Pros and Cons of Learning the Sex of Your Baby
One of the first decisions new parents face is whether or not to learn the sex of their baby. Here are two sides to the story
But I never tired of what happened next. More often than not, people would give me an appraising squint. A once-over. A confident smile. Then out would tumble the predictions: "It's a girl. I can tell from how high you're carrying." Or "It's a boy. You don't look pregnant from behind."
Now and then, their methods were more involved. My friend Eric solemnly tied his gold ring to a chain and held it over my open palm, a tradition of his Chinese-American family. The chain swung straight, then in a circle, then straight twice more. It was settled, Eric said. I would have a boy, and later -- if I got pregnant three more times -- I would have a girl and two more boys.
My mother performed a similar ritual handed down by her English-Swedish mother. She tied my wedding ring to a piece of thread, then dangled it over my swollen belly; we held our breath. It swung straight. "Ha!" she crowed. "You're gonna have a little boy. A hairy little boy. I know it. The ring trick is always right!"
I took this with a grain of salt. Ditto for every other homespun gender-revealing test. "So why do you go along with them?" Bill asked. "Because it's fun," I said. Fun to pretend, fun to confer, and, above all, fun to have those intense little moments with everyone from relatives to supermarket clerks.