Even before we discovered we were pregnant with our fifth baby, Adam and I were totally determined to once again have the gender be a surprise all the way up to delivery. During Alec’s pregnancy, I went back and forth and had my moments of weakness about not finding out, but when all was said and done and he arrived, it was one or the coolest things ever. So there was no question that’s how we wanted to do things the next time around.
At 20 weeks pregnant we had our big anatomy scan/ultrasound. We were confident and determined to not find out the gender. The ultrasound went great and we walked away so happy that there were no red flags and that our baby appeared perfect and healthy. As our doctor was “checking boxes” at the end of ultrasound, he clicked “not seen” for gender. The only concern was that my placenta was low lying which is far from ideal. My doctor said we would have a follow-up ultrasound to watch and see if the placenta moved up and out of the way like it was supposed to.
At my 24 week appointment, I had my follow-up ultrasound. I reminded the doctor that I didn’t want to know the gender. The ultrasound was only like 30 seconds. He looked, saw the placenta had moved where it was supposed to (yay!) and that was it.
At 28 weeks I had another appointment and again, the doctor wanted to do another ultrasound to double check the placenta. Since the last ultrasound was so short and all he did was look at the placenta, I didn’t even think to remind him that I didn’t want to know the gender. Again, he checked the placenta right away and saw it was fine. Then he also checked the baby’s heart rate and we were done. He put away the wand and then he said “oh wait, there’s one more thing I want to check.” He put the doppler back on my abdomen and immediately said “yep, this baby is a girl.”
I’m sure that because my chart said “gender not seen” that he thought he was just covering all bases. He probably should have said “oh, I see we didn’t see the gender, should we check for it?” Maybe my chart should have just said “patient wants to keep gender a surprise.” Or maybe I should have been sure to remind him I didn’t want to know. It all went down so fast. After he told me I was having a girl, he was probably a little confused that I didn’t reply. I just laid there in stunned silence. It had nothing to do with the revelation that we were having another girl (which I had suspected from the get-go because I was so sick and had always been sicker with my girls than my boys.) I just wasn’t expecting to find out at that moment and like that.
I walked away with a tiny itch of disappointment that the big gender reveal wouldn’t happen at delivery like we had planned. After about 2 minutes of “well, there that goes” all that was left was pure jubilation and excitement that we were having another girl!!! Anyone who knows me knows I have zero gender preference. It was fun to start envisioning what our new life would be like with our 3 girls and little boy. And I’m nothing if not consistent (girl-boy-girl-boy-girl.)
I called Adam immediately and said the ultrasound went well…and that I also knew the gender. He was equally excited that we were having another girl.
We decided to keep the gender a “surprise” from EVERYBODY else. We didn’t tell a single soul we knew we were having a girl. We tried so hard to not lie or be dishonest. When asked we tried to carefully phrase our response. When asked “are you having a boy or a girl?” or “do you know the gender?” we tried to always reply “it’s a surprise” instead of saying we didn’t know. Sometimes we couldn’t help be being a little misleading, depending on how people phrased the question or how much they pushed for an answer, but that’s the thing about “surprises”, right? It’s a secret you keep for a little while. So misleading or not, it was our secret to keep. Especially since we were the ones who most wanted it to be a surprise and it was spoiled for us.
It didn’t take long for our smarty pants Megan to suspect that we knew the gender and weren’t telling. I tried not to straight up lie to her, and she could tell. She knew I was lingering a little longer in the baby girl section at the store. She’d heard me slip when referring to the baby and say “she” more than once. I bought Jane and Alec pink outfits to wear to meet their new sister. When Megan brought this up as “irrefutable evidence” that I knew the gender, I was sure to make her “meet the new baby outfit” blue. I considered telling her the truth, but I knew she wasn’t 100% sure and still wanted the element of surprise.
Megan and Jane both wanted the baby to be a girl from the very get-go. I’m not sure how passionate Megan was about it, other than it meant our pattern remained intact. Jane however really wanted another sister. I’m happy things worked in her favor. I thought another little boy would be so fun for Alec, but luckily he is too young to have an opinion and there’s still plenty of time to even out the score.
Hopefully no one is offended that we kept this surprise to ourselves. I can think of a handful of people that I was dying to tell, but it was more fun this way. We sure love our little girl!!!