Is it a boy or a girl? The pros and cons of not finding out

When I was pregnant with Jacob we decided that we wanted to wait until the birth to find out whether we were having a boy or a girl. It wasn’t an easy decision to make. At first, I was adamant I didn’t want to know, but my husband did want to know. Then he changed his mind, so we didn’t find out at the 20-week scan. At my 36-week growth scan, I suddenly really wanted to know. Curiosity nearly got the better of me, but I didn’t ask in the end. It seemed silly to get so far then cave just a few weeks before the birth.

It’s a really personal decision, but there were a few pros and cons to not finding out.

It’s a lovely surprise

My main reason for not wanting to find out was that I liked the idea of being surprised on the day. In my head, I thought it would help me through the last few pushes (“Just one more push and your son or daughter will be here!”), my husband would tell me whether we had a baby boy or girl, and I’d be handed my little bundle of joy and be overwhelmed by love. In reality, I couldn’t have cared less about the sex of the baby when pushing. I just wanted the thing out of me after an 18-hour labour and over an hour of pushing. At that point, I think I’d forgotten there even was a baby, I just wanted it all over.

Once the baby was actually out, the midwife handed him to me through my legs, I basically dropped him, saw that he was a boy, said “oh, that’s a lot of blood” and boom, emergency alarm. So I had no time to process that I had a son. I don’t think knowing or not knowing would have made any difference to me at that point.

Avoiding gender stereotypes

Another reason I wanted a surprise was because I’m not a massive fan or pink for girls and blue for boys. I bought loads of white baby clothes, which lets face it, look amazing on babies. We also weren’t fussed about painting the nursery. For big purchases, like the pram, I wanted a gender neutral colour because we’ll probably have more than one child and I wanted to be able to reuse it.

The guessing

When you don’t find out, people constantly guess. This can be a pro or a con depending on the people doing the guessing and how nice or rude they are! “Oh, it’s definitely a girl, you are carrying like a girl.” Translation: “You look fat.”

My bump was ‘classic boy’ (*eye roll emoji*), so most people would tell me I was definitely having a boy. They were right as it happens, but it did get annoying.

Everyone has an opinion 

Half of people will tell you it’s brilliant you didn’t find out. “It’s so lovely you didn’t find out, people are just too impatient these days.” The other half will say “but how do you know what colour to paint the nursery?”.

The sonographer at the anomaly scan (a pet hate of mine is when people call the anomaly scan the gender scan—thats not what it’s for!)  was desperate to tell me. He asked us about 7 times whether we were sure we didn’t want to know. The baby didn’t want to show its face at one point and he said, “Oh if you knew the sex, you’d understand why it’s being so awkward!”. He even asked me again if I wanted to know when my husband left the room for a few minutes. If I hadn’t been strong I might have caved at that point.

A salesperson in Next was mightily confused because I bought a white cardigan, which is apparently a girl thing, and a multipack of zoo animal sleep suits, which is apparently a boy thing. When I said we didn’t know what we were having he actually looked crestfallen and said “Oh, I hate it when people don’t find out.” Sorry to upset you, man I’ve never met.

Choosing names

A big con for me was trying to find names. If, like us, you find it hard to agree on names, you’ve made it doubly difficult for yourselves. Eventually we settled on a girls name, but we had about 4 boys names. Sod’s law says in that situation, you’ll have a boy! It meant we didn’t have a name for Jacob for about two days.

If we have another baby, I’d probably have another surprise. There’s no reason in particular, I just liked not knowing. Did you find out or opt for a surprise?


The Pramshed

The Tale of Mummyhood





  1. February 11, 2017 / 9:12 pm

    I’ve had 2 surprises but we have found out with number 3-purely because we have one of each and I had clothes for boys and girls from newborn to 6 so I wanted to get sorted. I’m glad we found out this time but also glad of my surprises:)

    • Kelly
      February 11, 2017 / 9:32 pm

      That makes complete sense! X

  2. February 12, 2017 / 4:41 am

    Oh, I HAD to find out, both times! I do not like surprises and I like to feel very prepared for things. I’m not an anxious person in general, but not knowing something big like that would make me anxious. I’m very happy we found out; after all, we had 20 weeks of not knowing, and that was fine with me. 🙂

  3. February 12, 2017 / 7:14 am

    I found out with both and now I really regret it , wish we had waited and had a surprise 🙂 love this post #blogstravaganza xx

  4. February 12, 2017 / 8:44 am

    I love the surprise/excitement of not knowing, we didn’t find out with my boy and I was laid with him after labour for about 10/15 mins before I even thought about what sex he was!! With my second she was a planned csection so again I didn’t want to know, I already knew when, where and what time she was going to be born so to add the gender to the mix to they was just no suspense about it all. Each to their own but id go “surprise every time!


  5. February 12, 2017 / 8:54 am

    I think I’m too impatient not to find out the gender of the baby, I couldn’t wait until my 20 week scan to find out and start baby shopping #Blogstravaganza

    • Kelly
      February 12, 2017 / 10:14 am

      I completely understand. It’s an exciting time. Thanks for reading!

  6. February 12, 2017 / 9:28 am

    I’m 33 weeks with my second and even though we found out the gender with our first, this time will be a surprise! One of the most common comments/questions we get is like “Do you actually not know or you just don’t want to say?” Maddening.

    • Kelly
      February 12, 2017 / 10:10 am

      Ha I had that. My brother was convinced I knew and wasn’t telling him

  7. Helen
    February 12, 2017 / 9:51 am

    I’m currently 24 weeks pregnant with our second baby and we’ve found out the gender again. There is a certain amount of pressure not to find out and wait for the ‘surprise’, but we saw it as a surprise whenever we found out. Whether you find out at 20 weeks or 40 weeks the surprise is still there, I guess the anticipation is less when you find out early though. It’s whatever each couple wants to do 🙂 #blogstravaganza

    Helen x

    • Kelly
      February 12, 2017 / 10:09 am

      It’s really funny that you found there was pressure to have a surprise. I think whatever we do there’s pressure to do the opposite! ☺️ Mum’s can’t win and it starts before the baby is even born!

  8. February 12, 2017 / 3:23 pm

    I didn’t find out with either of mine and I’m pleased. For me personally it was because life is so structured and planned it was probably the only genuine surprise I could guarantee myself in my life. Other people had more of a problem with us not finding out than we did “well how do we know what to buy?” I was just like “we will actually let you know the sex once it’s here, we’re not keeping it a secret forever!” #blogstravaganza

  9. February 12, 2017 / 10:35 pm

    We didn’t find out either! I loved the guessing but also got the “oh I hate it when people don’t find out” comment…erm, well you can find out when you have your own baby in that case, can’t you?! Haha! #fortheloveofBLOG

  10. February 13, 2017 / 12:30 pm

    Personally I’m not very good at surprises and would have found it very difficult to wait past the twenty week mark. Having said that I think it’s so nice if you can wait and be surprised on the day! I take you point about just wanting them out though, I can relate to that! Thanks so much for linking up to #Blogstravaganza xx

  11. February 14, 2017 / 1:34 pm

    I found out with my first because I just couldn’t contain the excitement. With my second I didn’t find out and it was lovely to wait till he was born to find out. Like you say pros and cons to both x

  12. February 15, 2017 / 10:29 pm

    I think it’s great that you didn’t find and don’t listen to what anyone else. I caved at 30 weeks and found it, but that’s because I was convinced all along it was a girl, and then people tried to convince me otherwise. We did have a girl, so I was right. I also hate the gender typical items, and had some ghastly twee pink things purchased for us. I much prefer white and greys. Thanks for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

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