I didn't say many words at Thanksgiving dinner with family but of the words I did say, I believe "study," "evidence," and "research" made up a substantial wedge of my conversation pie chart. Anything for which there is no evidence doesn't interest me much, unless we are talking about the lack of evidence for it...
However, there is that period of time when something interests me, and I don't know what the evidence is, and I engage with the experts or believers to get that evidence. I always expect people to care about what research there is to support practices... how else do you determine what is true? What is true is important, why would you want to consume untrue things?
2004: Read in the tone of optimism and curiosity: "Hey [insert faith based institutions and teachers], havin some problems reconciling these teachings with these other teachings from the same source or with reality, can you please help me?"
>>> "You have a head faith, not a heart faith." "I'm going to cling to this theory and ignore anything else you say that conflicts with it." "All that matters is [insert not the thing I'm asking about]."
2008: Read in the tone of optimism and concern: "Hey fellow Republicans, I'm having a hard time reconciling social conservatism with personal liberty. If we are the party of fiscal conservatism lets just focus on that and not controlling personal choices because clearly we are alienating a bunch of people who might otherwise agree, why are we doing this? Help?"
>>> "WHAT'S NEXT SEX WITH MY DOG????" um I don't know what that has to do with... "HOW DO I EXPLAIN THIS TO MY CHILD????" I just... "LIBERAL MEDIA!" OMG I'm on your side stop yelling at me in all caps!
2012: As always, optimistic: "Whoa fellow birth professionals! Did you know these studies totally conflict with these principles many of us are teaching in our classes? We should for sure work together and make sure we are providing the best evidence possible! I'm so excited to work with you!"
>>> "What's the big deal with evidence lately?" "This [insert fringe expert] says [insert claim] and I respect them so I believe that claim instead." "I did this and this happened so those studies are not true." "That evidence conflicts with what I already believe so, it's wrong." *crickets*
2016: Enthusiastically joins every baby sway group on the internets: "OMG there is SO MUCH cool information and so many options! PGS and IVF, sorting, spinning, diet, pH, positions, timing, supplements, turkey basters, charts, ions... so there has to be some studies and research I can look up on some of the basic principles of swaying like that X and Y sperm are significantly different and are impacted by changes in pH and I'd love to hear some success stories from sorting families or families conceive a baby of the opposite sex after 4+ more of one sex. I am SO ready to mix semen with lime juice (splime) and conceive this baby via turkey baster if you can just tell me if there is any evidence this could possibly work! So excited, thanks for the help everyone!"
Skip to general shunning. Just fucking ignored over and over.
[insert not that clever Snakes on a Place reference about crickets on the internets that I'm resisting the urge to write.]
I always feel like I'M the asshole. Someone on DiaperSwappers even wrote a blog post about what a troll I was, almost 10 years ago... but the trend continues. Like, I'm the big buzz kill for wanting to know what is true and real in this world. Fuck me right? What is true is so important! Are things for which there isn't great evidence that are still valuable? Totally. I incorporate a number of them into my life, but I'll readily share "Yeah, so we don't have quality evidence for this thing, here is why that may be, here is why this thing still may be valuable, here's options, alternatives, etc" or "There is not great evidence to support this thing but I really enjoy it and it adds to my quality of life and I have reasonable expectations as to what I'm going to get out of this thing." Super valid.
In one group there was a share that really excited me. Another mom looking for evidence shared this thread from a swaying coach that I thought made a lot of sense. Most of the comments were about how that coach had ripped people off. Ok so the messenger maybe sucks but what about the studies she is linking to? No interest.
So what are WE going to do regarding swaying? I've been planning to go low tech, so influencing my body's pH with a multitude of methods... but I've been sifting through these studies and I'm SO disappointed. One of the primary resources for people, and what many methods are based off of, is the research done by Tamara at InGender. Many of the studies are not studies, or don't seem to support her theory, like support some aspect of it but not enough to connect more dots. Here's a link to her studies.
I understand that the things for which we don't have evidence are often times the more comforting thing and that's why I end up looking like a troll, knowing that makes it no less frustrating when trying to find true things. If you have amazing resources, help me please.
Thursday, December 1, 2016
I'm doing a thing that friends have said I should blog about, so hey there, let's do this.
I talked about Gender Swaying in 2010. I've been telling people I swayed girl for Ash, but doing the math... I was already pregnant when I first wrote about it. Here is a bit about what I'm talking about:
"I've also jumped on the TTC (Trying To Conceive) forums on some of my favorite mommy boards and I was soon asked "Do you have a sway?" ....? ...not unless I've had a few.
Apparently that's not what they meant, they wanted to know if I was doing anything to try to conceive either a boy or a girl specifically... In short, there are high tech methods which include a turkey baster, home microscope, and desperation. And for those who haven't quite lost all self respect and would like to conceive without the help of kitchen utensils and chemistry sets, there are diets, supplements, positions, and scheduling. Well, I'm already cloth diapering, planning on EC'ing soon, and hope to birth a basketball team naturally... I can fit a little more crazy in my life. So I decided to research how to sway for a girl.
So X & Y sperm have different characteristics (or so I've read, I haven't seen them). Y sperm were once thought to be faster than X sperm, but actually X sperm are just heavier (carrying all those extra brain cells I'm sure!) so they swim in circles (ok, maybe not brain cells) while their boy sperm swim straight and therefore reach their final destination sooner. However, X sperm thrive in acidic conditions while Y sperm don't. There are some other factors, but it was enough for me to understand this much. So for a really great "girl sway" the mommy hopeful would follow a very specific diet to alter her body's pH to be as acidic as possible (as well as take supplements and do gross things with vinegar and tampons), refrain from anything that would give the Y sperm an edge (caffeine!), and choose to get it on at times and in ways that give the slow poke circle swimmers an edge. The diet goes on for weeks before hand. I was a little interested. It looked like some mothers opted for a "slight sway" meaning they were just doing some things to raise their girl or boy odds, like eliminating caffeine and lowering their sodium in take, but were choosing to steer clear of the vinegar tampons."OMG I thought we were going to EC... I was so cute.
... and lime tampons seem to be en vogue in 2016.
Also... OH HAI Desperation.
I've priced the test tubes, centrifuge, microscope...
I also know how much it would costs to go to Mexico for Microsort.
I've explored IVF with PGS (Preimplantation Genetic Screening), locally, across the country, and abroad.
.... and the diet, and pH strips, and all the supplements, and... the underwear (sorry Honey).
Here's our sway announcement. We are doing it. I'll share what method we've decided on soon.
One thing before I assess the damage to my house (yesterday Indy & Everett made a winter wonderland with cat litter while I caught up on emails). If Everett had been a girl, we would still be planning our 5th baby. People ask all the time if we are "going for a girl" and we just want another person. If this baby is a boy, that is fine, he will probably be way rad like his brothers. Should we have a girl, I'm not projecting gender specific expectations on her.. I don't expect to have a special bond, or that we will do special girly things, there's nothing I'm into that I couldn't be into with sons.
Future baby, there's no way you are not amazing. Whoever you are, you are wanted.
I'm interested in experiencing new things. This is an interesting new thing, let's see what happens.