Tuesday, March 26, 2013

a quiet room

I fantasize about frolicking sometimes. Like, just straight up frolicking around a grassy meadow—skipping and cartwheeling and spinning in circles, because I can….because my body belongs to only me in that moment. Or, running for miles and miles. Not for exercise, just to feel the fresh air smacking my face as my body soars above the pavement without any passengers on my front or back, without anyone pulling on my pant leg. Sometimes I imagine myself in the body care section of Whole Foods, smelling every soap and shampoo and candle they have to offer—reading the backs of all the packages so I know exactly what I'm buying. For hours. Just standing in Whole Foods, asking questions about tea tree oil and yoga mat spray without interruption from a tiny mouth begging for milk. Or I picture myself sitting in an over-sized arm chair in an urban coffee shop, glutting myself on caffeinated beverages and pastries, reading a book and staring out the window. There I am soothed by the lull of muffled conversations and terrible light jazz pouring from ceiling speakers...and an absence of whining and repetitive talking toys. 

All of this sounds horrible to my husband. But, then, he's not a mother (or a woman). The only way he can make sense of my daydreams is to recall the movie Date Night. "It's like the Diet Sprite in an empty room, right?" he asks quite frequently.

"Yes, exactly," I say. And it is.

"There are times when I’ve just thought about, on my worst day, just, you know, leaving our house and going some place. Like checking into a hotel and just being in a quiet room by myself. Just sitting in a quiet air-conditioned room, sitting down, eating my lunch with no one touching me, drinking a Diet Sprite, by myself."
Date Night

I am deeply appreciative of my ability to stay home, honored by the eight billion requests for my attention/arms/love every day, unendingly comforted by the comfort my child derives from my breast, flattered by my celebrity type status around these parts. I try to soak up every bit of baby magic Emerson doles out, and remind myself (as many times a day as necessary) that I will truly miss being this needed. As difficult as raising a child is, I am acutely aware that someday this will all be gone. The child, and the bond will remain, but this……this "I need you so desperately, please, mama, please, don't leave me, pick me up, watch this trick, talk to me, sleep next to me, let me stare at you and follow you and play with your hair, mama, mama, MAMA" won't always exist. It's the most challenging existence I've ever known, but the one I will miss most when it's over.

Yet, I cannot help but shut my eyes tight sometimes, and try to remember what it felt like to own my own body. Hundreds of images pass through my mind—hiking up mountains, swimming in the Caribbean Sea, sleeping till noon in an empty bed, dancing to bongo drums on a California beach at midnight, long, lazy meals in restaurants. I try to remember what it was like to make every decision based on ME, what it felt like to move freely and at my own pace, how it was to exist as one person instead of two. These memories are like a vacation, a much-needed vacation from all of this. And I think that's just fine, because as much as I'm drawn to that land of daydreams, I could never stay for very long. I would feel desperate for this. I would need to get home, to Emerson, where I belong. 

Perhaps someday my "vacations" will grow longer, or turn into real ones. Of course they will. But, for now, I am living in this sacred and temporary vacuum where I am needed.  

Monday, March 25, 2013

repartee of the day

Alexa: Emerson, I can't move with you standing in between my legs like that….wow, this making me flash back to ten months ago….there's really nothing like the feeling of a head between your legs.

*Perverted wink from Alex*

Alexa: Really?! Must you tarnish my birth experience with your perversion?!

Alex: As if it wasn't already tarnished by the three hours of ripping pain you felt the last time her head was there.

Alexa: No. That's not how I think of it. It was the most sacred experience….you don't get it, because you haven't given birth!

Alex: Yah, obviously. I love how you're always shocked when I say I don't "get" something because "I'm not a woman," as if it's news. I'm not a woman!

Alexa: Sigh…WHY NOT?!

Alex: Because, I was born with a penis 33 years ago.

Friday, March 22, 2013

balance and rhythm

I have been sucking at blogging the past two weeks. Alex has been home from work and our household has been struggling the entire time. Making happy family memories, but struggling. This is nothing new—it's always been difficult for me to adjust during Alex's breaks from school. I require fairly consistent routines in order to stay sane and function properly. But, now we have Emerson who is even more dependent on routines and structure. She and I work well together because of that. When it's just the two of us, there is a rhythm to our days—we are in sync. This is not to say things are always calm in our house when we are sans daddy (the thought of that sort of makes me chuckle), but there is a flow to our chaos….ya know? 

