When friends and family learn that someone is expecting a baby, the competition starts — who can accurately predict the baby’s gender before it’s revealed by ultrasound.
A few weeks ago, my friend Shawna upped the ante on her competitors, incorporating scientific experimentation into her prediction.
Google “how to determine a baby’s gender” and you get roughly 2 million hits. Everyone has their own theory, and there are some “tests” that left me wondering how anyone ever dreamed them up.
We found the confusing — anyone ever heard of the Chinese lunar calendar? — and the downright weird. I will not even go into what one site recommended you do with Drano. I think I’d rather wait nine months to know if it’s a boy or girl, plus I’m sure there are safety issues involved when pregnant women start dealing with chemicals.
Instead, we decided to try something a little simpler, albeit less sophisticated. A lot of you have probably heard of the ring test before. Basically, all you do is take a ring (I¿think it’s officially supposed to be a wedding ring, although I don’t really know what difference that makes) and dangle it on a piece of string over the mom-to-be’s belly. The ring’s motion, either side-to-side or circular, is the indicator of gender. The first site we went to said side-to-side means boy, and circular means girl, but I have since learned that some people claim it is the other way around.
Like I said, highly scientific.
Anyway, if it’s on Google, it has to be true, right?
So the experiment proceeded.
Shawna dangled the ring, and there was a definite pattern to the motion. I’ll let you just make your own guesses as to what direction that might be.
Just to add to the authenticity of the experiment, we had my mom dangle the ring a second time, to see if it duplicated the results.
I don’t know if it was the power of suggestion or my mom’s own intuition guiding the ring (of course I am not questioning the validity of this test!), but sure enough, the ring swung in the same pattern.
Well, that meant that a third party had to be enlisted. We called on another friend to take a turn.
Same thing again.
The next thing I¿know, every woman who has ever had a child or thought about having a child was having a ring dangled over her abdomen. Shawna tested my mom, and got a side-to-side motion, indicating girl. We considered that a success, since I’m the only child my mom has ever had. We also tested Shawna, who has never had children, and the ring didn’t swing at all, so we also chalked that one up as a success.
Then my mom had to test my cousin, who is well past the 20-week mark and has an ultrasound picture from her doctor proving she is having a boy.
But that’s only an ultrasound. We’re talking about the ring test here.
We found it on Google, remember?
Again, maybe the power of suggestion was involved, but sure enough, the ring swung in the pendulum motion indicating boy.
When I told Brandon, he said we might as well start painting the nursery.
Apparently, he doesn’t put that much stock in the ring test. That’s an accountant for you.
I remember my dad telling me that he and my mom were so convinced I was going to be a boy, they actually told the doctor who delivered me he was wrong when he congratulated them on their daughter. That was back in the good old days (1984 to be exact), before ultrasounds robbed doctors of that kind of entertainment.
I know there are some people who choose not to know their baby’s gender, and I¿envy their willpower. If knowing is a possibility, I want to know. I’m sure it adds to the excitement of the baby’s arrival, but I’m a reporter — it’s my job to get information as quickly as possible.
A few days later, I learned about a new phenomenon called the “gender reveal party.” Couples find out whether their baby is a boy or girl, then invite people to a party where they announce it to everyone they know, by doing something cute like releasing pink balloons, or cutting into a cake that is blue on the inside. Naturally, that stressed me out, seeing as how I am the person who had panic attacks looking at strollers. I mean, a party sounds like a lot of work, AKA getting my house company clean.
I’ll just have to announce my baby’s gender the old-fashioned way — you know, on Facebook.
And now that we have Google to teach us 101 different ways to learn if your baby is a boy or girl (Brandon says it is definitely one of those two), you can know sooner than ever.
Also, if you are smart enough to figure out that Chinese calendar thing, then you are surely equipped for parenthood.
Contact Rachel Gilliam at email@example.com.