Posts Tagged ‘trying to conceive’

The tagline of our blog reads: A stubborn atheist and a universe-fearing agnostic contemplate the miracle of birth. Remember when our blog was about TTC and inane baby news? Yeah, neither do we. Let’s look back…

Baby! (istockphoto)

July – September: This blog was dedicated to our naive ramblings about TTC and skeptical and horrified grumblings regarding baby-making and pregnancy secrets. Remember when I learned that aromatherapy candles and making out in an exotic locale could get a lady pregnant? Do you recall when Patrick shared a deliciously-named pregnancy side-effect called cheeseburger crotch? I look back to those months fondly. Mostly because they were warm summer months…

October: We took a break from TTC and so did our blog. We learned that we could increase our readership stats by talking about pumpkin carving, scary movies, Ron Ben-Israel from Sweet Genius, and more pumpkin carving! But we did enjoy taking a break from thinking about babies. OK, we were thinking and talking about babies and TTC quite a lot. We even revisited our baby names a couple of times! But we weren’t writing about babies. That is something!

November (Snowvember here in Western Mass): Our first post of the month is about how flipping cold it is without power. Power was restored Tuesday night at 8:30 PM (Hurray!). So where do we go from here? We are taking another month off from TTC. I am participating in NaNoWriMo this month. Patrick is participating in No Shave November (I signed him up. Hope he’s excited!). I think it is time to bring the TTC/baby-talk back. But I think we’ll mix in a little every day happenings (like NaNoWriMo and No Shave progress) too for a good, honest, and well-balanced blog.


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I know, I know, I made a big stink about not thinking or writing about baby-related stuff this month. But, whoa boy! My TTC-centric Twitter feed had this nugget of well-written genius and I just had to share it with you. I knew no good would come of reading this article… I’ve been down this road before, but I couldn’t resist. Could you with a title like this?

5 Things You Must Do, If You Do Not Mind Whether Your Next Baby Is A Baby Boy Or A Baby Girl

Hee hee hee hee! Are you giggling like a high chipmunk at Cirque du Soleil? Me too!

Now, I could share the sensible and well-written tips divulged in this article like:

the mother-to-be should not care about what she eats. If she eats what she likes, the chances are that either of the sexes will come.

Nothing is sacrosanct here. It is not exact science but if you do these things you can have either of the sexes. It has however been seen with 94% accuracy that if you do some things in certain ways you will have a baby of choice. (Um… O…K…)

I could go on. Instead, I will share a few articles I’m brainstorming along the same vein. Seriously, these are 5 Articles you MUST read, if you do not mind whether you are reading crap or genius. (It will be crap.)

8 Accessories You Must Buy, If You Do Not Mind Whether You Are Wearing Accessories or Not

17 People You Must Invite To Your Next Dinner Party, If You Do Not Mind Whether Your Guests are Superbly Interesting or Boring A-holes

4 Banks You Must Rob, If You Do Not Mind Whether Your Next Location Has Cutting Edge Security Or One Lame Guard

11 Beaches You Must Go To, If You Do Not Mind Whether The Beaches Are Clean and Gorgeous or Nuclear Plant Run-Off Zones

1 Trying To Conceive Blog You Must Read, If You Do Not Mind Whether You Are Reading About Trying To Conceive Or Autumnal Adventures (Or Random Rants)

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There are many reasons I am scared today:

1. We aren’t pregnant yet. Can’t help but wonder if it just won’t happen for us. I am adopted so that is a natural option for us. I was lucky enough to grow up in a melting pot of a family–family reunions look like a UN conference or an ad for the United Colors of Benetton. But as selfish as it is to say, I think it would be *really* neat to have a family member who physically resembles me.

2. I promised Patrick that we would watch horror movies today. I didn’t make it through the first 2 minutes of The Ring. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the original, aka Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) is my version of a horror film. OK, I should admit that any movie with Gene Wilder in it is a horror film to me. But a promise is a promise…

Halloween decorations are just plain scary!

