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.