Thursday, 19 March 2009
Listen. Do you want to know a secret?
In my day, a long time ago, we didn't have ultrasound scans during pregnancy unless there was a very good reason. There was never any question of knowing in advance whether or not you were going to be having a boy or a girl. When I first heard of people being told before the birth, I felt it was a shame, somehow lessen excitement, but over the years I've become used to the idea. The surprise, the excitement, just comes a little earlier.
At the moment in our family, the next generation is busily trying to make sure the bloodline doesn't come to an abrupt halt. To my surprise, the revelation of the baby's sex is something of an issue. One couple knows they are expecting a boy, but the grandparents don't want to know. A second couple don't want to know themselves. Another set of new parents found out as soon a they possibly could, and the fourth were told that it wasn't the hospital policy to say.
If I were a young mother now, I think I'd want to know as soon as it was certain. I can't imagine why grandparents would want it to be a surprise if everyone else knew.
Sadly though, I can imagine and well understand why a hospital might have a policy of not telling, when you hear reports such as the BBC's entitled "Britain's unwanted girls". Nevertheless, I'm surprised. Is it usual for different hospitals to have different policies? I would have thought they would all have to toe the party line, but it seems not.