Boys and Girls, Girls and Boys!

A lovely woman by the name of Katrina, and who writes THIS BLOG, is hosting a linkup to share experiences with girl pregnancies vs. boy pregnancies. What a great idea and since I heard about the linkup through Rosie, I’ll just link to her contribution HERE!!

I had to laugh just a little bit when I read Rosie’s entry because I had heard the exact OPPOSITE about boy sperm and girl sperm than she had. Here’s my version, on this About com page about Shettles Method and page down to “X-bearing” and “Y-bearing” and that is the version I had heard about which sperm “swim slower and live longer” 🙂

Okay, about my pregnancies! First of all, I’m an “older” mommy-blogger so I don’t have handy pictures of most of my pregnancies (didn’t start this whole blogging thing until Dominic was almost a year old!)

Sarah’s pregnancy was one of those deals where Craig and I decided to “try” and we “tried” early and often that cycle. I knew NOTHING about charting at that point, and couldn’t care less about whether anything we did would have impacted which gender of baby we received.

When pregnant with Sarah, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. And over time, I’ve figured out what works for me. One thing I do remember was that morning sickness was terrible with Sarah. But thankfully, it didn’t last too long. I had a weekend around 10 weeks that was horrendous, I don’t think I got off the couch for either day of the weekend.

One thing I always remember about each pregnancy is the heart rate of my babies in utero. This has been, by far, the most accurate indicator for me of the gender of my babies. My girls never dropped below 160 and the boys never rose above 140. While I was pregnant with her, Sarah’s heart rate never dropped below 165 bpm and she was usually around 170 bpm.

Sarah Rebecca was born 10 days overdue, weighed 9.5 pounds and was 21 inches long. And her eyes were brown from the moment of her birth. I remember being so shocked at that, but she looked at me quietly from my tummy with her big brown eyes.

Sarah Rebecca
*****

Dani’s pregnancy was again, one of those deals where we went for it early and often. Looking at my chart, probably the same type of deal as with Sarah.

And NO Morning Sickness! Not even a little queasiness this time. Again, Dani’s first heart rate was measured at 170 bpm and she was also in the high 160’s after that. I had a fairly uneventful pregnancy until we discovered a low amount of fluid with about 12 days until my due date. My doctor said I could keep coming in every day for stress tests, or it looked like baby was okay with induction if I wanted to.

So, we did (induce) and she was my fastest labor and easiest labor (after I got that darn epidural!) Doctor told me to push starting at 10:05 (or something…birth story is here) and I only had 2 pushes and she was out! She had bruises from “rapid pushing.” Danielle Christine was 8 lb, 10 oz at birth, born 10 days early. 

Danielle Christine
*****

When we got pregnant with Helen, I had done a little more research on whether we could actually impact the gender of the babies we conceived. One thing I had hoped to try was limiting our, ahem, opportunities for conception to every other day. But…we failed miserably at this and therefore, our attempts to conceive Helen looked very much like our attempts to conceive the other two we’d had.

Sure enough, the first time we measured a heartbeat it was 168 bpm. Helen’s pregnancy was my first one where I needed to treat my progesterone deficiency. 300 mg Prometrium, orally, at bedtime…through 15 weeks. Another non-morning sickness-y, fairly uneventful pregnancy this time around and I grew my biggest baby yet. I knew Helen was bigger than the other two at about 8 months…I could just feel how big she was.

My dear Helen Olivia was the one closest to her due date, so far, as she was born 3 days before. I was induced, but I think she was coming anyway as I was already 4.5 cm dilated when I arrived at the hospital and they had to send me home to come back next morning! She was 9 pounds 9 ounces and 20 inches long with a “one-month old’s thighs” and the sweetest cheeks you ever did see.

Helen Olivia
*****

When it came time to try for Dominic, I am just going to be brutally honest here, but I was really gonna try this “every other day” thing. Additionally…I was gonna try really hard to time our opportunity/opportunities as close to ovulation as I thought without jumping the gun on it. And…I stuck to it. Is that why we conceived a boy this time? Only God knows, of course. But…we were really disciplined and seriously, our best opportunity for success, my doctor pointed out, was what we had “tried” for.

