Have you ever thought about having a natural birth… but you were a little intimidated or weren’t really sure how to prepare? ?♀️ I’m sharing some of the Benefits of a Natural Birth and why I chose to have a home birth ?
When people learn that I have had both of my babies without medication (and am currently planning my third home birth), I usually get a few different reactions… read more
This is probably the most common question you get as an expectant mother, right up there with “are you still throwing up?” (which thankfully I have found a few ways to help manage it!)
Typically, you can’t find out your baby’s gender before about 16 weeks without resorting to very expensive genetic testing (typically used for high risk pregnancies and usually costing well over $1,000). Many doctors make you wait until the 20 week anatomy scan.
What if you just HAVE to know?
If you just want to find out your baby’s gender early but don’t want to spend 4 figures to do so, what’s out there?
Sneak-Peek is a early gender DNA test that uses a small blood sample from an expectant mother to check for the presence of any “Y” chromosomes, indicated whether your baby is a boy or a girl. The test is able to detect gender at as early a date as 9 weeks, so it definitely got my attention!
This is my third pregnancy and first time I had ever heard about a home test like this! After I learned about it, I realized it was gaining more and more popularity.
Frequently Asked Questions
Shipping was fast and easy for me. I was pretty impressed with how quickly it came in! Sneakpeek offers a “Fast Track” option with faster shipping and turnaround, so if you are in a hurry that’s a great option.
How Sneak Peek Works
We don’t always think about it, but during pregnancy the mother and the baby are connected and sharing blood as it circulates through the placenta and the umbilical cord. As the mother and baby are sharing blood, traces of the baby’s DNA make their way into the mother’s blood stream. Sneak Peek works by taking a sample of the mother’s blood and analyzing it for the babies DNA.
From there, they are able to determine if there are any Y-chromosomes present, signifying a male fetus, or if there are only X-chromosomes present, signifying a female fetus.
Accuracy and Questions
This was a big question for me, having a scientific background and being analytical by nature (and my husband even more so!). The basic science seems straight forward enough, even if this is a newer process.
One thing that Sneak-Peek has going for them is a full money back guarantee if they get the gender wrong. So thankfully you don’t have much to lose if you want to give it a try!
Getting the Sample
The test preparation is pretty straight forward. Most people do the at home test option and follow the enclosed instructions to get a good sample (thankfully it doesn’t take much!).
Since I’m a wimp at drawing my own blood, I went ahead and opted to do mine at a local clinic here in Bentonville. It took about 10 minutes from start to finish to take the sample and get it set for mail out. I really did appreciate that there are options for doing it at home or in a clinic environment. If you are concerned about collecting the sample yourself, you might want to consider this option.
This off-site collection option is pretty new, and the only difference in my kit was that there was no lancets or other materials to collect my own blood (since I didn’t need to). The full home kit has all you need to get the sample yourself (which is pretty straightforward thankfully!)
Here’s everything in the box for the home test kit:
detailed printed instructions
a scrub brush to thoroughly clean under your nails (preventing contamination)
a rubber band to decrease circulation (increasing blood in the fingertip)
three lancets for drawing the blood sample
a blood collection tube
alcohol swabs for cleaning your fingertips
a box for the collection tube once you have your sample
return postage label
There are a lot of warnings on the box about not allowing males to handle the sample material, and I’ve heard concerns from families with a lot of males in the house about contamination (since detecting a Y chromosome is how the test works). So make sure to follow the directions carefully!
Sneak Peek is very good about email communication, I was informed when my sample arrived and an estimated time until sample completion, and my results came in slightly before their expected delivery window.
My blood draw was at about 2 PM on a Tuesday, and the sample was picked up by USPS at 3 PM. We received an email on Thursday that the sample was received and in the testing queue at 4:40 PM, and had our final results at 6:40 PM.
So something like 52 hours from sample to results. The turnaround really was quite remarkable!
UPDATE: So did it work?!?!
In my case, yes it did! My test indicated we were having a boy and sure enough, he made his appearance right on time!
Overall Thoughts and Recommendation
I found Sneak Peek a very easy company to deal with, they were very helpful with my husband’s and my questions (of which there were quite a few!).
Sneak Peek touts a 99% accuracy for tests collected without contamination, which is obviously pretty impressive! I felt more confident with having the blood draw in a clinic per above rather than the in home test, since there would be very little chance of male DNA contamination.
