I’m Kristina - freelance graphic designer, backyard farmer, cookbook reader, project starter, and new mom to a gorgeous little boy.

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February 22, 2010

To find out or not

Since I have nothing else pressing to do today, I thought I’d share (by request from Meg and Peonies) why/how we decided to keep our baby’s gender a surprise.

Wait, I DO have things to do today. I have made myself an entire list of things. Including walk the stairs, go to yoga, go to Mood Fabrics (for no other reason than curiosity and a minor obsession with PR), and make Palak Daal from 101 Cookbooks. See? BUSY.

Okay, so back to babyland.

For us it wasn’t really a hard decision, or much of a decision at all. I’ve always thought I’d wait. As in there wasn’t really another option. And Brock was completely on board, even before I found out I was pregnant. There’s so much technology involved in the pregnancy and birth process these days we liked the idea of keeping things old school in one small way.

Plus, I imagine there’s nothing more amazing that hearing your husband say to you “It’s a boy/girl!” when you hear your child’s first cry. And I like embracing the mystery that is pregnancy and birth. We know a lot with all of our science, but it’s all such an amazing process we can’t possibly understand it all.

I know there are many (most in fact) people who need to know. And I think that’s totally great and fine for them. Some people are planners, some aren’t so much. I’m good with the unknown. We only know 2 other couples our age who chose to wait, which isn’t very many. It’s nearly the same percentage of people who don’t get an epidural in LA, (98% do).

But I disagree with one popular argument, which is “It’s a surprise either way”. Meaning If you find out at 20 weeks or at birth, you’re still as surprised. Um, no. Sorry. Of course you’re surprised when the ultrasound tech tells you during your anatomy ultrasound (and it’s very tempting to find out, even with strong resolve in the other direction), but it’s not nearly the same as waiting to actually meet your baby to find out who he or she is. The first way you have 20 more weeks to mentally prepare for your son or daughter. You will have a dresser full of pink onesies or robot and cowboy pjs and most likely you’ll have your name picked out.

If you wait til the end it will be the grandest surprise, 10 months in the making. And you’ll have lots of nice orange and aqua and brown things for your baby to wear. PLUS, you’ll get to hear everyone’s predictions along the way. Which is fun and can be influential in imagining what you’re having. EVERYONE tells me we’re having a boy because of the way I’m carrying. But actually in these last weeks a few dissenters have emerged. Including the baby oracle at Whole Foods Venice who has apparently guessed every baby correctly for the last year and a half.

Her prediction: it looks like a boy, but it’s going to be a girl. And I’m supposed to give birth tomorrow but I might go in tonight.

I’m not sure if I really answered the question of why, but that’s my take on the decision. We didn’t even consider finding out (minus that split second in the ultrasound room), and I cannot wait to see who’s been in there this whole time.

(onesies from a personal fave, Polarn O. Pyret)


  1. alyson. said on February 22, 2010

    I think it's so special that you chose to wait. I'd love to wait, but I'm not sure that I could. like you said, for people who are planners, finding out early in the scheme of things seems so much easier. although I had to smile when reading about the surprise. and the guesses.

    regardless, I can't wait to see him/her face pop up on your blog! :)

  2. hannah said on February 22, 2010

    I have lived in the US for about 9 years now and had both my children here. In England, it is the norm not to know what the gender of your child is, so it just seemed natural for me not to find out. People thought we were crazy!!
    I wish more people would be willing to wait because the surprise is so wonderful. I tried to encourage people and explain how great it is, but we have only convinced one couple in 6 years…..hahahaha.

    I love that you shared your thoughts. Enjoy the moment…and all the wonderful moments to follow.

  3. jora said on February 22, 2010

    You so made the right decision. We didn't find out all three times and it WAS SO WORTH THE WAIT. The surprise that comes after laboring and pushing at the end is the best surprise you could ever have in life, I think. It couldn't be the same finding out from an ultrasound technician. Make sure your midwife/doctor knows you want to be the ones to discover the gender….it is so special to hear your husband say it first, or better yet, be able to look down and see for yourself. You will have been working hard and you deserve it! Have so much fun. xo

  4. The Design Boards said on February 22, 2010

    I'm in the same boat as you (although not anywhere close to being pregnant) my husband and I have decided that when/if we get pregnant, we will wait. I don't know why either, but it's a decision that suits us. I've always loved surprises and this must be the ultimate one!

  5. Jill said on February 22, 2010

    ohhh good luck and best wishes to you kristina! there is nothing sweeter than a new little baby.

    our baby girl is 4 months old now but your post brought me right back to being pregnant – and waiting. it truly is amazing to be surprised, and i'm so glad we waited. i don't think there is another feeling that can touch that moment. i think you can be just as 'prepared' for a baby if you don't know the gender. it was that way for so long before technology was so advanced.

    also, almost everyone i met (besides 2 people) told me that i was having a boy by the way i carried. i too was convinced in the end that it would be a boy. we were extra-surprised when she made her debut.

    good luck to you!

