Feeling frenzied all the time can take a toll on your fertility. Here’s how you can chillax and boost your odds of baby-making success.
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So, my boobs were sore. I felt a little... funny. But I didn't have my hopes up, since what had that gotten me so far? About $50 blown on home pregnancy tests and a feeling of defeat. But in a weird coincidence, I just happened to have my annual gyn exam--you know, an appointment I made about five months earlier--the day before I was supposed to get my period.
I was late for the appointment--who had scheduled it at 8 AM? Someone who doesn't live in my house, apparently--and had the thought, "If I am pregnant, I should already feel guilty--no way I would've been late for this last time." I drank a big bottle of water during my 30 minute drive, so that I wouldn't be overtaken by nervous pee paralysis. In the office, my hand shook a little as I placed the pee cup in the automat-slot next to the toilet.
When I told the nurse that I thought I might be pregnant, she smiled and said, "Let me run out and see, then." I sat on the table in an examining gown, my stubbly, pale legs dangling over the edge, and tried to breathe. "I'm not pregnant," I said to myself. "She's going to open the door, I'll see her face, and then she'll say that I'm not pregnant. And that will be fine." ("But maybe she'll be smiling!," my naughty, optimistic self twittered. "And maybe I am!") "No. I am not. I am not pregnant," I scolded. I took a deep breath.
A commercial break: Putting my whining in context
Before I go any further: I know that trying for four months is nothing. I have plenty of friends--with whom I was consulting monthly--for whom it took six, nine, 12 months the second time around, and there was nothing wrong with them, either. But what was so striking about my experience is just how long four months felt; how immediately I felt like something must be "wrong" with me, either physically or psychologically or sexually or spiritually; and how that then made me feel like I was in a state of limbo, holding myself back from becoming attached to the idea of a baby, but then feeling guilty for not embracing it at the same time. When I told a good friend that we were trying, and she said, "Yay! A new person! How exciting!", it felt like I was hearing words from another universe. I had allowed myself to feel excited four months earlier; by now, my attitude was more "I'll believe it when I see it."
Also: Isn't it weird that sex and babies have anything to do with one another? Now that I have a child, I feel like this connection is more than ironic--it's absurd. First babies stop sex from happening--quite literally, by keeping us tired and harried and unshaven and over-exposed and groped by tiny, grabby hands all day long already. So that everything is all sex-sex-sex in order to make one? Just does not compute. Aron and I managed to get over it, don't get me wrong. (That picture up there is of us, contorting ourselves to get into the frame of the first photo Sylvia has ever taken of us.) But mostly I had to forget that there was a reason that we were paying a little more attention to each other than usual, and it wasn't his new cologne.
Back to our regularly-scheduled, slightly ambiguous good news
Instead of the nurse, the midwife walked in. She's new; she wasn't in the practice when Sylvia was born. "Hi, I'm Jen," she says. "I'm probably the only one here you don't know."
I'm sure I said something to this. Probably "Ehhhnh." But with a smile.
"And I think I have some good news for you," she said, breaking into a very apply-cheek grin. "You're pregnant!"
"Really? I mean--really?" I tear up a little.
She nodded. "The line is very faint. But it's there."
"The nurse told you that I'm not supposed to get my period until tomorrow, right?"
"Is that right? Then I'm sure it's fine. It's great."
Then I burst into tears.
To be continued...
Join writer Emily Bloch each week as she chronicles her pregnancy.
Next week: Freaking out and calming down... or trying to.