I know that even ultrasounds are only 80% accurate (and many people verify results with multiple ultrasounds “just to be sure”. For me, I would use this test plus an ultrasound before any decision making purposes (like a gender reveal party or decorating a nursery).
It was really fun to do and if just WANT to know as soon a possible, I would totally recommend trying it for yourself!
This is Aidalyn’s birth story and a 3 year update! I thought it was appropriate to share on her 3rd birthday.
This was the day I became a Mama.
Aidalyn is such a joy. She is so full of energy and and spunk. She is so stubborn and will fight you to the death that her dress is actually a shirt (or vise versa depending on her mood). I think she would be a great lawyer.
She loves My little pony and Go Diego Go! oh and don’t forget Disney Princesses!
Her favorite foods are black beans and cheese, almond butter sandwiches, and muffins. Favorite snacks are popcorn, nuts, yogurt, cheese, and fruit.
Her bedtime is 8 pm and we read a book, sing a song, and say a prayer (she will say one too most nights and pray for her friend Charlotte). She wakes up at 8 am usually asking where daddy is.
This birth story was actually written just a few days after Aidalyn’s birth, so hopefully it is more reliable than me retelling the story now. Enjoy!
I started having contractions early Wednesday morning around 5:30. I was 5 days post due date (or only 2 days late given due date based on conception/ovulation and not last menstrual period). I started timing them and noticed they were about 10 mins apart. I had been having weeks and weeks of BH contractions so I didn’t want to get too excited. I just stayed in bed, glancing at the clock whenever I’d have a contraction. They weren’t too strong, but they were consistent.
When Adam woke up for work around 6, I told him what was happening and to keep his phone close. I stayed in bed until 8 and then called my midwife, Becca. She told me to get my contractions going by being active. So the rest of the day I went walking for two hours, skipping, squatting, shopping at mall, going to Starbucks. I was doing anything to stay on my feet.
Becca came by the house to check me around 5 or 6 that evening. My contractions were around 7 mins apart, still not strong enough to cause any pain. I was dilated to 3 and 100% effaced, but that was no change since my last appt. My contractions were real, but not painful at all. They just were not progressing to active labor. I had previously had cryosurgery of my cervix when I was 18, and a side effect is for your cervix not to dilate and cause labor to be very drawn out. I had been coached by Becca to be aware of this. So, we all decided to go to bed and try again in morning. Adam decided to stay home from work and help me get this labor going.
On Thursday, I woke up went walking again. My contractions were weaker than Wednesday. Becca came over around 12. We talked about how my body was trying to go into labor, but my cervix wasn’t cooperating. We decided to strip my membranes, I took homeopathics, used pressure points, and I ate spicy food. Around 3:30, I ended up on my exercise ball to help ease the contractions. My contractions started getting stronger around 4 or so where I couldn’t talk through them. By 4:30 my contractions were in full bloom: harder and getting closer coming less than 5 minutes apart. Becca came over shortly.
Before Becca arrived, I moved into the bedroom. I labored on my hands and knees for about 2 hours. I had some heat on my back at one point. Becca and Adam fixed the bed for me, putting all the waterproofing on. During the contractions I would say “ooooh, ooooh, ooooh” in a low voice. I was in control of them for the most part. If I was prepared for one coming, it wasn’t bad. But If I was talking right up to the contraction, I had a little more difficulty handling the pain.
I had three strong contractions back to back and I said “I need a break!” then I got about a three min break. I looked at Becca and said that’s a long break. She said “I know!” I went through transition right after the break. During transition I got the shakes very badly and I threw up. It was pretty quick though. Becca asked if I wanted her to check me. She checked me and I was at 7 cm. I asked if I could get in tub ( Becca thought “if you make it to the tub!”) I got in the tub and labored there for two more hours. Adam ended up in the tub with me. At first I laid down in the tub, but the contractions didn’t seem like they were very effective in that position. I found some comfort in feeling the water run over my hand during a contraction. Then, I moved into kneeling on my knees and faced Adam. He held me through the contractions. Becca left us in the bathroom to labor by ourselves.
I started feeling the contractions lower in my pelvis. I remembered that these were the pushing contractions. The contractions seemed to be pushing too far back, so I moved into a position where I felt the pushing more towards the middle of my pelvis. I looked at Adam and said “I think she’s coming. I feel her head. Is her head out?” He kept telling me “no, no she’s not coming yet…” Then I finally convinced him that she was, and he called Becca into the bathroom. Becca was on the phone in our bedroom giving the other midwife directions to our house. (I had progressed so quickly she wasn’t going to make it!)
