Do I buy blue or pink?
October 13, 2008 5:03 PM   Subscribe

Is my four-months-pregnant wife carrying a boy or a girl?

Naturally we don't know, and next month's hospital visit and sonogram might show us, especially if it's a boy, but we have had some "clues" that tell us she has a boy.

1) I know pregnancy cravings are things of legend, but the wife is craving food she almost never eats. Manly food. Like french fries, greasy beef and pork dishes. She's not a vegetarian but eats red meat and even poultry very sparingly. She's had several of her friends--all mothers--say this means she's carrying a boy.

2) Hirsuteness. Her body hair has thickened, to the point that it's actually visible, especially along her belly and even on her breasts. This sounds like a dumb question already, but is this a sign of testosterone (from a baby boy (but would he even be producing it yet?))

3) The last doctor visit showed the fetus to be healthy, and with a high/strong heartbeat, which the doctor said could be an indication of a boy.

For the record, we are both hoping for a girl, but ultimately will be happy with a healthy baby, regardless of sex. I know this is all anecdotal and I might as well just flip a coin, but has anyone had any experience with correctly guessing the gender of a baby?
posted by zardoz to Health & Fitness (33 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Those kinds of indications are just about as accurate for prediction as a tossed coin. Wait for the ultrasound exam; then you'll know.
posted by Class Goat at 5:12 PM on October 13, 2008

we have had some "clues" that tell us she has a boy


Those wives' tales differ from culture to culture...
posted by kmennie at 5:15 PM on October 13, 2008

I was supposed to be a boy until the moment I was delivered, via c-section because I weighed a whopping 10 1/2 pounds. The doctor said my heartbeat was like that of a boy, too.

Whatever old wives' tales my parents believed in agreed because they were absolutely FLOORED by getting a girl and though they had a boy's name all worked out, they hadn't even considered girls names.

I've grown into a petite woman who is so small I often shop in the boys clothing section.

Also, my Mom's hair got thicker and darker during her pregnancy, too, particularly on her legs, chest, and armpits.
posted by arnicae at 5:25 PM on October 13, 2008

Unless wanting something totally invasive and unneeded, you won't actually know until you visibly see the genitalia. And even then, that's not potentially totally accurate either...
posted by ZaneJ. at 5:26 PM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

we have had some "clues" that tell us she has a boy

No, you really haven't. Sorry, but there's no science behind these myths, as much fun as they are.

Do I buy blue or pink?

posted by The corpse in the library at 5:29 PM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Regarding 1) Mrs. True's favorite meal from carying baby true was a large hamburger with fries. Said hamburger was topped with barbecue sauce. And cheese. And pulled pork. Baby true was a girl, which was quite a surprise.
posted by true at 5:30 PM on October 13, 2008

There's no way to tell, short of genetic testing or ultrasound. And it ultimately doesn't matter, because regardless of the sex, your baby will be a beautiful miracle to you, and the best thing EVER. Might be a fun distraction to make the next month go faster, though, to 'test' the myriad old wives tales out there.

With my baby, we hoped it was a girl, and I had myself convinced it was a she, based on selective attention to various superstitions and 'mother's intuition'. When he turned out to be a boy at the ultrasound, it took us exactly 1.2 seconds to get on board about Blue.
posted by oceanmorning at 5:31 PM on October 13, 2008

All those stereotypes (male = french fries, beef, greasy food, strong heart (?), etc) are all culturally linked, change over time, and have absolutely no bearing on the sex of the child she is carrying. People love to guess the sex of a baby and will look for anything they count as "clues," but there is nothing that distinguishes a boy baby from a girl baby at this point other than their teeny-tiny genitals. Please, be kind to your child and don't focus too much on stereotypically gender-related behavior. Who knows... you might have a non-manly boy or a tom-boyish girl - best just to take them as they come and treat them based on their real characteristics - not what you read into ephemeral signs.

Short answer: if you really want to know, wait a bit and get an ultrasound. There is no way to tell from her pregnancy what bits the fetus inside her has.
posted by arcticwoman at 5:36 PM on October 13, 2008 [2 favorites]

My wife and I just had our second ultrasound on Monday; we're having a boy! Up to the day of the ultrasound, if you asked either of us, we would have sworn it was a girl, just based on what random people "felt" it was, plus the fact the heart beat was really fast (it means it's a girl for sure), and you know, general intuition on the matter. I still didn't believe it at first ... staring at the ultrasound photos and I'm like "how do you know it's a boy" and they point to his third leg. :-) So yeah, make whatever guesses you want but you might as well flip a coin.

