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shadows of echoes of memories of songs
Is it human or is it dancer?
Tomorrow we'll hopefully find out whether the baby is an alien or a predator a boy or a girl. So far I have been told that:

* it'll be a girl because everybody I know has had girls recently
* it'll be a boy because everybody I know has had girls recently
* it'll be a girl because you get more morning sickness with girls
* it'll be a boy because of the position of the bump
* it'll be a girl because of the position of the bump
* it'll be a boy because 'boy' scores more in Scrabble

So that's two answers from people who don't understand probability, three answers which sound to me more like superstition than something which is backed up by any actual research (though I'm happy to be proved wrong), and invisiblechoir being silly. :-)

Two of my colleagues have a bet with each other about which it will be. I don't stand to gain any money from this bet myself, unfortunately. On the other hand, since earlier today one of them couldn't remember which way he'd bet (he'd decided at the time by tossing a coin) I don't think he's taking it that seriously. The other one asked me if I'd tried putting a toad on the bump to predict the baby's sex (I'm not sure quite what one is meant to do with the toad, or wait for the toad to do...?), so I guess he's not wholly serious either. I hope.

I confess I'm keen to know the answer, not least because referring to it as "it" feels awkward. Yes, I may get flamed for Gender Fail, but I'm afraid we're just not progressive enough to try to bring the child up without any awareness of the existence of sex or gender, and let's face it, there's a staggeringly high chance that it will be biologically male or female. Also, I'm going to have at least one more scan after tomorrow's, and I don't want to have to "look away from the screen now" for fear of spoiling the result -- I want to see what's going on! Basically, in most cases I will generally choose the path of More Information.

We also want to start thinking more seriously about names, and it'd be useful to narrow down the choices a bit. Other tactics for narrowing-down include: avoiding names with ambiguous spellings; avoiding extremely long names; avoiding alliteration; and summarily rejecting every single name that appears on this site. So that's a big 'no' to Breckin, Maxigan, Skyler Alexander, Cam'ron, and Kaytaquana. Suddenly, my silly suggestion of naming my child Badger doesn't seem all that ridiculous...

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sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: November 11th, 2010 10:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Why does no-one ever suggest it might be intersex? Apparently the odds are something like 1 in 100.
htfb From: htfb Date: November 11th, 2010 10:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
You'd need at least one of the letters to be on the board already. Scores nicely, though.
From: taimatsu Date: November 11th, 2010 10:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I suggest Teaygheanne or Na'kay'lah for a girl, and Grizzly or Shark for a boy.
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: November 11th, 2010 10:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Orlando would be traditional if neither of these options were appropriate.
cleanskies From: cleanskies Date: November 11th, 2010 10:35 pm (UTC) (Link)

I have a surefire method

Thread your wedding ring on a ribbon and then get the magic badger your husband to hold it over the bump. If it swings round and round its an alien, if it swings back and forth it's a predator

A shoelace would probably work, too
katstevens From: katstevens Date: November 11th, 2010 10:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I have a surefire method

No no no, you have to walk widdershins around a basket of frogs whilst whistling the theme tune to Bonanza. Otherwise the whole process is FUTILE.
bugshaw From: bugshaw Date: November 11th, 2010 10:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
celestialweasel From: celestialweasel Date: November 11th, 2010 10:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

Why only one badger

I think Badger Badger Badger McKnight has a nice ring to it.
From: taimatsu Date: November 11th, 2010 11:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Why only one badger

That's a *beautiful* name. I'll get embroidering it on things right away.
beingjdc From: beingjdc Date: November 11th, 2010 11:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
My friend teaches and has a girl and a boy in her class called, respectively, Pariah and Dash (the registrar's suggestion when they couldn't think of a name on time being to 'just put a dash for now'). Dash is, rather unfortunately, morbidly obese.
cleanskies From: cleanskies Date: November 12th, 2010 08:58 am (UTC) (Link)

