I can't even remember why we walked into our 20-week ultrasound with baby #5 having decided that we didn't want to know the gender.
With child number 1, 2, 3, and 4 Phillip and I never even thought to ask each other, "Do you want to find out whether it's a boy or a girl?" That was just what you did at 20 weeks.
But for whatever reason, we told the ultrasound tech not to tell us with #5, and I'm really glad we did.
Because that particular pregnancy was the one where I learned by experience that sometimes things go NOTHING like you'd planned.
For starters, they told me I had a complete placenta previa, which made the natural delivery I'd wanted impossible (if we both wanted to live, that is.) My only option was to schedule a C-section, which is one of the last things I'd ever wanted.
And then, at 34 weeks a big bleeding episode landed me in the hospital on bed rest for the next 3 weeks. Also not what I'd planned.
In the beginning, we'd just off-handedly thought, "Hey, wouldn't it be fun not to find out the sex of the baby this time?" but after a series of bad surprises, the way I looked at it changed.
I'd quickly learned that I was in control of approximately nothing when it came to this pregnancy, but the one thing I could control was that I didn't know, and as long as I didn't know, that meant there was one good surprise waiting for me at the end of all of this.
Every day, there were 6 billion nurses (give or take) who want to come in and stick me with needles and put monitors on my belly, and I would warn each of them immediately not to tell me the sex of the baby. I don't know if they put that kind of stuff on your chart or not, but better not to take chances.
I'd started to look forward to the baby's birthday like Christmas morning, and by that point I would've been seriously mad if anyone had let slip what my present was before I opened it.
Three weeks, a second bleeding episode, and one scary emergency C-section later, Christmas morning finally came.
I asked the doctor not to announce "It's a boy/girl!" when she took the baby out, but have the nurses simply give him/her to us and let us find out.
And let me tell you, it was awesome.
The C-section itself is still a pretty dark cloud in my memory, but the brightest ray was when the nurse took the baby from the doctor and flashed us (literally) with our tiny, perfect son.
I loved the feeling of not knowing during the pregnancy (and to be honest, I loved a little bit driving everybody else crazy because they all wanted to know, too) and I loved waiting for the big reveal at the end.
So it was automatic for me, now that I'm pregnant with #6, to say, "I absolutely don't want to know the sex of the baby before it's born."
This time around, I hope there won't be any (or at least, not so many) bad surprises. But even if there are, I know I can count on there being at least one very good one.
**Update: for the natural hospital VBAC story of Baby Evans #6, click here.