View Full Version : Trivers Willard hypothesis

atomic sagebrush
December 28th, 2010, 06:33 PM
Hi, for those who may remember me from another website (kristindoggirl), I wanted to have my blog information available for all to use. This is in order from when I began my TTC journey. Please know that I don't necessarily believe in or advocate all the things I did when I was writing this blog...I've done a lot of research in the 3 + years since then.


The Trivers Willard hypothesis is a biological theory that has been around for over 30 years. In a nutshell, it states that it makes more sense (evolutionarily speaking) for mothers who are in better physical condition to have more boys, while mothers in poorer physical condition, would tend to have girls.

Trivers Willard has been widely researched in a variety of different mammals including humans, and there seems to be something to it. You may have read some of the recent articles regarding sex ratio, stating that moms that smoke are more likely to have girls, while those who eat breakfast cereal are more likely to have boys? Well, that is Trivers Willard in action.

The hypothesis holds that when good, high quality food is plentiful and a mother's health is strong, there is some mechanism in a female mammal's body that alters her biology and vaginal environment to favor y sperm, and vice versa. It seems bigger, stronger, healthier male offspring are best suited to compete for mates, whereas even the smallest and weakest female offspring generally find a mate and have offspring. (Though I'm only an amateur scientist, I further surmise that in times of famine, female children, who are smaller and need less calories to grow and thrive, would be far more likely to live to adulthood to begin with. Another reason why our bodies might favor one gender over another.)

I am speculating that when we sway using douches, supplements, special diets, and timing, we are in fact mimicking this natural phenomenon. Therefore, I'm going to try and trick my body into thinking times are a little tougher just prior to ttc a girl. I will monitor my pH and CM levels and see if anything changes while I alter my diet.

I am not going to sway traditionally. I know many people are wondering why I would dare to risk my attempt on a totally untested theory.

Firstly, I truly believe it will work. I know that my boy pregnancies occured during a time when I was either actively gaining weight (Boys 1 and 3) or maintaining a bit above the 'correct' weight for my height (Boy 2). Also, I became pregnant when I was eating very well, lots of fat and high carb foods - Boys 2 and 3 were planned and I wanted to be in excellent health for my pregnancy. I am naturally somewhat slim, but never skinny, and I have more muscle mass than many women have. And with all three boys, I exercised at a healthful level, not too much, not too little. According to what I've read, these things all point to boy pregnancies.

Secondly, I think it can help people. I have seen too many other women have their hearts broken by GD, even after a 'perfect' sway. The information is out there, we just have to figure out how to incorporate it into our sway. And if I use the traditional methods of swaying as well, it will never be certain why exactly my sway was successful. Someone is going to have to be the first one to try to TTC using Trivers Willard, and it might as well be me. In all honesty, if my sway fails and I get another boy, it's not the end of the world for me. I'm ok with another boy. At the very least it will be another chapter in our swaying library, even if it is filed under "Do not do!"

And finally, I'm 38 years old. My fertility is waning, it is a fact of life. My DH is 39, and has worked around chemicals his whole life. I am reticent about using too many douches or supplements that may reduce my chances of getting pregnant, and killing off my husband's healthiest sperm does not seem wise to me. Even though I feel that the lime douche method is perfectly safe, I just feel that since we are at an increased risk of age-related birth defects, I want the strongest swimmer available to do the job. My primary goal is to provide a healthy, same age sibling for my youngest son. My desire for a daughter must come behind the good of my family.

I hope this spells out my thoughts and motivation clearly - I will post again very soon with the specifics of my TTC plan, and check back again for more information about Trivers Willard as it becomes available. Please PM me with any questions or criticism. Thanks for reading! Kristin

atomic sagebrush
December 28th, 2010, 06:33 PM

I'm planning on ttc starting on Jan. 22, my baby's 9 month birthday. I feel that he'll be off to a good start at that point, so if I do get pg and I need to wean him, I will be able to. My starting weight is 151 lbs. and my pH is around 6 (sorry I have crappy pH sticks, I've ordered better ones but they're not here yet.)

The main aspects of my ttc plan are as follows:

1- to gradually lose between 20-30 pounds over the next three months while still keeping my milk supply up

This averages out to be aorund 2 pounds a week. This is doable for me, but I have a hard time losing weight when breastfeeding, so we'll see what I'm really capable of. The more weight lost the better, but just being in the process of losing weight may be enough for my body to 'think' I'm living in a time of famine.

I will continue taking my daily multivitamin, Vitamin D, and Enfamil DHA vitamins as I've been taking for months, and I will add extra folic acid to make up for any lack as I cut out most fortified breads, pasta, and cereals.

2 - to gradually eliminate carbs and high fat from my diet, switching over to lower fat products and fewer carbs

Lean chicken, fish twice a week, and eggs. I'm off red meat all together as of today. I am considering shifting from full fat dairy to low fat at some point, but since I feel that baby Tate needs me to eat a decent amount of good fat, I am leaning towards sticking with the full fat dairy products and I will continue taking my Enfamil DHA vitamins for the same reason. Full fat dairy also helps increase fertility. I'm going to stay away from fruit all together, and stick with lower carb vegetables (no corn, carrots, or tomatoes). I know that vegies are not ok on the regular ttc girl diet, but I think I need to keep eating them for Tate's sake and for my own sanity. Other carbs, like breads and pastas, I'm going to have to gradually wean off of, reducing the amount while simultaneously replacing refined carbs with whole grains. I can't go off carbs too suddenly, I've tried it once before and it makes me kind of sick. Plus I think it would reduce my milk supply.

3- to keep my blood glucose levels moderately low and without wild fluctuations

There are studies done by Elissa Cameron, a biologist at the U. of Nevada, that have suggested that glucose levels in a mother's blood are the mechanism that controls gender in terms of the Trivers Willard hypothesis. Lower blood glucose means more girls, and higher blood glucose means more boys; somehow your glucose level communicates to your body, possibly telling it to raise pH and hormone levels. High fat and high carb diets elevate your blood glucose levels, so by sticking to my diet as described above, I think I can keep my glucose levels lower than they are normally.

I've also looked into natural methods of keeping blood sugar low, such as grapefruit and cinnamon. Grapefruit has a lot of natural sugar in it and also has been known to screw up absorption of certain nutrients, so I think I'll stay away from it. No one seems to know if cinnamon is really safe in pregnancy, so again, I'll be avoiding that, although I do think cinnamon in particular is something we should look into adding to the ttc girl supplements at some point.

I will also completely eliminate caffeine as that can cause wild fluctuations in blood sugar.

4 - to pursue frequent and intense cardio exercise for losing weight and keeping blood glucose levels stable

The best bet that I have found for lowering and stabilizing blood glucose levels is exercise. Diabetics are able to lower their blood glucose levels quite successfully with exercise alone, especially if they exercise in short bursts just prior to each meal. So my exercise plan consists of running 20 sets of steps before each of my three meals, plus an hour of more intensive exercise a day, whenever I can, it is difficult with a baby!

I will be sticking to just cardio, no weight training. I have read a study regarding women in Africa, and the women with the most upper arm muscle mass had the most boys. I tend to think this is more that upper arm muscle mass is indicative of overall health and not that muscle mass = more boys, but I've decided to err on the safe side and eliminate weight training.

4 - to continue breastfeeding my son as long as possible

Mainly because I can't justify shortchanging my existing child in favor of a new pregnancy, but also because it seems to me that breastfeeding is another way my body is being taxed. Any way I can use up calories seems a good way to communicate to my body that a girl pregnancy might be preferable at this time.

Furthermore, diabetic mothers have found that while breastfeeding, their blood sugar levels seem to normalize naturally, and many of them are able to lower and even eliminate insulin during breastfeeding, so breastfeeding may be another way to keep my blood glucose levels low.

5 - getting lots of sleep and keeping stress to a minimum

Lack of sleep and high stress levels tend to raise blood glucose levels, leading to weight gain, especially in the abdomen.

6 - frequent baby dancing and not worrying about timing

I know this is frowned upon in a traditional sway, but if I use too many of the tactics of a traditional sway, the cause and effect will get muddled.

Furthermore, I'm somewhat worried about my fertility, so I think the more sex, the better my chances of pregnancy, and the sooner the better as my eggs ain't getting any younger. I don't want to have to try for a year or two if I can help it.

Also, although my husband is very supportive of another child, he has no gender preference and is not at all interested in swaying, he just wants to have fun doing it. I feel that since he is being so supportive of the entire baby idea, I better not push my luck here and demand too much!!

In regards to timing, I have three boys conceived during Shettles girl periods, so I don't put too much stock in this.

And finally, I think worrying too much about the timing and positioning of sex just adds to the general stress of the whole thing. Stress is bad for fertility and raises blood glucose levels, so I'm just going to have the attitude of, go in and have a good time and see what happens.

Well, that is my plan. I find it quite interesting that actually it isn't that different from a traditional sway. I really do suspect that we are activating certain inborn mechanisms in our body when we sway, and I hope that my experience will give us yet more information we can use to our advantage.

atomic sagebrush
December 28th, 2010, 06:42 PM
First of all, if this is the first time you've visited, hi!

Personal update - weight 147 lbs, pH still around 6. Still waiting on the better pH strips. Exercising has proved more difficult than I had hoped with a 6month old, but things are going well on my diet. Every time I get a craving I take out the daisy-covered sandals I bought when I was pregnant with DS 3 and I regain my motivation. My milk supply has stayed quite good, but seems a little low this morning. I will have some extra calories for breakfast and give the baby some cereal to compensate.

And an idea to better the plan - I can't do this now due to breastfeeding, but I think it might be worth looking into for anyone else thinking of trying this. Try adding Chitoslim to the ttc girls supplement list. It's a dietary aid that's made out of lobster shells, and it absorbs fat from your diet. So if you're cutting way back on carbs but still eating a lot of high fat dairy, this might be a painless way to eliminate yet more calories from your diet. This would probably be good even if you're doing the traditional ttc girl diet - though someone should find out if it has any effect on acidity.

Ok - I have read several questions about Trivers Willard and related issues and I'm going to answer them to the best of my ability.

I am a Christian, and I don't believe in evolution. These ideas are offensive to my beliefs.

Personally, I think God created evolution, but no matter what your beliefs, the Trivers Willard hypothesis has been extensively studied by many scientists and they have all observed the phenomenon in other mammals. I believe that God designed us with the best biology He could in order to help us survive, so if He knew that having more girls sometimes and boys at other times would help us, He would have created us that way.

Why don't you believe in swaying the regular way?

I do, but I think there has to be a deeper reason behind why pH levels can sway gender. Our bodies don't do anything for no reason. I think altering pH levels just mimicks a natural process, and so if we can tap into that process, our sways will be even more successful.

This all seems very farfetched. What are you going to do if this doesn't work?

It's very possible it won't work. Firstly, no sway could ever be 100%. If losing weight caused 100% birth of one gender, the human race would've died out long ago. The first famine would've wiped us all out. There are too many variables to be considered and too many body types and chemistry to count. All I can do is know my own body, and I know I was gaining weight 2 out of the 3 times I conceived boys, and eating red meat and high carbs with all three.

Secondly, I think it's entirely possible that the combination of my husband and I cannot make girls, or at least not very easily. It wouldn't matter if I had the greatest sway ever, it would be a longshot, because something fundamental in our body chemistry is working so hard against conceiving a girl that it cannot be overcome. If that is the case, I may just have to accept that my body knows something I don't, and maybe I am best at raising boys. So be it.

I do hope that my success or failure will not deter people from looking into this possibility further. One case is not adequate evidence to prove or disprove anything. It seems quite easy to incorporate the idea of lower carbs and weight loss into a traditional girl sway anyway. Or to try and gain a little weight when ttc a boy.

atomic sagebrush
December 28th, 2010, 06:42 PM
This doesn't work because I'm overweight and I have a lot of girls.

Something very interesting that I have observed personally is that some overweight women do seem to have a lot of girls. We have two neighbors, one with 6 girls, one with three girls, and they are both overweight.

I see three possible explanations for this. Firstly, if you were planning a pregnancy, the natural mindset seems to be 'I will get healthy so I can get pregnant.' For overweight women, this might entail going onto a diet, or even just eating more healthfully, and starting an exercise regimen. Using the logic of Trivers Willard, this is the opposite of what you want to do to conceive a boy.

Secondly, some people are not overweight because they eat a lot of high-nutrient foods, they are overweight because they eat empty calories. Since we don't know exactly what physical mechanisms are in play, it seems possible that if your body 'thinks' it isn't getting enough quality food, it may respond by reacting just as it would in a time of famine.

Finally, there is potentially a connection between blood glucose levels and baby's gender. If you eat a lot of refined carbs and sugar, even high fat, all these things raise blood glucose levels, causing insulin to be released. Over time, our bodies gradually build up a resistance to insulin. More and more insulin must be released into the blood****** to metabolize that glucose. In effect, you are constantly bathing your body in glucose-lowering chemicals, and low blood glucose equals more girls. Again, since we don't know precisely what mechanism (or more than one) is functioning in Trivers Willard, the presence of these chemicals, or other chemicals found in highly processed nutrient-poor food, might also be signaling your body that your health is compromised.

This doesn't work because I was thin and exercised a lot and I have a boy.

If you were planning a pregnancy, it is quite possible that you began to eat more healthfully in the months before you conceived. Perhaps you added more servings of meat, began to drink milk, or felt it was ok to indulge in a little extra dessert than normal. You may have eaten less processed food and exposed yourself to less additives. You probably began to take prenatal vitamins. You may even have cut back on exercise thinking it would help you conceive. Boy zone!!

It may also matter if your exercise was primarily cardio, or if there was an element of weight training involved. There was a study done in Africa among refugees fleeing famine, and it found that women with the highest amount of muscle in their upper arms had the most boys and those with the least muscle had the most girls.

Or you may have been in such good health, and burning so many calories through exercise, that your body was able to tolerate a relatively high amount of caloric intake. You might have been able to eat far more than another woman who did not exercise at all, and this increased food signalled to your body that times were good and that a boy pregnancy would be desirable.

I have a boy and a girl, or vice versa. If it's that complicated, then how did I manage that?

