Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Finding out Baby's Gender

I had a regular prenatal visit with Dr. B on Monday (Yay - for hearing baby #5's heartbeat again!) and we were talking about my upcoming amniocentesis. She asked if we were going to find out the baby's gender. I was kind of dumbfounded at first. I know they use amnios for a ton of diagnostic stuff, but I had completely forgotten that they would be able to definitively find out baby's gender with it as well.

I told her "Yes!"

Finding out this baby's gender is something that Paul and I have talked about long before this baby was even conceived. When I was pregnant with Ethan and going through the start of my divorce, I decided to find out what I was having because at that point I needed as much stability in my life as possible. But with both Elijah and Felicity we chose to wait to have a delivery surprise.

I was quite content with Elijah to be surprised (and I was!), but with Felicity, I was kind of hoping we'd find out before she was born. Paul was pretty adamant about not finding out. He relished his role in Elijah's birth of being the one to announce, "It's a boy!" I knew he was looking forward to that with Felicity's birth too. Unfortunately due to the circumstances of her birth he didn't have the opportunity to do so.

Fairly soon after Felicity died I told Paul it was something we needed to talk about. I laid out my feelings on the subject. I felt it would be very important for us and especially for our boys to bond with this baby by name while still in the womb. With Felicity, it felt like we met her and said goodbye to her in the same day, even though I carried her for 9+ months. The next time I wanted us to cherish the baby as a specific person for as long as possible, even if we knew something was wrong and the baby wouldn't live.

So at my urging, Paul has agreed to find out this baby's gender. I know he's excited to know even if he won't get to make an announcement at baby's birth. We're working on names now. I want names that capture how much we want this baby and how much we're trusting God no matter what happens. I want this baby to have a name that is a legacy to him or her.

With my amnio just 9 days away and results (according to Dr. B) taking a week or so, we should be able to name this baby soon! Ethan is thrilled that we'll be able to find out. It's something very concrete for him especially since we've tried to be very honest with the boys about not knowing if this baby will live with us or live in Heaven. I just can't tell him that everything will be alright when I don't know for sure. Hopefully he sees us trusting in God and can do so also.

How about you all? Did you find out baby's gender or wait and why?


Sharleen said...

How exciting to find out the baby's gender so soon. Still keeping you all & baby in my prayers. Praying for peace and a healthy baby!
We were able to find out really early with Joy that we were having a girl because of the CVS testing I had done. We knew at 12 weeks she was a girl.
We decided to be surprised with Elijah, but we knew Phoebe was a girl and of course this next baby is supposed to be a boy.

Billi Jo said...

We found out the gender with all of our pregnancies (if we could). Josh and I knew the names, but did not share them publicly until after each successful birth, which Josh did proudly.

We did name our still born, but we never announced it. It remains something special for the two of us.

Heidi said...

I found out with all of mine...

A we found out because we were impatient.

C we were told was girl and Tim got to do the delivery room surprise. I loved it and wasn't going to find what Kenna was.

Then due to the stress of traveling and moving, etc. I decided on a whim (literally) to find out (Tim wanted to know all along, he was just agreeing to the surprise for my sake!). I'm so glad we did for exactly the reasons you described!

With Kylee I needed to know. And I'm glad I did. It helped me be more positive and upbeat to be talking about baby by name.

I'm torn on future babies. I loved the surprise, but it helps my peace of mind to be able to refer to baby by name and buy something special, etc.

That being said, I'm not sure I could resist knowing if I was having an amnio because its 100% :)

Jennifer Ross said...

I have always found out the baby's gender early. I find it special to know who I'm nurturing in my belly. It makes the bond even more tighter. Please e-mail me about how your amnio goes. I have to have one at 36 weeks and I am pretty scared. I have never had one, and I'm just courious how bad it hurts. Can't wait to find out if you're having a little boy or girl!

Anonymous said...


I respect everyone who can wait long enough to not know the sex of their baby. Me on the other hand am not patient enough. I didn't find out with Kylee, she like d to play shy, but we knew with Landon. I thank God everyday for getting to know him, and name him, especially since he passed so quickly. I understand completely on wanting to know the sex and giving them a legacy to hold onto. If we have more, I will try my darndest to find out. With the amnio, it is your choice to know. I support you 100% though. Can't wait to hear what you are having!!
-Missy Schuchman

His Mom said...

When I was pregnancy with Curtis, we were NOT going to find out. The night before the 20 week u/s I totally caved and HAD to know. I just couldn't handle not knowing. I have no idea why I suddenly changed my mind, but I *needed* to know.

Then, after we lost him at 40 weeks, I was so so so happy I had known it was a boy for half of my pregnancy. so there was no doubt with my following pregnancies we would find out. I had someone say to me recently that it is like opening a present before Christmas...but I completely disagree. It helps me so much to know "what" I am having and dream a closer dream...

