I have seven children. The first six were conceived with so little effort that they began to arrive two a time. There was absolutely no technology involved. My first husband merely had to look at me funny and I was pregnant. I dubbed myself a fertility goddess, and figured that, if nothing else did, at least getting knocked up came easily for me.
That all changed when I met my second husband, who had no children, and I became determined to give him one. It seemed like an easy enough proposition. I had never had any problems in the past, and even though the youngest of my six kids was 13 at the time, I was sure nothing had changed. Boy, was I ever wrong.
Not only had my fertility gone down the proverbial fallopian tubes, there were no such things as ovulation predictor kits, and fertility charting online, and all sorts of websites devoted to women who were trying to conceive. Even that had changed. I wasn’t trying to get pregnant, anymore. I was trying to conceive, or TTC, on the pregnancy web communities. Suddenly something that was once simple and uncomplicated, was an expensive, time consuming, obsession.
Online Fertility Charting– When things didn’t just happen in the blink of an eye, I began fertility charting. It seemed to be all of the rage on the baby message boards, and there were whole websites set up for you to chart online, making notes of month to month to month patterns. You could compare your chart with the charts of other women who had managed to get pregnant, making sure to note how many times they had done the BD (baby dance aka had sex), and on what days of their cycle, to achieve success. You could find out of what day during the dreaded TWW (two week wait after ovulation) they got their BFP (big, fat, positive pregnancy test) and how their DH (dear hubby) felt about it. Really, just trying to learn the acronyms left me exhausted.
Of course, along with the fertility charting and temperature taking came the cervical mucus checking and the cervix checking. Before long, every trip to the bathroom was a study in, well studying what was coming out of my vagina, and if something didn’t come out, going up in there to check on my cervix. You know, make sure it was still in there, and see if it was open or closed, soft or firm, or somewhere in between. There was all sort of action going on “down there” and my husband wasn’t involved in the least.
Ovulation Predictor Kits– When sex and fertility charting alone didn’t work, I felt that I needed to jump on the OPK (ovulation predictor kit) bandwagon. I started by buying the ones sold at the drug store, but that got expensive and they were so stingy with the sticks to pee on, too. Once I read online on the fertility charting site that you could buy OPK strips by the hundreds from TTC websites, or on auction sites, I was off and running. I began buying those little OPK sticks by the gross, and I never went to the bathroom without one, or two. Soon, I was hiding them, and the box that they arrived in, like an active alcoholic hides bottles.
The TCC Addiction– I had an addiction and it was in full swing. Because there were all manner of articles to read on how to get pregnant, and when to do the BD, and whole galleries of images of peed on OPK sticks to compare mine to, there was little time in the day for much else than TTC insanity. And somehow I was supposed to make time for sex, too. Soon, I had gone completely around the bend, and after another few months, my husband finally had the courage to point it out to me.
It took me a little while longer to put down the OPK sticks, and slowly back away from all thermometers, but I did do it. It was kind of a cold turkey thing, with some withdrawal, but a lot of relief, too. Admitting you have a problem is the first step towards developing a healthy attitude towards getting pregnant. It was supposed to be a little more fun, and a lot less technology based, from what I remembered.
The old advice of “just relax, and if it is meant to happen, it will,” began to sound sensible again. I was on the road towards TCC recovery. Of course, I still wanted a baby. I just made the decision that I wanted the baby to have a fairly sane mother. It was a good decision, all around.