Minnie Driver: "Old-fashioned" in regards to birth

07/11/2008 at 01:30 PM ET


Calling herself "old-fashioned," Minnie Driver recently defended her choice to keep the sex of her baby a delivery surprise. Speaking at a press conference for her newest film, Take, Minnie said that "women for thousands of years have not found out" and explained that, "I couldn’tbase something that was so auspicious and beautiful of that moment, andtake away the surprise for home dΓ©cor."

For the upcoming birth, the 38-year-old actress and musician — who says that her baby "gets a lot of guitar. I think it likes it" — revealed she plans to eschew all pain relief, if offered. Minnie revealed that she is dedicated to delivering naturally, but as her due date draws closer, admits the prospect is somewhat terrifying.

I’m totally the crunchy, Mother Earth-type, and I’m not looking for any type of intervention. I’m afraid.

Source: People; Photo by Axelle/BauerGriffinOnline.com.

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Nicole on

I am so sick and tired of celebs that do not find out talking about how people only find out to fix up a room. I have always found out. So, what? It’s my decision. If that’s what I want to do, then I will. But, you don’t see me yapping my mouth about how people are crazy for not finding out! If you don’t want to know before delivery, fine. I just choose to find out. I don’t need to be insulted for my choice!

I’m just hormonal, being that I am only 6 weeks away from my due date. But, come on! People that don’t find out (at least those that I have read about and even those that I’ve known in real-life) always act so high and mighty about not finding out. When I found out in my first pregnancy, I actually got yelled at by this girl at work for finding out. When she got pregnant, she didn’t find out. She WANTED BADLY a little boy. She always talked about how she didn’t want a girl. She wanted all boys! She just KNEW it was a little boy. When the baby girl came out, and they said, “It’s a girl!” She actually admitted to yelling at them, “WHAT?!!?” She was disappointed. I don’t, for one second, want to feel that way when I am holding my newborn. People may not admit to feeling that way, but those that really have their heart set on one sex or the other, probably have, even if for 2 seconds, a pang of disappointment.

In my opinion only, I feel it is a bonding experience, even before the baby comes. Everytime, I have always named the baby soon after find out. I then have talked to him (I have all boys) and felt more bonded. But, that’s just me. Even if I hadn’t found out, I’m sure I would have bonded. But, since the technology is available, I chose to use it.

Allie on

Well that’s a novel Nicole! LOL. I didn’t see anything judgemental about what Minnie said, rather, she was just sharing her experience and saying for her, the moment at birth is more important to her than having a room ready.

My husband and I didn’t find out with our first child, and did find out with our second. We figured with the first, we really didn’t care what we had, but with the second, it was easier to plan in regards to what new clothes we would need, if any, changes to the nursery….. (We had two sons, but if the second was a girl, I wanted the room to reflect that). In our case I was happy with both decisions. We are hoping to have a third in about two more years, and I think we’ll do delivery surprise again, just because I LOVED not knowing and that moment … it was just such a proud one for my husband, being able to announce the sex of the baby. I’ll never forget it.

About her being scared about the delivery, I was too. I think when you think about it too much it makes it worse. I tried to psych myself out by repeating that women all over the world do this everyday, and I can do it too.

JMom on

I found out the sex of my two children just because I was too curious not to! It had nothing to do with room or clothing colors.

Morgan on

I found out with my daughter; my mother harped on me for letting them tell me, but to my mind; it’s my uterus, I’m nosy, I wanna know who’s in there πŸ™‚ And if I sound facetious, that’s because in the grand scheme of things, it’s not earth-shattering one way or the other. Find out, don’t find out: who cares? It’s YOUR choice. Once you stop trying to justify it, people tend to back off because they get the message that you don’t care what they think. (Now if you care….that’s another issue altogether)