(Nice thing is, though, if you insist it's a certain gender, you've got a 50 percent chance to prove that you're clairvoyant. Not bad odds, really.)
posted by Happydaz at 5:40 PM on October 13, 2008

My wife is eight months pregnant. We've elected not to determine the sex, and my wife now is showing enough that complete strangers ask what she's having and offer their clues when she says that she doesn't know.

She was very nauseous earlier on. My aunt told me that means it's a girl. A French-Canadian woman in Quebec City told me that means it's a boy.

She's carrying quite high, and that's a definite indicator of a boy, or maybe a girl depending on whom you ask.

It's natural for you to look for clues. I sure did and remember the excitement because it was just a few months ago. But eight months in, everyone offering guesses are just contradicting each other.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:43 PM on October 13, 2008

They thought I was going to be a boy, and ultrasound "showed" that my nephew was a girl, so my brother had to improvise names when the kid was born.

My first pregnancy, I had all the symptoms you describe, plus some whopping morning sickness. I carried low and wide, which I was told "meant a boy". That was Older Boy.

Second pregnancy, no morning sickness, no cravings, no hair, just one big ass and belly. I carried high and narrow. That was Younger Boy.

So to answer your question, "yes".
posted by lysdexic at 5:48 PM on October 13, 2008


Say someone says: "You're craving pickles! You're having a boy!" Eight months later you have a girl. At this point you've forgotten the comment..

Now say someone says: "You're craving pickles! You're having a boy!" and 8 months later you really do have a boy. Next time you see that person they're all "I told you so" and you're all "oh wow, you're so right." All of a sudden both the original old wives' tale spreader and you are proponents of the pickles=boys myth. Every expectant mom you meet, you'll quiz about her pickle cravings. Your prediction will be right half the time.

Two people become four, become eight, become a whole deluded culture that believes in the pickle craving story.

Buy pink. Just asking your question guarantees you're having a girl. :)
posted by paanta at 5:58 PM on October 13, 2008 [3 favorites]

With both pregnancies, I had no morning sickness. One girl, one boy

With both pregnancies, I had weird citrus cravings. One girl, one boy

With both pregnancies, my skin got terribly dry and my back itched like crazy!! 1G1B

With both pregnancies, my hair got really long and very thick! 1G1B

I carried my girl so high and out front, I literally couldn't breathe. With my boy, people didn't even know I was pregnant until he was born. Didn't show at all.

Both babies had heartbeats in the 160s.

Since I was convinced that the second pregnancy had to be a girl (see above), seeing that little penis on the screen was one of the biggest shocks of my life!! After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I got really excited!

Enjoy every minute and know that it really won't matter one little bit. Congrats!!
posted by pearlybob at 5:59 PM on October 13, 2008

According to the infallible, sacred, ring-on-a-chain test, I was DEFINITELY a boy.

I'm a girl.
posted by desuetude at 6:06 PM on October 13, 2008 [2 favorites]

The old wives got the gender of my baby right. I carried all of my eventually 4.4 kilo baby right out in front of me, from behind you couldn't tell that I was pregnant. Everyone told me that this was an indication that the baby was a boy and, indeed, he is! I don't know if this is a superstition anywhere other than Mexico, but it's pervasive enough here that not a single person suggested that I was carrying a girl.
posted by toodles at 6:07 PM on October 13, 2008

toodles, I read about the superstition that you carry a boy high in a medieval European context, so I suppose it's an old one. I'm watching this thread with anthropological interest.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:16 PM on October 13, 2008

With my mom's last pregnancy, the heartbeat was so strong that her doctor was certain that she was going to have a boy. But she gave birth to my very girly-girl sister instead.
posted by marsha56 at 6:26 PM on October 13, 2008

I carried my 4 kg baby right out in front of me, and from behind you couldn't tell I was pregnant. Everyone predicted a boy. Nope.
posted by gaspode at 6:33 PM on October 13, 2008

The thickening of hair has nothing to do with gender. It's an evolutionary trait (along with a yellowing or yellow line appearing on the belly) that indicated to others that the female was pregnant, thus to avoid copulation from the more aggressive males in the group (and potentially harming the fetus). This trait is still found in many of our closest neighbours on the evolution trail: many apes, baboons and monkeys have the same markers.
posted by thatbrunette at 6:57 PM on October 13, 2008

Try science instead.
posted by agentofselection at 7:18 PM on October 13, 2008

It's a boy.

