Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

to not want to tell people the sex of my baby?

(208 Posts)
CheerfulYank Wed 16-Jan-13 22:46:13

I'm due in May. DH and I know the sex but would like to keep it to ourselves. (I want to have the big "it's a boy/it's a girl" moment in the hospital. blush)

My mother keeps asking me about it, sending me emails of things that are stereotypical "boy" or "girl" things and asking if she should buy them.

She has a friend who does exquisite linens for nurseries and has offered to make some for me. My mom said on the phone "I haven't even messaged her about anything recently because she'll want to know about the bedding and I don't know what color to tell her!" I said "can't you tell her in May? The baby will sleep in with us for awhile anyway so I'm not concerned about the nursery." Apparently not, though. hmm

My brother, whom I have a difficult relationship with anyway, hates secrets or surprises of any kind. He sent me a few Facebook message saying "I don't get it" and "is this some "thing" people do now?" This is his way...he tries to make me feel stupid until I agree with him or do what he wants.

Even my best friends are talking about how they'll "get it out of me" and the general consensus seems to be that I'm being selfish. sad

AIBU not to tell? I just want to keep it between us and the few random mumsnetters I've told for awhile. Plus our pfb has been an only for almost six years and we are trying to include him as much as possible, so we were thinking he could make the announcement.

janey68 Mon 21-Jan-13 07:33:24

In fairness I think where she has been given a bit of a hard time, it's only because people agree with you- that there is a tendency to live far too much of ones personal life in the public domain, and that most people who dont want to broadcast their baby's sex before birth either choose to have the surprise at the birth, or work jolly hard with their partner to avoid letting the cat out of the bag. I would imagine it must be quite tricky to not inadvertently slip up with he or she in conversations, so presumably couples discuss this sort of thing. (we never found out the sex of ours partly because I wouldn't want the stress of trying not to let slip!)

There have only been a handful of harsh comments and in fact many more saying what a nice person CY is. It's just a bit of an impasse she's got herself into

Diddydollydo Mon 21-Jan-13 07:10:28

I don't see why its odd not to tell. Doesn't matter if you know or not it's up to you if you tell people. We seem to live in a time where it is seen as weird to keep anything to yourself, every little thing needs to be shared, broadcast etc. If you want to have that information to yourselves then keep it its really not up to anyone else. I've seen the OP post on here a few times before and have always thought how nice she seems, I think she's had an unnecessarily hard time on this thread. Very unkind.

DizzyZebra Mon 21-Jan-13 06:05:30

Oh god, the woman in that article is from st helens too. I don't live far from there in a nicer place though

CheerfulYank Mon 21-Jan-13 00:02:32

Definitely not enjoying it, it's making me feel awful tbh. I really didn't think it was a big deal, but apparently it's going to be. Off to have a think about it.

Thanks for all the replies. smile

janey68 Sun 20-Jan-13 08:52:35

If CYs mother is really that bad, I think at this point I would tell her the wrong gender, let her get her ridiculous ranting out of the way, because clearly shes going to have a whinge which whatever CY says she's having, and then either leave it at that until the baby's born, or announce that, gosh, you're obviiously not happy with the idea of a boy/ girl... Good job I'm having a .... (insert opposite sex)

And i categorically would not be asking her to help out with childcare as CY said she did last time. Don't mention the subject, then if she asks, say you've sorted your own arrangements. I honestly think if a parent is that awful, for your own sanity you need to keep some distance. If you call on them for favours it will just be used as a stick to beat you with.

I get the feeling this isn't so much a thread about wanting to keep the gender secret so much as a thread about CYs problems with her mother. That seems to be where the difficulties arise, not from random friends who as we've all agreed really won't care whether she has a girl or boy

Thumbwitch Sun 20-Jan-13 02:53:13

iyatoda - I think you are wrong that CY is enjoying the pestering. I also think that she has explained why she wants this baby to be somehow "special" because her mother has already indicated that she feels the baby to be "unnecessary" somehow. It's not like she's attention seeking from everyone, she just has been caught out by her mother.
She hasn't told the world she knows the sex of her unborn baby but isn't going to tell anyone (well apart from the MN world, that is! grin) - there's no "ner ner ne-ner ner" aspect to it, she tried to pretend to her mother that they didn't find out but her mother caught her out.

As for putting her mother out of her misery, fuck that. If, as CY has said, it would involve CY being under pressure for the next half of her pg and having the misery visited on her instead, then her mother can suffer.

SpecialAgentKat Sun 20-Jan-13 00:57:08

Again, totally agree iyatoda.

greenbananas Sat 19-Jan-13 16:59:19

Cheerfulyank I haven't waded through this whole thread, just coming on to say I think YANBU.

