The Professor and I have been going back and forth about whether or not to find out the Chicken’s gender at the 20 week scan next week, or to be patient and find out the old-fashioned way. I’m still not 100% sold either way, although I’m leaning towards not finding out.
The Pros to Not Finding Out Gender:
- Friends and family are more likely to purchase the things we actually need rather than get caught up in a moment of “SQEEEE! Look at those pink ruffles!” This is a biggie for us. We live in a small-ish house and are currently facing the very real possibility of moving to NYC to an even smaller place. There is no space in our little abode for impractical things.
- This is 100% my opinion and I don’t judge anyone who believes otherwise. I’m extremely into gender neutrality, both for children and adults. I believe our true colors and talents can better develop if we are not pigeonholed into the “boys wear blue and play sports and girls wear pink and dance” mentality. What if my son wants to take dance? I want to let this shine – be it a phase he’ll outgrow or an integral part of his persona. How will I know if I assign gender norms before he even enters the world? Not finding out gender would at least allow the Professor and I to meet our baby and have an introduction to his or her unique personality before society starts assigning labels.
- We get an AWESOME surprise on the birth day! Sometimes I worry that my natural childbirth plan might not pan out as I envision. While I can’t control how my body reacts to squeezing out a human, I can control our surprise and delight when we learn what as been occupying my uterus for the better part of a year.
- This is our only child – we are not going to get another chance to be surprised. (And please don’t tell me that miracles happen.)
- Nothing about the IVF process is a “surprise.” Seriously. All the wonder and mystery of reproduction is sort of ripped away about the time they put a giant needle into your crotch and suck out your eggs. Yanno?
The Cons to Not Finding Out Gender:
- The grandparents will harass. A lot.
- Bonding with the baby might be more difficult? The jury is still out on this one as every day I feel a tiny bit more in love with this creature. I even looked at buying a book to read to him or her in utero so maybe there is hope?
- Names. Sigh. Choosing names is hard. If we knew what I was cooking it would eliminate 50% of our name anguish.
- People will stop judging and accosting me with their opinion. People are SO RUDE when it comes to pregnancy/parenting and opinion sharing. While some folks get all gooey over the thought of a gender surprise, others think I’m being insensitive to the gift givers. Really? Is it THAT HARD to buy a green, yellow or just plain white onsie? I don’t think so.
I think the naming issue is our biggest hurdle. The Professor and I have DRASTICALLY different views on what makes a good name. My parents named me Sa.rah B.eth. At any given time in my schooling and professional life I have had at least one other Sa.rah making life complicated. Often going by my full name was not an option either because at least one of the other Sa.rah’s inevitably had the same middle name. (I actually legally changed my middle name to Be.lle when I got married – a story for another day). The Professor’s name is J.ay. Like the bird. Simple, beautiful and unique. Also rhymes with gay and was the source of a good amount of childhood heckling. (Dang, y’all, kids are mean!)
I fancy different names that will help the child find his or her unique place in life. The Professor fancies names that are mind-bogglingly mundane. A recent conversation went something like this:
Belle: How about the name Cale for a boy? It is short, manly, does not rhyme with gay and is not terribly common.
Professor: Like the vegetable? NO.
Belle: Sigh, not like the vegetable. There are different spelling options: CALE or CAEL. Or we could be true to our love of greens and go with KALE. It would be appropriate.
Professor: Absolutely not. I can’t name my child after a food.
Belle: Naming our child after a vegetable is a joke. Cale is a great name!
Professor: How about Jeff. I like Jeff. Or we could always name him after a mathematician.
Belle: *Groan* Like your cats are named after mathematicians?
Professor: *with glee* YES!
Knowing the gender would eliminate the stress of having to narrow down lists of both boy and girl names. But is that reason enough to ruin all the other pros? Honestly, some days I just don’t know. What do you think? Did you or will you find out the gender or are you going to wait? Do you and your spouse have differing opinions on what makes a good name? Does anyone know how to brainwash a husband into liking the name Cale? 🙂