Current size: 6.5 inches
Aimee's weight gain to date: A mere 4 pounds - the baby is making Aimee slimmer everywhere but her
Should be easily solved by: Eating a pre-lunch before
Developed this week: Fine hair all over the baby's body called laguno and a white mucus called vermix that protects the baby from
getting too wrinkled by the amniotic fluid. Sounds kinda gross!
It's the gender scan! It's the gender scan! We've been waiting and waiting for the gender scan!
Well, that's what we've been calling it. In actuality, I get a little nervous whenever I look
at my appointment sheet, which has me pencilled in for what is actually called the Anomoly Scan.
In amongst all of this excitement about being able to find out the sex of the baby, it's hard
to get these occasional twinges of worry, remembering that the real reason we're being scanned isn't
because of the kindness of North Middlesex hospital to let us know whether we're having a boy or
a girl, but because they need to look at the baby at this stage for medical reasons.
At this scan, they check over every single part of the baby for abnormalties (or anomolies, which I
think they think sounds less traumatic, while at the same time a little more Star Trek). They're looking for the big bits, like a missing leg, as
well as the smaller things, like a missing kidney. It's also the time that they review all of my
recent blood work with us and let us know whether we're at a high or low risk for things like Down's
Syndrome and Spina Bifida.
Basically, our week 20 checkup and scan is one big report card for the health of the baby.
I don't know about you, but getting a report card for something you have very little control over is
terribly nerve-wracking. Sure, I do everything I can to be healthy in the hopes that we have a
But when it comes to some anomolies or genetic disorders, I could have done everything to the 'extreme-right' these
past five months - lived in an organic, non-toxic environment on the edge of the world with
no daily stress and a moderation of exercise - and it still wouldn't matter: genetically my
baby will be what it will be.
- I've read every book I can get my hands on.
- I've eliminated foods like soft cheeses and deli meat.
- I've participated in moderate exercise.
- I've taken my antenatal vitamins.
- I've eaten mostly organic foods.
- Other than the occassional sip (which is okay here in Europe), I don't drink alcohol.
- I don't sleep on my back (and avoid my right side where possible)
- I'm even wearing non-underwired bras, for heaven's sake!
Imagine spending 19 weeks studying for an exam, knowing full well that your final mark comes
from the professor's roll of the dice. It would suck, wouldn't it?
I think this knowledge can affect me in two different ways depending on the amount of hormones surging
through my body as we get closer to the scan: either I use telekinesis to mentally think
the baby healthy with the power of my mind, or I take as much comfort as I can in the fact that it is
out of my control.
In my most hormonal moments, I could even justify that we'll be given a child with an anomoly because we
have the kind of loving home that could nurture it. A kind of love-fate relationship, if you will.
But all this worry isn't like me - Kev reminds me that I've always had a good philosophy about worrying:
If you're worried about something you can change, stop worrying and change it. If it's something you
can't change, then stop worring and accept it. That's always got me to sleep at night.
Maybe I've never
had anything this big or this important to worry about before?
So most of the time, I really do take comfort in the fact that it is out of our control and just have
faith that our baby will be healthy and will be the exact type of baby that is right for us.
Besides, unless we're willing to move to a pollution-free deserted island with nothing but an
orthopaedic mattress, and have our organic food delivered daily by charter plane, having
faith is all we can really do, isn't it?
So there we were having a chat with our friends Crystal and Colin, telling them how excited
we were to be finding out the sex of the baby in a few days, when Crystal says, "Have you tried
the Drano test?"
"What's the Drano test?" we asked, when what we were actually thinking was, "What the hell is
the Drano test?"
"Oh, you just pee in a cup of Drano, and if it turns blue or black it's a boy and if it turns yellow it's
a girl!" (For the British folk reading the site, Drano is the North American universal drain de-clogger.
I don't know what the equivalent is here, but it's probably some zippy three-letter nonsense word that sounds
like a Batman sound effect like all British cleaning products, like "Zam" or "Bif".)
While we weren't excited about the idea of my pregnant wife being so close to toxic chemicals, Crystal had
still implanted a fine weekend research project... a comprehensive test of every old wives' tale we could
find. This looks like a job for... Captain Internet!
Test #1: The Ring
Theory: The mom-to-be's wedding ring is tied to a piece of string or a strand of her hair and suspended
over her stomach. If the ring swings in a circle, it's a boy. If it swings back and forth, it's a girl. Can
also be done with a needle, a pin, or a shrimp fork (actually, I made up the shrimp fork bit).
Our result: Boy!
Test #2: The Chinese Lunar Calendar
Theory: The sex of the baby can be determined by the mother's lunar age at the time of conception,
combined with the month of conception. There's some formula that goes along with it, which apparently
can only be understood by a computer, since most websites just say "type in your stats into the Gend-o-matic
and we'll pump out an answer." Here goes...
Our result: Girl!
Test #3: The Chicken
Theory: Hang a dead chicken by its neck from a flagpole and watch which way the wind riffles
Our result: We didn't do this one.
So far it's one-one. What next? How about all the little tests? Carrying high vs. low? Weight gain vs.
acne? Sweet food vs. salty? To sift through all the data, I've created a handy little table for you:
|It's a boy because...|
Extra weight is carried low and out front
Maternal grandmother has grey hair
Urine is a bright neon yellow color
Craving for salty or sour foods
Belly looks like a basketball rather than watermelon
Use the handle of a mug
Mother's age at conception is even but month of conception is odd
Looking particularly good during pregnancy (Therefore, it must be a boy, because girls steal their mother's looks.)
|It's a girl because...|
Leg hair is not growing at increased rate
Pillow to the south end of the bed
Doesn't like eating the heel of bread
Morning sickness early in pregnancy
Chest development has been quite dramatic
Nose hasn't changed during pregnancy (?)
Dad-to-be hasn't been gaining weight
Heart rate is 140 or more beats per minute
The sum of the mother's age at conception and the number of the month of conception is an odd number
Hmm. Pretty much even-steven (no, we're not naming the baby Steven).
Then, to top it off, we took two separate internet gender quizzes, containing roughly the same questions
as above. The result? The first test told us there was a 57% chance of a boy, 43% for a girl. The other told
us 60% girl, 39% boy. I'd hate to speculate what we'd get in that other one percent.
Now, I know this site is probably going to spawn a bunch of I-heard-the-test-was-done-this-way emails,
but what have we really learned from all this? I think there's only one solid conclusion we can draw:
Whoever these old wives were, they oughta stick to playing bridge and making quilts and whatever it
is old wives do, because they don't know a darn thing about predicting babies.
And as for that Drano test, the only thing research shows is that NOBODY has a clue what means what.
Apparently, depending on what website you visit, if it's red, yellow, green, brown, blue, or greenish brown,
it's a girl, but if it turns green, brown, black, blue, yellow, or bluish yellow (which sounds a little
like "green" to me), it's a boy. What good is the Drano test to us, except exposing the baby to both corrosive
and inconclusive vapours?
None at all... especially when your local shop only stocks Bif.