I hope you weren’t waiting for an invite to the gender reveal party…

One of the questions every pregnant woman gets asked over and over again is ‘do you know what you’re having?!’ which I’m assuming refers to gender and not something more general… like whether it’s a baby human or just a very large cheeseburger.

The Husband and I have decided not to find out what gender our little one is. We know (s)he is a healthy little fetus (as far as they can tell at the 20 week ultrasound), but we have no idea what gender Baby B is. I prefer to think that the gender changes just about daily. Some days I feel like it’s definitely a boy – other days I think there’s no way Baby B can be anything other than an adorably squishy little girl. That’s why we have different nicknames to use, depending on whether we think it’s more likely a guy or gal that day.

Of course, when we tell family and friends that we’re not finding out the sex of the baby, we get mixed reactions (of course, when don’t we get mixed reactions about a decision we make?!).

Usually people our parents’ age think it’s awesome that we’re doing things ‘the old fashioned way’ and are waiting to find out.

People our age usually say they would never be able to handle the suspense of not knowing the baby’s gender until the birthday. 

In all honesty, before getting pregnant I thought 100% for sure that I’d find out our baby’s gender as soon as possible. I mean, I’m a planner by nature and I generally like to be able to see my future pretty clearly. Although, let’s be honest, it never looks like the reality! But, as soon as I got pregnant I changed my tune. I knew right away that I definitely, without a doubt, did not want to know the baby’s gender.

The Husband did say that he would like to know the gender, but he had no strong preferences, so he agreed that we could wait – and now I think he would say that he’s super happy about that decision.

At this point there’s no turning back – we saw the final ultrasound at 20 weeks and won’t have the chance to see Baby B again until (s)he’s in our arms which will be in approximately 115 days… not that I have a countdown app or anything! (Whoa, that’s a crazy thought, we’re almost in the double digit countdown.)

Was this the right decision for us?

I actually can’t answer that yet, because my mind could very well change in the next 16 weeks or so. But I can tell you why we made the decision not to find out the gender ahead of time.

Reasons We Decided Not To Find Out Our Baby's Gender | thebenroecks.com

Baby B is just hanging out in there… gender already decided, just not known by us!

1.) We want the surprise! There are very few surprises in life anymore. This is especially true of good surprises. The last big surprise in my life was when the Husband proposed, which was pretty freakin’ amazing. I expect this surprise to be even more fun. I’m already jealous that the Husband will (most likely) be the one who gets to announce the gender and the name to our family and friends in the hospital – I can imagine it’s such a neat moment.

2.) I want gender neutral baby things. I try to be minimalist and practical by nature, so I want to buy all gender neutral baby items. I mean, we’re going to need them for baby #2 one day! Not that I’m going to buy all gender neutral clothes or anything like that (let’s not get carried away!) but for the big stuff, I like that no one (including myself) will be able to buy very gender-specific things. This is especially true of anything pink and frilly. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like a little bit of pink in my life, but I don’t want 80 bijillion tutus or hair bands or pink versions of sports jerseys… I’m just not that girl, so my baby won’t be that baby.

3.) We don’t have a gender preference. Neither the Husband nor I have a preference as to whether we have a boy or a girl. I would say we just want a healthy baby, and of course that’s the hope, but we will love our baby whether it’s male or female, healthy or not healthy! We have no preferences, we’re simply excited (total understatement) at the opportunity that God is giving us to become parents. I would absolutely love a mini-me and I think the Husband would be wonderful with a baby girl, but I also think a baby boy (mini-Husband) would be so fun (although probably also very destructive)! Our families haven’t mentioned any gender preferences, but my immediate family all thinks this baby is definitely a boy.

