What if only 1 parent wants to know sex of the baby?

A pregnant friend of mine posted a note on Facebook that they were going to an ultrasound but would NOT be finding out the sex of the baby because her husband did NOT want to know. She really wants to know and is hoping she can change his mind down the road.

So it made me wonder: Who gets to decide whether you find out the sex of the baby? Do you have to both agree to find out? Could one parent find out and the other not find out? Could you actually keep it a secret?

I was lucky that Michael wanted to know too because I don’t think I could have waited. Plus I would have been terrible at hiding the sex if I did know. We both immediately started using the correct pronoun for the baby once we knew.

I believe my cousin’s husband wanted to know and she did not and I think he hid it from her the whole pregnancy. But I bet they are a rare example.

Did you and your spouse want to know the sex of the baby? Who would get the deciding vote if you disagreed? Did you have to persuade your spouse to find out? If so, how? Did you start using the correct pronoun as soon as you found out? Could you hide the knowledge if only you found out? Would you ever find out behind your spouse’s back?

70 comments Add your comment

Vork

October 9th, 2009
7:19 am

Oh look another mundane topic with an extremely easy answer that should hardly be up for any kind of debate.

If you want to know the sex of your unborn baby you have every right to do so….you helped create the baby, you have a legitimate claim to the child and damnit if you want to know the sex then by all means you should be able to do so.

If your spouse doesn’t want to know then you simply do not tell them. That’s their choice if they do not want to know just as it is your choice if you want to know. Case closed….debate UNNESSESSARY.

Razz

October 9th, 2009
7:33 am

again Vork, why are you here??

mom2alex&max

October 9th, 2009
7:47 am

Vork dude, seriously, two words: chill pill.

I am really glad this did not come up with us, cuz I would have DIED of curiosity. I had to know. Specially for the second one. Because if he had been a different gender, I needed to know so I could set things up for a girl. I had everything for a boy!

KAW

October 9th, 2009
7:53 am

We found out at the ultrasound with both girls. I had to know early, so I could prepare the nursery, etc. A lot of people asked us why we didn’t wait to be surprised. I told them it was still a surprise. I just found out at 20 weeks instead of 40 weeks.

Uconn

October 9th, 2009
8:07 am

I wonder how older generations set up the nursery before ultrasounds became the norm? I understand its easier… WHen I have children I do not want to know because I will know the child’s sex for the rest of my life… besides, I like the whole drama of the dad going into the waiting room and annoucing “ITS A…..” Maybe thats a little much.. Who knows…Just happy that its Friday …

Photius

October 9th, 2009
8:11 am

It’s a rather dull post today…. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

JATL

October 9th, 2009
8:20 am

I have to agree with Vork about this whole week. Why haven’t we discussed cross-dressing teens? Anyway, I’m sure MANY will disagree with this, but in my opinion when it comes to pregnancy, the mother calls the shots. I was adamant about knowing, and so was my husband, but even if he hadn’t wanted to know, I would have found out. I would have tried keeping it secret from him, but I definitely would have told others, so I doubt it would have been kept from him for long. I was miserable pregnant, so whatever I wanted to do pertaining to the pregnancy is what I did!

deidre_NC

October 9th, 2009
8:22 am

i only knew with my last one…i had problems in my pregnancy and had tons of tests run and found out pretty early…it wasnt an issue to know or not know…the earlier kids i rarely had any ultrasounds…so it never came up…plus back then they were wrong a lot ot times so i just never wanted to know…i was glad to know with the last one because there were so many problems and i knew that girl babies born in distress had a higher suvival rate (the doctors and nurses all made sure to tell me this) so it eased my worries a little..i knew she was my last and that i would be raising her pretty much alone so i was very happy to know….

vork why do you come here…is it just to see and state how stupid you think this blog is? dont you have better things to do?

Lori

October 9th, 2009
8:31 am

Why would anyone not want to know. The whole surprise thing is just stupid. You’ll end up with a bunch of green and yellow (neutral) crap that once the baby is born you won’t want anymore. Finding out what it is a way cooler, because then you can prepare the nursery and get clothes and gifts that are gender appropriate, and you will appreciate that all the more. I think it is selfish of one person not to let the other one find out. You don’t usually get a second chance, as a normal healthy pregnancy only has one or two ultrasounds, so you are screwed if you change your mind. My last ultrasound was at 4 1/2 months, when I found out the sex. If I hadn’t wanted to know then, I wouldn’t have had another shot.

