About fifteen minutes after I found out I was pregnant, I started to wonder: is this a baby boy, or a baby girl?
When I was pregnant with Grace, we found out her gender at 16 weeks. Our insurance only covers an anatomy scan at 21-23 weeks, and Casey was leaving for a 9-month tour in Iraq when I was 17 weeks pregnant. So, we paid out-of-pocket for an ultrasound just a few days before Casey deployed. Grace was positioned poorly and sleeping, so it took every second of our 30-minute appointment for the technician to get a money shot. Because of the time crunch and the money we were spending, it ended up being kind of stressful!
Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about any deployments this time around, but we still wanted to know as early as possible. Ultrasounds can’t detect gender until 15-16 weeks, so I scheduled one for the middle of my 15th week…which was still 9 weeks away. That’s a LONG time to wait!
I saw an ad for SneakPeek on Instagram when I was 8 weeks pregnant, and immediately started doing some research. SneakPeek is an Early Gender DNA Test that using a small sample of mom’s blood to determine if XY (male) chromosomes are present. Once the placenta forms (about 8 weeks gestation), Mom and Baby start sharing small amounts of blood as Mom pushes life-giving nutrients to Baby, and Baby pushes its waste back out into Mom’s bloodstream. By 9 weeks gestation, there is a sizable amount of Baby’s DNA in Mom’s bloodstream!
Since it’s DNA-based, the test is over 99% accurate, whereas most ultrasounds leave some room for doubt. Gestational age, Baby’s position, placenta location, Mom’s build, and the technician’s level of experience can all impact how accurate an ultrasound is. Really, the only way to get an incorrect result with SneakPeek is to contaminate your sample.
SneakPeek offers both an in-home, self-administered option, and a clinical option. The clinical option is a great choice if you live close to one of the over 50 labs across the country that work with SneakPeek. You simply walk in, and the lab collects your blood sample, packages it, and overnights it to SneakPeek for analysis. Unfortunately, the closest lab to us was in Memphis – a three hour drive – so we opted for an at-home test.
There are two at-home test kits: SneakPeek ($79), and SneakPeek FastTrack ($149). The main difference is that standard SneakPeek is delivered via USPS First Class Mail and analyzed within 24 hours of arriving at the SneakPeek lab, which means it takes about 5 to 7 days total to get your results from the time you order. With FastTrack, you get overnight shipping and processing within 8 hours of arriving at the lab, for about 72 hours from ordering to getting your result. Since it was a week before Thanksgiving and we wanted a result before seeing Casey’s family for the holiday, we chose FastTrack.
I was 11 weeks pregnant when we ordered our test – we could have tested earlier, but we had field training during my 9th and 10th week of pregnancy. Our FastTrack package got from San Diego to our doorstep in less than 18 hours! Casey had a social event at work, so I came home, put Grace to bed, and ripped the package open. The kit came in a small, white box with a collection tube, finger pricks, alcohol swabs, and a few band-aids.
It also had a very comprehensive, step-by-step instruction booklet that was fully illustrated. The VERY first instruction? NO BOYS ALLOWED. Since the blood sample is tested for the presence of XY chromosomes, even the presence of men – husband or kids – could lead to contamination. Fortunately, since Casey was already out for the night, I didn’t have to worry about that!
The instructions definitely looked intimidating, so I read them through twice before I administered the test. Some requirements included sanitizing the area where you test, drinking a glass of water at least 30 minutes before testing, and cleaning your hands for several minutes before doing any finger pricks.
I’ll be the first to admit that I did NOT follow the instructions perfectly. I started setting up in the bathroom (a huge no-no for sanitary reasons), chugged water about 20 minutes before I tested, and ended up pricking four fingers to get enough blood for the sample. I also got blood on the gauze that was supposed to “pad” the collection tube. And, despite all this, my sample was checked and accepted at the SneakPeek labs!
I mailed my sample back the next morning (Friday) in the pre-paid overnight envelope provided by SneakPeek. The longest part was waiting for it to ship! I dropped it at the post office at 9:00 am, but our small-town post office didn’t push the package out until that night! I got the notification that my sample was delivered at about 3:00 pm on Saturday, and at 4:08 pm that my sample had been checked and accepted. Now on to anaylsis!
With SneakPeek FastTrack’s 8-hour guarantee, I expected to receive a result close to midnight. Casey and I figured that we’d wake up and find out baby’s gender. Imagine our surprise when, at 8:03 pm, I received an email from Sneak Peek with our test result!
We paused our Netflix, held our breath, and waited for the flap to open…
We were having a BABY BOY!
I can’t even begin to describe how happy we were! As Casey said, “Healthy baby first. But a boy…even better!” The most mind-blowing part for me was that we hadn’t even been to our first OB appointment yet – we’d go the next week, at 12 weeks gestation. We were especially thrilled to find out before we saw our families for Thanksgiving. I’ll be sharing ALL of our baby and gender reveals in a future post!
I can’t thank SneakPeek enough for the opportunity to find out Baby Boy’s gender! SneakPeek was kind enough to provide a complimentary test in exchange for an honest review of my experience. All opinions are my own.