In a world where gender reveals are trendy and unique ways to announce the sex of your baby are popular – I opted out of it all. My husband and I decided to keep the gender of our baby a surprise for everyone, including ourselves. I spent nine months wondering who it was growing inside of me. Because of the surprise that was waiting for us, the day our first child was born was also filled with so much excitement. Was it an agonizing nine months not knowing the gender of the baby? Somewhat, but I would do it all over again.
When I told people I was waiting to find out the gender of my baby upon his/her arrival, their responses were often mixed. Most people were very excited for us, and told us there was truly no better surprise in the world. Others would respond with something along the lines of…
- How will you decorate the nursery?
- What about clothes? You can’t just dress your baby is white or gray!
- Did you pick out a name? Is that a surprise too?
- Don’t you want to start preparing for a son or daughter?
Sure, I wasn’t able to decorate a nursery with trucks or flowers – but I was okay with that.
Teddy bears or gender neutral colors were just as cute. We were also planning on having the baby sleep in a bassinet next to our bed for the first few months, so what did it matter if I had dinosaurs or ballerinas in the nursery? By the time we were ready to move our baby into the crib, I would have a pretty good idea of who he/she was, and could personalize or decorate things accordingly.
I did have a few gender specific outfits on hand, but the reality of the situation is, as soon as people hear the baby has arrived, the ruffles and dresses or button ups and footballs start to also arrive. These worries of other people weren’t a worry for me. And again, gender neutral clothes and knotted gowns are just as adorable!
The unknown of preparing for a son or daughter also didn’t worry me at all. I was a first time mom, so truthfully, I didn’t know what I was doing with a baby anyway, no matter the gender. Knowing if I was going to have a boy or girl wouldn’t have changed my preparations either, because at the end of the day the baby still needs to be changed, fed, held, and loved.
The baby doesn’t sleep anyway, so boy or girl, it didn’t matter to me if I knew ahead of time.
Our little one was also our rainbow baby. Born after a few miscarriages and oh so very wanted and loved. The gender wasn’t going to change our feelings towards our little miracle, we just wanted him/her here safely in our arms. We were blessed every passing week that there was still a heartbeat, and although my stomach rapidly grew, I knew that also meant, so was my baby. We anxiously awaited the arrival of our little one, and boy or girl, we couldn’t wait to smother them in kisses.
My delivery ended up being a scheduled C-section, so unlike going into labor naturally, we knew exactly what date and time we were finally going to meet this little one. Let me tell you, those long days of pregnancy move pretty quickly when the end is finally within reach. I slept surprisingly well the night before surgery, but the nerves and anxiety hit me that morning.
Knowing I was coming back into my house with my son or daughter was exciting and scary all at the same time. All of a sudden, I was getting dressed for the last time with my big belly. I had my last decent night of sleep for the foreseeable future. My nerves kicked in as we drove to the hospital. And these very normal, but still overwhelming feelings I was having? They would have still been there, even if I knew I was about to meet my son or daughter.
They say there is no greater feeling in life, like when the doctors lay that sweet baby on your chest for the first time and you burst into tears.
You can’t believe how happy you are, that you made that adorable little ball of squish. Having a C-section, I didn’t quite get to experience that picture perfect moment, however, I did have my own perfect moment. I anxiously laid on the table with blood and guts everywhere, cut open for the world to see, as my doctor gently removed my little one from my cozy uterus for us to meet. I had the privilege of watching my doctor walk my baby around the curtain and say, “Okay Dad. What is it?” as my husband laid eyes, for the very first time, on his…daughter. We cried together at how perfect our little girl was. In that moment, with a room full of doctors, nothing else mattered but the three of us.
Hours later when we had to video chat with grandparents (Thanks Covid!) so they could also meet this new bundle of joy, that was another moment I will never forget. Holding the phone so my family could see my perfect baby, dressed in only a hospital blanket, I told my parents to say hello to their granddaughter. The screams, smiles, and tears that followed was the magical moment I waited my entire pregnancy for.
The arrival of a baby is always exciting. Every parent waits for those first baby cuddles. Grandparents anxiously await for the first pictures. I choose to also wait for the gender. Hands down, one of the best decisions we made and we love our daughter unconditionally. I waited nine long months to meet my little girl, and it was worth every second.