December 30, 2011

"HAVE FUN TRYING"

I can't believe I forgot one of my least favorite things people have said over the years...

7) "Well, at least you get to have fun trying!"

Trying to have a baby sucks.

If you have never had to "try" before, you have no idea.  And since I'm now way beyond keeping any secrets from the public...I will try to illustrate how "trying to conceive" is very very very different from "making love."

I remember a fight way back in 2007, it was babymaking day and I convinced myself that we ought to try to put some spice back in our life.  We had been methodically trying to have a baby for months, and on a whim I decided to be adventuresome and suggested that we do it on the stairs. And my husband vetoed me with a bored voice and wanted to just do it in the bed and get it over with. Then I got all butthurt that I was trying so hard to be sexy and spontaneous and he didn't appreciate it at all. We had a big fight...but then we had to have the sex anyway because it was babymaking day.  I vividly remember glaring at him and saying "Just because I'm doing this doesn't mean I actually LIKE you right now."

"Trying" means doing it on a schedule, whether you like it or not.  Whether you're sick, whether you just worked a 14 hour day, whether the toddler has been naughty, no matter.  You're doing it.

And that schedule weighs on you.  THE DAY gets all built up and awkward and burdensome.  Here's an example that I emailed to a friend recently after she told me to "have fun trying":

Today is day 14 of my cycle. For me, it seems the best chance of getting pregnant is after day 16. For a man, the best sperm output is after 48 hours of abstinence (so, ahem, wait 2 days, then that's the good stuff.) But yesterday my husband got home from TDY. I missed him. My body is getting hormonally ready for ovulation. I wanted us to be together...but that screws up the rotation. For our best chances to work, being together on Friday and Sunday is ideal, not Thursday. So...you have to avoid being intimate on the day when you really want to be and hope that the feeling is just as strong the next night. Many times this has backfired, where the pressure of "it has to be Friday!!!" ruins the mood: someone is grouchy, someone says something hurtful right as you're going up to bed, whatever.

Or the reverse is true: you decide to go ahead and do it Thursday because you're lovey-dovey and just hope for the best, which wrecks the best odds...and then if you don't get pregnant that month, you blame Thursday for it and vow to never stray from the cycle again. Which means you resent yourself and your husband for giving in to temptation when you knew better and knew you should wait til Friday. Even if there is no empirical evidence that you would've gotten pregnant if you'd just waited til Friday...your brain messes with you.

So that's what I meant by "trying." Once you know all this info -- which day you ovulate, what your cervical mucus is supposed to look like, the 48 hrs of abstinence, the possible effects of orgasm on likelihood of conception -- once you know all this, it's so hard to un-know it and just relax. You scientifically second guess every decision. Which makes the whole process a science experiment instead of being nice and magical.

Not to belabor the point, but I thought I'd add one more anecdote from the same month.

So we knew for two weeks that Sunday night was the best night, because you just know these things when you're in tune with the whole process. Every time you get a period, you know which day that month will give you the best chance of getting pregnant.  You can't un-know it.  Anyway, I was right and the ovulation predictor pinged in the afternoon. And then in the evening, I got diarrhea. Fun. So my stomach was hurting and having sex was not really high on my list, but we trudged up to bed. Also I was freezing cold, so we lay in bed a bit to warm up. And we started an argument. One of those dumb ones where I was asking about X but he was telling me about Y and I didn't care because I was asking about X and he thought X was irrelevant and Y was what I needed to know. Stupid, but it sure killed the mood when we ended up irritated at each other. So with the mood killed anyway, I asked him to get me some socks because my feet were freezing. I asked for my hospital socks -- between D&Cs and BabyGrok's delivery, I have about five pairs of the free fuzzy socks with grips on the bottom that the Army hospital has given me. He had no idea what I was talking about and brought some other socks. So then I was doubly irritated thinking "How do I know every single piece of clothing you own and when you got it and whether it fits or not, and you know NOTHING about me..." Romance was about the furthest thing from my mind at this point.

And then we had to have sex anyway because it was day 16.

And that's why "trying" to have a baby sucks.

Posted by: Sarah at 11:34 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1

Can I offer some snark?

"Oh, just relax and enjoy yourself."  Yeah, because genetic mutations often respond to one's level of relaxation.  Or in my case with the blocked fallopian tube, I am sure that if I were just more relaxed that little egg could fight its way through the blockage.  That totally happens. 

"Have fun trying."  Always fun to have sex on a schedule when even if you get pregnant there's a better than decent chance you won't stay that way.  Good times.

On the bright side, once everyone knows your reproductive business you can use the timed intercourse excuse for all sorts of things.  Party going too late and you'd rather be home watching something on Netflix?  "Hey, listen we'd love to stay, but I just went to the bathroom and my mucus is totally egg white, so we gotta run."  Handy, huh?

Posted by: Christa at December 30, 2011 02:12 PM (JnJR0)

2 Ha.  "Trying" has had its funny moments...like the time we stupidly decided to watch Brokeback Mountain on babymaking night.  We climbed into bed and just kinda sat there petrified.  "Are you trying way too hard not to think about Heath Ledger?" we both laughed.  Awkward!
It was funny there for a while in 2007, when everyone knew we were trying but before it got waaay awful, AWTM would call me like every 28 days just to "see what was going on."  "The pregnancy test was negative," I'd always have to say right at the beginning of the conversation to get it out of the way.

Posted by: Sarah at December 30, 2011 03:33 PM (ifOVh)

3 I just laughed until I cried with you over the reality that is 'trying'. The 'hurry up and let's get it over so I can return to -insertanythingmorefunatthispoint' attitude. They don't mean to but the glaze over there eyes about our umpteenth hormonally imbalanced fit over milk placement in the fridge is almost glacomic. And I only did the 'trying' for 2 years or so. I would love to go on a walkabout with you with a taser or cattle prod and anytime someone (preferably strangers) pass out illconceived advice we can return the favor? A little too passive aggressive?

Posted by: Darla at January 04, 2012 07:39 AM (s4dCG)

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