To me, this is the strongest proof that Trivers Willard exists and that we can use it to sway. If some of us were really unable to have girls or boys, then how is it that so many others can have children of both genders seemingly effortlessly?

One scenario might be, at one point your body thought food was plentiful and your health was good, and so you had a boy. Then, when you later conceived your daughter, perhaps you were a little run down from pregnancy or breastfeeding. Maybe you were busy with a small child and unable to eat as well as you should - sometimes you even skipped meals altogether. You often took your child to the park to play with him, sometimes for hours. And you conceived a girl.

Conversely, maybe you were very thin and liked to work out a lot in your pre-child days. Your first pregnancy was a girl, and whoops, you put on a few extra pounds during the pregnancy. Having a small child makes it more difficult to exercise to exhaustion like you used to, and you find yourself eating a lot of peanut butter and jelly and goldfish crackers and pasta, just because that's what your child likes. It's no surprise that you might have a boy next.

I have a lot of health problems, but I have all boys!

It may depend on the type of health problems you have. Something extremely interesting that I have observed in my own life, is that some people I know who suffer from autoimmune disorders have all boys. Two women I know who have rheumatoid arthritis both have two boys, and two women (myself included) who have severe allergies, eczema, and often have hives, also with two boys each. Obviously, this is not a reliable sample (particularly since 2 of us are from IG and are pre-selected for having all one gender of child), but it is a tantalizing notion. Autoimmune diseases strike when the body's immune system is hyperactive, even attacking its own tissues. It seems within the realm of possibility that your body might interpret this strong immune reaction as a sign that health is extremely good.

Diabetes and insulin resistance is another disease I think could easily influence gender, due to its effect on blood glucose levels. I know a couple of diabetic women with all girls, but this may only be a coincidence. There are several other diseases like PCOS that affect blood sugar as well.

I would be interested to hear of any other disease-gender clusters that anyone has noticed.

If all this is true, and girls are more likely to survive to adulthood and have offspring then boys are, then why would boys be born at all?

It is a little more complicated than that. The implications of the theory are, that since strong and healthy males can theoretically mate with many, many women, and produce many offspring, if your child is likelier to be strong and healthy (born into an environment where resources are plentiful), he will more likely be a boy. On the other hand, if your child is likelier to be smaller (due to scarce resources), and even the smallest, least healthy females are capable of producing some offspring, if times are tough you will be more likely to have a girl. So girls are a sure thing, while boys are a gamble that may pay off big time.

Now - to completely go off on a tangent... I think this theory is missing a very big chunk. The fact is, the existence of strong boys and men has been vital to the survival of all humans in every environment throughout time. They defend women and children against aggressors, provide food and shelter, and have been the driving force behind most of the technological advances that mankind has ever produced (not saying women can't or haven't done all of these things, just that men have generally been more likely to). I think that the survival of humanity as a whole requires the presence of many strong boys and men, and that the whole "men spreading their seed all over the place" notion is a bit misguided. IMHO, more males are born in times of plenty because we need strong boys and men and men for the survival and betterment of the species, and they need more and better quality calories to grow big and strong than females do.

Well, I believe I've blathered on long enough here. If you've made it all the way to the end of this, I thank you for sticking with me and I'd love to hear what you think.

atomic sagebrush
December 28th, 2010, 06:44 PM
Hi again! If this is your first visit, please scroll down to the first post and read the posts in order, it will really help you understand what all this is about.

Personal update - Weight 142, acidity 5.75! We’re making progress! Still having trouble finding time to exercise as much as I would like. My milk supply has been a little low at some points, but recovers quickly with increased caloric intake and slightly higher carbs. I’m working on finding that magical balance between losing weight and keeping my supply strong. Exercise is still a little hit and miss.

Now - onto the main course. I’ve been doing a lot of research since my last post, and I am totally stoked with what I’ve uncovered!! It turns out that things I was suspecting might be true, actually are!! We are on our way towards getting the gender we’ve been dreaming of!

Blood glucose level may just be the most important factor in a good sway. According to the studies of Elissa Cameron, a scientist currently studying Trivers Willard and gender ratio in mammals at the University of Nevada at Reno, low blood sugar levels = girl, and moderate levels = boy. (High levels don’t count, because your body doesn’t like having high glucose levels and immediately releases insulin, drastically lowering your blood sugar. You know that awful feeling you get an hour after eating a candy bar? That is the sensation of your blood sugar crashing.)

Glucose is a moderately sweet sugar that your body uses as its primary source of fuel. Glucose is found naturally in things like fruit and honey - so just avoid fruit and honey and get a girl, right? Well, unfortunately, it’s not that easy.

The main source of glucose is glycogen, a substance your body makes out of any carbohydrate, and stores in the liver and in your muscle tissue. So between meals, once your body has burned off all the available glucose, it starts breaking down its stored glycogen into glucose and uses that for fuel. Your body likes to have quick energy, and glucose/glycogen is the quickest and safest energy at its disposal. Your body stores between 375-475 g of carbohydrates, a tiny amount as blood sugar, but the vast majority in your liver and muscles as glycogen. This is enough for you to run for 20 miles, just using your body’s stored carbohydrates as fuel.

But what happens when your body runs out of glucose and stored glycogen? Your liver begins to manufacture glucose out of amino acids it gets from your fat and muscle tissue (which is why you tend to lose muscle mass when you’re crash dieting.) And the side effect of manufacturing glucose from amino acids?? Acidosis, a buildup of acid in the blood!!!

According to the Trivers Willard hypothesis, mothers who are in the worst physical condition due to a lack of abundant resources have more girls. And according to basic human biology, when you are losing weight and living off your stored fat and muscle tissue, your body becomes more acidic. So if worse condition = more girls and more acid in the body, it isn’t much of a leap to conclude that more acid = more girls. So all the ttc girl swaying we were doing with supps and douches, trying to lower our pH levels, wasn’t just old wives tales and superstition. It is based on scientific fact!! Pretty cool, huh??

Ok - now the downside. (of course there’s always a downside…) It isn’t healthy to have too much acid in your body for too long. So when we sway by losing weight, we must be very careful to eat at least some carbohydrates every day, either by eating some low carb vegetables or even a half a slice of whole grain bread with our protein based meals, or by allowing ourselves one higher carb meal a day. (Don’t worry, your body will release insulin to deal with the higher carb levels, and actually keep your blood glucose low) I think right before bed is the perfect time to do this, because we will have many hours of no food intake afterwards, and won't experience the unpleasant sensation of a carb crash. And since some of us may even choose to skip breakfast, that would give us a nice long time period with no glucose coming in.

Do not eat both high levels of simple carbs and high fat and protein in the same meal, you will be counteracting your sway with that. (Unless you are trying to TTC a boy, in which case that’s what you should eat at every meal!!) For TTC a girl, either eat a small amount of complex carbs like lower carb veggies or whole grains with your meal (keeping your blood sugar still low overall), or eat just simple carbohydrates (raising your blood sugar quickly but then the release of insulin will drive the level back down again, maybe even lower than it was to start with.)

And even more important - when you are in the 2ww you must! And I repeat must!!! Eat carbs at every meal! I mean it!!! You can hurt your baby if you have extremely low blood sugar at this point!!! As soon as you’ve O’d and DTD, stop dieting, cut back on exercise, and start adding in a slice of bread or some fruit at every meal. Don’t go overboard and gain weight, just start eating in a balanced way again. You can always resume the diet should Aunt Flo arrive.

Remember, millions of women have conceived baby girls by doing absolutely nothing any differently than what they‘ve always done. We don’t need to become “swayorexic” and destroy our health, we just have to do enough to send our bodies the message that a girl pregnancy would be preferred.

atomic sagebrush
December 28th, 2010, 06:46 PM
Hi again! Personal update - weight 141, pH 5.5. I haven’t been making as much milk as I would like, and my weight seems to have plateaued. No matter how much I cut back, I don’t seem to lose any weight, and at the same time I am not producing enough milk, so I am going to have to increase my calories somewhat. I’m feeling a little discouraged right now, but I still feel that for any person not breastfeeding, losing as much weight as fast as you can is the way to go.

A couple of new and exciting discoveries I’ve come across -

Cranberry and Vit. C are both being studied by diabetes researchers for their potential to lower blood glucose. So not only may we be acidifying our bodies with our TTC girl supps, we may actually be lowering our blood glucose levels at the same time. Excellent for TTC a girl.

And I’ve been discovering more about why it is so important to fit intense exercise into our plans. Aside from blood sugar control, I’ve learned that when we exercise anaerobically (that is, very intensely, past the point where we’re out of breath) even for short bursts, we dramatically raise the levels of lactic acid in our blood******. Furthermore, at the same time, we are using so much of our glycogen (the fuel the body generally prefers) just to keep going, that our muscles begin making food out of muscle tissue instead. This is a natural response, because the body wants to preserve as much of its quick burning glycogen as possible. So intense exercise really does acidify the body, even when you‘re not losing weight at all.

The main purpose of my post today is to reexamine why it is, if weight loss truly tends to sway for girls, that bigger women often have many girls (an observation made by several IG members completely independent of each other - not trying to generalize or offend anyone). And how can a ridiculously thin woman like Victoria Beckham have 3 boys?

First, let’s revisit the idea of why very thin women might have more girls. When a person eats an inadequate amount for their level of activity, their bodies quickly burn off the available blood glucose and glycogen (the form of glucose stored in liver and in muscle tissues). Then, in order to manufacture the glucose a body needs for its metabolic functions, the body begins to cannibalize its own muscle tissue, breaking down the protein into its basic components, one side effect of which is releasing acids into the blood******. Add in frequent intense exercise that produces other acids as well, and it is easy to see how crash dieting and over exercise can make your body very acidic.

So, in the case of Victoria Beckham, she is probably just maintaining at a weight that is natural for her. Some people are naturally very thin, and their body chemistry is just accustomed to supporting her metabolism at that weight. Perhaps she even gains a bit of weight for health purposes just prior to TTC. Or she could tend to eat very alkalinizing foods that counteract her body’s acidity.

Still, even if we can explain away Victoria Beckham, clearly it would be completely counterintuitive to expect that any heavyset woman would have girls. In fact, just the existence of one overweight woman with all girls would completely negate the entire theory.

However, according to my research, it seems there are two paths to an overly acidic body. One of which, as I mentioned above, is losing weight. But the other path to acidity seems to be a high carb, low nutrient diet.

First of all, an excess of sugar in the blood feeds yeast and other microorganisms that release acids as they digest those sugars, so anyone eating a lot of sugar is pretty much turning their body into an acid factory.

Secondly, when a person eats primarily quick burning, empty carbs like white bread, candy, pasta, and so forth, as some overweight people do, their blood sugar goes up very high and very fast. This triggers an insulin response; the body releases large amounts of insulin to counteract the sugar in the blood. And then the blood sugar drops even lower than it was to start with - the body runs out of its preferred quick burning glucose/glycogen and begins devouring its own tissue for energy. This leads to intense cravings for sugary foods and just perpetuates the entire cycle again and again.

A diet high in sugar may actually cause low blood glucose, signaling to the body that a girl pregnancy is desirable and contributing to an acid environment. If this seems farfetched, you may be surprised to hear that researchers lowered blood glucose to dangerous levels in test animals by feeding them nothing but sugar.

Ok, so if both ways work, why don’t we just eat a bunch of sugar to get girls? Health issues aside, it’s because each individual’s body chemistry is just too different. Anyone with insulin resistance (meaning their cells aren’t very responsive to insulin‘s effects) might raise their blood glucose levels and end up conceiving a boy when they wanted a girl. But since every person’s blood glucose levels drop when they eat less sugar, lose weight, and exercise, it seems like that is the more reliable path to take when TTC a girl.

Wishing everyone the best of luck in their TTC adventures

atomic sagebrush
December 28th, 2010, 06:48 PM
Back again with a lot of new information! For those of you who are here for the first time, welcome! Please read my blogs from the oldest first, so you will be able to follow what I'm babbling about.

Personal update - weight 138, pH 5-5.5! I have tested several times and gotten consistent results from 5-5.5 each time. I am definitely getting more acidic, it’s like magic to see that pH changing colors, from 6 to 5 in only a month, without taking any cranberry or Crystal Light at all!

Due to my milk supply issues, I had to relax my diet somewhat and I’m focusing more on carbs (more about the reasons behind this change later). Strangely, the side effect of this change in diet has been that my weight plateau has been overcome as my milk returned with a vengeance, even though I know I’m eating more calories than I was. I still feel that the best way to sway for a girl is to cut back on everything as much as you can dietwise, but breastfeeding does so much to sway for a girl anyway, why would I want to eliminate the benefits of that?

And now for something completely different - you may have been wondering, why, if blood glucose levels seem like such a sure way to control gender, then why aren’t scientists shouting this information off the rooftops? Why haven’t there been books written and millions of dollars made?

Enter, the maternal dominance hypothesis. This is another theory designed to explain the reasons behind the Trivers Willard hypothesis, suggested by Valerie J. Grant, of the Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, School of Medicine, at the U. of Auckland (NZ). Grant does not believe that it’s the mother’s condition at conception that selects for a male or female fetus, unlike Elissa Cameron’s theories about blood glucose.

Rather, Grant’s theory states that dominant females (defined as women who tend to be influential, ascendant, prevailing, authoritative, and high in control) tend to have more male offspring, and that the improved condition in these dominant mothers is just a side effect of them being dominant to other females - they can outcompete the smaller, weaker females for the best food.

Underpinning the maternal dominance hypothesis are two suppositions that many scientists believe to be true. Firstly that dominance is a biologically-based personality trait that is strongly correlated to higher levels of testosterone, and secondly that testosterone levels can fluctuate due to changes in status and dominance - both biological changes (diet, weather, age, etc) and social changes can affect testosterone levels, leading to the birth of a boy or a girl.

Grant proposes that if you have higher testosterone, you’re more likely to have a boy, and if you have lower testosterone, you’re more likely to have a girl. And that any observable change in a mother’s physical condition is simply as a result of her dominance and social status controlling her access to the best and most nutritious foods - it’s not that better nutrition means more boys, but that higher testosterone means more boys, and higher testosterone also means coincidentally that a more dominant mother then gets the most nutritious foods. Grant believes that even though maternal condition seems like it is controlling gender, there is really a third, hidden variable that is controlling both maternal condition and gender, namely testosterone levels.

