No baby yet. We’re 5 days past the Scan-predicted due date of the 6th. The IVF due date is today.
We’ve been getting a lot of phone calls and texts to check up on us, which is both sweet and annoying.
“No news yet,” I tell them.
And now that the Wife (Sal) is 40 weeks, you can’t ring anyone either without them thinking you’re calling with news of the new arrival.
“No, just saying hello. No news yet.”
“Well she needs to get on with it,” they tell me, like she’d just forgot what was going on inside her body.
Then comes the recommendations. ‘Curry and sex’ is the main one. My wife reckons this advice was clearly written by a man. Can’t think why. I’m pretty open about needing IVF to help us conceive but it s not like you announce it from the roof tops, so not everyone knows. More often they are the ones who joke that that’s probably what got us here (the Curry and Sex). I’m not sure how anyone has sex after a curry. I’m normally so stuffed I can’t move, and the wang of garlic is enough to repel an advancing angry army, never mind a half arsed post curry cock. Either way, I’m not offended in any way when people make jokes, but I am a bit of a dick. I take great pleasure in watching them squirm and backtrack after telling them we couldn’t conceive naturally. I do smile afterwards and tell them I’m only messing.
I remember when we were trying, it was a year or two after our marriage, people would always ask if we were expecting, more so to Sal than myself. The first sign of tiredness, period cramps or even just as a hello, people would want to know when we’d be having a baby soon. “Any plans?” I had never really though about it and I have wondered if I’ve been guilty of it myself. It’s apparent though, that for some reason, some people just like to make assumptions about your life choices and fertility. Like, we’re now married so we must have children. Too many people can’t grasp the concept that you might not want children or can’t have children. It’s just outside their comprehension. For no reason at all they’ll ask or volunteer their un-requested opinion on our life path. Our age seems to be a big one. We’re both mid-thirties and to a lot of the older generations, this is a taboo. We were constantly reminded of how much harder it is to have a child the longer we leave it, and the added medical complications/risks to both mother and child. As if this wasn’t already stressful enough to a couple that is actively trying without success.
Now I understand that their opinion is voiced from a good place. People would say they care, yet objectively this caring walks hand in hand with bigoted deafness, unable to hear how their own condescending self-righteous advice sounds. It’s attention bias personified. Their view is their universal truth to which everyone else should follow. Thus they worry for you, failing to see past their own simplistic evolution of how a marriage should develop. Some people don’t want children. Some people can’t have children. Some people can’t comprehend this.
Still, some of the advice you get to assist the fertility is comedy gold. Did you know sex on a full moon helps aid pregnancy. The gravitational pull from the moon (apparently) helps pull the sperm where they need to be. Well you know, if the moon can move the oceans I’m sure it can bump the spunk along to where it needs to be. Cold showers in the morning was another recommendation, helps energise the sperm (allegedly). Wear loose boxers. Wear no boxers. Drink black coffee. Take Zinc. Drink black coffee with zinc. Have sex after the gym (to shower or not to shower?) Repetitively masturbate up-until 3 days before ovulation then stop, and have sex twice a day, everyday, from the day of ovulation. I don’t know about you, but I’ve not been able to achieve such a feat since I left my 20’s. By the time I’ve walked the woofer and hit the gym, just sitting with a cup of tea and watching homes under the hammer is a arduous enough task, never mind twice a day bonk-fests.
The advice doesn’t stop there. You get another bucket load of weird advice when your at term. Especially for inducing labour. The aforementioned curry and sex. Drinking a beer. Curb walking (not prostitution but walking on a split level). Tweaking nipples. Bouncing on an exercise ball. Acupressure around the thumb. Smelling clary sage. Or my favourite, visualising a flower opening. I mean, really?! I’m sure they are all backed by years of clinical research and thus fool proof. Unlike my friend Rob’s advice which was purely observational.
“Whatever you do, don’t go down the business end during labour. It’s like watching your favourite pub on fire.”
I tell you, you don’t find that kind of advice in any hypobirthing book