Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Virtue of Surprise


I’m an information junkie.

I research like mad. I devour books the way some people do Hershey’s kisses. (Although, I am not opposed to devouring those, as well.) Before I embark on something—a project, a vacation—I like to be knowledgeable about it. Sometimes neurotically so. And, when I don’t have information, I usually feel panicked.

Example: I make my dentist talk me though everything she is doing if she needs to fill a cavity, because if I just hear random noises, I will inevitably FREAK OUT!

So, I surprised even myself when I decided not to find out the gender of this baby.

My husband and I found out the sex of our first two children at their 20-week ultrasounds. First a girl, then a boy. The American dream. Well, we thought, now we we’ve got one of each, why not be surprised? 20 weeks rolled around, and we told the ultrasound technician to keep the gender to herself.

And we wondered…

How was not knowing going to change things this time around?

Well, today I am officially full term, and I can tell you in one word: PATIENCE.

That tricky virtue that continually seems to elude me. I think it’s because I’m, at my core, such a control freak. (See above comments regarding my need for information.)

This pregnancy, I let go of the wheel. I opted out of a huge piece of information. I chose to be surprised. And somehow, that one decision has been working its way into the crannies and crevices of the rest of my pregnancy.

I am not in anyway advocating that all expectant parents take the route we took this time around. There’s nothing wrong with finding out the gender of your prenatal baby, and there’s no guarantee that not finding out will result in any increase of virtue. But in my case, it was an important step toward letting go and letting God.”

I am learning…slowly…to be a vessel.

I am learning…slowly…to wait upon the Lord.

Silly of me, really, to be so slow on the uptake. After all, He’s always been in control.


  1. Like you I like inforamtion, I like feeling like I have some kind of control. But I'm learning to let go too. We found out gender for both of our boys but when we went for the 20 week u/s for this baby the tech couldn't get a good shot to tell gender. The Lord in His infinate wisdom is teaching me patience. It's a good feeling :)

    Plus, I haven't been able to shop for this little one so I'm saving a bunch of money ;-)

  2. We were surprised this time around, too! We had a little boy and our little girl is now one month old. It's funny, but I knew it was going to be a girl. I was surprisingly outspoken about it, given that I was completely wrong about our little boy. But I definitely think it was much more fun for everyone to be surprised. More like waiting for Christmas morning to open your presents. God bless you in the last weeks (days?) of pregnancy!

  3. I did the opposite and chose not to find out with my previous pregnancies. With my firstborn I didn't even have an ultrasound, as there did not appear to be any medical reason for it. With my second we had to have one ultrasound because of the previous c-section birth, just to make sure there was no risk of the placenta being too close to the scar tissue. If we are blessed again with another baby I'm actually thinking of finding out at that one ultrasound. We already have 2 boys, so we have everything we could ever need for a boy, but if we are blessed with a girl then it would be nice to have some clothes ready in advance. That said because we never found out before we have lots of gender neutral clothes for a new born, and all our baby "things" are gender neutral too.

    Not finding out does help curb the temptation to purchase clothes etc, and I found it a great motivator during labor, that I would finally find out if I had a son or a daughter.

    Will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers as you prepare for the arrival of the precious blessing.

  4. I never thought of it that way: "the virtue of surprise." And patience definitely is the virtue needed when we are surprised. This gives me lots to ponder in my own life, thank you!

  5. I did not find out with my first pregnancy, and the miscarried at nineteen weeks. The knowledge that I will never know (until heaven) whether my child was a boy or girl still haunts me. We chose to name the baby Jonathan anyway because we didn't want to refer to him forever as "it".

    When I had my next pregnancy, a son, we did find out at 14 weeks because I wanted to know everything I could about him in case I miscarried again. Then I had a second miscarriage at 6 weeks and was obviously unable to know the gender. That one is simply known as baby 3 for the time being since it just happened this past month.

    I knew instantly in each pregnancy that I was pregnant, and between two miscarriages and a Preemie baby, I know I will always take the opportunity to know the gender in any future pregnancies because it brings me peace. I can understand patience, but I've already learned lots of it with each difficult pregnancy.

    I think it's wonderful you have chosen to wait but I don't think it is best for my emotional health to do the same! :-)


Hello! I'm so glad that you have come here to share your heart and thoughts. One quick word from me before you comment:

I ask all visitors to respect this as a place of peace. Disagreements are welcome, but please refrain from posting any ungracious comments. Thank you, and God bless.