We don’t want to find out what it is as we want it to be a surprise.

boy girl surprise pic

From jonnygoldstein.com – click over and read his post on the “baby surprise”

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.

uterine dilation chart

Ruining food forever

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.

tough crowd pic

Talk about hard to please.

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.


40 thoughts on “We don’t want to find out what it is as we want it to be a surprise.

  1. Ahhhh, I’m afraid I’m one of those who “want it to be a surprise” 🙂 jonnygoldstein makes a good point though – it’s not so much about it being a “surprise” as such, it’s about just wanting to wait, which is harder to define when you’re asked why, so the surprise thing just pops out rather than a deep and meaningful monologue of what it means to me to wait until the birth, ha ha!

    • I was thinking about it when I wrote this and was thinking that in many ways finding out early is like know what is in your Christmas present before you open it. So there is no surprise on the day then for that one thing. But there is still excitement when it is something you reallly want. And we all want our babies. I would’ve waited too if it was up to me but not sorry we did it the other way. Each to their own. 🙂

  2. I didn’t find out the gender on either day because usually when you find out the gender all you get is sooo much clothes… and clothes was the last thing we needed.. it worked too! I got more functional gifts than baby clothes.. 😉

  3. I love it. I’m crying tears of laughter- that’s exactly how it goes. I also had a section- 2 actually- and the second one they ASKED me if I wanted to be awake or asleep. As if I could make that kind of rational decision after all the prior hoo haa crap. This should be required reading for new parents.

  4. It’s my way of holding control over my mom and husband. (Okay. Not really. For me, I’m like Rose. It’s the waiting. The knowing that something is coming, and not really knowing what. The one thing in life that doesn’t really matter at all what comes out in the end. And just savoring the not knowing for a long time. The wondering for a long time. The imagination for a long time. The choosing two names and dreaming about the little boy or girl who will wear it even longer. I have three girls. I am from a family of four girls. I have a niece. I may never hold a little boy. Nurture a little boy. And that’s okay. But for ten months, it’s fun to imagine what that’d be like. But to also imagine what it’ll be like to have my husband smothered by four doting, sassy daughters, too.) Okay. Enough. Like you, I laugh, because it is still a surprise no matter when you are told. And the day is such an event it’s still a “surprise” even if you know. At least all that screaming always surprises me again.

  5. Hehe, I’m the kind of person who likes to find out at the end too on account of it being a surprise. I also love the utter look of disbelief on people’s faces when I tell them that I don’t know whether I’m having a boy or a girl (followed by “but what color are you going to paint the nursery? – as though pink and blue were the only appropriate colors…).

    “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.” Spot on with this one! Oh the memories! LOL

  6. Great blog! As a woman pregnant with #2 on the way, I can totally relate and get a laugh out of this. We are having a girl, by the way, and I tell everyone before they even get the chance to ask.

  7. This is by far the most humorous piece I’ve read from you! VERY well done.

    I’m too much of a planner to want to wait. I think knowing the sex can help to think of the baby in more clearly defined terms, but that’s just me. I’m fine with those who wish to wait and buy all yellow stuff in the meantime 🙂

    • lol oh yes the influx of yellow, beige and white!! Yeah I don’t normally do funny so it is stretching outside of my zone a bit. Glad it worked out OK and that you enjoyed it!!!

      In all seriousness the finding out thing really worked for my son’s dad. He hated calling the baby “it” and we already had a name so from 20 weeks on we called our son by his name. It was nice.

  8. Such a great point! I found out with both of mine…I’m too much of planner not to and found it helpful with bonding my baby having given her and him a name while still inside my belly. It is definitely a surprise no matter when you find out and all those firsts in the hospital are just amazing, surprise after surprise after surprise! Great post Rachel!

  9. I didn’t find out with either of my two, but I called it early with both: girl, then boy. it’s amazing how, as moms, we just know sometimes. In fact, fun story, when my daughter’s head emerged (face down), the doctor jokingly said, “Ah, I think it’s a boy!”. My husband, knowing I had been calling a girl for 9 months, looked at the doctor and exclaimed, “Good God, Doc, don’t say that or she’ll stop pushing! She has to be right!” To which I flipped him the bird and kept pushing. A moment later when the doc declared, “It’s a girl!”, I lay back, all smug and shit, and said, “I told you so.” 🙂

  10. I agree with you. I have said it is always a surprise when you find out whether it is ahead of delivery or not. Mind you, now that I already have some of each (so I don’t have to worry about shopping), and have been through labour before, if I ever did have another I would save it for delivery day just to make it more exciting and set apart #4 (not that I will ever have another, but I imagine).

  11. Okay, I have to stop reading and type this… you just finished saying that you squeeze a human out and then typed “Here, let me show you…” and all I could think was, please God, don’t let her show us, I don’t want to see that!!!

    Whew! I didn’t have to see that! LOL. I so agree with you – knowing the sex of my child did not put a damper on my day, and I loved knowing in advance so I and my family could buy cute clothes! 🙂

    Excellent post! Loved it!

  12. Sooo funny! You are a great comedy writer. I have never felt compelled to wait & agree so much~it is all such a surprise. Meeting a new being for the very first time. The sex is such a small part of it all.

  13. ROFL!! I was totally laughing out loud with this one, Rachael! I love your take on it. 😀 And you’re absolutely right – the moment (regardless of when that is) is such a big thing…such a surprise. I can appreciate both ways, but I’m a planner and just waiting for the BABY is hard enough for me!! As much as I’d like to wait until the end to find out the gender, I don’t think I ever will. 🙄 No, 20 weeks is my max and even that is super hard (can you tell I lack patience? lol)

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