Dubai Diaries: The great gender reveal hype

Why we are keeping our baby's gender a secret!


Kirstin Bernabe

Published: Wed 2 Feb 2022, 10:12 AM

I never understood the hype around gender reveal parties — until my husband and I finally found out our baby’s sex and we decided not to tell a soul.

Since we finished our 20th-week scan, we have been hearing the big question from all corners. “Boy or girl?” asked everyone we know, from our mamas and papas to their colleagues and bosses, aunties, uncles and long-lost friends. And after dishing out our standard ‘Secret!’ reply, all sorts of statements would pop up.

Every guess comes with a version of an old wives’ tale. “Your belly is wide, not pointed, it must be a girl,” a friend said. “I don’t see any skin darkening, it’s a girl for sure,” another quipped. Some ‘explanations’ are too universal that they may apply to any pregnant woman: “You’re always hungry, I think it’s a boy.” Others go as far as saying: “I see you’re always wearing pink, it’s a girl, isn’t it?” (Mr Science left the group.)

We laugh at them all, but these ‘guesses’ have one thing in common: Excitement. Our friends and family have made us feel that they are as thrilled as we are to know more about this little bean, which is now about the size of a carrot. Perhaps, this was how gender reveals started. With all these funny things expecting couples hear, having an idea to maximise the fun and create gimmicks out of it is understandable.

I never really wanted to know our baby’s sex during the scans because I was thinking of waiting for the big surprise when the midwife announces ‘It’s a boy/girl!’ Besides, I want all baby things to be gender-neutral, from the name to the colours and prints across the nursery. Who cares if my little girl wears blue or my little boy wears pink?

Last time I checked it’s already 2022. Shouldn’t we stop assigning colours based on body parts? It’s just that my husband has been anxious about the prospect of having a baby girl (which is a conversation for another time). So, when our sonographer asked if we wanted to find out, we went for it.

A gender reveal had always been off the table for us, especially after recalling the lengths some people would go to make the grand announcement. Cutting a cake with a pink-or-blue filling is so 2008. Now, people are flying thousands of balloons, shooting fireworks, lighting up buildings (remember the Burj Khalifa gender reveal in 2020?), and more.

Such affairs come with costs, and we’re not willing to dig deep into our pockets just for a party. Even if there’s an option to throw a very simple one and even go virtual, the idea is too nerve-racking for an introvert like me. But now that everyone’s excited to know — and we’re not hearing the end of it — should we at least organise something? This whole dilemma began when we decided not to tell anyone. Perhaps the best thing to do is give the answer to the next person who will ask.

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