I have come off the pill, as we thought we might finally be ready to stop depriving the world of the continuation of our amazing genes.
Up until this landmark decision, I must admit my knowledge of the female reproductive system was… well, limited. In fact I don’t think I had thought about it much since The Big Talk with my mum back in the late ‘80s after finding my older sister’s tampons in a drawer, and being told “they are for big girls to stick in their ears whilst doing their homework, to drown out the whines of their little sister” just didn’t wash with me. So my mum and I had The Big Talk. About periods. About tampons. About lady things.
I was only about 8 at the time but this early Big Revelation did nothing to prepare me for when I got my first period for my 11th birthday. I was in denial for weeks hoping that it was just a one off thing. At least, please not The Big Deal that made my mum tearful with pride and made my dad pat me on the head saying “Congratulations, you’re growing up now” as I sheepishly came out of the bathroom shame-faced (after being sent in there to battle a giant sanitary pad with wings) to the expectant looking faces of my entire family all sat in the living room waiting for me. It was possibly the most traumatic toilet visit I have ever had.
Of course I got used to it, and apart from popping a pill for the last 17 years to stop The Unmentionable happening, my knowledge of the female bits & bobs has been left largely unthought-of since. Even my familiarity with the male anatomy has always been pretty ‘street’ as I demonstrated in my Biology mock GCSE when I labelled the cross section diagram of the male reproductive system. I confidently labelled The Limp Penis, The Foreskin and The Bollocks, then triumphantly drew an arrow to the prostate gland and labelled it The Male Brain.
The attention I got from this act of rebellion at my all girls’ convent school gave me some serious locker room notoriety. (I also labelled The Clit on the female reproductive diagram for my clearly sexually repressed Biology teacher in case she hadn’t found hers yet… Yeah, yeah.. I read ‘Just Seventeen’, I knew ALL about this kind of stuff).
Since coming off the pill and going au natural, I got myself an app to track my periods and become more in tune with my "what I call" Lady Cycle. It appears I’m not as in tune with my inner workings as some women though who can apparently feel themselves ovulate. I mean seriously? I can just imagine the Gobby Self-obsessed Upstart on their mobile phone in a quite train carriage (come on, we’ve all heard them). “HELLLLLOOOOOO! I’M ON A TRAIN! BEAR WITH… BEAR WITH… BEAR WITH… SORRY DARLING, I JUST OVULATED. NOW WHERE WAS I…?”
So far trying to get in sync with my body has only resulted in me being convinced I am having an implantation, when really I’ve just needed a big poo.
Most baffling of all though, is the secret code of TTC (which anyone, who has been in sniffing distance of a forum on the likes of Mumsnet, will know means Trying To Conceive). Pleased with myself, as I am, for deciphering TTC and the DPO (Days Past Ovulation), I still am at an absolute loss as to what DH, BFN, AF, HPT and DTD are! These forums are a mecca of information, and I have learnt a lot about the complex inner workings of what goes on in there.
It is clear, for example, that under the Lady Bonnet is a much more sophisticated engine than under the Man Bonnet. When a friend of mine recently emailed me to tell me she was TTC, I realised it’s a secret language of sisterhood should be used with caution for fear of becoming a baby-making obsessive. It’s dangerously tempting to keep Googling every question that comes to mind and seriously freaking yourself out. I keep reassuring myself that with every period is another month of wine before the famine. Winter is coming, as they say. I better stock up on fermented grapes.
Anyway unfortunately my family has got wind of the fact that I might get a bun in the oven at any time soon. Why am I so rubbish at keeping schtum?! Maybe I thought if Baby Of The Family (that’s me) has a baby then I might regain some of my rightful attention (only Freud could confirm). When I last messaged my brother on Google Chat his opening line was “so are you pregnant yet?”. I soon got him back by telling him how ‘busy’ at it we are and how I’ve had a ‘hot desk’ for baby making activities installed at my husband’s workplace for the ultimate in readiness and accessibility. He hasn’t asked again.
This week I arranged a convenient time to FaceTime with my sister to see my nephews, and she eagerly asked, “So.. How’s 'It' going?” convinced as she was that I was arranging to call her to tell her that I’m pregnant (because I don’t call that regularly… oops). The worst so far though was when my brother-in-law outright asked me, “So how’s trying for a baby going?” Seriously what do you say to that? Well we’re on position 47 in the Kama Sutra and we’ve introduced some equestrian style paddles, bridles and whips?! BOSH! That would stop a conversation in its tracks.
Or perhaps I should just stop the conversation by raising my hand in the air, whilst I ovulate or experience the transcendence of an implantation (or the movement of my bowels).
Dawn of the Dame