Baby scan picture on shelf Pin Image

Boy Or Girl?

Author: Lauren Coleman

Metaphorically speaking we opened the Christmas present on Christmas Eve and decided to find out the sex of our baby at the earliest opportunity.
James and I each have a sister. We have a niece. James was brought up with two female cousins. All my mum’s friends had girls and so I spent much of my childhood around their daughters. All we know is female. Everyone thought we were having a girl.

Thanks to the joys of modern technology, the NIPT scan at 10 weeks confirmed Baby C is in fact a little boy. I have to say I always felt he was a ‘he’ and we are overjoyed. In the words of my sister, ‘Thank god. It’s about time we had a boy in this family!’

James’ Dad queried why we had to find out so early. Couldn’t we just buy yellow clothes? But for James and I, it was so much more than sorting out what wardrobe our little one would wear.

After suffering a very early miscarriage I do feel haunted that I don’t know the identity of that sweet embryo. What would we have named that little love and what would our hopes and dreams have been for him or her? Who was the little one that I still grieve for?
We had to seek fertility treatment due to a male factor condition which can potentially be inherited by our offspring. I couldn’t imagine delivering without knowing the sex. Having that baby placed in my arms for the first time and feeling gender disappointment that our little one would suffer the same fate played heavily on my mind. I needed to prepare myself to deal with this. We’ve since found out the chances of him inheriting the condition are slim and with advances in fertility treatment who knows what the situation will be by the time he makes the decision to have a family?

Waiting the week for the genetic screening results from the Non Invasive Prenatal Testing was nerve-wracking. I was worried we wouldn’t be equipped with the support to deal with a high-risk result and the baby’s gender slipped from my mind. There’s an article over on RMF detailing the NIPT process if you’re not familiar with it. Personally, we found it fascinating and very reassuring. Ours was performed by a Fetal Medical Consultant and consisted of a mind-blowing 30 minute anomaly scan (when they’re that small you can see everything rather than at the 20 week NHS scan when they’re too big for the screen) followed by a blood test.
The consultant texted us to say the results were fine and that she’d send over the full report. I waited all evening for James to return home from London at 10pm. There in the comfort of our bedroom, the two of us opened the email to reveal our much wanted little one was male. It was a treasured moment to have that experience outside of a medical institution.

When my niece was little she had two dolls; a female one imaginatively named Baby Mummy and a male one named after her Uncle; Baby Jim. The name has stuck so we refer to the bump as Baby Jim, though my Father-in-Law’s french neighbour calls him ‘Bébé Jim’ which is altogether more cosmopolitan. I love that we can refer to him as ‘he’ as ’it’ seems so impersonal.
Yes it’s been handy to know the sex but either way the baby was going to end up with the same decor scheme for the nursery; grey, white, blue and blush. My friend’s three year old son has an enviable fancy dress collection ranging from Batman to Elsa and I’m hoping he’ll be sharing his dresses and superhero attire with Bebe Jim.

Boys names are so hard though. We had a full female name picked out but we are struggling to agree on the name for Master C. My friend’s boys all have gorgeous names and James doesn’t understand my reluctance to take a name that’s already been ‘taken’.

I am SO excited to raise a boy. However, whatever the gender, we are raising a child with its own personality who will be taught the values of respect, equality, gratitude, honesty and perseverance. Boy or girl, they will be loved beyond measure.

The whole ‘will you, won’t you find out’ debate has always intrigued me. To be honest I have no idea how people have the patience to wait! To those who have littles or are expecting them, what did you do?

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38 thoughts on “Boy Or Girl?

  1. How exciting to know you will have a son before too long. I would be too excited to just wait and see, and slightly too much of a control freak about needing to know whether to shop and decorate for a girl or boy.

    My aunt and uncle had four boys and when number five turned out to be a girl they were over the moon. My aunt had plans of pigtails and frilly dresses, but the baby had other ideas as soon as she became a toddler. She hated dresses! She would be take them off and run around in her nappy getting filthy with the boys.

    When you see Bebe Jim a name may just pop up that suits him perfectly. Totally get not wanting a ‘taken’ name!

    Hope your last few months go smoothly x x x

    1. Thanks Claire!
      Yes you do hear that about much longed for girls – that they end up to be tom-boys!

  2. We waited, both times. I had an awful first pregnancy beset with anxiety over numerous growth issues and many many scans – I had to preface each one with ‘please don’t tell us or show us anything that gives the game away’. 😊

    I just really wanted that real surprise moment during delivery when they hold baby up and announce ‘it’s a boy/girl’. I asked the doctor if my husband could tell me the sex and those words will forever be etched in my memory. I loved the guessing too – I had so many opportunities to find out but was never tempted.

    It’s a lovely moment however you find out – just be sure which one you both want to go for.

