“Gender Reveal?”

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When I was born, my parents learned that I was a girl after I emerged into the hospital room. Until then, while they had to guess. Early shower gifts were in pastel green, yellow and white, colors considered neutral and appropriate for each gender. In 1975, when my daughter was born, the doctor(based on nothing)had assured me that the baby was a boy. Accordingly, we named him Leon James. Fortunately, our shower gifts were also pastel green, yellow and white. I had painted the nursery yellow. We were ready for whoever was born. To my surprise, it was a she, and we had to quickly find another name.

By the time my grandchildren were born in 2007 and 2009, high resolution ultrasound images made it possible to see who was going to be born. The surprise was gone and shower gifts could be geared accordingly. Now couples have to choose to remain ignorant of the gender by asking to not be told.

The suspense that used to be associated with the actual birth has been transferred in some instances to a “gender reveal party.” These are elaborate affairs where friends and family gather after the ultrasound has revealed the news to the parents. Then some gimmick such as a blue or pink cake is sliced open to the oohs of the guests. I have seen examples of blue or pink confetti being sprayed as the announcement.

It is somewhat ironic that all this hoopla is going on at the same time that parts of the culture are debating the very definition of gender. There is cisgender, transgender, and gender neutral being discussed in the news. So it may be back to green, yellow and white clothing again.

All I know is that I miss the suspense of guessing the sex of the expected baby. I miss all the ways of telling a woman who she was expecting from where the baby was carried to holding a string and seeing which way it moved. It was a source of endless discussion and a great opportunity for betting. The old way was a lot more fun than any gender reveal party.

23 thoughts on ““Gender Reveal?”

    1. I think they are as over the top as the three day destination wedding celebrations for couples who are already living together and have already bought a house.


  1. I wanted boys, Elizabeth. The doctor told me Greg was a girl at my 16 week scan. I spent the next four weeks getting all excited about having a girl. I was initially a bit disappointed as I wanted a boy. At 20 weeks, Greg turned into a boy and I had to get excited to have a boy all over again. Nothing is perfect.


    1. That is funny. My grandson was obviously, and I mean obviously a boy. We fell apart laughing when we saw the image. They thought my granddaughter was a girl but couldn’t say for sure. I guess it is more common to think a boy is a girl.


        1. It’s indeed. Sex ratio for girls is adverse in other states except in Kerala where we have more girls. Education is one of the reasons and Kerala is 100% literate


  2. I’ve not come across a gender reveal party here – I must ask my daughter if they happen in the uk. But I did mourn the loss of not knowing the gender until the birth. When my children were born we had the benefit of scans but they were not clear enough to know for sure what sex the baby would be. Now, as you say, the parents get to choose whether they want to know. (Though sometimes I think they find out anyway, the scans are so clear.) My daughter explained to me that she believed it helped her to bond more with the unborn child, knowing each was a boy. Who knows. I know I would have missed that big reveal at the time of birth. But then, maybe that’s how it feels when the gender is revealed at the scan! And at least you’re not also dealing with the immediacy of birth at the same time!


    1. I have heard that idea about bonding, too. I bonded completely without knowing. I hope the gender reveal party stays on our side of the ocean. It is really over the top.


  3. We didn’t do any fancy gender reveal party but I loved knowing that I was having a girl. I decorated the nursery in ladybugs for baby girl #1 and mermaids for baby girl #2. I loved every anticipating moment before I got to meet them in person.


  4. I liked the old way better, but then again I never had a child (by choice and that’s fine), but it seems so strange to me to not be open-minded and open-hearted to just accept what child or children are born–in the old days, you usually had a pair of names ready, one for boy and one for girl, and just accepted the situation. *shrug* It seems a time period where immediate gratification happens a lot and often disappointingly, and then people forget that time extends pretty much forever–


  5. In my country revealing the sex of the child in the womb is banned. Ultrasounds are done but the sex is not revealed. Unfortunately even in 21st century in some.parts of the country female infanticide takes place. This is due to the dowry system.


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