Sex-y

If we’re friends on Facebook, you may recall me mentioning about a month ago that we think we’re having a boy.

Gender Reveal party cupcakes

I say “think” because the ultrasound tech wouldn’t tell us. The Vancouver-Coastal health authority has a policy that they do not tell expectant parents the sex of their fetus until 20+ weeks of gestation. Our ultrasound was booked for 19w5d.

I’m going to allow space for a couple small rants here:

Seriously? Seriously. Two days. You think if I were the kind of person who was likely to opt for selective elimination of a fetus with a sex I wasn’t happy with, two days would make a difference? Comeon VCH, let’s grab some common sense here. I know you need to draw a line in the sand, but why can’t my midwives even call two days later to get the gender results? You suck.

Also, midwives. Seriously? You have been in business how long and you do not know about the “sex only revealed after 20 weeks” rule? And that no, you don’t get to book another ultrasound just to have the sex shown because you weren’t smart enough to book it for post 20-weeks in the first place? I sincerely hope (especially in my 3am-wide-awake-to-panic moments) that your skills at labour-coaching and baby-catching are FAR SUPERIOR to your skills in medical administration and procedure.

Anyhow. Thanks to that little administrative hiccup, we are left with the option whether or not to find out our damn selves which flavour of tiny human we’ll be responsible for come March.

And I can’t decide whether or not to do it.

I was definitely excited to know before the magical “20-week” ultrasound, and feel a little disappointed that we don’t know for sure. My conflict comes with WHY I want to know.

It’s not the money (we can afford a private ultrasound), or the names (we have preferred names for boys and girls picked out).

It all comes down to the shopping.

I hate to think that I’m going to fall victim to subjecting my offspring to society’s current gender constructs of “pink is for girls and blue is for boys,” etc.

But the reality is, the gender-neutral stuff I’ve found is just nowhere near as aesthetically pleasing (or downright adorable) as the “boy” and “girl” things.

I really don’t give a damn whether my boy plays with dolls or my girl plays with trucks or any of that. And it’s not like we’d go painting the nursery with unicorns and butterflies vs. monster trucks and spaceships (we’re not painting at all. Beige is FINE).

It’s just that everything I see that looks interesting to me seems to fall under the headings of “baby boy things” vs. “baby girl things.”

And I just hate to think that’s the only reason I’d be finding out.

I do also just like the idea of knowing more about the little person-to-be currently occupying the majority of my abdominal cavity. Knowing whether he or she is a he or she (assuming normal gender assignment, etc.) makes it feel a little more humanizing. A little less alien. And a little more like I’ve been “wined and dined” before being taken advantage of for lo these nine long months.

But mostly, the shopping.

So tell me internets, what would (or did) you do?

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16 thoughts on “Sex-y

  1. Ianiv

    We wanted to know so we booked a 3D ultrasound. Was really neat, you get plenty of time to explore the kid growing in you and it is amazing how much detail you can actually see.

    So, if you do decide to pay for one, go with 3D 🙂

  2. Courtney

    Here are my two cents, for what it’s worth.

    We didn’t find out. I realllllly wanted to – mainly for the shopping and planning aspects like you mentioned – and Andrew absolutely refused to find out. His stance was, there are so few surprises in life, why ruin the one thing that is one of life’s greatest? I eventually gave in and I’m really glad we didn’t. Yes, it made things a little more difficult but really, Maren didn’t even end up wearing any of the gender neutral stuff. The day she was born, she was swaddled in so many blankets she didn’t need clothes and Andrew went out that day and bought some girl stuff. We also had our shower after she was born so we got gender appropriate clothing that way.

    As far as decorating, we planned on painting the nursery a light blue either way and swings and stuff we just got in green and yellow.

    We went for the 4D ultrasound just because we thought it would be cool but, as I think I’ve mentioned, Maren was totally uncooperative and even after going back a second time we didn’t end up with anything so that was a waste for us.