But, we love Alex, too. Of course we love Alex! And there is nothing sweeter than family time. That half hour we spend in bed in the morning, just the three of us, is sacred (and only happens when Alex doesn't have to work). Those moments, rife with laughter and silly games, snuggles and wet kisses, lit by the golden sun rising outside our window, are etched into my heart never to be forgotten. There are family walks and family hugs, Raffi dance sessions in the living room, father/daughter bonding galore—these are the things that we miss when Alex is working. There is so little time—if any—leftover in our normal life after all the hours have been worked, chores have been done, bills have been paid, diapers have been changed, messes have been cleaned up, naps have been taken, meals have been prepared and consumed. There is so little time to be a family. To just be. So that time becomes the most important, precious thing we have.

But. Here's the thing…

There is no balance. We swing between extremes in our household—having no time, and all the time in the world. And I find it maddening and difficult to adjust to, which in turn makes it difficult for anyone else in the house to adjust to. Alex and I always spend the first few days of his breaks fighting, because I have a routine, damn it, and without it the house and the family fall apart. We seriously fall apart. The dishes are never done, there are toys and clothes strewn about the floors of every room, we have no clean clothes, we are feeding Emerson baby food from a pouch instead of homemade an hour past her regular meal times, there is no food in the fridge, Emerson goes on strike from napping or sleeping at night. We are all cranky and exhausted. I flip out, because I'm used to running this show, and suddenly I have Alex two inches from my face all day weighing in on (what feels like) my every move. 

Suddenly, I have to have a long discussion and consult before making any decision. Suddenly, I'm being questioned. Suddenly, I'm forgetting to shower or eat breakfast or put Emerson down for a nap or get Emerson out of her pajamas before noon, because there is someone in the house who speaks in full sentences and I can't stop talking to him. Suddenly, Emerson is perpetually distracted by the fun, exciting, loud man stomping around the house….and so am I. And it's great….but it's not….and why can't I get anything done when there are an extra set of hands to help….why is the house a disaster….WHY…..is it time for you to go back to work yet….wait, I love you, don't go…..blerg. 

But, this is family time. It's the most important, precious thing we have. We are all totally out of whack and barely functioning, yet this is what we spend the majority of our days and weeks and months waiting for. We are constantly looking ahead to the next time we will have the opportunity to not sleep or get anything done, and wake up together and snuggle in bed even though we're cranky as hell. This is the time we will feel nostalgic for years from now, and we know it.

So, what about you? Any tips out there for making family time/family vacations less chaotic? Do you find things run more smoothly when you stick to some kind of routine during these times, or does that sap some of the fun of free time?

Friday, March 15, 2013

is this all a dream?

I had a dream the other night that Emerson died. I know—horrible and depressing, and why discuss it? [Please bear in mind, I am SO upset and agitated even typing those words. It's unthinkable.] But, I've been contemplating this for the past two days and have realized that even ten months after the birth of my child….nay, nineteen and a half months since I learned I was pregnant and Emerson began to exist…it's still incredibly difficult to believe my new reality. Therein lies the fear: it will all be taken away, because it isn't real. 

I had a hard time accepting that I was truly pregnant for the first few months. I kept taking pregnancy tests to reassure myself that it was actually happening. And when I went in for my first few prenatal appointments, I was sure they were going to tell me I didn't belong there. Between the tests given to me by my midwives, and the ones I took at home, I had about six tests proving that my doubt was purely psychological. Even so, I was still nervous to see what did or did not live inside my uterus at my 20-week ultrasound. Seeing Emerson bouncing around on the screen reassured me immensely, yet I would still lie awake at night trying to make sense of the tiny being kicking and stretching and rolling around beneath my skin. And, I couldn't. Not quite. 

Then Emerson arrived. She was here. She was warm and squirmy and eating from my breast. And she's been a constant barnacle to my body since then. Yet, so often I find myself waiting to wake up, waiting for this dream to end. Yes, there is frustration and sleep deprivation and fighting and not enough time for myself and my house is a constant mess and I'm sure this dreamlike state is in part due to the fact that I am half-asleep all the time….but, it's still too good. It can't possibly be real, I think to myself.