You're welcome.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 7:23 PM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Even science doesn't work all of the time; our oldest was named "Not Meredith" by the OB nurses because when he came out, it was suddenly clear that he was ... not Meredith. Ultrasound isn't completely reliable (but it's probably more accurate than guessing whether your wife's food cravings are manly or girly).
posted by jenkinsEar at 7:23 PM on October 13, 2008

Alas, as everyone says, you cannot know until a) the ultrasound or or b) you see the baby.

Re: the food cravings.

It might make more sense to think of the food cravings not as indicating sex, but as indicating a lack of some nutrient. i.e. pickles usually means they need salt and other minerals. There's probably a reliable book on this somewhere... and probably a hugely UNreliable book as well, so read the reviews.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 7:40 PM on October 13, 2008

I won't repeat the admonishments above but add the cute onesy with the puppy on it looks equally adorable on a girl or a boy infant. It is relatively easy to buy neutral clothes and stuff that shouldn't feel pressure to buy one thing or the other. Plus, decorating your nursery with animals or alphabet blocks or colors or all sorts of things fit in with this scheme of not knowing.
posted by mmascolino at 8:47 PM on October 13, 2008

Buy yellow and green and tie-dye.

See if her doc will do a nutrition panel on her blood.

Get a gender pool going amongst your closest and dearest.

Hope that baby turns just right for the ultrasound.

Congrats :)
posted by batmonkey at 9:08 PM on October 13, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks, all, for the answers. I pretty much knew that those "clues" don't really mean anything, but on the off chance that someone out there had a foolproof test....anyhoo. I left out that both my wife and I have had dreams that the baby is going to be a boy--now that's really unscientific. Thanks again.
posted by zardoz at 9:26 PM on October 13, 2008

I can think of at least two anecdotes among my personal acquaintances where dreams of genders turned out to be false. The subconscious is highly suggestible! I think the hirsute thing is pretty generic, it's just a pregnancy thing. Your wife is assembling a new human being inside her body, she wants protein and high-energy food, duh.

When you've got a 50/50 chance of being right anecdotes don't mean much.
posted by nanojath at 10:07 PM on October 13, 2008

(Incidentally, our baby wouldn't cooperate with the ultrasound and then decided to show up 2.5 months early! Advance preparation is overrated. Yellow is a nice neutral color)
posted by nanojath at 10:09 PM on October 13, 2008

toodles, that one has reached Malaysia as well. Doesn't work though. My baby girls 3 and 5 were high and forward.

Zardoz, if you dream of a boy, it means it is a girl. Oh, don't mention it.

My favorite superstition is that it is bad luck to prepare for the arrival of the baby - baby showers, painting the room, etc. Solves the whole problem!

/father of 6
posted by BinGregory at 11:48 PM on October 13, 2008

I have a 100% accuracy rate predicting the sex of my friends' and relatives' kids (honestly - eight out of eight so far). My magical secret? If the parents are hoping for a girl, I say boy, and vice versa. Obviously this is down to blind luck, but I'll stick with my formula and say you're definitely having a girl.

Also, congrats!
posted by jack_mo at 6:36 AM on October 14, 2008

arnicae writes "via c-section because I weighed a whopping 10 1/2 pounds"

Same here. Except I was a vaginal delivery, all 10 lbs 8 oz of me. And now I'm 6'4", so unlike you I stayed big.

For some reason all of my wife's relatives are convinced that our little zygote is a girl, but my wife and I are trying to stay neutral until we see some evidence on ultrasound. There really is no way to tell. All we're hoping for is a healthy little mammal.
posted by caution live frogs at 7:17 AM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

And even ultrasounds are not infallible....anyone who listens to Jimmy Pardo's podcast knows that he and his wife were told by their docs (after at least one if not more ultrasounds) for the entire pregnancy that they were having a girl, then Oliver popped out.
posted by tristeza at 8:48 AM on October 14, 2008

Four children later I loved not knowing the sex of the child. The baby could be born with 8 eyes and a full back tattoo and still the first thing everyone looks at is the genitals. You are having a girl buy pink.
posted by pianomover at 9:21 AM on October 14, 2008 [2 favorites]

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