Family Life

Keeping the Baby’s Gender a Secret – Until the Big Announcement

posted: 05/20/11
by: Michelle Duggar


(Photo credit: Jamie Grill/Getty Images)

My son Josh and my daughter-in-law Anna were tossing around the idea of doing a home birth for their second child (my second grandchild!). And when they got on that subject our friends said, "Well, then, if you're not going to be using the same doctor that did the ultrasound before, you'd be welcome to come to our office; we'll give you a discount, and you guys can have the ultrasound done."

Anna came up with the idea that she wanted to honor me in letting me know the gender of the baby first. And so I didn't really have anything to do with that; it was just her idea. They really wanted to do it this way, and I thought, "Well, that's creative." I think they had talked to different friends that had had all these creative ways that they revealed the gender of their babies. I guess they've heard all these creative stories of how this one did it and that one did it, and they thought, "Oh, I like this idea. Let's do this."

So during the ultrasound Josh and Anna didn't look when they were around that area -- doing the screening with the ultrasound. And the technician then passed off the gender to me, and I got to know, for a few days, anyway, before everyone else found out -- the fun way they had planned to let everybody else in the family know. So it was kind of a unique way of doing it.

Keeping the Secret from Jim Bob

My husband Jim Bob started goofing around with me, because he's such a cutup. And sometimes he can really lay it on thick and get me laughing or cutting up or whatever. And I just told him up front: I said, "Don't even go there. Don't even try to get this out of me. Don't even think about prying this out of me, because I am not going to budge. Not one bit." And so he knew from the get-go I meant business; he wasn't going to get it out of me!

I was so honored. I thought, "Oh, Anna, I can't believe that you would let me know even before you knew." And that's just - I mean, that's sweet. I would've never even thought of such a thing.

The Circle of Life

I've seen many ultrasounds, of course -- my own -- but that whole realization: Seeing that little heart beat and those little arms and legs kicking and the little sucking on the thumb. It was just so precious. It just makes your heart just warm; all those warm fuzzies go all over again; just the whole process of life and what a miracle and what an amazing, incredible thing that's going on inside, just the growing and maturing of that baby. It's just precious. So it brings back all those wonderful, warm, fuzzy feelings that moms have, you know?

And the fact of it -- being a grandma -- it just is so incredibly amazing, because I think, "I get to enjoy all of this wonderful, exciting news and this, that, and the other, without all of the responsibility," which I guess is what most grandparents relish about this. I'm not experiencing the morning sickness, and yet I do sympathize and empathize with Anna, but at the same point, I'm getting to enjoy seeing all this and looking for all the cute clothes and picking out all the fun stuff that we find all the time and not having to experience all the other stuff that as a parent you have the responsibility for, and so it's fun. It's exciting, and it really is great being a grandparent.

[From the TLC Editors: What unique ways have you revealed the gender of your baby to friends and family? Check out the new season of 19 Kids and Counting starting on June 7, Mondays @10/9C.]

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