Tuesday, March 24, 2009

To know or not to know

The results from the poll of 33 voters:

42% choose to find out the gender before birth, but keep the name a secret
30% say to leave it all a surprise until birth
21% reveal gender and name before birth
6%   wait to find out the gender, but reveal boy/girl name choices

As for us, we found out the gender of the girls, but kept our very difficultly decided upon name choices to ourselves until the birth. I loved the reveal of announcing the name at birth. 100% of the time, we heard positive whoops of glee instead of, "Why did you choose that name?" As a people pleaser, I can't handle the criticism. Friends and family were so thrilled with the baby's birth, they didn't take the time to question the name.

This is our choice, but everyone obviously has their own opinion. And I loved reading them! We hope to have an ultrasound at 20 weeks and find out the gender of our baby at that time. You can look forward to some "baby name polls" in the near future as we begin our deliberation.

When we hear about a healthy baby’s impending birth, there are two things all the loved ones want to know: gender and name. There are several ways that parents choose to reveal these details, some leave everyone clueless and others let us talk and discuss months before the baby arrives.

The old fashioned way is to, of course, let nature take its course and find out the gender at birth instead of at a 20 week ultrasound. Even though they don’t know the gender, there are two option here; they could keep the boy/girl name options to themselves or they could share the names that they will give a boy or a girl. The first option will undoubtedly leave your friends and family at the height of anticipation, although they’ll probably be really annoyed too. At least knowing the boy name or the girl name settles some of the aggravation.

Another way couples choose to reveal the details is to give a teaser by sharing the gender, but not the name. If they are vacillating over the name right to the end of the pregnancy, it is the only option. Not sharing the name can be a personal preference as well, since sharing the name choice will open up inevitable commentary and opinions from well meaning friends and family. Once a baby is born, it seems like no one has the nerve to question the sweet baby’s name (at least the parent’s face).

Many people share the baby’s name after finding out the gender of their baby. This takes the suspense away and all the relatives and friends feel a great relief knowing that all the available details are out in the open. Just think of the monogramming that can be done ahead of time! This way of full revelation does open you up to criticism of the name choice though and makes it harder to change your mind.

I have friends and family who have done all of the above options for their babies. I think the “full revelation” method is the easiest to handle for outsiders, with “no details” revealed being the most frustrating. How can I sew a quilt or put together a scrapbook without at least knowing the gender? It’s all about me, you see. Everybody has an opinion, which is why I am asking yours. The survey on the right is to reflect what you did with your child’s birth or what you would do if you were to have a child, not what you prefer with your friend’s and family member’s babies. The answers would be different for me.

You never know, this poll could change my opinion, or harder yet, my husband’s. Probably not, but there is no harm in sharing.


Lisa said...

I like surprises, so I would make everyone wait 'til the baby came.

Ratzlaff Reflections said...

I like surprises, too! I was very surprised at my 20 week appointments!! :o)

Annie said...

I have a hard time not knowing. I'm a planner. I always find out what I am having. I have a hard time keeping a secret so I always tell both the name and the gender. I greatly admire those who can discipline themselves to not find out or keep it a secret.

Melanie said...

Which do you do?

Shawna said...

Well since you asked for what I did with my daughter I had to answer, told the gender and the name. I was so terrified of having a son for some reason, I convinced myself I had to find out so I could use the rest of the pregnancy to warm up to the idea. Even when I did find out I didn't believe it until she came out! I didn't paint anything pink let's just say. (and I had several Level 2 ultrasounds because of my "advanced maternal age" so there was little doubt on their end but I still had my own.) I did get tired of the comments like "well you know that isn't 100%" I wanted to respond "Duh"

As for the name, I had the names picked out since I was 17 and my grandpa died. I knew I would use his name Calvin Madison, Calvin for the boy and Madison for the girl. Rick didn't have much of a choice, sorry. He already had a son and namesake so he was totally open to it, thank goodness. So there wasn't much I could do about the comments about Madison being so popular and all (The movie Splash hadn't come out when I picked it, which is where the popularity started!) and I knew what the significance was behind it so that is all that mattered for me.

I would like to say thought that I had a friend who was pregnant at the same time as me and she shared the gender but not the name, which I thought was great and I think I would do it that way if I were to get pregnant again. (If it was a girl because everyone knows the boy name already!)

Alysun, I remember Tawny showing me your blog before I knew you when you were pregnant with Mandy and sharing the initials I think and it was fun to guess. I remember thinking it was a great way to share some of the information and keep some of it private.

So if the poll asked me what I would do if given the opportunity to do it again, I would choose, share the gender (too hard to find out and not tell even if by accident) and keep the name a surprise.

Sorry this comment got so long, this was a great post to got me going I guess.

Dan & Hillary and little Russell said...

I'm all about the 20wk ultrasound gender reveal! Deciding on a name is difficult and having to look at only 50% of the name book helps;-) I'm not one to share a name, though...

Anonymous said...

Curious as a cat describes us. We found out if we were having a girl/boy all four times before the baby was born. As for a name... now that's another story. It is so hard to name someone that you have not met yet! If it wasn't for social security cards, that had to be filled out, David still might need a name! We asked for ideas and one baby shower devoted a game to helping us. We had Elizabeth picked out for Lucy, and then she screamed for two hours. It just didn't match, so we were back to thumbing through the name book. I hope that you have an easier time naming and being secretive or sharing than we did. Jenni Birch

Kellie said...