    It’s a tough choice but I’m glad we went the way we did. For me, since I had a c-section and the day was fairly anticlimactic, finding out she was a girl was the highlight of her birth.
    Courtney´s last blog post ..Calendar – My Owl Barn

  3. Brooks

    We opted to be surprised both times. Yes there is a shopping issue, but it wasn’t too much of a problem for us. We did paint the room but painted it yellow and green.

    It just seemed more “fun” to be surprised somehow.

    The first time, we were both positive it was a boy and then when the baby was born, our doctor said “1-2-3” and we both guessed at the same time (and were both right).

    The second time, we were positive it was a girl (and didn’t even really have a boy’s name picked out) and it turned out we were both wrong. A boy again. He didn’t have a name for the first 2 days. Oops!

    Anyways, there is no right or wrong way to go but we were happy both times to be surprised.
    Brooks´s last blog post ..Evernote Premium – 12 Days Of Paperless Gifts

  4. Karen

    We were in the same situation as you (ultrasound was at ~19 weeks, at St. Paul’s). Dan flew back from Edmonton to attend with me. Our ultrasound tech was not interested in doing anything beyond the standard measurements so it was not the enjoyable experience we thought it would be. At the end she printed us a crappy inkjet printout of the top of the baby’s head. WTF?!

    Anyhow, after that disappointment Dan really wanted to find out what we were having (I didn’t care either way) so we decided to do the 3D ultrasound thing. I have to admit that even though I wouldn’t have chosen to do it without Dan’s insistence, it was pretty damn cool. We went to UC Baby which was the only option here in Edmonton, but in Vancouver I think there are a couple places.

    Anyhow, we found out we were having a boy, and we definitely ended up getting a lot of “gendered” gifts. However most stuff labelled “boy” in stores is actually pretty gender neutral. I have a friend who knew she was having a girl and she got SO MUCH pink frilly stuff. I don’t think I would have been as cool with that…To the point that if we found out we were having a girl I probably would not have shared the news with friends and family.
    Karen´s last blog post ..Frugal maternity fashion- Thrift Stores

  5. jen

    That’s weird that your midwife didn’t get that information along with the other ultrasound results. I wasn’t 20 weeks yet either so the tech wouldn’t tell us, but the gender was right there on the report along with the other u/s results. My midwife actually said “and, yes it’s a boy. Oh, you wanted to know right?!” We did want to know. Maybe that’s changed now since the new rules, I don’t know.

    I think the argument that people want a surprise is kind if silly. It’s a surprise at 20 weeks, it’s a surprise at 40 weeks. I’m glad we found out, and I’ll want to do it again. I liked being able to say “he” and it forced us to consider more boy names. We had a hard time with boy names, but girl names were easy.

    As for shopping, aside from the essentials (bassinet, ergo, diapers, blankets, etc) I hardly bought anything, and what I did get was loaned or found on craigslist. The grandmas were more than eager to buy clothes, and that’s what friends tend to buy too. I agree with you that the neutral clothes aren’t nearly as cute as the girl or boy specific stuff. FYI, bags of barely used clothes can be found on CG for CHEAP. If you do have a boy and don’t mind hand-me-downs, I’ve got bags and bags of clothes you can use 🙂

    I can’t remember where I heard or read this, but the person was basically arguing that if you have access to information, why would you choose to ignore it? I realize you don’t have ready access, but he likened going through pregnancy and not knowing what you are carrying to driving a car with no speedometre because you like the surprise or unknown. It’s not a great analogy, but it does make a point. Why choose to ignore a fact that might help you?

    That being said, I know some people find tremendous inspiration and motivation during labour and the strength to keep going to find out if their little baby is a girl or a boy. I didn’t really need that help since Jack was so determined to make it out in record time. Also, the fact he came out with his genitals flashing the entire room would have meant that I would have been the last to know 🙂

    Along with all the other advice strangers feel more than willing to share with you, be prepared for approving and disapproving reactions when they ask if it’s a boy or girl no matter what you decide to do. An older man in the grocery store asked if I knew what I was having and when I said yes, it was a boy, he said “good” then took it upon himself to berate me for being part of a generation that has no patience.

