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How The Gender Mystery During Pregnancy Helped Me Bond with my Baby

Gender of baby

Throughout my pregnancy I had not felt the need to know the gender of my child. Part of this was still a nervousness to attach to a person living inside me who could decide to up and go, leaving me devastated. The other part was quite simple, not really minding whether my child was male or female, the idea of a boy or a girl was completely fine and I didn’t have any preconceptions about why one would be better.

However, my husband was extremely keen and isn’t a fan of surprises. I think in part he also wanted to be able to plan and be a part of things rather than just sitting on the sidelines watching me grow. There was also the practicalities of finding a name as cutting out 50% of the options makes a much easier job. We were still hoping to keep the answer to ourselves in order to ebb the flow of pink and blue baby items entering our house, and give everyone else a surprise, but we aimed to find out at our 20 week scan.

I assumed this would be the next step in pushing my comfort zone and bonding with my child; as I said this had been difficult and I am still working on building a relationship that feels somewhat normal. It turned out that this step was not what I expected.


We arrived a little flustered after parking the car later than we hoped and struggling to find Radiology. We sat patiently before being called in and had the basic idea explained: they were checking bone structure, the spinal cord, development, etc. With some surprisingly luke warm gel on my bump I lay watching the screen at an angle as the doctor pointed out that our baby was facing outwards and wriggling quite a bit. She went through the necessary parts and casually chatted; as she knew we were aiming to find out the sex this time round, she also explained that she could do her best but it might not be possible, and even if it was the answer is never 100% accurate.

It was strange to see how much bigger our baby had grown on the screen since 13 weeks. It seems like an obvious point but when you’re imagining a photograph type image showing an entire little body, but it’s hardly as if the scanner can zoom out. It is also impossible for a camera to see something that is hidden from view, and that’s exactly what the sex of our child was: hidden.

Despite wriggling and kicking their little legs and arms, thighs were tightly held together and tucked under them. No matter what angle we tried there was no budging this determined little person. We tried using gravity by scanning whilst I lay on my side – nothing. Then I was asked to bend my legs, lift my hips, twist and shake quickly from side to side to give them a little bit of a hint that they might want to move. That was the weirdest thing I’ve ever done in a doctor’s office and the nearest my baby has come to a rollercoaster as yet, but still – nothing.

I couldn’t help but laugh. I felt sorry for my dear husband who had been excitedly waiting for the news, but this told me far more about their character than their sex could ever have done. Whether it was modesty, cheekiness or stubbornness they were clearly our child. I also thought how strange it was that we were asking this little creature to open their legs so we could check them out early. Although I might not know if my child is a boy or a girl, I know they are mine, truly mine – I would probably find it highly amusing to hide, or at the very least stubbornly refuse to show someone something they didn’t need to know. There’s also still a slight possibility that they have the little kink above their nose that their father has, and so to be building a picture of my child is still possible.

Of course, we have a chance in a month or so to ask again and see if we can tell, and we probably will ask. What is wonderful is not feeling that this simple question is the next big bonding step, but just another small part of getting to know them and who they are. With a few little kicks it seems my little one agrees and is perhaps enjoying their peaceful privacy.

Did you find out the gender of your baby during your pregnancy, and did it effect your thoughts and opinions about parenting either a boy or a girl? 

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EKM Cronin (3 Posts)

I am currently a mama-to-be, wife, theology graduate, artist, and writer/blogger. I live in the beautiful countryside on the Warwickshire border with my husband and adorable Bernese Mountain puppy, and am attempting to work out life for my family.