By: Mirranda Reinhardt for Pregnancy Awareness Month®
My third child, a boy, has been a “rule-breaker” since day one. He’s an ornery little fella, full of spunk and energy. Even in the womb he seemed to have his own opinions on things. At eighteen weeks my doctor ordered an ultrasound. I’m sure you’re familiar with it; the eighteen week ultrasound is the time when the majority of moms find out the gender of their baby. Thanks to a stubborn baby, I didn’t find out the gender of our third little peanut.
Oh, we went in with every intention of determining the sex of our baby. My husband and I happily walked back into the ultrasound office with our two bigger kids in tow. We were all quite excited to find out if we’d be welcoming a little boy or girl to our family. The ultrasound tech took the usual measurements and declared our little one nice and healthy. When the time came to determine our little guy’s gender he wouldn’t cooperate at all. Try as she might, the ultrasound tech couldn’t get a single peek. I left disappointed and trying to figure out how I was going to prepare for a baby without knowing whether I should buy pink or blue.
Shortly after that ultrasound, I transferred my prenatal care to a midwife. Like many midwives she only uses ultrasounds for diagnostic purposes. I knew there wasn’t going to be another chance to answer the “big question” unless I wanted to go to an independent ultrasound company and that wasn’t an option for us at that time. We made the decision to let baby number three’s gender be a mystery until his or her birth.
I was disappointed for a few weeks, I knew that baby number three would be our last and I’d been looking forward to all of the preparations. My attitude changed quickly though as I began to see not knowing our baby’s gender as a blessing in disguise. It helped me focus on what was really important. My husband was unemployed and I realized that even if I had the money to buy dozens of cute little boy or girl newborn outfits I really didn’t them. The basic needs of a baby are pretty simple really, and have absolutely nothing to do with their gender. What did it really matter if I was having a boy or a girl? Knowing wouldn’t change it. What I had was a healthy baby, and two healthy big kids who were looking forward to meeting our “mystery baby”.
A few months later, our mystery baby was born at home in the water, into his Daddy’s waiting hands. After my husband handed him up to me, I looked down and finally discovered the answer to the question we’d all been asking. We had a beautiful baby boy. I’m so glad we didn’t find out beforehand, and if I ever had it to do over again I wouldn’t change a thing.
I think that by finding out in that moment, as we hold our babies for the first time we’re so full of joy that we don’t experience any thoughts of the opposite gender. We can fully enjoy the beautiful surprise we’ve been given without the bittersweet feelings that can often come with determining gender early on. My third little peanut, my sweet little boy is the absolute best surprise I could have ever hoped for.