• Menu

Boy or Girl, the Bets Are On!

Winnie is Gender-Neutral, Right?

We do not know the sex of the baby.

No, seriously.

We didn’t want to find out.

Yes, we can live with it. Because 1) We will eventually find out, duh! 2) Surprises are fun 3) There are only two options, after all.

In Canada, you can usually find out the sex of your mini-baby during the second ultrasound, at around 18-20 weeks. But when offered, we asked the technician to keep it a secret. So as she waved the wand around my still-kinda-flat belly, she didn’t say a word and I could tell she was trying her best not to linger around the baby’s genital area—a thoughtful gesture, but it’s not like I would have been able to find out by myself anyway. I mean, I can barely tell the head from the stomach and the hands from the feet! Ultrasounds are like modern art to me—intriguing and mysterious.

Early in the pregnancy, I asked Feng if he wanted to find out the sex of the baby. This is the kind of decision you have to make as a couple, after all. But we were on the same page: he wanted it to be a surprise as well.

We haven’t regretted it. It’s fun to keep the suspense going until the “big finale”.

Sure, I sometimes think about it. There are way more girls than boys in my family, so I have always kind of assumed I would have a boy—statistics and all. Early in the pregnancy though, I was certain it was a girl. But maybe I was projecting—a woman imagining a little girl growing in there.

But now, I have no clue. Boy or girl, your guess is as good as mine. My pregnant woman’s instinct sucks anyway—remember, it took me six weeks to realize I was pregnant!

And the truth is, I don’t care. I imagine us with a baby, not with a little boy or a little girl. We are happy either way. Oh, and in case you were wondering, the grandparents don’t care either.

However, people’s reactions to our choice have been surprising. Like with most pregnancy-related topics, complete strangers and kind souls feel they must absolutely share their opinion, and I find I have to justify our decision.

My in-laws complained that not knowing the sex “wasn’t practical”. “Buy red stuff,” I replied. “Chinese, good luck… you know. Or better, don’t buy anything.” (My in-laws tend to go a bit over-the-top when it comes to shopping).

My father’s family—very conservative and superstitious—wanted to dangle a freaking pendulum over my belly, a sure way to predict gender according to them. “She won’t even notice,” my grandfather told my mother when she informed them that we chose to keep the gender a secret because we wanted to, not because useless Canadian doctors couldn’t tell a boy from a girl. Yeah, right. As if I’m letting you anywhere close to me with that pendulum. Get away from me, crazy people!

Random strangers who ask if it’s a boy or a girl either think I know and don’t want to say or that I don’t give a shit about the baby. “But it’s so much better when you know you are learning to love a little boy or a little girl,” claimed a random woman. Gee, I can see beyond the gender binary, you know. I’m carrying a human being, it doesn’t matter whether he has a penis or she has a vagina.

Some people even told me we were selfish. “People want to know this kind of thing,” sighed a complete stranger. Really? Like, who are you?

Alright, I must admit not knowing makes shopping for clothes harder. I can’t believe a lot of baby clothes still do the outdated “blue is for boys and pink is for girls” colour schemes. Come on people, it’s the 21st century: men can be nurses and caretakers and women can be firefighters and presidents!

And it’s not just the gender-specific colour scheme, it’s the message on the clothes too. I almost bought a set of greyish/blueish Calvin Klein (I know, I know…) bodysuits at Winners before I realized “brave little boy” or something to that effect was written on the front. Gee, great stereotyping, society!

Eventually, we will find out. Meanwhile, the bets are on and I feel like a Kinder Surprise.

Share this article!

French woman in English Canada.

Exploring the world with my camera since 1999, translating sentences for a living, writing stories that may or may not get attention.

Firm believer that nobody is normal... and it’s better this way.

View stories

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *