Who Wants to Know?

You may not have figured this out, but I am actually a private person. I may have willfully blogged about my infertility treatments to perfect strangers. But remember… none (or I should say very few) know who I am.

Infertility– IVF in particular– meant that I knew a lot more about my pregnancy than I would have otherwise. I mean, I literally saw the embryo inserted into my uterus. I know my exact conception date. Because I’m an IVF mama, I also had a whole bunch of early ultrasounds– more than a “normal” pregnant woman would. I have seen my insides more in the last 2 years than I would have expected to in my whole life time.

In principle, this is fine. Thanks to all this technology and SCIENCE!, I am pregnant and happy to be starting my family. But I also wish I had a bit of the mystery I assume “normal” pregnant women have.

In part because of this, Mr. O and I have decided that we don’t want to know the sex of our baby until it comes out. I like the not knowing. I like the idea that for 9 months, there are no expectations or assumptions about this kid, so Chick can just focus on being happy and healthy.

It would appear that other people are not okay with this.

Because humans abhor vacuums, this has led people to frantically trying to predict the gender of my baby. They base their assumptions on how I’m carrying, what came to them in a dream, a “gut feeling”, or what I had for dinner last night. One person tried to get me to do the “Needle Test” which is apparently when you rub a needle on your wrist and dangle it over your arm. Depending on which way the needle swings, you’re having a girl or a boy. Huh? How is this a thing?

It is amazing to me how judge-y people are about not finding out. Two of my favorite responses so far:

“I hate it when people don’t find out. You have the technology, why don’t you use it?”

The real question is why do you give a rat’s ass?

“But how will I know what color baby clothes to buy you? Green and yellow are just so boring.”

Then let’s go with my emo baby theme, and just get everything BLACK.

Pregnancy is funny. On one hand, it is an incredibly personal experience. This is happening in your body. You’re carrying this little person, taking care of it, dealing with all the new and exciting ways you’re changing. It is happening TO YOU in a very real sense.

But at the same time, pregnancy is very public. The bigger you get, the more conspicuous this very personal experience gets. People can’t help but know, and so can’t help but offer completely unsolicited advice about how and what you should be doing.

Along these lines, Mr. O and I have also decided against the FB announcement. At first it seemed harmless enough, but the truth is that I don’t want people I don’t care about to know. I also want to respect Chick’s privacy. Who knows? They may never want a Facebook account, Twitter handle, or whatever new-fangled social media is out by the time they are old enough to care.

Honestly, I don’t care what other people do. What I love about humans is that we all find a way in the world that works for us. If you want to post your ultrasounds on Facebook, that’s a-okay with me. What I don’t understand– and never will– is this insistence that we all experience pregnancy the same way. The people who love and support me know I’m pregnant– that is enough for me.

Everyone else can just learn about it on their own. And keep their opinions to themselves. Please.

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5 comments

  1. g2the4thpower · March 16, 2015

    I totally agree and understand how you feel. We chose to find out ahead of baby #1s birth day because of our own curiosity (but probably more so because of family members constantly bringing it up). This time I think we will keep it a surprise. The most important part is the healthy happy baby, not what colours will be worn or used to decorate. I thought it helped me bond more while pregnant, but I’m not convinced I wouldn’t have felt the same knowing I just had a baby human inside me. IF has made me much more patient, so I think with baby #2 I can wait for the best surprise ever!

  2. thecommonostrich · March 16, 2015

    Interesting point… IF does have this way of making you more patient with life. In the long run, does it really matter if you find out the sex of your baby a few months earlier? Not really. I’m just amazed at how many people have such strong opinions about this. I’ve never really thought about it as anything other than a personal choice.

  3. pajamamommas · March 16, 2015

    I agree that it’s amazing how much being pregnant brought out other people’s need to offer their opinions about my life and my choices. For what it’s worth, we found out the sex ahead of time for both kids, and that just led to people offering their opinions about which sex was “easier” to parent. There doesn’t seem to be a way to avoid other people’s judge-y comments, not matter what choice you make! I wrote a whole post about my bizarre visit to McDonald’s where every employee and customer in the whole restaurant seemed to need to make some comment to me:
    https://pajamamommas.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/public-property/

    • thecommonostrich · March 16, 2015

      It’s totally true. I’m convinced that people just offer up their opinions because they want validation for their own choices. It has nothing to do with being helpful– what they want is for you to tell them that their approach to X is obviously the best.

      #lame

  4. julieann081 · March 17, 2015

    People can be so intrusive with their questions or “suggestions.” Good for you for making a choice and sticking to it! Wishing you all the very best! ❤

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