There's more. There is also the fact that Emerson's birth was a death. C
hildless and motherhood are such opposite extremes. Life B.E. (before Emerson) was all about me—my needs, my problems, my night of sleep, my ambitions and desires, my schedule. I knew there would be an adjustment period after my child was born, and a bit of an identity crisis, but it's more far-reaching than that. It sometimes feels more like an entirely new life rather than one that is transitioning. I am me, but I'm not. And my life looks strangely familiar, but also totally foreign. I don't know where that girl who danced on top of a bar on a hot summer night in Spain lives. I have forgotten the adventurer who moved around the country without any fear of risk or uncertainty. I can't quite recall the silence and freedom of a roommate-less apartment in an exciting city. 

And then there are the ghosts. I used to feel the presence of ghosts from my past lurking around, but now I feel the ghosts of my future—an 8-yr-old Emerson running off the school bus toward me, siblings sitting beside one another in the backseat of the car, grown children having conversations over coffee…holding my first grandchild, freshly pushed into the world. Like a dream, I can imagine it, but I can't. The faces are all blurry and it doesn't feel real.

But, it is. 

I'm left wondering: when will time catch up with reality?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

ten months of Emerson

I'm constantly asking time to slow down—especially in these posts. For the most part, time only continues to move even faster. But, this month my prayers seem to have been heard. In last month's post I wrote about Emerson taking her first steps at the age of eight-and-a-half-months, and how difficult that was for me. Well folks, there have been no more steps. It was like she took a couple and decided she wasn't ready….that it was too much for her, too soon (and I'm a little relieved). Just like that, she changed her mind, after spending months obsessed with learning to walk and standing on her own. She decided instead to cling to me for dear life a little bit longer. Babies are so interesting in that way. They are such rudimentary versions of human beings, but at the same time are so wise and intuitive. They know when enormous shifts are occurring in their lives, and they have emotional responses to them.

This developement—or lack thereof, I suppose—has been a blessing and a curse, a concept not the least bit foreign in parent-land. Emerson has become even more affectionate—wanting to snuggle on the couch, lying on top of me in bed, nursing a gabillion times a day, hugging me over and over. But, all of this also means she doesn't want me out of her sight all too much. And that right there is the rub of motherhood—your child's admiration is flattering and heart-warming, but also exhausting and sometimes frustrating.

One of my favorite parts of Emerson's noticeably increasing maturity, is watching her interact with others. It's fascinating to see her "public self" emerge. At home, Emerson feels free to let it all hang out, but out of the house she is almost unflappable. What she cannot tolerate in private, she handles with ease when in public. And her personality really shines with strangers. I about died from cuteness and pride yesterday when I took her to our weekly mama/baby group. She had befriended a new baby the week before, and when she saw the baby this time she reached out and caressed her face so gently (meanwhile, her idea of being gentle with me involves slapping my face repeatedly, poking me in the eyes and pulling my hair). Then, Emerson reached for the other baby's hand and they proceeded to hold hands. And they just held hands. For like minutes. I'm dying just thinking about it. After the hand holding, they hugged. And KISSED. I mean….I just can't….Sigh. Dying.

I am also so in love with the fact that I seem to have given birth to a performer. Emerson's dancing has reached a whole new level. She now sings along to the music while dancing, and in the absence of music she sings her own song to dance to. She has this crazy combination of an ear for music and rhthym in her body. She hears music everywhere—literally dancing to the hypnotic sound of my breast pump, the steady melody of our air filter running, the funny noises I make with my mouth to amuse her. It's insane how many times a day the urge to shake her booty seems to strike her. All I can say is the girl was born with the beat in her soul.

Friday, March 8, 2013

sadness of mother

The other night I was gleefully chatting with my husband over dinner one minute and putting my head down on the table in tears the next. I have been feeling so great lately, almost invinceable. But, with me, there is always a familiar sadness looming nearby…the sadness of being motherless. I have become quite adept, over the years, at distracting myself from its presence. But, once in a great while, I am overpowered—my body feels violently shaken, my lungs constricted, my mind kidnapped. In those moments, I wonder if I will ever be free of those feelings…those thoughts….those memories.

After a minute with my head on the table, and Alex telling me to "talk it out," I got up and walked into the next room to breathe. I turned back, tears in my eyes, to see Emerson looking up at me, so tiny and concerned. It occurred to me in that moment that someday she will be standing tall like me, in her own home, looking down on her own baby. I felt better knowing that when that day comes she won't have this heavy, unmovable stone in her chest, because she will have a different childhood than I did.

