Pink or blue? The many ways to know ...
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I always envisioned a magical moment after my baby was born. The doctor would hold him or her up and say, “It’s a (insert gender here)!”
That scenario didn’t happen. I anxiously waited eight months to know the gender of my unborn child, but after 12 hours of labor with a newborn in distress, the doctor was more concerned with checking her health than informing me of her gender.
Of course, I’m glad her health was the first. But after she was born, it dawned on me that I had no idea if the crying newborn a few feet away was a boy or girl.
When one of the many nurses checked on me, I just had one question: Is my baby a boy or girl? “No one told you? Oh, it’s a girl,” she said.
I thought I’d have a rush of emotion, but I didn’t. Nothing mattered other than her health—and my healthy baby girl and I went home four days later.
Now that I’m in the second trimester of another pregnancy, I’m debating on whether or not to find out the baby’s gender in advance. It might be fun to have a little celebration when we know, rather than when we are concerned with other things—like labor, delivery and health.
The big debate
I’ve encountered two schools of thoughts with my friends. One friend said knowing in advance helped her introduce her 2-year-old son to the concept of having a new baby brother.
My other friend said she felt a little cheated when she found out with her second child. There’s no going back; once you know, that’s it.
In our house, we have two girls: my step-daughter Mia, 5, and Anika, 2. Most people think we want a boy, but, honestly, it doesn’t matter to us. Another girl would be just as fun—and I wouldn’t mind the chance to use those pretty baby dresses one more time!
Either way, we are already prepared with gender neutral newborn clothes, a green and purple kids room.
Boy or girl, pink or blue, all I want is a healthy baby, but the girls have their own opinions. Mia has specifically requested a boy, since she already has a sister. (I told her to ask her father since it’s his call.) Anika runs around the house yelling, “girl baby, girl baby.” So either way, we’ll make one sibling happy.
Since I’ve been at a firm “maybe” for months about finding out the gender of the baby, I thought I’d consult the gender predictor tales of old and leave it to the old wives’ tales. Here are the results.
Highs & lows
Hypothesis: This tale says the gender is determined by whether you’re carrying high (girl) or low (boy).
Experiment: With Anika, I gained everywhere, a whole layer from head to toe. I wore my favorite pair of jeans through my second trimester, unbuttoned. This time, I have more of a belly already, but I had to consult metroparent assistant editor Amanda for this one. She said I’m carrying in the middle, but leaned toward saying low.
Conclusion: Undetermined, with leanings toward boy. Repeat test in a few months.
Hear the heartbeat
Hypothesis: If a baby’s heartbeat beats less than 140 beats per minute, it’s a boy.
Experiment: At each checkup, the heartbeat has consistently been in
Sweet & sour
Hypothesis: If a pregnant woman craves sweets, it’s a girl. If the craving is sour or salt, it’s a boy.
Experiment: This old wives’ tale is hard to determine, since I crave salt and vinegar chips all the time, pregnant or not. But I will admit I cave into a Milky Way bar more often than I usually would, so I’ll give this one to the girls.
Conclusion: Girl, by a slim margin.
Check the Chinese calendar
Hypothesis: This ancient birth chart determines a baby’s gender by calculating the age of the mother with the month of conception, with a supposed success rate of 93 to 99 percent.
Experiment: Even though this predicted Anika would be a boy, I gave it another chance and computed my answer.
Drain the answer
Hypothesis: Pee in a cup and add a tablespoon of Drano. If the mixture turns green, it’s a girl; blue, it’s a boy.
Experiment: I was skeptical, but played along in the name of science. There are many types of Drano, so I chose a generic. I saved two bucks, and was left without the answer I was looking for.
Conclusion: User error.
Odds & evens
Hypothesis: The Mayans compared the mother’s age at time of conception with the year of conception. If both numbers are even or odd, it’s a girl. If one number is even and the other odd, it’s a boy. (By the way, this test says Anika would have been a boy.)
Experiment: I had a birthday near the time we conceived, so this one is close. But my guess is that the year is odd and my age is even.
Conclusion: Boy, probably.
The answer key
Hypothesis: Place a key in front of a pregnant friend. If she picks it up by the narrow part, it’s a girl; by the round part, it’s a boy.
Experiment: Since I did my own research here, I couldn’t test on myself. I asked someone to catch me off guard with this, but it hasn’t happened yet and I’m not sure it’s even possible. That’s what I get for doing my own research.
Hypothesis: If your skin is breaking out, it’s because “a baby girl steals her mother’s beauty.”
Experiment: No break outs as of yet. Sometimes people tell me I’m “glowing,” but I know it’s only on the days I wear a lot of makeup to hide how tired I am.
Ring & swing
Hypothesis: Tie your wedding ring to a string and hang it over your belly. If it swings in circles, it’s a girl. If it swings back and forth it’s a boy.
Experiment: I tied my wedding ring to a piece of yellow yarn and watched it.
Queasy does it
Hypothesis: A lot of morning sickness equals a girl.
Experiment: I’m not sick at any time of the day. (But, for consistency’s sake, I should mention I wasn’t with Anika, either.)
Hypothesis: The Italian legend says to look at the hair line along the back of your last child’s neck. If it’s straight, the baby will be the same gender as the last. If it comes to a point, the baby will be the opposite gender.
Experiment: Anika’s hair line on the back of her neck goes perfectly straight.
Hypothesis: Look to the father’s side of the family. If there are more boys, it’s a boy. More girls, it’s a girl.
Experiment: Nate is adopted, so we can’t determine much here. But his personal track record is all girl ...
There you have it. We’re solidly, sort of having a boy by a slim margin. I guess we’ll just have to wait until April to know for sure.