4.) We’re focusing on living in the moment. I’ve been really trying to do this since the first day I found out I was pregnant (since I’m consistently battling with anxiety and I did NOT want this to be an anxious time in my  life). I want to experience and enjoy every day for what it is, instead of trying to plan too far into the future (which is crazy for me, since I’m definitely a planner by nature.) To me, this means focusing my energy on this pregnancy instead of the baby that will be in our arms in July (or maybe June!). I really don’t even feel pregnant most of the time. I mean, I’m very aware that I’m pregnant, but friends keep telling me they forget I’m pregnant and no strangers have really brought my pregnant state up to me, so I still feel very ‘undercover’ about the whole thing. This means that it’s easy for me to experience this pregnancy mostly privately with the Husband and with our closest family and friends, which is really nice! However, I think it also makes the whole ‘having a baby’ thing seem verrrrry far away! I feel like I should still be in my first trimester instead of in my 24th week. Yikes!

5.) We enjoy playing out hypothetical situations with ourselves and our family members. From the very beginning of our pregnancy, people have asked us what gender we think Baby B is and they have also given us dozens hundreds thousands of name recommendations. And I love considering each of these possiblities! Sometimes I picture us with four girls (well, not all at once, but eventually), other days I think about us having three boys… sometimes one boy and one girl… etc. The possibilities are still endless at this point! (Except we know we’re not having multiples… much to my mother’s dismay.) I’m also excited to set up a gender poll so that our family and friends can officially guess the gender of Baby B before (s)he is born. It’s the little things that I’m looking forward to, which I’m anticipating will make this whole process even more fun.

Strangely, not finding out the gender of Baby B has not been a ‘difficult’ experience. I don’t spend a lot of time wondering what we’re having nor wishing I knew. The Husband and I also use ‘he’ and ‘she’ and other gender pronouns interchangeably, so I don’t feel like I’m calling my baby ‘it’ or anything less-than-human. At this point, I’m loving the mystery of the whole thing and am completely enjoying where we’re at. I love each and every day of this pregnancy and am not rushing Baby B to get here just yet (but I’m sure by the end of the third trimester I’ll be feeling differently)!

I’ll keep you posted as to whether I’m still happy with our decision in a few months!


What about you, did you find out your baby’s gender ahead of time? Do you plan on finding out the gender when/if you get pregnant (again)?


Cheers to life’s (happy) surprises!

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40 Responses to I hope you weren’t waiting for an invite to the gender reveal party…

  1. Ruth says:

    I agree especially with reason 1 and 2. Though if I had the choice I say I would prefer my first baby to be a boy, I truly have no preference. So no, I wouldn’t want to find out before the baby is born.

    • Lisa says:

      See, that’s the thing, my husband and I both kind of want the oldest kid to be a boy, but I REALLY want a girl and I really want lots of girls, so I’d be super excited with a little mini-me (or like…. seven.)

  2. although they can tell you, it’s not 100% accurate. my cousin was told a girl but it was a boy 🙂

    we found out because i wanted to know.

    -kathy | Vodka and Soda

    • Lisa says:

      Ohmygoodness, I keep hearing of stories like that! I cannot even imagine – I would be like ‘ummmmm…. say what?!’ Did she have so many girl things by that time?!

  3. Robyn Black says:

    i’ve always felt like i’m way too impatient to not find out the gender! but i think it would be really fun to not know until the baby is born!

    • Lisa says:

      Oh I’m TOTALLY impatient and a planner and Type A to the max, and somehow I’m not at all bothered by not knowing the gender! I think I’m just enjoying being pregnant at this point and I don’t think about too much actual ‘baby’ stuff.

  4. We totally agree! There are very few surprises in life anymore…this is def a great surprise to have!!

    • Lisa says:

      YES! I think more people wait to find out the gender than I thought – and I love it! I can’t wait to share that moment of finding out with my husband when we actually see our little one.

  5. Whitney Ellen says:

    Ahhhh, I love this way more than someone with zero intentions of getting knocked up any time soon should. I’ve been saying for a while that I don’t think I want to know if and when the time in my life comes. It seems like that much more fun to keep the surprise going!

