Old Wives' Tales: Is it a Boy or a Girl?

In Aberdeen, the NHS hospital doesn't give expectant parents the option to find out the sex of their baby. I'm not certain whether or not we would have chosen to know - on the one hand, having a surprise is nice; on the other, it would be handy to know which set of baby names we could stop discussing (we still don't have a boy name picked though I did wake up this morning convinced we'd chosen Spartacus).

I get asked a lot if I have a hunch either way. I don't at all. But I do catch myself wondering about it.

So, purely for fun (my friends' babies have disproven all of these time and time again), I thought I'd go through the old wives' tales and see which way they're pointing.

The Bump
  • I'm carrying low. Some may say this is because I have a long torso. Some may say: IT'S A BOY
  • My bump sticks out the front (rather than out to the sides). Apparently that means: IT'S A BOY
  • I've had a linea negra (dark line) from my groin to my belly button since I went on the pill in my teens. The line is now half way between my belly button (which would mean a girl) and my ribs (which would mean a boy). So: INCONCLUSIVE

How I'm Looking 
  • At this time of year, I would normally be battling extremely dry skin. This year I've barely been outdoors so I'm not. Soft skin suggests: IT'S A GIRL
  • There's no sign of that thick, glossy pregnancy hair I was promised. Thin hair means: IT'S A GIRL
  • My left breast is a teeny bit bigger: IT'S A GIRL
  • But, my areolae have darkened: IT'S A BOY
  • My legs are their normal selves - not swollen, not extra hairy: IT'S A GIRL

How I'm Feeling
  • I'm craving cake and biscuits and ice cream more than crisps. I'm running on sugar. That means: IT'S A GIRL
  • I haven't vomited once. But, then, I never do. My Stomach of Steel is infamous amongst my friends. Still, lack of morning sickness is supposed to mean: IT'S A BOY
  • NEWSFLASH: My feet aren't cold!!! For someone with Raynaud's, this is a tiny hormonal miracle: IT'S A GIRL
  • Extra headaches? Nope: IT'S A GIRL
  • I admit: at sixteen weeks pregnant, I smashed up one bag of crisps in a fit of irrational, exhausted frustration. But, over all, am I more irritable than usual? I'd say not: IT'S A BOY

The Baby
  • In the scan photos, its lower jaw looks rounded: IT'S A GIRL
  • But, on the doppler, its heartbeat sounds like a train (not a horse): IT'S A BOY

  • My age at conception (35) plus the month of conception (7) add up to an even number: IT'S A BOY
  • Steve hasn't put on any weight (honestly, who comes up with this stuff?!): IT'S A BOY
  • I sleep on both my left (a boy!) and my right (a girl!). Which is: INCONCLUSIVE

The Final Tally

Well, that was no help at all.


  1. Haha! So interesting that they don't give you the option to find out. Here we have private ultrasound clinics that pretty much exist to tell you what sex your baby is before the anatomy scan (18-20 weeks). I'm really glad we found out beforehand but I imagine that finding out the day (s)he's born is pretty amazing too.

  2. Yeah, there are private clinics in Aberdeen but I don't know anybody who has used one! They're really expensive and we're used to getting everything health-related free! I do think Aberdeen's quite unusual in not telling people, though.

  3. Wow, I thought there was always had the option to find out. I wouldn't want to know until it arrived though, so I could live with that.

    Some of those old wive's tales crack me up. My hunch has been that you're having a girl. Its a 50/50 chance but I'll be patting myself on the back if I'm right anyway.

  4. I haven't heard of most of these.

    My son is two and we found out at the 20 week scan as he was born in Ireland and they tell you there.

    I can add to your list - although these aren't so much old wives tales. You should google the 'nub theory' and look at your 12 week scan pics. This is to do with the angle of a line you can see on the scan in the groin area. My sister in law was pregnant at the same time as me and she guessed both my son and her daughter correctly before we could find out. Also if they kick like crazy it's probably a boy.

  5. They're ridiculous, aren't they? There are others which involve peeing on different substances but I thought that was taking the game too far...

  6. Hmm... this one has days when s/he kicks solidly for hours and days when I hardly feel a thing...

    Alas, none of our scan pics are at the right angle - at the 20 week scan, the sonographer had a hard time getting all of the necessary measurements because the baby did NOT want to budge.

  7. Impressively researched! I cannot believe how many of these there are! The suspense continues ;-) Magic 8 ball?

  8. Haha! Well at least you'll be surprised...

    Going back to the name thing...I've decided it should be an S name to keep it going. So if you're not convinced by Spartacus, may I suggest Stevah or Sareve. Done. One of my friends has a K name and his wife does also, and they gave their kid a C name...but pronounced like K. Can't tell you how much this bothers me for some unknown reason.

    I realise I was no help whatsoever there so...as you were.

  9. Oh no! Magic 8 balls should only be used when you know what you want the answer to be!

  10. Ha ha! That would bother me, too. But, no, we don't want another S name - it would make dealing with the mail too confusing ("Which S. Rooftops is THIS for?").

  11. Awww, but it made for a fabulously entertaining post, so that's a winner. I think I'd prefer to be surprised, although if I had a baby I'd be longing for a girl. I know I shouldn't say things like that, but it's true.

  12. I suspect more people have a preference than are prepared to admit it. :)

  13. HAHA so if your legs don't swell, you're having a boy? That one is definitely not true.

    I think you're having a boy. My record for predictions is not fantastic so you're definitely having a girl.

    By the way I had a private scan! I went to a baby show and got a coupon thing for a clinic in Aberdeen that knocked heaps off the price. By that time I was like 'SO not doing this again' so decided I might as well get a 4D look at baby. We weren't going to find out if it was a boy or a girl but then we decided that as we weren't fussed and it wouldn't change anything, and we were paying anyway we might as well find out!!
    Got up on the bed...
    Sonographer: So do you think it's a boy or a girl?
    Me: It's definitely a boy.

    Sonographer: Er... no, it really doesn't look like that from here.
    Me: Oh! (So much for my mother's instinct)

    The day Harriet was born (after much ado over various things)
    Me: So baby really is OK?

    Obstetrician: Oh yes, she's going to be just fine. We'll just get her cleaned up.
    Me: Wait, she's still a girl?!

    By the way, as you probably guessed, I never did find those CDs! We're getting decorating done and I can't get into the loft, which is where I think they are. I can almost guarantee you will have had your baby by the time I find them. SORRY! It's L's fault for being too tidy. I don't have that problem, so they should have been where I left them...

  14. Don't worry about it - we don't actually have a CD player right now so I'd be playing them on the Xbox and it makes this very shrill, whiny noise which isn't really conducive to relaxation...!


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