My husband I figure it's a surprise whether you find out the gender at the 20 week ultrasound or at birth, and finding out the gender was a lot of fun! I'll never forget the fun we had going to the mall to pick out our daughter's first dress right after the ultrasound, or how excited my husband got to buy a football outfit for our son. It made things real for him and made it a lot easier to plan. Plus it saved us money because I would have bought a whole gender neutral layette if we didn't find out and then immediately replace it with blue or pink because I'm nuts like that.

As for the name, we did that both ways. With Grace we knew before we got pregnant what her name would be. We loved the name and told our family and friends that there was a 99% chance her name would be Grace but we reserved the right to change our mind. In other words, don't get attached. With Ethan we honestly couldn't agree on a boys name and finally gave up trying to nail down a name before he was born. When people asked I could honestly say we had no idea what his name would be. It was kind of fun to surprise everyone when we called with news of his birth with his name. It also limited negative comments because although my inlaws haven't said anything I'm pretty sure they don't like his name (mostly because it's hard to pronounce for the Dutch side of the family).

So to sum it all up if we had another child (which we're not) I would definitely find out the gender again but would wait until birth to share the name.

Stacy said...

I found out the gender with all 4 of mine and shared the name before. #4 though I only shared a list of names that we were considering. I agree with sharing that detail opens up for comments. I didn't want comments that time around. If I ever got to do it again I like to think that I'd not find out the gender.

Choco Girl said...

I really appreciate when people give at least the gender of their child. They don't have to tell us the name though. I love buying baby clothes and it's more fun when I know the gender of the child so I can envision what the baby will look like in this or that! :-)

Lindsay said...

We didn't find out the boys genders or reveal their names til birth. And it drove people crazy. But with Anna we decided we really wanted to find out her gender and once we were 100% sure on her name, we shared it. I found that once you know the sex, it was much harder to keep the name a secret, and honestly I was tired of people bugging me about it. I was already referring to her by her name since I knew she was a girl. I was really glad we did it both ways though. It was so fun for me to know she was a girl and be able to shop and prepare for her, things I never would have had the time to do after she was here. And it was fun when Craig carried Will out to the waiting room and got to announce it was a boy and his name at the same time. Everyone was screaming! It is special either way.

If I had to do it again I would find out the sex. Maybe keep the name a secret, though??

One fun thing we did do was buy a girl balloon and take it home to show the boys they were having a sister since they didn't accompany us to the ultrasound. That was a special memory.

Wow. I wrote a book, here!
I'm curious about what you will do??

Grandma Sherri said...

Of course we didn't have the option when were waiting for you and yor sister, I think we may have shared the names we were thinking about, but you both had silly prebirth names. If i had been able to know the gender I definately would want to know- just too many sales you have to pass up if you don't know!!

But speaking of suspence, its not as if we don't know the rest of the story, but we sure were enjoying it...:)

Andee said...

I don't like surprises. I have a weak constitution. If you need to keep your audience in suspense, I can respect that, but your sister, your sister needs to know these things. Otherwise I might just get rid of all my boy clothes.

Grace said...

I love surprises! We have been surprised all three times and I would never trade that feeling of meeting my baby once she's in my arms. The best times of my life!

Shawna said...

Okay, definitely keeping the name a secret if there is a next time for me. I shared a possible name today with someone (just in passing like Madison's name was almost....) and I got the look and a "Oh no...that isn't a good name. I so thought of your blog post when I had this conversation so I had to share.

Sara said...

It looks like I was too late to vote in your poll, but I'll share my opinion now anyway. =) With my first pregnancy, I went along with my husband's wishes not to find out the gender (I was kind of against it at first, but warmed up to the idea by the end). We had name options picked out that we shared with everyone, but we weren't 100% on them. About a week before Abby was born, I started having major second thoughts about the names and we started at square one. For almost two whole days after Abby arrived, she still had no name until we settled on Abigail.

For my second pregnancy (right now at 34 weeks), we decided to find out the gender. And based upon what happened last time with the names, we've pretty much decided to wait until right before the birth to pick out a name instead of doing it long before hand and then possibly getting sick of the name again.

I have no idea what we'll do for our next baby. I don't have strong feelings about any of the options actually. The only thing that really bugs me is when a couple finds out the gender but doesn't share it. Keeping the name to themselves is slighty annoying, but understandable, but if they want the gender to be a secret to everyone else I think it should be a secret to them too. =)

John and Kelly and our lambs: Joshua, Jacob, Josiah said...

Leave it to me to be too honest, but hey you asked... people like you guys drive me crazy!!! At least you reveal the sex, nothing is worse than only the parents knowing. My ultrasound is monday and wouldn't it just bug you to no end if I knew if I was having a 4th son or 1st daughter and wouldn't share?!? We just don't understand why anyone would want to refer to their growing child as "it" or "him" or "her" when you could give "it" a name, an idenity. And to stake your name out so friends/family don't steal it, or if they do, it's obvious. I also think it is very helpful getting the siblings ready for the next family member. Josh and Jake took on a new baby with ease I think due to them already knowing him so to speak, a brother growing in mommy's tummy named Josiah. It was so cute when Josh would introduce his family and would point to my belly and say "And in there is my brother Josiah!"