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To find out or not to find out?

Last year was awesome.  My Dad Vibe ‘tribe’ continues to grow and I want to quickly thank all of you for your support and sharing.  How exciting to have an article go viral!  

I’m hoping 2014 will be even bigger.  One thing is for sure, my family will be larger as we welcome, in late May, our first child into our big, beautiful, blended family.   If you follow me, you know our blended family began almost 3 years ago with the careful and intentionally slow introduction of our children: the 2 Williams and the one Jacqueline.  Soon they will have a little brother or sister to call their own. 

I am very excited to be a dad again, more excited than I expected.   I was a fumbling inexperienced rookie all those years ago, but now I feel like Michael Jordan, coming back out of retirement for one last dance.  I have written articles to new dads and now I get to walk the talk again and I can’t wait.

As we eagerly await our newest arrival (who we have convinced the boys will also be named William if it’s a boy, “cuz its only fair!”), we have so many fun decisions to make. Highest priority is the baby’s name while the lowest for me is what colour to paint the nursery.  

The biggest question we are asked is, “Are you going to find out if it’s a boy or girl?”  We are really not sure and flip-flop daily. 

I am on the fence on finding out if we are having a little girl or a little boy.  I am looking for your input to help in our decision making.  

If we find out, then I will surely miss people’s cockamamie theories as to how certain they are of the gender.  From the Chinese art of swinging a necklace over an open palm or naked belly to the awesome, “Oh, it’s a boy, you are carrying high!”  or “Oh it’s a girl for sure, you look wider from behind” (only females can get away with that one!)

If we do find out early, I will miss episodes like the impish grocery store bag lady putting her hands on Jan’s belly and declaring to the rest of the line-up that it’s a GIRL, “Look how low she is carrying in her hips!”

When discussing this dilemma on the playground, a wise mom told me whatever feels right to the couple is what is right.  If they want to find out, find out.  If not, then don’t.  Simple.  I think she is right, it’s totally personal and whatever you do, do it for you because you know some Facebook jerk won’t like your decision anyway.  

We mentioned to our kids that at our next ultrasound in 2 weeks, they might be able to look and see if it’s a boy or girl.  

“How can you they tell Dad? The baby is so small!” 

“Well son, they will look for a penis…” 

Well, that was it, the boys were giddy for the next 20 minutes talking about baby penises (is this where it starts?).  Then dear Jacqueline, the diplomat who always seeks harmony and wants things to be fair, decided it would be great if they saw a penis AND a vagina to which we quickly shouted “No no no!” that would not be best case scenario.

With so few true surprises in the world today, the fun side of me really wants to wait and find out on the day of our baby’s first breath (I also like waiting until Christmas day to open gifts, not this Christmas Eve crap).  

I would love to make that excited delivery room declaration, “It’s a BOY!!” or “It looks like a GIRL!”  We could delight in the reactions of the kids, the joy, the shock, and tears would all be awesome!  But times have changed.  We don’t have to wait to find out anymore.  I will not be pacing and handing out cigars in the waiting room.   We have the technology NOW. 

Why shouldn’t we use it?  Kids today, when given a school research project, don’t have to trudge to the library and steal the reference books anymore, so why shouldn’t we use these new wonderful detecting tools?   We can still have that excited moment of discovery AND also time to bond with the idea of our new baby being a daughter or a son.   I think we would both feel more connected and the upcoming baby would become even more real!   

I wonder if the older siblings would benefit from knowing if they have a little ‘brother’ or ‘sister’ now (so they can get over any disappointment if they wanted the other gender long before that baby arrives).   Our children are 8, 6, and 5 so they get it but does knowing the gender make the whole experience a little more concrete for them?

There are practical reasons too like all our friends that have truckloads of baby clothes that they are dying to unload on you.  As for the baby name dilemma, it would be nice to cut out half of the possibilities, although I was kinda liking the “catch-all utility” names like Pat, Chris, and Terry. 

We are going to find out sooner or later, the secret will be revealed.  If we can’t both decide, maybe just one of us could find out and fight to keep the secret?

Could the whimsical, surprise loving parent be kept in the dark while the practical, organized planning (OCD) parent find out early?  (that is the same parent that tore open corners of Christmas presents weeks before Christmas and then taped them back up)

Either way, we are going to be surprised in a medical setting and there will be tears, screaming, and joy!  Will it be in two weeks from now or four months earlier? 

There is no right or wrong… what would/did you do?

Comments

comments

  • Don’t! I wouldn’t give up that feeling of anticipation, and the feeling I had after our daughter was born, realizing we brought into the world, our first daughter. However, planning for us was easier, no nursery decorating here (we co-sleep) and I don’t need everything to be pink or blue.

  • I loved finding out the second time around, but we didn’t announce it publicly. It was nice to be partially prepared.

  • I loved not finding out with both of ours. It was a nice surprise to work towards, knowing when I was in labour that we were so close to finding out!

  • Congrats to you and your family!!

  • I’m just so happy for you all !

  • Congratulations Jeff. That is great news. We didn’t find out for either of our kids. And we got one of each.

    • Jeff Jan 17, 2014 Reply

      Hey Chad,

      Great to hear from you too! We are excited either way and can’t wait.. or can we???

  • Ken Langedyk Jan 12, 2014 Reply

    I would leave it as a surptise until the delivery day! But, the decision is ultimately up to you and Jan!

    • Jeff Jan 17, 2014 Reply

      Hey Ken,

      Great to hear from you — thanks for the thoughts — we are really on the fence still but leaning towards the surprise 4 months early!

  • Barb Dionne Jan 13, 2014 Reply

    I am a 65 year old great-grandma and have 2 sons. Of course, I did have to wait to find out what they were because the technology wasn’t there to use yet. I was hery happy they were boys.

    I am in favour of knowing what gender the baby is because it will give you a great head start to the lifetime of really knowing that little person. If you don’t know if it is a girl or boy, it hampers the intimacy that can be developed if you know who your are talking to and who you are imagining a life with, before they are born.

    Just my take on it. I enjoy your articles and think you must be a really good dad because it is obviously important to you and you spend a lot of time contemplating and being aware of your kids and yourself. All the best to you and your family….including the new little one.

    • Jeff Jan 17, 2014 Reply

      Hey Barb!

      Thanks so much for your thoughts and your unique perspective! We are leaning towards finding out for exactly the reasons you mentioned!

      The ultrasound is next Wednesday so check back for the results!!

      I look forward to more of your insights!

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