Eight Boys and Wanting a Girl

Cutting Edge meets women who suffer from the psychological condition of 'gender disappointment', including the mother of eight sons who is desperate to have a daughter.

Eight Boys and Wanting a Girl

What do you do if you really want to have a girl and you just keep on having boys? Keep trying, like the Bowens have, for 21 years? Forty three year old Wendy Bowen has eight boys and is still desperate for her dream girl, and her biological clock ticking has turned it into an obsession. She's not alone though, across Britain there are women like Wendy who suffer from a psychological condition called 'Gender Disappointment'.

Michelle Priestley, from Bedford, loves all things girly and feminine. She never imagined herself as a mum of four boys. She

loves her children dearly but at 37, is getting desperate for a daughter. Michelle has persuaded husband Jason to give it one last try for a girl. There is a growing online community of parents using the internet to research ways of swaying the sex of their baby. Michelle is a regular visitor to an American website and has followed some fairly unusual natural gender swaying methods from it, such as dietary supplements, herbal extracts, and timing sex for a particular day. During the build up to the day of her scan for her fifth child, tensions are running high. Michelle's anxiety is getting to her and her family. The cameras are with her when she finds out if she's finally going to have that longed for daughter.

In Plymouth, 40 year old Nicola Trathen, decided six years ago that enough was enough after her fourth boy was born. She had heard of a way of choosing the sex of a child through a method called PGD (Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis), similar to IVF but the sex of the fertilised egg is determined and selected to implant into the mother accordingly. Gender selection, as Nicola was to find out, is not available in the UK for 'family balancing'. Legislators state that the social reasons are not strong enough. There are also concerns that without this ban, designer babies could become a huge market, and internationally it could exacerbate pre-existing social tendencies to favour sons. Nicola does not agree and went abroad for the treatment. She gave birth twin girls who are now six and feels they have completed her perfect family. Throughout America, PGD is legal and fertility clinics offer the treatment widely. Forty one year old Allyson Burns from New

York has chosen to use PGD to help her have the daughter she's been trying for, for the last 16 years. She says she is blessed with four boys but feels there is something missing. This is her third and final attempt, having already spent $20,000 on previous treatment. PGD is not an easy option. It's an expensive, emotional rollercoaster and there are no guarantees. The filmmakers follow Allyson through the treatment to the nerve-wracking day of her pregnancy test. Will she finally get the baby girl she has longed for?