This is a question I asked myself many times while contemplating if it was possible to indeed choose the sex of your unborn baby. Of course, this is without using any of the high end methods such as invitro fertilization which is extremely costly yet without a doubt the most effective way to choose your baby’s sex. However, for those of us living in the real world, this option is simply not within our means so we are forced to look at alternative methods which are albeit not as dependable, but have shown some success rates, including my own experience that are worth looking into.
First off, let me share my story and my experience as to what lead me down the adventurous path of choosing my baby’s sex. It was 2004 and my 10 year old daughter was getting older and of course, so was I. At the age of 32, I started down that exciting road of trying to get pregnant again. It proved much more difficult than I anticipated when after a year of trying I still hadn’t conceived.
I had almost given up and then one morning while my daughter was having a sleep over and I was standing over a skillet of pancakes, my husband and I were discussing life in general and I noticed I was more irritable and agitated than my usual self. Suddenly the light bulb went off and I realized my period was late. After he left for work, I ran to the bathroom, grabbed a pregnancy test, and was thrilled 10 minutes later to find I was indeed pregnant.
For some reason the thought of having a baby boy was exhilarating and I couldn’t help but think how perfect it would be to add a gorgeous son to our family. My husband was also looking forward to the possibility but of course chose not to admit it, instead saying as long as it was healthy was all he could hope for, which was very nice yet I knew better. My daughter claimed she couldn’t care less and was thrilled at the fact she would finally have a sibling. However, one day and I will never forget it, she turned to me and blurted out, “Mom, I know it’s a girl.” I hate to admit this, but my heart sank for a moment and something deep inside me knew she was right. Sure enough, as the ultrasound had also confirmed, my beautiful Savannah was born 6 months later. She was absolutely the most beautiful little baby, aside from daughter #1, I had ever laid eyes on and my life couldn’t have been any better.
Almost immediately, I knew I would become pregnant again. In my mind I thought, ok, I had my “only” child meaning my 10 year old daughter, I felt it was only right to have a sibling for my youngest addition to share that special bond I had with my own sister who was a mere 16 months younger than myself. That was my excuse anyway and after an unexpected miscarriage 6 months after Savannah was born I decided to do this next and last pregnancy a little different.
I happened to be visiting a friend one day and shared with her my desire for a baby boy and expressed my curiosity at the possibility of choosing your baby’s sex at conception. She immediately perked up and said, “Oh but it is possible to choose the sex of your baby, I did it myself!” At that moment call it fate or a sign, her youngest and only son came toddling through the door and proceeded to chunk the car he was carrying across the room.
She shared with me her own experience where her husband had made it known without reservation he wanted a son and they would simply keep trying until he got one. After the birth of her second daughter she decided to take matters into her own hands. In the end, she was indeed successful. Her story gave me hope that it was possible and spurred me even further in my desire to achieve the unachievable, choosing the sex of my baby.
Is Gender Selection for You?
I am going to throw this out there simply because it is stating the inevitable and something you will find when doing your research: This method does not by any means have a high success rate. For as many success stories you find, you are bound to find as many non-success stores. As you read and do your homework, you too will hear this over and over and it is easy to get discouraged. All I can offer is it worked for me, I thank god everyday for the beautiful little boy that was given us. And it must be said to those naysayers and unbelievers that we can all agree on the undeniable fact that any baby is a special gift period. No one can deny that the creation of life is something to be marveled and admired. However, when playing the odds of choosing your baby’s gender I decided to look at this bizarre ordeal in two ways: 1) Even if I ended up with a precious girl, I would know I had done everything possible to achieve my son and in the end it was a win-win really no matter what the sex. And 2) I was doing something I would not do again in my lifetime, this was my last pregnancy, never again would my body create and carry another person which is an amazing process in itself.
I thought, what a crazy experience to look back on in the years ahead and get a chuckle if nothing else. I mean, it is crazy right? To actually think you can choose the gender of your baby? Well, I for one do believe its possible because it happened to me and it can happen to you too. So, without further ado let’s get to it.
Theories and Speculation
In opting to try gender selection I did a lot of research. In actuality, there is almost too much information that will either help you or really just confuse you as some of the methods are contradictory to each other. Personally, I found it to be overwhelming at times. After doing some trial and error, I took a deep breath and finally decided I would read as much I could get my hands on and then pick and choose based on good old common sense and could only hope my gut would lead me to my desired outcome.
The two most popular theories for gender selection are The Shettles Method and the Whelan Theory. As I have stated, these are the most popular yet they do contradict each other. Both theories basically have the same concept and suggest that you can predict the sex of your baby by manipulating the timing of conception in relation to when ovulation occurs. Both refer to the male Y chromosome and the female X chromosome. Simply, whichever chromosome reaches the egg first will be the deciding factor on what sex the fetus will be.
