(I use the explicit tag due to sexual content. If you don’t want to know, please stop reading.)
It took me a long time to realize that my thirst for knowledge, and need to do everything in my power to create a hospitable environment, was actually detrimental to my mental well-being. I became obsessed, and when you are obsessed with something it is so, so hard to break the obsession, and train your mind to think about other things. For now, I will take you back to the beginning…
This age of having unlimited access to knowledge at our fingertips is incredible. That being said, I started researching “how to get pregnant”. Wow, is there a lot of information out there. First, I got to know my cycle. OK, extremely regular 31 day cycles. Check. So, that would mean I should ovulate on day 15-16. OK scheduled sack session. Next month, not pregnant. WTF. We timed it right, so why didn’t it work? It was time to dive deeper.
Ok, so women have a 5-7 day period of time called ‘the fertile window” when they can actually get pregnant, but during that time their eggs are only available to be fertilized during a 12-24 hour window. Seriously? How do so many people get pregnant then? Because sperm can live inside the body for up to 5 days? Ok, so we will get down to business every other day starting on day 11, going through day 19. Negative.
OK, so we can try doing it every day from day 10 until I get a positive or a visit from Aunt Flow. Listen, Flow, I didn’t WANT to see you. OK, let’s mentally prepare to have sex every single day from the time my period ends, until I get my next period. (For any guys reading, that may SOUND awesome, but it is seriously a commitment and not as fun as you may think. I think my husband would agree that some of those days were like a scene out “Bridesmaids”.) I’m STILL not pregnant, after ALL THAT?! Ok, time to delve further.
I started researching tips and methods for conception, and literally tried every single thing I could. Measure cervical mucous. Um, how, like with a ruler? It took a while, but I finally figured out what this meant, and you’ve never seen someone so excited about “egg whites”. Check. Take your vitamins. Check, been doing that for a year. Make sure your partner takes vitamins. Check, although that one took some doing. Have intercourse in a way that makes it easy for sperm to travel. What are we talking here? Missionary? Doggy? Upside-down? Ok, I’m game, check. Take cough syrup to thin out cervical mucous. Check. (Although I did have to go back and get more because I unintentionally bought the PM, drowsy version.) Put a small pillow under your hips after intercourse, and stay perfectly still for 30 minutes. Check. Do a head stand after intercourse so the swimmers are helped by gravity. Check, and I tried to do this (the first time) discretely after a morning sack-sesh when I thought the hubby was already gone for work. Low-and-behold, he forgot something, and from my bare-ass he heard “don’t judge me”. The woman has to orgasm. Check. Make healthy lifestyle choices. Gym membership, healthy eating, only social drinking when I had my period, never done drugs in my life. Check. But don’t work out too much. Ok, check, cut back from 4-5 days a week at the gym to 2-3. Just don’t think about it. Um, really? That’s like trying to un-learn how to walk. No check mark there.
Maybe I just needed to go back to basics and make sure I knew that I was ovulating, and when. This is when the obsession reached a whole new level. I began charting. But one charting app just wasn’t enough, because I liked certain features on each app. So, there were three:
First, I would take my temperature, every morning, at the same time, with a Basal Body Thermometer, before my feet hit the ground. Then, I would input the data into each app, and wait for the results. Throughout the day, I would input other information, such as my mood, cervical mucous changes, appetite, whether or not I had intercourse, if I was lacking energy, weight changes, if I started my period, and then information about my period, you name it, it went in there. Throughout any given day, it would take up to an hour out of my life. And to no avail. There were many arguments over the charting, but I just thought it was so important. I remember going away for a girls weekend, and wondering how to do all these things without anyone noticing. I remember getting “caught” and feeling so embarrassed and uncomfortable, fumbling my way through an explanation, and feeling so judged, even though my friends are so non-judgmental and supportive.
And still, because we were not getting favorable results, I needed more information, and more methods. I began using ovulation prediction kits. (Between these and all of the pregnancy tests, my husband would joke that I “just like to pee on things”. I get it, but not so funny when you’re so overly emotional about it.) Ok, so according to these magic sticks I am ovulating on the day that I should every single month. I DON’T GET IT! WTF is the problem then?!?
At some point, I realized that I was spiraling out of control. Getting pregnant was literally all I could think about. I knew that all the worrying was not helping my chances, but I had no idea how to turn it off. And, during this time, it was still a big secret. So, I decided it was time to take the next step in seeking advice: it was time to tell Mama.