But, as Alex pointed out, I don't know that Emerson won't have some sort of sadness keeping her company throughout her life. I don't know what her burden will be, what will scar her, what will challenge her. That's the reality of human life—something I cannot protect my child(ren) from. All I can do is provide an example of strength and model the ability to cope and survive and feel joy regardless of the collection of bumps and bruises I've picked up along the way. And quite honestly, I'd rather my child have that kind of role model. I'd rather her see that we humans aren't perfect—that we are broken, and that's okay, because we can still thrive.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

this is our life: it happened again

Emerson pooped in the tub. I definitely felt better prepared for the situation this time, but I'm not sure it will ever not bring out the heightened emotions crazy person in me, which is why there is still a story to be told. 


It was Saturday, and I was getting dressed after my shower. As I rummaged through my underwear drawer, I had the spontaneous urge to put on something sexy. I had no intention of showing off my undergarments to my husband (sorry, dear). This was just for me. Because, sometimes it really does make a girl feel good about herself to know she is secretly wearing black lace underneath her sweatpants.

As soon as I was done getting dressed, I called to Alex to bring Emerson up for her bath. We plopped her in the tub and spent the next ten minutes smiling and applauding her splashes…until she got that look on her face. The look every parent knows—the "she's-about-to-poop face". Emerson kept standing up in the tub, trying to get out, so she could do her business elsewhere. Unfortunately, I did not read the urgency of the situation. I was almost done scrubbing her down. I can get away with another thirty seconds, right? I can get her out in time. 

Just then, I saw something dark-colored rolling around on the bottom of the tub. And then another.

I was a pro at this now, though. I grabbed Emerson and wrapped her up in a towel and handed her off to Alex, who was less than pleased with his role. "You want me to just hold her? She has pieces of poop on her!"

"Relax! She's wrapped up in a towel. Just deal with it. I have work to do!"

I collected my arsenal in front of the tub—rubber gloves, non-toxic disinfectant, paper towels, sponge. A hundred de-pooping strategies swirled through my head while Alex continually suggested that I simply dump the tub water down the drain.

"I cannot do that! What is wrong with you?! There are solid poops in the water and they cannot go down the drain! Just be quiet and let me think!"

I decided to carefully pour as much of the water down the drain as I could without letting Emerson's lovely gifts seep out. Then I'd pour the rest into the toilet. This made perfect sense in my mind, but was a little difficult to execute. As I frantically tipped the baby tub back and forth, the murky water kept splashed up on me. 

"Noooooo! Why?! Again?! Why must the poopy water hit me in the face every time this happens?!"

I peeled off my soiled shirt once the tub was clear. But, Alex yelled at me to take my pants off too, because he saw the poop dump all over them. So I yanked them off, revealing my black lace secret. Trying to ignore my outfit, I strapped on a pair of disposable rubber gloves, bent over the tub, and began furiously spraying disinfectant in every direction. 

Alex stared at me, confused and slightly intrigued. 

Alex: What is happening here? I mean….what are you wearing? Those are some pretty racy underwear.

AlexaYes, I am wearing sexy underwear today. It was supposed to be a secret. It's a girl thing….I didn't expect to suddenly be wearing nothing but this during family time.

Alex: I'm really confused by everything you just said, but look at you! Sexy underwear and rubber gloves, cleaning a bath tub in a very provocative position. You look like a character from a Kurt Vonnegut novel.

AlexaLeave me alone!

Alex: The greatest part is that you left your socks on and they have giant peace signs on them. Your outfit doesn't make any sense.

AlexaWhat about the fact that I'm not just wearing regular rubber gloves, but the disposable medical exam kind.

Alex: I didn't want to say, but that's kind of creepy. I'm pretty sure only perverts have a 100-count box of those at home.

Alexa:You know they are for cleaning Emerson's cloth diapers in the toilet bowl. But, you are right. They are creepy……What exactly do you think creepy people do with exam gloves? Weird kinky stuff we can't even imagine?


Alexa:This is an inappropriate conversation to have in front of Emerson. I need to get this tub clean.

Alex: Babe, please! You already sprayed that spot like four times! Can we get the baby back in the tub yet?

AlexaNo, I need to spray it again. And then I need to clean the big tub, because I poured the poopy water in there.

Alex: It's just poop!

