. We didn’t find out the gender with any of our three children.
Part of the reason is because I love it when I get that pregnancy announcement, “it’s a boy” or “it’s a girl”, the name and all the details. In each of my pregnancies I had friends who were pregnant at the same time as me and who had found out the gender. A few of them had even told us the name from around 20 weeks. It was quite surreal knowing more about other people’s pregnancies than my own! I wanted to have my own ‘here are all the details’ moment.
I’d also heard of a friend of a friend who was told one gender but ended up giving birth to the opposite, so I didn’t really trust the scans.
Part of it is also because when my first pregnancy ended in miscarriage, I knew it didn’t matter to me what gender the baby was. All I wanted was to have a baby. Our miscarriage was detected at our first antenatal scan when I thought I was 13 weeks pregnant. I found every scan after that point really difficult; in fact, I had a panic attack before my 20-week scan for my daughter, my eldest. For me the 20 week scan was all about seeing the heart beat and knowing I was still pregnant. Gender was the last thing on my mind.
It didn’t stop people having an opinion though. During my first pregnancy, everyone thought it was a boy. One friend was so convinced my bump looked a boy bump that she would refer to my baby as a he. It drove me mad! Even the midwife thought it was a boy. So when my daughter was born, it was a huge surprise. With my second and third pregnancies, we didn’t find out. I couldn’t have guessed either way on my second, but with my third I had a sense it was a boy.
I had really long labours (28 hours, 65 hours and then a ‘quick’ eight hours), so it was lovely having an extra surprise to look forward to. It was really special having my husband tell me the baby’s gender each time.
It’s such a personal decision though, and what suits one family won’t suit another. In fact, what suits one pregnancy won’t suit another, and I have several friends who found out on one pregnancy but not another.
I asked a group of other blogging mums whether they found out their baby’s gender. Their answers are below.
Did you know during your pregnancy whether you were having a boy or a girl? Or did you stay firmly in Team Yellow with a ‘surprise’? Do let me know in the comments below, on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page or tweet me on @cardiffmummy
Alana, mum of two, who blogs at www.baby-holiday.co.uk
“We didn’t find out with either of ours, but we were both pretty certain we were having boys (and we did!). I really wanted my husband to tell me the gender when the baby was born so he had a special part on the day. The awkward thing was, through my second pregnancy, he was working in the x-ray department of our local hospital and his colleagues were doing the scans. They all knew what we were having and we didn’t!
Part of the reason I didn’t want to know the second time around was because so many people said ‘I bet you’d love a girl this time around’ and I didn’t want to be faced with other people’s disappointment when I knew we’d be happy either way. If we had another baby (big if!) I think maybe we would find out, so we’d experienced both knowing and not knowing.”
Georgina, pregnant with her second baby, who blogs at http://www.pixiedoes.com/
“We know this pregnancy is our last baby. I did find out the gender the first time, but the hospital couldn’t see until I was about 30 weeks. Anyway, this time I wanted a private gender scan (since it’s our last). I love being prepared and as far as I’m concerned, it’s a surprise at 17 weeks or 40, still a surprise. I was 100% sure, adamant, we were having a girl. But during the scan the technician spotted a little willy and balls – we’re having another boy. I couldn’t be happier. When she said ‘it’s a little boy’ I was gobsmacked! Happy, but shocked! For 17 weeks I’d been convinced I was having a girl – it’s the family tradition, boy then girl! But, back last year I did have a chemical pregnancy, so who knows, maybe that one would have been a girl.”
Ojo, mum of three boys, who blogs at http://www.ojosworld.com/
“I didn’t want to know on my first. On my second, they asked if I wanted to know and I said ‘it’s a boy, isn’t it?’, which surprised the midwife. The third, I told them I wanted a surprise, and they nearly forgot to tell me, when he was born.”
Sarah, mum of two, who blogs at www.thehernimanhouse.co.uk
“We found out with both. With the first, it was very simple, ‘no mistaking’ he was a boy! And a boy he was. With our second we were told at the 20 week scan that we were having a girl. They’re never 100% sure of course, but the sonographer was ‘pretty certain’ the baby was a girl.