Lori

October 9th, 2009
8:33 am

And besides, coming up with a name for a baby is way harder than it sounds. I couldn’t have imagined having to come up with both a boy and a girls name. OMG.

YUKI

October 9th, 2009
8:41 am

Just don’t tell the other person. We found out because we both wanted to know…but if my husband would not have wanted to know i still would have found out. It’s still a surprise one way or the other, this way is just earlier. I needed to know to prepare. Some choose not to, and that is great for them. I have a friend who did the ultrasound, they put it in an envelope, gave it to the parents (grandparents) and they knew but the expecting couple didn’t! And they never did find out it was a girl until the birth. See, some people can keep secrets!

Becky

October 9th, 2009
8:42 am

I’m with Vork and Uconn on this one..My niece just had a baby (girl) in July and they only found out the sex at birth..She had no problem decorating the nursery or buying clothes..

Becky

October 9th, 2009
8:50 am

Why is it stupid to not find out? Babies get a lot of pink and blue clothes that they don’t wear, so what difference does it make if they are yellow or green? As for decorating the room. that is more crap to me than finding out the sex..That isn’t done for the baby, that is done to show off to your frineds..Picking out two names isn’t rocket science either..

Kris

October 9th, 2009
8:59 am

Vork is a little “in your face” but is right about
today’s blog. If one parent wants to know, fine, but what’s so hard about keeping your mouth shut for the sake of your partner? I did not find out because, one, ultrasounds were generally only done if a problem was suspected (many years ago), and two, I also wanted that moment at delivery of
“It’s a _____!”

Uconn

October 9th, 2009
9:03 am

Becky … My thoughts exactly… and I don’t think its stupid if you do find out, its all a matter of preference…

gpkbsin

October 9th, 2009
9:03 am

I found out with my first one and didn’t tell my husband because he didn’t want to know. I told 3 or 4 people closest to me and we all had to keep shut so my husband wouldn’t find out. it was tough specially since we worked in the same office.

he gave up with the second one and found out along with me.

Kris

October 9th, 2009
9:05 am

I believe that a blog concerning yesterday’s headline of sex offenders in church would be much
more interesting, because of course I would be very
leery of such a person interacting with my children
but, again, the church is the place for sinners to find love, acceptance, forgiveness and salvation. I guess it would all depend on the severity of the situation as well. Was it a monster such as the family down in Brunswick who molested and killed the poor six year old boy, or a guy in his teens
who had a consensual relationship with his teen
girlfriend? What do you guys think? Maybe this could be a topic for another day.

April

October 9th, 2009
9:06 am

Wow, the grumpies are out today.

We found out with all three of ours. With # 2 & 3, we felt it was important to make the baby “real” for the other little ones as soon as possible and knowing the gender helped with that.

I think it is a personal decision. Personally, I really wanted to know.

New Stepmom

October 9th, 2009
9:17 am

We both want to find out and I am glad there is no debate. I am a planner and I want to give our little one a name as soon as we can-we already have a boy and girl name, just waiting to find out which one we need. I also love to decorate and I cannot wait to do our nursery and finding out will make it more fun for me.

I think it is personal preference and if you don’t want to find out that is cool.

Ashley

October 9th, 2009
9:27 am

I’m with Vork & all the others today – there were so many other topics that could have been discussed but Theresa chose to go with this?? The mind boggles!

Worn out in the Fall

October 9th, 2009
9:32 am

Thankfully my husband and I agree that we will find out in a few weeks. I would have anyway, because I’m such a planner. Although we are not going to share the baby’s name with anyone before the birth.
It’s back “in” now for people not to find out & that is fine by me, just not something I could do myself.

lmno

October 9th, 2009
9:40 am

I am with Vork. Why not some more controversial topics?

ie. Are kids over medicated?
Is ADD a real disease?
How would you react to your son coming out of the closet?
How do you react to your teen’s pregnancy?
Would you approve of your child being in an inter-racial relationship?

Those are just off the top of my head.

Anyway, obviously today’s column is just, if one doesn’t want to know and the other does, then let the one who wants to know, find out and not tell the other.

Next.

Photius

October 9th, 2009
9:59 am

How about another new topic:

Not all children are smart and clever…. Ever come home and say to your spouse, “Honey, I saw a kid today at the playground that was really stupid”. Children are like any other group of humans, around 20% of them are dumber than a box of rocks – have that topic for blog!

