Photos by Lois Campos Fotography
It’s a BOY!
Because of my age, we were able to find out the gender really early … we found out at 12 weeks! I’m currently 18 weeks along. We found out through the Progenity prenatal genetic screening test. I’m sure it differs doctor by doctor, but I’m pretty sure it’s standard practice for anyone 35 years old or older to have their doctor order a genetic screening test. For anyone in that age bracket, most insurance plans cover this testing. If you’re under 35, the test may be considered an optional test and your insurance company might not cover the test. If you’re interested in taking the genetic screening test but under 35, double check with your doctor and insurance company.
The genetic screening test is a blood test that you can take early on in pregnancy that not only screens for potential genetic abnormalities, but also allows you to find out the gender of your baby.
You won’t automatically receive the test results, there’s a waiting period. So naturally, like any first timer, I googled the test and the lab that my doctor used for the testing. I wasn’t able to find a lot of information, so I thought I’d include a brief little blurb about my experience in case you might be interested or in the same boat! Keep reading to see how we found out the gender + how we shared the news with our families!
Progenity Genetic Screening Test
My doctor used Progenity for my prenatal genetic screening test. The Progenity prenatal genetic screening test is pretty simple. At my second doctor’s appointment, at 11 weeks, the nurse drew a few vials of blood to be sent off to the Progenity lab for testing.
The Progenity prenatal genetic screening test looks for indications of the following chromosomal diseases (from their website):
- Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome) – children with trisomy 21 have distinct facial features, below average intelligence, difficulty achieving life skills, and a higher risk for certain health problems.
- Trisomy 13 and trisomy 18 – children with these diseases have severe, life-threatening health problems. Miscarriage of a pregnancy is common. Babies who survive birth often do not live past the first few weeks of life.
- Sex chromosome disorders – children with extra or missing sex chromosomes (X and Y) can have certain health and reproductive problems, and may have some problems with learning.
Since the test is looking at the baby’s chromosomes, it’s also able to read the baby’s gender! Of course, Michael and I were most concerned with getting good news on the health of the baby.
So that you have an idea of timeline, if you use Progenity or another similar lab … Progenity reached out to me within a few days of my appointment via email alerting me that they received my blood samples, and they directed me to create an online account where they would post my results. I created an account and then played the waiting game. I logged in a few times throughout the week to check to see if there were any results. At exactly 8 days after my doctor’s appointment (and test), I woke up to an email in my inbox alerting me that my test results were in!
So happy and thankful to report that everything on the genetic screening portion came back negative, which is great.
Beware, if you’re getting similar test results sent to you, the gender is printed in very bold print right next to the genetic testing results! Important info if that’s not how you’d like to find out the gender of your baby …
How We Found Out
Thankfully, I thought ahead and knew it was a possibility that the gender would be prominently displayed on the results. The morning Progentiy sent over the notification that the results were in, I called one of my closest friends to enlist her help. I had her look at the results and send me a screenshot of the genetic test results to confirm that everything looked good.
She took note of the gender and called a local bakery down the street from Michael and I’s house. They created cupcakes with blue or pink (blue for us!) filling for us to pick up a few days later. Michael and I ended up cutting into a cupcake the day after we picked them up from the bakery. My friends were amazed by our self control to wait five days after receiving the results to finally find out!
The reason we waited so long to find out … Honestly, it was overwhelming for me to have the genetic testing and gender results all wrapped into one big thing. All I could think about was that I hoped and prayed the genetic test results came back negative. I prayed for a healthy baby. Also keep in mind, I’d only known I was pregnant for about 6 weeks. I hadn’t really even thought about whether I thought we were having a boy or a girl at that point. I needed to digest the (thankfully good) genetic test results first before I could mentally move onto finding out the gender of our baby.
Michael has two sisters and I have one sister, so finding out our babe is a boy was a bit of a shock at first. But I’m over the moon excited to be a boy mom! All of my boy mom friends have assured me it’s the best. 😉 Michael is, of course, thrilled as well! He’s the last male in his family to be able to pass along the McHugh last name. The McHugh last name will live on for another generation!
How We Shared with Our Families
Remember, we’re in a pandemic, and we don’t live in the same city as our families. So we used Zoom and HouseParty to share the news with our families! We ordered extra blue-icing-filled cupcakes. We cut into them with our families over Zoom and HouseParty to share the news. Everyone is as excited as can be!
Of course I recorded Michael and I finding out as well as when we shared the news with our families. Still working on putting together the first trimester video – I’ll share as soon I can! 🙂
Thank you for all of the love and support and kind messages over the past week+ surrounding this next chapter. Michael and I are both overwhelmed by all the love!