Could the Old Wives’ Tales Really Know?

ultrasound photo

I’ve been pregnant three times. And each time those two little pink lines popped up, I had about five and a half minutes before I started obsessing over whether baby was a boy or a girl.

I needed to know all the things to plan all the things. It was my very poor attempt at feeling any amount of control in a completely unpredictable situation.

Google became my best friend and told me approximately eleven million ways to tell if your baby is a boy or a girl. Each method was totally backed up by the completely trustworthy folks of the internet and all their extensive lack of scientific research.

But because our first born’s ultrasound tech happily announced we would have a girl and we prepped for said baby girl (in the totally neurotic way only first-time parents could) just to finally birth a handsome baby boy? I spent way too much time during my next pregnancies trying to beat the system. 

So I’m gonna take one for the team here and share some of these theories and how it applied to my last baby, complete with excerpts from my pregnancy journal. 

The Mayans  According to the Mayans, the age of the mother at conception added to the year of conception can tell you what to expect. If the result is an EVEN number, then you’re having a girl. If it’s an ODD number, expect a boy.
** I was 34 years old at the beginning of this pregnancy (and I have five more weeks, thank you very much before I turn 35). So 34 + 2014 = 2048. So according to the Mayans, this baby is a girl. **

The Chinese  The Chinese have a gender prediction based on lunar ages and months of conception. I’m not even going to attempt to explain the background on this one but if you’d like to try it, here’s a widget on that I used. 
** I put in the due date for my geriatric pregnancy and scrolled way, way, way down to find my birth year. I pressed enter and found where my info overlapped. According to the Chinese, this baby is a girl. **

Morning Sickness  According to a popular old wives’ tale, and I’m totally summarizing super eloquently here, “if it’s a girl, you’re gonna hurl.” Charming, I know. Based on my first two pregnancies, this is one I would’ve supported wholeheartedly. With my first, I thought I knew what morning sickness was. HA. My second pregnancy landed me in the hospital once due to hyperemesis gravidarum. Zofran became my favorite thing.
** This baby is somewhere in the middle of the two extremes I’ve experienced. On one hand, I’ve had more food aversions and nausea than actual vomiting. Then again, I was on the Zofran for much longer to prevent vomiting. According to the theory, I have no idea. Total toss-up. **

Skin  This old wives’ tale says that if you have dry skin, you’re expecting a boy. If you have soft skin, you’re carrying a girl.
** My skin is definitely super dry right now. If you ignore all those other pesky possible causes for dry skin (like a thyroid condition or oh, I don’t know, winter), then according to this theory, baby is a boy. **

Feet  This one is very similar to the skin thing. If your feet are colder than normal, you’re having a boy. If it’s all average temps on your toes, then it’s a girl.
** Again, ignoring the fact that it’s December, this theory would predict our baby is a boy. **

Skull Theory  This high-tech theory uses an ultrasound from around 10-12 weeks. If baby’s skull is very round, it’s likely a girl. If baby’s skull seems more angular or sloped, a boy is predicted.
** I’m not a very good judge of this one. Based on the very scientific google examples, my first guess would be that baby’s skull is on the more angular side. According to skull theory, baby is a boy. **

Baking Soda Test  Remember that old wives’ tale that said to combine your urine with Draino but then there were explosions and chemical burns and all that fun stuff? Yeah. Don’t do that one. Now, the old wives have adjusted the theory to use baking soda instead of a harmful chemical. Apparently, if you combine your urine with baking soda and it fizzes, you’re having a boy. If nothing spectacular happens, you’re carrying a girl. I actually can’t believe I did this one. But hey. It’s all in the name of, um, science. Right?
** Yeah. Nothing happened. Of course, nothing happened in any of the YouTube videos I watched either. Except for one major reaction but she ended up having a girl so, go figure. But according to the baking soda theory, baby is a girl. **

The Ramzi Method  Another theory using ultrasound scans, this one actually has a hint of real science behind it. Dr. Ramzi is not an old wife but an actual doctor. He did real live research on placental location and how it relates to gender. Based on ultrasounds from around six weeks, over 97% of the scans showed male babies with a placenta on the right side of the uterus while female babies were on the left.
** Looking at our 8-week ultrasound and it looks as though baby is connected to the left side of the picture which would be the right side of my uterus. According to the Ramzi theory, baby is a boy. **

I hope it goes without saying that all of this is just for fun. I do not recommend choosing paint colors or buying clothes based on this.

So three of the internet theories resulted in “girl” and four said “boy.”

Who got it right?

Drumroll, please…

Let’s give a pat on the back to the Mayans, the Chinese, and the um–inventive–souls who first decided to pee on baking soda.

It was a girl! Who was obviously super impressed with her mom’s scientific research.

baby sticking out tongue