3. We are taking a break from TTC.  Not a fake break wherein we still try to get pregnant but call it “a break” to take pressure off. We’re seriously putting baby-making on the shelf this month. I mentioned before I have put a lot of things on hold in my pursuit of pregnancy. And now it is time to put pregnancy back on hold to pursue new things. I am taking a year off from grad school and I had plans in addition to just getting pregnant. I want to seriously pursue those non-academic goals. This new direction is as frightening as is it is exciting, and I want to give it my all.

4. We are taking a baby-themed blog break. In order to become less obsessive about having a baby, it probably makes sense to take a step back from blogging about pregnancy and babies. What will we write about? Well, we’ll think of something. Maybe you, dear readers, should be scared about this one… Muahahahahahhhh!

5. We are decorating for Halloween today. Sadly, this is the one thing I’m most afraid of today. I have a deep and intense fear of “stuff.” I do not like stuff. I like clean open spaces. I like things in a room to serve a purpose. I do not even like storage (where this stuff will end up at the end of the month). Decor is great–brighten a room, add warmth, build dimension–all good things. But extra holiday-themed stuff gives me the wiggins. Kitschy and cluttered freaks me out! So, I will be enjoying some pumpkin ale this evening while we decorate to take the edge off. Wish me luck people! Seriously, I’m totally freaked out.

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A friend of the blog and soon-to-be eccentric Swiss baroness recently said to me: “I was a much better mother before I had children.”

This made me think, because I am a really, really awesome dad now that I don’t have children. I’m a playful, loving, fun, and wise father for these future offspring. But is that because I don’t, well, actually have them yet?

Granted, I do actually have 7 nieces and nephews, and I am an awesome *actual* uncle to them. But it’s a lot different being an uncle than a father. (For one thing, there are no givebacks.) They all turned out great, but I may have to acknowledge that their actual parents had something to do with that.

But what will I be like when I’m tired, or trying to juggle home, work, and parenting responsibilities? Sometimes I worry – okay, worry is my natural state of existence, so most of the time I worry – that I will struggle to find the balance. And I do wonder if my friend is right, and it will all be uphill from here.

So, let me ask you, readers of the blog, what are your secrets? How does one find the energy, the patience, and the perseverance to be a good parent – actual or imagined?

Will I wield a Jello Pudding Pop or Red Light Saber?

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Me and mum at the finish line!

Last January, I decided I wanted to start the year off in a new way. I participated in a local Run and Plunge. It was a 5-mile run that ended in the chilly choppy waters of the Long Island Sound. It was headed by a group of serious marathoners. I wanted to start the New Year by pushing myself to the limit–trying to keep up and plunge in!

I was visiting my parents in Connecticut solo. So January 1, 2011, I screwed up my courage and showed up at the start line knowing no one and not quite sure if I could keep up and take the plunge at the finish line. Long story short, the “run” was practically a walk because this group of 100 did not want to leave anyone behind. Most of the runners there were seasoned marathoners who just came for the fun and left the competition at home (or wherever they keep it). The run wasn’t just about the icy finish; it was about enjoying the views and chatting with your neighbor. It was slow, social, and silly. People were wearing tutus and costumes. Bottles of various types of alcoholic beverages were being passed around. It wasn’t what I expected, but it was the perfect way to bring in the New Year. Plus, it was unseasonably mild that day, which helped tremendously!

So far my experience with TTC has been just like that New Year’s run. I braced myself for a sprint to the finish line, only to find that this is not that kind of race. I wrote an initial post about my expectation to get pregnant right away, and it is safe to say I have not experienced immediate results. I intentionally took activities off the table, like training for a half-marathon in Boston with Patrick and a friend. However, as we continue on, I am feeling more Zen and less rushed about the process. There is nothing I can do to control this, so I am no longer trying. Admittedly, I won’t be training for a half-marthon any time soon, but I am excited to get back on the treadmill for some good 10Ks and continued degradation of my knees. I still won’t touch a drink during the second half of my cycle and will be taking my vitamins, but those days of abbreviations (BBT, OPK, POAS) are a thing of the past. For now, I am taking in the views and a few swigs of cheap wine and enjoying the run. The finish line will still be shocking. The amount of time it takes to get there doesn’t change that.