Then I suffered an unexplained bleed at 27 weeks so needed extra scans. During one scan the sonographer asked if I knew what I was having, I told him and he looked very panicked! The poor guy really struggled to drop his bomb shell as nicely as possible (he did a good job!) and tell me it didn’t just look like an umbilical cord!
We had a private 4D scan to be certain (couldn’t wait another 13 or so weeks in limbo!) and sure enough ‘she’ was a ‘he’! It was a strange feeling at first as we’d had seven weeks referring to ‘her’ but I’m so glad now that I’ve got my two boys. They’re 3 and 7 months and a true joy!”
Sally, mum of two and grandmother of one, who blogs at http://www.teddybearsandcardigans.com
“When I had mine there was no choice, you had to wait. I would have loved to know but I didn’t have a scan at all on my first and when I had one on my second she was already overdue. I asked and they were very abrupt and said “no! We are only measuring the baby’s thigh”. When they were born the gender wasn’t even on our minds, just that they were OK and had all their bits! With no scans we didn’t know if there were any problems until the baby arrived. I remember asking what I had the first time and my husband had to look, he hadn’t even thought to check.”
Jo, mum of one, who blogs at https://firsttimevalleymam.com/
“I found out what my son was. If they could have told me at implantation I would have! We knew his name from day one and if he was a girl we didn’t have a name.”
Leanne, mum of one, who blogs at http://asliceofmylifewales.com
“We didn’t find out with our daughter Aria. My husband Spencer wanted to because he likes to be prepared and organised. I wanted a surprise and convinced him to have a surprise too. When we went for the scan I really wanted to know and caved and asked them if they could tell, but she had her legs crossed! I was obviously meant to have my surprise.
On the next baby I want the complete opposite experience just to sat that I’ve done it both ways. So I want a private gender scan and I want to do the big gender reveal.”
Cath, mum of one, who blogs at http://battlemum.com
“I found out my baby’s gender at 12 weeks pregnant as we elected to have the Harmony Blood Test done due to my age (now called the NIPT). I was glad I did as I had really wanted a girl but we were pregnant with a boy. I won’t lie, I was very disappointed but it meant I had 28 weeks to get used to the fact there would be blue and not pink in the nursery and I wouldn’t change a thing about it now. BattleKid is 3 now and is often referred to as our Hurricane! I went so far as to writing a post about it.”
Kayleigh, mum of one, who blogs at http://www.littlebandme.co.uk
“I used a private gender scan as a way of checking my son was okay. I didn’t want to tell anyone that I was worried after a minor electric shock, so I used a gender scan as a way of checking he was okay.”
Nicola, mum of two, who blogs at http://www.mamafierce.co.uk
“We found out the first time because we were impatient. We found out the second time because my older daughter had passed away and we wanted the prewarning either way, and it helped me bond with our rainbow girl slowly over a few months. It was the best decision for us because it was all so intense when she was born, that familiarity of knowing her was comforting.”
Lauren, mum of two, who blogs at www.Scrapbookblog.co.uk
“We kept the first baby a surprise, but the second one we found out because we wanted to be able to tell our one year old that she was having a brother to help her get used to the idea and know what to expect. If we had another I’d keep it as a surprise again I think.”
Emily, expecting her 4th child, who blogs at http://www.aslummymummy.com
“We have had a surprise for the last three children, but this time my husband knows and I don’t. He’s pretty good at the bluffs and double bluffs, rather than saying ‘it’ he mixes up the she’s and he’s, that way if he slips up I won’t know… doesn’t stop me second guessing and analysing everything though.” She explains more in this post.
Debbie, mum of three, who blogs at http://www.anorganisedmess.com
“We kept it a surprise the first time as we couldn’t think of any reason to find out. When we found out we were expecting twins on my second pregnancy we decided we would find out just to make purchasing stuff easier – we needn’t have bothered, they spent their first six months in white babygros! It did make it easier with the difficult decisions though – their names. We really struggled with boys names the first time so I’m glad we had lots of time to find two which ‘went’ together!”
Emma, mum of three, who blogs at http://www.methemanandthebaby.co.uk
“We got the sonographer to write the gender into a Christmas card for us so we could put it on the tree and open it on Christmas Day.”