My friend who has a baby due today has known for 20 weeks what the sex is but hasn't told anyone except her husband and her 4 year old son. To be honest, it never even occured to me that she might be being unreasonable, and I have respected her feelings by being careful not to ask (even though I can't wait to find out). I know she is not being snotty with me or with anyone else by keeping this a secret. She has had difficult pregnancies in the past, and just wants to keep the sex to herself until she actually meets the baby.

My friend comes from a culture where everone thinks it is their right to know everybody else's business. She is also a very honest woman, and can't lie when people ask her if she knows what the sex is, so she admits that she knows but then says she would rather not tell anybody just yet. I know she has had a rotten time with some of her other friends pushing her for information sad and that this has upset her. I'm so sorry you are having negative comments from some people on this thread.

Congratualtions on your pregnancy smile

iyatoda Sat 19-Jan-13 16:35:49

"I guess to some degree <going to come off as a complete nutter blush> I feel bad that this baby isn't perceived as being as "special" as DS was...my parents had no other grandchildren, PIL only had one, no one in my close circle of friends had children...and now of course all that has changed."

Ok Cheerful I lifted this from one of your post which was what gave me the impression of wanting to feel special about baby no 2.

I get the feeling that you are kind off enjoying the pestering. Which is the whole idea isn't it? You will only bait a fish if you know it will bite? So I do not see a problem at all just enjoy your pregnancy and secret.

greenpostit Sat 19-Jan-13 16:21:23

I think I'd be a bit perplexed if I was a member of your family. I found out the sex of both mine and it never occurred to me to keep it a secret, not that I broadcast it, just told our parents and siblings.

I don't really understand why you would keep a secret. I know your mum is overbearing but it does seem to be tormenting her and I would tell her the sex and then firmly tell her that you are not decorating fir a year as you will have the baby in with you.

It seems like keeping a secret just for the sake of it and it would feel odd to me if it was "revealed" to me when it had been known for months if I was the baby's grandma and had been keen to know. There is plenty of excitement when a baby is born anyway, people like to know the weight etc. or will that be a secret to be revealed at a later date?!

LadyBeagleEyes Sat 19-Jan-13 16:03:59

But Cheerful has give the role off telling everybody to her son.
I think that's a lovely idea and will make him so proud, and part of the 'secret'.

SuzysZoo Sat 19-Jan-13 15:42:20

I posted in haste and I don't mean you or your family don't care what sex your baby is - they obviously do. My only experience of something like this was a work acquaintance who was pregnant. She found out the sex and then proceeded to tell everyone she knew but she wasn't going to tell any of us. I couldn't get that at all. I mean, by all means find out and keep it to yourself. However, what she did was just unnecessarily control - freaky.... it was like she needed us to know she had a secret she wasn't telling us - reminded me of being 7 again and I judged her forever after as being a petty control freak....
What she should have done, IMHO, is just say she didn't know when asked (instead of saying she did know but wouldn't tell us). That was who I was thinking about when I said people don't really care about what you have (boy/girl). That said, I wouldn't keep such a secret from my close family either, if it was me, as it might hurt their feelings and make them think they couldn't be part of my "secret"...

janey68 Sat 19-Jan-13 11:27:19

I know you're a nice person cheerfulyank as youre a long time poster, and I don't think anyone is accusing you personally of being narcissistic or attention seeking.

I think people are just a bit bemused, because once you have gone public with the news that you have chosen to find out the gender, it just seems a little odd to then keep it secret and want to turn it into some sort of 'surprise' for others. I am still a little bewildered about how anyone lets on that they know the gender without meaning to (!) because I think if you see it as something personal for you and your dh only then surely you have these sort of discussions beforehand, and work out how you're going to field any questions and also talk about the baby with others without you or dh slipping up and revealing the gender. I'm sure there just be friends of ours who have known the sex of their baby but have never let on that they know and that's fine- its not a problem, they just act as if they haven't asked, or don't know.

Anyway, given that you wanted to keep the whole thing secret but inadvertently did let on that you know, I think all you can do is very firmly say that you aren't going to reveal the gender until after the birth. I think where it becomes a bit blurred is when you use the fact that part of the reason you don't want to share the info now is that you want a big gender announcement by your son from the hospital. And that's where I think the issue is- its NOT a big surprise announcement because the surprise is yours and your dh's, and everyone knows you already know.
I'm sure all your friends will be thrilled to bits for you about your BABY - not whether it's girl or boy.

I guess what I'm saying (in a long winded way!) is that parents who genuinely want a surprise announcement at the birth choose to not find out the sex pre-birth, so the surprise really comes at that point. It seems a bit like trying to manufacture a surprise otherwise.

