With each of my three children, I found out their sex at my 20 week scan. I remember getting some pretty strong reactions from people who thought this was ‘ruining the surprise’. My view at the time was and still is; it is still a surprise whether it takes place at 20 weeks or 40 weeks. It’s just a differently timed surprise. Even if you do find out as I did, you still have no idea what the baby will look like, how much hair they’ve got, how much they will weigh etc., which then does still leave a lot to be surprised about. Furthermore, I don’t really like surprises. That’s just me. To have been able to find out and to not have done so would have made the remaining 20 weeks of my pregnancy even more exhausting than they already were!!

I always had a reason for finding out. With my first, it was to find out so I could plan the nursery. Whilst I’m sure I could have done it in neutral colours, I just didn’t want to. With my second, my reason was so I could find out what I needed to keep from my first and what I could get rid of. In the end, it wasn’t very clever as I got rid of loads of stuff that I should have kept for my nieces, but I just needed the space. With my third, again I wanted to be able to organise the clothes I had or see if I needed a whole new lot.

For some mums-to-be, finding out is a way to be in control. When you are pregnant and feeling vulnerable, especially as a first time mum, you just don’t know what is coming. It is a good feeling to have one thing that you do know, especially something as significant as the baby’s sex. It is like going into a dark tunnel and seeing a small light at the end – there may still be a long way to go, but at least you know what you will find at the end of it.

On the other hand, a lot of my friends chose not to find out the sex of their baby. They were too excited by the prospect of being handed their baby and being told ‘It’s a boy!’ or ‘It’s a girl!’ Quite often, one of the two parents wanted to find out while the other one didn’t. In these cases, it was tough to decide whose vote should be counted, but I found that most didn’t learn the sex out of respect for their partner.

Whatever you decide to do, it is your choice. Don’t let other people dissuade you from finding out if that’s what you want to do. Equally, if you decide to wait until the big day, don’t let constant questions of ‘do you know what you’re having?’ wear you down. Whichever way, it will always be a great surprise – after all, you’ll have a wonderful bundle-o-joy at the end of it!

Which did you decide – to find out or to wait?