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The Perks of Keeping Baby's Gender Secret

Keep secrets about sex? You know I'm guilty. (And not guilty about it.) It makes some giggle. It makes some angry (although I don't know why). Secrets are fun. Secrets keep your head screwed on straight when your head does not feel like it's on straight.

Back when I was merely an expectant mommy, I kept the sex of my babies secret—both times. My family didn't know, my husband didn't know and I didn't know if my bump was harboring a boy or a girl. (For the record I had two girls, back to back.)

Not finding out the gender helped me through pregnancy and birth in unexpected ways...

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1. Registering was easier

No pinks. No blues. Whites, creams and light yellows were my colors for any and all products and purchases. Boring? Nah. (But I'm a big believer in crafting your colors around neutral shades. My home is made of creams, tans, whites and grays .... ah, peace.) The best part? I knew that (most) everything I got the first time around would be suitable for potential future babies, even if those potential future babies turned out to be the opposite sex as my first born. Because everything goes with white.

I was pregnant. With a baby. That was all I needed to know.

2. Suspense kept folks interested

You know the drill: Everyone's always interested for your first pregnancy. But the second pregnancy? Not so much. Been there, done that. Maintaining mystery about my baby's gender kept friends and family (selfishly) attentive to me and genuinely excited about my second baby ... almost as much as they were about the first! Let 'em sweat it out! Mwha-ha-ha! Give 'em the old razzle dazzle...

3. A genderless baby grounded my priorities

Instead of wasting time and money searching, shopping and purchasing all-things-pink or everything-red-and-blue prior to the birth, I actually focused more on what the baby would need. I was more prepared with practical and functional items (and actually received those items at my baby shower), and it made my postpartum life organized. When no one knows the gender of your baby, you suddenly get usable gifts like diapers, bottles and onesies rather than 35-oh-so-adorable-we-just-couldn't-resist-hot-pink-tutus.

4. I lived in the moment

I knew myself well enough at the time to know that, if I found out the sex of my baby, I'd project all sorts of hopes and expectations on my soon-to-be person before they were even born. I didn't want to think about the girl-stuff vs. boy-stuff stuff. Pink room, blue room. Dance lessons, baseball practice. (Some would say I'm acting very sexist right now by even dividing these girl- boy-concepts up along gender lines ... but I'm hoping you get where I'm going with this?) I was pregnant. With a baby. That was all I needed to know. The parenting direction and choices would come later. After that baby—boy or girl—was born.

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5. It got me through the fear of delivery

I was petrified of delivery. Beyond petrified. The thought of the process —no matter how that baby ends up entering the world—scared me more than I like to admit. I know, we all just want healthy babies, and I did too. But the build up to the big reveal served to quell my fears about giving birth in a most unexpected and fabulous way.

Did you skip finding out the sex of your baby?

Image via Twenty20/Evan Kubena

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