Trying for a baby, hey. Such fun! (knowing wink). After three years I can safely say that the winking can stop (it should never have started) and the word 'fun' can be replaced with 'disappointment' as we battle against the monthly 6 stage routine of trying to conceive.
1. The period horn
Why does the body do that? Is it evolutionary instincts malfunctioning, or Sod’s law taking yet another swipe? Who knows, but it makes no sense. At All. Pull yourself together body, stop dicking about.
2. The Rockstar Moves
Busting out the moves, when you feel like it, however you want it, not dictated by a cardboard strip soaked in your p*ss. You cannot fall pregnant, no sir, and you know it. This is just for fun. No longer feeling like an old fart, the Rockstar Moves are inspired by the desire to throw caution to the wind, wasting good sperm, just like the good old days before trying to conceive streamrolled your love life and flattened morale.
3. The perfunctory quickie
THAT time is near. The Perfunctory Quickie thrives when loo visits are no longer dictated by bowels but rather by an obsessive desire to check the contents of your pants. The Perfunctory Quickie is really only a Perfunctory Quickie if scheduled into insufficient time, sufficiently far in advance as to remove any trace of romance. A warm up act? No time for that. Post event cuddles? Bah, no way. Kicking your partner in the head as you rush to wiggle your legs up the wall, all the while checking your watch and answering emails. Ironically, the era of the Perfunctory Quickie lasts for days. Time after time it convinces you this one may be the ‘one’, one more go at a home run, make it a good one, fit just one more in, all the while wondering: ‘where hell is my egg’?
4. The Compulsory Shag
Ah. The compulsory shag. We know it so well. Necessary copulation dictated by the strong line on an ovulation stick or pant contents from which you could make an omelette. The one thing you can rely on is that it definitely won't occur following a romantic date night, on a relaxing holiday, or a Sunday morning in bed. No. Oh no. It will rear its head when you are tired and stressed, or when you are away for a weekend at a relation’s home with walls made of paper, or your schedules don't match with one early to bed and the other up early for work and to top it all off the cat has just been sick on the carpet. That, my friends, is when the compulsory shag is on the cards.
5. The Sexual Sahara
Following a period of high activity, the rise in basal body temperature indicates the beginning of the Sexual Sahara. Relaxed, you can do no more this month. If no baby appears, it is not for lack of trying. The exam has been taken and all that is left are the results. A time when bed becomes a place for sleeping and lie-ins are entirely consumed by a cuppa and reading the paper. But then the days tick by, and by, and yep, there goes another one, and still you can’t quite rustle up the spirit to get back on it. Wandering through the desert swipes your energy and turns your mind to dark places: Is this normal? We are still a young and fun couple, right? Is trying for a baby changing us? Should I buy some new sexy underwear? Is it wrong that I’m wearing my slippers in bed? Then you emerge from the Sahara just in time for….
6. The Last Chance Saloon
Emerging from the Sahara refreshed, renewed and rearing to go, fully aware that you are up against it. Maybe you’ll just get in one or two quick ones before closing time, or maybe you will rattle the saloon doors in frustration as you find them already locked. Yup, here comes your period. Put away with the acceptable underwear and bring out the big pants. Romantic notions are immediately replaced by eating gluten free cake, on the sofa, in your PJs watching Obese: A Year to Save My Life. Bye, bye sex life, see you in 5 days.
The sex cycle wouldn’t be complete without The Statement at the end of each and every month. The promise to each other, made with a dollop of optimism and a sprinkling of self-delusion, that ‘next month will be different’, chanting words like ‘every other day’, ‘when we were first dating’ and ‘not focused on trying’. But until a tiny screaming human enters our world, (and goodness knows what that will do to a sex life) these six stages of trying to conceive appear set in stone.