A Fourth Baby and a Gender Surprise

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Our family is growing at the end of the summer, with the anticipated arrival of our fourth baby. We are so excited to see how our family changes with the addition of this new little one! We currently have three daughters, and we found out during pregnancy that each one of them was a girl. I loved the thrill of learning during an ultrasound that the baby rolling around in my belly was a girl — a daughter! a sister! a third sister! — and felt like that knowledge helped me begin to get to know my babies before I would hold them in my arms. Previous miscarriages brought delayed excitement about pregnancy and anxious feelings as I waited for each anatomy scan to know our baby appeared to be thriving, so I felt a lot of relief with good reports and loved knowing a little more about the person being formed in my womb.

However, we’re doing things differently this time and not finding out this fourth baby’s gender until he or she graces us with his or her presence outside the womb! Here are a few reasons we decided to let this baby’s gender be a birth-day surprise.

As parents of three girls, we’re not “trying for a boy”.

My husband and I are already parents to three girls, and I absolutely love being a “girl mom”. When people find out we’re expecting a fourth baby, they automatically assume we’re continuing to have children in hopes of having a boy. That’s actually not true . . . my husband and I just wanted to add another child to our family. While it would be exciting to add a son to the mix, my husband and I will both be thrilled with either a girl or a boy. Declining the chance to find out the sex of this baby helps avoid comments from some people expressing pity for my husband or about all the weddings we’ll be paying for. Our choice to wait also indicates to those inquiring that our baby’s sex is not our motivation for having another child.

We want to leave no room for disappointment.

My husband is Chinese, and Chinese culture traditionally places a great deal of value on having a son. My husband would certainly like to raise a son and pass on his family name, but his joy in being a father does not hinge on this. He is such a great dad to his daughters, and he loves his little girls. However, he has family members who desperately want to see him have a son. I do not want to leave any room for disappointment in the months leading up to our baby’s birth, so I prefer to announce the sex of our baby upon his/her arrival, when there will surely be nothing but rejoicing.

I want to savor the pregnancy experience.

This is our fourth baby and life is already pretty full and busy, so pregnancy is different this time around. I don’t spend nearly the amount of time thinking about being pregnant that I did with my first, or even my second. I am expecting this to be our last biological child, so I want to savor the pregnancy experience. This pregnancy is going by so fast — I have to be intentional in stopping to think about what is happening inside me as this baby grows and develops. Keeping the gender a surprise heightens the anticipation of learning about this precious baby on his or her birthday and brings my mind back to the miracle and joy of carrying a baby when I tend to focus on my daily tasks of caring for children or look ahead toward life as a mom of four.

We will be happy either way!

In the end, our family has so much to look forward to, whether we add a baby sister or baby brother. The thought of four little girls brings such a smile to my face, and imagining a little boy tagging along with (and being mothered by) his older sisters is just precious. Either way, life will be full and sweet!

When we decided to wait on finding out our baby’s gender, I wasn’t sure I could hold out for the birth-day surprise. However, it has turned out to be easier than I thought! Once we made it through the anatomy scan, the temptation to know has passed and the anticipation of my husband’s delivery room announcement gives me one more reason to look forward to this little one’s arrival — and perhaps motivation to push as well!

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Betsy is a proud graduate of the University of Alabama--Roll Tide! After graduating from college, she spent 2+ years working with a Christian organization in Brazil. One of many lasting changes in Betsy’s life from this experience is the daily struggle to arrive anywhere on time! Betsy went on to pursue an MBA at Baylor University and worked for a few years afterward as a financial analyst. During this season, she met her husband, Jason, who is originally from China. They got married in 2011 and have since been blessed with four daughters, Karis {October 2013}, Constance {June 2015}, Merit {October 2017}, and Arden {August 2019}. Betsy enjoys staying home with her daughters. When not consumed with the demands of motherhood, Betsy likes cooking, reading, spending time with friends, and dreaming about traveling the world.

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