  6. Belinda

    This is going back a few years but my first was a surprise and my second I found out about only because I was hospitalized and we had another U/S after 31 weeks, he was a preemie. Personally I enjoyed not knowing with the first and it was handy finding out with the second just to know whether or not keeping all those hand-me-downs was a good idea (it was – both boys.)

    I was also in the shower after the baby is born camp and honestly, other than one or two cutesy outfits they wore for going out, they spend a lot of time in stretch sleepers or onesies depending on the time of year it was. The either vomited or umm you know… on their clothes anyway.
    Belinda´s last blog post ..Night Bird Flying

  7. Raul

    My Mom had 4 boys in a row. She figured by the fifth that she was only having boys 🙂 but in your case, he/she is your first. Totally your call, but if it were me, I’d go for the 3D. But I’m not pregnant 🙂 (…yet)

  8. AprilC

    Hubby and I were all about finding out but luckily for us our tech had no problem showing us the goods and our son had no problem revealing the goods to us.

    Just to be on the safe side and for the novelty of it we also opted to shell out the extra cash for a 3D ultrasound which ended up being great because both sets of grandparents on the East Coast were able to watch the ultrasound live on the internet through a secure site.

    We wanted to know what we were having because it was much easier to buy things and I agree that gender neutral things when you can find them are not that great. It was also nice to be able to call the baby he and not he/she 🙂

  9. Laura

    I think the official reason they changed the rule here in bc was less about people having abortions of unwanted sex and more about saving time ($) by not needing u/s techs to waste time trying to see the sex, which they considered “extra” info. I know for some its obvious to see, but I think sometimes the baby does not cooperate and rolls around, etc when they are trying to see things and they wanted to make the appts shorter…? who really knows though, I think its a bunch of bs either way…

    Like Jen said, its a surprise whether you find out before or after. Im going to guess that if you wanted to know before your U/S appt then you probably still do want to know, right? 🙂

    We found out with Owen, but that was before the rule change. It did make it a little easier to bond with the growing belly, only because we knew to call him a “he.” It did make shopping and the baby shower easier, just because people like to buy you clothes, but having a few gender neutral (yellow/white/etc) 0-3 mo onesies/tshirts and a bunch of rec blankets will do you for the first little bit anyways.
    Despite what you might predict/fear, it is indeed possible to leave the house with a little one to go buy some clothes afterwards 🙂 And you could have your shower a few weeks after the birth too 🙂

    I didnt want to find out this time, just to have a surprise at the birth, but I also felt for the second one it just wasnt as important to me – Ive got loads of clothes from Owen anyways so I dont really care about buying clothes beforehand. And Ive got friends with both boys and girls who Im sure will help us out with hand-me-downs anyways…And Im with Karen who said that some of the “girly” things people will want to buy you may make you vomit up bows and lace, so it might be better to buy your own girl clothes anyways…heh 🙂

  10. Laura

    PS. forgot to tell you that Old Navy has some cute “neutral” onesies – beige/yellow/white with ducks/frogs/owls etc…you can always get a pink or blue hat afterwards 🙂
    And dressing your child in gender specific clothes doesnt even guarantee that people will get it – Owen (2 years old) was in a blue tshirt and jeans with black sneakers THIS WEEK and after telling a woman his name, she said, “a boy right?”

  11. Nelson

    Jana and I went to have our 19 month ultrasound. While they wouldn’t tell us at the time, when we went to see our doctor at the 25 week check-up, she asked one of the booking ladies to call down to the Ultrasound side. The booking lady called and expressed several times that Jana was 25 weeks along. Eventually they relented and told her that we had a boy!

    Be persistant at your next check-up. They’ll probably tell you when you go in next. Or at least they will take steps for you to know. Worse comes to worse, pester them. They’ll eventually crumble. Hehe 🙂 Good luck!
    Nelson´s last blog post ..NaBloPoMo – 2010- post 22 – The End of November

  12. Nicole

    Well, you’ve got a lot of comments here, but I thought I’d throw in my two cents.

