After 200 years... it's a girl!

After 200 years… it’s a girl!

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200 évet várt a család, hogy lánygyermek szülessen a famíliában. 

After 200 years... it's a girl! Last time there was a girl in the Lawrie family, we were fighting Napoleon.

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1. The motor-car was invented when the last girl was born in the Lawrie family.
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After 200 years... it's a girl! Last time there was a girl in the Lawrie family, we were fighting Napoleon. 

When little Myla Lawrie was brought home from hospital four months ago, a sea of pink greeted her, with clouds of balloons filling the sitting room, along with cards, bunting and ribbons in every shade of girliness.

For this was a very special event in the Lawrie family. When Myla was born in October, she was the first girl to be born in her family since 1809.

The last time a midwife announced ‘It’s a girl’, the Napoleonic war was still being fought, the motorcar was yet to be invented, and King George III was on the English throne.

No wonder her proud parents — Hannah, a 26-year-old midwife, and Mark, a 33-year-old professional golfer turned coach, from Maidstone in Kent — wanted to celebrate.

‘When Mark and I first got together, he told me how everyone in his family, for five generations, had produced boys,’ explains Hannah. ‘He warned me that the chances of us ever having a daughter were pretty remote.’

True to form, when Hannah became pregnant in 2012, no one was surprised when Mason, who’s now three, was born.

Looking back over the family tree, Hannah could see why everyone was so convinced. The last girl to be born in the Lawrie family was Mason’s great-great-great Aunt Bessie, born more than 200 years ago in the same year as Charles Darwin.

Bessie and her brother had had sons, and so the pattern had continued, all the way down to Mark and his brother Glenn. Mark has two other boys, ten-year-old Ben and seven-year-old Zac, from a previous relationship, while Glenn had one son, Reece, who’s 14.

‘I even questioned whether there could be a genetic condition that meant Mark produced only male sperm,’ says Hannah.+5

‘I asked numerous doctors and consultants in the hospital where I work if this was the case, but was told time and again that it wasn’t. Every time a baby is conceived, the chances of it being a girl are 50/50, they told me — but in Mark’s family, for some reason, it never was.’

While it has been long suspected that men who come from families with plenty of males have higher odds of fathering boys, and that for men with many sisters, it is vice versa, there has never been any strong scientific explanation as to why.

A child’s sex is always determined by the father. While women produce eggs that carry an X chromosome, male sperm cast the deciding chromosome — either an X or a Y.

Hannah fell pregnant again but was convinced that she was expecting another boy. The couple even sorted out all Mason’s clothes into age order ready for when the new baby was born.

‘I spent £65 on a gorgeous cot mobile with blue and green cars and lorries, and we’d bought a blue buggy and a blue car seat.’

As a midwife, Hannah has delivered more than 200 babies and admitted to feeling pangs of envy every time it was a girl.

She says: ‘I adore the boys, but I was filled with longing, wishing it could be me one day — yet truly believing it never would be.’

Hannah has always been extremely close to her own mum, and craved the same kind of relationship with a daughter of her own one day.

Then, at the 20-week scan, they received the astonishing news that they were expecting a girl.

‘I was in a state of disbelief,’ says Hannah. ‘I kept asking the sonographer if she was sure.

‘Mark was so emotional he was in tears, crying that it was a gift from his Dad — who, sadly, passed away just before I fell pregnant. He’d told us he’d love a granddaughter.’

Despite the sonographer’s assurances, Hannah spent the rest of the pregnancy struggling to accept that her desire for a daughter really was about to come true.

‘I must have had about 16 scans,’ she says. ‘Whenever I’d finish a night shift, I’d beg one of the doctors to give me another one, just to make sure,’ she says. But it was only when her baby was finally placed on her chest following an emergency Caesarean at 39 weeks, that she truly believed it.

‘The first thing I asked was: “Is it definitely a girl?”

And while it’s often hard to tell the sex of young babies once they’re dressed, there has never been any mistaking Myla’s gender. The little girl has, Hannah admits, a wardrobe to rival a Disney princess, with dozens of flowery dresses, patterned tights, butterfly hairclips, frilly tutus and pink fluffy slippers.

