No Sex Determination in Victoria?

by Kimberley on June 4, 2010 · 25 comments

A friend just called me and told me she had read a post on KIV that says Island UltraSound is handing out a paper to clients asking them to not ask the technician about sex determination at all. Apparently, they are suspending the service until they can figure out how best to deal with the issue.

I suppose this all comes on the heals of the announcement last month that sex determination would now come with a $50 fee. I was not happy about the fee but I would have been willing to pay it. Mostly, I felt bad for those families that would have liked to have known but would not have been able to afford the fee.

Now I hear they may be suspending sex determination all together and I am very upset. I am currently pregnant with my third child. In both my other pregnancies I found out what I was having at 18 weeks and it really heightened my experience of pregnancy.

I was very sick with both my pregnancies, I threw up constantly and was nauseated all the time. Being able to find out what I was having made the whole thing much more real; it gave me a reason to get up in the morning even if it meant 20 minutes with my head in the toilet bowl vomitting and dry heaving.

Both times I was told I was having a boy and both times I named them ahead of time and would talk to them and call them by their name. By the time they were born (even though I knew there was a chance of error and it could have been a girl) I felt like I knew them already, like the bond had already been tightly formed.

I was really looking forward to finding out what I was having this time. This is my last chance to have the girl that I have  desperately wanted. When I was younger I was so close to my own mother; she died when I was 20 of Breast Cancer and one of the things I always held onto was the thought of having a little girl myself one day.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore my boys, I would never trade them in and of course I will be happy if it is another boy. But, I also know I will be pretty upset if it is a 3rd boy. Since my mother’s death, I have carried this dream of having a little girl and naming her after my mom and if this one is a boy, that dream will no longer be a possibility as there will be no number four for me.

I know myself well and I know that if I have to wait to find out the sex in the delivery room it will effect how I am postpartum. I know that if it is a boy I will likely cry and I will need time to grieve the death of that silly dream. I would really rather deal with that during my pregnancy.

If anyone who is reading this has any bearing on the decision that is made regarding sex determination, please take my story and other woman’s stories into consideration. Being pregnant and having a baby is a very emotional thing and I feel we deserve the right to find out what sex of baby we are having.

I am sure other people have other views… I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.

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Carly June 4, 2010 at 9:03 am

If they do suspend sex determination all together you could always spend that $50 you were going to pay anyways and go get a 3D ultrasound. They’ll still tell ya what you wanna know 🙂

Christa Herrling June 4, 2010 at 9:09 am

Agreed. I loved finding out. At the time I was pregnant, I was working with a woman who had a little boy, and she had really really wanted a girl. She found out during pregnancy that she was having a boy, and it was quite upsetting for her, and she went through a bit of a sad time coming to terms with it. She did have that last 4 months of pregnancy to really come to terms the with it, though, and get to like the idea before her baby was born. So if someone has a big hope for one gender over another, I think it’s so much better for them to deal with their mixed emotions during pregnancy, than once their holding their new baby.

Sox June 4, 2010 at 9:42 am

I agree with you wholeheartedly, and this is coming from someone who didn’t want to find out the sex of either one of my kids. But I understand why others do, and I don’t think it’s up to someone else to make that decision.

I had a friend in your situation three years ago (pregnant with her third child after two boys and really hoping for a girl). They couldn’t tell her what sex the baby was during her 18 week ultrasound because of the position of the baby, so she paid for the 3D to find out. Her reasoning was the same as yours — she was going to be pretty disappointed if the baby wasn’t a girl, and she wanted to be well over that disappointment by the time she reached the delivery room. Of course she (and you) will love that baby regardless of whether it’s a boy or a girl, but it’s about expectations.

Long-winded way of saying “I agree”.

And for the record, naming your third child after your mother is NOT a silly dream. I hope you are able to do it.

D June 4, 2010 at 9:58 am

Oh, Kimberley. I’m so sorry that choice may be taken from you.

I would like to share my story, if it’s okay, in hopes that it might bring you some comfort. When I was pregnant with my first child, I really wanted a boy. I wanted a boy SO very much, that I didn’t want to find out on the ultrasound. Because if it was a girl, I knew I’d be instantly afraid. Girls are harder! And I didn’t want them to end up just like me! (Honestly, it was a whole slew of things, handed down from mother to daughter to daughter in my family.) So we waited to find out.

Cut to the birth — I was pushing, and in my head (I had told NO ONE of my desires for a boy, by the way) I was thinking “BOY BOY BOY” through all the pushes. Then the baby was born, and I heard my husband say, in the happiest, proudest voice, “We have a little girl!”

And I did not mourn for even a second. I was so in love with that baby who came from me, who was half me and half my husband. In that moment, it was meant to be.