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My darling future baby,

We did it! I was beginning to think we’d never do it. I was beginning to think that only a select few had what it took, and I would never be part of the club. But last night, September 21, 2011, we made a scrumptious apple pie! This apple pie was perfectly tart, sweet, and fitted with a golden rustic crust. There are lessons in this second pie, baby, that I wanted to share with you.

First, that old saying, well I guess it is a new saying  to you, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!” is not just meant to annoy people; it has merit. First pie – undeniable disaster. Second pie – a sweet success! Your dad and I try, tried again and huzzah — a bloody good pie!

But, baby, this is not just a get-back-on-your-horse lesson. I’ve learned some things about myself from pie-making that you may want to know in advance:

My oh my! Look at that sweet rustic pie!

1. Your mom gives into cyber peer-pressure. I was seriously finished with baking after the apple crumble disaster I detailed in my previous letter. But my friendly blogging pals, tweeps, and FB friends refused to quit on me. They are the real reason I tried again.

2. Your mom resists following instructions. This appears to be a serious problem that goes way beyond throwing away IKEA instructions. This meant that dad had to re-read the pie recipe and perform accuracy checks at each step. It also meant that dad had to hide the zester and all other ingredients not called for in the recipe.

3. When your mom botches something, she calls it “rustic. When the crust tore into 1 million pieces as I attempted to tranfer it onto the pie-top, I pieced it together (like Frankenstein’s face) and called it “rustic.” Your dad just interrupted and wants you to learn from the start that the green monster with the flat-top and platform boots is not called “Frankenstein,” but “Frankenstein’s monster.” Daddy is serious about monsters, so this is important. We’ll get into this more later…

4. Your mom doesn’t entirely hate doing the dishes. Dishes are much more fun to do when you think you have a successful pie in the oven!

5. Your mom is just not that into dessert. Even if a pie tastes good, warm, and homemade-y, I still prefer savory over sweet. Where’s the Chex-Mix?

Anyway, baby — we didn’t give up on pie, so we’re not giving up on you. But do hurry, I am excited to try my hand at rustic diaper changes.

Lots of love,

Your future mama

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Dearest Future Baby,

When in Spain, walk like an Egyptian

I have a guilty secret. No matter how hard I try, I can’t dance. Now, don’t get me wrong. I try. Man, how I try. When I was growing up, I wanted to be just like Michael Jackson. (I might have even wanted to *be* Michael Jackson.) But no matter how much I practiced, I never mastered the art of the moonwalk. I never could overcome my, um, natural limitations.

By college, I could fake it. New Wave and mosh pits made it easier. Chumbawumba proved that you could get knocked down, get up again, and never keep me off the dance floor. I was limber and energetic and able to morph into the Lord of the Spastic Flailing Dance well enough to fool most people.

Now I’m older and no longer limber. A limbo contest is an invitation to the chiropractor. A night in the mosh pit would send me straight to the emergency room. Even a salsa only comes with chips these days.

Given my limitations, I did what any sensible man would do: I married a woman who can shake it like a Polaroid picture. She makes me look good, and I’m smart enough to know that I can look effortless on the dance floor if I just let her do all the work. I’ve got crazy mad skills that way.

Just remind me to never challenge your mama to Dance Central. Don’t get me wrong, I very nearly beat her. But that’s only because she was rolling on the floor laughing so hard she nearly couldn’t get up to finish.

But there’s a lesson I want to leave you with, future baby. Just because your daddy can’t dance*, doesn’t mean he won’t dance. That foot-tapping, head-bobbing thing that drives your mama crazy? That’s your daddy, dancing to the perpetual dance track in his head. So I’ll say this to you, little dragon. If you want to dance, dance! Be wild! Be free! Don’t let anyone ever stop you! Because once you want to dance, and shout, you’re not going to be satisfied until you shake your body down to the ground.


*Except for that crazy awesome dance move that I taught your cousin, the professional ballerina. I swear, she learned everything she knows from me.

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