There is a lot of speculation about the hows and whys of why the maternal dominance hypothesis, but I’ll save that for a different post. For now, let’s answer the first and foremost question on all our minds. What does this mean for us and our sway?

Well, surprisingly enough, it doesn’t change things very much at all. To raise testosterone levels, people are advised to eat eggs, nuts, red meat, fruits and vegetables, drink alcohol in moderation, eat good amounts of healthy fats, get plenty of sleep, lift weights, and only do cardio exercise in short bursts. Sounds an awful lot like the TTC boy diet, doesn’t it?

And things that lower testosterone levels are either being very heavy or very thin, losing weight, smoking, breastfeeding, heavy drinking, smoking, having little muscle mass, intense short-term emotional stress, (long term chronic stress tends to raise testosterone levels), age, eating soy, and eating a diet heavy on carbs with very little animal protein. This is largely what we speculated would be a good way to ttc a girl anyway.

In the final analysis, it seems that it doesn’t really matter who is right and who is wrong, Cameron or Grant. We get the same results from both approaches, and amazingly, it isn’t too different from the traditional swaying diet we’ve been following all along.

Bearing this in mind, I’ve revised my plan a bit and will completely eliminate nuts, fish, and eggs (all of which I was eating in moderation), and continue eating very little meat. Since I’ve been forced to eat more empty carbohydrates to keep up my milk supply anyway, I will just continue doing this without the guilt I had been feeling, and just keep trying to lose as much weight as I can. I will continue breastfeeding while I’m trying to lose weight. And I will continue sticking with my cardio exercise, although I wish I could exercise more like 90 minutes a day, instead of 30, but with a new baby and two teenagers, I just have to do what I can do and be happy with that.

Wishing everyone the best of luck in their ttc journey!

atomic sagebrush
December 28th, 2010, 06:49 PM

Hi again! If this is your first visit, I really hope you’ll take a few minutes and read the previous posts - this blog has been a work in progress and I’ve learned so much as I’ve gone along. Some of the things I thought were true at the beginning have been at least somewhat confirmed, and others seem less important now than I first thought they were.

Personal update - weight, 133, and pH of 4.5! I’ve gotten readings from 4.5-5 several times now, way too often to be just a fluke. It’s amazing to me that my pH has dropped so quickly considering I’ve taken no cranberry or Crystal Light at all and have not even followed the TTC girl diet very strictly. Very encouraging. My milk has stabilized with my diet the way it is now, even though I’ve lost more weight.

Since we talked about blood glucose in depth, I think we should give testosterone the same treatment. Remember, testosterone is the linchpin of the Maternal Dominance Hypothesis (MDH) - the idea that females who are more dominant have higher testosterone levels, and tend to have more sons. And any appearance that physical condition is determining gender ratios, is just coincidental to the fact that dominant females are able to outcompete submissive females to food resources.

How can some hormone, that women have a miniscule amount of, really affect the gender of our children? Scientists don’t really know yet, but the idea that testosterone can effect gender ratio is probably a certain thing. Scientists have studied female rodents, and they found that if the female rodent was in between two male rodents while in the womb, surrounded by testosterone on both sides, that female rodent was far more likely to have sons herself than a female rodent who matured between two sisters.

Of course, what’s true for rodents isn’t necessarily true for humans, but let’s just accept for the sake of argument that testosterone levels do affect gender ratio in some ways. Since I suspect that we’re tapping into the effects of the Trivers-Willard hypothesis in a traditional sway, and since the MDH is an explanation of one way that Trivers-Willard might work, it stands to reason that the MDH is somehow being affected by a traditional sway. So let’s inspect the MDH in that light.

TIMING - One of the first and most important aspects of a traditional sway has been the issue of timing BD. Interestingly, testosterone levels rise just before a woman ovulates. So if testosterone really is sending some kind of signal to our bodies about what gender child would be preferable, timing may very well matter. Perhaps if we BD several days before O, our testosterone levels have not yet risen, increasing the odds of a girl pregnancy and supporting Shettles. And perhaps our testosterone levels drop off after we O, increasing the odds of a girl pregnancy and supporting O+12. Whereas if we BD around ovulation, our testosterone levels are higher than normal and we are more likely to conceive a boy.

The connection between MDH and timing goes even further than that, however. Most of us have experienced an increase in sexuality around the time we ovulate. Testosterone levels are directly related to that increase in desire. Ovulation = more testosterone = higher sex drive = more likely to have an orgasm. Orgasm boosts testosterone levels, in fact, the more often you orgasm, the higher your testosterone level tends to be. Ovulation = more testosterone = higher sex drive = more likely to have an orgasm = more testosterone = higher sex drive = and so on.

Orgasm is usually frowned upon in a ttc girl attempt because it increases cervical mucus, which helps the y sperm to swim to the egg more easily; cervical mucus also tends to be alkaline. Bearing this in mind, the chain of events might happen somewhat like this: Ovulation = more testosterone = higher sex drive = more likely to have an orgasm = increased cervical mucus = alkaline vaginal pH = more y sperm survive = more boy babies conceived. Interesting, no?

DIET - The next important aspect of a traditional sway is diet. Testosterone levels can be directly affected by diet. When weightlifters are building muscle, they want to increase their testosterone levels, so they eat eggs, nuts, fish, and meat - as much protein as they can take in. They also eat plenty of good fats and carbohydrates to keep their bodies from cannibalizing their muscle tissue, and they take in 3-4000 calories in the course of a day. This isn’t too different from the TTC boy diet, and in fact that is one thing many girl moms really have to focus on, eating much more meat than they do normally.

On the traditional TTC girl diet, we focus more on grains and dairy foods, and many women find they lose weight while on the diet. Although chicken, fish, and eggs are allowed, since we are trying to take in so much dairy and reduce our sodium levels, many of us have found that we eat much less of these things than we had previously. Weight loss, less protein, and less meat lower testosterone levels.

Anecdotally, I have heard that vegans and vegetarians have far more daughters, supporting the notion that less animal protein might lead to more daughters. I have tried to find hard stats on this and I couldn’t, but when I was searching for information about this topic, I read hit after hit about vegetarians talking about their daughters, and none talking about their sons.

Interestingly, being very heavy also lowers testosterone levels. This would support the observations that some have made that being very thin and very heavy both tend to sway for girls.

EXERCISE - Exercise isn’t a part of a traditional sway, but let’s examine it anyway. Weight training and gaining muscle mass raise testosterone levels, while weight loss, especially drastic weight loss, lowers testosterone levels. In a traditional sway, when a woman begins to take in a lot more meat than she typically does, her body is likely to take the opportunity to use that meat to build up muscle mass. So not only does the increased protein in her diet itself increase testosterone levels, the muscle that the body then builds using that protein also increases testosterone. A win-win for having a boy.

On the other hand, many women follow an exercise regimen of long, sustained cardio exercise, and often eschew weightlifting because they don’t want to bulk up. We have already discussed how intense anaerobic exercise can acidify the body, but it also lowers testosterone levels at the same time. Mix intense overexercise with a low calorie, low protein diet and you will burn up the majority of your muscle mass. Your body becomes both very acidic and very low in testosterone, girl zone!

LIFESTYLE ISSUES - Again, not part of a traditional sway, but still interesting. Smoking causes first a sharp and sudden rise in blood sugar, and then the corresponding crash as too much insulin is released. Smoking also lowers testosterone. Drinking does the same, and in fact that‘s why people often get the munchies when they‘ve been drinking, because their blood sugar drops and makes them crave sweets. It is no wonder that smoking and drinking tend to sway for girls.

Being well rested raises testosterone levels, and a lack of sleep lowers them. Sleep is also a big factor in blood sugar issues - people who don‘t sleep enough at night tend to have low blood sugar, and end up snacking a lot. Not sleeping well = low blood sugar and low testosterone.

BREASTFEEDING - To me, breastfeeding is the most interesting of all, because it really affects every aspect of swaying. Not only does breastfeeding reduce testosterone levels by itself, but as those of us who have breastfed know, our sex drives all but disappear when we’re nursing. So we’re less interested in sex, less likely to orgasm, and we have less, and drier cervical mucus.

Breastfeeding also affects our blood sugar, to the extent that many diabetic moms find their blood sugar levels remain so low just from nursing that they are able to dramatically cut back on their insulin until after they wean their baby. A nursing mother is also more likely to be losing weight than a woman who isn’t nursing, just because her body is burning so many calories just to make milk. She may be using up so many calories to make milk that her body is actually robbing her muscles for protein, further reducing her testosterone levels and acidifying her body.

I’ve never had a lot of luck exercising while I’m nursing, and I would certainly never lift weights around a small baby - I would love to hear of other people’s experiences.

I have found that during the time I’m nursing, I tend to get less sleep because I wake up several times a night to attend to my baby. Since less sleep = less testosterone, just the fact of having a small baby might tend to sway for a girl.

AGE - A factor we have no control over, but all people, men and women alike, have less testosterone as they age. Also, women tend to lose muscle mass as they get older, so they have even less testosterone available. That may very well be why older women tend to have more daughters.

Anyway, that’s a lot of information to take in all in one sitting, thanks to all who’ve stuck it out till the end! As always, wishing everyone the best of luck in their TTC journey!

atomic sagebrush
December 28th, 2010, 06:52 PM
Hi again! Personal update - weight, 131, pH4.5. I haven’t had a pH reading higher than 4.5 since my last posting. DH and I have begun TTC, though I don’t know how regularly I am ovulating. I’ve only had one menstrual cycle since I had my son. My milk supply has been excellent despite continuing to lose weight. My son has recently become much more interested in solid foods, so I am planning on cutting back somewhat with nursing and hopefully ovulation will begin again.

I have based much of my research on the information discovered in a recent study out of Oxford, and I thought since I’m referring to it constantly, I had better spell out in depth exactly what the researchers discovered.

The study was spearheaded by Dr. Fiona Mathews (how interesting that only women seem to be studying this!!) of the University of Exeter, Oxford. 740 women in the UK were asked to keep food diaries of everything they ate in the months before conception and also during their pregnancies. The researchers then tallied up the statistical information and analyzed it to see if any trends emerged between diet and baby’s gender.

What they found was actually quite amazing. They found that mothers who took in the most calories of the highest quality and variety foods were the most likely to have boys, and mothers who took in the least calories and the least nutritious foods were the most likely to have girls. There was a whopping 24% more boys born to the mothers with the highest caloric intake as opposed to the lowest!! And they also found that diet during pregnancy had no effect on the outcome - it was the mother’s diet in the months leading up to conception that mattered…in other words, we can definitely make changes in our diet to sway.

Mothers of boys had a caloric intake, on average, of 2,413 calories a day. They also took in a wider array and greater amount of nutrients of all sorts, in particular, calcium, potassium, Vitamins C, E, and B12 (B12 is particularly interesting to me, because strict vegans often are deficient in B12 and have to take supplemental B12 to prevent serious health issues. Another reason vegetarians might have more daughters.) Boy moms ate more good fats and more protein. They ate a higher sodium diet. Eating breakfast cereal was also strongly linked with having sons - the researchers surmised that more breakfast cereal meant more likely to eat breakfast and therefore concluded that eating breakfast led to more boys being conceived. But I think it also might have to do with the fact that breakfast cereals are also highly fortified.

Mothers of girls had a caloric intake, on average, of 2,283 calories a day. They ate less protein, less variety of nutrients, less fat, less sodium, and less protein than the boy moms did. The researchers found no correlation between caffeine intake and baby’s gender.

The interesting thing is that the boy-friendly diet noted by the Oxford researchers would definitely tend to raise testosterone levels, and eating breakfast and more protein and fat would keep blood sugar levels up for longer periods of time - apparently backing up both Grant’s and Cameron’s theories.

One other interesting study recently brought to my attention gives us even more information about how diet might effect gender. It was done in mice, but there is a reason why researchers use rodents for lab experiments, oftentimes what holds true for rodents is fairly close to what holds true for humans as well. Researchers at the University of Missouri (again, mostly women, interestingly enough) took two groups of mice and fed one group a diet that was very high in saturated fat (the kind found in animal products). The second group was fed a diet low in fat but high in sugar and carbohydrate.

The diets were identical in terms of protein, unsaturated fat, and mineral content - the only thing different was whether the majority of calories were coming from saturated fats or carbohydrates (although the high fat diet did have more calories than the other diet did) Both groups of mice had been fed Purina Mouse Chow prior to being put onto the special diet, and the mice came from the same genetic pool, to try and eliminate as many variables as possible.

The mice were equally fertile and had lots of litters, but there were far more males born to the high saturated fat group, and far more females born to the high carb group. And interestingly, the older the mice got, the more the difference - the older boy moms had even more boys and the older girl moms had even more girls.

That meshes exactly with what I have found out regarding diet and swaying, and is actually amazingly close to the kind of diet I ended up following to lose weight while keeping my milk supply up. And both studies illuminate the potential reasons why women of all body types have children of both genders. It may have much more to do with the kinds of calories you’re consuming and your overall nutrient intake than it does your body type.

Wishing everyone the best of luck in their swaying adventures!

atomic sagebrush
December 28th, 2010, 06:55 PM
Hi again - yes, I’m still here!!! My weight is a delightful 126.5 lbs and although I have spent the last few weeks fluctuating between 129 and 126, my pH has stayed consistent at 4.5. I was trying to take a break at 126, but it seems like whenever I’m not actively losing weight, my body wants to gain it!!

This has been a bit of a discouraging month for me on the weight loss front. Though I’m happy with the amount I’ve lost, I am facing a dilemma - I have recently read that losing weight while breastfeeding means that it will take even longer for your menstrual cycle to get back to normal, and that certainly seems to be the case for me! That’s why I gave up losing weight at 126 even though I feel capable of losing at least 6 more pounds and I think it would make my sway more of a sure thing if I did. But of course the best sway in the world will be all for nothing if I am unable to get pregnant. I have been very tentatively eating a bit more protein than I had been, and I am seriously considering making a doctor’s appointment this coming week to see if there’s any way to medically kick start the process. I swear I can feel my fertility plummeting with every day that passes!!

