How a Gender-Revealing Cake Changed Me (a Little)

gender revealing cake"Waiting to find out the sex" was never an option for my husband and me. For those of you who can do it, I offer a curtsy to you, for you have the patience of Job. I, on the other hand, anticipated my early anatomy screening with the same zeal I imagine I'll anticipate the actual birth of my child.

After finding out (it's a girl!), I decided that I didn't just want to tell my family and co-workers the sex. I wanted to tell them with a flourish. They're the people who have been with me every step of my pregnancy, after all; they deserved a little pizazz.

So I baked a gender-revealing cake.

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For those of you unfamiliar with the gender-revealing cake, here's the deal: You add pink or blue food coloring to yellow cake mix, frost that bad boy like the dickens, and voila, it's a surprise for the person who cuts into it. (Some couples actually go as far as having the doctor write down the sex on a piece of paper and giving said piece of paper to a bakery, so they're the ones who are surprised.)

I baked two, actually. One to bring into my office the next day and another for my family, who was going to make the drive up to Brooklyn from Jersey. High on Baby Girl, I was pleased with myself after I hid any traces of pink cake with frosting, cleaned my kitchen, and settled in to watch Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

The next morning, though, while I trekked to the subway armed with a cake in a cake carrier, I started to feel stupid. And not just because it's not customary to see layer cakes on subways, because the whole idea of a gender-revealing cake, particularly for my office, started to seem really self-involved. Why should anyone care as much as my husband and me about the sex of our baby? Why should I take time out of people's busy day to make them ooh and ahh?

When I got to work, I was nervous. But there was no turning back. There was a giant chocolate cake sitting next to my computer. And giant chocolate cakes invoke questions. I had no choice but to go through with what I had determined was one of the most narcissistic acts ever.

Then I remembered something: I promised myself, as soon as I found out I was pregnant, that I was going to be excited about it -- and share that excitement with others. I know, this may sound insane to some, but "excitement" and "pomp and circumstance" really isn't my style. When I got married, there was nary an engagement party or shower or bachelorette party in sight, and at the ceremony, there were about 12 people. I don't know why I'm the way I am -- I'm sure if I went to therapy I'd be able to find out -- but it's just how it's always been. I don't like attention. And I definitely didn't want it to seem like I like attention.

So, there I was, sitting at my desk, chocolate cake next to me, totally unexcited and instead fearful. Fearful that my co-workers would roll their eyes secretly at the stupid thing I had decided to do, and fearful that I was turning into somebody who was ... so not me.

Long story short, when the girls cut the cake, it was exciting. Like, really exciting. For me, and I think them, too. I was glad I went to the effort of baking instead of just saying, "It's a girl." It felt kind of nice, though foreign, to be someone who didn't shy away from attention. I was proud of myself for sharing my excitement. And I realized I would totally be excited for any of them if they baked a gender-revealing cake.

gender revealing cakeMy cake.

Did you find out the sex beforehand? How did you reveal it to others?


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