Gender reveals have become quite a cultural phenomenon in recent years, with everything from coloured buttercream, confetti cannons, sky-writing and balloon releases used to announce the news parents-to-be are dying to share. But are gender reveals here to stay, or a craze that’s on the way out?
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A few weeks ago, the blogger believed to have ‘invented’ gender reveal parties came forward after 11 years to say that she kind of regretted the whole thing.
Back in 2008 when she was pregnant with her first child, Jenna Myers Karvunidis’ gender reveal went viral following an interview published in The Bump magazine.
In her post, she says:
“A weird thing came up on Twitter, so I figured I’d share here. Someone remembered it was me who “invented” the gender reveal party. I had written about my party on my blog and a parenting forum in July 2008. It was picked up & and an interview with me was published in The Bump magazine and the idea kinda spread from there. I’ve got the article framed!
Anyway, I’ve felt a lot of mixed feelings about my random contribution to the culture. It just exploded into crazy after that. Literally – guns firing, forest fires, more emphasis on gender than has ever been necessary for a baby.
Who cares what gender the baby is? I did at the time because we didn’t live in 2019 and didn’t know what we know now – that assigning focus on gender at birth leaves out so much of their potential and talents that have nothing to do with what’s between their legs.”
The mum of three feels a lot of mixed emotions about contributing to the trend she once helped make popular. She ends her post with:
“PLOT TWIST, the world’s first gender-reveal party baby is a girl who wears suits!”
Karvunidis announced she doesn’t want to make other parents feel bad about hosting a party but she would rather if parents moved towards pregnancy announcement parties over gender reveals.
But like many, I can’t see that happening any time soon and just recently I held my own gender reveal for my fifth child and documented the biological sex of my upcoming birth online.
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My Gender Reveal Story
I never planned our reveal, it kind of just happened! My partner and I always knew we wanted to find out the sex of our baby, but our four other children wanted to know even more than us. So after our ‘big’ scan – known more appropriately as the anomaly scan around 20 weeks – and we were sure all was well with bump, we asked our sonographer if she could see the sex of our child.
She could and she was pretty certain too, so after some negotiation between ourselves, we asked for the sex to be written on a piece of paper which was then placed in an envelope until later that day.
When my partner toddled off to work after many attempts of trying to peek inside the sealed envelope, I had a balloon made in our local Mr. Price for about a fiver. I simply gave the envelope to the lady behind the counter (who was on her third reveal balloon of the day!) and within 10 minutes I left with a large black balloon filled with confetti that would reveal the baby’s gender.
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Later that evening we gathered all our children together and popped the balloon as a family – and, of course, as with any gender reveal involving kids there was some disappointment!
My little boy, our only boy, craves a baby brother and sobbed with the news of another girl! It absolutely broke our hearts, but in hindsight it gave us four whole months to prepare him for his sister’s arrival and, you know what, of all my children he is the one who is the most besotted with her. He eats, sleeps and breathes his little sister Kasey.
So I don’t regret our gender reveal, not even for a second.
I should also mention, I’m fully aware that the genitals my kids have been born with may be different from the gender they may identify with down the line. It’s all just a bit of fun, mostly for the kids, and a way to get the family together to celebrate a new chapter in our lives, so why the hell not?
Just this year alone I have attended four gender reveals, all low key affairs involving just close family and friends and each one was just as exciting as the next. Some involved balloon popping, another saw the couple whack a pinata to within an inch of its life (which was great craic altogether!), while the fourth had a custom cake made costing a pretty penny. Once the cake was cut it revealed three layers of delicious moist vanilla cake with the middle layer dyed in blue food colouring to reveal their baby’s gender.
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What About Disappointment?
While I have always been happy, whether it was at my reveal or at birth, gender disappointment is a real thing just like my son (and partner) experienced. It is more common than you might think, especially for parents-to-be. Many believe we should be happy, grateful and blessed no matter what the gender but there are many reasons and emotions involved – and that is completely okay.
Nine years ago I imagined myself at dance and ballet recitals and other things we tend to describe as ‘girly’, yet here I am at the side of a pitch cheering on my eldest girl in the proudest way you can possibly imagine. I get it – stereotypes can play a huge role, especially if you’re not a girly girl and can’t envision yourself playing football or other games which were once deemed only for boys.
Many believe they are tacky or insensitive, and others are just happy as long as their baby is healthy. I can’t see the current craze for gender reveals fizzling out for a while yet. I believe if a family want to share their baby’s sex before they have been born, why the hell not?!
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What do you think of gender reveals? Have you had one before? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!