Determined mum-of-six: 'I kept trying until I got a GIRL!'
A mum-of-six told her partner she wasn’t going to stop having babies until she finally got a girl.
Lysa Martin desperately wanted a daughter, but every time she fell pregnant she gave birth to another boy.
Before she reached 40 - after having five boys - she decided to give it one last shot.
Lysa, 42, couldn’t believe it when she finally gave birth to her longed-for daughter, Riyah.
During her ‘obsession’ as she puts it, the determined mum researched every possible method, desperate to change her luck.
Lysa from North London said: “I tried everything I could to get my princess. I searched online, scouring forums and reading every old wives’ tale out there.
‘I discovered an acidic diet makes you more likely to have a daughter, so I started eating citrus fruits like oranges and had to ditch my favourites, like salty crisps and spicy foods.’
‘I bought a pack of PH strips online and started testing my urine to see if my diet was acidic enough. When I found out it wasn’t, I stocked up on more of the right foods and stopped eating the wrong ones.
‘I also started taking magnesium supplements which are meant to help, and I had to plan when to have sex too.’
Many believe the ‘Shettles Method’ from the 1970s can help you conceive a particular gender.
Dr Shettles found that female and male sperm have different characteristics. He believed female sperm were slower, fitter and would live longer than male sperm, so if you had sex earlier in the fertile window, they might still be alive to fertilise the egg – meaning you are more likely to conceive a baby girl.
Lysa said: ‘I told my partner that we couldn’t have sex when I was ovulating. I’d read that if we did, we would probably end up having another boy. Instead, I restricted sex to only four to five days before ovulation.
‘If my partner wanted it after that and it was too close to my ovulation day, I told him sex was off the cards.’
The mum explained that while she was very keen to have a sixth child in the hope it would be a girl, her partner, Mark Lendore, 43, took some convincing.
Lysa said: ‘When I told him I wanted another child, he said there was no way we were going to have more. Let’s just say I had to get the red wine to change his mind.’
Lysa admits the desire to have a girl took over her life.
She said: ‘I became obsessed. It was all I could think about. I wanted a daughter and felt like I wouldn’t stop at anything to get one.
‘Because I come from a very boy dominant family everyone thought I’d never have a girl, which made me even more determined to prove them all wrong!’
After having her first son, Lysa hoped her second child would be a girl.
‘When I was seven months pregnant with my second, my mum Sonia sadly passed away after being diagnosed with breast cancer. She wanted me to have a girl too.
‘She asked me if I had one to call her Riyah. So when I had another boy, although I adored him I felt sad I hadn’t been able to grant my mum’s wish.’
Lysa went on to feel the same after having three more sons.
‘Every time we had another boy, people said, ‘You poor thing’, or ‘Better luck next time’. Of course we love our sons unconditionally, but it was disappointing to keep finding out we hadn’t had a girl.’
During her third pregnancy, Lysa had found out the sex at a 20-week scan and when she discovered it was a boy, she felt down for the rest of her pregnancy.
After five pregnancies, Lysa realised her sixth felt quite different.
‘Instead of feeling drained I was full of energy, decorating and tidying the house. I was nesting like mad. My breasts stayed the same size with my other pregnancies but this time they were huge! The baby was wriggling around a lot more too.’
‘At my 20-week scan I made sure to tell the sonographer I didn’t want to know the sex but she was a trainee and while scanning me accidently said, ‘She keeps moving’.
‘My heart skipped a beat and I tried not to get my hopes up for the remaining months, in case she was wrong and it was actually a boy.’
At full-term, Lysa went into labour and gave birth in a birthing pool.
‘The second I pushed my baby out I pulled it up through my legs and turned it upside-down to check if it was a boy or girl.
‘The midwife screamed at me because I’d accidently dunked my baby's head back underwater, but I was in another world - I finally had a daughter! She was the best gift I could have asked for.’
Lysa stocked up on frilly dresses and says having a girl changed the dynamics in her house full of boys, Rhys, 22, Recoe, 18, Romario, 15, Reyon, nine, and Rakai, six.
She said: ‘It’s lucky her brothers adore their little sister because she rules the roost. Despite having so many kids our house has always been quite calm, but Riyah, three, has turned everything upside-down.
‘She is feisty, demanding and my mothering skills have gone out the window – she always ends up getting whatever she wants.’
‘After years of trying, I was thrilled to finally get my princess and I’m convinced she is a gift from Mum. She would be so happy to know I’d named her Riyah Sonia too.’
‘I’ll never know if the various methods, or party tricks as I call them, helped me conceive a girl or whether it was fluke, but I’m relieved my addiction to having babies and obsession of wanting a girl is finally over – and so is my poor body! It only took 18 years and six kids!’