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Adventures in Gender Prediction

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been on a quest to test out a litany of gender prediction techniques, both scientific and unscientific, in preparation for my 18-week ultrasound. We knew that we would try to find out the baby’s gender if we could, and I thought it would be interesting to assess which methods proved accurate and which did not.

Method 1: Intelligender

I discovered the Intelligender test in an e-mail promoting an upcoming maternity trade show, and I was intrigued. It’s a chemical test that has the expectant mother pee in a cup filled with some unknown compound (most likely a variation of crystal Drano). If the urine turns greenish, it’s a boy, and if the urine turns orangeish, it’s a girl. I checked with my OB before taking the test, and although she hadn’t heard of Intelligender, she did know about the crystal Drano test, and she thought it was accurate. According to the company literature, Intelligender is actually 90% accurate when performed in laboratory conditions. I took chemistry in college, so I figured I should be in good shape. I took the test at around 14 weeks, and the result was clear: Boy.

Method 2:

Once I had embarked on this mission, one of my coworkers suggested I try a psychic, just to round out the unscientific portion of my study. A Google search quickly turned up where, for just $9.99 a psychic named Katerina in Argentina would apparently print out my e-mail and take it to the ocean (where her psychic vibes are strongest), and then return to her casita to e-mail the results. It was too irresistable; I had to try it. With just my birth date, my natural hair color, my husband’s birth date and my due date, she had everything she needed to find her answer. Within a day, I had my response: Boy.

Method 3: Chinese charts

This was more complicated than the other two, mostly because there are so many different sites with charts. The first time I read it, the answer was Boy. But then another site asked me to calculate my Chinese age prior to reading the chart. Bingo. I was actually older in Chinese years than I am in American years, and now the answer was Girl. So I decided to call that a wash.

Method 4:

I’m actually a little bit embarrassed that I ponied up $17.95 for this site’s test. With just my birth date, my husband’s birth date and the date of my last period, it purports to tell you, with close to 100% accuracy, whether you’re having  a boy or girl. It’s highly suspicious, but I wanted to be thorough. Please don’t judge me. The answer: Boy.

Method 5: Heartrate

The story goes that a boy will have a heart rate below 140 and a girl’s will be above. Apparently when my mother was in the delivery room giving birth to me, the fetal monitor was hovering right at 140 and driving my father slowly insane. Alas, I was a girl. At every checkup so far this pregnancy, the heart rate has been above 140. But it’s still early, so this might not be the best indicator at this stage of the game.

Method 6: Morning Sickness

There are numerous old wives tales about gender prediction, and many of them are hard to prove until much later in the pregnancy, when you can actually see how high you’re carrying, or in what shape. I didn’t bother dangling a ring over my stomach either. But there was one old wives tale that was especially intriguing. Some say that women get sicker when they are pregnant with girls than when they are pregnant with boys. I never got particularly sick during either of my first two pregnancies, but I remember being nauseous, and I remember having a strong aversion to specific foods. Like chicken. This time around, I was hardly nauseous at all, and I didn’t even bat an eye when we had chicken for dinner. Verdict? Boy.

Even with all that supporting evidence, I still couldn’t believe it was possible. I have two wonderful daughters. My father has three daughters. We are a family of women. I know how to handle girls. I’m good at it. My new little nephew is both an anomaly and a wonderful novelty, but I didn’t imagine lightning could strike twice.

But today I went for my ultrasound and sure enough, it’s going to be a boy.

I’m a bit of a skeptic, so it’s very hard to grasp that all of these different methods were not only in agreement, but they were accurate. Or at least they were in this case.

If I had it to do over again, I would recommend for pure entertainment value and Intelligender for scientific accuracy. I’ve read about some dissatisfied customers who had an incorrect reading, but I think if you perform the test exactly according to the instructions, it’s probably pretty accurate. The hardest part is thinking straight when you’re pregnant and it’s first thing in the morning and you desperately need to pee. Good luck with that.

What’s next? It’s a whole new ballgame – raising a boy. What have I gotten myself into?

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