Boy talk

Recently, it feels like everyone I see has been asking whether I have any inkling about the gender of our baby. I’ve been answering that I haven’t a clue, which while true, is perhaps a less exciting answer than the inquirers were hoping for.


A gender predictor on Amazon – yours for £16.99

However, according to various old wives’ tales, there are three clear signs that we should be expecting a little boy:

1. I have a boy bump
My bump is high and rounded – like I have a bowling ball in my belly – whereas a “girl bump” is supposed to be lower and wider.

My Mum once saw a photo of my sister in law to be with her high, round bump, and immediately said “she’s having a boy” even though she hadn’t even met her at that point! Of course, as Mums usually are, she was right…

However, the ultimate voice of wisdom, Dr Miriam Stoppard, claims that a baby bump is due to the woman’s general body shape and muscle tone rather than the baby itself. So now I don’t know what my bump says about my physique, let alone the gender of our baby.

2. Minimal morning sickness
Pregnant women who suffer from morning sickness are more likely to have girls. In fact, this cannot really be classified as an old wives’ tale any more since there was a scientific study carried out in Sweden between 1987 and 1995, reported by the BBC. As with most things, the sickness seems to be attributed to the female babies producing different hormones (for “different”, read “vomit-inducing”). It therefore looks like there might be a little Princess for Kate and William after all, which in a few years or so can become betrothed to our son. Perfect!

I’ll ignore the fact that my Mum was fine with my sister and I. Every rule must have exceptions!

3. Extended linea nigra
It was in Paris that Mr Cath first noticed the beginnings of a linea nigra – a vertical “black line” on your belly, which is apparently caused by hormones increasing melanin production. Initially I dismissed it as just an imprint of my maternity leggings I’d been wearing all day, but it persisted. Mine is really more of a linea rosa – nowhere near as dark as other examples I’ve seen. It is now stretching above my belly button which according to another old wives’ tale is a sign of a boy. A linea nigra only reaching to your belly button and no further means it must be a girl.

According to the Pregnancy Corner website, using your linea nigra to predict your baby’s gender doesn’t work, as there are numerous cases where the opposite has happened. Hmm…

What about spiritual signs?
Thus far, all the physical evidence points towards a son and heir. But before Mr Cath gets too excited about starting his own family five a side (of course, I’m not saying girls can’t bend it like Beckham too…) there are two compelling arguments for the opposite happening:

1. The Ring Test
This oldest of old wives’ tales worked in the 15th century for Elizabeth Woodville, the wife of Edward IV (I’ve read The White Queen so it must be true!) As far as I can recall from the book, you hold your wedding ring on a chain or piece of string above your belly. If the ring spins clockwise, you’re having a girl; if it spins anticlockwise or from side to side, you’re having a boy. I need to get a hold of the book again and verify this as all the information on the internet is contradictory… but, when I tried this, the ring went clockwise which supposedly means girl!

2. The Chinese Gender Predictor
I found this on Babycenter (the American version of Babycentre). When I entered my birth date and due date the chart said girl! It’s all to do with lunar age or something like that. The tool does carry the disclaimer that it only has a “50-50” chance of being right, which makes me think what is the point of the gender predictor?

I put Elly’s stats into the predictor and her baby will be a girl too. So maybe we’ll have to content ourselves with our daughters being best friends with the Princess instead…

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