  3. We didn’t find out with my daughter and I’m glad we didn’t. Loved imagining all the possibilities and didn’t mind either way. I’m currently pregnant again and having had an ectopic pregnancy prior to this and things taking slightly longer than hoped, I really want to find out this time. Feel like I waited long enough for this pregnancy and I can’t wait to picture our future family, also might be able to prepare our daughter a bit more. xxx

    1. Hi Kate, can totally see where you’re coming from. We’ve waiting so long for this and have had it snatched away in the past. Best of luck with the rest of your pregnancy and sending you many congratulations. x

    2. Kate this was me! Didn’t find out first time but did with my second pregnancy, also post ectopic. We accidentally found out and it was so lovely. It also did really help to be able to tell our toddler the baby was a brother not the sister she wanted early and manage how she felt about that. All the very best with your pregnancy and sharing the news with your daughter xx

  4. Awww I’m so pleased for you Lauren! I have two little ones (girl then boy) and we didn’t find out either time. A lot of people say the same about not knowing how you ‘have the parience’ but we genuinely wanted to wait and didn’t feel impatient about it at all! Of course I wondered throughout the pregnancy and thought about it but I genuinely wanted the moment when I found out to be when they were born! It was magical both times finding out whether we had a boy or a girl when they were there in my arms and I still think about it now ❤️ But I can also understand why some people are eager to find out – horses for courses isn’t it? X

      1. It sure is, very excited for you that you have that moment to come! And of course once they are here you really couldn’t care less whether it’s a boy or girl, he or she is a whole new special person that you just adore 😊 x

  5. A baby boy! So exciting for you Lauren!

    We decided to keep the gender a surprise for now after just having an NIPT at 13 weeks (We did this privately after our NHS screening results came back as high-risk – the wait for the results last week I have to say was quite traumatic, even though the chances were really very small. The result turned out to be low-risk. It made me question whether I’d say yes to the NHS screening again actually – a discussion more suited to another post perhaps).

    Anyway back to the gender point – so now we’re a bit torn on whether to find out at our 20 week scan, I’m keen to know but something is telling me to wait and enjoy the moment when fingers crossed my husband can tell me himself when little one makes their appearance. So many people have told me how magical that can be…can we be that patient though?!

    x

    1. I think your baby being handed to you for the first time will be a magical experience either way Katie!
      Charlotte had the same experience as you regarding the NHS high risk, only to have low probability with NIPT – although I know of a friend of a friend who had the early gender testing and ended up in the 0.01% where they got it wrong!
      Best of luck with the rest of your pregnancy x

  6. Congratulations! We found out both times with our children and for me it felt like a halfway mark reward. Being pregnant is a blessing but it’s also bloody hard so it was a nice treat. We’ve got one of each and I feel very lucky to experience both genders. There are also a lot of girls in our families so it’s nice to bring a boy in to the family. Good luck for the rest of your pregnancy. I hope the heat isn’t getting to you too much!

    1. My friend had a baby a few weeks ago and it was 30 degrees on the labour ward. This heat wave will be over by November won’t it?!

      1. I had my son in April and the hospital was like an oven.. fans everywhere despite it snowing outside! Sorry!

  7. It’s totally each to their own but I’ve never found out with either of my boys and I wouldn’t again (if I could persuade my husband for a 3rd!)
    I just don’t get the point of finding out, it’s not long to wait and you can’t change the result! In your case with medical issues I guess it does make sense. I think people just find out because they can. To me there was nothing more special then a wriggly screaming baby plonked on my chest with my husband telling me it’s a boy, twice! There aren’t many surprises in life where either surprise is a good one and I’m so glad I didn’t find out. Ps boys are the best 😉

  8. Ahh Lauren huge congratulations!! Boys definitely are best :p
    I found out at the 20 week scan (but now I know you can do it earlier I would definitely do that if there is a next time!) I felt like it just made it seem more real as you say to be referring to baby as a “he” – plus we had the name picked for yeeeaaaarrrss by that point so from 20 weeks pregnant we began talking about our little Frank 🙂 I figured there would be enough excitement when the baby actually arrived so why not have another exciting moment during the pregnancy!

    Wishing you all the best for the rest of your pregnancy xxx

  9. I already have a boy and baby no. 2 is due on Wed, we didn’t find out either time and I’ve really enjoyed everyone guessing both times! It didn’t occur to me to find out as I’m from a large family and no one ever found out what they were having so I thought that was the norm. My husband on the other hand is Portuguese and everyone there finds out, it’s seen as a medical advancement that you can so they do. He was fairly easily persuaded not to find out though and now loves it! With baby no. 1 he was so excited to tell me on delivery but we ended up with an emergency section at 37 weeks and a very enthusiastic anaesthetist who blurted out “It’s a boy!”
    The anaesthetist was mortified but we thought it was hilarious and neither of us will ever forget him! At the time it just didn’t matter. Let’s see if my husband gets his moment with baby no. 2!

  10. Congratulations! Your reasoning sounds just perfect for your family and I think it’s such a personal decision whether to find out or not. For me, there was absolutely no question about it – we wanted to wait and both times were the best surprises of my life! In truth, I think the moment you find out will be magical wherever you are and whatever stage you find out.

