First of all, if this is the first time you've visited, hi! Please scroll down to my first blog entry, that will hopefully explain everything I'm talking about.
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.
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 bloodstream 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.