Everybody’s thinking changes when they know the sex of an unborn baby. It accumulates mostly as disadvantage for the mother. Remember, I won’t be talking about clear cut lines of distinctions but of natural, mushy, and morphing differences that occur in life as pressures shift among and between the different roles that people fill in family life.
Who’s the hero after a mom gives birth? Mom deserves it. But is she viewed as such if she presents no surprise? Having delivered the already expected girl or boy, she gets little more credit than for doing a big job. Her sparkling miracle becomes lost with the new person in the world. Why? Other people knew the sex too.
Husband, siblings, and others have already formed emotional connections to either boy or girl. Their involvement and commitment intensified as they pondered and dreamed for weeks before birth. They plan their future to include a boy or a girl. Eagerness to confirm and fulfill those connections draws their interest away from mom’s heroics. The newborn becomes center of attraction. Mom’s heroic efforts diminish in importance. Precisely when she deserves to feel the greatest, her primal need to feel important is diminished.
On the other hand, if sex is unknown, emotional connections of other people form and intensify after the birth. Excitement and appreciation center more on mom than the newborn. In effect, by not knowing the sex, mom elevates the appreciation, status, regard, and importance she receives in the world. Others afterward find the time and energy to absorb the newborn into their own lives.
The mother identifies an unborn baby as herself with all the natural blessings it provides. As long as she doesn’t know the baby’s sex, she serves two people in three roles. That is, husband, wife, and expectant mother. As pregnancy evolves, loyalty to the triumvirate solidifies. The three of them can conquer what’s coming, or so her female nature encourages her. After baby’s delivery, the child’s role is immediately added to family roles with much greater importance simply because it arises from the surprise of the baby’s sex. The family learns together to act and react to new challenges. Teamwork makes it less stressful.
If mother learns the sex, the three roles that she previously dealt with grow to five. With full responsibility to balance the interests of everyone, she spreads her energies to harmonize the interests of husband, father, wife, mother, and child (as if already born). Thus, her pregnancy responsibilities increase.
The added workload plants a bad seed for her marriage. It ferments in her female ego. ‘With a child to care for, husband can care for himself.’ The thought weakens marital relations, not from the reality but from her attitude. The seed more easily grows and erupts later in marriage if women know the sex of their unborn baby. On the other hand, if she doesn’t know the sex, the seed is less likely to plant itself.
Her Highness Kathy sees it this way: “…when parents don’t know [the sex], they dream all sorts of possibilities, and tend to imagine the baby ‘as a baby’ instead of as an older child.” Possibilities rather than plans make all the difference in keeping parental curiosity and imagination stirred up to optimize their future together plus One.
Immediate gratification prompts parents to learn the sex ASAP. Deferred gratification, however, lifts up the mom’s heroic efforts to what she so gloriously deserves.