For my mom, the sex of the first baby was very important. Where she grew up (in Iran, ages ago), first born sons brought a lot of pride to the family and even in those old days, there were many ways to discover the sex of the baby.
Only when I got pregnant for the first time, I learned about all those beliefs and traditions:
- If you are pretty during your pregnancy, it means you will have a boy (because girls take away your beauty)
- If you hold your necklace with your wedding ring hanging from it and the ring moves in circles, you will have a girl
- If you touch your nose after someone sprinkles salt on your head (without your knowledge), you will have a boy (because he will grow a mustache under his nose), but if you touch your eyebrows, you will have a girl
It was so funny, I thought back then I could do a PhD thesis on the beliefs surrounding the sex of babies.
Somehow, my story was a bit more complicated. Everyone said I had a boy (because of my head, my butt and my beautiful hair during the pregnancy) and I never argued. When I had the first ultrasound, I asked the doctor about the sex of my baby, but he could not tell, because it was too early or the position was not comfortable or something.
For about 7 months, I thought I had a boy, not that it mattered, until one weekend, I went to visit a relative and met her mom, who was an old woman from Iraq. She walked up to me, touched my belly and asked me “Would you like to know what you have?” I smiled. I “knew” I had a boy, but I was curious to discover another traditional way to tell.
“Sure”, I said.
“You have a girl”, she said confidently.
“How do you know?” I asked her.
“I was a midwife in Iraq and I can tell by your belly button. I helped deliver thousands or babies and I’ve never been wrong”.
I went home smiling. There was a conflict between all the other predictions (boy) and the Iraqi midwife’s (girl).
“Would you like to know the babies’ sex?” she asked.
“Sure”, I said, curious to know what modern medicine would predict.
“You have a girl”, she said. I did not know what to think.
However, the doctor was not very happy with that technician’s measurements and said to me, “Come back tomorrow. The other technician here is very professional and I would like her do the measurements again. By the way, if she says it’s a girl, it will be accurate”.
So I came the next day, hoping the measurements were not accurate and my baby was not too big. The other technician said everything looked fine and “Yes, you have a baby girl”.
After almost 8 months of thinking I had a boy, I had to come to terms with the idea that I had a girl (which did not take too long, because I was happy either way).
In the evening, I called my mom and said on the phone with lots of excitement, “Mom, I had another ultrasound today and I have a baby girl”.
And my mum replied, “Never mind. It’s not so bad”.
I always knew my mom thought that having a first son was the best thing. Her first was a girl and in the culture she grew up in having a first daughter was a sign of weakness (I am so happy I was not born then and there).
I think that more than having a first son, which is a tradition of cultures that puts the responsibility on the first born to take care of the family and his aging parents, the desire to have children from both sexes is greater. When my first was born, I did not mind at all about the sex. With the second pregnancy, I wanted it to be a different sex to allow me to experience both sexes.
Knowing your babies’ sex is a debate that I hear many times. Some say it does not matter, that it cannot be changed anyway and it needs to be a surprise, just like nature meant it to be. Others say it is better to know in advance. For them, you cannot change it anyway, so it is better to know and prepare for yourself. If it is what you wanted, cool, you can be happy months before. If not, you can prepare yourself and get used to the idea.
My mom thought she should comfort me for having a baby girl (as a first born) and that I should not have asked to know the baby’s sex. I guess she thought the disappointment is not as great when you already see your baby and hold her in your arms (or maybe when you are partially sedated).
So, if you or your partner were pregnant and the doctor asked you during an ultrasound check if you would like to know the sex of your baby, what would you say?
Would you like to know the sex of your baby?
Please tell us why in the comment box below.
Regardless of their sex, I hope you have fun with your kids,