Monday, January 7, 2013

Baby T: Gender Reveal

The more we get to know one another, the more you will no doubt discover that I consider myself an advocate for gender equality. As such, it would be irresponsible of me to publish this post without saying that while the popular terminology is "Gender Reveal", it should actually be "Sex Reveal". It is impossible to know how your child will self-identify before their birth. Their gender can only truly be reflected then. In the meantime, when we speak of "Gender Reveals", we are actually talking about the discovery through ultrasound of a baby's sexual organs. It's the answer to that big question: Is it a boy or a girl?

If you take a moment to do a Google or Pinterest search for "Gender Reveal", you'll no doubt find a variety of tutorials, party ideas, etc. for how you can share that big news with your loved ones. We opted for a fairly simply version. At our 20 week anatomy scan (which turned out to be a little closer to 22 weeks than 20), we asked the tech to write down whether we would be having a boy or girl and to seal the answer in an envelope that we had provided. We closed our eyes while she checked. After the scan was over and we had finished visiting with our doctor, we headed home. Abe watched the girls and I took the very tempting envelope to our dear friend Theresa over at TCS Cakery in Riverton, Utah. Theresa created our reveal cake.

After we picked up our kids from school, we prepared a quick dinner and afterward we settled in for our last minute guesses. (If there's enough interest, I may post the video of our final guesses and the actual cutting of the cake.)


This reveal was a lot of fun and it helped us to include our older children in the surprise. Having daughters that are heading very quickly into their teen years, we've been trying to find ways to include them in as much of this process as possible. While we could have found out we were having a boy and then shared that news with them, it would have felt less inclusive and less conscious of their feelings. 

We were lucky enough that nobody in the family felt disappointment upon revealing that our new family member will be a boy, but we are aware that it happens. As parents, Abe and I had discussed how we would help our daughters if either of them were disappointed. 
We agreed to let them feel whatever they were feeling without judgement. 
We agreed to hold them or let them spend some time alone if that was what they wanted. 
We made certain to let both of them know that while our family would be growing, our love for them would remain constant and true; that the love within a family expands to include everyone when a family grows. Nobody gets left out. 

The other big question: Would we do it again? 

Probably. I doubt we'd do the exact same reveal again because we're a family that likes trying new things. I think if we were to plan another one, we would take the sealed envelope to a cute baby clothing store and pick out an outfit that would represent each gender. We'd take both outfits to the cashier and explain to the cashier that we would like them to look in the envelope, select the appropriate outfit, and wrap it up where we couldn't see after ringing up our purchase. We would then unwrap the outfit with our children at home. There's no wrong way to do it. Use your imagination (or Google other reveals) and just go for it. As with anything involving parenting, it's probably best to relax a bit and let things happen as they will. Gender Reveals are becoming more popular and I think we'll start seeing ready made kits in stores any day now. Military families and others who may have to share the news over large distances may find some peace in knowing that they have the option to share a reveal over Skype or another messenger without necessarily being any different from those families who are together during such times. The anticipation of holding that envelope is intense. It takes some willpower to see it through, but when you remind yourself that this is what you wanted and that you only get to find out once, things settle down and you may find yourself actually enjoying that odd burst of frantic wonder.

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