Michelle, mum of two, who blogs at Www.whatmummythinks.co.uk
“We didn’t find out with our first as I really wanted the surprise but my husband was desperate to find out with the second, so we did – we just kept it a secret. The hardest thing was hiding all the boy items I’d bought when people came round. I kept having to hide all the clothes in case people checked in the nursery wardrobe!”
Katie, mum of one, who blogs at www.mummyinatutu.co.uk
“I was determined not to find out. Right up until the week before when I gave in. But no one knew I was going to ask until the day. When they told me it was a girl I burst into tears and the sonographer thought I was upset until I managed to tell her that it hadn’t mattered but a girl was just the cherry on top of the best cake of my life.”
Emma, mum of one, who blogs at https://Emmareed.net
“I had people telling me I was having a girl. My father in law would tap my stomach and say my granddaughter is in there. I was so convinced because everyone was putting it in my head and I almost bought pink paint for the nursery. We found out at our scan and it was a boy! I am so glad I did because it would have been a shock at the birth. I will find out the next time too.”
Suzanne, pregnant with her second, who blogs at www.andanothertenthings.com
“We found out with our second, due in July, because our daughter was so desperate for a sister. She was in the room when we found out we were having a boy and she literally dropped to her knees and screamed “nooooooooo”. My husband had to take her out to calm her down. Luckily she’s over it now and can’t wait to have a baby brother!”
Sarah, mum of three, who blogs at www.boorooandtiggertoo.com
“My husband wanted to find out with our first but I was worried that we would be that couple that ended up having the opposite flavour to what we had been told. At our 21 week scan baby had their legs crossed so we couldn’t find out anyway.”
Lynnette, currently pregnant with baby number two, who blogs at http://www.newmummyblog.com/
“We didn’t find out with our daughter Toddler H, our first, and were adamant we didn’t want to know and couldn’t understand why we’d ever want to ruin that amazing surprise. However, fast forward two years and my pregnancy started so different with this baby (due in a couple of weeks), we were convinced: a boy. My absolute gut instinct said boy and we even had a gender scan so we could find out before Christmas. We couldn’t believe it, convinced they were wrong. The 20 week sonographer also said a girl. Finding out also meant we could prepare, get rid of Toddler H’s old clothes and also prepare her for a sibling
Jo Wiggins, mother of one, who blogs at www.miraclemax.co.uk
“We had a surprise. We’d experienced six losses over a five year period so to us the gender of our rainbow baby really didn’t matter.”
Lucy, mum of one, who blogs at http://muffintopmummy.com
“I didn’t find out – and then I totally forgot to ask or look when she was born! It took me a while to remember that I didn’t actually know if the baby on my chest was a boy or a girl!”
Louise, mum of two, who blogs at https://littleheartsbiglove.co.uk
“I wasn’t going to find out the gender first time around. Then we discovered at the 20 week scan that our baby had a complex heart defect. The prognosis was poor so I wanted to know whether our baby was a boy or a girl so I could bond with them as much as possible during pregnancy because we didn’t know whether we’d have any time with them after they were born. We found out we were having a little girl. We named her when I was 22 weeks pregnant on the day we were told she wouldn’t be suitable for surgery after she was born. She’s now 5 and doing well having had several heart surgeries. We didn’t find out her sister’s gender until she was born though – once the scan had confirmed that all was fine heart-wise, we were happy to hold off on finding out the gender.”
Dani, mum of one, who blogs at http://thiswomansword.com
“My other half felt strongly about not wanting to know the gender of our child as, for us, a smooth pregnancy and birth wasn’t something we ever took for granted! We knew how things could potentially change throughout gestation so the safety of my then unborn child and I was our main priority.”
Claire, mum of one, who blogs at www.dearmummybear.co.uk
“We didn’t want to find out and probably won’t with future children (though I’m still wondering whether I’d want to secretly know ha ha) but we just felt that it didn’t matter to us whether we were having a boy or girl, we just wanted a happy healthy baby, especially after our struggles with trying to conceive and PCOS. I LOVED shopping gender neutral too and saved a bit of money as we only needed some essentials etc and we could get more when the baby was born. Having my partner tell me baby’s gender once he was born was amazing, it got me through a difficult labour too!”
