Wednesday, 18 March 2015

So even though I always said I wouldn't.......

...we did find out the sex of the baby this time around when I was pregnant with Levi.

I was always adamant that I wouldn't find out and that I would always want the surprise. I even did a blog post about why I wouldn't want to find out and the fear that they might get it wrong.

When I was around 14 weeks pregnant with Levi, I started to think that maybe I was wrong (shock, horror!) and that perhaps we should find out what we were having after all! I always like to think these things through thoroughly, because I don't always trust my own judgement and also, I am the most indecisive person in the world!(or am I? That's such a bad joke. I hang my head in shame.) I looked on the babycentre website (what pregnant woman doesn't just use that as her go to source for EVERYTHING??!) to see people's for and against opinions on finding out. I found the following:

  • You can plan ahead with clothing, nursery decorations, and names.
  • If you already have a child, discovering the gender of your baby can help decide whether or not you need to buy a new set of clothes or just use hand-me-downs.
  • Friends and family have more direction when deciding on a gift.
  • Helps to increase the bond between parent and unborn baby.
  • Avoids any element of disappointment if you had your heart set on a boy or a girl.
  • Explaining a brother or sister to an older child might be easier.


  • Why spoil one of life's greatest surprises?
  • It will not make you love your child any more.
  • Does it really matter? As long as it's healthy, I'm happy...
  • Finding out the gender is not 100% accurate.
  • Buying neutral-coloured clothes means you can use them on future sons or daughters, thus saving money.

I very much always fell in the "reasons not to find out" camp, mainly for the first four reasons (not too bothered about the last one!). But the more I thought about it, the more I felt that finding out would be a better option for us. Out of all of the reasons given above, two of them applied to me - the increasing the bond one and avoids any element of disappointment. When I was pregnant with Caleb I did feel a bond there while I was pregnant but I think that deep down I really wanted a girl. Everyone thought that I was having a boy but I wasn't really sure either way. I was so excited when I went into labour to find out whether it would be a boy or a girl and when he came out, for a split second I was a tiny bit disappointed that he wasn't a girl. In the coming weeks, I suffered from postnatal depression and even though I did kind of love my baby, I didn't really feel like we had much of a bond - I thought he was lovely, he just didn't really feel like mine. I really don't think it had anything to do with the fact that he was a boy, I just think it was one of those things. (Can I just say, that only lasted for the first 8 weeks. Which is also how long I was breastfeeding for. But that's another story and if you want to, you can read all about that one here).

I know that there is no guarantee that you will or won't get postnatal depression with subsequent children but I thought that perhaps if we found out the sex this time around, I might bond a bit more with the baby. Again, I think I kind of wanted a girl. When the sonographer said at the 20 week scan that we were having a boy, I kind of had mixed feelings. I was thrilled and yet I still kind of wanted a girl. That lasted for about a week and then after that I was completely happy that we were having a boy. 

With regards to baby names, it didn't really help us in not having to choose for both boys and girls because we already knew what it would be called had it been a girl. We had about 5 boys names in mind and about 3 weeks before my due date we narrowed it down to two - Levi and Luke. So he ended up with both of them!

Did I mention that Seth and I were the only ones who knew what we were having?! I still wanted to keep it a secret from everyone else. Looking back, I wouldn't have done it any other way, I really liked just us knowing and also, having some news to share once the baby was born. It was pretty difficult not to let slip what we were having and I know I did slip up a couple of times (I called my Mum after the scan to let her know how it went and when she said, "how is the baby?" I said "he's fine". Nice one. Luckily she didn't pick up on it!). We didn't even tell Caleb. Of course, he's only 2 and a half so no doubt he would have let it slip but I just didn't really feel like he needed to know either way. It was fun trying to throw people off the scent as well. At Christmas when all of the family were together, Seth called the baby "she". I glared at him, as if to silence him and I saw my sister pick up on it even though she didn't say anything :). 

Do I regret not having the surprise? No. I always wondered if knowing what I was having would make it any less exciting when I went into labour but I was every bit as excited as I was when I was pregnant with Caleb. Because I knew we were having a boy, I also thought that he would pretty much be a carbon copy of Caleb. It was a massive surprise to me when this little olive skinned baby emerged with loads of black hair! Caleb only had a little bit of brown hair and even though they look alike in the face, I can also see a lot of differences. Caleb had blue eyes for the first six months or so of his life, whereas Levi's eyes have been almost black from the moment he opened them!

I felt an instant bond with Levi from the moment I held him, it was such a lovely feeling. Luckily for me, this time around I haven't developed postnatal depression. I don't know if it would have made a difference if we hadn't found out the sex of the baby but I am really glad that we did find out. If and when we have more children, I would definitely find out again, but I would still keep it just between me and Seth. Or I might change my mind. I'm indecisive like that. 

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