We are gearing up for our second go. Well, when I say, "we" I mean me. My period is done. I just bought my second ovulation kit, and I've been mapping out the days in the calendar this month that we need to make sure we spend some quality time in the bedroom.
Unfortunately, I read a less-than-encouraging article in the New York Times the other day about sperm. It basically stated that sperm are extremely imperfect, the majority of them are abnormally shaped, and only about 15 percent of most men's sperm are "serviceable" in ideal conditions. As the writer, Natalie Angier, put it, "the majority of sperm couldn't fertilize an ovum if it were plunked down in front of them." She went on to explain how fragile and tiny sperm are, how sensitive they are to heat, and how tough it is for them to get through the many obstacles they encounter on the way to our eggs.
Okay, I'm over the fact that we didn't get pregnant on our first go at it.
At work today, I was reading some new statistics from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (seriously, I couldn't escape this stuff even if I tried since it's part of my job), and I was especially interested to read that according to their latest findings, a healthy 30-year-old woman has about a 20 percent chance of getting pregnant each month. I'm 31 (alright, almost 32) so I figure that if things are working as they should with my reproductive system — and my husband's — then it could easily take five months to get this show on the road. That means I really shouldn't expect too much these next few months.
I got my period. I'm not gonna lie — I'm disappointed. I know, I know, it was unlikely I'd get pregnant on our first try. But hey, it was a possibility. We did have sex a million times last month — we gave those sperm plenty of chances.
Rationally, I know that getting pregnant can take a long time, but I didn't realize until after I got my period this morning just how much I was hoping I was pregnant. I mean, each time I took my prenatal vitamins over the last two weeks, I really thought, maybe this is helping a fetus right now. Turns out it was just more nutrients for me.
But I had every warning I was getting my period: I was depressed and on the verge of tears on Friday (classic PMS for me); my boobs were sore (also PMS for me, but I was hoping it was pregnancy boob soreness and not period boob soreness); and I was eating like a maniac (again, typical PMS for me).
So it shouldn't have been a surprise that I got my period. And it wasn't. But I'm still sad.
I went out for drinks last night with some friends. The wine was flowing, the laughter was loud, and the gossip was juicy. It was great. To top it off, a guy at the next table even hit on me. I almost forgot what that was like since I've been so focused on my marriage and starting a family. It all made me feel a little wistful about my waning carefree days (and nights) of living without a ton of responsibility.
I love Diet 7-Up. I don't drink it all day long or anything like that, but I almost always have some at night after dinner. And I get a little cranky if we've run out of it. It's not that I'm addicted to it...but I look forward to it, and savor it in much the same way some people savor a glass of red wine at the end of a long day. (Alcohol, by the way, I can do without, since it almost always gives me a headache.)
So I've been preparing myself for the fact that I should probably give up my beloved Diet 7-Up during pregnancy because it's flavored with artificial sweeteners. But I've never really found out if experts have come up with a definitive stance on artificial sweeteners during pregnancy. (My primary care doc said I might as well avoid it to be on the safe side, but my old obgyn said I didn't need to worry about giving it up.)
Lucky for me, I was invited to a press lunch on pregnancy nutrition given the other day by the March of Dimes (an organization dedicated to preventing premature babies, babies with birth defects, and low birth weight). One of the things I love about my job is that I have access to fabulous medical experts, and here, the timing couldn't have been better for me to find out the answer to my sweetener question.
No, I'm not pregnant (at least as far as I know). It's just that we saw Knocked Up on Sunday. I loved it.
But I've GOT to stop crying at these pregnancy movies. Yes, even through the hilarity, the vulgarity, and the graphic childbirth scene, I ended up crying about the magic of having a baby. I've lost it.
Oh, and did I mention that we saw it with my in-laws?
It wasn't all gooey sentimentality for me on Sunday, though. I had a fight with my husband because he was supposed to plan our evening with his parents and he left it until the last minute. Planning ahead is not one of his favorite pastimes. So as I was walking the dog on Sunday afternoon, he called me on my cell to finally tell me the plan.
Last night I dreamt that I was artificially inseminated. Correction I artificially inseminated myself.
I was at a spa type of resort, and a big lady there handed me a bowl of my husband's sperm along with a turkey baster contraption (actually it looked a bit like the devices you use to insert Monistat). Then she directed me to a not-so-private sauna/Jacuzzi area to go squirt the stuff up there.