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Dear Thursday: The 70% Gender

So I’ve been told that a lot of mothers-to-be instinctively know whether they’re carrying a boy or a girl. My best friend Monique insisted that she was carrying a boy despite her husband, mother, and me thinking otherwise. Then a few months later, lo and behold, it’s a boy. Supposedly the mother’s instincts are right over %50 of the time.

In my case, I had logic on my side. Lots of morning sickness, which was inconvenient — must be a boy. CH’s father had a few kids — only one of which (the very last) was a girl. And my small pregnancy belly is sagging, which might mean I’m carrying low. Classic sign of a boy. Also, much like Monique, I just had a feeling that it was a boy.

But of course there’s only one way to know for sure, and that’s with an ultrasound or in my case the first trimester screening, which test for Downs Syndrome and Trisomy 18. And even then, you don’t know for sure-sure for a few more week. I had to go to a specialist for this, b/c apparently, most regular OB’s don’t handle screenings and refer them out — at least in Los Angeles. I don’t know how it works in other places.

Now I had found looking at the baby on my IVF doctor’s screen nice but challenging. You could make out the basic frame, but I had to trust her when she said she could see the hands and feet.

However that wasn’t an issue on the specialist’s machine, which was like an ultrasound on steroids. Not only could you see everything clearly, but she also gave you a pair of glasses that magnified the screen right in front of you, so that you didn’t actually have to turn your head to look at the monitor. I had never had a problem with turning my head to look at the monitor, but I loved the futuristic nature of the glasses and would unfortunately feel cheated that next day when I had to suffer through another grainy ultrasound with my own two eyes during my first regular OB check-up.

But back to the specialist. After checking for the physical signs of Downs and Trisomy (all clear on that so far), she asked if I wanted to know the gender. I answered yes, b/c I can barely stand it when other people keep information from me, I can’t even imagine keeping it from myself for 6 whole months. Is you crazy?

“Well,” she said. “At this point in the pregnancy, I can only give an informed guess, which would have about a %70 chance of being right. But from what I’m seeing here … it’s a girl.”

Wow. Well so much for mother’s instinct, at least in my case. Funnily enough, I had thought we were settled on a girl’s name, but as soon as I found out, I called CH and we decided that if it is indeed a girl to name her after my mother, which seems right, since she would’ve loved to have been here to meet her first grandchild. Also, a name that had seemed hopelessly old-fashioned to me growing up now feels cleverly old-fashioned.

So there’s a %70 chance that about 6 months for now we’ll be introducing you to Betty Angela Hibbard. We’ll see… We’l

Photo Credit: Craig Elliott