answer : it's both

Is this an anecdote or an Edward Gorey comic?
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j4 From: j4 Date: November 12th, 2010 08:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, sorry -- this is what happens when I only get your gems of wisdom second-hand from someone who's bitter because you always beat him at Scrabble. ;-)
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julietk From: julietk Date: November 12th, 2010 09:46 am (UTC) (Link)
angelmine read somewhere that if the foetal heartbeat is 120-140 bpm it's likely to be a boy, and if 140-160bpm it's likely to be a girl. I did not actually check where she got this from, but she said it was Actual Statistics rather than superstition (& she does have a firm grasp on the difference between the two :) ). I did try to time her foetal heartbeat the first time I heard it, but the midwife didn't leave the thingy on for long enough that time, really, and I was a bit self-conscious about obviously looking at my watch :) Anyway, by the time you read this it will probably be moot for you!
j4 From: j4 Date: November 12th, 2010 02:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Interesting about the bpm, never heard that one before! Though googling I found this...
jinty From: jinty Date: November 12th, 2010 10:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Our rules were:

* nothing from Tolkien (R did try to sneak Earendil through on the grounds that it's a genuine Old English name, but thankfully not very seriously)
* no naming after friends cos that could cause envy or bad feelings (I rather liked Woodrow as a boy's name, or even Dickon, but then pals W Phoenix or D Edwards would get unfairly privileged).
* good associations - for a boy this meant trying to avoid the names of violent killers throughout history, and for a girl it meant a cool chick who did interesting stuff (a friend suggested Ada, as in Lovelace, which would have been a very good option had we not already gone for Aphra; we were tempted by the name Alfred for a boy, and A of Wessex was famed for learning as well as for burning cakes...).
j4 From: j4 Date: November 12th, 2010 02:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
nothing from Tolkein

HEAR HEAR. :) My parents had friends who called their daughter Bree after the town in Lord of the Rings. ("No, I'm not named after a cheese, it's spelt differently, I'm named after a fictional town." Poor kid.)

no naming after friends

Mm, I was thinking the same, but OTOH one of my favourite names at the moment is a name that's shared by two friends of ours (not especially close friends so it wouldn't be too weird). I don't think anybody would be likely to be offended, but, hmm.

Dickon is a great name, but always makes me think of the boy who talks to the squirrels and stuff in The Secret Garden.

good associations - for a boy this meant trying to avoid the names of violent killers throughout history, and for a girl it meant a cool chick who did interesting stuff

You weren't worried about avoiding violent female killers then? I mean, Myra is a nice name... so is Lucretia... ;-) Aphra is an excellent name though! And is distinctive without being difficult to spell, which is quite an achievement for names as far as I can tell.

One of my nieces (niece-in-law? Owen's brother's kid, anyway) is called Ada (but pronounced 'Ah-da' [actually sounds like 'ardour', hm, unfortunate] rather than 'Ay-da' -- her mother is German & I think the former is the German pronunciation), so that's already 'taken' in our family -- I am keen to avoid duplicating names that already exist within the most recent two or three generations, just for avoidance of confusion and/or a bit more variety!
vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: November 12th, 2010 10:23 am (UTC) (Link)
I met a woman Marine officer who had had a daughter whilst stationed in Germany. The child's name was Portia, spelled Porsche, because that was the only spelling Mum had ever seen...

Child has three given names and a hyphenated surname but we chose not to know the sex until the birth. His middle names are both old surnames from our two families. Firstname was really my choice as I vetoed what turned out to be three of the top names of the decade (Alexander, Oliver, Jack/John) and was bored witless at the idea of another William (one cousin) or Angus (another cousin). Using family surnames is unfashionable but fun.
j4 From: j4 Date: November 12th, 2010 01:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Porsche! Poor girl...

I like the surnames-as-middle-names thing (though surnames always sound a bit more like boys' names, somehow) but I don't think we have any particularly exciting ones in our families. Though of course Owen has his old surname ("batchelor name", by analogy with maiden name?) as his middle name now... but he doesn't seem particularly keen to pass that on.

If you don't mind me asking, why did you chose not to know the sex until the birth? (Not that there has to be a reason -- entirely your decision & "just didn't want to" is fine! -- just interested to know why if you don't mind telling.)
sbp From: sbp Date: November 12th, 2010 10:31 am (UTC) (Link)
I love that site though.

