It's a girl - yellow tulips - the bump diaries week 21 Find out all about why colour denoting gender is crazy and how my family found out the gender

Week 21: It’s a girl – The Bump Diaries

So we know we are having a girl – now we just have to tell people!

Seeing our little girl last week at the ultrasound was amazing – everything from her little feet to finding out the gender. For BF the change from not wanting to even know until born to wanting to shout out the gender from the roof tops was incredible. I think for him it was even more real as he could finally picture a little baby girl in his arms or running around the house.

For me it was a very different situation – suddenly there was the task of telling people. It turns out that I am actually quite shy – all of the baby and engagement announcements had all been on Facebook or via presents so I could avoid actually telling people. When I had told people before the announcement it had felt really difficult too – I just felt uncomfortable with it.

The sudden realisation that I had to declare to the world something that wasn’t subtle and cute was difficult and attention seeking. It seems like me and BF had a change of positions of how open we wanted to be. Adding on top that having a little girl means the rain of pink was soon going to occur also scared me. I have never been a very pink girl and grew up with not having to wear it much as my mum found or made an array of crazy coloured outfits. It may have just been the era I was born or how much my mum went out her way to find clothes that weren’t pink, all I know is that I can hardly find many pictures of me wearing pink as a kid.

For months I have been going into the baby shops and falling in love with the cool and cute things that are about. We thought it would be a boy so unsurprisingly I cooed over the adorable dinosaur and star wars oufits – they appealed to my geeky side while being so cute so why would I not love them. Browsing the shops this week though with the new knowledge of us having a little girl everything was pink, floral and well anti-geeky in every way. I’m going to have an overly pink baby, toys and life it seems.

It's a girl - yellow tulips - the bump diaries week 21With my background in design, so a huge interest in the historical use of colour, it added more annoyance – pink traditionally is meant for boys. Going back any time before 150 years ago, even all the way to ancient Greek times, if you had a boy you would wrap and dress them in reds or pinks, while girls were in blue. Red and pink dyes were harder to create so showed the importance of “this is a boy”. The use of colour used to be a very important status symbol around the world – in England for instance anything purple was seen as royalty or extreme wealth as these types of dyes were rare and very expensive. In China only royals were allowed to wear silver and gold nail varnish – you could loose your life if you broke this very important colour related rule!

For thousands of years girls were dressed in blue – it is and was a sign of them being worth less than their male siblings. Knowing this makes you really think about the use of colour differently. This colour divide, other than for royals or the very rich, existed in clothes throughout life. It was only during Victoria’s reign that things concerning colour changed – there was a female on the throne after all.

During the Victoria era all kids were dressed in white similar outfits until they were about 4. Lots of parents would be able to reuse the clothes no matter what the gender so saved money. Shops decided that they wanted to encourage more sales to brought back the use of colour to denote the sex of a baby again – this time however for whatever reason they switched the colours. Now in society blue denotes boy and pinks denote girls.

For me then the use of colour either denotes the differences in perceived worth based on your gender or a tool for businesses to make more money. Having studied colour psychology at University, I know the positive and negative impact of coloured light or walls so the influence it can and does have. Pink, for instance has a calming effect on 90% of people but makes the other 10% more violent or aggressive, while blue increases the ability to focus and study. During my studies, a shocking revelation was that purple walls can increase suicidal thoughts but purple light has been found to help improve various health issues. It sounds very earth motherly but the more and more I studied colour the more that was backed up by lots of research, particularly by the marketing world, on how to influence people.

Knowing everything I do about colour, it makes me uneasy to feel any colour is going to be pushed upon my child due to modern social convention all because businesses wanted to make more money. Add with my shy nature of shouting from the rooftops about something I actually had no control over, telling people the gender, even family felt really uncomfortable. BF was very excited though so I was really open that he could tell any one and everyone but he was also the one who would tell my family.

My family knew the exact day that we were having the scan but had been warned to not ask. Almost a week after we knew it was a girl I was talking on Skype with my dad as I was in the kitchen cooking dinner – BF walks into the room realises I’m talking to my dad and asks if he wants to know the gender. Of course my dad says yes and BF announces the big news. After a minute or two them exchanging excitement, all while I carried on cooking, it was all over. My dad tried to continue the excited news with questions but I shyly changed the conversation. Once it was all over though it was a relief – he knew so now my partner only had to tell my mum. I told BF to message or call her with the news as it would also be nice for her to hear from him – he is the father to her grandchild after all.

A few days pass and he’s been to Exeter for a meeting – as he his train is almost back in Brighton he puts out a message of “Almost home to my girls!” Having been over a week since we found out he thought it would be OK and that I would have told my mum despite having reminded him again and again that he needed to do that. 10 minutes after he walks in the door I get a message from my mum of “did BF let the gender slip!!!” – sure enough 3 minutes later the phone is ringing. During that time we had the lovely conversation of “I thought you would have told you mum as you have talked to her twice since we found out” to “nope remember we agreed you were telling people and was going to tell her”. I think this is the only time he’s said oops.We look at who is calling and both giggle. I pass the phone to him and let him have a whole conversation about it all. With my mum he did also include not to make a big fuss as I was feeling shy about it so when he passed the phone over it was just a lot calmer and about Sam’s trip home message being so cute than making a huge fuss.

So now my family know and while I’m super excited it has made me realise just how shy I am about announcing big news. Looking back it made me realise the cryptic baby announcement and getting BF to post about our engagment was so that I wasn’t making some big grand announcement – while being extrovert in a lot of ways when it comes to big news I’m actually really shy! It is interesting what we learn about ourselves when it comes to the whole pregnancy journey. It’s clear who will be making the announcement when she finally arrives… it won’t be me!

