Why know?

Ah, because we can? No really, it’s something I never thought I’d want to know. I am a firm believer that some things should be a surprise. For example, very dear friends of ours were “kinda engaged” for about three months and it drove me insane. What the hell is kind engaged? You are or you aren’t. You were asked or you weren’t. Call me a sentimental traditionalist, but when someone asks you how you got engaged, you should both be able to answer the question with the same general story. And the proposal should be a surprise. Even if you knew it was coming from a mile away, even if you talked about marriage a million times, or had some time-sensitive reason that made the when less open then usual (military deployment, unexpected pregnancy, etc.), even if you were one of those chicks who had to pick out her own ring because you need to be in control of these things or your guy couldn’t tell a diamond from a glass bead, the actual taking of a knee in whatever form it comes in should be a damn surprise.

So why not the gender of the baby? Well, because it’s just not a secret anymore. In fact, it’s so not a secret that after your 22 week ultrasound, couples who don’t want to know have to remind their doctors/nurses throughout the rest of their pregnancy (including all the nurses’ shift changes during labor) that they do not want to know, lest you be four hours into a 19 hour labor when someone asks how the little guy is coming along and your stoic wait is all for not. This point was brought home for us by couple friends who recently had a baby. She’s a med student, so it seemed extra odd that people at her hospital who she considers co-workers would know the gender of her baby when she did not. Even couples we know who did not ask to know the sex had a pretty good idea by the end of things, and I don’t just mean a hunch. The first couple went the IVF route, and all the extra ultrasounds lead them to overhear enough to be 80% sure it was a boy… it was. Other friends opted not to know but she ended up on bed rest, and yet again all those extra scans resulted in their confirming the notion we all had that they were having a girl.

So, if come Monday, the small one decides to be bashful and the doctor can’t tell what we’re having, we’ll be fine with not knowing. A bit disappointed, to be sure, but I won’t go and schedule another ultrasound just to find out the gender (after all, this is a diagnostic tool first, and the crotch shot is just a bonus). But if the doc knows, I want to know!

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