Response to a reader's feedback:

But British names make people sound so cultured and classy! That's what I tell my son Milton Keynes and my daughter, Berwick-on-Tweed.
jvvw From: jvvw Date: November 12th, 2010 11:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Pink Brain, Blue Brain by Lise Eliot has quite an interesting section on whether it is possible to predict gender. The answer is basically no without a scan or similar, though apparently if mothers who don't know are asked to guess the gender of their baby, the more educated they are the more likely they are to guess correctly and guesses are more likely to be correct if they are based on gut instinct or dreams rather than on things like the position of the bump. There's interesting stuff in there too about how people treat boy and girl babies differently as well based on various experiments in which they pretend baby boys are girls and vice versa.
j4 From: j4 Date: November 12th, 2010 01:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Interesting stuff, thank you! I will keep an eye out for the book...
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j4 From: j4 Date: November 12th, 2010 03:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
either twins or an Andrex Puppy


I'm assured that the Weird Baby Dreams are quite common/normal, but I haven't had any yet. OK, I did have a dream that I'd already had the baby, but that was just a bit of a disappointment when I woke up & realised I still had another 20 weeks to go. :-}

Why not Alexander - or is that not "Skyler Alexander" and just "Alexander" is okay?

Ah no, "Alexander" is fine! It's just "Skyler Alexander" ... OK, it's the "Skyler" that is the problem, obviously, but it doesn't even fit nicely with the "Alexander".

I have a cousin called Alex, though, so that name's 'taken' in our family (I don't want to duplicate existing names within the most recent couple of generations, partly for variety and partly for avoiding the appearance of favouritism).

Everyone has an opinion - whether to find out, and whether girl or boy is best.

Well, too late for them to tell me not to find out (I don't mind what other people do!), & neither is "best", they're just different. :) Fortunately I am still small-bumped enough that I am not getting random strangers shoving their opinions down my throat yet...

no matter what names you mention someone won't like it

Tough! Mind you, no matter what we choose, at some point $child will probably decide they hate it too... :-}

Edited at 2010-11-12 03:17 pm (UTC)
ghoti From: ghoti Date: November 12th, 2010 04:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sure I heard a birth announcement of a Badger not long ago, and there were 9 Brocks in England and Wales last year.

I didn't find out with either, partly because the chances of getting it wrong first time round were much higher, partly to avoid the all-pink or all-blue[*], and partly out of a weird idea that if I found out it would be because I preferred one way or the other (but I don't assume that's why other people find out). Also, Americans have their gender scan earlier and I was bored of announcements by the time I had Judith's scan. Neither father had strong feelings that they wanted to know, at least in Jon's case the chance of getting it wrong probably put him off.

Scans are so much better now though, in terms of detail. I loved being able to count Judith's toes (one foot only - the other she tucked behind the opposite thigh so we couldn't see). The difference between the two was basically that with Benedict's we could see the whole heart but with Judith we could clearly see all four chambers.

[*]I'm such a hypocrite - Judith woremostly blue until Colin called me on it.
j4 From: j4 Date: November 12th, 2010 04:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
partly out of a weird idea that if I found out it would be because I preferred one way or the other

I think I know what you mean -- I did worry about whether I was subconsciously preferring one to the other, but I decided it'd be better to have the information & stop wondering/worrying -- though yes, if it turns out they did get it wrong (yes, I do know now, will post later with new alien/predator pics ;-) it will be a bit strange!

But as far as I could tell from lots of navel-gazing I didn't really have a strong preference for one or the other, apart from a vague & probably irrational sense that a girl would be easier for me to bring up because I already know more about Girl Stuff. (OTOH obviously Owen knows more about Boy Stuff, and anyway there exist books and the internet, so, eh.)

Scans are so much better now though, in terms of detail.

It's awesome isn't it! :-) The four chambers of the heart! The stomach! Every bone of the spine!
monkeyhands From: monkeyhands Date: November 12th, 2010 05:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
I had a dream two or three nights ago that I read a post of yours where you announced that you were having a girl and you were going to call it some unbelievably awful name. I remember just blinking at the name on the screen and thinking "oh no, I can't even take a guess at pronouncing that".

My dreams involve a lot of reading LJ posts, surfing the web and reading books. I don't know why I couldn't have been actually at the scan in the dream. Failure of imagination, probably.
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