The second trimester is the time to decide if you want to know the sex of the baby or not. I always thought I didn’t want to know, because there are few surprises like that in life and I figured that should be one of them. Once pregnant I crumbled under the idea of being able to focus on what names to think of, how to plan the nursery, etc. etc. It just makes it simpler, so that’s what decided things for us. Plus it was nice to call the baby “her” instead of “it” or a generic “he” that people might mistake for a definitive pronoun.

When it comes to names, we’d always had at least one in mind for a girl, but we’ve never been able to really agree on a boy’s name. So we vowed not to discuss it (*cough* argue *cough*) until we found out if it was even necessary. Thankfully we didn’t have to go there.

At 20 weeks, the doctor will do a sonogram, but this one will be a long one. They’ll do a full anatomy scan to measure the brain, look at the face, look at the limbs, and make sure everything is developing as it should be. At that time, they’ll see (provided the baby cooperates since they can get pretty squirmy, especially when nudged and pestered during a sono) whether it’s a boy or girl, but it’s up to you whether or not they tell you.


When they do the sonogram, and they’re checking everything, they’ll obviously eventually come to the legs. Sometimes babies cooperate and give you a great view, and others you have to look pretty closely or even try to prod them to move, or come back and hope they’ve moved. Our little one gave a pretty good view.

For a boy, you’re looking for an extremity that is a tiny penis. For a girl, you can tell either by the lack of said extremity, or by the presence of three little lines that make up the labia. We could actually see the three little lines pretty clearly.


If you don’t know the sex, I suppose you aim for neutral colors, which can mean different things to different people. I look at the main pastel colors: pink, purple, green, blue, and yellow. To me personally, the only one that’s neutral of that bunch is yellow, and I didn’t want a sea of yellow. Then again that backfired, because while I have a few blues, greens, and yellows, I wound up with a sea of pink and purple! Either way, you’ll probably end up with a TON of one or two colors no matter what.

Regardless, now you can start working on registries. I had two, on Amazon and Babies R Us. I aimed for neutral furniture so it could be kept and used for the next one if we had another kid and it was a boy. White crib, black stroller and car seat, beige swing…I think the only one that was particularly girly is the little bath we got. So even though we found out, we still went largely neutral. Where it gets very girly is clothes. That’s where all the pink and purple came up. Well, plus I have a little pink keepsake box and baby book. The registries drove me crazy overall. I couldn’t make up my mind while at the same time wanting to buy it all, which I couldn’t do because there was a shower being planned.

When I first worked on building up the registries, I went for the big stuff (crib, stroller, etc.) first, which as I said, was actually pretty neutral. So in case the few items I had on the lists that were pink weren’t a big enough clue, I did put a note in the registry profile that we were having a girl. However, we did tell family prior to that.

Within the week of finding out, Greg made the calls to his family to let them know, while I made arrangements for my family to get together so we could drive up and tell them all together (again, we’re a bit of a dramatic bunch). So Greg and I tried to come up with a cute way to tell them all when we arrived. We decided since everyone knew what we were coming up to tell them this time that it would make sense to both wear pink shirts.

That sounds obvious right? We thought so too…until we showed up. We went to visit my grandmother first since she can’t leave the nursing facility and caught my mom there too. My grandmother was out of the room for the moment and we wouldn’t tell my mom until she got back. So while we were waiting, my mom looks at me and goes “I think it’s a boy.”

Seriously? I looked at my hubby in his pink shirt as he looks at me in mine, and I look back to my mother and ask her why. She said it was the way I was carrying. Keep in mind, I’m only 5 months pregnant at that point, so while I’m showing, it’s still the lower abdomen that’s showing the most. Of course it’s going to look like I’m carrying low. The only “old wives tale” that I’ve ever put any stock in was the way a woman carried when she was pregnant, but Greg believed they were all full of it. Either way, people have a 50/50 chance of being right anyway. So he felt vindication at this statement.

I left that alone and broke the news when my grandmother rolled back into the room and got settled. They were happy, especially because it meant that I could use the old clothes that my grandmother had made for me when I was a baby that my mother saved.

After that, we moved on to my aunt’s house around the corner where everyone else was to meet up so we could tell everyone at once. Well not everyone was there when we showed up so we figured the surprise would be staggered. When we walked in, no one said anything about our shirts. We ended up having to tell everyone, pretty much putting a little “duh” in it by saying “do you see a theme here?” as we stood side by side. We just couldn’t believe it managed to go over everybody’s heads.

Anyway, that’s my silly story of how we tried to tell people in a cutesy way, but ultimately, maybe it’s just simpler to lay the news out there casually. If you don’t find out at all, people might give you lip because they don’t know what to shop for (or make). The bottom line is that while it’s exciting, it doesn’t quite compare to sharing the news that you’re pregnant to begin with. So it’s ultimately your choice and will mean the most to you and your partner whether or not you find out.


  1. When my daughter got pregnant last year she wanted to know so we'd all know what clothes to start getting. She had a boy and the boy stuff started coming in the mail way before she had him because most of the family is out of state. It was and still is shopping for baby boy stuff since I only had one kid which was a girl obviously. lol

    Congratulations by the way. :)


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