A work colleague of mine announced her pregnancy at 12 weeks. I was in my early 20s at the time and having a baby couldn’t have been further from my mind. But, I was super pleased for her and whilst she was a little restrained, I could tell she was about as excited as she could be.

You see, this particular colleague of mine was by far and beyond the most dead-centre, no-nonsense, precise, conscientious professional I knew, and I was about to discover this wasn’t just an act she was putting on for work.

From her 19 week ultrasound we were told she was expecting a baby girl. Yay! We like girls.

By 25 weeks she had decided the baby would be called Lily. We all gushed and thought this was sweet-as.

At 30 weeks we were informed that Lily would be born by elective C-section, because this fit best with current work schedules. Why not? I thought to myself.

At 35 weeks we were told to add to our diaries that Lily would be born at RPA Sydney on the morning of 1 December and to please not schedule any other appointments for my colleague around this time.

On1 December I collected the call. ‘Lily was born this morning!’ she said.

‘Yeah, I know’, I said. Because, I did.

You might have thought the final announcement fell a bit flat and you wouldn’t have been mistaken. Let’s face it, when the delivery truck turns up when they said they would, NO ONE considers it remarkable.

It got me thinking though... LOADS of mums find out the sex of their baby, so there must be some perks in knowing, but what exactly were these?

Here’s a list of what I discovered.

1. You know which can of paint to reach for

I know it’s cliche, but there’s something in The Can of Paint argument.

If you’re the pink or blue or something in-between kind of mum, your new-found information affords you to blitz your baby’s bedroom (with the ideal hue) well before her arrival.

2. Helps to envisage what’s really happening

If you’re a person who struggles to form a mental picture that this lump is anything but a food baby, then perhaps knowing the sex will fortify it for you.

3. You don’t need to wrangle a newborn at the shops

No need to brave the shops as there’s no pleasure for a screaming newborn or an exasperated mum. Add to this a sore bum and leaking bosoms and heading to the mall for your must-haves will be the last thing on your wish list.

Grab your favourite coloured and patterned onesies before she lands earth-side and don’t forget the anatomically-correct nappies too.

4. It’s always a surprise

Finding out the sex of baby is always a surprise! The timing will be the only difference.

Some couples don’t find out with their first, but do with their second. I’d like to say a change is as good as a holiday... but you may scoff at that expression if you’re preggas AND toting a toddler!

5. It can help other family members feel more a part of it

Pregnancy can be a pretty alien experience for your partner who doesn’t quite get the level of participation in pregnancy that you do! Knowing your baby’s sex can help your partner feel closer to the new bub and can add an element of reality to an otherwise super surreal experience.

6. It paves the way for an epic ‘gender reveal’

If an epic Gender Reveal party is your thing, you’ll need to get ready to know what you’re having.

A V8 spewing pink smoke from its exhaust or a white cupcake soiree, revealing blue sponge? Knowing the sex of baby will ensure you get to ‘paint the town’... the fitting colour.

7. You know you’re a shake-the-Christmas-pressie kind of person

You wont regret knowing the sex of baby if you’re rubbish with surprises and you’re the kind of person who does the pressie-shake test. Let’s face it, you’re just that girl who likes to be in the know.

8. It negates baby name theft

If you’re George Costanza-type neurotic and are scared stiff your pregnant friend will snatch your favourite baby name, get out in front and claim it. Know the sex of your baby and lock it in; who’s the copy cat now?

There are many benefits to finding out the sex of your baby and in a way, why wouldn’t you?

Only, we didn’t.

The romantic in me wanted to; dream about the possibilities of both; to fantasise about all the naming potentials; and to give full flight to the surprise, awe and wonder at the moment of birth.

I also wanted something natural, amidst all the remarkable technology. I wanted to feel a connection with the surprise that nearly every mother has felt since the beginning of time.

On top of this, I loved the beginnings of what I thought was my mother’s intuition. I felt certain that I knew the unknowable. With each pregnancy I was convinced I knew what I was having.

Turns out my intuition was entirely off.

Midwife: It’s a...!!! SURPRISE! and it always was.

Hugs into the ether...