Anyway, the really important thing is having a healthy baby and I'm sure everyone on MN is wishing you all the best for when s/he arrives

Glitterspy Sat 19-Jan-13 11:22:28

I'm 36 weeks and DH and I have known the gender since 20 weeks. We've told EVERYONE else that we don't know and don't want to find out. We wanted to keep it between us, feeling that if e.g MIL knew it was a girl she'd be tempted to "gender code" which we don't agree with (rather than having the 'big reveal' moment as the focus). You just shouldn't have let on that you knew!

Casserole Sat 19-Jan-13 11:08:09

I found out with my both my pregnancies because I was hideously ill with hyperemesis with both and I needed something to help me think of the baby as a baby rather than just "this thing that is making me ill".

I didn't go public in either case because it wasn't anyone else's business! I'd already had to go public way before 12 weeks due to being hospitalised for the HG so we hadn't had that period where it was our little secret. Being able to know the gender and keep it to ourselves helped me feel slightly less like every part of my life and health was suddenly public property.

Just as well in the first instance, when DD1 was born and turned out to be DS1! Scans don't always get it right.

OP it is your pregnancy, your baby, your body. You are not public property and you are certainly not your mother's property. Keep it to yourself and sod anyone who doesn't like it I say.

But I would like a cupcake please. I don't mind what colour the filling is :D

EuroShagmore Sat 19-Jan-13 09:49:37

I don't get why parents would find out themselves but not tell others. One of my friends did this and I found it bizarre. The gender is of most importance to the parents themselves. I can understand them either wanting to find out as soon as possible or wanting a birth surprise, but I find it rather odd to find out themselves and then keep the gender from other people.

janey68 Sat 19-Jan-13 08:43:05

Those saying they can't possibly understand why some of us sound like we don't care, and that a baby IS a big deal.... Well, quite. The BABY is a big deal, not whether its gender. I am thrilled for friends and acquaintances when they have a baby, but the happiness is for the parents having a new child, not whether it's a girl or boy

DizzyZebra Sat 19-Jan-13 04:05:22

Omfg at the gender reveal parties. I had heard of them but not that much detail.

I would be too ashamed to attend such a tacky, narcissistic, vomit inducing event.

I thought I was self obsessed before this.

SpecialAgentKat Sat 19-Jan-13 03:45:05

Iyatoda beat me to what I was going to say.

So to summarise, YABU.

And I really wish I hadn't clicked on that gender reveal link. Nauseating. I'd be ashamed if my friend did that! Shudder so tacky

DizzyZebra Sat 19-Jan-13 03:36:42

I generally don't care about babies sex or when people find out. To me, its the same announcement whether done at 20 weeks or at birth.

But, id get bored pretty quickly of someone making a big deal and doing the 'we know but we aren't saying'. I find it arrogant and a little weird.

I told everyone I was going to lay an egg and hatch kittens. I don't totally get wanting the 'it's a...' moment and then finding out anyway, but meh, if you don't want to say, whatever.
Your mum sounds like a loon, anyway!

CheerfulYank Sat 19-Jan-13 02:14:48

I mean, people don't really care what you have, so why not tell them? I don't really get that Suzy...if they don't care, why should I tell them? confused

Iyatoda actually I do realize now that I'm being a bit U. It's not going to make me tell people, but it's going to make me more understanding of their reaction. So that's good. smile It doesn't make me feel "special" or not special.

Lovethesea Fri 18-Jan-13 19:58:27

Congrats! Do whatever helps you manage your DM over the next months; she's a source of severe stress and matricidal thoughts by the sound of it.

I would start musing that Alexander is also shortened to Xander, Sandy, Sasha, Alex, Alec ... and then there is Alexandra, Alexa, Alexi, Lexi, Sacha ....

I get it. You thought the least bother would be to know but keep quiet. Your DM won't let anything lie so she's stirred up a heap of trouble. Letting your DS announce is great whenever he does it.

And then spend your time thinking up cunning put downs for all her PFB comments before that poor bairn spends all its life compared unfavourably to the golden child. That's when the boundaries and consequences really need to fall on her like a ton of bricks before she does real damage to your growing family.

Kaida Fri 18-Jan-13 18:50:41

Got to agree Dreaming, a baby is a big deal in mine and DH's families and amongst our friends. Of course we'll care!

iyatoda Fri 18-Jan-13 16:43:05

It reads to me like you do not think that YABU so not sure why you posted.

I think it all depends on the nature of your friends and family and how willing they are to play along with you. My family and friends would just roll their eyes and just not bother until the baby comes and I'll just end up feeling childish and silly.

However, I have known work colleagues do this and their family and friends have just played along with them making them feel very special indeed.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now