Fertility politics and other horror stories

Pregnancy is not always cute. Not to everyone. Because the one thing a pregnant woman reminds you of, in an in-your-face sort of way, is that she is pregnant and you are not. Or that she is married (for the purpose of convenience, I haven’t included pregnancies out of wedlock) and you are not. Or she is fertile and you are not. Or she is having sex and you are not. Or she’s in for the long haul and you are not. Or she is simply ready and you are not.
Unlike marriage, boyfriends, affairs or relationships, which can be camouflaged and on which information can be shared only on a need-to-know basis, pregnancy is out there and very public. On one hand, it makes things look bright and beautiful (at least to the couple involved). But it also changes the dynamics of relationships – at work, among friends, in your social circle, in the family – sometimes resulting in turbulence.

If you have a full-time job, you’ll be spending at least a third of your day at work. A pregnant woman with her belly prop somewhat rocks the oestrogen atmosphere in the space  around her. When I got pregnant, it was almost like I had betrayed the rest of my ilk at work and would no longer be synchronised with their biological cycles.
It was official. I didn’t belong. I was an outcast. I ate too much, peed too much, tired too easily, sat too much, felt sleepy a lot, yawned too much, and smiled a lot. No one told me any gossip anymore, hardly anyone bitched to me, no one asked me if I wanted to ‘hang out’ after work. People tend to think you are too zoned out to want any of this when you are pregnant.
Most other mommies at work pretended they didn’t remember what it was to be pregnant (if they had a baby three or more years ago). They looked at me like I was part of some lofty science experiment. It’s like smug-marrieds totally forgetting what it was like to be single.
On the other hand, to single women, I was a reality check. Is this what it will come to? Can they see themselves doing this? Or does it totally scare the shit out of them?

(An excerpt from my book “I’m Pregnant, Not Terminally Ill, You Idiot!“)

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Doing the pregnancy math

So what does it take to get pregnant? One might think it is the easiest thing on earth, considering that at least three millions sperms enter your body during unprotected intercourse. Surely one of them should be fit enough to make a baby? But there are technicalities:
Is it the right day of the month?
Is it the right time of the day?
Are these sperms motile enough, or do they need some ‘speed’ to be able to make it?
Is there any sperm at all?
How lazy is your egg/ovary?
Okay, once the sperm and the egg have done their bit, do they have enough room/conditions to survive in your uterus? Is your uterus classic, deluxe, super-deluxe or a suite?
Are your numbers good? Haemoglobin, platelets, WBCs, amniotic fluid, sugar levels, thyroid, other hormone levels?
If you beat all the odds and still get pregnant, congratulations!

It’s simpler in the movies. All it took for a Bollywood heroine of yore to get pregnant was a stormy, rainy night, a fireplace, a man and a song. I always wondered: How is it that sexual intercourse (even if it was the first time) always happened in her ovulation window, her most fertile time of the month? How is it that the hero never suffered from lazy sperm syndrome? Or she, a lazy egg?

(The above is an excerpt from my book  “I’m Pregnant, Not Terminally Ill, You Idiot!”)

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