christmas in march

"Yeah, but I think I’m ovulating."
"Woo hoo."
"What do you mean, you think?"

Do I go there?  Do I discuss discharge and the ovulation kit strips I pee on each morning?  I think he’ll close his eyes and cover his ears if he hears the word "discharge."  Maybe he associates it with being fired.  "Son, I’m sorry, but you’re now being discharged."  I doubt it, doubt he has ever been fired, and doubt he thinks about work when he hears the word.  I think men think of yeast infections when they hear the word "discharge."  They don’t think of ovulation. Neither do I, really.  I think of how some women I know always wear a panty liner.  Who does this?  I don’t get it.  I can’t imagine it’s healthy to always wear one.  But what do I know?  I know that I now associate my discharge with ovulation, ever since scouring fertility web-sites has become the thing to do. 

It’s funny, actually.  When I first moved in here, The Suitor noticed I’d kept many volumes of Martha Stewart’s Weddings magazines.  I tucked them into white magazine boxes I bought at Ikea with Erin, once upon a married life ago.  I saved the magazines all this time, many years later, not crazed to marry at all, but more for the photos, napkin folding ideas.  For the photography I guess.  When The Suitor saw them, he didn’t seem terrified (we were already engaged by then), but he did say, "Man, you were on a mission, huh?"  I rolled my eyes.  Getting married is an activity, well having a wedding is.  It can consume people to the point where they forget it’s about marriage in the first place.  I was that person a long time ago.  And I guess, in a lesser way, I’m that person now.  Not about a wedding; ’cause really, I just don’t give a shit.  As long as I get to wear a veil and there’s a photographer there to capture all the times I cry, then I’m happy.  But I’m slightly consumed with getting pregnant.  I’m not stressed or worried, am enjoying the times when I get to say, "I’m ovulating; have your way with me, fast."

"Well, I think I’m ovulating because I’m all slippery, and the ovulation kit has two lines, but it says they both have to be equal in color intensity."  Right now, the test line isn’t quite as intense as the control line.  It’s getting close though because before, no test line showed up.   I feel like it’s the countdown time before Christmas.  It just feels like it’s getting closer.  I’m going to listen to Christmas music today, despite the spring in the air thing that’s going down in New York City.



  1. Don't worry if they're not exactly the same in intensity, at least that's what I found to be true. I got pregnant the month I started using those sticks – and I never explained them to my husband, either.

  2. Speaking from the male experience, I will agree with you about one thing. The word "discharge" conjures up images of an out-of-control yeast infection. And in my twisted mind, the phrase "honorable discharge" only connotes that the yeast infection was not as bad as one had previously assumed.

    I'll also say that I've always loved sex and never thought there would be ANYTHING that could possibly take the fun out of it. Well, you know what? Constant ovulation tests and on-demand sperm emissions came darn close! But like Woody Allen once said, "the worst orgasm I ever had was still right on the money." And I'm pleased to say that our efforts paid off (although it took us awhile.)

    Good luck on your new "project", Stephanie. Just do me a favor. Don't ever turn this site into a mommy blog, ok?

  3. Yea, I'm gonna have to disagree with you about the connotations of "discharge" being anything but awkward infection down there. Discharge as "losing one's job" isn't even on the radar — but maybe that's becuase, instead of getting a job from which I can get fired, I just keep going to school instead.

  4. i love panty liners, gross as that may be. God bless them.
    And I will read whatever Stephanie writes about. Mommy issues, kotex, anything.

    Don't be too stressed out in this endeavor Stephanie, you want peaceful, fun in this. Too many women I know couldn't conceive with crazy thoughts in their head at all times of not being successful.

  5. Hey Stephanie – I read frequently but post rarely – but you've hit on a subject near & dear to my heart! My husband and I tried for about 6 months before we hit the jackpot – now I'm 14 weeks pregnant. I'm 34 and this is my first. (First baby, second husband, that is. We just got married a couple of weeks ago while I could still fit into my dress.)