Rachel on

I don’t know, maybe Minnie Driver shouldn’t have said for “home decor”. Just saying that she wanted a surprise would have been good enough. I agree with Allie though, I think she just said that, experiencing the mystery behind it. Minnie still is entitled to her opinion, if we don’t like what celebrities say, then we shouldn’t be reading blogs like these. They can’t make everyone happy.
My husband and I are currently ttc (trying to conceive) baby #1. We both want a delivery surprise. My mom did not find out the sex for me or my two other siblings
Actually I get offended with people who say ,”why are you not going to find out the baby’s sex.” What about clothes for the baby shower. “Oh I don’t have time to be returning clothes,” they tell me. So it goes both ways. For me, personally, I feel a baby is gift and when that gift is ready to be opened, you get to find out the surprise.

Ellen on

It’s fine that she doesn’t want to know the sex of the baby. My question is: does she know who the father is?

CTBmom on

I don’t think Minnie meant anthing by it, and like a couple of people posted…she’s entitled to her opion like everyone. I have an open adoption with the birthmother of my now 11 year-old son, and I went with her to her sonagram appointment when she was pregnant with him. She said it was up to me if we found out the sex of the baby. I am so impatient, that I said yes. Looking back I kind of wish that I hadn’t found out…..I think that the surprise would have just added to the whole experience, which don’t get me wrong was amazing (and bittersweet because of what the birthmother was going through), but in the end it’s the baby in your arms that is important. Not whether you knew before had whether you having a son or daughter.

Amanda on

Correct me if I’m wrong – but isn’t it a surprise no matter when you find out?

Moore on

I plan to find out when I’m pregnant. Mainly to bond with my baby, call him/her by name, to feel like its real and yeah it doesn’t hurt to be able to pick out a little outfit or two for the baby’s first day and of course have it be gender specific. Like Morgan said, I’m too nosy not to find out. Besides, thats just one more thing I’ll get to share with my family.
People didn’t find out all those years before because they couldn’t not because they didn’t want to. They didn’t really have a choice. If you want to find out then do so. if you don’t want to then don’t. The beauty of this advance in technology is that you get a choice at all.

Shannon on

I’ve found out all three times and LOVED knowing. I too have heard more judgment from those who don’t find out…but rarely, to never, have overheard it reverse from those who find out. That’s my experience.

I figure to each their own, but for my husband and I, we LOVE knowing and starting the naming and bonding early (which is how WE look at it…I know not everyone does). And I’ve read, and believe from experience with my own children, that it helps older siblings adjust when they know what and who to expect. They get used to the name and idea of a little girl or little boy around. I know we’ve never had any issues with jealousy in the early days with our children. But that’s us.

JR on

Both of my babies have been surprises – that was just how we wanted it, and I liked it that way. I don’t really see actual pros or cons either way – it’s such a personal decision.

As for the birth, I think that Minnie saying she is “not looking for any type of intervention” means a lot more than just planning to “eschew all pain relief.” Pain relief is just one intervention, and many others – pitocin, episiotomy, vaccuum or forceps assisted delivery, for example – can and do happen in the absence of pain relief. I think (and hope) that Minne’s talking about the whole birth, and taking an approach to it that’s kind of unusual in the U.S. (less so in the UK) – that birth is a natural process and usually, though not always, works best when unhindered and uninterfered with.

For what it’s worth, I hope she has a fantastic birth and a supportive birth team/healthcare provider. I think every woman deserves the birth she desires, and to be respected during the process no matter what happens.

CB on

I think what people fail to put in perspective, when they get so offended by these quotes, is that these celebrities are referring to their peers. When they say things like this, their point of reference, who they are comparing themselves to….are not you. You are not Minnie Driver’s, Angelina Jolie’s, Kate Hudson’s, Heidi Klum’s peer. You are not their friend, trainer, acting coach, hairdresser, agent, manager, stylist, director, producer, voice coach, colleague, costar, etc. The people they interact with are not remotely even like you, unless you are one of them. πŸ˜‰ What they refer to might sound ridiculous to you, “OMG!! I would never find out the sex of my baby just so I could decorate the room! How could Minnie say that?!!”, but be very much a representation of what she hears around her in Hollywood, etc. Celebrities have a right to express their opinions, too, they can’t censor every word and never speak out loud for fear of insulting some random person who will twist it around and take it as a personal insult. That’s up to you to keep perspective. No one thinks you’re a bad person for wanting to know the sex of your baby.

