Can a Blood Test Predict an Unborn Child’s Gender? Accuracy Rate is About 50/50
Patience is a Virtue- and one my Wife is Still Working On!
It was pure torture for my lovely wife Tina to wait for the 18-20 week mark when she was pregnant with our first child (her second) for the ultrasound to reveal the gender of our baby girl. She is a planner, and she was chomping at the bit to get clothes, decorate the nursery, and choose a name. Besides, she had already had a boy from her first marriage and was hoping for a girl this time! I foolishly attempted to convince her it would be best to wait until the day the baby was born to know the gender, and I'll bet you are not surprised to learn I lost that debate. It is so frustrating to argue with my wife. Her logic is sound and she hits you with so many good reasons for supporting her point of view that it is nearly impossible to disagree with her. She would be an outstanding attorney.
When the day of the ultrasound finally arrived, my wife received the much anticipated news that she would have a girl. About four months later, Abby came home in her pink gown and her pink blanket grandma had crocheted especially for her to a freshly decorated nursery with butterflies and flowers.
Two years passed and my lovely wife delivered more special news - she was pregnant again. Once more, I thought I would try to convince her to wait and find out the gender at birth. You already know what happened.
This time, however, not only did she want to find out before the birth, she had heard about a blood test that could predict a baby's gender! There was no such test when our Abby was conceived, and though we joke about it all the time, it is a fact that my wife is extremely impatient. So when a blood test which claimed 99.9% accuracy for determining the gender of an unborn child (as soon as five weeks after conception) became available, well, she had to have it. The $275 price-tag was a little much in my opinion, but my argument and logic fell on deaf ears. "Besides," I was informed, "There's a double your money back guarantee!" How could I say no to that?
Baby Gender Mentor, otherwise known as Acu-gen Biolabs, was new on the scene and had been advertised on national television shows such as The Today Show so we assumed they were reputable. Their website appeared very professional and their 99.9% accuracy claim was quite compelling. The site also asserted their test was even more accurate than an ultrasound.
Five weeks after conception, to the day I am pretty sure, blood was drawn, and the sample was sent. An email message arrived two days later...
Congratulations, you're going to have a girl!
Ah yes, a sister for princess Abby. Tina was consumed with joy. The cherished memories of growing up with two sisters lifted her spirits as she jumped on eBay to find our precious little unborn baby some clothes. Well, I should say TONS of clothes. We needed a bigger house just for the clothes!
Weeks passed and the excitement of another baby girl joining our family was contagious. I will admit, though I had no preference before Abby was born, a boy would have been just fine with me. This time I made it known that I hoped for a boy, but I was sure our second little girl would be just as special as her sister. Besides, I have Bryce, and though he is not my biological son, I consider him my own. Logistically, another girl would make life much easier. She could share a room, toys, and clothes with Abby. No need to worry about finding a bigger house. Having another girl would definitely save us money.
As the 18th week of Tina's pregnancy approached, she began to doubt whether the Baby Gender Mentor blood test results were accurate. Her cravings this time around had been VERY different. All she wanted were salty foods and nothing sweet was allowed in the same room with her (the exact opposite of her cravings with little Abby). Also, the baby was not positioned the same as Abby had been. At her last check up the mid-wife told her she had not heard of Baby Gender Mentor and was unsure how the sex of a baby could be determined through a simple blood test- not to mention so early in the pregnancy. Tina's doubts began to increase, but I was still pretty certain we would be having another girl. The ultrasound to officially determine our baby's gender was scheduled for Friday, February 24, 2006.
The day arrived with a little less anticipation than before. Already knowing what we were going to have put a little bit of a damper on the excitement. Even still, as I drove to the office I remembered how special it was when I saw Abby for the first time. And though I was sure I was going to see another beautiful baby girl growing inside my wife, I was looking forward to once again hearing the heart beat and seeing this little miracle for the first time. We met at the OBGYN office at 3:00.
The waiting room was nearly full. Bryce, Abby and Grandma were there with us to witness the first view of the new baby. Abby was busy entertaining everyone in the waiting room (as usual) while Bryce concentrated hard on his Game Boy. The mood was light.
The door opened; weight, blood pressure, and urine were checked and it was off to the ultrasound room. Lights down, tape in the VCR, jell applied- here we go...
As the grey image appeared on the screen Tina explained that she had taken a blood test and already knew she was having a girl. The technician had not heard of this procedure and began politely asking the standard questions as she prodded and moved the wand around on Tina's belly. She asked if we wanted to know the gender and Tina asked if she would check that before anything else.
Wait a minute.... What is that?! That sure looks like a... could it be... the technician was a spunky little thing and in her Georgia drawl informed us that we were having a boy! She said she'd bet her next paycheck on it. We were blown away! I quietly thanked the good Lord for answering my prayer.
Then it hit me, I NOW ONLY HAVE ABOUT 4 MONTHS TO GET READY FOR A BABY BOY!!! We had a LOT of girl's clothes to get rid of!
Acu-gen Biolabs did issue us a refund for $550. We used it to redecorate the room and get our baby boy some clothes.
After our ultrasound, but before Joey (our baby boy) was born, Acu-gen changed their policy to only a 100% money back guarantee. A recent visit to the Baby Gender Mentor site showed that not only has the policy changed, there are many more "conditions" and hoops to jump through in order to obtain a refund; including sending your new born's finger prints with a kit they provide. YEAH RIGHT! was Tina's response to that little stipulation. There have also been numerous stories about the ligitimacy of DNA gender testing as well as class-action lawsuits filed against Acu-gen.
I wrote this story to share a little humor about my very impatient wife, but I would caution any expecting mothers to do their homework before investing money in a gender prediction test.