My husband and I both agreed early on that we wanted to find out the sex of our baby. While I have several friends who are incredibly happy to have waited until their babies were born for the big reveal, we couldn’t stand the suspense.
I’m a planner and so is my husband, so we were happy to narrow down names, choose color schemes, and savor the fun of finding out what we were having in advance of meeting our little bundle of joy. As one friend put it, having a baby come out of your vagina is surprise enough for one day.
These were all the reasons we found out with our first, and after that experience, I discovered the most important reason of all to find out with my second:
Knowing whether we were having a boy or a girl transformed my husband into a father.
I became a mother as soon as I learned I was pregnant. The excitement and responsibility of my new role washed over me immediately. Suddenly, I had to watch what I ate and drank, and shortly after that, I could feel the physical effects of my pregnancy. But for my husband, it was still abstract.
He was very excited, of course, but nothing changed personally for him when I got pregnant. I looked the same from the outside and our first ultrasound looked a bit like a gummy bear. My pregnancy was still pretty surreal, but once we knew we were having a baby girl, everything changed.
Now, we weren’t just having a “baby”; we were having a baby girl! It was so much easier for my husband to imagine our new life as a family of three—a little girl wrapped in a soft blanket wearing a bow in her hair and then growing into a sweet toddler with pigtails. Of course, our fantasy of what it’s like to raise a girl doesn’t mean that’ll be the reality, but at that point in time, learning the sex of our baby made the whole experience more concrete for my husband.
In the end, it didn’t matter what we were having but gathering another clue about what our future family would look like did.