@ndie on

well said Rachel
“I feel a baby is gift and when that gift is ready to be opened, you get to find out the surprise”
a baby is a baby,regardless of its gender and as long as its healthy……….

terri on

Why do people have to take things so personally? I’m sure Minnie really couldn’t care less when you choose to find out the gender of your baby. She said that SHE didn’t want to find out until the delivery.I didn’t read where she said “And any everyone that chooses differently is wrong, wrong, wrong!”

Maybe she mentioned the home decor thing because people have asked her how she’s going to decorate her nursery without knowing the gender. Or maybe it’s because it’s the only real advantage that she could see from finding out beforehand. Who knows?

And yes, anytime you found out is a surprise. But I imagine that finding out in that moment is especially important for some.

When my father called from the hospital and told me that I had a baby sister, it was the best surprise of my life. I had spent 9 months wondering and waiting. At 5 years of age, that’s a lot of time! I remember that phone call and the excitement in my father’s voice to this day, 25 years later.

terri on

Well said CB.

Aya on

As for me, everytime we go in for the ultrasounds,my baby is never in the right positions to tell what it is,So at five months,I still don’t know what it is. I sure do feel evil referring to the baby as “it” though.

And, what it is wrong with wanting to know the sex of the baby to dress a room/buy clothes etc.This is my first baby and I want to be prepared. And there is only so much that you can buy unisex lol.I want to do this before the baby comes,not after. Something tells me that after having this baby,I may not leave the house for a few weeks lol.

It just seems a little arrogant to say things like that and blow it off as “home decor”. Not all of us have money to pay people to come in and do these things for us.And what about single moms ? Can you really see one of them painting and putting cribs etc together after they’ve had a c-section or something ?

And I cringe when I hear the term “earth mother” etc. Every person I knew that has said that have had anything but “earth mother” type experiences. The last, did even want an epidural or anything.When it came time, she needed an emergency c-section.It’s as if the universe decides to put us back in line whenever we get too cocky.

Kate on

Of course she is entitled to her opinion, who said otherwise.

But she makes a presumptuous comment about why people would want to find out the sex that I find slightly offensive. If she wants to be surprised,then absolutely, she should be! Good for her. But she doesn’t need to be making comments about “home decor”, thereby making an assumption about why other people might want to find out.

As a woman who has struggled with infertility and has had pregnancy loss in the past, finding out the sex made the baby more real to me and my husband. She wasn’t just “the baby”, we called her by her name, she felt like a real person to us. It had NOTHING to do with decorating the nursey.

I admit the following is just nitpicky: I always feel that when people need to point out how “crunchy” they are, they probably really aren’t all that “crunchy” to begin with.

momof3 on

I wouldn’t describe any of her parenting/lifestyle choices as “old-fashioned” thus far…I think it’s extremely arrogant to imply that anyone who may choose to find out the sex of their baby before the birth would do so for “home decor” reasons. I know many, many, many people who have found out whether they were having boys or girls, none of whom did so for anything other than bonding reasons. I did it both ways and I think it’s lovely to do either. Either way it is a delightful SURPRISE.

