If you're pregnant, heads up: you'll soon be regaled with more than a few old wives' tales, especially from the older, “wiser” people in your life. When I was expecting, anyone and everyone around me had some sort of advice to supply. Here is just some of what I heard:
Tales of Conception.
It started the moment I told just one person about my pregnancy plans. Suddenly, everyone had ideas about how to make sure my husband and I put a “bun in the oven” as soon as humanly possible. And, that the bun was the sex we preferred. We simply wanted a healthy baby, but would the extra serving of broccoli for my husband actually affect the gender? Could getting frisky in the morning have a different result? And what if conception took place when Mercury was in retrograde?
Tales of Gestation.
Once I was pregnant, the “advice” only got wackier. I was told that because I had heartburn, my baby would be born with a lot of hair. In reality, the only thing it meant was that I’d eaten my weight in spare ribs. I was even warned not to touch my face if I was craving a certain food because baby might get a birthmark in the shape of whatever I was craving. And a chili cheese fry birthmark wouldn’t suit anyone’s child.
Tales of Gender.
Before I found out the sex of my baby, everyone had his or her methodology for guessing. I carried low and gained more weight, so it must be a boy. But the shape of my face changed, so it had to be a girl. The first theory proved right and I had a son. And the notion that morning sickness means it’s a girl? My second son disproved that idea over and over and over again.
My loved ones and their theories are admittedly eccentric, but they are a testament to the tradition, intricacy and excitement that surrounds pregnancy. Plus, they've given me some memorable yarns to pass on to my future daughters-in-law someday.
Dawn Papandrea is a freelance writer specializing in parenting, women's lifestyle, and personal finance. Her work has appeared in Family Circle, Parents, WomansDay.com, and more. She lives in Staten Island, NY with her husband, two fast-growing boys, and a living room full of toys.