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Am I having a boy or a girl?

February 16th, 2014

One of the big decisions of early pregnancy is whether to find out the gender of your baby. Highly contentious, this topic is hotly debated by almost all pregnant people and the people around them. Everyone seems to have an opinion, but what’s new really?? There are pros and cons to both.

I personally love the excitement and surprise of finding out at birth. Absolutely nothing has beaten that high in my life. In saying that, at about 36 weeks I become the worlds most impatient person because I want to prepare and get to know the person inside me. I’ve had a lot of friends find out and love it. My mum didn’t find out for her first two girls and then found out my brother was a boy at ultrasound. She says that she almost wished she didn’t find out because the surprise at birth would’ve been amazing. But she loved knowing as well. I guess, like everything, it’s different for every person and even every situation.

There are a plethora of theories about how to determine the sex of your baby, so I thought I’d share a few of them here.

There are only two definite ways you can know your baby’s gender: prenatal karyotyping (like amniocentesis or chorionic villi sample) and seeing it for yourself when they are born. Neither of these ways can be wrong (except in cases of extremely rare chromosomal abnormalities where sex is not as simple as boy or girl, but I’m not going to discuss those here).

The most common method of finding out gender antenatally is at ultrasound. This is usually done, if requested, at the morphology scan at 18-19 weeks pregnancy. Before this time it is difficult to determine sex by ultrasound. But as we know, this method is not 100% accurate. As ultrasounds improve in clarity and detail the risk of mistaken gender falls, but we’ve all heard the stories of nurseries painted pink only to discover a little unexpected appendage at birth, and vice versa!

The inspiration for this post actually came from an article I stumbled upon the other day. It’s a detailed research study completed by Ramzi in 2011, that highlights a connection between placental location and gender. I was so excited to read something that was actually scientific research about such an interesting, controversial topic. If you want to read the whole article click on Ramzi’s study. The basic gist is that a study of over 5000 women revealed that 97.2% of placentas located on the right of the uterus at a 6 week ultrasound were boys, while 97.5% of placentas imbedded on the left were girls. They are pretty convincing statistics! So if you want to know gender before the half way ultrasound, maybe you could ask the sonographer at your 6 week ultrasound where your placenta is located. Just keep in mind, yours could be one of the 2.8-2.5% of placentas that are on the opposite side!

And just because you’re all dying to know… From the 19 week ultrasound my placenta is… Smack bang in the centre at the back! Haha (I read the article around 17 weeks so too late for 6 week ultrasound).

Below is a list of other methods of gender identification. These methods range from mildly scientific to wildly ridiculous, though people will swear by whichever method “worked for them”. Let’s keep in mind, you’ve always got 50/50 chance!

Chinese conception chart

The Ring Test

Baby heart rate

If you want any more suggestions all you need to do is google it, there’s heaps! But my theory is that if you have your heart set on one particular gender, then perhaps you should hold off on having a baby. There are no guarantees and each and every baby is a very special and unique gift.

Subsequent pregnancies are not fun!

February 10th, 2014

If you’re one of those people who “glows” or feel as if the sun is shining out of your armpits when you’re pregnant, then you might as well stop reading now. If, on the other hand, like me, you feel as though every movement is a struggle and you would rather have teeth pulled than be pregnant (besides the fact that you get a beautiful baby out of it), then maybe you’ll find solace in reading this and knowing you’re not alone.

There is one thing that I like about being pregnant. One. Knowing a baby is inside me and feeling it move. That’s it. There are other perks; like everyone telling you “you’re glowing!” even when you literally just rolled out of bed and probably still have some Vegemite on the corners of your mouth. And being able to get out of lifting heavy things. But really, there are lots of things that really aren’t very much fun.

Here are a list of some:
• you have to move a LOT slower
• you get pain, often, and in many places (belly, back, groin, boobs, the list goes on)
• nausea/vomiting – for some unlucky people it’s all day every day until they have the baby (those people deserve a big fat medal, or better still a baby who sleeps well on the outside!)
• oily hair
• strangers touching your belly and feeling they have the right to tell you you’re big/small or definitely having a girl or definitely a boy.
• haemorrhoids
• tiredness
• varicose veins

Now these things are common discomforts in any pregnancy but they are multiplied if you have had a baby before. This is because of the hormones racing around, that your body has experienced before, so has built up a good storage of memory receptors to respond more efficiently to the hormone levels. Therefore, you get MORE sick and MORE tired and MORE sore than you did last time or the time before.

Now, I am being overly melodramatic and very ungrateful for the blessing of pregnancy that I have been given. It’s not all bad. It’s just that sometimes it’s hard. And you feel alone. And you feel like everyone else enjoys their pregnancies, or that you should “enjoy every minute” like you get told so often. But it’s ok not to. It’s ok to not have fun. It’s even ok to not enjoy pregnancy altogether.

Here’s a couple of things I do to make me feel better:
• yoga (although I haven’t started again yet and I’m almost 20 weeks into my third pregnancy… Oops!)
• hot baths, often
• heat packs
• pregnancy massage
• stretching (though I’m terrible at remembering to do it)
• sleep in the day
• sleep earlier at night
• sleep with a body pillow (mine is just a long straight one but there are heaps on the market)
• move slower
• when getting out of bed keep knees together and roll onto side before sitting up
• don’t try and fit too much into one day i.e. spread activities out.
• coffee and chocolate

Subsequent pregnancies bring their own challenges. But they do end (even though sometimes it feels like the day will never come). And you get a little amazing person to look after at the end. Which is pretty special and totally worth the uncomfortable feelings. Plus, there’s an added bonus – most subsequent labours are much quicker and “easier”!!! So take it easy, allow yourself to grumble and try to realise and relish the moments when you feel good. Happy incubating!