There’s no shame to my game: the second my OB-GYN confirmed my positive at-home pregnancy test was telling the truth, I was all, “So um, is it a boy or a girl?” She burst out laughing, but I was dead serious. I wanted to know. Pronto. I had baby clothes to buy. And colors to pick for the room. And, by God, names to sort through. Who had time to wait around for an ultrasound five months later?
That I had to wait until my five-month ultrasound to find out my baby’s gender was some bull. And torture for a chick who doesn’t really care for surprises. So you know I went nuts with the old wives tale gender predictors: “Oh, I’m carrying low it’s going to be a boy!” and, “Wait, the heartbeat was fast, so it must be a girl!” and “I can’t keep a thing down I must be having a girl, right? Right?!”
Thank God I didn’t have this list of “just for fun” ways to guess the gender of my baby. I promise you, I would have tried every last thing on this list. And driven myself crazy, for sure.
Of course, 12 years after I waited five months with baited breath to find out the sex of my first-bon, now comes news from a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that there’s a new blood test out that can determine gender as early as seven weeks into pregnancy. Apparently, the test measures cell-free fetal DNA, predicting with 94.8 percent accuracy if you’re going to have a boy and 98.9 percent accuracy if you’ll be loading up on pink clothes. Though accuracy improves if you hold off on the test until you have a few more weeks under your belt after 20 weeks, gender prediction is near perfect. But you can’t beat finding out the baby’s sex just two months in.
The test, which can run as high as about $400, comes with its issues: In this Time.com article, some worry that parents will use the test to select the sex of their children or abort babies with potential health problems. It’s a valid concern, I guess, though I still stand firmly on the right for women to plan their parenthood as they see fit, even if it doesn’t jibe with what I would do behind my closed doors. And while this may be an issue in places like China and India, where population rules lead parents to take drastic measures to have sons, I’m thinking this isn’t really a huge deal here in the U.S.
Besides, some of us just want to skip the amniocentesis (which carries a small chance of causing miscarriage) and get the info before the 5-month sonogram you know, because we got crib bumpers and baby clothes to buy. Simple as that.
Did you want to know or find out the gender of your baby before giving birth? What crazy old wives tales did you use to try to figure it out?
Photo credit: Sarahemcc for Flickr/Creative Commons