LM

October 9th, 2009
10:17 am

I didn’t want to know before the baby was born. I enjoyed the suspense and the daydreams of a boy or girl an dour surprise and joy.

When I had the ultrasound, the baby kept it’s legs together so we could not see and I was happy that the suspense would go on. I had no trouble setting up the nursery and my baby shower was held after she was born. We had no problems picking a boy name, but the gril name was muc more difficut since I swear every name he dated a girl with that name and she was “crazy”. I think picking the girl names was the hardest part of the whole pregancy and child birth.

I really think it is about personal preference, just like the name you pick – if you want to know the gender it is your choice.

Heym Imno...

October 9th, 2009
10:21 am

…ADD is not a real disease but division and multiplication are real killers!

New Stepmom

October 9th, 2009
10:54 am

LM, we have had a hard time with girl names too. We have one that I am completely sold on and that my husband will go with if we do not come up with something we both like better. Our boy name came together in about 2 seconds.

Becky

October 9th, 2009
11:04 am

New Stepmom, one of my sisters has 3 granddaughters by her youngest son and I tell her all the time that they all have stripper names..LOL..My niece that just had the girl picked a way to name her daughter for her late Father even though his name was Craig..He was born in Savannah and that’s where he’s buried, so she named her Savannah..So good luck with your name picking..As others have said, it’s great for family and friends to offer suggestions, but the final say should be left up to you and the husband..

DB

October 9th, 2009
11:06 am

We didn’t want to know with our first child. Absolutely did NOT want to know. I’m the sort that adore surprise parties, so I guess maybe this is more of the same — I loved carrying a child, not knowing if it were a boy or a girl, and waiting to find out. I dunno, at the time, it almost seemed like (and this is going to sound terribly romantic/fanciful/silly, chalk it up to hormones) some sort of invasion of the baby’s privacy. I wasn’t really into Blue or Pink decorations — to me, it was a baby, and the decorations didn’t really matter too much. I had a theme that I liked, and I would have liked it regardless of whether it was a boy or a girl. My mother was annoyed with me, because she was doing a cross-stitch piece, and wanted to know whether or not to frame it in pink or blue. I suggested a brighter color, and she just glared at me. :-) Honestly, for most of the history of human experience, no one ever knew the sex of their child before birth, and things turned out just fine. I didn’t need to know the sex to be able to feel that it was a real child — the sex really didn’t matter — it was my baby, period.

Now, on the second one . . . (hahaha!)

We were having an ultrasound done for the second one, and the technician asked, “Do you want to know the sex?” My husband and I were startled, because we really hadn’t thought about it. We stared at each other, and my husband shrugged, grinned, and said “It’s up to you, hon.” I thought about five seconds and said, “Okay . . . ?” and she said that it was definitely a girl. I was thrilled — we had a boy, and I had sorta hoped for a girl, and there it was. We still didn’t TELL anyone what the sex was, because I had known too many couples who announced about Little Jessica and had gone overboard with the pink eyelet emboidery, only to discover that Jessica was really James, Again, my mother was extremely annoyed that we wouldn’t tell. But it was our secret — I guess I sorta felt (another fanciful notion) that the baby had let us in on a secret, but it wasn’t our secret to tell.

But both babies grew up to be lovely adults who don’t seem to have any issues with gender confusion, so I don’t think it really mattered, either way :-)

Vork, I think you have to get over yourself. Not every topic has to be earthshattering. Sometimes, the blog is just a conversation between parents over inconsequential things, the sort of conversations that would happen over coffee or at the playground. That doesn’t make them meaningless, it just makes them friendly, an exchange of ideas. If you don’t like the topic, then do what most of us do on those occasions that we don’t have anything to contribute — shut up and let those who enjoy the topic have at it.

DB

October 9th, 2009
11:13 am

@lmno, your topic suggestions are interesting, but most of them apply to parents who have older teenagers, and that’s not most of the parents on this blog, I don’t think. A few of us have older kids, but for the majority, your topics would not be something that they could pull out of real life — it would devolve to a series of “I think I would do this . . .” when, in fact, none of us know how we react until we are faced with the issue. I, for one, am not inclined to speculate on how I might react.

My 2 cents worth

October 9th, 2009
11:21 am

To answer the question posed this morning: the parent, who wants to know, should know. However, The parent, who doesn’t want to know, will probably determine the sex by the nursery decoration, shower gifts, etc.

