Why the mother who started gender-reveal parties regrets them

Celebrating the discovery of your unborn baby’s sex has been coopted by people with repressive, polarised ideas, says the woman who began the trend

In 2008, Jenna Myers Karvunidis was pregnant and itching to throw a party. “Life is hard, but I like to have fun,” she explains. “I think it’s important to mark moments of joy.” Karvunidis (who loves celebrating so much that she baked a cake for her goldfish’s birthday) was determined to get her family “jazzed up” about her first baby. After the recent, much-anticipated birth of her nephew, her husband’s family were less excited about this next grandchild and, with her own family emotionally and physically distant, Karvunidis came up with the then-novel idea of a theatrical reveal of her baby’s sex.

During their 20-week ultrasound scan she asked her midwife to keep quiet about whether the baby was a boy or girl and, instead of telling the expectant couple in person, the bemused professional sealed a note containing the secret in an envelope. Karvunidis then baked two cakes in the shape of ducklings, filling one with pink icing and the other with blue – a discrete toothpick for differentiation.

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