When we had our second, knowing it would be our last, I again hoped for a boy. But I chose not to find out. As before, I had a girl, and with her came the loss of that future. But I was so wrapped up in her, there was no room for the disappointment. It creeps in, now and again, but it’s aimed at … I don’t know … the universe, I guess you could say. I’m sad that I don’t get to have boys, but (like you said) I would not trade either of my girls for anything.

I share that because it’s possible that, in not finding out, you won’t mourn or direct the mourning at the baby at all. I am not, for one second, suggesting you should NOT find out if you are given the opportunity — but if that choice is not yours to make, please take heart. I was so afraid I would be disappointed, that I delayed the opportunity for disappointment. And it was because of that delay that the disappointment never came.

Goodness, that was a novel! I really do hope they will come to their senses and realize this is a ridiculous policy. You have enough to stress about as a mother and a pregnant woman without this added to the pile.

Nicole June 4, 2010 at 11:11 am

They always do this!
I’ve had 4 babies, 5 pregnancies, and every other one they refused to do sex determination. They flip-flop on the issue every few years. It sucks. I wish they would make a decision and stick with it! It’s true that knowing the sex does something for your bonding, gives you a solid connection to the wiggling little life you’re growing. And for me, it helped me plan for the birth, what room my next kid would get, should I keep the girl hand-me-d0wns or the boys, etc, etc.
I understand that part of the reason for refusing is the possibility of abortion (legal or not) for some couples when they find out. Nasty as that is, I don’t think it’ll stop anyone who’s determined for the right “kind” of baby. Should they stop ultrasounds altogether because when some rare people find out they have fetal abnormalities they terminate the pregnancy? Or let’s not do amniocentesis because some people might not react pro-life to the news? So hard to draw a line for this one…

Kimberley June 4, 2010 at 12:37 pm

I agree Nicole… it is a slippery slope to say we will not do X because Y could happen. To say we can’t reveal the sex because it MIGHT lead to abortion is ridiculous.

And yes they should make up there minds, come up with solid reasoning, announce it and then stick to it.

Kimberley June 4, 2010 at 12:42 pm

I loved you story… thank you for sharing it!

I know I would never be upset about the baby being a boy. I think it would almost be like the completion of grieving from losing my mom if that makes sense. Like a door closing on something that sat in my heart from a long time ago. It would be a bit like a goodbye to something.

I actually am pretty sure this is another boy and I also feel in some weird way I am meant to have all boys. I am a good mom to boys and would be very happy to have a third. Just losing that little idea that one day I may have a girl will be a bit sad.

Kimberley June 4, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Couldn’t have said it better Christa… exactly.

Kimberley June 4, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Kev and I already decided we will be going that route. I will pay to know for sure.

Marnie June 4, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Well Kim, I am all about the “SURPRISE”. my hubby and I did not want to know, I wanted a boy , my husband wanted a girl, well we had a girl that is a complete combination of both of us and to me that is what matters the most… that you can see both parents in the child..Their was no disappointment, regrets, nothing but pure happiness that we had a healthy child..

KellyP June 4, 2010 at 4:11 pm

I totally get wanting to know. We want to know for our second (assuming we have one), it’s good to know the #D ultrasound still gives you that option.

At the hospital this weekend, I was talking to a nurse (ah what you can do after an epidural) and I guess part of the current reason for the thought on the fee and the stop on saying the gender in Victoria anyway is that since there are several places upisland that won’t tell people, lots of people are coming to Victoria and the hospital and the clinic are already busy enough. I guess they are trying to keep people in their area. Of course, there could be better ways to do this than punish those who live in Victoria and want to know.

Hopefully they either say “pay” or they say “we can tell you”, and they just get over this indecision.

OnceHarmony June 5, 2010 at 8:59 am

DH and I both wanted a girl but we didn’t want to find out the sex of our baby before birth.

I felt that if I found out that I was having a boy I would be so sad and disappointed until the birth that I didn’t want sad and stress hormones coursing through my body while I was trying to grow a healthy, happy baby.

I wanted the baby to be placed on me after the birth and to fall so instantly in love with the baby that it didn’t matter if it was a boy or girl.

I did fall instantly in love with my baby after being born just like I wanted to and it didn’t matter to me if it was a girl or boy.

Here is hoping you get your girl. Turns out they are pretty WONDERFUL!!

Sarah June 6, 2010 at 6:54 am

Don’t they wait until 20 weeks to tell you the sex because at that point it’s too late to have an abortion?

Kimberley June 6, 2010 at 3:52 pm

I can’t even wrap my head around the abortion because it is not the right sex thing but, I suppose that may have been one of the reasons they waited until 20 weeks to tell the sex.

