14 November 2010, by Dannie Cho
Guys do not have menstrual cycles. Which makes tracking cycles kinda weird. It’s one of those things where we really don’t want to care too much about, but when it hits, we’d be like, “What the hell? I just paid for this wonderful holiday and I was so hoping to get lucky!”
Then, we’d mentally count 5 days to see if we would still be on holiday when this whole thing blows over. When all else fails, depending on how much we actually paid for the holiday, we decide whether we want to put up with slightly messier hanky-panky. It isn’t a pretty sight, but a man’s gotta do a woman that’s he’s gotta do. 🙂
Recently though, I find myself secretively tracking the wife’s cycles. Before our first IVF attempt, we’ve heard a couple of stories from people who went for IVF, then after the first successful baby, kept having more babies naturally. There’s no real explanation for this. It’s just Mother Nature proving that she can yank us around.
With the unsuccessful conclusion of our first IVF cycle, I have been hoping that maybe that particular roadblock is cleared. Maybe some physiological change has taken place. Maybe the wife can conceive naturally now. Maybe there are some residual chemicals in her body from all the injections she had to take, that will give us that little push towards success.
And so I’ve been counting. I mentally note when her period ends, then count 28 days forward. If she hasn’t started bleeding again by then, then round 1 has been cleared.
Round 2 is the 29th day.
Round 3 is the 30th day, which also happens to be an important threshold.
Round 4 is the 31st day, a bonus.
Round 5 is the 32nd day, anticipation builds.
And the rounds go on and on, because sometimes periods just come late. Sometimes it’s stress. Sometimes Mother Nature just loves to yank us around, remember?
But that being said, every round cleared makes me smile inside. By my personal reckoning, if we ever clear Round 15 or so, then there’s really a pretty good chance that Mother Nature has decided to stop fooling around with us. I mean, much as the wife likes to complain to me about the work she has to do in office, I don’t think she’s that stressed.
This month was pretty good. Day 2 of our 9-day Italian vacation coincided with the 28th day after her last cycle. And the streets of Rome were not filled with blood for both Round 1 and 2.
Day 30 came and went without much fanfare. I was beginning to hope. Could it be? I kept my thoughts to myself.
Day 31 and 32. All was still quiet (except some passionate moans and groans, then followed by snoring).
Day 33. I decided to talk about it to the wife. “Your menses are late this month. Very late. Do you think…?”
“Yes, it’s late. Let’s see what happens.”
Day 34. By some mutually unspoken consensus, we did not talk about it. We did not want to jinx the run. I played Angry Birds on my iPhone again, and thought how similar the game was to the other waiting game we were involved in. Clear a round, go on to another. Feels like the 15 rounds per stage will never end.
Day 35, on the flight home. “I need to use the toilet. I think my menses came.”
Awww… shucks. Damnit.
Counter reset, and standby for another 28 days. Sigh.