    So here's a few notes from me:

    1) Do you have the Book Taking Charge Of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler? It sound like you might, since you know about the mucous and stuff.

    2) I recommend the software from the book, too, if you're temperature charting. You get a 15 day free trial. I downloaded it, and popped my temps in there every day, it was really neat – it tells you what days are best for doing the deed – and then it actually told me to take a pregnancy test. I had taken one two days before and it was negative so I thought it must be wrong – sure enough, I got a positive. I peed on about 5 more sticks to make sure!

    3) Toni says, men would never call their ejaculate "discharge", it does indeed make it sound like an infection. I hate the word discharge. Mucous is no picnic, either. We need to come up with a better name for that stuff. Baby lube? Lady juice? …uh… bun in the oven batter? Ew. Ew. Never mind, there's no prettying it up.

    4) I got pregnant with no, erm, baby lube ever apparent. Coming off the pill really messed up my system. I was about to place an order for some sperm-friendly lube when I found out I was pregnant. I think having sex when you're close to ovulating is more important – you know you have to have sex before you ovulate, yes? Up to 5 days before, right up to the day after is best. I never used the ovulation predictor kits so I'm just not sure how much warning they give you.

    Sorry for the book! Best of luck to you guys!

  6. I guess it is different for guys. I think the most fun I ever had was when I was ordered to perform. I took it as a challenge. And since frequency within the zone trumps timing (at least his was our method), there were no timeouts for work, or being tired, or any other reason that might have interefered. Quite fun indeed.

  7. Hi Stephanie…I've been a reading a long time, but this is my first time posting. I know you love photography probably as much as I do. I just got married and my wedding photographer was absolutely fabulous. He's ranked Top 15 Wedding Photojournalist in the World, so it might be worth checking out his site before you book a photographer. Yes, the wedding might not be for a while, but choosing a photographer is almost more important than choosing the right dress ;)

  8. Boys hate the word "discharge". Also some hate "moist" –though I'd still use it to describe brownies.

    Me, I hate the word "panties". It's in my mind as almost a word that strictly men use to describe "underwear" because it sounds all hot and cute. Or sometimes I'll say it when I'm trying to be sexy. But alone, to myself, I only say "Gee, I need more underwear," never "panties".

    Good luck with the ovulation!

  9. just two cents from a pregnant reader who wants to help. try to have sex starting at day 10 after you start your period, every other day. so, day 10, 12, 14 (magic ovulation day), 16 and 18. you give the suitor a day to build up his sperm count again, and this has worked for all of my girlfriends including myself. I know that it is absolutely impossible to stop yourself from obsessing, but try to relax and have fun. You will get pregnant and have a beautiful baby. Trust that.

  10. It'd be funny if you eventually associate some form of word "ovulate" with initiating sex.

    "Honey, I'm ovulating."
    "OK, I'm ready!"

  11. I went to the gyno just last month and she informed me that I was ovulating. "There's a lot of mucous." Oh, doctor, thank you for telling me that. Shall I blow my vagina the same way I blow my nose?

    Mucous…discharge…panty liners…a process I don't care to think about. And I don't. It's not denial. I know I'm a woman and that my body performs the functions it must. I'm glad.

    I prefer to think of my pousee (vagina is too clinical for my taste and his, and our word gives it a French flavor, no puns intended) as a place from which I give and derive pleasure. The occasional infection doesn't change that.

    It's not a revelation, but it never ceases to amaze me how much time we devote to not getting pregnant (from prayer method to the pill) and then how much time we devote to getting pregnant. I'd say lay back and enjoy the ride, but when the goal is conception it's just not that easy. So chart what you must. Pee on the strips. Try the best you can to make love. It's nice when a baby is conceived in love. (Yeah, I know, love is the umbrealla to the relationship, but it might still be nice to know that the moment it happened was a moment of a shared expression of love. Or pleasure. Not only an attempt.)

