I’m notorious for keeping secrets about sex. It annoys some, it makes other applaud. Personally, I like it. Secrets can be fun. Secrets can surprise. Secrets can keep your head on straight when your head does not feel like it’s on straight.

Which is why I kept the sex of my babies secret – during both my pregnancies. It was fabulous. My family didn’t know, my husband didn’t know, I didn’t even know if I was having a boy or a girl. (For the record I had two girls, now 4 and 3… bless their wild little souls.)

First pregnancy. 2010.

First pregnancy. 2010. Image courtesy TheFabMom.com.

Here’s how keeping the sex of my children a secret helped me through pregnancy…

1) Registering was easier. Whites, creams and light yellows were my color palette for any and all products and purchases. Swaddlers, mats, chairs and onesies…. everything matched. Boring you say? Nonsense. (But I’m a big believer in crafting your colors around neutral shades. You should see my home: creams, whites, greys and tan…. ah, peace.) The best part? I knew that (most) everything would be suitable for any potential future babies… even if those potential future babies turned out to be the opposite sex as my first born. Just call me smarty-pants.

2) Suspense kept people interested. During my first pregnancy, everyone was interested in the process. My second pregnancy? Not so much. Been there, done that. How to keep folks (selfishly) attentive to me and genuinely excited about my second baby, almost as much as they were about the first? Let them sweat out the suspense! Mwha-ha-ha! (That’s a maniacal laugh there.) You can imagine the phone calls and outpouring of attention love when my second baby was born, just so they could find out if it was a boy or a girl. Give ’em the old razzle dazzle… 

3) A genderless baby grounded everyone’s perspective. This was perhaps the biggest perk. Instead of wasting time and money searching, shopping and purchasing all-things-hot-pink-tutu or everything-red-and-blue-trains prior to the birth, I actually focused more on what the baby would need. I was more prepared with practical and functional items – (and actually received those items at my baby shower!) – so that my postpartum life was organized. When friends and family don’t know the gender of your baby, you suddenly get usable items like diapers, bottles and onesies as gifts… rather than 35-oh-so-adorable-we-just-couldn’t-resist-hot-pink-tutus.

4) I lived in the moment. I knew myself well enough at the time to know that, if I found out the sex of my baby, I’d project all sorts of hopes and expectations on my little tiny person before they were even born. I didn’t want to think about the girl-stuff vs boy-stuff stuff yet. Pink room, blue room. Dance lessons, baseball practice. (Some would say I’m acting very sexist right now by even dividing these girl- boy-concepts up along gender lines… but I’m hoping you get where I’m going with this?) I was pregnant. With a baby. That was all I wanted to know, that was all I needed to know. Pregnancy was pregnancy. The parenting direction and choices would come later. After that baby – boy or girl – was born.

5) It got me through the fear of delivery. I was petrified of delivery. PE-TRI-FIED. (Most women I know are.) The thought of the whole process – no matter how that baby ends up entering the world – scared me more than I like to admit. My saving grace? The thought of actually finding out if a boy or girl had been living in my belly all those months. (I know, I know… we all just want healthy babies, and I did too. But the build up to the big reveal – boy or girl – served to additionally carry me through and quell my fears about giving birth in a most fabulous way.)

Like I said, I passed up the opportunity to find out the genders of my babies. Willingly. Dare I say: It was FUN.


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