With our first three tinies, we have always waited until the day of the birth for the epic “It’s a girl!” or “It’s a boy!” announcement.

There are so few surprises left in our lives these days, right?I have always been quite content to wait for the big day’s announcement. It made it even more exciting. Plus I personally know two women who had been told they were having a boy, bonded quite thoroughly with that baby, and then came home with a baby girl – turns out that ultrasounds aren’t quite as reliable as we would like.

But with Tiny #4, we’ve decided we’ve had all the surprises we can handle. For the first time, we decided to find out the sex of our baby before he or she is born. It took a lot of discussion between us. Brian really wanted to find out this time and I was ambivalent, even leaning towards keeping with our little tradition of remaining in the dark. But in the end, after all that back-and-forth, since this much-beloved baby was a bit of a surprise to all of us, we decided that NOW is a good time to finally do a bit of planning.

And that “sneak peek” was today.

We did decide against doing any big “reveal party” or making a big fuss about it publicly. We think it would be too much for our tinies. So rather than get them all keyed up at a party with friends and family present, and then perhaps disappointing one or two of them in front of an audience, we decided to keep the announcement low-key, private, and family-centric at first in order to help them process both their elation or disappointment.

We’ve been setting the stage by talking a lot about how “God has given this baby to us” and “we’ll all be happy with our baby, no matter if it is a boy or a girl.” The tinies “get” that, but I know each of them has a preference deep down in their hearts, too. And that’s okay. We just want to help them navigate those feelings well if it doesn’t turn out as they desire.

We also decided to hold off on naming the baby even if we knew the sex, just in case there was an error. Plus, in our experience, in Joseph’s case, we had another boy name picked out entirely. But when he was born, we took one look at that beautiful boy and we just knew that the name we had picked was wrong for this kid. He was our Joe right from the start, and we wouldn’t have known that until we held him. But once we did, it was so clear. Even if we know the sex, we do want to leave a little room for surprises.

Once the baby is here all those preferences often disappear anyway, every one is just so happy at a little freshie finally safely earthside. We all know that our priority here is a healthy baby to term. Yet the novelty of finding out ahead of time if a tiny is a boy or a girl has become exciting and new for all of us.

Going into the appointment, I was excited but also a bit nervous. This is our mid-point appointment and we won’t have another ultrasound until very near the due date. So this was it – our chance to not only find out all the important things that actually matter like health and development but also to find out the sex of the baby. I drank my big glass of orange juice an hour ahead of time to hedge my bets for an active baby during the exam. Tinies at school, Evelynn with my mother, Brian met me at the ultrasound office – let’s do this.

After nearly forty minutes of scanning, we had a final verdict: inconclusive.

Yep. Inconclusive.

All that angst and discussion about whether or not to find out the sex of the baby and …. no answer.

The baby is growing perfectly and beautifully. There is nothing quite like being able to ‘see’ their profile and watch someone no bigger than an heirloom tomato peddling their feet and grabbing their own hands. Such a little person already! It was a wonderful appointment, complete with a strong heartbeat, a beautiful spine, and all other important development milestones being met. Check out this beauty:

Bessey 0003

But our Tiny #4 stubbornly kept his or her legs together and refused to budge, no matter what we did.

So that’s that. No answers. The mystery remains.

We had to laugh. Served us right.

Of course, then we promptly called a private ultrasound clinic right from the parking lot to set up an appointment within the next week to try again.

No shame in my game, people.

So now I’m curious: if you have had children, did you find out the sex of the baby ahead of time? Or did you wait?


If you subscribe to my e-newsletter, some portions of this news won’t come as a surprise – subscribers often find out announcements ahead of time.

"It’s your moon, womankind. It’s your choice." :: a response to Doctor Who, Kill the Moon
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