When I got pregnant with my first child I said that the gender of my baby didn’t matter. I really didn’t care whether I had a boy or a girl. For the most part that was true, however, when I found out that I was going to be having a boy I became disappointed. I only have a sister; I only envisioned having girls. When the time came for us to get pregnant with our second child I became…well…almost obsessed with figuring out how to ensure that I would have a girl. Do I really believe that I had that much control? Well, I do believe that ultimately the decision is up to the Lord and He knows the children that will be part of our family. I also believe that He gave us modern medicine and research and if I want to take the time to read said research and perhaps feel like I’m somewhat in control (knowing fully well that I’m not) then sure what’s the harm? So I’m going to tell you the measures I took to try to have a baby girl.
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Choosing the Gender: How I conceived a girl naturally
Now there’s a lot out there on gender swaying and you can spend a ton of time reading the various methods and the scientific proof supporting those methods. If you’re like me you probably don’t have a ton of time to sit and focus on the medical research and various studies of gender swaying. (Maybe you do have time and in that case check out the books at the end of this blog post.) No time to read books? Here’s what I did:
- Started taking my temperature: This is similar to the conception method of taking your basal body temperature (BBT) to help determine ovulation. I didn’t purchase a fancy thermometer nor did I have a detailed chart. I used a basic thermometer first thing in the morning, before I even got out of the bed, wrote down my temp on a little notepad. Then, when I was a little more caffeinated. I would log onto a website called Fertility Friend where I could chart my temperature and see the rise in temperature when ovulation is occurring with all the perks of their premium membership. Fertility Friend, back in 2010, had a simple stoplight method. Red meant not ovulating or even close to ovulating. Green meant go time, you’re ovulating. Yellow meant that ovulation was within days. The yellow light that was the key to conceiving my daughter not trying to conceive during ovulation, rather trying before ovulation.
- The Shettles Method: After two months of tracking my temperature I figured out a pattern. From there I adhered to what’s called the Shettles Method, named after its creator Landrum B. Shettles, who developed the method in the 1960s and coauthored the book How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby with David Rorvik. According to the method, sperm is either an X-sperm (girl) or a Y-sperm (boy) and they each have different characteristics. Each egg that the mother is carrying is an X chromosome, so XY equals boy and XX equals girl. Boy sperm is faster than girl sperm, however, it does not live as long as girl sperm. Girl sperm is slower than boy sperm but, you guessed it, lives longer than boy sperm. The theory is that if you want to have a boy you need to conceive the day before or on the day you ovulate since the boys are speedy but not as hardy as the girls. If you have to conceive a girl, you guessed it, you need to take advantage of the girl sperm’s ability to outlast the boy sperm. The key to achieving this is to conceive before ovulation. When I say “before” I mean two to three days before ovulation.
That was it. That’s what I did. That’s the very basic answer in how I use the Shettles Method to conceive Pippy, my middle child. The Shettles Method also states that one should not fully be satisified when trying to conceive a girl so I did do that when we were trying to conceive our second child. The reason I’m not saying that part of full-proof is because my youngest is a girl and I definitely didn’t try to be please. I don’t know how accurate that part of the Method is so don’t take my word for it.
Is there concrete scientific proof that the Shettles Method works? Absolutely not. In fact there are more studies out there that conclude the Shettles Method to be ineffective and may even hinder conception. It took us two months when we were trying to conceive a girl to become pregnant. It’s not 100% guaranteed but it doesn’t hurt to try. At least that’s what I think. Should you become obsessive about trying to sway the gender of your baby one way or another? No, you should never become obsessive about anything. If you’re interested in the topic, check out these resources:
How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby: Fully revised and updated by Shettles and Rorvik (this is the original book I mentioned earlier)