When Becca came into the bathroom, Aidalyn’s whole forehead had emerged already. When Becca looked, she saw that Aidalyn had her hand next to her face which explained why it had taken 2 hours in the tub (So theoretically I could have been in active labor for less than 4 hours, if Aidalyn hadn’t had her hand up!) Becca coached me to raise my leg to give room for her hand. In three pushes, Aidalyn was out at 9:10 PM on Thursday, December the 2nd. Becca passed her threw my legs and I grabbed her and turned around to sit with Adam in the tub.
Aidalyn was in shock from such a quick labor, so we needed to get out of the tub and get her breathing and more responsive. Her APGAR scores were 5 and 6. We moved to the bed where Becca turned Aidalyn on her belly and got her to start crying. I held her and laid in bed with Adam as the midwifes left us alone. The other midwives arrived about 30 minutes after the birth. I nursed her for about an hour.
The midwives came back in the room and started doing all the measurements of Aidalyn: 9 lbs, 20 ½ inches, 14 cm head circumference. She was perfect! My mom arrived about an hour after the birth. I was a little scared for them to check me, because of how big she was. When it was time to check me, I only had first degree tearing and it wasn’t bad at all. Becca said I really didn’t require a stitch, but I would have to be on bed rest for two days for healing. The other midwife and Becca decided to give me one stitch just to be safe.
When we were settled, the midwives left and my mom , Adam, Aidalyn, and I went to bed. It was around 2 or 3 in the morning. It really was perfect and I wouldn’t do it any other way. The adrenaline was so high after the birth that I told Adam I wanted to do it again! I was in active labor for 4.5 hours and in the end had an amazing un-medicated childbirth experience that ended in a perfect miracle, my daughter, Aidalyn Grayce. read more
I still can’t believe it. We found out 3 days ago and I’m still pinching myself.
We are having a girl!!!
She looked so perfect on the ultrasound. We saw her little legs kicking, her heart pumping… it all made my heart melt.
This pregnancy has been much different for me emotionally than with Aidalyn. With Aidalyn, we were just so excited about adding this mystical thing called a baby into our lives. Neither of us really had much experience with babies. We didn’t know what we were getting into, but we were thrilled!
We knew that PMD was a possibly and “tried” for a girl through supplements and timing of sex. I, at the time, did a lot less “research” in the idea of swaying and we just basically did what the first thing I found said to do. We obviously prayed and prayed and prayed for months (and years before hand!). To our surprise, we were blessed with Aidalyn – and what a blessing she has been to us!
I always wanted more than one child and absolutely LOVED pregnancy (albeit after about 17 weeks) and labor was amazing. I didn’t want to miss out on the chance to try once more. We talked about just adopting and probably still will in a few years, but God really led us to try naturally.
Again, prayers and prayers led us on our journey. I dove back into the swaying sites and found some really interesting studies. The current world wide sex ratio at birth is 107 boys to 100 girls. The only time this ever shifts where more girls are conceived is in times of famine and “bad” times. Also, having lower sperm reaching the egg resulted in more girls being born. Our plan was to change my diet to lower my protein and fat basically to a “tough time” situation and to reduce the amount of sperm through various means. I was also having very irregular cycles and took Clomid one cycle (the month I got pregnant). Some believe that Clomid can change a woman’s chemistry to be more likely to have a girl. I lost weight before we moved, but I don’t really think I lost anything when we were in temporary housing in the 8 weeks or so before I got pregnant.
We started trying to get pregnant in May – so it took us from May until September. A lot of that time it took to get pregnant (I feel) was because we were trying to reduce sperm so much that it was just not going to happen and because my cycles were forever long!
But it finally happened!
We found out we were pregnant in October and then comes the wait… the longest wait ever it seems!
You know that God is going to be with you through whatever happens – boy or girl, healthy or not. The prayers and tears continued. Like I said, this pregnancy has been so much more emotional… for whatever reason. Stupid hormones!
Thursday, January 3rd finally came! I was so worried that the baby would have their legs crossed or that we wouldn’t be able to get a good shot. All day I prayed and prayed that we would know – boy or girl – by the end of the day. As soon as the ultrasound was live, Adam and I could instantly tell it was a girl before the tech had to say anything. We were both silent, just staring… We were feeling relieved and excited, but we were eerily calm.