The first heartbeat measurement for Dominic was 135 bpm. Immediately, I had my “hunch” it was a boy this time, but I refused to let myself believe it. Most of Dominic’s heart rate measurements were 120. I remember thinking it was so low…but the doctor never seemed worried. Also, the morning sickness!! I had been spared since Sarah and now…it was back with a vengeance! (I decided that FOR ME, my body needed adjusting to growing each gender — so I was sick with Sarah, but not sick with the other two girls. Then I was sick with Dom, but not so much with the boys after him.)

At the ultrasound where we found out that Dominic was, indeed, a boy, I asked the nurse to double-check! And she pointed precisely to the baby in the right spot and said, “THAT, right there, means this baby is a boy.” My progesterone problems worsened this go round, but I was still able to address it with nighttime administration of Prometrium. Dominic was the first time I failed the 1-hr glucose test, too! I really worried about going in for that 3-hour test, but I passed that one fine.

Dominic was born about 3 days after his due date. My doctor was going to make me wait it out a full week, but I couldn’t stop crying when I realized he wouldn’t schedule an induction for me yet and somehow, he was able to pull some strings to get me in a couple days earlier than he thought. I loved that Dominic Richard was born on 1/16 at 1:16 p.m. I’ll always love telling him that. He was 9 pounds 2 oz and 22 inches long. And he was laid back from the minute he was laying on the warming bin at the hospital, with his leg hanging over the side.

Dominic Richard
*****

Once we had a boy, and because the way we “tried” for Dominic had worked, I was all about trying that way again. Once again, we think we probably hit the prime opportunity as it was probably the day ovulation took place, by my chart. My progesterone issues were even worse. Every time we checked, they kept dropping. I just kept crying every time I heard from the nurse after my blood draws. Finally, we went to progesterone injections (in the bum). Around the same time, I called and asked our priest to administer the Sacrament, Annointing of the Sick. I remember feeling a lot of peace when he laid his hands on my head. With that and the injections, we made it to 18 weeks and then were able to stop the injections.

The first time we got Vincent’s heart beat it was right at 140 (not OVER). Most of Vincent’s heart rate measurements were 133 or 135 bpm. At the ultrasound for Vincent, it was I who told the tech, “I do believe this is another little boy” as I saw the image up on the screen. With Vincent, again, I failed the 1-hr glucose test and had to complete the 3-hr test. These boys were proving a bit more troublesome!

Vincent was born about a week early due to induction. He was my longest labor at 27 hours. He just seemed to enjoy hanging out in my uterus, but when he decided to join us — he did it whole-hog! Birth story here… Vincent weighed 8 pounds 10 oz and was 20 inches long and was born so late at night, I was sooooo tired!! He also screamed and screamed UNTIL, they put him in my arms and then, he was quiet. I loved that about my sweet Vincent Gerard.

Vincent Gerard


*****

With baby #6, we knew we were taking a chance of conceiving, but we were a little surprised to be blessed with him. We figured we HAD to have hit a perfect timing thing because there was only one opportunity that could indicate his presence anyway, based on the chart. The progesterone problems persisted and so we were back on the injections. I asked Father again for the Annointing of the Sick. We made it to 15 weeks and were able to stop the injections. This baby’s heart beat measured low, too. The first time I heard his heart beating was at 13 weeks and it was 130 bpm. I then had my hunch that we had been blessed with another little boy.  Then at 17 weeks, it was 115 bpm, and I remember being worried, but the doc said anything over 110 was “normal” range. Well, HERE IS THE REST. My baby boy, Gregory, born into Heaven on March 1, 2013 weighed 12 ounces and was a perfect, tiny little Saint. We miss him very much.

So, yeah, my pregnancies for each gender were different. And even pregnancies of the same gender differed in some ways. But for me, the heart rate thing was a give-away of gender.

Five Munchkins