    The funny part is that after all of that waiting, we had to be prompted both times by the midwife asking “And what have you got?” before we realised the gender! It simply wasn’t our first thought, only thar our baby was here. There is so much truth in them being loved no matter what and we truly didn’t mind what we had – I felt I had to meet them before naming them, so didn’t pick out names until arrival anyway. Our second daughter was named within the hour, but our first daughter had to wait four days until we decided!! x

  11. Ahhhhh Lauren how very lovely! Huge congratulations on your little Bebe Jim! I’ve had it both ways- first time we didn’t find out and my husband told me we had a daughter and then second time the ultrasound came down right on Paddy’s, ahem, equipment. I said “is that what I think it is?” And the radiographer replies “do you know any other body part that looks like that?” 😂

    Not sure what I would want to do if there’s a third. We told people we knew but weren’t telling and they were respectful of that. Especially when it comes to names! Everyone seems to have an opinion 🙄

    Hope you are keeping well and not feeling the heat too much. Xx

    1. I feel funny about sharing names because of the opinions Lucy! One of my close friends is six weeks in front of me and is having a boy too and neither of us are sharing. I’ll be gutted if my front runner name gets taken! x

  12. Aah congratulations! Boys are fabulous! We have one of each and found out both times. I was convinced with my son that he was a boy, so in some ways we had to find out just to make sure I was right! We had already made the decision when sadly my father in law passed away, which then made that decision so much more poignant. My husband wanted to be able to visit his dad at the funeral home to tell him whether he was having a grandson or a granddaughter. My first labour also didn’t go to plan so I am glad I knew he was a boy as I was so out of it, I don’t think I would have been able to appreciate the surprise element.

    With our second, I didn’t think I would be bothered about gender but found myself secretly wanting a girl. I’m a total planner and we both knew we would find out, which was good because then I had time to get my head around it before the birth. I think we’re done now but if we were to go for a third, I might be more inclined to have a surprise, so who knows!xx

  13. We didn’t find out and I would absolutely do that again. I completely get why people want to find out, there are so many reasons for this but I loved it being a surprise. Our reasoning is it’s one of the very few real surprises you can get in life. We’re hoping to have another one soonish and I know we’ll keep it a surprise if we can. In terms of choosing names we each made our own list going through the alphabet and then compared lists and any names that crossed over were contenders! Names are tricky though, I found boys names hard as I am teacher so many names were off limits as they reminded of children, sometimes in a positive way, sometimes in a less positive way 😂

  14. How lovely Lauren! You’re right, when the sweet boy is born it will be so special anyway. I’m not even sure why we didn’t find out with either but I guess we actually liked the idea of not knowing even thought when picking names I kind of wished we knew. Picking one name is hard enough, never mind two! A friend of mine didn’t find out with hers but her partner did! Not sure how he made it through 20 whole weeks of not letting it slip!

  15. With Alexandra we didn’t find out as I wanted something to aim for in labour. I was convinced she was a boy though after all that reflux, SPD and carpal tunnel. After she died I felt that I didn’t have enough time with her as her.

    With Ophelia we found out at the anomaly scan as we chickened out at our earlier scans. I just knew we were having another girl. It was very strange to know that this wouldn’t be Alexandra coming back to us.

    Knowing didn’t make it any easier on names. We went for names new to the family in the end and both Greek!

  16. Lauren – just wanted to say congratulations but also thank you for the reminder on the NIPT test, I had forgotten about this and am very tempted to get it done 🙂 x

  17. Lauren congratulations! Little boys are so much fun!

    My friend is a sonographer and carried out our 4D scan at 28 weeks which was insanely special. During that scan we got her to write down the gender of our little one and put it in an envelope for safekeeping. We decided as soon as I found out I was pregnant that we were going to have a surprise as our thinking was boy or girl- we’re clueless!

    During my pregnancy my Mum had terminal cancer so the envelope was for her ‘just in case’ unfortunately we had to open the envelope 2 weeks before my due date to find out that we were expecting a boy. It was such a special moment and one that I will treasure forever, unfortunately my mum didn’t make it to meet her grandson but she died knowing his name and approved of the first gender specific outfits I purchased whilst she was in her hospice bed. The excitement and shock on her face was lovely, she was adamant I was carrying a girl. For those two special weeks only my husband and I and both sets of grandparents knew the gender of our son.

  18. It’s such a personal preference but me and my husband both couldn’t imagine not finding out. We had an early gender scan and it has been lovely to know and refer to our boy throughout my pregnancy. For me, it has really helped me visualise our little family and seeing as we were both adamant it was a girl I think this has been a good thing… now I cant imagine having anything else but my boy. Also, we felt like labour and being handed a brand new baby is enough excitement for one day so we wanted to share this out and have another exciting day too, plus we still had the “surprise”, it was just a bit earlier! The hardest things is boys names! We have two girls name we love and would definitely use but boys we have a long list and none we truly love! We have decided to park it for now and wait until he arrives xx

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