My sons were three and one when my husband and I decided that it was time to start trying for baby number three. For the first two, we let the universe decide pink or blue. I tracked my period, we did the dirty during the allotted eight-day window, and viola: a pair of wild brothers. But after three years of dump trucks and cargo pants it was time to even the family lineup a bit. It was vagina time. And call me crazy, but I know I made it happen.
I started my research where any self-respecting scientist does: Google. I made my way through countless articles and completed a cover-to-cover read of “How To Choose The Sex Of Your Baby.” Once finished, I took to the notes section of my phone and I etched out my own version of a Nick Saban championship-winning game plan, complete with bullet points, emojis, and sporadically placed capital letters. And then, I executed it.
The first step was business 101. I had to create an environment that would attract the kind of clients I wanted. In this case, the environment was my insides and the client was X-chromosome sperm. Some scientists theorize that by increasing the acidic vaginal pH levels, you can increase the likelihood of female fetal sex. Now, to be clear, I am not sure I fully understood the science behind this statement. But I understood the premise well enough.
First, I drank a lot of cranberry juice leading up to conception — like, enough to give me a mouth full of canker sores for a solid week. And because I wasn’t feeling super confident that the acidity was going to travel through my whole body to exactly where I needed it to be, I decided to take it one step further. Following the advice of no one, I decided to add some extra acidity to the situation by shooting freshly squeezed lemon juice into my vagina via a recycled Poland Springs bottle. Now I know that in hindsight this seems wild, and I too am shocked that I didn’t develop some kind of weird infection. But the truth is, it didn’t not work.
Next I marked the calendar and created a much smaller romantic window than usual. The idea here is that female sperm swim slower and live longer. So by having sex before (and not during) ovulation, you hope that by the time you do ovulate, most of those little male fuckers will have died off, leaving the slow and long-living ladies to win the race. I think I had (super spontaneous, romantic, not-stressful at all) sex four days in a row, stopping one day before ovulation. If you do only one thing, do this one. I am pretty sure — again, based on my complete and utter non-expertise — that this was my checkmate move.
But to be sure, I made sure to position myself for success. I read a lot of theories about the trajectory of the sperm at impact and honestly I am not sure I was really able to make sense of it. But enough people swore that placing yourself where women naturally are in the world — on top — would give the most favorable outcome.
Luckily for my husband, I bought into this one and saw it through. Thankfully I did not read any enthusiasm requirements and was able to put forth the bare minimum amount of effort as I am usually a little more ride-a-long than rodeo.
And that’s it! Four and a half years later my lovely little girl is running around the house in tattered tutus, farting on command, and calling me a “ding bat.” So if you too are hoping to add a strong, sassy, one-of-a-kind female to your family, I hope this helps. I mean, like they say, when life gives you lemons…
Samm Burnham Davidson is an ex-lawyer mom of four who swears a lot. She lives in Beverly, Massachusetts.