Let’s talk about (the) sex (of the) baby

Natalie and I are expecting our second baby. It’s coming in less than two months. We are preparing the best we can based on what we can remember from last time. There’s a healthy nesting instinct starting to kick in which is encouraging me to deep clean every part of the house with a toothbrush. But there’s one thing we haven’t prepared for.

We decided not to find out the sex of the baby.

When they asked us at the scan “do you want to know if baby’s a boy or a girl?” We simply said “no thank you, we’d like a surprise”. It was the same when we had a our daughter four years ago. We thought that part of the fun of the pregnancy for us would be the wonder of not knowing. And it was great. On the (very early morning) day of the birth she popped out and it was a true surprise.

Part of me wants to find out this time.

I thought we’d done the surprise thing the first time around. The one thing I thought we didn’t need this time was any more uncertainty. It’s tough trying to balance preparing for the birth with looking after our daughter and all the other adulty stuff. But Natalie led the way with the whole surprise thing for a second time around and I support that. After all, she’s the one who has to push it out, so I think whatever incentive she needs to get the job done is fine by me.

I’ve noticed a lot more people seem to be finding out the sex of their baby these days.

Maybe I’m noticing it more because we’ve decided against it although I secretly want to know. But it feels like it’s more accepted to just find out. And why shouldn’t people find out? The technology is there these days and it’s easier than ever to get a 4d scan and get to know your baby before it’s out of the womb.

So, given that it’s up to each person what they do, I’m trying to think of reasons why I wanted to find out this time. Our house is full of clothes and toys waiting for the imminent arrival. They’re mostly second hand from our first daughter. So, in a way, it would be useful if the baby was a girl. We’ve got a lot of pink.

But hang on, why does it matter what colour clothes the baby wears?

After all, a baby doesn’t know or care what sex it is. It just wants to be warm and be fed. Why can’t a boy wear pink and a girl wear blue? And what about other colours? My favourite colour is purple; is that ok? So maybe by not preparing for the sex of the baby we’re inadvertently doing our bit to promote gender neutral parenting. The baby can grow up wearing whatever it likes.

Before A was born I painted the nursery a nice green colour. Last year I found myself repainting it a bright shade of pink. Note: covering pink with green is actually quite difficult and takes several coats! So however much we’d tried to shield our daughter from the stereotypes of gender she ended up liking pink things anyway.

I guess it doesn’t really matter what colour her room is, the great thing is she made the choice herself.

I’m enjoying playing the guessing game at the moment although people don’t always believe me when I say we’re not finding out. Two things are for sure: time will tell, and it will be either a boy or a girl!

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