Anyone who knows me will know I’m not good with surprises. I’m not good at keeping them. I get too excited and end up telling someone… sometimes the person the surprise is for.

I’m also really not good at waiting for a surprise. I like to pry, prod and push till I find out all the details.  For me, it’s a special kind of challenge and I’m pretty good at getting information out of people (put it down to years as a journalist interviewing people and getting them to talk to me) – not that that’s always a good thing!

I’m also one of those people who like to shake/feel presents and guess what they are, it’s part of the fun right?

I’d like to think that as I’ve got older, I’ve become more patient. But three years ago, when I was pregnant for the first time, there was never ever any question of me not finding out the gender of our baby. Fortunately, my husband was eager to know too.

 

For us it was great – we found out we were having a girl and got organised. We bought clothes, we decided on a name and I found it helped me bond with our baby. For us it was the right thing to do.

 

But the reactions from other people when we said we were going to find out shocked me…
‘No, you can’t do that.’
Erm, Yes we can!

‘Why would you want to do that?’
Erm, because we do – it’s actually our decision…(this was good prep for all the unwanted/opinionated advice you get when pregnant or when you have a baby – ‘Why would you want to give birth at home? Why aren’t you using reusable nappies?’ Because, it’s our baby and our choices actually?
Since having my first baby I’ve taught loads of couples and you know what? Around half of my clients find out the gender and half wait for the surprise! That’s because, shock horror, it’s personal choice and there’s quite obviously no right or wrong!
This time round my second pregnancy has felt so different. I’ve been more sick and tired but way more relaxed – sometimes, sssh, I even forget I’m pregnant. So these differences made me think, ooh perhaps we should wait for the surprise this time? After all, I do love it in hypnobirth videos when the mum or dads discover the gender for the first time. I want that surprise too, I thought. And that’s what we decided and told people.

 

So we went off to our 20 week scan with our 2.5 year old and it was really special. Our daughter sat there holding my hand smiling and saying ‘it’s a girl…'(because that’s what she wants) the sonographer asked if we wanted to know, ‘no’ I said hesitantly.
But baby had other things in mind.

Baby was curled up with one hand behind its head and the sonographer couldn’t see the heart, so I was sent off to climb the stairs for 10 mins, giving us all time to talk.
‘Why aren’t we finding out again?’ I asked my husband

‘Because you didn’t want to’ – and that’s when it hit me. I really really wanted to know.
Yes I admire people who wait and get that amazing surprise on the day – it must be so special. But it’s just not me (as I said I’m bad with surprises) and the Wise Hippo hypnobirthing classes are all about getting in touch with what you want, not what other people do or want, right?!

‘Anyway’ said my husband, ‘I’m pretty positive I saw something so now I really want to know if I’m right’.

 

So back we went and sheepishly said ‘we’ve changed our minds’. ‘ Good’ said the sonographer and as the picture moved we became more and more excited.

 

She did some dramatic pauses (‘now are you sure you want to know?’) and a bit of a build up, which I really appreciated. And I have to say that as the picture moved it was pretty obvious that yep this time it’s a little boy!
We felt really happy and emotional – our daughter less so. ‘Oh’ she said with a sad face and later ‘I don’t want it to be a boy anymore – can it be a girl?’

So the upshot is, yes I’m glad we found out – I’m glad because we have time to prep our daughter and hang out more with other boy toddlers!!

I’m glad because it made the scan day even more exciting and special for us – afterwards we went and bought some dungarees for our baby and had a picnic to toast him

I’m glad because I was struggling with names anyway and now I have fewer options to choose from.

But I’m mainly glad because it was the right choice for us!

It doesn’t matter what you choose to do as long as you choose to do it. Sometimes it’s hard to know what you really want – I thought I was following my heart but on the day my intuition wouldn’t shut up.

Also, it worked out pretty well, as we told people in the run-up to the scan that we weren’t finding out, no-one said anything negative. And now we tell people we’re having a boy and they just say congratulations.

But, we’re keeping quiet about the names, well…at least that’s the plan!
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