Monday, 3 December 2012

A Thoroughly Modern Milestone

image courtesy of The Telegraph


Conception. Procreation. Making babies.

You meet your man, you get married, you start a family. It's the next logical life milestone, but the road to it can be fraught with doubt and enormous confusion.

Mr Meaney and I have never made any secret of the fact that we want to start a family and now, with the wedding out of the way, it seems like the perfect time.  But making a baby isn't actually all that easy. In fact, I'm amazed that our species has survived as long as it has. Anyone who has owned a rodent will know that five minutes with the opposite sex can result in entire litters. Human procreation apparently refuses to work with the same ease.

Being the twenty-first century woman I am, I tend to turn to Google for advice on anything I can't do on my own and I chose not to treat conception any differently. After all, it was clear that I needed some tips beyond 'Have Lots and Lots of Sex'.

It was in doing this that I discovered pregnancy and conception forums. Or, as I like to call them, the strangest places within the whole of the Internet (and I've seen some pretty disturbing stuff, trust me). These discussion boards are teeming with women who speak in a different language, take their temperature hourly and monitor their own cervical mucus.

I scanned several boards for an hour looking for something I understood, and instead came away wondering what 7DPO, BFP, BFN, FX and BBT mean. Is there some class that you're supposed to take when your pill prescription ends? Did I miss a memo somewhere? There's a hundred more acronyms that I don't understand and I left the forums feeling baffled and a bit depressed. It also left me wondering about the clinical nature that their sex lives must have taken on. If I asked Mr Meaney to wait while I checked my luteinizing hormone levels, I think we'd have a problem getting him going again. 

Conception should not only be about making a small person, it should also be about enjoying your partner. You are having the most socially acceptable sex there is. You automatically have the blessing of those around you to leave any function early just to have sex, all the while not giving a passing thought to contraception. Of course, advice does help and it's lovely to see so many women offering their knowledge to others.

But it'd be lovely to see that advice in English for the non-medically trained among us.

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