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Week 18 Week 19 : Old wife learns new tricks Week 20

"I think that you being able to wear a grass skirt twice in one year is a fine achievement." -k.

Baby stats:
Current size: 6.5 inches
Aimee's weight gain to date: A mere 4 pounds - the baby is making Aimee slimmer everywhere but her belly!
Should be easily solved by: Eating a pre-lunch before real-lunch.

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!

Aimee's thoughts:
It's the gender scan! It's the gender scan! We've been waiting and waiting for the gender scan! Hooray!

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 healthy baby:
  • 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!
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.

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?
Kevin's thoughts:
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!

Before you're born,
you see the Ring
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 its feathers.
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 (?)
  • Craving fruits
  • 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.

    Did you know?

    It seems that motherly instinct is right - most of the time. Seventy-one percent of mothers guess the gender of their child correctly. I couldn't find any statistics on how often fathers correctly guessed. I can only assume no one cares?
    People in the know

    We're in the know! We just found out that our friend Angie is pregnant! That makes four other women that Aimee works with that are preggers.

    We'll be sure to get Angie's responses for next week's Preggy Pal of the Week. Congrats Angie and James!

    Baby's Book of the Week

    That Pesky Rat
    By Lauren Child
    True-to-life account of a pesky rat and the trials he faces in his quest for a happy home. While I don't want to ruin the ending for you, I will tell you that he has to assume an alternate identity in order to achieve his dreams. Bittersweet.
    Aimee's cravings

    Juice, juice and more juice. Preferably pink grapefruit. Juice drinking occassionally broken by spells of eating juicy fruit.

    Everyone into the poll!

    Pssst. We've already had the scan and we know the answer! If you do too, STOP YOUR SNEAKY VOTING!

    We're noticing that a large portion of the votes have suddenly swumg in one direction. Coincidence? Me thinks not. Don't you know we're conducting serious research here?

    If you still have no idea what we're having then by all means, please vote.
    Q. Are we having a girl or a boy?
         Girl!         Boy!
    Tell us why in a very small box:

    Results on Week 20!
    Some more answers from the suggestion box:

    It's gonna be a girl because...
    "the odds are in favour of a Beimers girl."

    It's gonna be a boy because...
    "I want more people on Kevin's team."

    Send a message to the womb and beyond!

    We've got mail...

    Hmmmm...and they always say that black is slimming. Just kidding! You look wonderful.
    - Mom
    Thunder Bay, ON

    I know you've had the ultrasound…skip ahead and give us the info….you are killing us!!
    - Michelle
    Brantford, ON

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    Interested in Kevin and Aimee's other adventures? Of course you are!
    Lose a month out of your life reading the Roadtrip or the Bikeabout. They're rather funny.

    © 2006 Kevin & Aimee & Baby Beimers.
    Just enough goop to cover the dimples.