I always thought I wanted a surprise. There’s not many surprises in life and I thought this had to be one of the best. That was until I lost my first precious child without knowing if it was a girl or a boy. I was never able to grieve for a daughter, or a son; never able to picture him or her. I then decided that with the next one, I would find out the gender as soon as I could and give him or her a name.
Some people assume that we found out for the shopping, clothes or the gifts. But for me it was about bonding with and imagining her. After we found out I started to dream about her. And when she was born I discovered she looked exactly like the girl in my dreams.
Knowing helped me prepare to be a mother to a girl. It helped me feel my daughter had an identity and it made me even more excited to meet her.
Finding out felt significant and I didn’t want to do it in the doctor’s room. So I asked the sonographer to phone one of my close friends and tell her. I then invited a small group of friends and family around for dinner. My trusted friend bought a few helium balloons and hid them in a box. My husband and I opened the box and out flew pink balloons! She was only 20 weeks, but already a tiny person. This celebration was important to me – I felt it acknowledged her tiny little life, not who she would be, but who she already was.