Lulu June 7, 2010 at 10:19 am

Hey Kimberley, I am in your exact position right now! I have 2 wonderful boys, but am so wanting to know what this third baby will be! My U/S is early July and I will be pretty upset if I can’t find out 🙁

KellyP June 7, 2010 at 1:24 pm

They would have told us the sex of our baby when we went at 16 weeks, it’s just harder to be sure and less likely they can tell, so they may not give you answer (because they might not know). I’d never heard of a 20 week rule.

PaigeR June 7, 2010 at 8:06 pm

The issue is not entirely the abortion issue. It is more the fact that the techs are sometimes wrong — and parents get quite upset when they think they are having one gender and are handed another! One of the moms in our prenatal class told all of us she was having a girl, which is what the teh told her. She was livid when she had a boy — and wanted to sue. Liability is part of the decision.

Lisa June 8, 2010 at 1:06 pm

When I had my son 3 years ago they brought in the rule that they would not tell the sex b4 20 weeks and I was there on my 18th week. Literally, the fax came in when the tech was examining me! I got really angry b/c the pamphlets in the waiting room said 18 weeks was fine to ask. The tech made the call and told us. Thank God! I was so looking forward to knowing the sex that I felt so betrayed by this information at the last minute! You won’t love your child any less, but there is the initial mourning to consider. We all grieve over something to do with pregnancy and birth ie: didn’t go according to plan etc. and them taking this one thing we have control over away from us is simply not right. I hope you have your girl and that you can name her for your Mum. If not, is there a mle version of your Mum’s name?? I was going to name my son Danielle after my deceased sister if he were a girl, but instead I named him Daniel. . . and it holds the same meaning for me.
Good luck and hugs!

Kimberley June 8, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Every single U/S tech qualifies their determination with: I could be wrong and this is only a best guess. Any person who finds out the potential sex of their child is getting just that, a potential.

And with regards to the liability issue, let me assure everyone 100% that is not the reason. Furthermore, anyone wanting to sue in that situation clearly has little understanding of the Canadian Legal system. Good luck trying to get that case heard in court.
Canada is not the States, one cannot just erroneously sue people here and there for no good reason.
I hope that woman is no longer upset and sees the joy a little boy can be. I am sure she was just having a postpartum mood swing… I know I had a few crazy ones 😉

Kimberley June 8, 2010 at 1:34 pm

BTW to everyone who has commented I got some good info from my Midwife today. She said the reason they decided to change the rule is because it just makes life easier for the Health Authority if they can just say no to sex determination.

She encourages all families to write to the Health Authority and tell them why sex determination can be a valuable part of the prenatal experience.

Currently they may not consider it a medically necessary step but from a holistic stand point, for many families it may actually be a very important part of the prenatal journey.

Kimberley June 8, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Lisa you are so right. Taking away one thing we have control over is unfair and that is the perfect way to describe it!

Amy B June 8, 2010 at 7:14 pm

We have the technology and have been using it for gender prediction for years. Taking that away now seems like moving backwards.

Miss Bee June 17, 2010 at 9:13 am

I think the whole idea of not telling a woman the sex of her baby is ridiculous. There are many reasons why one may need to find out.. for me, it’s financial reasoning. Aswell as we both agreed in the beginning that we want to find out the sex. The fact that they’re taking away that from people just isn’t right! I’m pregnant with my first child, and I want to find out. I was quite upset when I heard about this “suspention” of sex determination. I’m hoping to come up with the money for the 3D ultrasound. 🙁

Outraged mother June 29, 2010 at 5:45 pm

I totally agree i believe that not telling a woman who wants to know the sex of their child is ridiculous. For many reasons; one is the bonding experience,another is being prepared for their arrival which means having the right color and type of cloths and name picked out. We don’t have a lot of money so it’s easier to pick up things for the baby here and there through out the pregnancy. I wouldn’t be able to afford it all at once which i would prob have to do if i didn’t know what i was having. Plus i relate to the woman who wanted a boy cuz so do i, and i would like to know ahead of time if it is or isn’t so i could get use to the idea of a girl or boy. As long as they are healthy i will be happy but maybe a little disappointed if its not a boy and i don’t want to find it out in the delivery room that is a long time of wondering. Also i don’t see the big deal, we have to get ultrasounds done anyways how hard is it to check if its a boy or girl. We have the right to know and we shouldn’t have to pay , a lot of people these days can’t afford $50 and they shouldn’t have to, it’s a mothers choice and a fathers (but mostly the mothers) and that’s where the choice should stay. The baby is inside of us and we have the right to know if that is what we choose.

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