The Final IntelliGender Experiment.

I finally got a chance to take the third test that I received from IntelliGender.

A test that I was only taking because I had already taken two tests during this pregnancy with very different results.

This third test was going to be the tiebreaker.

Just to recap:

Test #1 predicted I was having a girl.

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Test #2 predicted a boy.

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At this point, I was really starting to think that maybe the accurate results that I had gotten with the two tests during my last pregnancy were just a fluke. With two different results for the same pregnancy, it was beginning to look like I had inadvertently proven that IntelliGender was a 50/50 thing. A product of junk science that wasn’t any more reliable than flipping a coin.

But then, I found out just a couple of days after taking the second test that I had a UTI/kidney infection.

And that there was a significant amount of blood in my urine.

So I had to wait for the infection and the antibiotics that I had to take for it to clear out of my system before I could take the third test.

During that wait, I had the ultrasound that confirmed I am having a girl.

I knew going into the third test that the initial IntelliGender prediction had been correct. Which made me wonder if that false boy result had occurred because of all the blood in my urine.

I took the third test the day after my course of antibiotics ended.

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It gave me another girl result, which leads me to believe that my theory is correct.

I think that there is some degree of validity to the IntelliGender test.

Out of a total of five tests across two different pregnancies with fetuses of different genders, four of the tests (two for each pregnancy) have yielded accurate results.

The only time I had an inaccurate result, there was something in my urine that quite possibly could have interfered with the test.

And considering the fact that UTI’s are quite common in pregnancy, I’m wondering if this is something that contributes to at least some of the results being wrong for some women.

With that in mind, my conclusion is that if the test directions are followed precisely and there is nothing out of the ordinary present in the urine sample, the outcome of the test should be pretty reliable.

I think that they have finally made the skeptic in me a believer.

Prince or Princess?

That Level II ultrasound that I had last week wasn’t all about unsettling findings.

The 70/30 gender odds that we were given during my previous ultrasound was just too much of a temptation. We HAD to find out the sex of this baby.

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So we told the tech that we wanted to know.

And the first thing she did was try to get a shot of the goods.

I saw it right away and before she had the chance to say it aloud, I knew that the previous tech had been right with his 70% sure guess.

This tech said that she would say 100% sure, but since she’s not allowed to say that for liability reasons, we had to go with 99.9%.

So now we have official confirmation that…

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It’s a GIRL!

And because I had to have proof… I got this.

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She circled the “three lines” (that’s the girl parts) and she even typed out the word “girl”.

I think it’s a pretty sure thing.

We’re finally getting a princess!

Fear Factors.

I had a Level II ultrasound last week, and it didn’t go quite as well as I expected.

The ultrasound tech was great. Unlike some of the others I’ve encountered in the past, she never turned the screen away from me so I was able to watch the entire scan.

And everything was completely routine until she asked if I had had an NT scan during my first trimester.

I explained to her that I had not had one, even though I had tried to schedule one when I was at my nine week appointment, but the doctor said it wasn’t necessary because I was low risk and had healthy children.

As soon as she started asking about the NT scan, I knew something was up.

But she went on with the ultrasound without any further explanation.

Towards the end of the scan, she couldn’t get a view of the baby’s back, so she told me I would need to come back for another ultrasound.

Then the doctor came in to talk with us.

She said that there are a few, tiny choroid plexus cysts in the baby’s brain.

She said that normally these go away by 21-22 weeks and that it doesn’t affect the baby.

I had heard of this cyst thing before, so when I was talking with the doctor I didn’t get too alarmed.

But then she started asking if anyone in my family has a short nose. I wasn’t exactly sure what she was talking about or why it would matter, so I just kind of started rambling.

It turns out, the baby also has a short nasal bone. She said that when the nasal bone is missing, they get concerned about Down’s Syndrome. She said that because my nose is short, (and there are a few other people in the family with shorter noses) it’s probably fine and that there shouldn’t be any reason to worry.

So I didn’t worry…at least not at first.

But then I went home and started consulting Google Howser, M.D.

I should have known better.

What I initially found scared the pants off of me.

There is a lot of information on the internet about choroid plexus cysts (CPC’s) being a marker for Down’s Syndrome. I started getting really worried after that, thinking that maybe my baby had two soft markers for Down’s on the ultrasound. After a little more research in medical texts and journals, I found that CPC’s are only a soft marker for Trisomy 18 (Edward’s Syndrome) and not Trisomy 21 (Down’s Syndrome).

From what I understand, one of the characteristics of Edward’s Syndrome is that the baby cannot unclench it’s hands. Since I have a clear sonogram of the baby with it’s hand open, and the doctor never mentioned anything about Edward’s Syndrome, I think it’s safe to rule that out.

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CPC’s are common in healthy babies and most experts are starting to believe that they are normal part of fetal development.

So, as scary as the choroid plexus cyst sounds, I’ve come to the conclusion that I really shouldn’t let it worry me.

Hopefully they will have resolved by the time I get my next ultrasound.

The part that I’m still slightly nervous about is the short nasal bone.