Myla never leaves the house without wearing a headband — pink, of course — and Hannah has traded in Mason’s blue buggy and car seat for pink ones.

The nursery glistens with every shade of pink, from the rug to the chest of drawers and changing table.

A powder-pink gingham bumper surrounds the cot, teamed with a pink blanket with embroidered hearts. The cars and lorries mobile has been replaced by one with pink elephants and giraffes.

Of course, there is still an abundance of cars, tractors, Thomas the Tank Engines, Lightning McQueen and golf equipment around the house. Hannah loves her boys as much as she loves her daughter, but she can’t resist the urge to splash out on pretty things, and has sold bundles of Mason’s outgrown clothes on eBay to fund her newfound love of all things pink.

She says: ‘I know it’s over-the-top, but I can’t resist.’

Mark is equally besotted. ‘He thinks I’m a genius for producing a daughter,’ says Hannah.

With three big brothers to look after her, Myla is never going to be short of protectors. Hannah says they are all very protective, but especially Mason, who tells people who pick up his precious sister to put her back immediately.

Hannah’s biggest worry now is that her daughter will turn out to be a tomboy.

Mark teases her, saying she’s bound to end up a professional golfer, but Hannah already has plans to sign her up to ballet classes on her second birthday.

‘I really enjoyed dancing when I was a child, and I’d love Myla to do the same,’ she says.

Hannah is also looking forward to the days when Mark and the boys go off to play golf, and she is able to enjoy shopping trips with her daughter.

One thing she’s certain of, though, is that her family is complete.

‘If I’d had another boy, I might have had another shot at a girl. But now that I’ve got one of each, I’ve got everything I’ve ever wanted.’

The 200-year Lawrie family boy spell has finally been broken.

 

Explanations:

1. The motorcar “was yet to be invented”, that is, it was only invented later.

2. A“professional golfer turned coach”, he was a golf player but now he is a coach.

3. He warned his wife that their chances very “pretty remote”, that is, very small.

4. Hannah was thinking about that but the doctors said the chances are always 50/50.

5. This has been suspected but there is no strong scientific explanation for it.

6. Both halves of the sentence is true but the text never says that there was a connection between the two.

7. She was in “disbelief”, “struggling to accept it” and “truly believed” it only when Myla was born.

8. They replaced some but there are the three boys and their stuff as well.

9. She would love Myla to dance and she hopes she will go shopping with her when the boys play golf.

10. If she’d had another boy and not a girl she might have tried to have a girl but now she’s got everything, she doesn’t want another child.

Vocabulary

bunting

dekorációs anyag, zászló

midwife

bába

golfer turned coach

golfozóból lett edző

remote

távoli, halvány

to conceive

foganni

to suspect

gyanítani

to have higher odds

nagyobb a valószínűsége

vice versa

fordítva

egg

petesejt

cot mobile

kiságy fölé rakható forgó, zenélő játék

buggy

babakocsi

to deliver

világra segíteni

envy

irigység

longing

vágyakozás

to crave

vágyni valamire

scan

ultrahangos vizsgálat

disbelief

hitetlenség

to pass away

meghalni

sonographer

ultrahangos orvos/szakember

assurance

megerősítés

to come true

valóra válni

Caesarean (section)

császármetszés

emergency

sürgősségi

tights

harisnya

frilly

fodros, bodros

tutu

tütü

fluffy

pihe-puha, bolyhos

headband

hajpánt

nursery

babaszoba

to glisten

csillogni, tündökölni

changing table

pelenkázó

gingham

tarka mintás (pamut anyag)

bumper

rácsvédő (gyerekágyban)

embroidered

hímzett

abundance

bőség

Lightning McQueen

Villám McQueen (a Verdák című rajzfilm egyik szereplője)

urge

késztetés

to splash out

sok pénzt költeni valamire

it’s over-the-top

ez már túlzás

besotted

odáig van érte

protector

oltalmazó, védő

tomboy

fiús lány

to tease

ugratni valakit

to be bound to

elkerülhetetlen hogy

to end up

valamivé válni

to have a shot at something

próbálkozni valamivel

spell

bűbáj, varázslat

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