I'm going on six years, here at Cupcake. I've talked to hundreds of women about why they decided to find out the sex of their baby, or why not. I've gone back and forth a few times about what I expect to decide for myself (wayyyyy in the future). I think a surprise would be fun and exciting, the kind of surprise you can't get from anything else. At the same time, I find myself coming up with so many reasons why I would just have to know. Here is my exploration through the options and what I have found to calm some of my previous concerns. I'm not trying to convince anyone one way or another, I'm not even sure what I will do, I'm just thinking out loud.
1. One of my main concerns was always about the nursery. I am so particular about the way my home looks and every detail it in. Not being able to decorate my future child's room in a gender specific way sounded like less fun. But I did some hunting and found some designs I would prefer to a gender specific room, even if I knew the sex.
In this design, I love the rustic touches with the splashes of vibrant orange. It's something different to the overdone pink and flowers or blue and trucks. I love that huge barn door. I have no idea where a non-farmer, city-girl would score such a find, but they must be out there. Craigslist? Anyway, the lush fabrics and subtle details make this room more than worthy of my future boy or girl. By the way, did you spot the Sleep Sheepand the Jellycat Cordy Aardvark in the corner of the crib?
I didn't love the idea of doing green for a nursery since it seemed so overdone. That is, until I came across this room. I love the more celadon color as opposed to forest or lime. The full wall in that print is to die for, don't you think? Did you notice the bird cage chandelier at the top? If you've been in our Healdsburg store, you probably noticed a similar one hanging over the register. I guess great minds think alike!
If you don't like the bright colors and whimsy, here's a room that's sophisticated and sleek. Every time I look at this photo, I notice little details I hadn't before, but at first glance it seems quite clean and simple. As an added perk, this room can easily grow up with a child. If you have a fairy princess room, that's super fun for a little girl, but as she becomes a preteen, the decor will have to come down as the boy band posters go up.
2. Working in a children's store and setting up countless registries with expectant parents, I know first hand that it isn't always easy to find super cute items that don't scream boy or girl. When it comes to equipment like a stroller or car seat, I would probably opt for black or gray regardless, but when it comes to clothes and accessories, it can be a challenge. Lately, however, we have received some items that I absolutely love that would work wonders on Joe or Jane. For the baby layette basics, I love Loved Baby and Sweet Peanut. So many of their colors can go either way and they are adorable AND functional! Tea also came out with some great baby items in greens and grays this season.
I do admit that the clothing shopping won't be quite the same as heading straight for the guitar themed boy ensemble or the sequined tutu dress, but at least you have options. And for the rest of the registry, you can rest assured, knowing that we have the little knit-knacks and do-dads that you will need and want, no matter the gender.
3. I have never been pregnant before, but women come into our store all the time saying how bonded and connected they feel to their babies who have yet to arrive. They feel like they know every little bit of them. But sometimes I wonder how you can really know your baby if you don't even know one of the most fundamental facts about them. When it comes to nature versus nurture, I do mostly believe that how we raise a child determines who they will be in the future, but when it comes to gender, some things are just ingrained. For example, Jenny, the owner of this fabulous business, has a two year old son. Her husband, Ramin, doesn't push the man's man kind of mentality and Jenny is the epitome of a girly girl. But little Owen, none the less, gets excited when he sees trucks and basketballs and doesn't care for dolls. He hasn't been raised to appreciate the garbage truck in the morning or the fire truck that whistles by; he just does. So, I worry that when I am pregnant one day, I won't be able to fully visualize how my life will be, once the baby comes. I know new parents never really have an idea what they're in for, but I would think at least a peek into the future would be helpful, especially if you are an ever-loving planner like myself. Women opt to not find out the sex of their babies all the time, so I know I must be missing something, but I'm just not sure what.
4. What's in a name? I fully support the concept of picking a boy and a girl name, or 5 or 10, and then figuring it all out at the hospital. Many names these days can go either way as well! My mom's name is Dana and when telemarketers call her, they often ask for Mr. Dickinson, assuming she's a man. One of my good girl friend's name is Dylan, traditionally a boy's name. My ex-boyfriend's name is Morgan. It's becoming more common and even popular all the time to choose the gender-ambiguous names and I like it. Maybe I could somehow argue it as a positive step in the feminist movement, but I won't.
I'm obviously torn still. Maybe when the time comes, I will just know what is best for me, my baby, and the father, but now I just can't tell. I would love to hear why anyone did or did not find out the sex and if anything helped them to make that ultimate decision.