To know or not to know? That is the question our mum-to-be faces this month…
The first trimester is over, you’ve had your 12 week scan, everything looks fine and you can now relax in to the pregnancy…right? Well, sort of. The next (and usually last) scan you have is at 20 weeks – this anomaly scan checks the baby is developing normally and that there are no major abnormalities apparent. At our scan, after what felt like hours (the little monkey was doing its best to hide from the sonographer) we were told everything looked fine and asked the million dollar question: “do you want to know the sex?”
It’s a simple question but one that played on my mind – weighed down with an archive of years of opinion, judgment and tradition. Friends, work colleagues, family members, all putting their two pennies in, letting me know why they wouldn’t/didn’t find out. Pulling faces when I said I probably would.
When my parents asked if we would find out the sex and I said “yes, probably”, my dad rolled his eyes. He thought I hadn’t noticed, but I spotted it and it didn’t sit well. He then suggested that we kept it to ourselves and didn’t tell him as he’d like a ‘surprise’. We then had a similar conversation with my father in-law. When we told him we were going to find out the sex, his response was: “I can’t understand your generation. You’ve no patience to just wait and work for something, you want everything immediately”.
Now, although this is probably true of our generation (we do seem to live in a disposable society built on immediate gratification) this wasn’t my reasoning behind finding out. I didn’t desperately need to know. The truth is I was completely indifferent. If someone had said ‘you can’t know until the birth’, that would be fine. If they said ‘we can tell you now’, that would also be acceptable. It’s a surprise at 20 weeks and a surprise at 40 weeks. Either way, I didn’t know and now I do. If there was any consequence, or cost, or risk to finding out early then we clearly wouldn’t. But, as the sonographer was there offering to tell us and it would have no impact on anything to do with the pregnancy, we thought, why not?
It’s just a shame this decision wasn’t made without the guilt of somehow thinking I was letting loved ones down. Perhaps we just shouldn’t ask others the question and wait for them to volunteer the information, whilst practicing our poker faces. But, alas, as I’m slowly finding out during pregnancy everyone is an expert and people love to tell you what you should and shouldn’t be doing. It’s a boy by the way… just don’t tell my Dad!