Tuesday, January 10, 2012

17 Weeks Pregnant: The Old Wives' Tales predict the sex of the baby...or, not...

There has never been any doubt that Mike and I would find out the sex of our baby.  We did for our first, loved knowing, and can't imagine choosing to keep that information a surprise from ourselves the second time around.  Does anyone find out for the first and then not for the second?  I know plenty of people who did not find out their baby's sex in advance for their first child, and did for their subsequent children, but I have never heard of it happening the other way around.  If you chose to keep the second a secret, but not the first, I'm curious, what led to that decision?

For us, the experience finding out the baby's sex at 20 weeks was exhilarating.  It was that one awesome present you get to open Christmas Eve, getting you even more excited for the rest of the fun to come on Christmas Day.  It helped me to feel more connected to our baby, got us started on our imaginative thinking for our family, and of course, helped in numerous practical ways. 

This time around, we are just as excited.  It's almost as though we can receive a glimpse of who our baby is, but safe and cozy in the womb (so we don't even have to get up 10 times in the middle of the night to get a glimpse of our baby!).

So who is this baby?  Or "what" is this baby, as the question typically goes?  The masses tend to say girl.  I have had more morning sickness this time around, although the worst was over by 8 weeks, so compared to most, I'd still say I had it pretty easy.  I feel different this time around, that is true.  I have had heartburn, my belly is showing sooner.  I've felt braxton hicks contractions for weeks already now.  I didn't have any of these experiences the first time around (but then, it took posting in this blog to make me realize, based on comments, that I was actually having braxton hicks contractions during pregnancy #1!).  But I honestly attribute most of these differences to simply a second pregnancy.  I still feel pretty similar in most ways.

When I asked my toddler a month or two ago if he thought the baby would be a boy or a girl, he said, "Hm...No, it's just a baby.  Yeah.  Just a baby."  That's my sense too, D.  Just a baby.

But, because guessing is so much fun, and (gulp), I only have a few days before we find out the sex (Jan 13 is less than 3 days away!), let's wade through the symptoms, facts and numbers, and cast our votes!  And silly as they are, guessing strategies are often pretty interesting.  I mean, even the gas station attendant on Halstead Ave today told me that if you conceive during the day, it's a boy, and if you conceive at night, it's a girl.  Hm...not really helpful in our case, but interesting.  So, some Old Wives' Tales that I used in my first pregnancy will be helping us out...I apologize for not having any proper belly shots to show you, but this is the most recent picture of me (from this weekend, Russian Christmas), so it will have to suffice, in case you need a little face-time to get your guessing-game on.  Here we go!

1) How you are showing:
-Belly only--Boy
-All over (or a full face)--Girl
Outcome:  Most of the baby is still limited to my belly, but my belly is not as firm as before, nor as low as before.  It's as though the entire basketball outline of my belly has already been drawn, just needing to be filled in.  So I'm less sure what to write for this one.  We'll say boy.

2) Fetal Heartbeat:
-Under 140--Boy
-Over 140--Girl
This is a good one, so I wish I knew exactly, but I honestly don't remember the heartbeat rate.  I think it was right around 140 at some point.  So again, not really an easy one to say.  I would be entirely guessing on this one, so I will have to leave blank the result for this old wives' tale.

3) Sweet or Sour/Salty Cravings:
-Crave sweet things--Girl
-Crave sour/salty things--Boy
Outcome: Pretty mixed here, but since we've just passed Christmas, and we do have a lot of yummy cookies around, I will opt for sweet.

4) Picking up a key:
-Pick it up at the round end--Boy
-Pick it up at the thin end--Girl
Outcome: I picked it at the round end. Can't even imagine picking it up at the thin end, but I think this is the most common way to pick up a key--pregnant with a baby boy or not.

5) Mother's intuition:
-If the pregnant mother thinks she's having a boy--Boy
-If the pregnant mother thinks she's having a girl--Girl
Outcome: I really am not thinking strongly either way, but if I had to choose, I'd say girl.  Note that I said the same thing with my first pregnancy and I was not right.
(btw--this is the most accurate, as mothers guess correctly 71% of the time!)

6) Pendulum swing:
-If a pendulum over the woman's head swings in a back and forth motion-Boy
-If it swings in a circular motion--Girl
Outcome: It swung side to side with my first pregnancy, and I was actually expecting the same result this time.  I sort of assumed that it is just always more apt to swing side to side.  This time, it remained pretty still for a moment, then Mike laughed, it swung side to side briefly, but quickly "corrected" itself and swung in a circular motion.  So...

7) Chinese Zodiac Sex Predictor:
Compare the number of the month you conceived with the age you were when you conceived.
-If both numbers are even or both are odd--Boy
-If one is odd and the other even--Girl
Outcome: Conceived in month 9, was 34 years old, so one odd, one even.
This has tended to be the most reliable of these 50/50 tests.  In doing this test with my family a few years ago, it was accurate for about 10 people for 100% of the time.  Of course, since then, I've known plenty of people it has not been accurate for, but whenever I am told to guess the sex of a friend's baby, I always go with this system, and it does tend to be more true than anything else.

8) Online "Boy or Girl" quiz:
I took a quiz which asked a variety of questions having to do with conception, how the baby is showing etc. that resulted in telling me 1) It could be a boy and 2) Unsure.  Hm.  Well, that was enlightening.

I took another test which had more "old wives' tale" type questions, such as the direction my pillow faces (although I guessed on that. And what angle of your pillow is it talking about?), and whether or not I eat the heel of a loaf of bread.  It told me: 
"Your score is 50%. Congratulations! According to the Old Wives it's a boy!"
Okay, I appreciate the congratulations, and that I got 50% of the questions...um...right?  I'm not sure what the 50% is referring to...If it is just saying 50% boy, 50% girl, then it shouldn't tell me I'm having a boy.  Regardless, since it appeared to say "boy" in this test, and the first test was unknown or a boy, I guess I will put these quizzes together and lean toward the shaky outcome of-

So to tally it all up, we have 1 unknown, 3 for boy, and 4 for girl.  Those are the "facts." Now you can make an informed decision when you vote. :)


Mandy M. said...

Tara, I just love following your blog! I miss this so much and remember feeling everything you are feeling when I was pregnant with Alex and the fact that I know I'll never get to do it again makes me sad.:( So I am living vicariously through you...I am so excited for you to find out!! I'll be honest with you, with Abby I knew I was having a girl, I was 100% sure. With Alex, I would say "Oh it's a girl". I wanted a boy and I just figured we had 2 girls so we would have another, but deep down inside I wasn't sure the second time around. I thought it very well could be a boy. So, I think my mother's intuition played the biggest role for me. Anyway, good luck and I can't wait to hear!!

grandma berta said...

I agree with D- "it's just a baby" but of course, it is one or the other but I have no strong feelings either way, and didn't with him either. So I'll wait for the official results, from the exam!

Mike said...

I have no idea, but would lean my guess just a smidge over to a 'girl' guess, due to the dependable Zodiac method, and the fact that J's pregnancy is a bit different from her first. Can't wait to find out in less than two days!