Pregnancy is a wonderful time in a woman’s life. That is, after the first trimester symptoms have passed! The second trimester usually brings relief, and mom starts to look with hope to the birth of her baby. A renewed sense of energy kicks in, and she starts to think about things such as: will my baby have my eyes? Will he/she look like their dad? What gender will my baby be? It used to be that you had to wait until at least twenty weeks to find out the gender of your baby. But with new testing, waiting until you’re half-way through your pregnancy to find out is a thing of the past. So now the question is, will you find out early what you’re having?
Find out early what you’re having, before the twenty-week ultrasound
For my husband and I, the twenty-week ultrasound appointment was exciting, as we got to see the baby and hear its heart beat. Then, when we did choose to find out what it was, the anticipation was even more palpable. One time, we had the tech put the results in an envelope and my husband and other children opened it without me. They then went shopping and bought an outfit for the baby suitable for its gender. It was a girl that time, and they picked out a very girly, cute, pink dress with a princess image and a ruffled skirt. They wrapped it and gave it to me for my birthday.
But waiting for that twenty-week mark was almost agonizing! When we have chosen not to find out the gender, waiting for the birth to know was somehow easier. When we have chosen to find out the gender of our babies, I didn’t love the twenty-week wait. I don’t know anyone who has! Now, with a blood test, you are able to find out the gender of your baby when you are just 6-7 weeks along. According to one company, the results are guaranteed to be 99.9% accurate.
How a blood test works to find out early what you’re having
Everyone has an opinion; some advice is warranted, and some not so much. Whether or not to find out what you’re having is one of those things where some people agree, and some people don’t. There is a split between older folks who didn’t have the luxury to find out at all, when they were having babies. Some think it’s the best thing since sliced bread, as then you can better prepare. Others think it ruins the element of surprise. I think that they all will question how a blood test would even work to tell you the gender of your baby.
The lab tests a blood sample taken from the mother, specifically looking for male DNA. If none is present, you are having a girl. If they find male DNA, you are having…you guessed it… a boy! Having twins? Unless they find no male DNA, you won’t be able to know each gender of fraternal twins. (None would mean both are girls.) If the test shows male DNA, you know at least one of them is a boy. If they’re identical and the test shows male DNA, they’re both boys. When it does not show male DNA, both are girls. It’s pretty simple. Prior pregnancies with a boy do not skew results. This is because baby’s DNA usually makes its way out of the mother’s bloodstream within 2 days after birth.
Birth is the only 100% accurate way
Though the results are 99.9% accurate, the only way to know for sure is to give birth to your baby (or babies)! Finding out beforehand can be fun. This new way, when you don’t even have to wait until twenty weeks, cuts back on the anticipation. But, there’s also something to be said for waiting. That element of surprise definitely has a sense of magic to it. I’ve especially loved when my husband was the one to tell me the gender of our baby, right when she/he was born. But no matter what you do, or whether it is a girl or boy, all that matters is that you have a sweet new babe to love for the rest of your life.