New Test Capable of Determining Baby's Sex at 7-Week Mark

Thanks to a new test, gender can be determined a lot earlier.

It’s a question virtually every set of soon-to-be parents asks themselves. Should we find out the sex of our baby? Me personally? I fell into the more traditional camp and wanted to wait until our child was born to find out. After all, back in the day, that would have been our only option. Besides, I wanted the surprise of the moment. I love surprises. My wife, however, wanted to find out as soon as possible for practical reasons. There were clothes to buy not to mention a nursery to decorate.

Marital deadlocks are tricky situations, no? But since Caroline was four weeks along at the time of the stalemate, at least we had 16 weeks to hash it out. Nowadays, we would have only had three.

The UK Daily Mail reports today of a new test that can conclude a baby’s sex at just seven weeks. The method, which is about 99% accurate, looks for the male Y chromosome (the very same chromosome, incidentally, I’ve so selflessly shared here at StrollerDerby) in the baby’s DNA which is found in the mother’s blood.

The test was originally designed to detect incidences of ectopic pregnancies. But, as Sheba Medical Center’s Dr. Esther Guetta points out, “If a woman wants and can afford the test, you could say it would be unethical to prevent her from getting it.” I suspect that means that in the very near future, the test will be available to all who desire it. The cost is nearly $500 US.

If it had been available when my wife was pregnant, I’m certain we would have sprung for it. Because when Caroline and I found out that we were expecting triplets, I decided that I had endured about all the surprises I could handle, thank you very much. Like my wife, I wanted to discover the genders as soon as possible. And seven weeks comes before 20.

However, I’m not certain such a test would have been very effective for us. It seems all it could have revealed would have been whether or not one or more of the three were male. Still, I bet we would have opted for it. It would have eliminated three entire months of waiting. And that strikes me as a good thing.

As it was, Caroline and I found out at the 20-week ultrasound that we were expecting two boys and a girl.

“How can you tell?” I asked the nurse tech. She printed out stills before drawing circles around nearly-indiscernable extension coming from between two of the three’s legs.

“See these protrusions?” she asked. “They’re penises.”

“Oh yeah,” I answered, while nodding my head confidently and half-considering a chest bump. (Thankfully, I thought better of it.) “My boys are locked and LOADED,” I added for some strange and inexplicable reason. My wife begged me to stop, telling me how embarrassed she was. “It’s natural, honey. I think well all get a little red-face when confronted with such a startling display of virility.”

As I look back, I’m obviously ashamed at my juvenile antics. I hardly think it would have been so pronounced if it weren’t for the photographic evidence. Which is yet another reason why I think the new test is a good thing.

But what do you think? Would you want to find out the gender of your unborn baby so soon?

Photo: MorgueFile

John Cave Osborne’s personal blog.
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