How did you tell your family and friends the gender? Did you make a big gender announcement or keep it a secret? How do you feel about colours denoting gender? I would love to hear about your thoughts, opinion and stories so leave a comment below!


Inside Photo challenge

Photo challenge – Inside

What a month it has been – the number of my childhood heroes who lost their battle with cancer is heart breaking. For me it has also been an exciting month with too many things to mention.

The last few months I have not done any posts for the A Lil’ Hoohaa’s monthly photo challenge. This month I have been able though to turn my camera to the theme of “inside” with all my adventures this month.

I knew one photo right away that I would be able to share but at the start of the month I had no clue of what photos I would have.

Half way through the month my best friend came to visit all the way from Birmingham. With three days to spend together and her car to let us explore outside of Brighton for once, we headed one of the days to Lewes a little town hidden in the Sussex Downs.

While you may not have heard of the tiny old town you have been effected by it – it’s stamp on history is huge and includes triggering American’s battle for independence and the French Revolution just to name two. Hidden in the middle of this ancient town is a partially knocked down castle. Originally with two mounds only one has a building still standing at the top and even then there is only half of the original tower standing.

Inside Lewes Castle Canon - inside photo challengeIt was a beautiful day with the sun slipping in and out of the fluffs of clouds scattered across the sky. When the sun breaks through the clouds almost golden sun seems to light up the old stones making it breath taking. Before you walk up the long steps and slopes up to the tower overlooking the town you pass an old canon in a stunning garden.

The depths of the canon seemed haunting compared to the sunlit colourful surroundings. Void of colour inside it echoed some of its dark history of destruction. The canon its self stood out in the greenery with its grey iron casting, but when the sun shone bright it glimmered green as it reflected its surroundings – only the inside stayed forever dark.

looking inside Lewes Castle

After leaving the sweet smelling garden though we trekked up, stopping to admire the town and country side gradually spread out more and more. The sights were amazing – Lewes castle had a perfect location so that it could see for miles in every direction.

Each step and more of the land spread out for us to see until we reach the top of the mound. Although once stood a tower taking up the whole of mound now only a quarter of the tower remains. A huge indent for a fire place still remains and two doors – one open and one locked.

For us the mystery of finding out what the locked room held had to be investigated. It was in the end just a room for chairs and other items for weddings or celebrations held at the top of this aging castle.

As my friend gazed inside, it was such a wonderful moment. The deep channel down to the door seemed to really frame her as she peered through. I love how the only colour comes from my friend or the brass door knob. Everything else that surrounds her is cold crumbling brick work almost devoid of any hue.

I love the idea of looking inside things and I adore how this captures that interest of finding out.

The other door atop of the mound was wide open and inviting. Inside was room after room that you made your way up tiny spiral stairs to reach a new level. Each level seemed to have its feeling while the wall unfolded the long history of this castle.

Hiding inside the windowEver higher we seemed to go – it felt there couldn’t be yet another level but we were surprised as it felt we reached higher and higher into the sky.

As we reached each level, the windows seemed to get wider. The first level had just arrow slits while the final windows were a metre wide.

Inside this tower the pictures by the windows were haunting – the light dances off a dark figure with glimpses of colour appearing. After taking so many of my friend, I finally had a photo taken sat in the wide window – I loved this photo. It seemed to capture my nose and hair really well but also those different levels of light. Yes I didn’t take the photo but I did spend a long time sorting out all of the settings and discussing the set up of the photo its self.

The level after this was the top of the tower with the open air to reach us after levels of dust and crumbling stone filling our noses. The views were amazing though I struggled to capture its incredible beauty. It was not long until the sound of young kids echoed in the spiraling staircase. We headed back down descending back into town. It was an incredible time and I adored the photos the came from our adventure.

Raspberries in water - inside photo challenge
I could share more photos from our exploration but there were other photos that I really loved that I felt captured the theme better. This month I have purchased myself a fruit water infuser and have filled it with all sorts of fruit. Most fruit looks normal but the frozen raspberries inside this clear design just enchanted me. The frozen air and ice shone every time and added with the refraction it just seemed like a thing of beauty. It tasted it too.

In the morning light, I loved the colours and bubbles captured inside the plastic casing so had to photograph it. All of the photos from this collection but this particular one seemed to capture the twisting of light inside the plastic and water best.

Red flower inside - inside photo challengeAfter last month, where I was hardly sociable at all, I have had an exciting month. Along with visits from a far, I also had friends locally visit. One, grateful for impending homemade Mac and Cheese and game night, she came with some beautiful flowers as a thankful.

For me I loved capturing the different flowers hidden inside the bouquet adorned in the inside with light and dark.

In this photo the morning light was flitting through the curtains covering the flowers hidden inside my flat with a dash of light. This just made the colours and shadows even more drastic than normal than had they been outside.

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Finally – I wanted to share the ultimate inside photo though I can not take any claim to taking it. When I found out the theme was inside I couldn’t help but laugh – this would be the month I had my first ultrasound of our first little one. For me it was clear, this is how I’ll share on my blog about the baby – an inside photo of our little bundle of joy. It turns out either I have a poser already or they were having a nap in the perfect position – we got the perfect first picture.

It is such an exciting time and why I haven’t been able to blog much as appointments and morning sickness has eaten up my time. Out of all the photos this month, this is definitely my favourite.

So these are all my inside photos from this week – what is your favourite? Do you have a favourite inside photo? I would love to hear from you so leave a comment below!

Pierced Wonderings