One of the most common questions you’ll get once you reach a certain stage of pregnancy (after they ask your due date) is ‘do you know what you’re having?!’. I can confirm that whatever you respond here it will be wrong, sorry to be the one to break it to you…
You will at some point in your pregnancy be accosted by some old lady in M&S, or by your third cousin (twice removed) at a family wedding, or by your inlaw’s next door neighbour, and they will need to know the sex of your unborn child.
We have decided not to share the gender of our baby – for a number of reasons that I don’t feel I should need to explain. That’s our choice and the majority of people accept that. There are a whole group of people who refuse to respect that though, and to be honest it’s really starting to get on my swollen, leaking tits.
Of course people wouldn’t be happy whatever the response to their questioning. Tell them what you’re having and you should have kept it a surprise, tell them you don’t know and they’ll ask how you’ll ever prepare, tell them you don’t want to tell them and they’ll begin a game so transparently trying to trick you into saying that you’ll be tempted to tell them the opposite just to shut them up.
For us we’ve been faced with a whole range of different variations of people trying to guess or force out of us the gender of our unborn baby (just another way your body becomes public property when you’re pregnant – the joy!). I’ve noticed these people fall into a few very specific groups, which I have laid out for you here.
These are the ones that annoy me the most. The ones who tell you that by the shape of your bump, the cravings you’ve been having, the amount of varicose veins on your upper thigh, or whether or not you’ve had heartburn that they know without a shadow of a doubt what you’re having.
Your ‘methods’ of guessing gender have as much fact behind them as astrology, homeopathic cures for cancer, or flat-earth theories. I assure you you cannot tell the gender of my unborn child from a photo of my stomach on Facebook, nor did I ask you to (I’ve had about 25 people online and IRL approach me with these predictions, two of them have been right).
The Nancy Drews
Any baby purchase you are seen making, the colour of your buggy, whether you buy the black or white Perfect Prep Machine – all of this can obviously be used by the secret service in your life to determine what gender your baby is.
This one is particularly amusing to me, especially if you’ve ever met me, or my child. Clothes in our house don’t hold genders, nor should they anywhere to be quite frank. Posting a leopard print onesie on Instagram stories apparently meant we’re having a girl, posting a vest with moustaches on means we’re definitely having a boy. I’m definitely not having twins so clearly something is awry here…
This is one of the meanest approaches people have towards your pregnant belly. Trying to catch you out by throwing gender-specific comments out there to try and see how you react. I’m wise to your tricks, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t irritate me every time you try it. I don’t have to tell you after they’re born either you know?! Don’t try me…
‘But I want to start buying presents now and I can’t unless you tell me…’
First of all, see above and shut up. H&M have some great grey and cream bits in right now, that’s what we’re buying anyway. If you were to present me with some pink or blue basket filled with Daddy’s Little Princess or Mummy’s Little Soldier babygrows I’d be forced to disown you anyway.
Secondly, how do you cope when buying for someone who doesn’t know the gender themselves? Or do you just have a nervous breakdown in the baby aisle of Asda and have to have a sit down and a sugary tea?!
These are just four, very loose groupings of people who are refusing to accept our decision to keep the gender as information just for us. I’ve taken just to telling most people we didn’t find out. It’s easier to just hear a list of reasons why we should have.
Gender and babies is an odd topic that brings out a lot of weirdness in people. For me personally it makes no difference what is found in my baby’s nappy as to how we will dress them, what toys we will buy them, or how we will treat them. Nor does it change how much I already love them.
We’re choosing not to publicly share our baby’s gender until he/she is here, we’re ok with that, I’m sorry if you’re not – but tough.
Please stop trying to guess, because I’m bloody exhausted by having to fake laugh, raise an eyebrow, and say ‘I guess we’ll find out soon enough’…