While I am anything but science minded, I understand the human body insomuch that I know where babies come from. I paid attention during that awkward middle school health class, thank you very much. Still, while I'm a grown-ass woman who knows how pregnancy happens, there are things about getting pregnant that still don't make sense to me, even three years and a baby-turned-toddler later. Hey, science can only do so much, right? There's still a shroud of mystery covering this whole knocked-up thing, and I'm not too sure I will ever fully understand all that goes into making a mini-me.
I hesitate to say I'm completely clueless, because naivety isn't cute when you're dealing with your reproductive rights and reproduction in general. So, yes. I do know that an egg is released from a woman's ovary, and that egg meets a sperm and something called "fertilization" happens. I even know that the fertilized egg implants itself into the woman's uterus, and starts to grow. I also know that sex isn't the only way a woman can become pregnant, because IVF is a pretty amazing thing and medical interventions have made it possible for all types of couples to have children. Yay science!
So, see? I know some things. The basics, if you will. I also know what occurs during pregnancy, labor, and delivery; and not just what's in textbooks but what you can only learn from experiencing it yourself. Still, after 40 week of pregnancy and more than two years of motherhood, there are a few things about getting pregnant that I just cannot wrap my mind around. Things like, for example, the following:
How Incredibly Difficult It Actually Is...
Contrary to popular belief and my current Facebook feed, it's not easy to get pregnant. In fact, depending on your age and a slew of other factors, the odds can be stacked against you.
..And How Low Your Chances Are Of Getting Pregnant
You're born with 1 to 2 million eggs. Those eggs? Yeah, that's it, my friend. Those are the only eggs you'll ever carry in your entire egg-carrying life. By the time of your first period, your supply dwindles to 300,000. By the time you're 35, you have a 15 to 20 percent chance of getting pregnant in a given month. I don't know about you, but if I was in Vegas I wouldn't necessarily bet on those odds.
How Easy Is It To Get Pregnant When You Don't Want To Be...
At 23, when I absolutely did not want to get pregnant, I did. That pregnancy was terminated, and I didn't get pregnant again until I was 27. I had my son, who was the bi-product of an unplanned pregnancy too but, unlike the pregnancy I ended at 23, I was financially stable, in a healthy relationship, and capable of being a mom.
The point? Actively try to avoid pregnancy and it seems like pregnancy will find you.
(OK, it feels that way but that's not true. Seriously, birth control is an awesome thing and it works. If I wasn't taking antibiotics and birth control simultaneously, I wouldn't have been pregnant at 23, so take birth control. Educate yourself. Condoms are awesome.)
...And How Hard It Is To Get Pregnant When You Do Want To Be
Now, at 30, I'm trying to get pregnant and it's freaking impossible. I suffered a miscarriage a few months into trying, and since that loss it seems that every month is a reminder that I just won't get pregnant again. It's extremely frustrating (and kind of strange that the one thing I have been actively avoiding almost my entire adult life, is now the one thing I cannot have).
How Complicated Your Emotions Are When You Find Out You're Pregnant
Every pregnancy is different and every woman is different so, naturally, every reaction to a pregnancy is different. It's kind of insane, actually, that two parallel lines on a tiny piece of plastic (that you've peed on, mind you) can evoke so many juxtaposing feelings.
When I found out I was pregnant with my son, I was excited and scared and nervous and anxious and empowered and frightened and feeling every damn feeling any one person could possibly feel. It was truly one of those monumental moments in a person's life they'll never forget.
How Infatuated Everyone Is With Your Pregnancy Plans
If you're a woman it's an inevitability, and it's annoying as you-know-what. You hit a certain age and all of a sudden everyone wants to know why you're not pregnant and when you plan on getting pregnant and why you haven't experienced a pregnancy yet. It's truly an unbelievable phenomenon, surpassed only by it's cruelty.
How Much Math Is Involved
I am currently in the throes of charting ovulation cycles and attempting to coordinate perfect "insemination angles" and it's all just way too much math. I mean, I cheated on nearly every math test ever given to me ever. It's too much number work to be even remotely worthwhile, in my humble opinion.
How Hot "Let's Get Pregnant" Sex Can Be
You guys. I mean, look. I don't know your life. I don't know what kind of sex you may or may not be having. Honestly, that's your business, dear reader. However, I can safely say that "I want to get pregnant" sex is some pretty hot sex.
Do what you wish with that valuable piece of information.
How Different I Would Feel When That Pregnancy Test Was Positive...
I had an inkling that I was pregnant with my son, but I truly didn't know for sure. Then I peed on that damn stick and suddenly I felt this subtle yet palpable change wash over me. I didn't look any different and, physically, I didn't feel any different. Still, I was. I was pregnant. Whoa.
...Even Though Nothing Had Really Changed At All
I was the same person, and still am. I still like the same things, sort of, and I still want the same things (now, actually, just a little more passionately). I was the same woman, and probably always will be, but something in me shifted that I can't articulate accurately, but that I know was and is very real.
That's motherhood, really. This shift inside you. It doesn't wash away your personality or rearrange your DNA, but it adds another dimension to who you are as a human being and the life you're going to be living. That's what that positive pregnancy test really was: an epic discovery of another part that would make me, me.