HAGERSTOWN — Lauren Hadavand and her husband, Ali, are expecting their first child on Nov. 28.
The Martinsburg, W.Va., couple attended Lauren’s 20-week ultrasound together last month at Capital Women’s Care in Hagerstown. An ultrasound is generally done halfway through pregnancy to check for abnormalities or genetic defects. During the procedure, the ultrasound technician can usually determine the baby’s gender.
But rather than have the technician tell the gender of their baby, the Hadavands opted to find out in a nontraditional way — with a cake provided to them after the procedure.
Carrie McMahon, who is a physican’s assistant at the practice, started offering the gender-revealing cakes to patients about nine months ago.
McMahon, who has made cakes as a hobby for the past 15 years, said she was approached by one of the partners at the practice about offering this amenity to expectant parents.
“It’s worked out really well. People use them differently,” she said.
On the day of the ultrasound, patients who chose to purchase the cakes are sent home with their individualized cake. McMahon makes the cakes in two layers. Once cut into, the pink for girls or blue for boys reveals the gender.
She also said she has done a handful of cakes for parents who are expecting twins. If both babies are of the same gender, the entire cake will be pink or blue, accordingly. However, if the twins are of opposite genders, one half of the cake will be pink, while the other half is blue.
McMahon said regardless of gender, the outside of the cake is decorated the same with traditional buttercream icing, decorated in pastel blues, yellows and pinks with fondant accents.
McMahon, who is also the practice’s coordinator of the baby cake program, said some people use them for baby showers, for private gatherings, or more public revelations.
“We are always looking for ways to make the experience for our patients better,” said McMahon, who has been with Capital Women’s Care for six years.
McMahon also said that there is no rhyme or reason to the amount of cakes she prepares in a given period of time.
“They range from one a day to two a week,” she said.
Hadavand, 24, said that after her ultrasound, she returned to her job as a nurse in Hagerstown. “I kept thinking, ‘I have to get home,'” she said.
She and Ali planned to have friends and family over for the revealing moment that evening, “but the excitement was, like, let’s just do it right now,'” she said.
However, Lauren said she and her husband were able to contain their enthusiasm until she got home and her party of 15 or more people arrived.
“We wanted a boy, and that’s what we’re having,” she said. “Our house was full of people jumping up and down.”
But McMahon’s cake was not forgotten. “I probably ate more than half of the cake myself, but I have good reason,” she said patting her stomach.
“Carrie’s cakes are so good,” she said.