I also do not like the fact that my weight loss probably won’t peak at the time I get pregnant - it is obvious to me that I’m going to have lost all the weight I possibly can lose long before AF even comes back. I don’t know how my body will respond to this - will it slowly begin to return to its normal pH and testosterone levels? I don’t know, but it seems likely. Thank goodness that I will be happy with a child of either gender, but I am annoyed that the test of the Trivers-Willard hypothesis won’t be as good as I had hoped. More than ever, I hope that my success or failure will not put anyone off the idea of using the theories surrounding the T-W hypothesis to sway.

Moving on!!! First off, I must apologize for not updating my blog. I am really not very motivated at all, I feel sort of lazy and exhausted and not at all like myself. So much so, in fact, that I have come to the conclusion that this sudden change in personality means that the sway is working, my testosterone levels are dropping. I find myself losing interest in swaying altogether and just feeling much less passionate about having a daughter, to the point where I have even felt at times like I don’t want a daughter, and why am I doing all this anyway, blah, blah blah?? However, I do realize that this is likely an effect of the lack of testosterone in my system, and while unpleasant, it is probably a good sign.

I have also noticed some physical changes indicative of lower testosterone - aside from the lack of energy and motivation, I have less body hair, low sex drive, and (sorry for TMI) a certain part of my anatomy is smaller than it was before. All in all, it’s encouraging, but at the same time, the change in personality makes it hard to take much pleasure in the progress I’m making - I just want to curl up somewhere with a roast and gnaw on it for awhile!!!

So in light of this, I thought this might be a good time to examine how personality factors and testosterone can influence each other.

atomic sagebrush
December 28th, 2010, 06:55 PM
Testosterone is described as being in a feedback relationship with external stimuli; that is, external stresses of both a physical and an intellectual nature can cause it to rise, while at the same time, the higher testosterone actually drives a person to seek out new challenges to take on, in a kind of a feedback loop. What’s more, this holds true even of stresses that you would have preferred not to live through - just the very act of enduring stress and successfully surviving it, is seen by your body as a triumph to be celebrated with a big surge of testosterone. So one thing we must do in order to sway pink is to eliminate as many sources of stress from our lives as possible.

Researchers were studying dominance in female monkeys, and they took several dominant female monkeys and put them into cages and pampered them much more than they would have been in their natural environment - they didn’t have to work for their food, they didn’t have to worry about predators or competing against each other for resources. And these female monkeys ended up having way more daughters, surprising the researchers, who weren‘t even studying gender ratio!! Just the removal of the stress in their lives was enough to alter their body chemistry to pink.

An interesting thing about primates of all varieties is that they tend to establish and maintain social dominance through a series of competitions - never fighting to the point of injury, but just until the less dominant party submits to the more dominant one. It doesn’t seem farfetched to assume that humans might operate in much the same fashion.

Testosterone has been studied extensively, and researchers have found that when people gear up for a competition, their testosterone levels rise. Even if you’re just a spectator, your t levels still go up accordingly, sometimes even as high as the competitors do. After the competition is over, testosterone levels drop in the losing team - even the spectators rooting for the losing team suffer a sharp drop in t levels. But for the winners and their fans, the levels of testosterone rise even higher still. And believe it or not, this effect is as dramatic for people participating in a chess match as in a sporting event! It is the very act of competition that matters, whether it is a physical or mental competition.

It seems perfectly reasonable to conclude that facing challenges and overcoming competitors in everyday life could have far more of an effect on your testosterone as watching a chess match. So the pastimes you enjoy, the struggles you face on a daily basis, the more passionate about them you are and the more often you succeed, the more these things might sway for a boy.

Possibly even the very act of swaying itself might cause testosterone to rise as the challenge is faced, and the more thorough you are, the better sway you think you’re doing, the more successful you feel you are, the more you feel like you are ‘winning’, the higher your testosterone levels are rising!!! (Not trying to discourage anyone here at all, but it is great news for those swaying blue and a comfort for those of us who haven’t been able to be completely thorough about our pink sways due to non-cooperative hubbies.) This may even help to explain why so many InGender ’surprises’ have turned out to be girl babies, even in moms with 5-6 sons - maybe sometimes only when we’ve given up on the idea of a daughter and are feeling defeated do we manage to conceive a girl.

This effect has also been observed by sociologists and historians…it has been one of history’s great questions why the rate of male births seems to rise during wars and other periods of social upheaval. But if we take stress and testosterone into effect, women who are struggling to survive and succeeding, very likely have a rise in their testosterone levels. And a study done on the early Mormon settlers found that many more sons were born to the wives of the higher ranking settlers - as the ladies rose in social stature, they had more sons. Remember the Maternal Dominance Hypothesis - more sons are born to women who are influential and high in stature. (Note - I have seen this Mormon settler study quoted in several places, but I can’t find the original myself. If you know where I can find it, I would really like to read it.)

So what does that mean - if we have high testosterone levels and chronic stress, should we just give up on the idea of a daughter all together? The answer to that is no, of course not. Because I am coming to the conclusion that there is more than one factor at play involved in gender ratio. It isn’t just diet, it isn’t just testosterone, it’s the combination of the two plus whatever our husbands bring to the table, along with an element of luck and possibly timing thrown in.

Tamara recently sent me a study involving mothers with eating disorders (thank you Tamara!!). I can’t get the full text of the article, but according to the abstract, the researchers found that mothers with anorexia had 10% fewer sons, bulimics had 8% fewer sons, and binge eaters had 4% more sons than would be expected in the general population. Another group called EdNOS-P, which is a kind of eating disorder where you are anorexic/bulimic but your weight stays in normal range, had 28% more sons!!!

Wait a minute - that’s totally confusing isn’t it? How can some anorexics have dramatically fewer sons, and some have dramatically more? That’s where I believe the effect of testosterone comes in. Can you imagine the level of drive and commitment that a person would have to have to maintain an eating disorder? From what I have read, anorexics/bulimics tend to be very driven and high achieving personalities (high testosterone levels) who do extraordinarily well at any endeavor they undertake.

Women who suffer from anorexia/bulimia very well might have higher average testosterone levels than the general population to begin with. However, in the most severe cases, their restricted diets alters their body chemistry so dramatically that they ended up having far more daughters, even though women who also had anorexia/bulimia who were of normal weight had far, far more sons. Women who should have had sons, had daughters on a restricted diet - up to 38% more daughters. This is proof positive that we can use diet to sway.

This sounds kind of shocking to analyze the statistics this way, and please understand, I am not advising anyone to develop any kind of eating disorder to sway. I have total sympathy for those struggling with eating disorders and I am not trying to offend anyone or make light of a serious and life-threatening condition. But the information is there and we would be foolish not to utilize it.

Summing up - can personality and lifestyle factors affect testosterone levels? Yes! But this doesn’t mean that those of us with naturally high testosterone levels are screwed and can never conceive a daughter, or that women who want a son will never have one. Moms who want daughters can alter our lifestyles to reduce stress, lose some weight, and change our diets, we can lower our testosterone levels. And moms who want sons can take on new challenges, gain weight (preferably muscle), and eat more and higher quality foods, can raise their testosterone levels.

As always, best of luck to all swayers out there!!

atomic sagebrush
December 29th, 2010, 02:18 PM
Hi! Personal update - weight 125 pH 4.5. I managed to take off another pound, but just got my 3rd negative pregnancy test in a row, we’ve been trying for three months now and nothing, so it‘s hard to feel encouraged. I am going to have to read the writing on the wall here and turn to either vitex or a visit to the doctor’s office for medication to restore my cycles…I hadn’t wanted to do either of these things because I felt it would destroy the test of the Trivers Willard hypothesis, but I simply have to get pregnant as soon as possible due to my age. That having been said, I do believe that if I was not breastfeeding while doing the weight loss, I would be pregnant right now, and I remain convinced that if you are not breastfeeding, weight loss and vegetarian, carb based diet, is the best way to sway pink.

Ok, so now we know that there is real science behind swaying. We may not know exactly how or why it all works, but it looks very likely that it is a real possibility that we can sway our odds towards having a boy or a girl. So let’s turn our eye towards the practicalities of swaying, and envision our sway taking this information into account. (I am including both boy and girl sways in this post. I really recommend you read both, not only to see what not to do, but also to see how this meshes with your previous diet and lifestyle, and the gender outcome of your children. Please don‘t hesitate to let me know if something I have advised was not true for you.)


Before we begin, I did want to touch upon one area where there seems to be a bit of misunderstanding. A vegetarian diet does not, in any way, guarantee you a daughter or prevent you from having a son. The Trivers Willard hypothesis, and all the theories based upon it, are based on the idea that moms in the best physical condition and with the most ample resources will have more sons, and vice versa. Since a balanced vegetarian diet with a lot of quality protein (particularly nuts, eggs, and beans) tends to be very healthy, it is totally possible to have all sons on a vegetarian diet. After all, if there was a single dietary factor that always produced children of only one gender, the human race would have died out long ago. Our bodies are just more complicated than that.

After doing a lot of reading, it seems to me that there are actually two different ttc girl diets for different body chemistry. Remember, I am not any kind of expert, and this is in no way a guarantee. This is just what seems to make the most sense to me based on what I have read about the human body and the science being done. If the traditional ttc girl sway works for you, a lot of people have gotten good results with it, and as my grandma used to say, "don't mess with success!" But if it failed for you before, if you have struggled with filling out the paperwork, sticking to the very limited diet, if the supplements are making you sick, if you aren't getting pregnant, or your husband is not willing to do any kind of swaying, then you may be looking to try something new.

Diet 1 - “The Crash and Burn TTC Girl Diet” There is an old wives' tale that says, “Eat sweets to conceive girls”. And it turns out there may be something to this - Dr. Shettles and his colleagues observed that glucose is definitely present in CM and it rises in most people as ovulation approaches…possibly another reason why timing and a Trivers-Willard based ttc diet might go hand in hand. But wait - doesn't a high glucose environment sway blue? Then how could eating sweets lead to more girl babies?

Remember, researchers lowered blood sugar in rats by feeding them nothing but sugar. This is because when you eat a lot of sweets and simple carbs that elevate your blood glucose levels, your body releases insulin and your blood sugar drops.

If you believe you have a good insulin response and are not insulin resistant, the best way to go might be to skip breakfast, and eat a carb-based, low protein, low fat vegetarian diet of no more than 2,000 calories per day, where the majority of calories come in the form of quicker burning, higher GI (glycemic index) carbs. Your blood sugar will spike after you eat, but then after your body releases a big burst of insulin, your blood sugar level will drop much lower than it was before. After your blood sugar drops, you should wait to eat again until you are good and hungry, so your blood sugar is low for as many hours out of the day as possible.

By quicker burning carbs, I mean mostly white carbs such as rice, pasta, white bread, and enough fruits and vegetables to hold it all together - don‘t load up too much on fruits and vegetables, as they have a wide array of nutrients and you are trying to follow a nutrient-poor diet. You should eat carbs and fruits/vegies alone if possible - for example, rather than eating a chicken breast, rice, and a salad, just eat the rice and salad. Any time you eat carbohydrates with protein/fat, it slows down your insulin response. However, be sure to eat a small amount of healthy fats on a daily basis (30 grams of fat is a good target), up your fat intake during the 2ww, and if you’re breastfeeding, you should definitely eat a reasonable amount of fat every day (minimum 70 grams). The vast majority of fats you consume should be of plant origin rather than animal. And you can indulge in occasional sweets, as long as they have little protein (no Snickers bars).

If you do choose to eat dairy or vegetable based proteins, you should try to eat them alone whenever you can, without a side dish of carbs to elevate your blood sugar. Your blood sugar will stay higher longer after you eat proteins, but it will not elevate as high as if you ate carbs and protein together.

The drawbacks to this diet are many. First of all, it’s unhealthy to eat like this for very long. Your body needs a certain amount of protein (white carbs have very little protein), good fats, and fiber. Having a lot of insulin floating around your system is not good for you. The lack of protein and excess insulin may even reduce your fertility. It is also tough to stick to, because once your blood sugar crashes, you will get very hungry, suffer from cravings, and possibly have headaches and jitters. It is also very easy to go over 2000 calories a day if you are not very careful.

If you are anything less than 100% committed, it is really tough to follow this diet. Also, if you are insulin resistant, if you have had gestational diabetes, or have a family history of diabetes, following this diet is a terrible idea…aside from the health aspects, if your body is not sensitive to insulin, your blood sugar will stay high and keep you in the higher-glucose boy zone.

That having been said, I do think that this diet coupled with weight loss, is the best way to sway pink, especially if you are very fertile, don’t have a lot of weight to lose, and trying for a short term sway of only a couple of months. It will totally acidify you, it is lacking in nutrients, and the lack of protein will lower your testosterone. Even though your blood sugar will be on the high side after you eat, it will drop quickly and the majority of the hours out of the day, your blood sugar levels will be low. And it will do all these things without your having to lose a lot of weight to do so - if you only have 5-10 extra pounds to spare, it is better to get as acid as possible as quickly as possible for TTC a girl.

If you have a lot of weight to lose, it might be advisable to lose 90% of your weight on a healthier diet, and then switch to this diet in the month or two before you begin ttc. That way, you’re still losing weight but your body will not be suffering as much.

Diet 2 - “The Slow Burn TTC Girl Diet” If you have are breastfeeding, have health issues such as insulin resistance, suffer from diminished fertility, if you know you don’t respond well to being hungry between meals, or if you have a significant amount of weight to lose before you TTC, then slow and steady is the better way to go. You are still aiming for a vegetarian, low protein, low fat diet of 2000 calories or less per day. Skipping breakfast is at your discretion, if you really find that you can’t function without eating, it won’t ruin your sway totally to eat a little something, but if you can go without it, I think skipping breakfast is best for pink.

In this version of the diet, you are still focusing on carbs and vegetables, but you should seek out whole grains and vegetables that are lower on the glycemic index. Your meals should be somewhat more balanced and if you would like, you can eat reasonable amounts of dairy and plant-based sources of protein with your carbs - you want your blood sugar to stay very even. It will never drop as low as it would if you ate just the refined carbs, but at the same time, it will never rise as high, either.