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks! It’s definitely way more fun than I thought it’d be to keep everyone in suspense. (Especially my mom who REALLY wants to know!) I have no regrets so far, and I think it will make the delivery way more fun than I’m thinking it’s going to be otherwise. Although, I’m still in denial about that whole EVENT and prefer to think this baby will be delivered by stork.

  6. Tiffany says:

    My husband really wanted to know so we found out. I didn’t really care about finding out or not, but now that everyone knows it is a girl…we have been given SO MANY PINK THINGS… and I am not a pink person either. If we have another one, which is the plan, I’d like to wait and find out.

    • Lisa says:

      I keep hearing that husbands are the ones who really want to know early! I wonder why that is… I can only imagine the amount of pink things I would get if I found out I was having a girl – SO MUCH PINK!

  7. Kalyn P says:

    I am with you on surprises – there are so few GOOD surprises in life, so why shouldn’t your baby’s gender be one of them? Derek says he wants to find out, because he is such a planner, but I don’t want to at all. Even if I did find out, all of my baby’s things (nursery-wise) will be gender neutral because I plan on there being one or two more to follow! I love reading about all of your pregnancy thoughts and living vicariously through you since my time is (presumably) still a few years away!
    I am scared though, if I don’t find out, that I’ll get my heart set on something and then it will be born the opposite gender! As of right now, though, I have no preference!

    • Lisa says:

      See, Tim wanted to find out early, too, but he’s not even a planner! I think he just thought it would make sense in planning and decorating and being able to picture himself with a baby… but honestly once he could feel the baby kick, I think it felt real enough to him without him needing to find out the gender – if that makes sense. I think either one of us REALLY wanted a specific gender, we would have found out early to mentally prepare ourselves.

      Gender neutral is DEFINITELY the way to go! (Although we haven’t actually bought anything yet…)

  8. Emily B. says:

    Cute baby bump! I know alot of people don’t find out the gender but I think the curiosity would kill me not to find out right away!

    • Lisa says:

      Yeah I thought it would be REALLY hard to not find out at our 20 week ultrasound when the tech was right there and could easily have told us. But really, it wasn’t hard at all and I was glad she didn’t slip and tell us anything! My mom (who was also there) was definitely trying everything she could to get it out of her, though! She REALLY wants to know the gender!

  9. oh I love your idea of living in the moment. I never really thought of that. but oh man, I can’t wait to see your little one!

    • Lisa says:

      Yeah it’s really strange how pregnancy has calmed me down – I expected it to do the opposite! But I’m definitely loving every second. I’ll probably change my tune in the third trimester, though! The second trimester is bliss 🙂

  10. Jamie says:

    I feel like you and I have a lot in common on these things. First, with the not announcing your pregnancy right away & now with this. Whenever we start having babies, I want the surprise. My fiance said he would prefer to find out because he wants to know how to decorate, but he also knows I feel strongly about not knowing and he respects that. Next time we discuss it, I’ll have to remember what you said about having neutral things so we don’t have to worry with the next baby! I hadn’t even thought of that!!

    • Lisa says:

      Clearly we both have a lot of self control! Hahahaha! Tim thought he wanted to know, too, which is weird because he isn’t even the ‘planner’ in our relationship, but when it came down to it and we discussed finding out at 20 weeks, we both concurred that there really isn’t a huge benefit to find out early! Especially because we want mostly gender neutral items 🙂

  11. Amberly says:

    Reasons why Lisa didn’t find out her baby’s gender: 1- BECAUSE SHE’S CRAZY!!!!! jk. I just can’t send Baby B a present until I know what it is. I still picture boy though, so I’m just going to plan on that! 😉

  12. I like the idea of not finding out (or people could just not share) the gender to avoid getting a bunch of gender specific gifts. Smart!

