Sexual Relations

*does a headfake move and dekes around you*

Oh, you fell for my salacious title, did you? Welcome to the blog, sinner. No, this isn’t a post about knowing someone biblically (which, when you think about it, is just a super creepy phrase), it’s a post about the brouhaha surrounding the decision to discover the sex of your baby. What? I could have just called this post “Gender Relations” and it would have been less weird? Nobody asked you.

This seems to have become the hot button issue for expectant parents. Moreso even than the eternal battle of Boy vs. Girl—something I’ll get into in a later post—people have strong feelings about whether or not you should find out the sex of your baby before it arrives. Proponents of finding out seem to be largely motivated by shopping concerns. They’d prefer to be snagging pink and blue items, and not the neutral green and yellow. To be fair, shopping concerns are motivated by excitement over the arrival of a new baby, but it’s a pretty heavily cited reason. Advocates for not finding out cite the excitement and mystery surrounding the whole affair.

Admittedly, as my Dad has said to me, who your baby will be when it arrives is one of the big mysteries in life. What will it look like? Will it be healthy? What will it be like? And, of course, will it be a boy or a girl? Teasing out the discovery at least of the gender until the very end can make for quite the reveal when the day actually comes. It’s pretty tempting. Is it odd that the temptation here is for the delayed gratification? I’m going to say it is.

Now, to save myself from a hailstorm, I’m going to announce that Janelle and I do not know what we plan on doing with this yet. Our appointment is in January and it’s entirely likely that we’re going to pick on the fly just based on our feeling of the situation the day of.

But… my feeling is that the problem with not knowing is very simply the pronoun involved.


My parents managed to sidestep this issue by referring to my sister and I by a generic name when we were in the womb. That way, they didn’t have to always be talking about “it”, like they were discussing an expansion to their master bedroom or something. I think that for me I would have trouble calling the baby by a generic name to give it a bit of a persona to interact with and not just assuming it was a certain gender already. My thinking is that as long as I’m already presupposing a gender, why not just be correct about it? I don’t have a preference for the baby’s gender (not really), but I don’t want to get attached to the idea of a boy or a girl and then risk even having the slightest bit of disappointment that I didn’t get my pick.

But finding out the gender is tricky on the off chance that anyone you know would like it to be a surprise. My Dad, again, would like it to be a surprise, and I don’t particularly want to ruin it for him if we opt to find out. Janelle doesn’t really like surprises; they make her feel anxious when she focuses on them too much. She does, however, like having a secret. If I had to bet, I would say that come January, we’ll opt to find out the baby’s gender—but we aren’t telling.

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  1. #1 by Abby on January 1, 2010 - 4:23 PM

    I love this post. I admit that I was wary of clicking on the link because I thought it might be a “how we made the baby” sort of story but then I figured, why not get instructions for when Ollie and I decide to start trying (kidding). Anyway, I continue to enjoy reading all of your thoughts about impending parenthood and I’m really, really, really excited for you guys. 🙂

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