Occupation: Admissions at a private school
Residence: Durham, NC
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/29/21
Primary Language: English
Background: The informant has a daughter.
LR: There is some belief that if you put a ring on a piece of string and you hold it over a pregnant woman’s belly, it spins or swings, and if it swings it’s a girl and if it spins it’s a boy. We did it because our baby wasn’t cooperative in the ultrasound.
Me: Where did you do this?
LR: Just in our apartment or wherever we were living.
Me: Just for fun? Like it wasn’t for a baby shower or anything?
LR: Yeah, it was just kind of like oh I wonder if we could actually, like, find out because we really wanted to know and so I think we tried it and I don’t remember if it worked or not.
Me: Do you know if many people do this?
LR: Back when I was pregnant, you only got one ultrasound, I feel like now people have multiple ultrasounds so it’s probably a little bit less likely to happen now, but back when I was having a baby, it was as frequent so a lot of people actually used to do it. This is actually a tradition people would try, to see, especially if they couldn’t have an ultrasound to see what the baby’s sex was, a lot of people tried to do this.
Me: And you said it’s a ring, is it any specific ring?
LR: I feel like it’s usually your wedding band, and I think it’s the mother’s band. We tried it because we’d heard about it.
Context of performance: This was told to me over a Zoom call.
Thoughts: I think this is a really interesting belief given that it is a fully 50/50 chance that has no bearing or knowledge on the sex of the baby. It’s also notable that it is so tied to the development of technology and that it was very common before pregnant women started getting more ultrasounds. I wonder if the use of the wedding band has any sort of significance of a promise to the baby since it represents devotion and eternity in a marriage.