As soon as we walked outside of the doctor’s office, Adam yelled “It’s a girl!!!!!”
God hears our prayers!
I feel like God has answered all our prayers, and has given us such a special gift. We have truly won the lottery!
I’m pleased to say that Annaleigh Parker is on her way!
She is measuring a week ahead, so it looks like I have another big baby on the way (Aidalyn was 9 lbs at birth). Time to get in shape to be able to push this baby out!
Thank you all for your prayers and support! We are so humbled by God’s love he has shown to us. Annaleigh’s name means favored grace and that is exactly what I feel has been given to us.
Update: I have now had Two Successful Sways for Girls.
I have to apologize for my absence. We are embarking on a new adventure in 2013… A new little one is due to arrive possibly by the end of June.
So here is my pregnancy update:
On Christmas Day, I was 14 weeks and 2 days.
So far I think I’ve already gained 10 pounds… I know!! Maybe I’ll slow down in the second trimester??
I quickly outgrew my normal jeans – all in the areas the baby is not. Thankfully, I have a few pairs of ‘fat’ jeans that will do the trick while my belly catches up to my backside.
I have a small bump, but can still hide it in baggy sweaters. I am certainly bigger this time compared to the same week with Aidalyn.
At 9 weeks, the baby’s heartbeat was over 170. At 14 weeks, the baby’s heartbeat was in the 150’s.
So far I have had nausea since 6 weeks along – plus throwing up (yuck!). At almost 15 weeks I’m still throwing up more than twice a week, but it is getting better.
I can eat sweet foods easier than savory. I crave childhood comfort foods which is probably more psychological than cravings. My nausea is better if I can stomach some protein, though. I always have enjoyed sweets, so I am having some sweet cravings like ice cream & cookies – no sour cravings. I had a strong aversion to meat for a few weeks.
I’ve been able to use my elliptical machine a few times a week since I’ve had more good days. I had so many days early on from being sick to fatigue that I could barely sit up straight – thankfully those days are past.
I’m having a very hard time being around food that is being cooked – Mainly from the smells and my sensitive nose.
I’ve only thrown up once while changing a diaper, and since then Adam has been my hero and changes Aidalyn’s diapers when he is home. He is also helping so much with food and food prep.
I’m more sensitive now. I never cry and now I’m tearing up at sweet commercials. Probably more moody too (Adam would know).
My face is also having some breakouts – which I hardly ever have a pimple… So frustrating! I’m normally very cold natured and seemed to have warmed up a bit.
One thing that is different is my sinuses seem more stuffy and I’m more sensitive to irritants. I’m sneezing all the time!
Secondly, I am able to see exactly where the baby is almost every morning since 9 weeks along. I’ll have a bump usually on the left side, and the baby will move once I put my hand on them.
What tricks have I learned??
Peppermint tea can sometimes help with nausea. Mints and gums really help too.
Fruit, as much as I want to eat it, is too acidic and I throw it up or it upsets my stomach in the least.
Being hot is not helpful when feeling nauseated.
My regrets are that because I’m so sick and have difficulty eating what I know I should, I haven’t been able to eat as healthy as I would like. My cod liver oil makes me throw up : ( which I know is so important. I try to take it as much as I can, but I know I will start feeling better soon.
What I’m looking forward to?
My next ultrasound is next week when we should have a guess for the baby’s gender!!! You can leave guesses in the comments.
About 2 years after Adam and I were married and after starting this health discovery process, I started doing some research on birth control pills. I was taking a pill every day to prevent pregnancy… and I just kept reading that this was not healthy for me or my hormones.
So I started doing some research. I found that there are
I mentioned previously about the idea of gender swaying in another post. We actually did sway with our daughter and it worked I guess. The more research I do, the more it looks like such a mild sway attempt – I need to give God allthe credit of the sway! I feel he his ultimately in control of our gender choice and is probably laughing at any attempt we have at choosing our gender – I digress.
So our sway looked like this with our first daughter:
I was eating low protein, low salt, low fat, low calorie diet. We eliminated high potassium foods like tomatoes, bananas, and potatoes. I peeled everything I ate, because most of the nutrient in foods are concentrated in their peel (darker color usually too). I took calcium and magnesium supplements. I did spin class 3 days a week and ran on the elliptical 2 days a week – no weights. We timed intercourse to have a 3 day cut off before I ovulated (to have the lowest pH and right hormone balance before ovulation).