  12. Stephanie is right that it isn't healthy to wear a panty liner every day. Doing so can lead to itching, irritation, and yeast infections. Just as women aren't supposed to wear underwear to bed, we aren't supposed to wear panty liners every day in order to let our genital area "breathe." I know it sounds funny, but it's true. As she says, why would you need to wear one every day anyway? You are who you are, a little discharge on your panties and all!

  13. It's fluid, your cervical fluid. Nothing nasty about fluid. Just as long as its not mucus. That word is just WRONG.

  14. Good for you Stephanie! But I say just have all the sex you can, whenever you can, as often as you can. surely those odds will help! ;)

    Rooting for you! Just don't let that baby grow up to be too "red" from growing up in Austin! ;) (I'm allowed to say that, I'm from Texas…)

  15. yikes. i am all about getting pregnant and being pregnant and being comfortable with it all but some things i really don't need to know! you're right though – if it wasn't "discharge" it'd make it a lot easier to talk about.

    and good luck. and have fun.

  16. I'm actually looking forward to a "mommy blog" and a "wedding blog"!! I can't wait for the "austin blog" too, it's on my list of places I fantasize about during nor'easters!
    I don't think you could ever be a one track writer like that though; just like your photography, your writing makes the reader look at things in a way we've never thought of before. Heck, you've got men commenting on discharge in this post, that has to say something!!

    Good luck and have fun with the trying!

  17. Maybe discharge shouldn't be gross sounding, it's a fact of a life after all, but yeah, it just is. "Silky" is definitely better. ; ) Hope to be wishing you a "merry christmas"(wink, wink) soon!

  18. Steph, I would love it if you turned this site into a mommy blog one day. Apologies to Metrodad…

  19. This is all so exciting! Best of luck with getting pregnant. I'm sure you'll be a great mom. But I have to agree with MetroDad about not letting this become a Mommy Blog!

  20. I say, mommyblog away. It'd be interesting to hear it from your perspective. I have a feeling, if you do in fact use this site as your personal journal and a place to "work things out", you will have a lot to mommyblog about. I, for one, look forward to it.

  21. After sharing my fertility concerns with a friend, specifically about my age and the ability to conceive at my age, he said, "You're sure to hit the bullseye if you shoot at it every day."

    So go ahead, give it a shot (every day).

  22. I'm surprised and glad that several people recommended, "Taking Charge of your Fertility" by Toni Weschler? It's so great with pictures and really easy to understand information about "mucous". No matter how much education you received, no one tells you how to get pregnant…you only get a course at most in health class about your period and maybe a warning class about safe sex in high school now. The book really helped me and 4 friends figure out the "silky" time of the month to translate that to about 12 kids total!

    I'm excited to see your pregnancy and mommy blogs soon!

  23. Stephanie – I have sooo been there, done that! I got to the point where I was blithely talking about my cervical mucus to anyone who wanted to hear it, including the wonderful woman who waxes me every month. :-| Happily, I'm now 18 weeks pregnant and talking to her about nursery colors instead.

    Anyway, the best of luck to you in your efforts to have a baby … there's a lot of free advice out there, and I am sure you will suss it out for yourself, so I won't offer any more. I just think it's interesting to see YOU of all people blogging about this subject that has been part of my life for longer than I would have liked. :)

    P.S. Just a quick note to vic, who wrote: "Too many women I know couldn't conceive with crazy thoughts in their head at all times of not being successful." Be careful – that comes across as incredibly insulting, especially to those women who actually had medical reasons for not being able to conceive. Comes to close to "Just relax," and we all know how inappropriate that is!

  24. As a wise old man of 47 who has been through a few relationships, I'm continually amazed at how many couples seek instant gratification in having a child and buying a house.

    These are life changing events and to participate in them with someone you hardly have known for more then a year invites pain and despair down the road.

    The fun a of a new relationship will last longer too if becoming entangled through child birth and a mortage is delayed.

    Take er easy would be my cautionary words of advice.

  25. Obviously it's your decision but I too am a little stunned by your urgency to have a baby right away. Whatever happened to enjoying some time with just the two you? What's the rush, especially at your young age? It's really something I can't relate to, especially with a relatively short relationship.

