Why is it that so many people are so focused on the idea that if you just 'relax about it', pregnancy will happen? I know there are those people who just have to look at each other and whoosh - another baby is on it's way. But those people don't need to relax either, they just need to bonk.
For some reason I was thinking, while I ate my breakfast of fresh eggs (from the garden) and tomatoes and basil (from my cousin's garden), about a time I was telling a friend how we'd conceived Mikaela* the month we finally went to see a fertility specialist. Her response was something like "Maybe because you'd finally let go, deciding you could leave it up to the specialist, you were able to relax enough for it to happen."
I was so glad to be able to come back with the fact that actually, that was the month I said "Right, we are having s-x every other day for the whole bloody month," in a last ditch effort to get pregnant before medicine stepped in. But even so, I'm not sure I convinced her.**
I know I've said this before, And I'm probably preaching to the converted, but I'll say it again anyway. Actually I'll make a list:
- The reason people with in/sub/curious fertility problems get so focused on the outcome of each cycle, is because of the in/sub/whatever fertility. It's not the other way around.
- Studies have found that being 'relaxed' does not help with making babies. Actual studies. Somewhere I even have references, but they're out in the 'rolfing studio' with all my other material from my masters project, so right now you're just going to have to take my word for it.
- Telling people that they should just relax not only makes them tense it makes them cross. Shut up.
- Yes, it's true, I knew all about how to tell when I was ovulating etc before I even started trying to get pregnant with Liam - I'd been using said knowledge to avoid conception beforehand. So maybe I was a little more focused on having s-x at the right time etc than some people are, even from the first month. But for the record? It only took three cycles to conceive Liam. So I guess I didn't need to 'relax about it' then either.
- Also, it only took four cycles to conceive the second time, and two the third! It's just those conceptions both ended in miscarriages. So go on - tell me it was my fault I miscarried. I must have been too focused on it. Okay, maybe that's not what you mean when you tell people to 'just relax', but it is actually what you're saying.
- I've posted this poem before but it's so good I'll do it again:
Trying to Conceive
By Marion Cohen
Anything. I'll do anything—
Temperature charts, Tes-Tape, litmus paper,
Abstinence to maximize sperm count,
Lying on my back with a pillow under my behind and
my legs up like a bettle,
Vitamin A, Vitamin E, zinc, manganese.
Anything. I'll do anything—
But please—oh please—don't ask me to just relax.
Issue 11, Winter 1979
*After 17 cycles of trying and one miscarriage, for anyone coming in late.
** And just in case you think I'm talking about you, the fact is I don't remember who I had this particular conversation with - maybe because I've had different versions of it many times - so maybe I am!