You should stay far away from any kinds of sugar and sweets, even fruits should be avoided. Since you will not be releasing as much insulin, if your blood sugar rises, it will stay moderately high for longer periods of time.

This is actually a pretty healthy diet and because of this, it has the potential to sway for blue. But for anyone who has a lot of weight to lose, you just can’t be on the Crash and Burn diet for as long as it will take you to lose the weight, because it’s not healthy. Luckily, it seems likely that losing a larger amount of weight will acidify you and lower your testosterone so much that it will make up for the difference. It actually might help improve fertility for some people, especially if you eat full fat dairy 3 times a day. And for anyone who is living with chronic health conditions or is breastfeeding, this diet is a much better choice for you.

atomic sagebrush
December 29th, 2010, 02:19 PM
For both diets - On both versions of the diet, you should try to eat less protein than you usually do. Americans eat too much protein as it is. Nuts and eggs especially are to be avoided like the plague, they are so good at raising testosterone levels that bodybuilders eat them. I do believe that eating dairy is a good idea, for the fertility benefits and because that is what the traditional TTC girl diet encourages, and there could very well be something to that. Beans have both carbs and protein, so eat them sparingly.

The jury is still out on the safety of eating large amounts of soy during pregnancy. Personally, I do eat soy occasionally because I like it, but I don’t think anyone should be eating it three meals a day or taking soy isoflavones, especially when they’re ttc a baby of either gender. Even though soy can lower testosterone levels, it just isn’t worth the risk at this point, until more research has been done.

A great thing to take from the traditional TTC girl diet is avoiding salt. The Oxford study found that avoiding salt did tend to sway pink, and since we don’t know what mechanisms exactly are affecting our sway, it seems wise to avoid salt. We’re pushing our bodies enough as it is, and salt is unhealthy, so best to avoid it as much as we can.

In terms of supplements, I truly think that since your body will very likely become quite acid from the diet alone, that taking Vitamin C and cranberry is not necessary. You will be adding additional nutrients to your system, and remember, fewer nutrients = more girls. And it is possible to be too acid to conceive.

Crystal Light may be a welcome addition to either diet when you’re losing weight, but then again, it also might acidify you too much. I think the best bet is to keep a close eye on your pH, and if it seems to fall very low just from dieting alone, then there’s no reason to drink the Crystal Light…personally, I don’t think it’s the greatest idea in the world to drink a bunch of fake sugar when you’re trying to conceive.

I think it’s probably wise to do the cal-mag tablets since the mineral balancing might have some effect, and of course you should continue to take your prenatal vitamin and I would advise taking a bit extra folic acid and Vitamin D as well, since your diet will be on the unbalanced side. I also am a fan of the Enfamil Lipil DHA vitamins…your unborn baby will need DHA for brain development, and if you are breastfeeding, you should definitely be taking in plenty of DHA. The DHA comes from a plant source, so even though it‘s an added nutrient, it may not affect your sway. You may also want to take the acidophilus, because this diet is very yeast friendly…though yeast can sway pink in some people, it tends to wreak havoc with your pH, so it’s probably best to give your body some friendly microbes. I have also heard good things about the herb vitex for ttc a girl.

Caffeine intake is at your discretion. I know tons of women with all girls who are total caffeine junkies, and the Oxford study found no correlation between caffeine and babies of either gender. In fact, drinking caffeine on an empty stomach actually causes your blood sugar to spike and then drop, so it might be helpful especially in the Crash and Burn diet. I start my day with tea.

If you choose to exercise, stick with straight cardio. Exercising a lot (1-2 hours a day) coupled with weight loss is great, but it can affect your fertility, so don’t overdo it to the point where your menstrual cycle is affected. Unless you are able to exercise and lose weight at the same time, it may be better not to exercise at all, especially if you are big into exercise. A woman who is in very good shape to begin with will really have to exercise to extremes to sway pink; it very likely would be better for her to shock her body into lowering testosterone by giving up exercise suddenly while losing weight. (Doing the opposite of what you’ve been doing may lead to a different outcome.) You want to lower that testosterone by shrinking muscle mass, whether it’s through losing weight + exercise, or by losing weight + not exercising at all.

As for timing and douches, for the best possible sway, if you are very fertile and your husband is cooperative, keep the timing with a 1-2 day cutoff, but lose the douches. The douches are one thing that seems to freak out many of our husbands. Even Shettles dropped the douches from his regimen and continued to get good results. And since we are acidifying our bodies and CM from the inside out, it seems like the douching is just plain overkill…we will be washing away our nice CM that will help us conceive. However, if you know you are less fertile or begin having trouble conceiving, it makes sense to BD through O, when we will have more alkaline and plentiful CM. Since our CM will likely be more acidic due to our diets, and less in quantity as our testosterone levels drop, then we may actually need to BD through O, because not even the x sperm may be able to survive in a very acid, low CM environment.

Personally, I choose not spend my day filling out endless paperwork and obsessively taking my temperature…if you are doing this anyway as part of FAM, that’s great, and of course you should use every bit of information at your disposal. But IMHO for most people, the paperwork aspect of the timing is too complicated and stressful, and it may even raise testosterone levels to have the pressure of dealing with it on a day to day basis. Not only that, but it seems to rob our sex lives of any kind of pleasure and romance, and annoys our husbands to no end when they are made to feel like stud dogs - especially if they do not share the same gender dream as we do.

The same holds true for positioning, jump and dump, and no female orgasm…give them all a try, but if you find you are not getting pregnant, then you may be too acid and actually need your CM to be a bit more alkaline to conceive at all, so you will need that little boost of alkaline CM that your body produces when you have an orgasm. And you may need to assist the sperm just a bit by a deeper position and lying still after BD, after all they have to get through much more hostile conditions. From the psychological aspect, anything that can take the stress out of the equation and make the entire experience enjoyable for us and our DH, will help lower our testosterone levels.

Unfortunately, there is no one size, fits all when it comes to swaying. Each person’s body is slightly different, and you have to know your own body, do a little guesswork and experimentation, and see what seems to work best for you.

atomic sagebrush
December 29th, 2010, 02:23 PM

A caveat - I have never checked my pH when I was following a boy-style diet. But I was definitely eating these types of foods when I conceived all three of my sons, and according to my research, this type of diet will raise testosterone, raise pH, and increase female sex drive and CM. However, you should definitely monitor your pH to see if it begins to become more alkaline while on this diet, and use timing and female orgasm to guarantee that your CM will be at its most alkaline when you ttc your son.

The TTC boy diets are much less complicated than the girl diet, even though there are three of them. You may want to read the TTC girl section just so you know what not to do and why.

The “Bulk Up for a Boy” diet - This is the best diet choice if you are naturally on the slim side and you want a son. Eat a lot, of everything - we‘re talking above 2200 calories a day and the more, the better. High carb, high protein, high fat. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, meats, and as wide an array of nutrients as you can. Keep your blood sugar consistently elevated by eating three meals a day plus snacks, including protein at every meal.

Eggs and/or meat should be eaten every day, make sure they are well seasoned with salt. Not only is high salt intake part of the traditional ttc boy sway, but the Oxford study found a correlation between high salt and boy births. Remember that old wives tale about eating sweets for girls that I mentioned earlier? Well, the second part of the tale is, “Eat sours for boys.” And what are sours, exactly? Pickles - which, back in the days before Heinz pickling vinegar, were made by fermenting vegetables in salty brine.

Another fascinating old wives tale is, “More boys are born in the year after a good nut harvest.” Nuts are known to raise testosterone and also have a great balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrate that will keep your blood sugar nice and perfect for a long time after you eat them. Have an afternoon snack of nuts every day. Fish twice a week without fail. I know this is not part of the traditional sway, but I believe you should eat full fat dairy and lots of it - enjoy whole milk, cheese on everything, and yogurt with berries for snacks. (I eat tons of dairy and I have three sons, and remember the Oxford study found that higher calcium intake = more boys. )

If you are very thin, I would not do cardio at all. Focus on lifting weights instead. (see below)

The “Slim Down for a Boy” diet - If you are a bit on the heavy side to start with and you don’t want to gain weight but would still like to have a son, it makes sense to try a modified Atkins diet approach. Try to eat as many calories as you can without gaining weight - at least 2200 calories a day. Eat 3 meals a day, with lots and lots of fruits, vegetables, and lean animal proteins, (well-salted, of course) and fill in the gaps with small amounts of whole grains, nuts, and full fat dairy. Do not try and lose weight, because this will acidify you - if you really have a lot to lose, it would be best to lose the weight, take a break, and then regain a few pounds. I would stay on the Atkins-ish diet for at least a month to give your blood sugar levels time to normalize before ttc. (While you are in the 2ww, you should be sure to keep your blood sugar level in the boy zone by eating frequent meals, and be sure to have carbs at every meal to keep your glucose levels high and ensure the development of your male blastocyst.)

Also, exercise is extremely important for you - more so than in the other two ttc boy diet groups. Cardio will really help you to burn off some of the extra calories you will be consuming in the boy diet, so even though your weight will stay the same, you are getting those additional nutrients. And do not forgo the weight training - if you are building muscle, even if your weight stays exactly the same, you will be reducing your body fat. And muscle will also help burn more calories than fat does, even when you’re not exercising. (see below)

The “I’m a Vegetarian but I Want a Boy” diet - Continue your vegetarian diet, with an emphasis on dairy, eggs, beans, and nuts. Eat as wide an array of fruits and vegetables as possible. Limit your soy intake to no more than twice a week (more about soy below). Aim for 2500 calories a day (yes, this is more than the other two diets). In the 2ww be sure to eat frequently and keep your blood sugar on the higher side. And don’t forget the salt!!

Again, if you are thin as many vegetarians are, do not do cardio. Be extra diligent about your weight training, however. (see below)

For all three TTC boy diets - The quality protein contained in nuts, eggs, dairy products, and meat should be eaten as often as you can. Fish is great but of course when we are ttc we should only eat it twice a week due to the mercury. Aim for 9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, in a rainbow of different colors - one way to help you remember how many servings you’ve had is to buy 9 cheap rubber bracelets at the dollar store, put them on your left arm when you wake up, and then every time you eat a serving, move a bracelet to your right arm. By bedtime, you should have all your bracelets on your right arm. Bananas are cheap and an excellent source of potassium, and I would definitely eat them every day if I was ttc a boy. I am also a big fan of V8 juice and I drank tons of it before I conceived DS 2 and 3, you can buy it in big packs at Costco and drink at least one a day.

You should be gaining at least a little weight as you conceive - but you don’t have to gain tons of weight. I suspect that 3-5 pounds of muscle mass will make all the difference - however, vegetarians should gain more like 5-7 lbs of muscle before ttc, because they tend to have a bit less muscle mass to begin with. I don’t think you need to begin the weight gain until right before you ttc, but you should begin eating more quality protein and fruits and vegetables in the months before you begin to ttc.

In terms of supplements, take a prenatal vitamin, preferably one that includes minerals in the formulation, and of course your folic acid. I would also take extra Vitamin C, E, D, and calcium (though I know that many people may choose not to take the calcium). There are also pills out there that include micronutrients like lutein, beta carotene, lycopene, etc. Although it is far, far better to get these micronutrients through your food, if you can’t eat 9 servings of fruits and vegetables, these types of supplements might be worth looking into. If you are a vegetarian, you should take extra Vitamin B12.

I have heard good things about the herb red clover for ttc a boy. I would take the Enfamil Lipil DHA supplements, Evening Primrose oil, and fish oil supplements. But be very careful, because red clover and these essential fatty acids can cause your blood to thin. If you are taking baby aspirin or are at all prone to bleeding or heavy periods, I would skip the red clover and the EPO and take a smaller dose of fish oil.

About soy - many people are taking soy to increase their CM. I think this is a questionable practice. Not only does high intake of soy reduce testosterone levels (swaying pink), but it may even cause birth defects in the genitals of baby boys. I think taking soy is so risky that I won’t even take soy to ttc pink. Soy is powerful stuff - I know we all think that they eat tons of it in Asia so it’s safe, but actually they don’t eat it every day (aside from soy sauce which has undergone a chemical change during fermentation and no one eats much of that anyway). Soy is just one of many things included in the Asian diet, maybe with the frequency that we might eat hot dogs or tacos.

atomic sagebrush
December 29th, 2010, 02:26 PM

The sound of baking soda water is completely disgusting to me and possibly dangerous, since it is very salty and you‘re already taking in extra sodium…personally this is something I would never do. On the other hand, club soda actually has baking soda in it, and seems like a much more appetizing alternative. Club soda mixed with fruit juice sounds like a very nice way to get one of your fruit servings for the day.

For exercise, I would do cardio for 30-45 minutes a day 3 times a week, and start lifting weights on the other 4 days a week, even if you’ve never done it before. It’s actually very fun and you will not bulk up - the women who get very big are generally taking supplements to help them get like that. There are some excellent exercise videos out there (the ones I have used are by the Firm) that incorporate lighter weights and cardio together for a really good workout that you could do every day, or you could do straight cardio 3 days a week, work your arms with heavier weights 2 days a week and then your legs 2 days a week.

However it works best for you, but don’t over do - don’t lift heavy weights in the same body part every day (though it‘s ok to do toning with light weights every day), and never exercise for more than an hour. Remember, overdoing sways pink. You want moderate exercise, and since you are eating more protein and calories, with moderation you will begin to add muscle, exactly right for raising your testosterone levels. I think that you should exercise this way for at least 6 weeks before you begin to ttc.

For timing and douches, again, I see no reason for the douches. Why risk washing away our own natural CM, when we‘ve worked so hard to get it so plentiful and alkaline? I would go ahead and BD on O, with a female orgasm. This coupled with the change in alkalinity and additional glucose that will be present in our CM, should produce a very nice environment for the y sperm to thrive in. And rather than filling out endless paperwork, I would simply listen to my own body - chances are, when your sex drive goes up, you’re getting ready to ovulate. Take advantage of your increased sex drive and increased CM, rather than feeling tons of pressure to DTD on a specific day at a specific time - nothing takes the romance out of lovemaking than a deadline and an ultimatum. Less romance + more pressure = less enjoyment, less CM, less likely to orgasm. So worrying too much about timing and position may actually hurt our chances of conceiving our son!!