  6. Cassi said on February 22, 2010

    I'm so with you on this one! My husband and I both agree we will definitely wait til delivery to find out the sex. We're also set on a natural (drug-free) birth, which also suits us, because we don't ever take drugs as it is. Hot tea, honey, cinnamon, water, and chocolate [not necessarily all mixed together] can cure about anything, we think… If that oracle was right, I hope tonight goes wonderfully for you and Brock! Good luck, and the best of wishes!

  7. Kate said on February 22, 2010

    I'm not usually a commenter but just had to say that I tried out the Palak Daal recipe from 101 Cookbooks for the first time last night and it is sooooooo good. I'm actually eating leftovers right now for lunch. By far the best daal recipe my husband and I have tried.

  8. "T-Bone" Lee said on February 22, 2010

    After seeing that picture of you from a couple posts ago (the one where you look like some kind of pregnant european spy) I thought you were having a girl. Everyone I know around me has had boys and none of them carried like you are…plus you just seem like someone that would have a girl (said by someone who does not know you at all). GOOD LUCK and CONGRATS!!!

  9. *b* said on February 22, 2010

    I agree with Hannah, here in the UK it's unusual for people to find out the gender of the baby. I love the surprise and will wait when I am pregnant to find out the sex and I am notoriously impatient so it will be super hard for me!

    I'm excited for you and your new little family, much love to you both (and baby) from rainy London.

  10. benson said on February 22, 2010

    28,25,and 23 years ago we had no way of finding out the sex (although actually "meeting" this person inside of you IS a real surprise even if you do know!)and no drugs for me (we were into trying new techniques as well…Le Boyer method and some other way which helped immensely but the whole birth process took 12 hours!)Best of luck to you and yours and enjoy this time…your life will never be the same.

  11. Allison said on February 22, 2010

    Good for you! I'm 21 weeks and we're going to be surprised as well.

    Normally I'm not good with surprises because I don't know if I will like it or not, but in this case I'm going to be happy with a boy or a girl. Either way I'm getting a precious baby.

    Good luck with your labor!

  12. Jessica M. said on February 22, 2010

    Kristina!! I'm finally commenting :)

    So my friend told me the other day that her older sister did the same thing as you and Brock…. but would go to baby stores, have her and her husband pick out their favorite boy and girl-specific item….then show the cashier this little slip where their doctor wrote down the baby's sex, and have the cashier throw whichever item they needed in the bag! They did that during the whole pregnancy and then by the day of they had a room full of toys and clothes waiting for them–specific to whatever gender their baby was!! Sounds kinda complicated-but fun too, right?!

    Yo sis in law, Jess

  13. Meg said on February 22, 2010

    I love it. I got all teary.

    And I just realized that will save me from tons of well meaning frilly pink things at a baby shower, when I'd like to dress my kids in any old color. (Side note, my mom would, you know, dress me in blue sometimes when I was a baby, and she said people would always say "What a beutiful boy," and then sort of try to argue with her when she said I was a girl.)

  14. Meg said on February 22, 2010

    And it's funny. I AM a planner, but I'd rather just meet them. I mean, they are sort of a stranger at first anyway… it's a whole new human that you don't know yet.

  15. ***Positively Preppy in Pink*** said on February 22, 2010

    I like that you're waiting! I think someday when I am pregnant I will do the same.

    I can't wait to see your little baby!! :) Good luck with everything!

  16. Amanda said on February 22, 2010

    Ahh! Excitement!

    p.s. I'm *fascinated* by baby oracle people.

  17. Peacock Feathers and Diamond Rings said on February 22, 2010

    I always found it odd when people did know the sex of their baby ahead of time. Must be almost time for you to find out. Was thinking of you over the weekend and hoping all was going well. I can't believe it's come round so fast.

  18. thoughtful day said on February 22, 2010

    i agree – your having a girl. i carried the same way, people on the street stopped to tell me i was having a boy. then, about a week before lyla was born, a homeless man, who i would always talk with about the weather to (he hangs outside a bodega in my hood) told me i was having a girl.

    everyone thought boy for me. but, as long as i could remember, i always pictured myself as a mom to all girls. so, i think whatever is in your gut, is what you are going to have.

    either way, get ready to love something more than you ever will or have in your entire life. it's a different love than what you have for your husband. it just is and as parents you understand it.

    i hope you have your bags packed! we had 4 bags, plus pillows, a fan, computers, etc. and we ended up being in the hospital for less than 12 hours.

    i'm so happy for you and excited to hear about the birth of your little one!

    {on the surprise or not surprise – i think it is a surprise regardless, because you have no idea how much you will love this little person when you have your baby placed on your chest. it is the most awesome experience & feeling in the world. and that in and of itself is a surprise!!!!}

    but i will say, when patrick called out "it's a girl!!!" it was probably the best moment of my life. wow – i'm really excited for you.