Alexa:You take baths in there like four times a week. Doesn't bathing in Emerson's poop remnants bother you?!

Alex: No, it's just poop. People used to live in poop and they were fine.

AlexaWhy are you always referencing yesteryear? Like you know exactly what people went through in the 1600's. I'm sure they got sick, just like we get sick from accidentally eating or bathing in poop.

Alex: Actually, I know everything about the 1600's. But, we should really be talking about the 1500's and the bubonic plague. You would have hated to live through that. Think of all the germs.

AlexaAre you kidding me right now?! I don't care about the bubonic plague, I care about the poop in my bathtub!

Alex: I need to open a window. I'm getting dizzy from all that spray. And look at your poor daughter. She keeps sneezing.

AlexaI'm using all natural products. It's not hurting you! Stop being so dramatic!

Alex: Oh, "all natural" products, sure. What kind of "natural" chemicals are in that one?

AlexaActually, it's just a combination of oregano oil, rosemary and thyme because they are natural antibacterials.

Alex: Well, that explains why it smells like some strange Indian poop dish in here. It's your spicy spray.

AlexaI'll give you that. It does smell exactly like Indian food and poop in here.

Alex: Honestly, I don't think I can ever see you in sexy underwear again. Sexy lingerie has been ruined for me. I'll always associate it with poop from now on, and poop is not sexy. Why did you have to wear that today?

AlexaI told you! It was supposed to be a secret!

Alex: Can we please bath our child now? She is violently trying to free herself from my arms.

AlexaHold on….

Alex: Emerson! Stop kicking me in the balls! Babe, come on!

AlexaOkay, fine, put her in.


This is our life.

Monday, March 4, 2013


Sometimes, you collapse on the living room floor, put your head down, and cannot move….so you just stay there, breathing in the carpet fibers for a half hour, while your husband takes the baby to play in another room. Sometimes, you let your 9-month-old baby watch fifteen minutes of Strawberry Shortcake, though you vowed not to let her ever watch television until she was three. Sometimes, you feed your baby food from a jar or pouch though you've committed yourself to cooking all of her meals from scratch. Sometimes, your plates from last night's dinner are still sitting on the table, covered in food, at noon the next day. Sometimes, you are still folding last week's laundry while doing this week's laundry. Sometimes, it takes you three weeks to return a friend's email, which you've only accomplished by writing one paragraph at a time and saving them all in a file until it's complete. Sometimes, it takes you a full year to finish reading a book. Sometimes, you fight with your husband when you really meant to say, "I miss you….I miss us."

Because, you are human. Because, you are a mama. Because, you aren't capable of perfection, and you cannot do it all. 

And that's okay.

Friday, March 1, 2013

marriage and baby: not for the weak, part VI

Conception, The Finale (Part IPart IIPart III, Part IV)

TTC Month Six

Alex and I were still in (attempted) relaxation mode this month so we had a string of road trips lined up to take our minds off of our crazy life. Up first was a trip to Vermont, where we stayed in the hotel suite we had stayed in when we got married. We spent a lazy few days reminiscing and reigniting our spark. But, we found it difficult, as we were right in the middle of deciding on a house and spent much of our time on the phone with our realtor.

By the end of the trip, we had a house. The price being the continued tension being Alex and I, as a couple. 

We decided to try again. So, I packed up my ovulation kit with my camping gear and we headed up to the Adirondack Mountains. As Alex and I set up camp the first night, we suddenly felt removed from our life. We talked deep into the night by the camp-fire. I cried in the darkness of the forest, feeling so lost and distant from the man who sat beside me eating s'mores. This was the summer that was supposed to bring us closer together as we created a new life—a new town, new home, new child. But, there was distance. Our living situation and a bevy of enormous and simultaneous life changes had led us to escape into separate corners. 

We longed for the simplicity of our newlywed days, which weren't all too long ago.

We came together that night, sweating on top of sleeping bags, the lullaby of loons echoing all around us. The next morning, I peed on a stick in the woods…an ovulation stick, that is. Something felt incredibly unnatural about that, though. It was like a metaphor for my conception obsession. Having a baby was the most natural thing in the world, but I was chipping away at the naturalness of it by trying to force it. I mean here I was, in the mountains, surrounded by nature, with an ovulation kit in hand. In that moment, I wished that I had had the kit six months ago, I wished that I could have remained relaxed...I wished I could start over. I was fed up with the whole thing. 

