Note: This post is about my personal experience and shouldn’t be taken as an expert or a medical advice.
I had decided to make this the first post I would write soon after my baby is born. Yes, for forty weeks, along with my baby, I had carried these sentences in my mind. Let me go…..!
Honestly, I was an over-curious mom. Especially as a mom fond of baby girls and with my first child being a boy, my second pregnancy left me frantically searching for gender cues. From reading old midwife tales of several cultures to directly requesting people at the scanning centre, I’ve tried all that was in my hands only to realize that in a country like India, sadly one has to wait until the baby is born. To add to my anxiety, all our unofficial gynecologists (Wonder who? The old neighbour aunty who met me on the way to temple, the lady who sat next to me in the gynec’s waiting room, the stranger aunty who spotted my big tummy at the children’s play area and the likes) confirmed ‘It’s going to be a boy again’ by just visual scanning of my baby bump 🙄
Now that the impatiently-awaited secret is unveiled finally, I feel it as a duty to share the real-time gender signs I had experienced during my pregnancies. And to disprove all the dear old ladies! Yeah, the second is indeed a princess!
If you are an expecting parent, trying to guess which bundle awaits you, have fun with my theories. However, be sure, expect for an ultra sound, all theories are only theories! Also, know that though the old grannies and aunties around you may appear to be all-knowers of bump shapes, sizes and positions, they can yet be miserably wrong 😆
Myths that worked for me
Fetal Heart Rate: It is a popular myth that fetal heart rate below 140 bpm during pregnancy indicates a baby boy whereas above 140 bpm indicates a baby girl. While a number of people deem it a myth and as in fact disproved often, it worked well for me.
When I had carried my boy, his heart rate inside my tummy was always within 140 bpm. This time, however, with my girl it had remained 156 bpm up until the day she was due.
Food Cravings: Women experience strange food cravings throughout pregnancy. Sometimes they might have an urge to eat ‘something’ of their ‘craving taste’ but oddly, they might not be able to identify what exactly their taste buds are craving for. In our part of the world, it is believed that a pregnant woman carrying a boy, craves for salty or sour food, while girls bring on cravings for sweets. In general, I don’t prefer tangy taste. However, when I was carrying my boy, I couldn’t think of having anything other than tamarind rice (a tangy South Indian dish made of tamarind).
And with my girl, I craved for sweets. However, the hormonal plays were such that though my tongue craved for sweets, once I had them, the after-taste effect was bitter. Note that craziness for chocolate pastries and ice creams were common during both my pregnancies like how most pregnant women report. I guess it shouldn’t be considered under sweet cravings.
Bump Shape: I’ve read it time and again that carrying a baby low is a sign of a baby boy while a high bump is a sign of a girl. I cannot say for sure it worked for me. For several days, in fact, I couldn’t recognize very well how a low and high bump looked like. Looking at the mirror wasn’t really helpful. But by comparing my baby bump photos of both pregnancies, I now can identify what people mean by low and high bumps. My son’s bump was indeed low while my girl remained high even during the last week.
Baby Movements: This is one of the rare signs spoken of which I heard about from a couple of friends. Baby movements is one of the exciting experiences of pregnancy. I was surprised to notice distinct movements by my boy and girl. My boy kicked a lot inside and when he moved, it was bold and apparent even over my clothes. However, most of my girl’s movements were subtle and mostly on the left side.
Online quizzes: What?!!! It might sound silly. But I did take a few online gender prediction quizzes (of course based on the same age-old myths). Irrespective of what logic these quizzes follow, they did predict the coming of my girl accurately. It’s quite good fun to try a few of these.
Changes in Mom’s looks: Another popular myth in our part of the world is that while carrying a girl, the mother’s face not only glows but also appears extraordinarily beautiful. Well, it sort of worked well for me. When I was pregnant with my boy, I looked ugly (I mean, literally ugly), especially during the last month. With my girl, however, I didn’t become ugly, not that I was glowing or looking beautiful either.
Myths that went past as Myths
Ramzi’s Theory: This is one of the new methods that come up in the first page of a gender prediction search. Initially, this one sounded promising as it claims not only 97% accuracy but also as a well-documented scientific method. This theory is based on the right or left orientation of the placenta as seen in the early pregnancy (6th week) ultra sound image. I assumed it to be the most easiest method, specifically, the possibility of finding the gender as early as the 6th week was exciting to me.
However, the reality wasn’t sweet. I spent a good lot of time going through a few ultra sound images. First of all, unless you know a little of radiology, locating the placenta isn’t fun. Even if you do, understanding whether it’s right or left oriented is complicated, the level of which increases when you begin to get confused with whose left or right – baby’s or mother’s? Said that, after a disappointing experience of researching, I let this theory go away from my excitement.
Morning Sickness: It is a vague myth that girls bring on an extra level of morning sickness than boys. With my two pregnancies, the nausea and vomiting levels were equally severe. Perhaps, the hormonal effects acted a little differently. With my boy, I used to puke even before I could finish what was on my plate. With my girl, I could have food but for the next few hours it used to be a roller-coaster ride. The bottom line was that both my kiddos equally troubled me for a few months.
The Chinese Calendar: First of all, there are different versions of the chart for the same year with contradicting predictions. For me, it didn’t work the first time though it did for my second pregnancy. So I am just going to call it a time-pass calendar.
I wish you well if you are an expectant parent.
Remember every pregnancy is unique and a period of myriad emotions for a woman.
I would love to hear from those who would love to share your gender signs during pregnancy. Will you mind checking your pregnancy reports to check the fetal heart rate point? Do you have comments about your bump shape and the gender of your baby? What taste did you crave for during pregnancy? Do you believe in any other myths? Please share. We have a lot of women around the world waiting to hear your experiences.