Thursday, 10 November 2011

old wives' tales

I tell you what. Pregnancy doesn't half let you in for a load of old crap. No, I'm not changing nappies yet. Instead, I'm talking about the motley collection of old wives' tales, superstitions and rubbish that people suggest could possibly have some impact on the gender of your baby.

The gender of an unborn is of great interest to the wider world. Of course, some people have preferences for what they end up with. We're not too fussed. After all, whatever it is, it'll end up playing with Lego. I would mildly like to have a crack at parenting a girl, having had a boy. Mon Geek would mildly like to have a son. Neither of us are fussed. We just want a healthy baby. Come the scan (three weeks and counting down), and provided our child has no objection to doing a full frontal close-up while still in the womb, we'll look forward to finding out for sure. Meanwhile, however, there are lots of suggested ways to find out.

So far, 7 people think I'm having a boy, 2 think I'm having a girl, and my mum and eldest brother have some sort of sweepstake on and won't tell me what they think. Neither Mon Geek nor I have any feeling that it might be a particular sex. I've had two dreams about the baby, in one of which it was a boy and in the other of which it was a girl. So we're no help. I tried four baby gender predictors on different websites as research for this post (the things I do for you, honestly). Two said it was a boy and two a girl.

So I delved deeper. The people who come up with these things are deranged. That's actually the only firm conclusion I could draw. It suggested I look at all kinds of things including the colour of my wee and how fast my leg hair grows as opposed to before I was pregnant. So, actually "they" (whoever "they" are) are deranged AND intrusive, getting a kick out of asking total strangers about urine and leg hair. Freaks.

And some of these superstitions are nuts. Special points go to the people that think if you crave chocolate, you're sure to be carrying a girl, and if you want crisps and cheese it's a boy. I haven't had many cravings yet - except for cheese, ice cream and milk, which coincidentally are all the things I crave when premenstrual. Possibly something to do with the same hormones being active? Well, possibly. I also like the people who look at how high you're carrying your bump. Umm, I am five foot tall and overweight (this is not a bad thing, I'm placing no value judgment on myself, I'm stating a fact). My bump is *always* going to look high.

Swinging a needle over my bump told me I was going to have a boy. The fact that my hair looks like a bird's nest told me I was carrying a girl. In fact, if you're carrying a girl, you're supposed to look worse and more knackered than you did before pregnancy. Which I do...maybe because I'm undertaking a three-hour daily commute door to door, studying for a qualification which involves two gruelling twelve-hour days in Birmingham each month, travelling regularly on business trips and, well, life. And suddenly I'm coping with pregnancy as well? Of course I'm not going to look dewy and fresh-faced. I look like a bear rudely awoken during hibernation and intent on killing the waker-upper. Which frankly is a fair reflection of my mental state.

And whether I'm married to Mon Geek will affect what we're likely to have? Umm, bollocks. I don't think for a moment that my having a pretty dress and some new finger bling is going to bring forth a rush of XY (or XX) sperm, which last time I checked was how baby gender gets decided. And if it did, well, to be honest, I'd worry. I'd worry badly.

About my dry cleaning bill.

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