Some time ago, I wrote an article on the number of ultrasound scans I had during my pregnancies. Back then, the only reason I did the scan was because it was ordered by the doctor, and then it only seemed natural to know the gender of the baby you are having.
The first time I had a scan, I was pleasantly surprised at the news that I was carrying twins, and the radiologist just mentioned and wrote it down that they were boy and girl twins. Sweet!!! I did not feel any emotion aside joy. Any emotion like, “who told this man that I wanted to know their sex,” was not on my radar. I was already surprised at the news of twins, their gender made no difference to me. It felt normal and expected that I should know.
The first time I had a scan the second time around, it was pretty early and it could not be determined what sex they were. When they could finally determine, my younger twin insisted on keeping her thighs closed. She did not let out the secret until the day she came out of me.
That caused me to worry like crazy. It shot up my blood pressure, because I couldn’t sleep, not knowing what the sex of the second twin was, and if he/she was going to need gender assignment surgery. Yes, my mind went that far. Because to me, when you are pregnant, naturally, you do a scan and then you find out the sex of the baby. Until I started hearing about the pregnant moms who prefer not to know the sex of the baby they are carrying.
While I don’t think I can pull that off, but come to think of it, if I had not checked the gender of the babies, I wouldn’t have been so worried that my blood pressure would go up, endangering not only their lives but mine as well.
Interestingly, a poll found out that majority of younger parents prefer to know their baby’s gender before birth. It seems older parents are the ones who are more keen on not finding out, or perhaps, being older, they simply have more patience to wait nine months for a surprise. While I’m not totally Team #DontWantToKnow, I can relate with them, as I was forced to wait to know the gender of my second daughter and here are five reasons, you should consider waiting to be surprised.
- It’s Not The Real Purpose Of The 20 Week Ultrasound
Sorry to disabuse your mind-set, but the least concern of the 20-week scan is the gender of the baby. Ultrasounds are used to check that your baby is developing well. The radiologist will take measurements of your baby and check all of your baby’s organs are developing the way they should. Ladies, this can take a while, as each check is performed. If you are like me, as soon as I lie on the bed, I would be itching to find out the sex, then they could take their measurements and we would all look at the squirming babies to the backdrop of the as the radiologist’s soliloquy.
Although, it is not all the time that you can tell the baby’s sex, for example if the baby is in a tricky position, like my little madam was, every single time I went for a scan.
- It Gives You Ginger To Push
I bet if you have been waiting for 40 weeks to find out the gender of your baby, you definitely have more motivation to push, when labour hits, so that you can get to meet the baby. All that waiting, anticipation, and unproductive guessing that has been building up inside may just be what you need to forget about the pain. Remember, I said maybe.
- Because It Doesn’t Matter Anyway
You find out at 20 weeks or 40 weeks, does it change the gender of the baby you are having? No. When I was pregnant with No. 2 twins, no one asked me if I was having a boy or a girl, people were more interested in if I was having another set of twins or not. Only a few people knew. I just left the others wondering.
And not knowing would have saved me a lot of heartache. Think of it this way, we all get the gender we are meant to raise…bugs, dirt, stink, and all. And for others, pink, pearls, dolls and dainty, yet for others, they get to do both. Enjoy them.
- Ultrasounds Can Get It Wrong
Now, this is the cruellest joke I can think of, but it does happen. Imagine having filled your baby’s wardrobe with either pink or blue clothes, based on the ultrasound scans you have done, painted the nursery pink or blue and added enough frills, including, coming up with the perfect name. Only for baby to be born and you find out it is the opposite of the sex you are expecting. Either time to hit the stores again, in search of colour appropriate clothing for your new bundle of joyful surprise, or make do with what you have got, after all, baby outgrow clothes quite fast.
Avoid this risk by waiting until birth to find out the sex of your baby. And go neutral on everything; you are even able to combine colours to get the exact feel you want, instead of preparing for a specific gender.
Ultrasound scans are not a 100% accurate way to determine the sex of a baby.
- Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!
This is the perfect surprise you can get, in this modern world, with everything you need to know about, just a click away. In this day and age, surprises are pretty rare. Most of the time, we either know about incidences before they happen, or are able to find out straight after. Your baby’s sex is one of the rare surprises left in life, a positively 100% guaranteed surprise. So why not treasure it and let the anticipation build before finding out at the birth?
Of course, you can try the other ‘tricks’ or methods of finding out baby’s sex, like peeing on chemicals, swinging your wedding rings over your belly, and of course, paying particular attention to the Chinese birth charts/calendar until you turn the shade of the baby you think you are having, but nothing is certain until they pull that baby out and you hear “It’s a boy/girl!” Or you are asked to identify the gender.
Those are tangible reasons to wait, but if patience is not one of your virtues, like me, or you are a planner and would freak out at the notion of not knowing, biko do all of us a favour and find out. Honestly, no one wants to have to deal with an over-the-top hormonal pregnant woman.
You owe no one an explanation.
Sending loads of strength your way preggy mamas.
Oluwakemi is a member of The Fertile Chick family, and she is a writer, dreamer and mother of two sets of twins. She is passionate about issues that concern women, and does not shy away from airing her views. And words are her weapon of choice! She is reachable on her handle @oluwakemine
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