Again, there is no one perfect sway and there are no guarantees. But I truly feel that by knowing your own body and your own life history, and tapping into that using the knowledge of how our bodies might be working to select the gender of child we conceive, we have our best chances.

The Nutshell version - That was a ton of information there, so I will just sum up real quick.

For TTC a girl, you need to trick your body into thinking that times are tough. You should be in worse physical condition, losing weight, losing muscle, and eating the kinds of foods that people tend to eat when they are living in poverty or in famine. Carbs like breads, rice, and pasta, are cheap and so they tend to be eaten by people living in bad situations. People living in hard times also often have to work very, very hard for many hours a day, further eating away at their bodies, so intense exercise helps. Your body should ’think’ that since resources are limited, a daughter should be born, because she will be more likely to grow to maturity and pass down her genes than a boy would be.

For TTC a boy, you need to trick your body into thinking that you are living high on the hog. You should be improving your physical condition by adding a few pounds and by eating a wide variety of healthy and high quality foods like meats, nuts, and fruits and vegetables. You can still eat carbs too, deny yourself nothing (except for soy!!). You will help build up your muscle mass with moderate exercise, further convincing your body that you are a successful and well-off person who can support the greater caloric and nutritional needs that a son will require, if he is to compete for mates against other males.

Whew, that was totally exhausting! As always, I wish everyone the best of luck with swaying!!

atomic sagebrush
December 29th, 2010, 02:28 PM

Hi again! I'm hoping to post twice today, so I'm going to break up my personal update into two pieces.

From the middle of February to the middle of March, I was on a swaying break. My thinking was, I already have a child with an early December birthday and since my o date would have put me giving birth very close to Christmas, that just isn't my ideal situation, so I decided not to try and conceive that month.

Instead, I conducted an experiment into just how much diet really does affect my pH and CM. I was also very curious to see if just going onto a more relaxed diet would help me to ovulate. So I began to eat breakfast again and I also allowed myself to have some meat on occasion, a small amount once a day. My weight went up from 124/125 to a consistent 128.

Almost immediately, I began to see huge changes. I suddenly had more energy, more focus, and my mind was much sharper. Unfortunately, I became more argumentative and opinionated and unable to let things go. I had trouble sleeping and I would wake up in the middle of the night stressed out about things. I even started driving more aggressively. That is generally my normal personality, but I didn't realize just how much the lower testosterone diet had changed me until I started eating meat again!!

In the midst of all this, I did ovulate, even though I didn't cut back on my breastfeeding at all. This was very encouraging to me because it was nice to see that 3 pounds of weight and eating breakfast and a little meat really could help me return my cycle to normal. In fact, it was an unusally long ovulation, with pretty major cramping lasting an entire week. I came to find out that this was probably caused by the vitex I had begun taking the month before. (That was the second month I had taken the vitex, but nothing happened until I relaxed my diet.) I am waiting to see if AF will make an appearance this month, I am hopeful that she will.

During the ovulation week, I had tons of CM but I was actually quite surprised to see that my pH didn't budge, it stayed around 4.5 with the occasional reading of 5. This was quite encouraging as well. That tells me that maybe once our pH changes, it might tend to stay that way, unless we make a dramatic change in diet - good news for all of us swayers who have cheated a few times here and there on our diets!!

Although I absolutely hated wasting that big beautiful ovulation, I'm glad it worked out that way because I doubt I ever would've relaxed my diet if I had been TTC that month. So we definitely gained some valuable information.

Anyway, this is a recycled post from the gender swaying board - some of you may have seen it already, but I did think it might be somewhat helpful to help people envision how swaying might work.

Another way to look at the swaying odds...

Often we hear of gender selection being compared to a flip of a coin. We’ve heard it said so often that it’s hard to step away from that all-or-nothing expectation, and consequently when we sway, it’s tough to envision anything other than heads or tails, black and white…or in our case, pink or blue. “If you do these things, you are guaranteed your gender.” And so when we see people IRL who seem to eat right off the boy diet and DTD at all the wrong times but still have girls or vice versa, it’s confusing, scary, and makes us want to give up on swaying all together.

But swaying is so much more complicated than flipping a coin. Swaying isn’t all or nothing, it’s a complicated bunch of physical processes that work together in unpredictable ways we don’t even fully understand, ways that may very well be different in each person.

Perhaps a better way to envision the odds is to picture a die (a die is one of a set of dice, so picture just one dice) with a lot of sides on it. (Anyone who’s ever played the board game Scattergories will know just what I mean, or picture a die somewhat like a soccer ball.). Imagine that each of us carries with us our own personal die that we’re born with, and that die has like 20, 50, 100, or 1000 faces on it. Some of those faces are pink and some are blue, and when we conceive a baby, we roll that die and whatever color comes up on top is the gender we conceive.

Each of the faces on the die corresponds to a different thing that can affect gender. Almost certainly, genetics play a part in gender selection, so some of the faces on the die are colored pink or blue and we cannot change them, these are just traits we are born with. Some people probably have more unchangeable blue faces, some have more unchangeable pink faces, and other people have an equal number of each. It even seems possible that some people have more unchangeable faces overall than others do, and their bodies may just be more genetically programmed to produce children of mostly one gender than another person’s would be.

But other sides of the die do change color. They flip back and forth depending on variables in our diet, timing, and environment. Sometimes we have more pink faces on our die, and sometimes more blue faces. These are what we are aiming at changing when we sway, to get as many faces as we can to turn pink or blue and keep them there as long as we can while we roll the die.

Some of these faces are easily changed, others are much tougher. Some of the faces are linked together, so changing several at the same time works much better than trying to do only one. In fact, the only way to change some of the faces is by changing enough of the others. Other faces are easy for one person to change but more difficult for others, probably due to genetic factors.

Unfortunately, since we are all born with different dice, we don’t know exactly if what works for one person will always work for another. All we can do is look at what seems to work best for the majority of people over the course of time, and try and emulate that.

Even after the best sway imaginable, there is no way that all of our die’s faces will be pink or blue. There are some faces that are unchangeable, and others that were just too difficult, and still others that we don‘t even know how to change yet. We can do our best to change as many as we can, but there will be at least some chance that the opposite color will come up when we roll. Even if we changed ¾ of our faces pink, ¼ will still be blue. Even in people who are ¾ pink will have boys ¼ of the time.

Most of us only roll our die only 2 or 3 times over the course of our lives. It isn’t hard to imagine that just from sheer bad luck, that some of us will happen to have more blue or pink faces during those times, even if every other month out of our life we had more of the opposite. For others, they may be in that ¼ who rolls blue even though their odds were mostly pink.

You just can’t predict by looking at one or two people, what things work best to sway. Because yes, your friend may eat lots of salt and have girls, but she may have so many other pink factors that her overall pink odds were still higher. Or for me personally, I DTD before I ovulated, so according to Shettles, I should have daughters. I don’t, but that doesn‘t mean that Shettles is completely wrong in every way and that timing doesn‘t matter. I simply had more blue factors than I did pink those months, and my roll came up blue.

Only over the course of time, and by watching a lot of people sway (both successes and failures), will we gradually be able to learn what things work best and for who. Until then, we have to accept that there will be exceptions, there will be opposites, and even though there are failed sways, it doesn’t mean that we should give up on swaying and refuse to even try.

Ok, now for the second part of my personal update. First, the good news. My pH has held steady at 4.5 with an occasional 5 throughout all my experimentation. pH may have a sort of inertia - it’s tough to get it started changing, and once it changes, it’s hard to change it back again.

My baby is suddenly less interested in nursing, and a little more interested in drinking from the cup. He does still nurse, but it tends to be for shorter periods of time, only a minute or two before he gets bored with it. Hopefully, this will help - I have talked to several women and for some reason, 13 months seems to be almost a magical age for getting AF back again regularly. He will be 13 months in three weeks.

I’ve been back on my ttc girl diet for nearly two weeks now, and even though I easily re-lost that 3 lbs. and am sitting back at 125 lbs again, I still am feeling the effects of higher testosterone. Remember how testosterone seems to be a self-perpetuating cycle; that is, the idea that personality factors cause you to produce more testosterone, and more testosterone stimulates the more aggressive qualities of your personality, in a kind of snowball? Well, this certainly seems to be the case for me. I suspect that when I first started on the TTC girl diet, it probably took some time for my testosterone levels to drop and it happened so gradually that I didn‘t notice until a couple of months had passed. It’s actually quite shocking to me how different I suddenly felt, just from eating a little meat and gaining a couple of pounds.

So what does this mean for a TTC pink sway? Well, if testosterone takes awhile to drop, we should take steps to lower our t levels as soon as we can. Even if you’re months away from starting your sway, start eating meat, eggs, and nuts only in moderation, or better yet, all together. Quit any form of weight training and competitive activities, particularly ones you are emotionally invested in (you can still play Monopoly with your children, but entering the Pillsbury Bake Off that you have dreamed of winning since you were 3 is a no-no). Avoid stress, avoid conflict. You may even want to limit the amount of orgasms you have for a month or two before you begin to sway.

atomic sagebrush
December 29th, 2010, 02:29 PM

The devil is in the details -

I have been contacted my several people who are wanting specific foods that you can and can’t eat on both the ttc girl and boy diets. From the very beginning, I have been reluctant to do this - even the February post I made about the different types of girl and boy diets was really more than I wanted to commit to.

You see, I just am not convinced that there are any ‘magic’ foods that sway pink or blue for everyone, 100% of the time. I happen to believe that swaying hinges on the idea that, when your body ‘thinks’ that times are good/getting better and food is plentiful, women tend to have boys, and when your body ‘thinks’ that times are tougher and food is scarce, you tend to have girls - the Trivers Willard hypothesis.

If you are interested in the Trivers Willard hypothesis, and the hows and whys of swaying using the principles of TWH (warning, it‘s long), please continue reading. If you want the nutshell version, skip to the bottom where I talk about what I’m actually eating and what I ate when I ttc my sons.

The theory -

For most of our earliest years on this planet, humanity subsisted as wandering tribes of hunter-gatherers. We ate a meat-heavy diet, supplemented with berries, nuts, grains, and when we got lucky, an egg here or there. Dairy products were not on the menu for anyone other than babies, because who could milk a mastodon?? (Eating dairy products is actually quite a new idea for humans, that’s why so many people around the world are lactose intolerant.) Yet during these hunter-gatherer years, an ample supply of both boys and girls were born. Otherwise the species would not have survived. So the idea that eating a lot of meat always = boys and eating dairy always = girls simply cannot be true..

As humans began to settle down and embrace agriculture, our diets began to include more and more dairy products. Some cultures began to eat dairy as their primary food. But despite this dramatic change in diet, the female population didn’t begin grow entirely out of proportion. The human race didn’t die out, far from it. Both boys and girls continued to be born and the human population skyrocketed. Nowadays, our diets are more complex and varied than ever before; we have access to foods that our great-great-grandparents had never even heard of. Our diets contain more meat, fish, caffeine, bananas, and salt than ever before. We should be inundated by boys, and yet we aren’t, and there are now 6 billion of us.

We have gone through countless variations of diets throughout the world throughout history, yet overall, the gender ratio has stayed pretty close to 50-50. This doesn’t mean I don’t believe that diet has nothing to do with swaying, because obviously I believe it does, otherwise I wouldn’t have wasted my time writing this blog!! But it does mean that the idea of ‘magic’ foods that always produce children of all one gender has to be set aside, because it just can‘t be logically true.

Going back to our hunter-gatherers and their diet of meat, they had eaten the same foods for their entire lives, their body chemistry was used to it. But there would still be a wide variation between the amount and quality of food that the chieftain’s wife ate, and the food the lowest-ranking female would eat. The chieftain’s wife would likely get the best meat while the lowest-ranking female would have to live off of whatever scraps she could snatch. The chieftain’s wife was almost certainly bigger and stronger, so she could out-compete (maybe even going so far as physically fighting and driving them away) the low-ranking women to collect the best grains and berries - the low-ranking females probably had to wander for many miles to gather enough to feed her family. The low-ranking females would get less calories, less variety, and have to work a lot harder just to get by.

So even though the whole tribe was eating a meat-based diet, it made evolutionary sense for the chieftain’s wife to have a lot of sons, because her sons would have the best food, they would be big and strong, be able to protect their mates and the tribe, and be able to out-compete other males to pick the best mates and have the most children. She could have daughters as well, of course, but they would likely only have 1 or 2 surviving offspring (life was tough back then). Her sons could potentially father dozens.

If the lowest-ranking female were to have sons, they would be chronically undernourished and not able to compete against the chieftain’s sons - if they had children, they probably wouldn’t have very many, their mates would be less desirable as well, and they wouldn’t be physically as able to provide food and protect their mates and offspring from predators. But now if she had daughters, well, after all, the chieftain’s wife’s sons need someone to mate with (probably many someones). Even the smallest and weakest daughters would manage to find mates and some of their offspring would live, and probably benefit from the rise in status that might come from having a higher-ranking father.

Fast forward through time to our early agricultural society, people keep cows and goats and eat a lot of cheese, yogurt, and milk. They have hens and geese and eat eggs. They also grow fruits, vegetables, and grains. Again, this is what everyone in the entire geographic region eats, so everyone’s body chemistry is used to the diet.

The richest woman in town is married to the farmer with the biggest and most fertile plot of land. Her husband raises many cows, so many in fact that he is able to slaughter his extra bulls for meat. Their family eats meat, vegetables, dairy, and bread at every meal. He sells his excess goods at market and earns so much money that he is able to afford to keep his farm in good repair, enabling him to be even more successful. His wife does have to help him (life was tough back then), but her labor isn’t terribly taxing, she has warm clothes in winter and shoes on her feet.

It still makes evolutionary sense for the farmer and his wife to have a lot of sons. Her sons will have access to plentiful food and will grow big and strong. They would be able to help on the farm, and their wealth would allow them to pick and choose from any wife they please, so they’re more likely to end up with a healthy and strong wife who will have a lot of children. And since they are more likely to grow into strong, healthy, wealthy men, they will be able to provide for their children well and more of them will survive to adulthood.

