Pregnancy does not just happen. Whether you realize it instantly, this statement is a bit of a paradox. The knee-jerk response is one of two: (1) well, of course it doesn't; or (2) what are you talking about, of course it does. The one you go with, as with most things, will be dictated by your experience with the topic. The fact of the matter is that it is both. It does just happen, but only if certain conditions (which you have no way of actually ensuring) were met before you even tried. It's not so much Schrödinger's Blastocyst following the baby-making activities, but you get the idea. Why the pseudo-scientific/philosophical discussion on the topic? Well, my Wife's perception lead to some comedy on our way to Sidney.
My Wife has always wanted children, as have I. So it should not be a surprise that soon after our nuptials we started planning our family. Now, unfortunately, we did not have the same idea of what "planning" meant. I meant that I knew she'd come off The Pill and trusted pregnancy would soon follow as we continued our marital relations (ie, of course it does). She meant she would now go about researching and strategizing every moment of our conception attempts so as to ensure pregnancy (ie, of course it doesn't). Because the culmination of her "planning" will give us the punchline, and more importantly because I don't think many of you are getting the appropriate impression of the extremes of her activities, I will elaborate.
First, she read every scrap of information on conception that she could get her hands on. Books, websites, old wives's tales, you name it and there is a high probability she looked into it. Although I am usually of the opinion that more knowledge is better, in this instance more knowledge meant more things to obsess about. She charted her periods, tracked her temperature, checked her cervical mucus (don't ask, seriously) and peed on ovulation detection strips (...often). All of this charting, checking and graphing lead to her scheduling out our "optimum windows" for conception and directing that we hit as many of these windows as physically possible. Now, I can hear some of you asking, "how is this a problem Ed? Your wife was demanding marital congress on a regular and vigorous basis; hello, win fall!" The problem is the reality of what it meant versus the fantasy some of you are entertaining, and conveniently part two.
Hitting the "optimum windows" as often as physically possible actually meant "hit every window I have determined exists the moment I declare it exists, regardless of circumstances." Red Alert, Battle Stations, General Quarters, arm all warheads and forward ho NOW. This is not a sensual seduction by a desirable and loving partner, it is a battle between you and the forces of WHY ARE WE NOT PREGNANT YET. Operation Make Sidney was deployed and being tired, sick, injured or otherwise not in the mood for baby making activities at that instant was not an option. And god help you if you had ... uh ... manually tested the weapons systems earlier that day. There were successful maneuvers, interrupted marches and the occasional deployment called off by reason of actual battle (nothing like fighting about why not being in the mood for sex at that second does not really mean you're a horrible human being that hates your wife). As eventful as this sounds, the important thing to take away is that these engagements in Operation Make Sidney all happened in just over a three month period. Three months is, in fact, not that long a period when it comes to trying for a baby it turns out. This fact is important for the denouement of our tale today, but before we get there, there is part three.
Despite all of her research (all of which was directly contrary to her conclusion) my Wife decided that trying for three months and not succeeding meant that something was wrong. So she did the only logical thing and told her Oby-Gyn our situation ... except for the three month part. Why leave this part out? Well, so that the doctor would prescribe a sperm-analysis for me, naturally. Let's just leave it at her doctor was under the impression we had been trying considerably longer, so the test got ordered, and I was under the impression that the doctor knew how long we had actually been trying but still felt the test was appropriate, so I agreed to ... uh ... test the munitions. This brings us to the morning of the test. The ... firing range? ... consisted of a drab room in the medical center with 2 VCRs (no idea why 2), a few adult video tapes from the 1980s, a couch (yeah, no chance I was touching that thing) and a box full of sample capturing sterilized cups. I was instructed to place a sample in one of the cups. For those of you that remember porn from the 1980s, this was not going to help. Luckily for me, Sidney's Uncle R makes it a point to surf for porn on my Smart Phone every chance he gets (he finds this humorous), and we had recently had dinner with him and Aunt A. So, browser history flush with links, I ... discharged artillery ... successfully in this otherwise orgasm preventing room. Why tell you this story? The payoff is part four.
That very night, unbeknownst to me, my Wife peed on her umpteenth pregnancy test (seriously, this woman bought out our local pharmacy's pregnancy test shelf) and finally got the "you're pregnant" line. Of course, this meant that she had to take another 10 tests to confirm. We're talking pink line tests, blue plus sign tests, digital read out tests ... you name it she tried it, multiple times (if you are seeing a "peeing" theme in pregnancy, you're getting warm - pun yet again intended). I am actually shocked she didn't try to find a pet store that would sell her a rabbit (yes, getting this joke makes you old). The very next day she visits me at work and let's me know. After the joy of finding out settled in, my first thought was "you mean I went through yesterday morning for nothing?" It was at this point she broke the news to me that in addition to her already being pregnant, she had actually told her doctor we had been trying significantly longer than three months just because she wanted the test to be prescribed so she could "be sure" nothing was wrong with ... the ammunition. So not only did I ... oh screw it ... jerk off in that god-forsaken room into that blasted sample cup for no reason, but it wasn't even an accurately doctor ordered wank. Her response? "Had you not taken the test I would not have gotten pregnant." After my initial apoplexy passed, two things immediately flashed across my mind: (1) dear god, she's proposing Schrödinger's Blastocyst despite the laws of causality being squarely against it; and (2) dear god ... I'm going to be a father.
The moral of the story? Pregnancy does not just happen, except for when it does.