Guest blogger Jill Simonian: If God wanted us to know the sex of our babies before they are born, He would've made a window. I'm going to make a playfully arrogant claim that people who insist on finding out the gender of their unborn babies don't like to have a good time. As someone who was recently granted her wish of having a girl, I will unabashedly urge pregnant women everywhere to NOT find out the sex of their babies before the birth.
Most people think I'm crazy for thinking this way. Throughout my pregnancy, friends asked, "Don't you need to know to prepare?" Prepare for what? It's a baby. It will eat, sleep and poop, regardless if the room is pink or blue. It won't know what color its blankets are, and it won't care! I'm not being heartless, just practical. I love my little girl, and the fact that she wears white and green newborn outfits does not make me love her any less!
Three reasons to keep your baby's gender a mystery:
1) For the spectacle of it all. It's fun! Never underestimate the element of surprise. Even the most jaded friends and family will be much more intrigued about your pregnancy. Everyone will have a wacky old wives' tale to tell you (i.e., how you're carrying, if you're "glowing" enough to be having a boy, what your Chinese birth chart says, etc.). Be enigmatic. Keep all parties guessing -- including yourself! Every single person in my husband's family insisted I was having a boy. When my little girl was born, I couldn't help but gloat just a little. It was like a game for all of us. There are too few surprises these days ... give yourself just this one. There is no other "wow" moment that compares to the "It's a ..." announcement in the delivery room. (If you're like me, it might be the only motivator that gets you through delivery with some sanity.) Also, it will be as fascinating to others as it is to you. People will be calling, e-mailing and traveling from miles away asking if it's a boy or a girl. It sounds cheesy, but it's true. Trust me.
2) For practical purposes. You will get gifts that you actually NEED. Think about it: Will you really use those fifteen hot-pink tutus or duplicate train sets that people carted to your baby shower because they all knew what you were having? The last thing I wanted to spend my hard-earned money on was a bunch of boring swaddling blankets, burp cloths, onesies and Diaper Genies. Let others spend their money on the useful stuff. Then, you can have fun getting those adorable tutus or snazzy train sets once the baby gets here. And if you plan on having more than one kid, those unisex items will come in handy years down the line. (Green looks great on most everyone.)
3) To keep your priorities in check. The silly things I thought about early in my pregnancy dissolved. Rather than focusing on pink princesses or blue cars and spending a ton of money to decorate a room I'd eventually have to change, I instead found myself thinking about important things, like how lucky and blessed we were to be having a baby. Why ruin the purity of pregnancy with commercialized crap? I'm usually not so Zen, but this I feel strongly about. Not knowing the sex will keep you grounded.
So, it's settled. Finding out the sex of your baby before it is born is ordinary. Surprising yourself and others is extraordinary. Whether you agree or disagree, I'll make my final point: I didn't find out, and I got what I wanted. The only way for me to deal with myself was to make the commitment to NOT FIND OUT. My friends thought I was nuts. Now I think it's one of the best choices a pregnant woman can make, regardless of whether she's hoping for a certain sex or not.