Rye on

I don’t find anything offensive about Minnie’s comments even though I would HAVE to find out the sex. I can’t imagine not knowing! I am on the side of the folks who need to know to bond with the baby beforehand and give the baby a name personalize things more. I would need to get the decor and the clothes all right before it happened. I am just anal retentive about that kind of stuff though! It’s funny though because I get really irritated at the people who DON’T want to find out yet they tell everyone THEY THINK IT’S A BOY/GIRL. I knew this woman (really similar to the first posters story) who was dead set that she was having a boy and everyone was telling her to just find out the sex and know for sure but she was like, “NO, I just KNOW it’s a boy-I don’t need that!” and when that beautiful baby girl came out she was almost heartbroken-which is really horrifying. To be heartbroken at the birth of your child is so morally wrong. I feel like that feeling of shock and let-down (She REALLY wanted a boy for some reason) could have been less tumultuous if she had found out the gender. Bottom line, If you are SET on having a boy or girl-you should find out the sex to prepare yourself for potential dismay in the delivery room *YOU JERK*. Haha.

Then there are stories like my mom, who had had two boys and was dead set on a surprise for every delivery and her doctor (he was a new doctor since we had moved from one state to another) asked if she wanted to know and she said NO and when he asked what the sex of her other children were and she said boys he said “OHHHHHHHHHHH” in a very obvious sigh which instantly told her she was having another boy. IDIOT! LOL.

Nikki on

i keep hearing this, too! i think finding out the sex of the baby has nothing to do with room decor! i found out the sex of my son a few weeks ago for that reason, so i could call him my son. so i KNOW who is inside of me. So I know what to call him. So i’m not calling him “it” or “the baby” all the time. I can say “him” and i can say his name. the day I found out his gender was one of the happiest days of my life. and I’m sure his Birth Day will be another. That just means I got an extra happy day in my life. Who cares about room decor!? I can talk to my son now without him feeling like such a stranger. I’m all for natural birthing experiences, hell, my fingers are crossed for a safe home delivery, but every week i went knowing almost nothing about my baby felt excruciating. how on earth could I go 38 weeks without knowing who was inside of me!? i’m sorry, but i don’t like strangers around me or inside of me. I like to know who the people are that are going to be with me for a very long time. And I know my son will be so much more than just his gender. But it sure helps with getting to know this new person my husband and I just created. Besides, my husband gets to prance around in glee that his first child will be a boy.

erin on

Wow – I’m quite surprised at how many take personal offense at this.

I’m currently due with my first, whose gender will be a delivery surprise.

I would say that 95% of the people who’ve been told it’s a surprise, respond with, “But how are you going to do the room?” or, “I guess you’ll be buying lots of green and yellow.”

Each unto their own, but in our case, it’s the ones who wanted to know that are bringing it to the level of home decor.

Ash on

When my mom was pregnant with me, she waited to find out. She said it was a lot of fun, and it added some extra motivation at the end when she was pushing. Having to buy gender neutral clothes or nursery decor is not the end of the world. There are a ton of choices nowadays so finding out the gender for that reason isn’t really necessary. I still don’t know if I would want to find out or if I would want to keep it a surprise. I personally don’t have a problem with not knowing… I think my main concern is that the ultrasound might say it’s one sex and then it would turn out to be the opposite lol. I’ve heard of many people that’s happened to! It would stink to buy clothes for one gender and then have to return them all right after the baby is born.

Fancymomma on

Well, I am pregnant reight now and almost all the women on my BB are finding out. Many fo them say it is for bonding, but just as many say it is for home decor, etc. It actually seems to be quite a common reason!

BTW, there is a lot of backlash there against the few of us who are not finding out. It seems we will be unable to bond with our babies before birth, we have decided the surprise is more important then focussing on our baby at delivery (since we’ll be too focussed on the gender) and we have decided gender neutral things are “good enough” for our babies, which is unfair and we clearly don’t care about them enough to want “the best” (as in gender specific) things for them right from the start!! @@

Whatever. I did not find out with DD and wont again, because I loved the surprise and it my baby wil not know of care if s/he is in gender neutral sleepers for a few weeks or a green nursery (which I can easily add boying or girlish accents to). Most things big I will buy (car seat, stroller, etc) will be gender neutral anyways, since they are easier to reuse and pass along.