The poorest woman in town is married to a man who’s plot of land is terribly small and not very fertile. They aren’t able to grow enough to feed themselves, let alone to sell at the market. They have one cow, but they must sell her calf every year in order to pay the taxes to their lord. The only thing that really grows well in their field is turnips. So their family lives on milk until the cow goes dry, cheese, and turnips. The wife must work alongside her husband from sun up to sundown but it still isn‘t enough, sometimes she even takes in laundry and mending so they have enough money to occasionally buy bread. She probably doesn’t have warm clothes, and she occupies a place of low social status in the community.

It makes more sense for this family to have daughters. Girls tend to eat less so they are more likely to survive to adulthood, and while a son would have nothing to offer a potential wife, it’s likely that at least some of their daughters will manage to find a suitable husband…maybe even a more successful man than her father. At least some of their offspring would have grandchildren who survived.

All this is very theoretical and some may even find it pointless, but remember, we are the end result of all these people. The biology that kept them alive long enough to reproduce is what we are made of. We are still subject to the same quirks of evolution…just like our appendix and tailbone, it’s still part of us, even if we don’t really need to use it any more.

Fast forward again to 2009. Two sisters have grown up eating the same All-American diet, cereal and juice for breakfast, PBJ for lunch, and hamburger casserole for dinner, day in and day out so their body chemistries were at one time the same, but circumstances have affected them differently.

The older sister is a doctor. She works long hours, but it isn’t hard physical work, and she‘s indoors out of the weather. She works out 3 times a week because that’s all she has time for, but she enjoys it a lot. She’s not too heavy or too thin. She is able to afford a lot of fruits and vegetables, whole-grain bread, and she can afford more expensive groceries like fish, cheese, and meat. Society is constantly telling her how amazing and successful she is. She has two boys, even though evolutionarily it no longer makes any difference for her to have boys and she would love to have a daughter, she is still subject to the same biology that her historical sisters were.

The second sister has had a harder time of it. She’s not well off at all. She eats mainly white bread, pasta, potatoes, processed foods, whatever she can afford on her limited food budget. She works two jobs to make ends meet, and since she doesn’t have a car she has to walk several miles every day in all kinds of weather. She sometimes has to skip meals and she is rather thin. Throughout her life, she has felt very inferior to her sister, and she feels as if their relationship was a contest that she lost. She has 2 children as well, both daughters. She would love to have a son, and in this day and age there’s no reason why she shouldn’t, but again, her body is interpreting the signals it is being sent.

atomic sagebrush
December 29th, 2010, 02:29 PM

The practice -

Keep these basic principles in mind -

1 - There is no such thing as a magic food. You will always find someone who ate straight off the girl diet and has boys and vice versa. That doesn’t meant that the diet won’t sway for the majority of the people.

2 - Your body gets used to whatever you are eating. Someone who never eats meat will almost certainly respond more strongly to eating meat than someone who eats it all the time.

3 - You must analyze your diet before you start swaying, because some foods will affect you more or less than they might other people. There is no one size fits all sway.

4 - For a girl, you want to eat less overall of everything, less calories, less protein, less variety of nutrients.

In other words, eat like a poor person. But you do not have to starve yourself, you just have to eat less overall than you were previously.

5 - For a boy, you want to eat more of everything, more calories, more protein, a wider array of nutrients. Eat like a rich person. But you do not have to stuff yourself with food, you just have to eat more overall than you were previously.

6 - Remember, the majority of women manage to have children of both genders with no effort whatsoever. Swaying may be complicated to understand, but it cannot be impossible or even very difficult to carry out. Most people stumble their way into it at least once no matter how many of the other gender they might have.

Foods I’m eating for TTC a girl - Here is what I am personally eating for my pink sway. You will have to look at these foods in the light of your own dietary history and decide if it would work for you, or if you would need to cut back more or could even get away with a less strict diet.

I am eating white bread in the form of buttered toast, and cheese sandwiches, salad topped with cheese, spaghetti topped with pesto/alfredo/marinara sauce and parmesan cheese, vegetarian pizza, vegetarian lasagna, a couple of rice-based vegetarian casseroles that I like, yogurt, ice cream, low-carb vegetables with hollandaise sauce (brocolli, cauliflower, asparagus) , berries every once in awhile, and on occasion when I’m really craving them I will have nachos, bean burritos, or something potato-based. I drink 2 tea bags worth of tea every morning, 1 small cup of coffee in the afternoons, and pop far more than I should, but I believe I am going to quit drinking pop and start Crystal Light, not for swaying purposes but just because I can‘t keep those extra calories in my diet and I have no willpower when it comes to pop. I am not totally deprived, but I am definitely eating differently than I did when I conceived my third son a year ago.

Foods I ate when I TTC DS 3 - It makes more sense to me to base my sway on my last conception, because my other two were many years ago and I think my blood chemistry is probably quite different now than when I was younger. Plus, I can remember my specific diet much better.

When I conceived DS 3, I usually ate ½ cup nuts, but occasionally I would eat 4 oz. of cheese. I drank 4 tea bags worth of tea every morning before work. Then I would have a dark chocolate Dove bar every day at work for a snack, a Lipton green tea at work. Then for lunch I would have a couple of sandwiches (cheese, tuna, fried egg, lunch meat, or peanut butter) and chips or fruit, an avocado mixed with salsa and corn chips, nachos, or leftovers from dinner. I often drank V-8 juice and orange juice daily and pop several times a week. For dinner I often had meat, chicken, fish, or red meat (probably had red meat 4 times a week on average). Sometimes I had pasta, pizza, stir fry, or Mexican food. For a bedtime snack I would have ice cream, cereal with milk, or yogurt and berries mixed together. I probably had fast food a minimum of once a week and sometimes twice.

So now, a much higher % of my caloric intake is coming from carbs. I am taking in way, way less protein than I was and somewhat less fat, and my fat intake is a lot less of the healthy fats. I’m eating less overall than I was and skipping breakfast. And I am trying to keep salt to a minimum, but I’m not doing very well at it. Could I cut a lot more out than I have, sure. But I don’t think I could without wrecking my fertility and drying up my milk supply.

Anyway, I hope this is helpful in shedding some light on what I’m doing and why

atomic sagebrush
December 29th, 2010, 02:31 PM
For those of you who are regular visitors to the Gender Swaying board, you know that I’ve been hanging out there and answering questions. I actually think that I need to explain what exactly it is that I believe, and why I give the advice I do on the Gender Swaying board, even at times when it is not in line with my own beliefs.

When I answer questions on the Gender Swaying board, I assume that the vast, vast majority of people who are on there, are wanting to have basically a traditional sway with some aspects of the Trivers-Willard hypothesis thrown in there. Therefore, I give advice that is rooted in the traditional sway. I figure, people want to stick to the fundamentals of the diet, they want to do timing and douching, they plan on taking supplements, and on top of that they want to incorporate exercise, weight loss, skipping breakfast, and keeping blood glucose levels down. I assume that the vast majority of people want to do everything within their power to sway, even things that I personally don’t agree with or think are effective.

Consequently, that’s what I advise people to do. This makes for a pretty tough and restrictive sway, and a lot of people accept that and are willing to do whatever it takes so that they feel they‘ve done everything in their power to conceive their desired gender. However, I have been noticing an undercurrent on the board lately, where people are not getting pregnant and they seem to be blaming it on the diet, even going so far as to suggest that the diet is dangerous or making people sick.

I find this all to be very troubling and so I really feel that I must clarify a few things.

I do think the IG diet is very restrictive, and as I have said often, that is why it works. If you have read my blog, you know that the diet that I personally feel to be adequate for swaying is actually not anywhere near as restrictive as the IG diet. But, since the vast majority of people want to do as many aspects of the traditional sway as they possibly can, I feel that on the Gender Swaying board, I should answer questions with that in mind. So I may tell people to follow a far more restrictive diet than I personally followed, and a far more restrictive diet than I even feel is necessary, simply because I know that is what most people want to do. Most people want to do 110%.

Even though I do feel the traditional diet is very restrictive and limited, I do think that it is safe, and in no way makes people less fertile or affects their health in the long term (though it can make you feel like crap while you‘re on it!!). If anything, it may even HELP fertility by increasing intake of full-fat dairy products.

Being on such a limited diet is hard, hard work, and it wears people down over the course of time. Because of this, I think it’s very easy for people to make the diet into the bad guy. They’re tired of being on it, they’re tired of denying themselves the foods they want to eat, and so if they don’t get pregnant right off the bat, that’s the first thing they want to drop.

But to my mind, that is the absolute worst thing that people can do. Firstly because the diet has too much supporting evidence backing it up - say what you want to about a study or two supporting moon phases or lime juice freezing Y sperm, but the idea that lower calorie, lower protein, lower nutrient diets sway pink has dozens of scientific studies from many different sources backing it up.

In the course of a typical pink sway, people are injecting sperm-hostile douches and gels into the vaginal environment, taking supplements that can affect hormones, CM, and monthly cycles dramatically, and trying to get pregnant from one round of sex that takes place well outside of your optimal fertility zone after your husband has abstained for 7 days or even longer. Some people are going onto birth control pills to move their ovulation into the proper moon phase and others are actually putting sperm into turkey basters and shooting it full of lime juice (lime juice has been used in some third world countries as birth control!!) I’m not saying there is anything wrong with doing this, but for people to be doing all these things and then blame their diets for them not getting pregnant, something just does not compute there.

But, when I answer questions on the GS board, I operate under the assumption that people want to do all these things because they want to give 110% (even though that’s not the choice that I personally would make) and I help them to incorporate all these things into their sway. So again, to state clearly and for the record what my own personal viewpoint is - I think everyone should follow the diet to the absolute best of their ability, whether it is one of the diets from my blog, the IG diet, or some combination of the two. (IMO the French Gender Diet does very little to sway at all). I think you should lose at least a little weight while you are TTC, and I think you should either exercise a lot or not at all. I think it’s a good idea to skip breakfast and eliminate snacking and very large meals, especially during the days leading up to O and during the 2WW. And that’s ALL I really, honestly believe in.

If a person wants to try timing, supplements, douching, or any of the other methods, by all means, go for it and I will help you however I can. I can completely understand that you would want to leave no stone unturned in your quest. But if you aren’t getting pregnant, I strongly urge that rather than giving up on the aspects of swaying that actually have a decent amount of legitimate science backing them up, that you first consider dropping the things that are the most likely to be keeping you from conceiving, starting with timing and moving on from there.

For those concerned about the safety of the diet and how it affects their fertility... Throughout all of human history up until the present day, (and in most countries all around the world right now) not even the richest of the rich had access to the kinds of varied and nutritious foods that we have available to us 24-7 at the nearest grocery store. People ate seasonally, whatever food they had managed to grow and store. They had milk in the months when the cow was giving milk, they had salad only rarely in the early months of spring, they had never tasted oranges and wouldn’t have known whether a banana was something to eat or to run away from. In the winter most people subsisted on stored vegetables, salted meats, and bread, if that. Even within the last 100 years, a president campaigned on promising “a chicken in every pot” for Sunday supper, because chicken !!!once a week!!! was a luxury that only the well-off enjoyed.

Yet, during all this vast span of human existence, perfectly healthy babies were conceived and born all around the world. Millions, billions even, of healthy human beings have been not only conceived, but born, with their mothers eating diets far beneath even the most restrictive IG diet (not to mention that we are all taking folic acid and prenatal vitamins that not even our own mothers had access to). Socrates, Newton, Jefferson, Lincoln, all these great minds were conceived and carried by their mothers eating diets based on a few seasonal foods (none of which were vitamin fortified), that’s just how humanity lived and ate for tens of thousands of years.

Please keep in mind that the vitamin and heath food industries are billion-dollar industries that make their money off of convincing Americans that we are all incapable of being ‘healthy’ without buying whatever product it is that they’re selling. But people lived and had babies for 100,000 years before the invention of vitamins, frozen concentrated orange juice, and without the ability to buy grapes in February.

No one is saying that a poor diet in the long term can’t affect fertility, of course it can. But it takes time for that to happen, it doesn’t happen overnight. I personally believe that it is better to forgo EGS, throw timing out the window, douche sparingly, and get pregnant as quickly as possible, to limit the overall amount of time you have to stick to the diet. Again, some people choose not to do that, they choose to try every method available to them, and even though I don’t agree with that decision, I do support people and try and help them to sway in the way that they feel is best.

atomic sagebrush
December 29th, 2010, 02:32 PM
It took me 6 months to get pg and I was following my diet the entire time. I wasn't ovulating for most of this time. I had one cycle of ovulation, AF, and then I got pg the following month. I am 38, almost 39, and DH is 39.

Diet - I didn't do the IG diet strictly, instead I followed a low protein, low-nutrient, vegetarian diet where most of my calories were from refined carbs and dairy. I cut way back on potatoes and bananas but I did still eat spaghetti sauce, salsa, and ketchup maybe 3x per week. I did not eat eggs or nuts at all, had fresh fruits/vegetables rarely, and I limited vegetarian protein sources (like beans and tofu) to no more than once a week. I skipped breakfast every morning and some days I got away with eating 2 meals a day, other days I had to have three meals. I did cheat now and then, esp. with tortilla chips. I ate meat a few times usually at family gatherings when I couldn't explain it away.

Weight loss - I lost 29 pounds over the course of 7 months, including 5 lbs in the month before I swayed. I weighed 122 lbs when I conceived, that is the lowest weight I have ever conceived at and is what I weighed when I was in the 6th grade. I have only ever weighed less than that at one time in my adult life and that was only for about a month or two when I was working out for like 2 hours a day and had really big muscles at the same time. I am 100% sure that this was the least amount of muscle mass I have had in my adult life, I could not even open a jar of pickles and my calves are like twigs compared to what they usually look like.

Breastfeeding - I continued breastfeeding my son while swaying. The weight loss and breastfeeding made my ovulation stop for some time but once it came back I got pg almost immediately.

Exercise - I started off trying to exercise, but I found that there was just no way I could do enough exercise to really tax my body. So I quit exercising and just focused on weight loss.

Supplements - From the very start I took a One a Day woman's vitamin (this vitamin is actually very good and has all the same nutrients in the standard pre-natal, plus a lot of things that prenatals don't have), a cal-mag pill (total amounts with my multi-vitamin = 950 mg. cal and 300 mg mag.), an extra Vit. D3 in addition to the D in my multivitamin, 2 G of Folic Acid that I gradually increased to be 4 G (my son had a neural tube defect), Enfamil Expecta DHA supplement (though I think this sways blue I wanted to take it because I was breastfeeding), and acidophilus.