    {i should've just wrote you an email :}

  19. Leslie said on February 22, 2010

    Whenever Scott and I are "with child" you can try to convince us to wait, but I see him as way too much of a planner, and I'm just plain impatient. :) But I will now always think of my good friend Dave and his wife, who were informed they were having a girl, so they went pink-to-the-hilt… and out popped a boy! apparently baby had his own plans.

    thinking of you so much in these last few days!

  20. One Love Photo said on February 22, 2010

    i just photographed my friend yesterday who is due in 8 weeks and is NOT finding out the sex. I think it's kinda exciting actually. Good Luck and I hope you meet your little someone SOON! All my best!

  21. Julie said on February 23, 2010

    Boy or girl… either way, you're going to be the best momma ever!

  22. Lobster & Roo said on February 23, 2010

    Enjoy the moment. I too agree that waiting to find out is just too special of an experience to pass up. The best of luck Kristina! I can't wait to see your little one in a post once he/she is out of the bun :)

  23. Katie Carter said on February 23, 2010

    thanks so much for sharing this story : ) i imagine myself and fiance waiting to find out as well (along with no epidural…ha)…and the thought of waiting 9+ months to finally meet your little sugar sounds so sweet. i keep checking in to see if anything has changed…what a truley exciting time!! so so much good luck : )

  24. sue said on February 23, 2010

    i hope i'm not posting this twice but i don't see it so i'm going to send it again. i too did not find out the gender with our first child thinking that the moment of "IT's A…" would be the most amazing moment EVER. however to this day i cannot recall hearing anyone tell me the news. i was just wanting to know that "IT" was healthy and okay. luckily HE was perfect and the long wait was worth it.

    however with our second child, we decided to find out. instead of having the ultrasound tech give us the news, we had her write it down in an envelope which we kept sealed for two months. we opened the envelope on christmas eve when i was a little more than 7 months pregnant and were thrilled to find out we were having a girl. knowing the sex helped me to motivate and decorate that 2nd nursery, which was just the nudge i needed.

    should we have another, i don't think i would find out. i loved wondering for all nine/ten months, but i also loved that we knew she was coming the second time around.

    so with that said, i do think it's a surprise whenever you find out. and i believe that knowing doesn't make meeting that little one any less special. if you can't wait..i highly recommend going the sealed envelope route and waiting for just the right moment to find out the news.

    wishing you all the best as you meet your little one for the first time.

  25. Kristin said on February 23, 2010

    this is so exciting! i can't wait to find out who your little one is!

  26. stephanie said on February 23, 2010

    I totally agree with you. I think it would be so much more fun to not know. I think I would just get annoyed with people telling me what to name my baby if we found out the sex.

    I hope you go into labor soon! It can't be comfy to be overdue. Good luck with everything!

  27. Mary said on February 23, 2010

    Good luck! I can not wait to hear all about the birth and the meeting of your new little one.

    This post actually made me reconsider finding out the gender of my baby. I am by no means pregnant, but something to thinking about!!

  28. Rebecca B said on February 23, 2010

    i think it's a girl. definitely.

    we didn't find out in advance. everyone thought it would be a boy, and they were right. after he was born, my husband and i were too enthralled (and i exhausted) to even remember to look: it was just so amazing that there was a baby! it wasn't until the midwife reminded us that he checked.

  29. // S said on February 24, 2010

    Very excited for you! I can only imagine how amazing it will be to find out the sex of your little one after he/she has arrived. If my husband & I ever decide to get pregnant, I know we'll wait too.
    Happy labor!

  30. Juliet said on February 24, 2010

    So now it's Wednesday…you are pretty consistent with the postings…I wonder…is there a baby in the house?

  31. Rebecca said on February 25, 2010

    congratulations Kristina! enjoy every moment!

  32. {lisa} said on February 25, 2010

    I'm thinking the same thing Juliet!! I can't wait to meet the little one.

  33. nicole said on February 25, 2010

    Yay! 100LC says you had a baby boy! Congratulations, mama! xoxo.

  34. Mary said on February 25, 2010

    Just saw the 100LC post :) so happy! Congratulations!!

  35. Peacock Feathers and Diamond Rings said on February 25, 2010

    Just saw the post as well. Congratulations K & B. and look forward to hearing about it. xoxo

  36. Meg said on February 25, 2010

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Hope you all are resting, snuggling, and nesting, getting to know each other.


  37. tippaniny said on February 25, 2010

    One of the defining moments of the birth of my daughter was when my husband said "It's a girl!". I remember it very distinctly. It was WONDERFUL. Truly wonderful. I am amused by the planning and schemes because we didn't even have a room for her until she was about 7 months as she slept in our room up til that point!

  38. jones said on February 26, 2010


  39. Shayna said on February 26, 2010

    Just saw the post, congratulations!

  40. eliza said on February 27, 2010

    Congrats!! I also saw the news on 100LC. I hope you are resting and loving your time with your new little boy! And I can't wait to hear more about your journey into motherhood…

  41. Katie said on February 27, 2010

    Congrats Kristina!!!!

    I am so thrilled for you and Brock. Can't wait to hear about it!

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