Monday, August 16, 2010

Gender disappointment

Well, apparently the only purpose my blog serves these days is to be a grounds for venting.  Sorry.  

I'm a little bit irritated that people seem to think they have a right to know all the details about this pregnancy.  I really don't mind talking about most of it, and in true over-sharer form, I usually enjoy it.  But the one thing that's really rubbing me the wrong way is the incredibly negative reactions we're getting when we tell people we're not going to find out the gender of this baby.  Like it's a freakin crime against humanity or something.  

We didn't find out with L.  But I just knew he was a boy, so it wasn't really a surprise.  This time, I really have no clue if this baby is a boy or a girl.  I'm leaning towards girl, but I can't decide if it's me just wishful thinking and wanting to know what it's like to have a girl or if it's an actual maternal inclination.  So truly, it will be a surprise in the delivery room.  

People are already asking if we know if this baby is a boy or a girl.  First of all, no we don't. It's too early.  But that's ok, because I don't expect that everyone knows or remembers when the gender is usually revealed (it's 20 weeks, by the way).  

What really gets me is when people ask if we know and then I say, "Well no, it's too early, but we aren't finding out anyway."  And then they react as if I just told them that I plan to forgo any use of car seats and just hold the baby in my lap while I drive, a la Britney Spears.  Or like I insulted their mothers.  "WHAT!??  You aren't finding out!??!  How can you do this to me!??!?"

I'm sorry, but when does this decision in any way effect you?  Oh that's right.  It doesn't.  No one outside of me and D have any "right" to know the contents of my uterus.  

Maybe people get upset because it's just so darn out of character for me.  I share the details of my boobs and stretch marks and all that, but I won't share or find out the gender of my baby.  As we used to say in the 5th grade, "Ohhh!  Burn!"  (And once in the 4th grade, I said, "Burn, 3rd degree!" and was relentlessly teased for the duration of that year.)  

But really, I promise I'm not trying to "burn" anyone or hold anything over anyone's head.  I'm just enjoying one of the most delicious surprises known to man.  Plus, just about everyone else finds out the gender of their baby, so let their early reveals sustain you until Baby P #2 makes his or her debut.  

When I was pregnant with L, some people assumed we did know the gender and were just hiding it from them.  One person even honed in on my use of the word "he" when discussing L, and grilled me for 10 minutes about whether I really knew and was just not telling.  And you know what I have to say about that?  If I do know and am not telling, that's my prerogative.  And it's got nothing to do with you.  Besides, is it preferable to refer to my baby as "it"?  No, I think not.  My baby is not an "it", she or he is a person.  And I will select one pronoun or the other, and I will use it throughout my pregnancy to avoid calling my baby "it" as if he or she were a plant.

I hate how I end up apologizing to people when they learn that we're not going to find out the gender.  Again.  I am not really sorry.  Well, I'm sorry they're disappointed, but not that sorry.  But I really shouldn't have to apologize for my completely valid decision to save my baby's gender as a surprise!  I think it all goes back to the over-sharer thing.  Since I share everything else in my life, I feel bad when called out for keeping something to myself.

So if you're one of the many, many people who are extraordinarily disappointed that D and I are not finding out the gender of this baby, you're in good company.  If you start thinking that my pregnancy is taking forever, you can comfort yourself with the knowledge that I totally agree.  And at least you don't have to deal with the swollen feet and increasing difficulty getting out of bed.       


Krys said...

Oh people have no tact at all around pregnant women. Whether it be their opinion about how the time will either fly or drag, if your belly is big or small--I had people insist that I was having twins, even after I had several ultrasounds. We had people just "know" what we were having. It's like--yeah, you have a 50/50 chance of being right. These aren't winning the lotto odds here, people. Then others would tell us stories about how their cousin's husband's sister's daughter was told left and right they were having a girl and then had a boy.

Just goes to show that duct tape is highly under-utilized.

I think if we decide to have another baby, we'll wait to find out and I can only imagine we'll have a lot of similar reactions.

Sheila said...

Hahaha. Coming from the queen of random strangers ou there need to mind their own business (me)...I love this post.

PS...Also, I totally remember when you said "burn, 3rd degree" once!!! (or maybe it was just you telling the story about it because I didn't meet you until 7th grade) But I don't think the teasing was as bad as you remember it. I have been laughing so hard ever since I read your post!!!! I miss you!