Donna, mum of two, who blogs at http://www.thesleepthiefsmummy.co.uk
“We have two girls, a one year old and a three year old – we didn’t find out with either of them. First time around we bought and were bought loads of horrid beige ugly baby clothes that our poor daughter ended up wearing for months – second time around we bought and were bought all the rainbow stuff. We fell in love with the ‘Little Bird’ range. Second time around we have everyone saying it was a boy and wanging on about the ‘gentleman’s family’. We were pleased it was another girl until we thought about the teenage years and realised how screwed we were!”
Laura, mum of two, who blogs at http://www.ohsomummy.com
“I really wanted to find out the gender as I was hoping for a girl. I was the last girl born in our family 25 years ago so I would have loved to have told my mum I would be giving her a granddaughter. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to do that as I had 2 beautiful boys who I still love beyond words. Six months later my brother and his partner had the baby girl and broke that chain of boys.”
Janet, mum of two, who blogs at http://falcondalelife.com
“We didn’t want to find out because we felt it would be the best surprise in the world for baby to arrive without us knowing. No one disagreed with our decision. And I feel passionately that it really was the best surprise of my life, nothing else has come close. So I would recommend it to anyone – but wouldn’t judge anyone who decided different.”
Jo, mum of three, who blogs at http://cupoftoast.co.uk
“We were undecided whether or not to find out with Chief (age 6). When the sonographer moved the probe about at our 20 week scan and paused, he seemingly did not mind us knowing! She was rather flustered and hurriedly asked if we wanted to know his gender, to which we just laughed and said ‘I think we know now!’. We didn’t mind at all and it didn’t reduce our excitement.”
Lynn, mum of one, who blogs at http://www.glasgowwithkids.co.uk
“We didn’t find out. We didn’t want to. But when I was 6 days past due date in my second pregnancy I had to have a detailed scan. During the scan I saw a little penis and testicles floating about; perfectly clear and so obvious. My husband was with me but he didn’t see it. I couldn’t tell him – didn’t want to ruin the surprise. I only had a few days left (6 in the end) before I was going to have a baby so I kept quiet & tried to convince myself it’d been the cord I’d seen. I did message 1 friend so I’d have proof that I knew though – my husband would never have believed me otherwise!!
Frances, mum of two, who blogs at http://www.whingewhingewine.co.uk
“I had two friends told they were having girls at their 20 week scans and then went on to be told boys at 30+ weeks. If they’d have had straightforward risk-free pregnancies and no late scans they’d have had a bloody shock! As a result I never *quite* trusted it when I was told girl. Although she was. With my boy it was quite obvious, no doubting that!
Vicki, mum of two, who blogs at http://www.tippytupps.com
“I didn’t find out with either. Hubby REALLY wanted to know first time around but I pulled rank. I felt like I needed to save something exciting to keep me pushing! I wanted that ‘it’s a girl/boy’ moment. I’m so glad I did as it was amazing after a difficult few days which ended in an emergency c-section. Hubby loved the surprise so much, that second time around he didn’t want to know either. ]
Laura, mum to four, who blogs at http://www.mummaandco.co.uk
“My partner and I have three boys between us. When I fell pregnant in 2015 I was anxious to find out the gender because although I had made out I was fine having another boy join our family, I couldn’t help but really hope for a girl. Mine and my partner’s family all wanted us to have a baby girl as our families are flooded with boys. The day of the scan came and I took my little boy with me. During the scan my son said ‘please can we find out the sex?’ And I suddenly felt sick with nerves. So I did a ‘let’s all have a guess first!’. My son voted boy, my partner voted boy, and with trying to cover up my disappointment if I wasn’t having a girl, I voted boy too. Sonographer had a look and said, ‘If you’re voting boy, I wouldn’t put any money on it’ and I burst into tears! Best moment ever. My daughter, Holly, is now 13 months old and completely doted on by her three older brothers.”
Nicola, mum of one, who blogs at Http://www.someplacestrange.net
“We’d decided not to find out, but the Tubblet was breech for ages so I had some extra appointments. A friend who was a midwife was on the desk for one of them and hustled me off for a scan. I asked her what it was – a girl – and didn’t tell anyone. For months. I’m useless at keeping secrets so when I confessed my husband didn’t believe me. Until he asked her!”