Asked to perform, our baby basically mooned at us. A worrier by nature, I was acutely aware of the greater upsets we could've experienced at that scan. Not because the little dear was missing any vital bits, was the wrong size, or any other abnormality had been detected — the tears were down to the sonographer being unable to tell my husband and me our baby's sex. I was single for much of my thirties and therefore never took it for granted that I would have a family. And we don't have money to burn. Once the sex has been pinned down, the name tends to follow and before the first contraction, little Jessica or Jack's first five years are all planned out. I was grateful to get a shot at motherhood at all.
The reasons for not finding out seemed far more compelling, if at times bordering on the superstitious. On threads with titles such as "Gender disappointment, please help", mothers-to-be share their "devastation" at finding out that a longed-for daughter is a son or vice versa , feelings that they would never admit to in real life. But, despite the nausea, odd pains, heartburn and constipation inflicted by the pregnancy, by week 20 we already felt bonded and had boy and girl names we liked. I'd never taken it for granted that I'd be able to have children and not one day has passed since we found out I was expecting that I haven't felt lucky. What a 21st-century indulgence to be able to find out the sex of your unborn child. And we don't have money to burn. And I feel that expectant people fall into two tribes. They describe feeling robbed of future shopping trips and pedicures with their fantasy daughters, or "grief" that their husband won't get to watch their son play football. I was single for much of my thirties and therefore never took it for granted that I would have a family. For a few brief weeks it felt more traditional, more romantic even, to wait for the big reveal. Those in the want-to-know camp argue that knowing the sex makes name-choosing and bonding easier. I chastised myself that I was being controlling. But I do know that I'm a little bit nosey, a big bit impatient and, after a childhood spent with my head buried in books, overwhelmingly a dreamer. Asked to perform, our baby basically mooned at us. The messageboards of Mumsnet and other parenting websites bear witness to just how much some people invest in dreams of a boy or girl. I began to enjoy the ladies at the grocers guessing my baby's gender from the shape of the bump or the opinions of close friends about whether I was a boy or girl creator the consensus? This excitement is perhaps epitomised in the trend for "gender reveal" parties in the States, where the results of the scan are baked into a cake to be shared with family and friends at a special gathering pink icing for a girl, blue for a boy. I was over the moon that our first child was developing normally, but we'd always been firmly in the want-to-know camp. This article is over 6 years old Joanne O'Connor with her daughter Nora at home. Not knowing felt like an anticlimax. Earlier generations would have to wait for their sons and daughters to be born before the colour-coded gender stereotyping could begin; now we can begin the process while the baby is still in utero. I was grateful to get a shot at motherhood at all. After all, if the technology is there, why wouldn't you want to know? Not because I had a preference for a girl — I didn't, and had been happily certain it would be a boy — but because it was the point at which this mysterious being that I had carried for nine months suddenly became a real person. Once the sex has been pinned down, the name tends to follow and before the first contraction, little Jessica or Jack's first five years are all planned out. So when I was lucky enough to get pregnant at 39, the idea that I would then suddenly start getting picky about whether I'd be buying pink or blue babygrows seemed preposterous.
Video about finding out the sex of your unborn baby:
How to Determine the Gender of a Baby.
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