Here’s the gist of our slightly unusual decision about finding out the gender of Potato. Initially, neither Brian or I wanted children. I did a slow, but thorough 180 starting almost two years ago. What clinched it was a conversation with my older sister after she got pregnant with Little E. She said, “I never really wanted kids. So I told God if he wanted me to have kids, He’d have to change my heart about it. And He did.” To read a FANTASTIC (recently nominated for honorable mention) essay in her own words about transition to motherhood, click here. I ended up praying a similar prayer and God has answered resoundingly.
Now I wanted kids, and Brian still wasn’t so sure. But after much discussion he agreed. (Turns out his dad also really didn’t want any kids initially, so it must be a Keefer male trait). My feelings have oscillated between “I am CRAZY! There is no way I want one of THOSE things following me around and spewing foul substances out of every oriface.” and “I’ve handled cleaning up floor and cabinet covering splatter diarrhea from a full grown Irish Wolfhound for three days straight coming off of night shifts picking up a wide variety of people covered in equally noxious…stuff. I can SO be a mom.” Brian has been pretty stoic and more focused on how to budget. (Side Note: I love his straightforward, logical, not easily excitable self! It allows me to bounce off the walls all I want without worrying about forgetting or messing up something important.) Having made the decision to be a dad, he has proceeded with Brian like planning, actively researching and voicing an opinion on everything baby.
Well I decided I didn’t want to know the gender of the baby until birth. It seemed like fun, I saw no reason to know ahead of time, we had a boy and a girl name picked out, we knew it wasn’t going to be twins, and I figured I’d stock up on some pretty cheap, generic onsies for those first few months anyway after hearing the catastrophic poop stories of my niece that ruined more than one outfit.
I think it was after the first OB appointment around 9 weeks, Brian and I were in the car and he said something like, “You know, it might be easier for me to prepare for the baby if I knew the gender beforehand.” A simple statement that meant a great deal. This was already one of the largest undertakings of his life, there were already a thousand unknowns of parenting he couldn’t plan for, knowing at least the gender would give him a way to mentally and emotionally prepare as much as he could for the soon to be life-changing addition to our family. By asking him to wait until the very last possible minute to know the gender, I was essentially asking him to put all his meticulous research and planning aside and fly by the seat of his pants like I tend to do for everything (planning for me is a HUGE stressor, for him it’s a coping method).
It was a pretty easy choice after that. He’d find out, I wouldn’t. He could tease me for the next several months and I could mock attempt to weasel the gender out of him. More importantly, he could take time to prepare himself to meet this new little person. I am LOVING not knowing. It’s great. I’m really liking this whole pregnancy thing (except when I feel bloated or slow running) and I have no issue with talking and poking and laughing at my little Potato completely unaware of its gender. It makes no difference if it’s a girl or a boy. I can’t wait to find out…at the end, but right now I’m enjoying the anticipation.
An unexpected side effect: I knew my siblings (on both sides) might be a little impatient to know the gender news and slightly miffed that Brian is the only one who knows, what I didn’t realize was how entertaining the bribes would get for Brian to spill the beans! In their defense, Brian might have taken more enjoyment than I anticipated in doing a little taunting, especially to my fiesty, impatient younger sister. Sorry Rachel… Potato loves you regardless!