Saturday, October 8, 2011

sex & conception: the heartaches of calculated pregnancies

Me and Lilly, June 2008
We've been trying to have another baby. We've been trying for more than two years. Granted, I did only get my period back this past spring, a couple of months before she turned three and she told me there was no more left.

I was overjoyed when my period returned in April. I have hated it whenever it's since paid its monthly visit.

It always bothered me I never knew when we actually conceived Lilly. Back then, we were newly married and could act like rabbits. Sex wasn't something we planned or decided to do; it just happened. Often. It was sweet.

Things are a little a lot more complicated now. I'm a fan of the quicky; weekend "naps" are great. When they happen, that is. As far as I can remember, Lilly has always resisted naps, and especially during the weekend when she has both parents around. By the time Lilly's in bed at night, we're all exhausted.

But we try, we do. Though sometimes I worry about the sweetness of sex; at what point does the trying and the scheduling kill the fun of it?

I should be ovulating right around now; wish me luck. Perhaps something along the lines of this will come of it:
The Planned Child

I hated the fact that they had planned me, she had taken
a cardboard out of his shirt from the laundry
as if sliding the backbone up out of his body,
and made a chart of the month and put
her temperature on it, rising and falling,
to know the day to make me--I would have
liked to have been conceived in heat,
in haste, by mistake, in love, in sex,
not on cardboard, the little x on the
rising line that did not fall again.

But when a friend was pouring wine
and said that I seem to have been a child who had been wanted,
I took the wine against my lips
as if my mouth were moving along
that valved wall in my mother's body, she was
bearing down, and then breathing from the mask, and then
bearing down, pressing me out into
the world that was not enough for her without me in it,
not  the moon, the sun, Orion
cartwheeling across the dark, not
the earth, the sea--none of it
was enough, for her, without me.

Sharon Olds 
Morning Song (p. 27)


  1. We have discussed adoption and are very open to it. But at this point, we don't have that kind of money. And also; I would very much like to experience the physical aspects of it all, pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding... I would love to talk to you about all of this and what you are thinking! Sorry again we won't make it to parent-child yoga this afternoon.

  2. Good luck, Anne! I have no words of wisdom here. (Sigh.) It's hard. Thinking of you!

  3. I love that poem, Anne.  I"m thinking about you, I know this time is hard, and it's hard to keep it about connecting, but as long as you both have that in mind, you can.  xo mange klemmer.

  4. Oh, Anne, I'm so sorry for the hard parts. I remember talking with you in August about how no one ever mentions how hard it is to have sex every other day for optimum blah blah blah when you live with a small child. How is that supposed to work, when as you say, everyone's beyond cracked out by bedtime?

    I love this poem & just emailed a link to my mom, who tried for many many years to have my brother and me. It's beautiful--thanks for sharing it.

  5. Thank you, my friends, for your kind words and encouragement! It means a lot to me.

  6. I got pregnant with a turkey baster twice. There was none of the sweetness of sex in that, but I love my darling babies all the same. Sex doesn't always have to be sweet and impromptu and fun any more than the food you eat has to be a gourmet 5-course meal. A slice of bread is also sustenance. Don't worry--you guys will be back to the gourmet meals when you're less tired and don't care what day you're ovulating anymore.

  7. oh Anne, I was not sure you were still trying, based on our conversation during our summer walk. We talked of how it is hard to imagine scheduling things with 2 children, as it is so difficult even with one and trying to work and etc. We'll have to talk again soon as I have been thinking so much of this again too. What do you think of adoption?

  8. Yes let's talk.  Do you and Lily want to come over for lunch some time?  Or we could try for a walk again but of course that is trickier with it getting dark so early!

  9. The lunch hour might work best. On Tuesday it's supposed to be nice and we have a meeting at City Hall at 1 p.m.. Maybe we can pack lunch and go to the park there after school that day? We'd have a good hour.

  10. Connection: I like that term. Will keep that in mind in the weeks (and months...) ahead. Thanks!

  11. I like that idea too: that sex can sometimes be all about sustenance and sometimes all about gourmet. Thanks!


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