This is the phrase you hear bandied about by pregnant people who opt not to find out the gender of their unborn child. I get it, you don’t want to find out. I didn’t want to either. I figured this would be the biggest surprise of my life so might as well wait until the big moment. But our circumstances were different than I’d planned. Daddy bear was living 10 hours away from me and in-utero child so I decided to let him win that round in the hope that it would help him feel more involved in the process. Let’s face it, pregnancy is very much an external process for the guys. Anyway, it worked for us and I have no regrets and each to their own I say.
But this, this ‘we want to save it for a surprise” reason, is amusing. So I’m going to bang on about it for a bit and have a laugh.
This is how I think about it: There is a time when you don’t know. You really just don’t know. It could be a Mickey or a Minnie, a Fred or a Ginger, an Adam or an Eve.
Then one day, TA DA!, it happens: you know.
This moment, regardless of whether it happens while you are holding your baby covered in uterus jelly or in a cold room with jelly on your belly is the moment of surprise. For us, it was no less of a moment because we found out in the cold room, I assure you. And even though I will tell you that I just knew it was a boy, it was still a surprise. I had no way of knowing for sure.
Some people seem to really worry that the actual day of birth will be a bit ho hum if they already know whether or not to pack blue or pink onesies in the hospital bag. Are you serious? That day, the squeeze your baby out of your hooo haa day, it’s a real giver. There are moments in life that leave you hanging but trust me, this is not one of them. I mean YOU SQUEEZE A HUMAN OUT OF YOUR HOO HAA. Does the reality of that not sound like it might be surprising to you?
Here, let me show you…
The Surprise Day for Her:
Today, you, the giver of new life, will have the privilege and joy of trying to push an awake human out of your hoo haa, a place previously reserved, mostly, for fun. Well for your sake I hope that’s how it was. Look back on it fondly. It will be hard to forget about this particular hoo haa moment from here on in.
To make this happen your body will start to spasm approximately 1000 times more severely than any food cramp you’ve ever had. You’ll want to be in the bath and out of bath and in the shower and out of the shower and you will quite probably consider administering your own caesarian at some point. Even though you knew it would be painful, this is all going to be pretty surprising at the time.
You will learn that 2 mins between contractions isn’t really that long at all and you will swear that someone is actually fucking with the clock. Many of you will be fortunate enough to have MULTIPLE people put their hand up what is about to become a single lane highway to determine “how far along you are”. Any of this sound SURPRISING yet? I know, I know, it’s such a boring day.
Should the hoo haa gods not be smiling on you that day, never fear. There is a surprise in store for you too! You will get to lie there, AWAKE, while a surgeon smiles at you creepily while he slowly cuts your belly open and says reassuring things like “You’re doing great”.
I know, I know, CRAZY TALK. But it happens. I hear it is really boring. Take your iPhone.
If you are really lucky, like me, after spending hours trying to expel the now too big for your tummy watermelon through your bagel hole and out of your “delicate flower” (thanks romance novels), you will discover that, after 24 hours of this nonsense, you are in fact no bigger than a soda can, and not a suitable candidate for an awake surgery anyway, and they will put you to sleep so that you don’t even see when your baby comes into the world.
But then they bring him to you the moment you wake and SURPRISE, here is a human, who wasn’t here before, that you grew inside your belly, that you knew was a boy.
The Surprise Day for Him:
You, dear supportive dude, you are about to have a whizbanger of a day. If your wife does get to squeeze the AWAKE HUMAN out of her hoo haa then for the love of all that is holy, DON’T LOOK DOWN THERE WITHOUT PERMISSION. Neither at the time nor for a good month after. Trust me, she doesn’t want you to. Wait for her direction on that one.
And believe me when I say, just knowing that THAT is where that tiny cute little human came from and being there to see it happen, even without your face right in the pie, will feel not only surprising but painful and slightly hair curling. Curly haired folks, your hair will straighten. Or fall out. Who can really say.
Oh and dudes, your wife will hold your hand so tight she will crush it. She will writhe in pain for hours on end just to bring you new life. And you, YOU, dear daddy, will feel surprise at the true strength of the woman you love. How is that for an awesome and surprising day?
And if all that as a package doesn’t move you into the realm of feeling surprised, well then dudes and dudettes, you are a tough crowd.
My point is this: that day was surprising without the gender reveal. And that other time when the gender was revealed? THAT was surprising too funnily enough.
It all still felt like a surprise. You see I didn’t know how my son would feel or smell, how his eyes would look or his hands would curl around mine. What sort of hair he would have or if he would have any at all or how long or short he would be or heavy or light he would feel in my arms. My baby, trust me, was still a surprise.
So if you want to wait to find out then wait to find out but don’t tell me it’s because you want it to be a surprise. The gender will be a surprise whenever you are hearing it. You just want to wait to have that particular surprise on the day. And that’s OK.