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Pros and Cons of Learning the Sex of Your Baby


At my 20-week ultrasound, Haywood held up Sam so that he could see the shadowy baby waving and kicking. When the sonographer asked, "Do you want to know the sex?" I shook my head. "No thanks," I said. "We want it to be a surprise." Then Haywood left to let Sam run off some energy in the hallway and I asked, "Is it a boy or a girl?" The sonographer looked startled. "Are you sure you want to know?"

"Yes. Anything you know, I want to know."

It turns out that Haywood and I were both right. For him, the surprise was worth the wait. For me, when that sonographer said, "It's a boy!" the words sounded as magical as they had the first time I heard them: in a delivery room, four years before.

Contributing editor Margaret Renkl is the mother of three boys, ages 4, 6, and 11.