Monday, February 25, 2013

marriage and baby: not for the weak, part II

Conception, Part I

It was July, and after four months of trying to conceive, I was not pregnant. Alex and I were pulling up to the front of his mother’s Connecticut home, where we were living that summer. Before we even stepped out of the car, the middle-aged woman who lived next door was waving frantically and approaching us. We had never met, yet immediately upon introducing herself to me, she launched into a very personal conversation about my sex life. I stood bewildered and sweating in the 100 degree heat on the sidewalk as she explained that she was an OBGYN and that my mother-in-law had come to her looking for help.

Alex and I had intentionally kept our TTC (trying to conceive) status to ourselves, but somehow his mother had not only found out, but she had also decided we were infertile. And she was on a one-woman quest to “help” us get pregnant. 

This is not what I expected on my road to expectant, but it is my story…

TTC Month One

After six months of (therapy-free, medication-free) marriage, Alex and I were  more obsessed and in love with one another than ever. We came home from our honeymoon unable to physically or spiritually detach—our fingers always intertwined, a hand on the other's knee, goodbye kisses when we were only leaving the room for a moment. Knowing we were joined for life only compelled us to want even more. It was the perfect time to craft a five-year plan, and nestled sweetly at the beginning of that plan was procreation.


At first, trying to conceive was fun. It brought a fresh, new energy to our sex life. We tried to restrain ourselves from our usual high-frequency sexcapades in order to give Alex's baby juice time to recover to a potent level, but being told (by my doctor) that we should take little breaks only gave us a rule to break. So, we broke it. On the sofa. On the kitchen counter. Against the vanity in the bathroom. We were both lifelong overachievers, and man, we were going to get this right. We were going to make. this. baby.

I would lie in bed for a half hour after we had sex, with two pillows under my hips and my legs in the air (in an attempt to usher the sperm to their final destination). I'd get bored and call Alex in to chat, but he couldn't have a serious conversation with me in that position. So, he'd mock me a little, and then I'd ask him for a magazine to bide my time. Afterwards, I'd mark the box for "yes, I had sex today!" on my basal body temperature chart.

I don't even remember where I heard about charting your basal body temperature, but now I could give a lecture on the subject. Seriously. It started out as a way to track my body's progress as I adjusted to life sans birth control….which, by the way, was like having the worst nightmare PMS for months! But, it would later turn into an obsession.

Meanwhile, I was reading everything I could find in books and online about conceiving a child, while monitoring everything that Alex and I were doing with our bodies. I exercised daily, took prenatal vitamins, put fertility-boosting maca powder in my oatmeal, ate an obscene amount of produce, stopped drinking, quit coffee, practiced yoga for relaxation, and regarded Alex's junk as a personal possession. 

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