Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Girl or Boy?

Today is Wednesday, July 10, 2013.  

There has been a lot of speculation about the sex of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's baby, which is due very soon, with all kinds of bets being made on the baby's name, regardless of the fact that royal babies, especially those in line for the throne of England, have at least five names, anyway. 

If you bet on a name that doesn't happen to be the first name, it may very likely be one of the middle names.  Most people seem to think that a girl will be called Alexandra and that a boy will have the name George.  If the baby does become the monarch of England, it could choose have another name by which to be called, anyway.  For example, Crown Prince Charles, if he ever does ascend the throne, may be called King George or some other name, because there is some negative history associated with previous kings named Charles.  In any event, the baby will have the title of Prince or Princess of Cambridge.

With ultrasound technology, modern parents have gotten used to knowing the baby's sex ahead of time, but recently, many young couples are choosing not to know, even if the mother has an ultrasound.  (By the way, an ultrasound is not always medically necessary, and it isn't always covered by insurance.) 

Some people make a big production of announcing the baby's sex.  The mother has an ultrasound, but asks the person who reads it to write down the sex of the baby without telling the parents, and to seal it in an envelope.  At a "sex-reveal baby shower," guests try to guess the sex of the baby before the envelope is opened.  At that time, the parents may choose to tell the guests what names they have chosen for the baby. 

Here are some reasons not to know the sex of the baby before the day of birth.  

1)  There is a lot of gender stereotyping in our modern society, and when parents announce the sex of the baby, they will get a lot of pink things if it's a girl, and blue things if it's a boy.  If the parents don't wish to do the color stereotyping thing, it may seem best not to tell others the sex of the baby, even if the parents know themselves.

2)  Some people respect the fact that the sex of a bay is one of life's last "great mysteries," and they feel that it's a shame to change that.  Besides, ultrasounds are not always 100% accurate, and there is an off chance that if it is wrong, there may be  some emotional upset or depression on the part of the parents.  

3)  Some parents have also said that it is more exciting to find out the sex of the baby from a loved one present at the birth than from a doctor in a clinical setting.  

Whatever the Cambridges are having, we won't know about it until the Queen does, and if Kate delivers at night, the Duke has said he will not wake up his grandmother to tell her the news. In addition to the traditional way of announcing the birth, by putting out a printed notice in front of Buckingham Palace, they will announce the birth using social media: Facebook and Twitter.  I "liked" an official page called The British Monarchy on Facebook, where they will be announcing the birth, but I doubt the Facebook page will be as quick to announce the birth to the public as the news media.  We'll see.

Meanwhile, the Duchess has made a visit to the hospital where the birth will take place to review plans, and the security teams for the royal family have made their final security sweep.  Can't be long, now. :-)

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