In the absence of other makers, it really could be that the baby has just inherited a small nose. And from what I’ve found on Google, many mothers who are told during their ultrasound that their baby has a short nasal bone just have healthy babies with small noses.

But while an absent nasal bone is considered a “hard marker” for Down’s Syndrome, it seems that the jury is still out on whether or not a short nasal bone is a strong marker or not. It does seem to be a bit of a red flag though.

The rational side of me realizes that in all probability, things are probably fine. The baby is most likely completely chromosomally normal and healthy.

However, now that the Pandora’s Box of “what-if’s” has been opened, I’m not sure I’ll be able to completely relax until the baby’s born.

Because even though I do have a quad screen scheduled in just a few days and another ultrasound next week, they will only be able to tell me if my risk for chromosomal abnormalities is higher or lower.

The only way I can know for sure is an amniocentesis.

So while I’m trying my best to convince myself that everything is most likely okay, I’m still a bit of an anxious mess.

Entertaining the Laws of Probability.

I ended up at the hospital last week after having some scary preterm labor issues.

After a lovely overnight stay filled with blood tests, ultrasounds and intravenous drugs, the doctor on call finally concluded that I had a UTI-turned-kidney infection.

And that was causing me to have contractions.

In the process of solving that mystery, something unexpected happened.

The ultrasound tech gave me his opinion about the baby’s gender.

And he said he was 70% sure that the baby is a…

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Well, I’m not going to say which gender he was 70% in favor of.

Because 70% isn’t exactly a sure thing.

What’s weird is that I have never had an ultrasound tech give me a percentage. They’ve always just called out the baby’s sex with confidence. Or simply said that they couldn’t tell.

This newest revelation, in addition to the conflicting Intelligender tests, has really started to make my head spin.

I think I’m going to have to find out  now…

This is One Doodle that Can't Be Un-did, Homeskillet.

I was downtown a few nights back on my way to a hair appointment.

Normally, this would probably be uneventful, but that same night the local high school was having it’s annual homecoming parade.

Judging by the crowded turnout, I guess it’s a pretty big deal around here.

The floats were all lined up on the same street as the salon I was going to, so much to my dismay,  I had to park about four blocks away and walk past all the parked floats.

Floats filled with bored, loud, obnoxious high schoolers.

It was just starting to occur to me that these kids were over a decade younger than me when I hear this:

“Hey! It’s JUNO!”

It was one of the float kids. Yelling, and I can only assume because I was the lone young-looking and visibly pregnant girl on the sidewalk, in reference to me.

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Which was immediately followed by a small crowd of kids chanting,

“JUNO. JUNO. JUNO. JUNO!”

OMG. They probably thought I went to school with them.

I called my husband and told him what was happening.

He suggested that I holler back and ask them if they have any Sunny D.

Seriously, I’m not a fan of teenagers.

Even Weirder Science.

After I took that IntelliGender test and got an unexpected result, I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to confirm it with a second test.

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Curiosity got the best of me.

That, and my obsession with bathroom-based lab experiments. Oh, and the unbelievable coupon to an online store that I found in my email inbox, which brought the price of the second test down enough that it was just begging me to buy it.

Plus, after the two tests that I took during my last pregnancy turned out to be 100% accurate, I was starting to believe that the test this time around might have some validity.

But…the scientist in me still had doubts. Mainly, because even after a ton of online research, I still have no idea how the darn thing works.

IntelliGender explains it on their blog like this:

IntelliGender's Gender Prediction Test is a simple urine analysis similar to the pregnancy test you took a few weeks ago. It uses first morning urine and a proprietary mix of chemicals which reacts with a combination of hormones to indicate the gender of your baby. It is an easy test to perform and provides quick results in-home so the news can be shared right away.”

Needless to say, it’s a little vague. They don’t state what chemicals mix with which hormones.

And since I can’t figure out how the test works, I reverted back to the scientific method.

I concluded that if I got another girl result, the original result would be somewhat confirmed.

So I tested…

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And apparently, in only four short weeks, IntelliGender has changed it’s mind in regards to the sex of our unborn child.

Just for reference, here is a side-by-side of my first test compared with this one.

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They couldn’t be more different.

I have to admit, I was really shocked. After the results of all my other tests, I was starting to think that maybe this IntelliGender test really had some merit.

I emailed IntelliGender to see what they had to say about the discrepancy between the two tests.

The customer service representative that wrote me back seemed just as confused as I was. She said that it was very rare for an expectant mother to get two different results.

To solve this mystery, they are sending me another test.

And so,  the laboratory saga continues…

The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes

And no. We’re not talking about me here.

Because we all know that I have made my fair share of messes.

Actually, I’m referring to a new children’s book that Sourcebooks was nice enough to send me for review, The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes, by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein.

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I have to say, I was really impressed by this book. The story is cute and the illustrations are beautiful. Most importantly, it was a hit with the kids. I read it with my son at bedtime and it ended up taking forever because he insisted that I read it over and over and over again.

We went through it together, cover-to-cover four times before I finally threw in the towel and told him to go to sleep.

But he just couldn’t get enough. Especially when the story includes a hamster being juggled.

Which is silly enough to even make me giggle a little.

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