Did you want to find out the sex of your baby?

Karen is surprised by the new process of revealing a baby’s gender — but it didn’t diminish her excitement when she got the results.

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Photos courtesy of Karen Robock.

I’ve now been for ultrasound number two (and three, actually, because I signed up to be part of a placental health study and the bonus for us was an additional 3D scan!) and I have some pretty great news: It’s a girl!

We are thrilled, to say the least. But, before I get into the details of how we shared this news with our family and friends I have to explain the nitty gritty of how we got the results.

After the scan we headed out to the waiting area again. We were both aflutter with anticipation and, after half an hour, my name was finally called. We approached the desk with what I’m sure were big grins on our faces. We were both so nervous and excited. All we wanted to hear from the technician’s lips was first that the baby was healthy and secondly whether we were entering the land of little pink or blue booties.

Instead, she slid a piece of paper across the desk at us with a simple, “Here you go.” We looked at her, then at each other, then at the paper and back at her again. We were utterly confused.

Thankfully she explained that Mount Sinai Hospital had adopted a new policy of strictly written communication of ultrasound results, which are given to the patient and also sent immediately to the practitioner. Apparently this comes in response to a study released last month by St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto which found that some ethnic groups in Ontario may be practicing sex-selective abortions. The ratio of boys to girls being born is significantly skewed in certain groups, leading researchers to suspect female infanticide following second trimester ultrasound results. I’d read about it in the news but had no idea my hospital was taking steps in response.

I understand their reasoning but I have to admit that my initial reaction was disappointment. The process just felt so cold. We wanted some face-to-face communication. Instead the medical form they gave us was so technical that it took us several minutes to even locate the line that said, “Sex: Female.” Thankfully the technician stood with us while we attempted to read through it and gave us a few reassuring nods as we said to each other, “I think this means everything is good?” “It says normal on most of these lines.” It all felt a bit unceremonious. And it makes me wonder if other hospitals in Toronto or elsewhere in the province or across the country have similar measures in place?

So, the info might have been delivered to us in an ultra-formal manner, but it couldn’t take the fun out of it. As we strode out of the hospital we were ready to tell anyone who would listen and didn’t waste any time calling our parents and texting our friends. For our social media peeps we decided to take some “It’s a girl!” pictures to announce the news. I tweeted the one with the pink ribbon around my belly and Barry posted the pic of our family’s feet (Ella our dog included, naturally), showing the pink soon-to-be-filled booties front and centre. It felt like a creative way to spread the news and made cute keepsakes for us, too.

Did you (or will you) find out the sex of your baby? How did you share the news? Tweet me at @KarenRobock.

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