March 18, 2014 at 10:21 AM ET
Like many expectant moms, TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie barely finished announcing the happy news to the world when she was bombarded with the question she’ll have to answer, oh, about a few thousand times or so in the next few months.
Is it a boy or a girl?
“I don’t know. The doctor knows,” Guthrie said on Tuesday, adding she still wasn't sure whether she'd want to be told at some point before giving birth. “We’ll take anything.”
Modern technology can easily solve the mystery that once took nine months to answer, but many people still choose not to find out. Some say not knowing makes the pregnancy and birth more fun. Even Prince William and Duchess Kate decided to wait.
In a TODAY.com survey, 59 percent of respondents said they’d want to know the sex of the baby, while 41 percent said they wanted to be surprised.
TODAY’s Jenna Bush Hager and her husband were among parents who chose to wait, though some members of the family couldn’t stand the suspense. The couple allowed Jenna's mom, former First Lady Laura Bush, to find out the sex of the baby as long as she kept the news to herself.
“We were so certain it was a boy we even painted the nursery blue,” Jenna said. “When our daughter Mila was born 11 months ago, the moment was made even more special because we were so surprised by our beautiful baby girl.”
When you’re pregnant, people have opinions on everything and will look for clues to guess the boy or girl question, Jenna noted. For some moms, the answer is an essential part of the pregnancy: One woman said she felt like she could connect better to the baby if she knew the gender, and could more easily imagine who her baby would be.
But experts said whatever route you want to take during your pregnancy — whether you’re dying to know or happy to wait — is the correct one for you.
“There’s no psychological basis for wanting to know,” Dr. Jennifer Hartstein, a child and family psychologist. “Everybody gets to choose and we all need to respect what that choice is for each person.”
How did the TODAY anchors handle the decision?
Matt Lauer said he and his wife vowed to wait all three times, but ended up finding out each time. “We caved,” he admitted.
Natalie Morales didn’t find out with her first baby, but decided to find out with her second.
Carson Daly didn’t want to know with his son, but said his fiancée — who did find out — was sleep talking one night and unwittingly broke the news seven months into her pregnancy.
Al Roker and his wife decided to learn their second child's gender in advance and were at first told it was a girl. Another doctor then had a surprise: it was actually a boy.