Our Lips are Sealed

Posted by December 15, 2011


Earlier this week, I posted on Lil House that Mike and I will be finding out the gender of our baby next week, but we will not be telling a soul. I know this sounds a little unconventional since most people go one way or another, so I figured I’d share some of the logic behind our decision.

I always said I did not want to find out the gender of my future babies. I didn’t think it was something I’d want to know since, as I mentioned on the house blog, I never planned to paint a nursery pink or blue, I figured I’d create a registry full of practical items that can be used for multiple kids and I could have a boy and girl name ready on standby. I like surprises and I’m a patient person, I figured it was a given that I would not find out.

I also have this fascination with gender issues. I have a degree in psychology, I’m one week away from having a master’s degree with a heavy dose of educational psychology and I once considered going for a PhD in psychology with a focus on gender studies. I have taken courses in psych of women, psych of men (yes, my college offered this!), psych of gender, child psych and psych of learning. Through all of these classes, I’ve learned that gender differences are such a part of our culture and are ingrained in kids. I thought if I didn’t know the gender of my baby, I could protect my little one from this crazy world of expectations for just a little bit longer.

Then there’s Mike, who I wouldn’t call impatient, but he is less patient than I am. Early on, he was eager to find out the gender whereas I felt like I could wait. Before I was even pregnant, I had mentioned that I could see the practical use in us knowing the gender (though I admit they are often sort of superficial like nursery colors, names and clothing choices), but I didn’t think that anyone else needed to know. I personally have enjoyed the few surprise births that I’ve been exposed to. I think that as a family member or friend, it is way more exciting to get the phone call that the baby is a boy or girl on the day they are born.

So before I was pregnant, Mike proposed an idea. Why don’t we find out and keep it a secret?

At first I felt incredibly guilty about this. I thought people were going to be angry. I thought we wouldn’t be able to hold it in. Over the past 4.5 months we have gone back and forth with our decision, trying to figure out if we should just not find out at all. But as our appointment has gotten closer, I find myself wanting to know. My it-shouldn’t-matter self wants to pick out a name, shop and just know. I think part of this comes from the fact that I want everything ready when the baby gets here, since I have to go back to work fairly quickly. I won’t have much time for tweaking, shopping or anything else after the fact.

As we were on the fence, I asked other people about their experiences. Most influential were the opinions of two moms who had 3 children each. They both found out the gender of their first one, were surprised for their second and then found out again for their third. I heard the stories and the reasonings and decided just this week that we were going to find out.

That settled that issue, but then there’s the element of not telling anyone. Not even our parents, best friends, no. one. We decided we couldn’t tell some people and not all, so it was all or nothing. And all was honestly never an option for us.

Why we decided to do this wasn’t because we’re mean, or shady, or weird (maybe weird). In an age of oversharing, we love the idea of keeping something to ourselves. While we are addicted to Facebook, Twitter and blogging (obviously we have 2 now), we still remain relatively private people. Yes, my entire newsfeed knows that I am not a fan of Chobani, but some things I want to keep to myself. Mike and I have always been this way- we got engaged while on vacation and I didn’t tell my friends until we got home. Not that I wasn’t excited to tell them, but I wanted to enjoy my vacation with Mike rather than spending the remainder on the phone. We also kept our baby a secret for nearly 13 weeks. We like the idea of enjoying our personal moments together before telling the world.

So next week, I plan to take the day off from work, go to our ultrasound, then spend the day cut off from the world with our little secret. Maybe we’ll get breakfast, maybe we’ll do some Christmas shopping or maybe we’ll just plain spend some time together. Nothing is more fun then having something to share with someone you love, something that know one else knows.

I don’t think for one second that feeling that way is wrong, in fact, it makes me all giddy with excitement.

6 Responses to “Our Lips are Sealed”

  1. December 15, 2011 at 12:58 pm, Sal Sr said:

    I what to thank you for your decision to keep the sex of the baby a secret. I want to be surprised the same way I was surprised when Michael was born.


  2. December 15, 2011 at 1:10 pm, Grandma Linda said:

    Don’t worry the cats will tell grandma!!!!!


    • December 15, 2011 at 5:26 pm, Rebecca said:

      We’re not telling them either, they confess too much for cookies….


  3. December 15, 2011 at 3:59 pm, Ashley@AttemptsAtDomestication said:

    Good friends of mine decided to wait to find out the gender of their first child and are actually doing it again with their second. She said it was really special to have her husband tell her the gender after she gave birth. Like a special “them” moment. But I dont think I could wait or keep a secret! Hehe!


  4. January 16, 2012 at 1:39 am, Natalie said:

    Like the blog


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