The next day I took my temperature when I woke up, like I had done all the mornings before it for almost a year. I grabbed an ovulation stick, but on my way to use it, chucked it in the garbage—partly in frustration, partly as a symbol of my surrender. 

That day, we rented canoes and paddled through the mountain lakes. For the first time in many months, it was just me and Alex. Alone. And calm. We didn't talk about babies or houses or moving. We paddled and laughed and let go in the summer sun. Eventually, we came to a tiny, deserted island and decided to stop there for lunch. As we sat on a fallen tree together, munching on cashews and homemade protein balls (no, that is not a euphemism), we delighted in the silence. We talked about how great it felt to be sitting on a small piece of land, disconnected from everything….and everyone. 

Then, we let our clothes fall to the pine needle laden ground, along with all the pressure we had put on ourselves.

The next day, we packed up our camp and headed to Saratoga Springs to stay with Alex's sister for a few days. I started to feel the twinge of pain I had come to know quite well. I was ovulating. When we arrived, I ran to the bathroom with my last ovulation stick and discovered that the egg was already gone. Alex and I gave it one more try in the bathroom, but I knew it was too late.

Although I desperately needed all the relaxation and to approach baby making in a more casual manner the past two months, there was still the part of me that was not okay. I still wanted a baby. So, that part of me cried, feeling regretful about "not trying hard enough" that month.


A week and a half later, back home, Alex and I were leaving a movie theater when I suddenly exclaimed, "I need a steak. Like NOW. Seriously, you need to find me some beef or I'm going to lose it!" This sounded incredibly strange to both of us, not because of its randomness, but because I don't even like meat. And I don't eat beef. Yet, I was obsessed and could not quell this desperate need. We spent an hour driving around trying to find a hamburger before I ended up in the Whole Foods prepared food section, inhaling a meatball.

The following week, I woke up before sunrise one morning, and did what was as routine as brushing my teeth at this point: take my temperature. I looked at the thermometer and to my surprise the number was much higher than I expected at this time of the month. Alex, who was woken by the sound of the thermometer beeping, told me to get in the bathroom and take a pregnancy test. No, I couldn’t. Could I? I had already cast aside any hope of a pregnancy this month given the lackadaisical manner in which we had sex on our camping trip. But, I got up anyway.

I crept into the bathroom and grabbed a test by the light of my cell phone. Then I set my timer to three minutes. I sat in the complete darkness of the bathroom, my stomach fluttering. Alex called out excitedly, “what does it say?! Babe? Hello?” The timer went off. I couldn’t look. I took a deep breath, lit the screen on my cell phone and aimed it at the test.

Oh my god!

I shot up and turned the lights on. And there it was. A faint, but very real, second line staring up at me.

I walked back into the bedroom and announced, “I’m pregnant!” as Alex pulled me into the bed in a giant hug.

“Finally!” he said.

We couldn't imagine a more beautiful ending to our story: on a small, deserted island, Alex and I returned to one another, and our reconnection created a new life. 

As I hugged my husband, the past six months faded away, and our life began to circle around the small ball of cells that now lived in my uterus. 

Yay! I just made a baby…but I don't know it!
Up next, pregnancy...

Soapbox afterthought: I am not a doctor, or an expert, and my recommendations cannot solve any medical problems, but I am a woman. And I have this to say...Your fertility is your business. Getting to know your body and cycles can make all the difference when you are trying to conceive. I highly recommend using an ovulation predictor kit. They are pricey to buy on a monthly basis, but you can also use them just once before you start trying to conceive so you know when you ovulate, which can vary from woman to woman (not to mention, it's always good peace of mind to know that you are, in fact, ovulating). I used the Clear Blue Easy Ovulation test. I also highly recommend using an online tracking website. It does require you to take your basal body temp every morning and monitor your fertility signs, but the extra work results in an incredibly helpful analysis of your most fertile time of the month. The website I used is Fertility Friend, and though you can sign up for free, I opted to pay for the extra features, which include things like alerts when it's go-time (green light-have sex today, red light-wait), an analysis of your chance of conception each month given the information you've inputted, and much more. Obviously there is no guarantee, but after I signed up for the paid features and actually read all the information on the website and USED it…I got pregnant that same month. Just sayin'. One more thing. Pre-Seed. It's your friend. Saliva and lube are not. Happy baby making!