Due to my late entry into motherhood (early 40’s), my gyn/ob practice insisted that I have a CVS procedure during the first trimester. The results indicated that I was carrying a girl. My gyn/ob informed me that maternal contamination could not occur. If the test said that I was carrying a girl, I could paint the nursery pink. To make a long story short, I selected a girl’s name (Kathryn Brooke) and my friends gave me a baby shower replete with pink outfits. My husband and I decorated the nursery in a uni-sex fashion. We wanted to plan for a second baby — hopefully a boy. When my first born emerged, the doctor exclaimed, “It’s a boy!” I responded, “No, it’s not! It’s a girl!” The doctor had to present him to me before I would accept the fact that a boy had truly emerged. What a mindset change!

Contrary to what I had been told, maternal contamination had occurred. Also, the lab had NOT read all the slides. My doctor insisted that the lab re-read all the slides to determine that all was well. The head of the lab called to apologize. Apparently, the mis-reading had occurred in only 3 out of 7,000 procedures.

The moral of this story is: mistakes can happen.

Becky

October 9th, 2009
11:22 am

@DB..You are right about the ultrasounds being wrong..I have a friend that has a 23 year old daughter that up until the day before she was born, the Dr. told her that it was a boy..

MomsRule

October 9th, 2009
11:28 am

lmno – great topic suggestions!

New Stepmom

October 9th, 2009
11:29 am

Becky, THANKS! I agree about family getting in on the naming. They did not create the baby and are not going to pay for college so they get no say. When we find out if we are having a boy or girl we will say they baby is a boy/girl and his/her name is….Not we are thinking about naming it whatever but his/her name is. I hope that cuts down on the “input.”

Both of our names are family names (boy name=his grandafather’s name and my maiden name, girl name= my aunt’s name and his grandmother’s name). My husband’s father told us we needed to use my husband’s first name instead of my maiden name for a boy name and I told my husband unless his dad was going to give birth to this child or be sick like I have been, he needs to stay out of it. Afterall a boy will have the “family name” his whole life. I think we have steered clear of “stripper” names for a girl. I think our girl name is very old fashioned without being old lady and southern and I think it is a winner and it will grow on the hubs.

My dearest friend, my matron of honor, originally chose a name for her 2nd girl that sounded like a stripper name. I kept my mouth shut, but her dad told her it sounded like a stripper name. When she asked my opinion, I came clean, but not until she asked…

Becky

October 9th, 2009
12:01 pm

New Stepmom..How does Aryan Star and Danyelle Rain sound? Maybe some people may not think that but I do..Not to mention that my nephew says he named her Aryan because it means pure..Yeah right..

I’m also not a big fan of naming the boy JR. the second or blah, blah..It’s ok (to me) to give them a similar name or one of the fathers names, but I think that they should have their own name..I have a coworker that named her son Donnie and at 19, she still calls him that, yet we have a customer that his name is Timmy and she thinks it’s crazy to call a grown man Timmy..

Stan

October 9th, 2009
12:41 pm

Becky, omg! those ARE stripper names!

On the JR etc, my midddle name is my fathers first name. My oldest brother has my fathers middle name for his first name.

Stan

October 9th, 2009
12:43 pm

Not that I’ve EVER met or seen a stripper…I’m just saying that if I had met strippers I would expect them to have names like that ;)

Becky

October 9th, 2009
12:54 pm

@Stan, glad to know that I’m not the only one that thinks that..They want to have a boy and I told them I can’t think of a boy stripper name..LOL..So, if anyone knows one, we are eopne for suggestions, because God forbid, she is pregnant with number 4…The oldest daughter doesn’t really have a bad name, it’s just not typical spelling that we know..Mei Rose…

The way you and you brother are named is the way that my oldest sister named her twin boys..

catlady

October 9th, 2009
12:56 pm

I never knew for certain. That was before parents could find out. I think my (former) husband and I would have liked to have known. I had a feeling each time and gave the baby a name in my diary (and was right each time). I almost always get it right when I guess for friends. Have only missed 3x-but once was my granddaughter!

I am, however, no good at telling where a well should be drilled!

catlady

October 9th, 2009
12:58 pm

It is very hard to name your children if you have been a teacher for years, I can tell you. There are unwelcome “associations” with many names.