The Shettles method states that it has been scientifically proven the male Y chromosomes are faster yet less stable than the female X chromosomes. In essence, since the Y chromosomes are faster, as long as conception occurs within 1-2 days of ovulation the Y chromosome will fertilize the egg first which will result in a male fetus. However, should conception occur 3 to 5 days before ovulation then only the more durable and stable X chromosomes will outlive and outlast the Y chromosome resulting in a female fetus. Outside of this main concept, Dr. Shettles also advises certain sexual positions as well as whether or not to have an orgasm which will affect the environment fertilization will occur.
The Whelan method relies on biochemical changes in a woman’s body that occur prior to ovulation which determines the sex of the baby. To conceive a boy, conception would need to occur 4 to 6 days before ovulation and to conceive a girl, conception needs to occur only 2 to 3 days before ovulation. This theory encourages certain diets to affect the acidic versus alkaline environment of the vagina at the time of conception. This is related to the fact that boy sperm tend to react better in a more subtle alkaline environment than do female sperm who tend to thrive in an acidic environment.
Since both of these theories are centered around ovulation, your first step when you are ready to begin is to purchase ovulation kits so you will know when you ovulate. It is suggested to start early and give yourself a few trial runs to get more in tune with your body and how it works. These can be purchased at any drugstore or department store next to the pregnancy kits. Depending on the brand they generally run about $7-10 for 1-2 kits. There are other ways to determine ovulation like basal body temperature and observing the position of your cervix however I chose to use the kits, it just makes life a little easier.
Must Have Resources
In my path of gender selection discovery, I used several resources that proved invaluable. Should your first attempt be successful, consider yourself lucky. For me, it was not that easy and when your window is only 1-2 days in a month then let’s just say you will have a lot of free time on your hands. Time to think and ruminate and think some more. An invaluable resource I used daily was a site called Babycenter.com. This gave me a place to be heard and I got a chance to talk to other women going through the same thing. Further, I got a lot of ideas not to mention some much needed support. Gender selection wasn’t something I wanted to advertise and due to the blow of my miscarriage I decided not to share with anyone I was even trying to conceive. Consequently this online support group became my safe haven and a place I could go when feeling discouraged and kind of unleash all my frustrations. Most importantly, it was a place I went to ask questions and see what other moms-to-be were doing on their quest. For instance, it was here I heard of a lubricant called PreSeed you insert prior to intercourse which is supposed to help create a more suitable environment for ferilization. Another tip I received from the forum was to use an Instead Cup which is a cup that is inserted after intercourse to keep the sperm up close to the cervix. The first time I tried using these I became pregnant. Whether I would have conceived without these two little tricks, I’ll never know but I know I wouldn’t do it again without them. As I stated before, these forums contain a wealth of information and ideas that you can use. Simply go to Babycenter.com, click on the Getting Pregnant category and look up a forum titled Determining Sex.
My second set of resources was reading two books that helped me gain an overall understanding of what I was doing. The first one was How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby by Landrum B. Shettles which spelled out the Shettles method and how it worked. The other book was titled Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. This book wasn’t necessarily a gender selection book even though it touched on the subject briefly, it was more an everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-your-body book. It helped me learn how to develop charts to record my menstrual clycles, tempature, and conception attempts. These proved very useful and I believe I got more in tune with my body and how it ticked than I ever before.
What Worked for Me
I decided to go with the Shettles concept because that is what worked for my friend and also I found it more sensible than the Whelan theory. As mentioned above I used the PreSeed and Instead cup and viola almost a year after Savannah was born, Jackson, my son was conceived. Let me add that once you are done with this process, especially if you are like me and got lots of practice trying to conceive, you will know your reproductive self better than you ever thought. Keeping track of your ovulation cycles is only the tip of the iceberg.
Depending on how serious you are or desperate may be a better term, will determine how far you are will go in this process. Other methods aiding in gender selection include: diets, vitamins, having your husband drink caffeine prior to having sex, douching methods, vaginal temperature, testing your vaginal pH, examining your mucous to determine ovulation, using turkey basters for insemination techniques, and there are others. I can proudly say I participated in almost all of them, well, um except the turkey baster only because that is for having girls, thank goodness. Like I said, it was a journey.
What will work for you should you choose this road is up to you. Try not to take it too seriously and it could actually be fun. I must say it is an adventure if nothing else and though it can be frustrating at times, it can also be the most rewarding thing you will ever do. After all, what is waiting for you at the end of this road no matter what the gender is what counts. Good luck!