Lori said...

Rachel -- I totally understand how you and Paul want to find out. When I had my kids, back in the day, that wasn't a choice. I only had ultrasounds for Miriah and Lucas and we're talking that was at least 20 years ago, so they weren't very clear images. I think if they could have told me - I would have wanted to know. But the surprise ........

Sara said...

I feel the exact same way about finding out if the Lord allows us to conceive again in the future. We never found out what we were having. With Samuel we found out the day before, after we knew he was already gone. But then I so wished I had been able to call him by name while inside of me... because we just had so little time with him.

I am praying for you and that little one. I can't wait to hear what you will be having. Peace to you today!

Molly Koop said...

I haven't ever found our our baby's gender, but Brendan couldn't resist when I was pregnant with our number four, so I "let" him find out. The ultrasound tech almost didn't let us do it that way because it's against their policy. We convinced her that it was a joint decision for him to find out and that I really was ok with it. :) He kept the secret from everyone until baby arrived and instead of shouting "it's a boy!" he said "heeeere's Max!" It was pretty fun.
When I was expecting Henry and I had such a profound word from the Lord about the baby I was carrying, I was convinced that I wanted to find out the gender if the ultrasound revealed that there was something "wrong". Everything went well at the ultrasound and I never knew for sure I was having a boy until he was born still. In my reflection, I believe our not finding out the gender of the baby saved our children from some even deeper pain at having lost their brother. They had bonded with their baby, but not in the same way as if they had been calling him by his name for all of those months.
I'm not sure what we'll do next time we're given a chance to know. I have thought about it a lot. Bonding with that baby is so important, but I sure do LOVE the anticipation and the announcement on baby's birthday!

The Three 22nds said...

we didn't find out with any of the boys. I think the surprise is fun. The funny thing was it drove people CRAZY that we didn't find out! It bothered them WAY more than "not knowing" bothered me...

Deacon named Lincoln a nice neutral name "Tupper" while he was inutero so we bonded with him like that...

Anonymous said...

Hi, Rachel! Just taking a minute from the boys to read your blog. Why can't Paul still be the one to announce with pride, "It's a girl/boy!" Whomever you wish to tell, just let him do it! Even to the boys! You could even wait until you are both with the boys and he could announce it to all three of you, before you know it! Maybe have the doctor tell him privately from you at the appointment, and then he can tell all of you together, just like he would at the birth! Love ya, honey! Mom
P.S. We are doing much, much better with Elijah at night; moved the youth bed against the big bed so all I have to do when he wakes up is reach over and pat him. Last night he was moaning, and whispering, "The pee is coming out, the pee is coming out," and he finally told me he had to go. Tomorrow after you all go home I am planning some MAJOR vegging. Love, love, love having them here though.

Ebe said...

How exciting that you have the option and the ability to know your baby's gender. I am so eager to find out as soon as I can (when the Lord opens my womb) because of our experience with Owen.

I am praying for you and your sweet little one.

I hope today is gentle.


melissa said...

I did find out with Grace, for similar reasons as you with Ethan.

Richard and I also found out with Matthias, because, well, why wait? As Richard said at the time, "You're surprised at some point no matter when you find out, right?"

Then with Moses we again wanted to find out for the same reasons you've laid out. I knew that this baby could die (although there were no risks involved - it was just because of having experienced the death of a baby so recently) and I wanted to be able to bond with him personally through my pregnancy.

Finally with Judah, some friends shared their experience of not finding out and it really convinced us to wait. And I'm so glad we did! The experience of finding out on those incredible moments right after birth is NOTHING like finding out in a sterile exam room looking at a grainy screen. It is so emotional and incredible.

So with this most recent baby coming in Oct., we are again not finding out. (Richard, too, enjoys his role of catching his newly-born children and announcing their gender!) And although for planning purposes, it's not as "convenient" to wait, the experience of it is worth it to us, 100 times over.

So although I'm a big proponent of NOT FINDING OUT, I really, really understand where you're coming from with wanting to find out with this baby. It is a unique circumstance, and I felt the same way with my next pregnancy after losing a baby. I think you should go with that feeling and I'm glad Paul supports that. I'll be thinking of you this afternoon! Will you be sharing your baby's gender or name? Of course I would love to know, but I totally respect the decision to keep it in your family, if that's what you choose.

Blessings to you, Rachel! I'm thinking of you a lot and praying for this sweet baby.

Vince said...

Hello Rachel

My wife and I decided not to find out the gender of our baby. It was hard not knowing but we wanted the surprise.

It also makes it harder for other people to buy you anything cause they have to buy neutral colours!