    1) I didn’t know. I mean, I had a very strong (and ultimately correct) feeling it was a girl, but I didn’t find out. And, let me tell you, in the 37th hour of labour, after 5+ hours of pushing, that curiosity was fucking motivating. Seriously, though every contraction towards the end, I kept thinking “maybe this push will be the one that will finally reveal the surprise”. If nothing else, there’s a darn good reason to wait.

    2) Re. the shopping bit, I get it. I was also a bit dismayed at the gender neutral stuff (except the duckies – they’re super cute). But, it’s kind of like when my mother-in-law visits from Ontario and brings every supply known to man in her luggage (in perfectly organized individual ziplock baggies – gah!!!), and I have to tell her “you know, we do have q-tips in Vancouver. We have tea bags too”. Point: you can shop when the baby is born. You’re not heading into some sort of isolated hibernation period, so you don’t have to have everything in advance. Indeed, shopping with the baby is fun. It’s something to do. It gets you out of the house. You’ll probably find that you’re scouring the baby stores anyway because you just need a destination when you find yourself walking for hours on end because it’s the only thing that keeps the baby from screaming. Aside from a few sleepers (which the baby will grow out of in record time anyway), some onesies, blankets, cloths and the bassinet, you need very little at first. Crib bedding can wait (baby won’t be in the crib for a few months, and even if you do use it right away, you are not supposed to use bumpers until 6 months).

    3) You may just want that gender neutral stuff in the end. I know the last thing on your mind right now is baby #2. But, it could happen. My rule is that I buy anything expensive in neutral colours. So, Adele has blue, green and red coats, boots, etc. She totally looks like a boy when she’s dressed for outside (which annoys me – how is it that she’s automatically a boy unless she’s in pink or purple? But, even i think she looks boyish). But, if I have a boy next time around, I’ve got all the outer gear. I’ve also got green, yellow and blue sippy cups, dishes, some toys etc.

    4) My brother in law was told he was having a girl. They went the entire pregnancy calling the baby Kayleigh, had a shitload of stuff, etc. They got Liam. They actually mourned Kayleigh for a while. Of course, they loved Liam from the start, but they felt quite a loss for the girl that they’d been expecting the entire time.

    Hope that helps 🙂

  13. AprilC

    I forgot to mention that your u/s tech might have written the gender down on the paper from the u/s. When we were about 38 weeks our doctor photocopied all our charts and gave them to us to bring to the hospital when it was time and when I looked through the stuff at the u/s papers the tech had marked the gender symbol for boy O-> on the paper. I had a friend who didn’t want to know and found out that way because the symbol was marked on the u/s sheet. Just a heads up.
    AprilC´s last blog post ..December Daily – Day Seven

  14. Jen

    Thanks for your comments everyone!

    I didn’t realize the rule changed so recently (in June of this year, according to a CBC article: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/05/11/bc-vancouver-ultrasound-gender-fee.html).

    Seems to be part abortion-prevention, part cash-grab by the government.

    Except, I know there were some techs at St. Paul’s telling the sex to other u/s patients at their appointment, since they were over an hour late getting me in for my slot and I had plenty of time to overhear other conversations.

    I think I may have just ended up with an asshole tech. He was annoyed from the moment we walked in, and EXTRA annoyed that my bladder was too full for him to get good images at first (sorry, you made me wait an extra HOUR! What did you expect?), and I had to partially drain it a few times.

    For those who mentioned re-checking the report or calling the U/S department, my midwives did both of those things. They actually thought I’d changed my mind about finding out, since sex wasn’t on the report at all. They called St. Paul’s to find out or re-book and got nowhere. When they called to tell me my options at this point were private ultrasound or wait until the birth, they were actually VERY apologetic.

    So we’re going to go for the 3D. I am not a patient person at the best of times, and am also a spoiled brat who is still not terribly gracious when she does not get what she wants.

    Now I need to go call an imaging clinic about a golden goose.
    Jen´s last blog post ..Oh- Christmas Tree

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