Later on, because ovulation was not happening, I began to take vitex from when I guessed AF should be through O and 100 mg B6. I took the Vitex+B6 for three months, the first month it didn't help but then the second and third month I ovulated. I drank some Crystal Light, but not in the amounts recommended.

DH - my DH doesn't believe in swaying, he wants another boy anyway, and so he ate his regular, boy-friendly diet. However, he does work with industrial chemicals, he is at his heaviest weight ever, and for whatever reason, he continued having a couple of beers here and there while we were ttc this baby - usually he does not drink at all when we are ttc.

Timing and position - We BD frequently through O. I didn't have any orgasms and I hadn't had orgasms for like 2 weeks prior. I tried to do a jump and dump every time but there was one time that I fell asleep right afterwards (see below)

pH - my pH was almost always 4.5 (my sticks only went down to 4.5 so it could have possibly even been lower).

CM - I had barely any CM the month I conceived and what was there was sticky/creamy. I actually had a lot of EWCM the month before but since I didn't really want a Christmas baby, I held off ttc that month.

Other factors - I was mildly sick during the week we conceived, and I had a cold sore. Both these things can lower pH.

Whoops factors - I would be feeling pretty happy about this sway, but unfortunately the 2 weeks before I conceived I had tons of stressful things happening in my life (such as being robbed and having 3 sick kids and a teething baby and other things) which I think sways blue. And then the vitex caused an unexpected problem, because a couple of times after DH and I BD, I suddenly had bleeding which completely screwed up my pH. I'm almost certain this was caused by the vitex.

I don't know if it was ovulatory spotting or if it was from my cervix getting injured since we were bd frequently and I was very dry. (I kinda think it was from my cervix but I still think the vitex did it somehow) I thought about trying a douche the first time it happened, but since I didn't know where I was bleeding from, I was worried about the risk of infection. Then the second time it happened was the time I fell asleep right away without doing the jump and dump and there was a lot of blood that day, as much as the first day of my menstrual cycle.

So I feel that it's quite likely that I am pregnant with a boy, and I am perfectly ok with that. The only regret that I have is that this will not be the test of the Trivers Willard hypothesis like I hoped it would be.

atomic sagebrush
December 29th, 2010, 02:39 PM
I'm sorry, I needed to update about what happened but I have been putting it off as long as possible!

For now, we don't know for sure if baby is a boy or girl I thought it looked boy at the ultrasound but the tech wouldn't guess based on the nub shot, though she seemed kind of apologetic about it and her demeanor made me think she thought it was a boy too. I don't have a good nub shot and I'm scared to post anyway because I don't want either false hopes, or the tiny hopes I still have to be totally crushed. For right now, I feel like I have to say 100% boy and celebrate that fact with all my being because I WILL NOT have GD again, I refuse to.

Anyway, here's what happened. Just to begin with, I have not used bc for 15 years and even though I don't temp or chart, I have always, always been able to predict my ovulation spot on (including during breastfeeding, and during times when I lost a lot of weight) and have never gotten pg except the two times I wanted to during all that time. I know my body very well at this point.

So as some of you know, we had been trying to get pg for four months prior to March and I was not ovulating due to losing weight while breastfeeding. I began to take vitex in Feb. from AF through O and though the first month it didn't do anything, in the middle of the second month (March), I began to have majorly severe O pains, tons of CM, and my cervix was def. favorable. Checking back to my old posts, it had already been going on for the better part of a week on March 25 and was gone by March 26.

I didn't particularly want to get pg that month because of Christmastime, we already have a child born in December, and since I have two fire sign children already, I preferred not to have another one, so I wanted to skip the Sagittarius birth sign in favor of Capricorn or Aquarius. (just sheer superstition I know, but it was what I wanted to do.)

So I thought maybe we should not ttc that month, so I avoided BD during that entire time period. I must admit that I wasn't terribly careful because even though the timing wasn't perfect and I did have a lot of EWCM, I still want to get pg and we are still trying, but I managed to avoid what I believed to be my most fertile time - we DTD on the 18th and the 20th (I had a lot of EWCM on both those days and my husband even commented on it but my cervix didn't feel right so I felt ok taking a chance thinking at the very least I would have a cut off), and then again once during the following weekend, either the 27th, 28th, or 29th (I thought it was on the 29th but I'm just not sure, anyway I thought O had long passed because I had a lot less EWCM, the O pains had stopped for 2 days). I had an orgasm on the 18th but I can't remember if I did on the following weekend, I don't think I did but I'm just not sure, I have no memory of even BDing that day. At some point during all this and I can't remember when exactly, I relaxed a bit on my diet, ate some meat, salt, and breakfast, and even regained a couple of pounds, thinking that I would be gearing up for a great sway the next month, making sure that I would ovulate again the next month and that I would have some extra weight to lose.

Then, just like clockwork, AF arrived 2 weeks after I thought I ovulated, on April 4. It was a perfectly normal AF just like every other AF I have had since I was 12 years old. I never have very heavy periods, but it wasn't particularly light either, and it lasted for 3 1/2 days just like all my other cycles do. It did not even occur to me to take a pg test because why? But apparently, that was some kind of implantation bleed. I have never had an implantation bleed before and I thought IBs were mostly just spotting anyway.

So thinking that since I am ovulating, I would ttc this month, I started dieting again and lost 5-6 pounds that month on a low protein, high carb diet, and took vitex for 2 weeks. I didn't have an orgasm for like an entire month prior. I didn't feel any O pains when I expected to, but some months I don't. We wanted to BD frequently through O so we DTD every day except 2 from the weekend before O through the weekend after. During this time, I had two episodes of bleeding, one of which was quite heavy, but I wasn't sure if it was O spotting or bleeding from my cervix because of DTD so much. 9 DPO I noticed my stomach looked bloated and I had been having cramping, so I took a pg test and it was a superdark positive. I was thrilled because I felt so good about my sway that month and the test was so dark that I even let myself dream a little dream about my childhood dream of twins - I started getting morning sickness only a couple of days later so I dreamed that dream a little harder.

atomic sagebrush
December 29th, 2010, 02:39 PM

Anyway, fast forward 2 months to my us at what I thought was 9 weeks, my stomach was huge so I still had my fingers crossed for twins. The tech began the us and I was amazed to see one pretty well-developed baby appear on the screen. I was like, "Geez, it looks like a baby already! I was expecting it to be like a chicken or a blob or something." And the tech told me, "I think you're a little further along than you think you are." And I immediately went into shock thinking back on how crappy my sway was that month, how I had had SOOOO much EWCM and ate the wrong foods I'm sure right when I actually Oed, and had an orgasm too, and a billion, trillion times worse, how I had basically starved my baby for the better part of a month and also took 2 weeks of vitex too. Thank God I was taking my prenatal vitamins and lots of folic acid but still I was eating barely any protein and fruits and vegetables during that time period.

Then as she was moving the wand around, I saw the goods and they are huge. The tech said, "Ummm....I know that really, really looks like boy parts, but sometimes that can go away...you just never know, it might still be a girl." In this voice that told me she thought it was about zero % likelihood of being a girl. Then when I got home I double checked the nub theory just to be sure and the nub is def. pointing up - I know nothing is 100% at 12 weeks but the pics coupled with my horrible sway and all the EWCM I had, I am just convinced it's a boy and I think that's where my head needs to be right now anyway, with the complete and total expectation that Boy #4 is on his way.

As I look over these dates, it is pretty obvious that I got pg the weekend of March 27-29, this matches the ultrasound dates and also meshes with the timing of the implantation bleed. But how could I have been having O pains, EWCM, and my cervix right, for like a week and a half prior to that date if that's when I O'ed, and then no O pains and EWCM when I actually got pg? It makes no sense!

So, I feel pretty bummed about the whole thing. Primarily I feel absolutely devastated that I did anything that might have hurt my baby in any way and the entire thing feels so unfair - why in God's name did I have what seemed to be a perfectly normal AF that month? That has never happened before, why would such a thing happen right at the worst possible moment? I would never, ever do anything that I thought could hurt my baby. I just have to wonder if this is going to have repercussions that will last the rest of all of our lives. (ETA - I later found out that what I thought was "AF" was actually me miscarrying my son's twin and that the subsequent bleeding I had was due to the fact that the twin's placenta remained behind and was right on my cervix.)

If I am being totally honest though, it's more than just that. I do totally know how blessed I am to be where I am with hopefully 4 healthy children and I never, ever forget that, but seriously, what a bizarre chain of events. Even though I am trying really hard not to go there, it has to make a person question if the universe really is out to get them. It's totally not that it's a boy that stings, it's that this was my absolute last chance at a daughter and I pissed it away. And after all the time and effort I put in, to have it all fall apart based on a totally freak accident where my body acted totally differently than it has every other month for 15 years, boggles my mind. I wasted that great sway I felt so positive about the next month, and I can't even use my information to help anyone at all because it happened so long ago that I have not enough accurate memory to even feel out a spreadsheet.

And the irony is, if I had just gone ahead and tried for reals that month rather than skipping it, I could have BD through O, watched my diet, not had an orgasm, done my best to get rid of the EWCM, done all those little things that then I did do the next month and I could walk away saying, well, I tried my best but it wasn't good enough, I just had too many boy factors and this was meant to be. But no, I am left with the idea that I was being selfish and trying to time things for my own convenience, and it turned around and bit me in the butt.

In some ways I feel more optimistic than I did because I have remembered a lot more about what happened that month and I know that on March 21 I was still following the diet and still losing weight because that was my nephew's birthday party and I remember what I ate that day. So if I really did conceive on the 27th like I think I probably did that was only 6 days later at the very most, and even though I may have cheated a bit in there, I was still pretty careful about meat, because I was trying to keep my testosterone lower and I think testosterone takes forever to change. And I know I would never have cheated very much at all before O if there was even an outside chance that I might get pg that cycle. Most of the weight I gained would have had to been between when I thought I O'ed and when I got "AF" two weeks later - after I had already conceived - and maybe that little burst of nutrients was enough to sustain him through the next month when I was dieting again.

I also remember I had some girl factors that month that were actually better than the following month - way less stress than the following month, first PP ovulation, Oed in new moon, infrequent BD, and it may very well have been an O+12 if the egg had released the day before and that's why the O pains stopped.

I have been thinking about this a lot and I guess I am not upset with the 'why' in the physical sense because I'm 99.99% certain it was the vitex - I think my body was trying to O but couldn't, maybe because I was taking the vitex, and that's why I was in so much pain. Then once I thought I Oed and stopped the vitex, the egg released. But it's the why in the cosmic sense. It just seems so deliberate and cruel somehow, to allow me to go on for another month and have what I felt like was a great sway and then to pull the rug out from under me and then to possibly hurt my baby besides - it's like someone was taunting me or something. If I would have known that I got pg that month I would have been overjoyed even though the timing wasn't exactly perfect, it's just that the next month's sway seemed so, so much better and I could have done right by my little bean...

But, things in my life that always seem terrible at first always turn out to have some kind of wonderful blessing attached to them, so I'm going to operate under the assumption that is going to happen again in this instance.

Out of the Blue
July 18th, 2011, 10:23 AM
Why, oh, why have I not seen this thread before!?!?! Atomic, as I read this, I kept sending you silent prayers of thanks for sharing all of this with us. I am so thankful for all you have researched, analyzed and then shared with us. You could have easily kept it to yourself, not posted or quit posting but you continue to give freely to all of us. I truely hope that I get my girl not only for me but also as a tribute to you and all you have done for us. And if our caboose is a boy, I will have known I did everything possible at the time to sway for a girl and be thankful for a healthy bub. :HH:

atomic sagebrush
July 22nd, 2011, 11:40 AM
Thank you!!!

Oh the one thing I do need to make totally clear (and I thought it was in the post but I see now it wasn't) was that I was ALREADY pregnant when I had what I thought was the big ovulation. I got pg BEFORE my nephew's birthday party. Those pains and cramps I was having was from implantation and not from ovulation. What I thought was an implantation bleed actually was a placenta previa from my twin baby that I ended up losing...I WAS pg with twins but one implanted right on my cervix and we lost him/her, which was actually the source of what I thought was my period. We know this for a fact because the placenta stayed behind and continued to grow throughout my pg.

The interesting thing to take away from that is that I was checking my pH religiously and it never went above 4.5 until after I was already pregnant. I also didn't have much/any CM that I could tell.

Out of the Blue
July 23rd, 2011, 09:56 AM
I'm so sorry about your :Angel:, atomic.

The interesting thing to take away from that is that I was checking my pH religiously and it never went above 4.5 until after I was already pregnant. I also didn't have much/any CM that I could tell.

Yeah...the pH thing has become less and less convincing to me. I'm kinda sold on TW and keeping T low.

It turns out that I won't get a chance to test your conclusions since I just got a BFP last night from last cycle while we were taking a diet/TTC break. I was sure hitting it hard in the 2ww though. Oh, well...so frustrating and so lucky all at once. I pretty sure he's a boy but he just worked so hard to get to me so he's definitely mine!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do. I know your selfless dedication will result in so much joy and so many DGs on both sides of the aisle. Even if you never get your girl (or another Prince), you will have helped so many of us do so. :HH:

atomic sagebrush
July 23rd, 2011, 01:33 PM
Oh wow!!! HUGE congrats but at the same time I'm sorry. DK if you feel this way or not but it felt a lot "worse" to me to not get my sway the way I wanted than it was having my opposite...I felt bad that I didn't even get my shot, if that makes any sense. Plus I felt like I had let everyone down because I hadn't gotten to test the TW hypothesis properly!!

No matter what, wishing you the very very best for a H and H 9 mos!!!

February 26th, 2017, 09:18 AM
Was this before or with your daughter??

atomic sagebrush
February 26th, 2017, 12:41 PM
This was my sway opposite with my 4th son.

I have my stealth sway that brought me my daughter here http://genderdreaming.com/forum/gender-confirmed-girl-sway-results-details-listed-by-member/9388-atomics-stealth-sway-updated-july-20-a.html