By Suze Keys
Part One – They’re all pregnant to spite me.
My husband and I decided, in December 2008, that it’d be great to have our last baby and get that part of our lives out of the way. Given that we had two sons already I desperately wanted a girl, so to Google I go; looking up “conceiving girl”.
There were diets. One claimed I was to eat pretty much nothing healthy, in an attempt to acidify my body because girl sperm like a more acid environment. Another said I should eat foods high in magnesium and another that I should eat dairy products, rice, pasta and certain veges with mineral water and limited meat and potatoes, avoiding things like salt, fresh fruit, alcohol and coffee as well as tea, chocolate and mushrooms. Given that all the yummy, fresh summer fruit was around at the time, and the fact that acidic bodies get cancer, and that healthy mummies make healthy babies, and not to mention that coffee supposedly has antioxidants so therefore must be good – those diets were not for me.
Vaginal douches aren’t the go either, I must say. Dilute acid (vinegar or lemon juice) in the vagina is not ideal – itchy, actually. And apart from thrush, the risk of PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease) and other issues is real, so I was put off there too. And that’s without even mentioning the issues for cunnilingus…
We tried shallow penetration and preventing my orgasm; because apparently the entrance of the vagina is more acidic, while the fluid women produce during orgasm is less acidic and since we’re after “more acidic” I drew the short straw there. I’m fairly sure a man worked those techniques out.
Oh and there was always my usual cycle calendar, the one I’ve always used to keep a track of my period. That calendar became a sort of science experiment, solely about data collection and statistical analysis from which I could predict my ETO (Estimated Time of Ovulation). Thus we could use the timing methods…
Yes methods plural. There are two of them and they almost completely contradict one another. One is the Shettles method which states that girl sperm live longer so sex 2 ½ to 3 days before ovulation is ideal, thereby killing off the boys before they get a chance to meet the egg. As if my ETO was that exact.
And then the O+12 method (“O” for ovulation) where sex should happen about 12 hours after ovulation. Ok – that is a logistical nightmare, even if I did know, to the hour, that I had ovulated.
Scheduling sex when we have two other children is challenging. Knowing you can plan sex, as well as depend on being able to have it at the planned time, is a bonus for the child-free. Having sex at all when there are other children around is near impossible, especially sex planned to coincide with some significant alignment of the moon and stars.
Oh, and don’t forget cervical mucous. All of this evaluation of my cycle involved my becoming intimately attentive to my cycle’s physical symptoms outside of my period; particularly any stretchy, glossy, egg-white-like mucous that happens around my ETO. I can say, with absolute sincerity, that my mucous and I are well acquainted.
Funnily enough though, after about four or five months of this, in conjunction with my obsessing about getting pregnant and my disappointment each month at my period’s arrival, not only were we not pregnant, but we weren’t even having sex.
And to make matters worse, everyone around me was pregnant! People who had been trying FOR YEARS had gotten pregnant. But not me! And I was no longer even getting laid to make me feel better!
No sex at all is a hard thing. Especially when the not having it is out of my control, for an undisclosed reason, and the lines of communication seem firmly closed.
No sex is serious. It was even more than Google serious.
It was library book serious.