Did You Find Out Your Baby’s Gender Before You Delivered?

Welcome to Pregnancy Without a Filter, my weekly series in which I chronicle my life as a first-time mom-to-be. Read along for insights, outbursts, ups, downs, and the real deal about the crazy adventure of making a person.


Week 21

When Ryan and I learned I was pregnant, one of the very first things we talked about in our initial daydreamy phase was that we were both one hundred percent positive we wanted to find out the baby’s gender ahead of time. For us, it was a planning thing. We like to know what we’re getting into, for lack of a better way to put it. We want to be able to put a gender-specific nursery together, and maybe get a few pieces of tiny clothing that lean towards pink or blue. So that conversation was settled. We were finding out.

Last week, it was finally time for us to head to the doctor for the big ultrasound appointment. I remember us both walking into the building, holding hands, trying to play it very cool. I was a little nervous, because aside from finding out the gender the actual purpose of that particular appointment is to check that baby looks healthy, with no visible signs of physical issues. And aside from that, we were about to find out if we had been right for the last few months in assuming that our little one was a guy. We had both been feeling a boy vibe from the very start — I can remember telling my mom and sister at about eight weeks that I just felt like it was going to be a boy.

So we headed into the ultrasound room and the technician settled Ryan on a comfy couch while I got up on the table and laid down. The technician informed me that I shouldn’t try to look at the screen while I was laying there because it would make my stomach flex and it would be harder to see the baby. What?! I obviously complied but I was laying there miffed that Ryan could see all the action while I was staring at holes in the ceiling. But out of the corner of my eye I was watching Ryan’s face, which was almost as good. And when I saw him chuckle and nod I totally knew that we were right about it being a boy. And we were, the technician told us a few minutes later.

After the appointment, we called close family and friends to tell them the good news but kept it private from the rest of the world for a while. It felt right to just keep it close to our hearts for a bit, ya know? But now that it’s sinking in, I’m so happy to have a son on the way that I could shout it from the rooftops!

Now that we know, I’m so glad we made that initial decision to find out. While I completely understand the idea of a baby’s gender being one of the last true surprises in life, for us it felt like the right thing to do. I love being able to assign him a specific pronoun, instead of calling it “the baby.” I love that we can look at tiny clothes and cribs and toys and imagine a little boy using them. And I love that we only have to sort through one set of names, instead of two! (That’s a whole other blog post, you guys.)

So mamas, did you (or will you) find out your baby’s gender? And if not, I’d love to know what the experience is like to plan when it’s still a surprise!