JATL

October 9th, 2009
1:08 pm

I vote for Photius’s topic! YES, some kids are dumb -how do you think we get so many dumb adults? I like the idea of this for a topic -”Are you honest with yourself about your children’s abilities?” Seriously, we’ve caused problems in our society with this “everyone must go to college” BS, and so many people refuse to believe or admit that maybe their kid should look at different options. Also, people can be smart in many different ways and LOTS of jobs out there that require some training, skill and intelligence but no college pay well (plumbers, electricians, etc.)

Having said that -of course my two kids are near genius level and will probably be rocket scientists and neurosurgeons. AND I’m certain that’s because I knew they were both boys by my 16th week of pregnancy ;-)

Rally One

October 9th, 2009
1:09 pm

DB, not sure how you know that most of the bloggers on here have young kids, in fact quite a few of us do have teenagers (and older) and would def like to have topics pertaining to them more often. Even about our adult children would sometime be interesting…

New Stepmom

October 9th, 2009
1:15 pm

JATL…I love the idea “Are you honest with yourself about your children’s abilities?” I think your are on the money with your assessment!

Becky…Yep, those are stripper names. Poor kids….

MomsRule

October 9th, 2009
1:37 pm

Photius, over the years my husband and I have both come home at one time or another and told the other about some “dumb” kid we’ve seen. You are 100% correct in that some people really are dumb as a box of rocks!

Tiffany

October 9th, 2009
1:40 pm

To answer the question: If I am pregnant, then I call the shots. Sorry, dads, but the moms just have a little more pull than you in this situation. I chose NOT to find out the sex of all of my children…it was a wonderful surprise to everyone in the family when we finally found out what the baby was. I can’t imagine some family members knowing ahead of time, and some not knowing…that is plain silly to me. I think everyone must go along with the mom’s choice and that is that. Is it really THAT HARD to pick out a boy name and a girl name just in case? Decorating is easy too…a lot of cute patterns are unisex and look adorable for girls and boys. My way of thinking was that it was comparable to getting a really special gift that had been beautifully wrapped, like for Christmas, or your birthday. To me it takes away some of the joy if you were to unwrap it, then put it back in the box and re-wrap it -only to open it up again in 9 months…

JJ

October 9th, 2009
1:54 pm

Right after I had my baby, I ran into a lady who worked in the same building. She said – Oh you had your baby, what did you have? I replied “A cat”……

Don’t name your kid after yourself, then call them by their middle name. Not good when you are travelling on a cruise and you have to go by your FULL Name……

Once you chose a name, go outside and yell it 15 times, and see if you still like it….

penguinmom

October 9th, 2009
2:16 pm

Okay, perhaps I truly can’t imagine having a spouse obtuse enough that I could keep that information from them. I married an intelligent man who would have figured it out pretty quickly when I started buying mainly blue clothes or decorating the nursery in primary versus pastel colors. What’s the point of knowing if you don’t use that information to prepare?

I can imagine the husband hiding the information easier than the wife. A husband doesn’t really make a lot of the choices for decor and isn’t usually involved in baby showers.

I wanted to know and my husband really didn’t on the first one. We found out because I was the one pregnant and he was agreeable. We didn’t find out with the second which actually made things harder because then we had to buy a lot of stuff after she was born since our first was a boy. Found out on the last one so our kids would be prepared so they would get used to what was coming.

I didn’t really think it ruined anything to find out. It meant that we started thinking of the little one by name from very early on. It also meant I could relax and enjoy purchasing things specifically for this baby instead of more generically. Finding out was still a wonderful surprise, just happened earlier rather than later.

Tiffany

October 9th, 2009
2:24 pm

True story-my friend’s husband is named Steve. They named their son Steve Jr. Their daughter got married to a man named Steve. They named their son Steve Jr. All men/boys go by the name of Steve. Is this confusing to anyone besides me? I think in this case, going by a middle name, or hey, even a nickname might help. My friend has a husband, son, son in law and grandson all named Steve…

penguinmom

October 9th, 2009
2:29 pm

The problem with Vork is not that he doesn’t like the topics but that he thinks we care if he that he doesn’t like the topic. There is often a topic that I don’t care about, I just don’t read it or don’t comment on it.

If you have a suggestion for a topic, email it to Theresa and she can use it another day. Don’t keep complaining about the topic of the day, go do something more interesting.

Becky

October 9th, 2009
2:40 pm

@Tiffany, we are that way with Roberts..A former coworker had a frined that named her son JR after the husband (and get this), she named the daughter JR after her..

Tiffany

October 9th, 2009
2:45 pm

I think it seems to be harder for some to come up with original names…