  13. I love that you’re not finding out the gender. I think we won’t as well for baby #2. But with 5 boys already in the family everyone was wanting to buy pink (hopefully) and being able to tell them they could indeed buy pink was pretty exciting! Girl you totally have a little bump!! My goodness I look like I am carrying twins compared to you!! xoxo

    • Lisa says:

      Yep, you definitely needed to know ahead of time so your family wouldn’t die of suspense! I’m so glad they finally get a GIRL!! And yep, this bump is small but steadily growing! I feel like one day it’s just going to explode out of my body and I’ll suddenly look 9 months pregnant.

  14. Becky Hill says:

    I love that you are not finding out the gender. There are truly so few surprises in life, you should enjoy this one that still exists. I did not find out the gender of any of my three kids. It was so exciting to find out on their birthday. Good luck and enjoy every moment.

    • Lisa says:

      I totally agree, we all need more happy surprises in life and I’m enjoying the anticipation of this one 🙂 I’m happy to hear you were glad you waited to find out! I think it’s going to be such a fun moment to share with my husband.

  15. I think it’s FUN not finding out the gender! If I wanted kids, I’d never be able to do it myself though… the anticipation would drive me CRAZY! I’m one of those people who will browse spoilers for books and shows for HOURS! haha

    • Lisa says:

      It IS fun! I didn’t think I’d be able to handle the suspense, but pregnancy has had this weird calming effect on me. Super strange, but I like whatever hormones are causing this! I know someone who reads the last page of a book before she starts reading it, because if she hates the ending she doesn’t even want to bother with the rest of it – haha!

  16. Jess says:

    I don’t want to find out either (when it comes to that) and my husband agrees. I also come from a tradition that doesn’t do baby showers/a lot of prep ahead of time so there is no real “need” to know. Most of my friends did find out but we’re not really a gender reveal party crew, more of just a text and pass it on.

    • Lisa says:

      Ohhhh that’s awesome that you’re already both in agreement on it! I’m not a gender reveal type of person… or a shower person. BUT, people want to throw me showers and I’m very flattered, so we will be having some! It would be cute to get SOME gender specific clothes ahead of time, but I guess I’ll be doing some online shopping like CRAZY once this baby comes!

  17. Oh you both have more strength than me! I 100% want to know what the gender is (when and if) I have a baby. It’s fun watching others do it but I think I would go bonkers if if I was in your position!

    • Lisa says:

      I don’t blame you! I always thought I would want to know the gender way ahead of time (ASAP!), too. But somehow, pregnancy has made me super calm about the whole thing and I actually don’t WANT to plan anything! It’s seriously strange. Instead of the hormones making me a crazy person, they’ve de-crazied (totally a verb) me!

  18. Guadalupe Aguilera says:

    I am 16 weeks today and its our first baby! 🙂 I am just like you I do not want to know! I want it to be a surprise. I feel that knowing is like opening the presents before the actual birthday!lol. I am more focused on staying healthy for my baby wether is a boy or girl! 🙂

    • Lisa says:

      CONGRATS! You must be thrilled to be in the second trimester… time starts going by faster and faster, you’ll be in the third trimester before you know it! Not finding out the gender is still a decision I’m SUPER happy with. And I agree, knowing ahead of time is like opening presents early or ‘ruining’ any sort of big surprise! Good for you on trying to stay healthy during your pregnancy, I’ve found it to be a little bit of a struggle for me!

  19. Savannah says:

    I knew my son was a boy, even before we were told he was. Some part of me just ‘knew’, and so it really was no surprise when we found out. I was so excited though, and LOVED every second of awaiting my little boy.
    I’ve already decided, however, that I will NOT be finding out the gender of baby #2 (a long ways down the road! haha). I bet it’s a completely different feeling during pregnancy, not truly knowing who you’ll be welcoming into your family. I think not finding out the gender beforehand makes for a really special birthday!

    • Lisa says:

      Yep, I knew my baby was a girl before I had her! This time I’m not sure though… I feel extra pressure to guess the gender correctly since I was right last time! It’s definitely fun not finding out – I recommend it!

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