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"But wishing for a boy doesn't mean I love my girls any less! "But Kerstin once told me something that still resonates: 'Everything our daughters know about boys will come from you.' I consider it a privilege to be their vision of what a man should be.""After we found out we were having our fourth boy, I burst into tears.My husband patted my arm and said, 'It's okay, honey.

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Folks informed her that because she was carrying high and her belly resembled a watermelon, not a basketball, it had to be a girl. Plus, Bordinhao's mother didn't see any dark circles on her neck."In the Philippines, where I was born, no rings means a girl," she explains."We were so stressed out that we stopped trying and took a vacation.Soon after we got back, I found out I was pregnant." They remained undecided about finding out until the day of the baby's 18-week ultrasound: "By then, we were so thrilled our dream was coming true that when the nurse asked if we wanted to know, we both blurted, 'Yes!"For hundreds of years, sex determined not only your life's options but your parents options too," says social historian Stephanie Coontz, Ph.

D., author of , which tells of the struggle for gender equality in the 1960s."It influenced how your parents treated you, what they expected of you, even if they welcomed you at all." In many societies, not having a son was a tragedy; for the ruling elite, it was a threat to their power: "Women were killed or killed themselves if they didn't deliver a boy," she says.Polls today reveal that Americans still have a slight preference for boys.As Rachel Levin, of New York City, says, "Having the surprise to look forward to helped me get through those last, long weeks of my pregnancy."What if you want to find out and your guy doesn't?Some parents adopt a "Don't ask, don't tell" policy.These days, curiosity, practicality, and peace of mind often trump surprise.