"Just relax, you're thinking about it too much" (everyone's advice)
"I know a friend of a friend, and as soon as they started to adopt, they got pregnant" (and actually, that did happen to my stepmother)
"All you have to do is stand on your head after sex and you'll get pregnant, it worked for me" (happened to my girlfriend)
You've all heard this, and it makes you nuts, right? First of all - you can't relax when you're injecting yourself every night, going to the doc every morning, and timing sex, and taking pills. You just can't. Period.
And the adoption thing. Ok, maybe that does happen to some people, but we all know for a fact it doesn't happen to everyone that adopts. And I'm not comfortable with the odds on that. Even the IVF odds for a 40 year old seem a little better.
Standing on your head? Well, I'm no physicist, but I'm not sure I see how that's going to help the sperm get through a blocked tube. Or fertilize an egg that was never ovulated. Or improve the quality of old eggs. But maybe I just need to look harder...
As I started down this infertility path, and read blogs and talked to people, I realized I was going to encounter these types of comments and how annoyed it was going to make me feel. I became pretty good at blowing it off, not wanting to get into a big deal about it, and not particularly wanting to get into my personal biological details.
But one friend (let's call her "E") recently said the "just relax, stand on your head" double whammy just one too many times and I let her have it. Nicely. I explained to E that while I'm sure she didn't mean it, saying "just relax" was the absolute worst thing you can say to someone with fertility issues. That it's impossible to relax, and now that becomes yet one more thing you're not doing right, etc., etc. E was appropriately apologetic, although maybe a bit offended. And I certainly don't think she "got it".
Fast forward to last month, in between my IVF cycles. In the past, I had hoped and hoped that I would get pregnant "in the nick of time" to save me from doing IVF. I used OPKs, I'd make sure we had sex every other night during the peak period, I'd test starting at day 27... And believe me, it was no fun. My DH knew it was "that time" giving him performance anxiety, and if it didn't work, I'd be so upset, but hide it from him knowing it wasn't his fault at all. But he'd still know I was upset, which made him feel bad, which would cause the next time not to work, which would make him feel worse. Oh, it was a regular riot. Anyone who says that "trying" is fun is LYING, I'm still hoping our sex life recovers when all is said and done!
But back to last month. I almost felt relief that we were going pretty much right into a new cycle, instead of several months of that hell called "trying" in between. I didn't count the days until ovulation. I didn't schedule sex. And honestly, I don't think we had sex more than once a week for most of the month. I drank some wine again. I just had enough of trying, I was tired and bummed from the last IVF/BFN, I had very little hope of IVF even working for us, so I gave us the month off.
And it happened. I relaxed and it happened.
I'm definitely not telling E!!
But seriously, how can that be???? Have "they" been right all along? We just need to relax?? But then I remember... One Saturday morning, my friend from England was spending the weekend with us. We had a nice dinner Friday night, glass or two of wine, lots of catching up. We were heading to Atlantic City the next day for a little blackjack, and then playing golf on Sunday. It was shaping up to be a fun weekend. Sat morning, DH and I made love and lingered in bed for a bit after. It was really nice. I remember thinking that it had been a while since we enjoyed it like that.
And then I started thinking, wait a minute, let me count the days... it had been 12 days since AF. I usually ovulate on day 14-15, so I made a mental note to be sure to do it again on Monday, which was day 14, figuring that would also cover me for day 15. So I did. I didn't tell DH it was "time", so there was no pressure (on him) and we went to "completion". And that was it - no more planned sex that month.
So I guess on the one hand, you could say it was the "relaxed", unplanned Sat morning fun that did the trick. But on the other hand, it could have been the planned, Monday BD that worked for us. I'll never know for sure, but I can't accept that the "just relax" people might be right, so I'm putting my Atlantic City money on the scheduled, planned Monday sex. That's definitely the one that did it for us - it was much closer to ovulation and it makes more sense (even though the nurse thinks I may have ovulated early based on my hormone numbers...).
Being a control freak pays off, relaxing doesn't. Yup, that's my story and I'm sticking with it!
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