26 April 2010, by Tan Yi Lin
Where we left off from Part 1: It was the year 2007 and my biological clock had started ticking furiously.
You know how it was when you were in Primary 1 when your friend had the latest My Little Pony toy and you wanted one too but with the fur and mane in a different colour?
Well, that’s pretty much the feeling that re-surfaces despite supposedly being more mature at 28 years old. The only difference was that my friend and I are both Chinese girls who married Chinese men, so it was not quite possible for me to produce a baby with skin and hair colours that were completely different from her baby’s!
I announced to the husband that I was all ready to embark on Project Baby and he said that he felt the same way too. I visited my gynaecologist to give her an update, got her blessings and a prescription for folic acid. Then it was Ready, Get Set, GO!
So TICK TICK TICK I went and TRY TRY TRY we did. The first two months of trying turned out to be more like chaste practice sessions (not that we needed any…) As I had been on the Pill for a few years, the gynae advised that while I could stop using oral contraception immediately, it would be better to give my body time to get back into the natural swing of things and for my menstrual cycle to regulate before actually getting pregnant. This, she said, would give the doctors a more accurate idea of when, in the event that I conceived, the baby would be due. In practice, this translated into being restricted to having safe sex, which in turn meant going at it over a period of 60 days… with condoms. We discovered then how much of a mood-dampener rubber could be just as we were raring to get a bun baking in the oven!
After what felt like the longest two months ever, we finally chucked aside those cumbersome little square foil packets and got down to the real deal. The problem with finally deciding that it was The Time to get pregnant was that The Time meant NOW NOW NOW! And as life would have it, NOW just refused to come knocking at our door.
This was despite the husband stepping up to the plate once very two days (the recommended frequency for conception — and yes, it really is quite frequent!)
It was despite me propping my bum up on a pillow to aid — as I imagined — the sperm contingent’s post-coital swim in the correct direction.
It was also despite us trying to relax, enjoy the intimacy and not take baby-making too seriously.
Nevertheless, mild disappointment and frustration would set in once a month whenever I discovered the starting signs of a period — meaning that nothing had taken root after all that effort. But I reminded myself that having a baby was only one aspect of my life and only one of the many things that I had set out to do. And at the age of 28, there were many fun options to distract me from — what might become — a growing ordeal and stressful journey laced with expectations from myself, ourselves, friends and family. There was a career to manage, places to go to, trips to take, restaurants to discover, movies to watch, friends to hang out with, sports to do and books to read.
Books to read. Little did we foresee that this last activity on the list — harmless as it seemed – would throw a major spanner into our pro-family plans….
(To be continued in Part 3)