Sunday, September 25, 2011

Gender, To Find Out Or Not?

Those of you who know me well might be really surprised to hear this but we are seriously considering not finding out the gender of this baby. For someone who is very organized, a planner, and very much type A personality this is not typical "Michelle". I say we but hubby is happy either way. I think he assumed we'd find out the gender like most Americans do but when the midwife brought up the idea of waiting he seemed as intrigued as me. I have been very blessed with an easy-going husband. If he has a strong opinion on something he lets me know. If he doesn't have a strong opinion on something he is happy doing what makes me happy and finding out the gender or not finding out the gender falls into this category for him.

With my son there was no question whether I was going to find out the gender or not. Honestly the wait between 12 weeks and 20 weeks was miserable for me because I could hardly wait to find out if the baby was a boy or a girl. With my son I did things in a much more conventional matter. He was born in a hospital with a OB, I vaccinated according to schedule, and I used disposable diapers. Hubby and I are not that conventional of people and don't mind doing things that are out of the norm. With this baby we are using a midwife, planning a homebirth, going to cloth diaper, and delay vaccinations. These are all decisions we have come to over time and through much research. I think is in this case age has made me wiser and I am 12 years older than when I was last pregnant.

So, should we find out the gender or not? We would not have an ultrasound unless we request a referral. Our insurance will pay for one, 20 week ultrasound but our midwife does not routinely refer out for ultrasounds unless the parents request it. I think the idea of waiting until the birth to find out the gender is really neat. Life these days leaves very few big surprises and what greater a surprise than waiting to find out  if the baby is a boy or girl until they are born.

Since I am a planner my concerns are mainly logistical ones: what about the nursery? what about baby gear, baby gifts, and baby shower? The room we are going to use for the nursery is currently my youngest daughter's room. We will be finishing our basement and building a room for my oldest and moving Phoenix into Brennan's current room. The future nursery is a small room with great built in shelving and white wainscoting that makes it super cute but the walls are purple. The room was painted purple before we moved in but purple isn't my favorite color. If we knew we were having a boy we would probably paint the room a medium blue color. If we knew we were having a girl we'd probably leave the room purple even though it isn't my favorite color. I know we could wait until the baby is born to decorate but with 4 kids I know I am going to have little time on my hands so I'd rather have most things done in advance. My best solution if we don't find out the gender is to paint the room a neutral beige color like the rest of our house and add color through bedding and wall accents after baby is born. I am not that excited about a yellow and green room or gender neutral stuff in general so we wouldn't go that route either.

My other concern is how to handle baby gear, baby gifts, and a baby shower. This is our last baby so I don't need gender neutral stuff and personally I don't like a lot of gender neutral patterns. I especially don't like gender neutral clothes though some basic newborn stuff doesn't bother me. It wouldn't affect the crib or rocker we'd register for because they are gender neutral. From baby showers I have been to lately it seems like a lot of people buy baby clothes and blankets despite what you register for. I get it, people can't resist the adorable baby clothes. A traditional women's only baby shower with games would be fun but I wouldn't want to get all green and yellow clothes. I think if we do decide to wait to find out the gender we may do a shower after the baby is born and maybe even do a "meet the baby" men/women party at our house to just welcome and celebrate the new baby.

I'd love to hear from you. If you waited to find out the gender how did you handle decorating the nursery and the baby shower? Thanks in advance for your input.


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