As for Minnie, well, she could have said it better but whatever…she has an opinion and shared it.

As for me, I don’t really care what someone else does. Find out, don’t. Whatever. I choose not to.

Kate on

I could care less if people find out or don’t find out. I found out with my first, didn’t find out with my 2nd and I didn’t find out this time (I’m 27 weeks). We prefer not to know – makes L&D more exciting. But that’s our opinion and it’s just a personal choice.

What I find laughable are those who say you bond more with your baby when you know if you are carrying a boy or girl. As someone who has experience it both ways, I can assure you that does NOT make you bond any more to your baby. The kicks and movement are what make me bond to my babies more than anything – not knowing if they have a pickle or bun between my legs. I can’t stand that bonding excuse πŸ™‚

terri on

I was just about to say what the previous two posters have mentioned. Many have gotten upset with Minnie for what she said, but I think others could get offended over comments by those that chose to found out. I’m sure that those that didn’t find out bonded just as well with babies, their babies weren’t strangers to them, and their babies seemed just as real to them as well. And yes, we know that you were just sharing how you felt about the process, and so was Minnie. And again, she didn’t make a comment on why others choose to find out, she made a comment that she wouldn’t want to find out just because of home decor.

Kate on

Fancymomma and Kate,
I think you missed the point. No one EVER said that you cannot bond with a baby without knowing the sex (not gender which is not the same thing). People are saying that for THEM, it helped the bonding experience, it helped to be able to call the baby by the chosen name. So speak for yourselves, but don’t criticize the choices others have made. No one one here criticized those who choose to wait.

I suggest you re-read why some people chose to find out the sex, and see if you see anything stating that people shouldn’t wait or why they shouldn’t. Because all I see is women explaining why THEY didn’t wait and made no comments about others choices. You both come off judgemental and a bit rude.

Nattienoo on

Sorry Kate, I agree with Fancymomma and (the other) Kate.
Weird that people are saying ‘it helps us bond with our baby’. So you’d bond less with your baby if you didn’t know the sex? I think that’s a bit shallow.
Mostly NOBOBY finds out the sex in the uk – indeed, few hospitals will tell you anyway, even if you wanted to!

Kristen on

When my cousin was pregnant with her first, she told me she found out b/c she needed to shop! Her second, she found out b/c she wanted a girl (she had a boy again). When I finally got pregnant after 2 m/c I chose not to find out and it drove EVERYONE crazy! My sister, mom, mil, all went nuts b/c they couldn’t “buy” for the baby. My husband and I chose not to find out b/c more than likely she will be our only (I was on bedrest for over 3 months with her and I am 37) and we felt very strongly that we wanted a surprise. I am SO glad that we did, when I gave birth to her, I was not disapponted or sad~ and I had been convinced she was a boy. I was thrilled and filled with joy to have a healthy child. BLESSED. So honestly I find it hard to see why everyone is so upset with her comment about home decor, SOME women actually DO give that as a reason. And as for bonding more, that is a crock, I couldn’t have bonded more with my child, if I knew she was a girl. Either way it was my child, boy or girl a blessing long awaited for.

Fancymomma on

I didn’t miss the point, and I did not say anyone HERE had criticized those who find out, i said on the Bulletin Board I post on they have. Pany commentes hear stated that those that eait put down those that don’t, but it never goes the other way. Well, it does. I have been told I will not be able to bond well enough with my baby, decorate the room specially enough, choose the perfect name, or focus enough on my baby’s health at delivery since I have chosen tom wait to find otut he gender. I have a DD and we waited with her..none of these things were issues.

And I agree with Kristen, some women most certianly do find out for shopping. There are many women on my BB who are just desperate to find out the gender (so much they are paying for 3D U/S 2-3 weeks before the big 18-20 week one since they cannot wait) because they want to shop for the baby. Not bond. Shop.