Trend alert: Gender reveal tests
Previously on Maggie & Rose Life we shared the carnage borne out of one particularly irreponsible gender reveal party. Social media is bursting at the seams with plainly iced cakes hiding an explosion of baby pink or blue sponge cakes, as well as balloons masking squillions of pieces of similarly co-ordinated coloured shreds of paper. This is not a trend any of us asked for, and, even the inventor is now begging for restraint. But, it's not just the raging wildfires causing grief, there's also the 'what if the test result is wrong' scenario.
The gender reveal party pooper...
Although she didn't actually go so far as to have a gender reveal party, Natalie, a theatre director and mother of one, did find out the gender of her unborn child, and then the unexpected happened...
"To cut a long story short - we had a Harmony test when I was 12 weeks pregnant, like lots of parents-to-be these days, and were told (99.99%) we were having a boy... then on my 20 week scan I was ill so they rushed it and never checked gender
...then the baby was born and we never looked... so for the first half hour of her life, we thought Daisy was “Oliver” our son...
I can sort of laugh ( ish! ) about it all now, but it was actually massively traumatic at the time... not because we wanted a boy especially ( we both wanted a girl anyway initially ) but obviously we’d spent the entire pregnancy talking to “Oliver” and imagining life with a son... and it has also left me with an ongoing disbelief of the accuracy of testing.
It was kind of like a weird bereavement because we didn’t get the baby we were expecting... but then also had no right to be sad because we had a wonderful, healthy baby girl.
We of course wanted a girl but I have often wondered how it would’ve been if we had been desperate for a boy?"
It's a.... human baby!
Pregnancy is an amazing period of time in our lives, it's so much about our hopes and expectations for the future. So can't we just celebrate the miracle of conception a little longer and maybe lay off the pink or blue, and the whole what-comes-next-ness of... expecting.
Let's daydream a little longer about the kind of person that little bundle of cells will grow up to be. And worry less about what label to put on them, before they even get a second to catch their breath.
“The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are. Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves, if we didn't have the weight of gender expectations".
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Finally, if you are still tempted to find out, just so you and your partner ( and extended family and friends.. ) can cut down the tense brain fizzing, face-palm of name choosing, why not consider a thoroughly modern gender neutral name for your nearly born?