The Shettles Method

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, DH and I have one daughter. DH also happens to be an identical twin, and his identical twin has four children. The first three are daughters, the fourth is a son. Since identical twins are pretty much the same person on a genetic, biological level, this is kind of like the same man having four daughters in a row, and then a son. Or in other words, I suspect that my husband’s sperm fluid favors Xs.

There will be no such thing as “gender disappointment” for me with this next pregnancy. I would be 100% happy with either a daughter or a son. Most families prefer to have at least one child of each sex, and we’re no exception to that, so a son would be great. DH prefers a son and I see the longing in his eyes when he talks about the things he would like to do with a son (and trust me, we are raising a very adventurous and wild-hearted daughter!). On the other hand, I think there need to be more women like me in the world, and since human cloning is not an everyday reality yet, giving birth to daughters is the next best thing. So a daughter would also be great. I would love to have another girl, and even feel like I’m meant to have another girl.

That said, since DH’s sperm fluid seems to favor Xs, we would like to sway for a boy, just to even our odds of having one. I’ve read up on the Shettles method (How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby by Landrum B. Shettles and David M. Rorvik), so we want to try that. Dr. Shettles believes that the Y (male) sperm are smaller, lighter, faster, and more fragile, while the X (female) sperm are bigger, heavier, slower, and hardier. So basically, if you want a girl, he instructs you to have sex earlier in your fertile window and only earlier, so that the Y sperm will have died off and it will be mostly X sperm waiting around in the fallopian tubes for the ovum to arrive. If you want a boy, he instructs you to abstain from sex until immediately before ovulation, so that the Y sperm can use their superior speed to beat the X sperm to the ovum. This means that the method is entirely dependent on good fertility charting on the part of the woman. He recommends women track their cycles for three months before attempting to conceive so that they will have a good feel for their own ovulation patterns.

Given my doctor’s timeline (his residency ends in June 2014), I’m not going to wait three months. I’d like to deliver with him so that I don’t have to worry about finding another doctor that I like and trust. At most I was going to wait one month, and then begin trying—after all, I’m not all that wedded to the idea of getting a boy this time. However, I have another dilemma on timing, which I’ll talk about in my next post.

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