• Lyn Widmyer

Gender Reveal: 1986 and 2019

I became pregnant with our second child in 1986. We chose not to know the sex of our first baby (Nick was born in 1985) but wanted to know about our second child. Back in those days, older mothers like me underwent amniocentesis to discover chromosome abnormalities.


Amniocentesis involves the doctor inserting a 3 foot needle into the amniotic sac to withdraw fluid (the needle probably was not quite 3 foot long but that’s my memory!) Analysis of the fluid reveals the sex of the baby. For baby #2, I asked my doctor and good friend Rosie Lorenzetti to wrap up a gift that would tell the sex. She agreed. On Christmas Day 1986, the baby’s grandfathers opened the telltale present.


The cut-out figure of a little girl dressed in pink said it all. Molly Rose joined us four months later. The picture has been hanging in her childhood bedroom ever since.



Now Molly is pregnant. She learned the baby’s sex from the sonogram (no needles needed!) Molly’s “gender reveal” involved her favorite food, Double Stuf Oreos. She and husband Andy injected blue dye in the cream center and dipped the Oreos in candy coating. Ron and I chomped into the cookie and learned we will be grandparents of a boy.


The Oreo tells all: baby boy!

Friends have regaled me with stories of far more elaborate gender reveal parties. Gender reveal smoke sticks, candles and confetti cannons are just some of the party items. Sometimes things can get out of hand as one Arizona man discovered. The expectant father shot off an explosive into the desert sky that puffs blue or pink smoke. Dry brush ignited and a fire raged for 6 days. I don’t know what the father paid for his gender reveal gadget but I suspect it was less than the $8 million in damages he must repay the state.


Molly’s approach to telling us the sex of our first grandchild was perfect given her love of Double Stuf Oreos.


Most importantly, no flora or fauna were harmed in the gender reveal process.

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