Expecting couples use creative ways to find out sex of babies

abredeson@islandpacket.comApril 6, 2013 

Many couples look forward to that joyous moment when they find out together what gender their unborn baby is.

When Myra Jacob was pregnant with her first child, she had to get extra ultrasounds because of a medical issue. Her husband, Vic, went to all the ultrasounds except one. It was at that appointment that the ultrasound technician blurted out the big news.

The Bluffton couple felt a little slighted that they weren't able to enjoy that moment together. Instead, Myra went home and told Vic that their baby was a boy.

"We didn't get our little moment together of, 'What is it? What is it? Ohhhh,'" Vic said.

Now that the Jacobs are expecting twins, they thought it would be fun to have a grand reveal party. And because they were planning a trip back home to New Orleans two weeks after the ultrasound, they decided to share the surprise with family members.

Myra's sister and one of her best friends planned the party. Without looking at the ultrasound, Myra sent it to her friend, who took it to a bakery and asked for two cakes -- one for each baby. The inside of the cake would reveal the genders of their twins.

The theme of the party was "two peas in a pod." The bakery decorated the outside of the cakes in green and white with "Pod A" on one and "Pod B" on the other.

Guests got to vote for what genders they thought the babies were, choosing either pink or blue pacifier necklaces to wear around their necks. Myra and Vic both wore one of each color.

When it was time to reveal the big news, Myra cut one cake and Vic cut the other. And in their hands each held a plate with a piece of blue cake.

Both said they cried but not because they were disappointed.

"We're excited," Vic said. "A total of three boys -- it makes things a little simpler since we already have a boy."

Myra said every little girl dreams of having her own daughter one day, but she quickly got over that.

"It took me about two minutes," she said. "When everything started running through my head, like, 'OK, we don't have to pay for weddings, prom dresses.'"

Gavin and Graham are expected to arrive any day now. And big brother, Grayson, 3, seems excited about the idea of having two little brothers.

Gender reveal parties are a trend popping up all over the place, not just in the Lowcountry. You can see them on Facebook, Pinterest and other social media sites. Many couples use the cake method to reveal the genders of their babies. Some get really creative and paint each other blue or pink.

The Jacobs mentioned that a movie theater in New Orleans does something very unique. The theater offers reveal parties, where an ultrasound technician performs the ultrasound on the pregnant woman in the theater, and the whole thing is displayed on the big screen for their family and friends to see.

Local bakeries have received a few requests for help with reveal parties. Todd Rackliff, owner of The Sugaree in Bluffton, said he made cupcakes for a reveal party once. Signe Gardo of Signe's Heaven Bound Bakery & Cafe on Hilton Head Island said she has gotten phone calls from sonogram nurses asking for either pink- or blue-filled baked goods.

"We have to swear up and down that we don't give it away to the mother and the father," Gardo said. "They're really funny about it. ... It's a fun thing we're doing."

Another local couple recently had a reveal party for their newest child.

Carolyn and Ian Leslie of Beaufort have two sons -- Isaac, 6, and Aaron, 4. Instead of finding out the gender of their third child in the doctor's office, they also chose to save the surprise for a family gathering. They passed the results on to Carolyn's aunt, who gave it to a friend. Her friend looked at the ultrasound and bought a bunch of balloons, put them inside a refrigerator box and brought it all to the party.

Family members came from Charleston, North Carolina and Florida for the momentous occasion. The Leslies livestreamed the reveal for an aunt in New York who could not be there.

A friend suggested to Carolyn that she should reveal the gender with the color of the cake as the Jacobs did. But the Leslies wanted something a little different.

"We wanted something that involved the boys more," Carolyn said. "So we thought of the balloons in the box."

With a little help from their dad, the two young Leslie boys climbed atop step ladders and unwrapped the large box that would reveal whether they were going to have a little brother or a little sister.

The crowd went wild as a bundle of pink balloons soared up to the sky. Then everyone chased after the balloons and watched them disappear into the distance.

Ian said he was surprised. He thought they were having another boy. Carolyn was hoping for a girl. Apparently, a few others were hoping for a girl as well. Carolyn said both grandmothers pulled gifts of girl clothes out of their purses. Her sister decorated a cross with the name the couple had chosen for a girl: "Hannah Grace."

"That was really cool, very special," she said.

The Leslies' younger son, Aaron, summed it up best. His immediate reaction was, "Aww, we have to paint the house pink?"

Follow reporter Amy Bredeson at twitter.com/IPBG_Amy.

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