17.5 weeks later, I found out we were having a girl!
Now, I have recently completely flipped my diet to just the opposite of what I was eating when I conceived Aidalyn. I have been eating high protein, high fat, high nutrition (and do believe this is the best diet for anyone) But we are ready to try for another baby – I’m going to have to go against everything I know to be true and good about nutrition to get my body at a state for a girl.
The issue is that most research shows that boys are conceived when there is a high amount of nutrients present in the mother’s diet along with more calories. Girl babies are stronger and heartier than boys and can survive better in the worst conditions and tend to be conceived more readily when the mom’s nutrition is in a downward turn (although this may not be seen from the outside).
Example would be a breastfeeding mom. She from the outside is thriving, nourishing her baby, always hungry – but in reality most of her nutrition is detoured to her baby’s milk. So breastfeeding does sway girl. Typically breastfeeding moms are also losing weight and have lower testosterone hormone levels and reduced fertility – which all sway pink.
– So I need less calories and less nutrition!
Here are some factors that I have researched that sway girl:
1) pH – You want to be very acidic and have a low pH – not healthy at all – Cancer thrives in low pH as do many other diseases, but so do girls (Boys can throw a joke in here if they like). Additionally, I am going to use repHresh and Sylk with are both designed to lower pH.
2) Having lower minerals/nutrients in your diet – low potassium, low salt. Eating a lower nutrient rich diet will sway girl. Eating low protein, low fat, low calorie, low everything.
3) Losing weightwill sway girl by making you more acidic as well as doing a lot of cardio and not much weights.
So, I’m not sure the origins of swaying (creating certain environments to favor a specific gender outcome). But my experience with it started in 2009 when my husband and I started talking about trying to have a baby. When we swayed, we followed the “Shettles” method – I wasn’t putting too much faith into what we did: diet, supplements, sexual position, timing…
At 17 1/2 weeks along in my pregnancy, I went to an ultrasound with my husband and midwife. When the tech put the scope on my belly, we immediately saw the “potty shot” – legs spread wide open. The tech said “well it looks pretty obvious to me.” Adam and I didn’t want to say anything. We just looked at each other in silence… It looked like a girl, but we weren’t the experts – and our hopes were obviously for a girl, so we didn’t want to jump to anything too soon and be heartbroken… then the tech announced “it’s a girl!!” We were so surprised and honestly couldn’t believe it for a few days. She has been such a blessing for our family.
I’ve mentioned in my ‘Introductions’ posts about the genetic disease that I carry. Each of my pregnancies hold a 50% chance of having the gene. However, the disease only effects boys.
So here we are again… all the same emotions creeping up… How much should we do, should we do the same thing? should we do what the data shows is more effective? There is SO much more that Adam and I could do to help sway. I do feel like I will take more supplements this time – calcium, magnesium, cranberry, – Licorice root for Adam.
If we are blessed with another girl after this sway, I will say that swaying worked for us for sure. However, it was by prayers being answered. I do have to say that I pray every night for a girl.
I believe that if I am blessed with a boy that God has bigger blessings in store for me than I can even imagine. I love my nephews with PMD and God loves them too so much. Their lives are very different because of the disease, but their lives are worth no less than anyone else. I feel like our society is too focused on what someone can do or how smart they are for them to be worth anything.
We are hand crafted by God. We are perfect just how we are designed. Each of our chromosomes were hand selected to form into one whole person. And I have to believe that God in his sovereignty formed each of us to glorify him. My nephews do that every day and many more people are directed to God by seeing them than I am able to do.
If you would like to contribute to my nephews going to the PMD conference you can donate here.
Good Sunday morning! This is my attempt to get my thoughts out of my mind and document life as I see it. Sunday is a good day to start. I grew up in a christian home where most Sunday mornings were spent at church, unless we were puking our guts out or had a fever over 104.1, haha. My parents believed that Christianity was more than just going to church and it really was a part of their everyday life. Thankfully they have passed their passion and love for God onto their 3 children: myself (the baby), my sister (the oldest) and my brother (stuck in the middle).
Our family was far from perfect – but we loved God and really wanted to honor him with our lives (how that looks has changed in my mind in the past 5 years or so – but more on that later).read more