  26. Good luck and remember to have alot of fun trying( like that will be a problem I forget your a red-head like me) ….
    About the Martha Stewart magazines I can so relate. I must have 25 or so Wedding Magazines(My name is Cece and I am addicted to collecting fashion magazines and fashion for that matter)some saved from my mothers wedding and some I brought just for the pretty hairstyles….and the gowns…and I've dreamed about making it just like it is in InStyle Weddings. But now that I'm engaged I am eloping. No dress no photographer no pomp and circumstance. Weird huh? Like you said "I'm not that person now."

  27. Obviously, it's your life, but I too wonder what the rush is? It's not like you're 40! I mean, you guys were in couple's therapy not that long ago, moved in together a few months ago, got engaged recently . . . why the sudden onslaught of mucous talk? Why not just play it as it lays (heh)–to stop trying *not* to get pregnant, and if you do get knocked up, it's an added bonus–at least until you've worked through the double-headed planning nightmares of a wedding and potential relocation?

  28. I agree wholehartedly. My parents waited 10 years to get pregnant with me, then my brother. Yes, that was the late 60's they got married, but still. They traveled so much (my mother worked for an airline so it was gratis most of the time!) and they learned so much about eachother and basically had FUN. The second you have a child your life- I'm sorry to say- really truly is not YOUR life anymore. It is all about your child. This is your heart, your soul, your entire being. This child. I truly honestly do support Stephanie & Suitor, and the friends I have who got pregnant (what I felt was) very soon, or even out of wedlock. Truth is you have you to do what makes your world rock. That is all that matters. That said, I may have to freeze some eggs as I don't think my plan of being married for >5 yrs before I have children will happen as I have yet to find a boyfriend let alone, the 'one' to procreate with.
    Now let's not all get so harsh on me, it's great that S&S are doing this and are happy, I'm just saying I love the idea of growing with someone, finding who you two are, and doing that before the child, not during. But best of luck Stephanie! Cannot wait till July and your book tour!

  29. a friend of mine who was trying to get pregnant swears by robitussin … apparently it loosens things that need to be loosened … no idea, but she is expecting in april! good luck … and have fun trying!

  30. Semi-related — a gay guy friend of mine read the full "how to" from the insert in a tampon box last weekend and his completely disgusted reaction may be one of the funnier things I've ever seen. Maybe there's just some body-related knowledge that should stay within a particular sex…

    In any case, good luck with the baby-making — sounds like a fun thing to try out a lot!

  31. I can't believe how many people are telling you that you are moving too fast. People, every relationship is different. Some people date for 8 years before they get married and have kids and then divorce 2 years later. Other people get married a month after they meet and it works out. My mother cheated on her fiance with my dad and married him the same year they met. Two kids and 31 years later they are happy as clams.

    Every relationship that heads towards marraige and kids is a leap of faith no matter how long you are together. Only the two people in the relationship know if it's a good idea to make that jump.

    Good luck Stephanie and Phil, you have my best wishes :)

  32. I almost hesitate to list my blog- as it is mostly a 'mommy blog'– :) Steph- the 'fun' part is the trying! Enjoy eachother–enjoy the new adventures your about to embark on. The rest will come. (I know- I battled infertility for 7 years- ended up doing IVF and had TWINS!) Everything works out for a reason- if I would have had twins 7 years ago- I couldnt have handled it! Looking forward to having you in Austin!

  33. I completely relate to being consumed by something. While kids are ways off for me, whenever I set my heart on something, it tends to consume my thoughts and actions. My friends tell me about it all the time. But consumed is different than obsessed, and you don't seem obsessed to me. Maybe Christmas will come early for you this year. If a child is what you want, I hope you get it. Have fun getting pregnant.

  34. Good luck–Kol tuv Stephanie. I wish you and the suitor all of the happiness in the word because that is what you two deserve–I am not sure why I can't spell that word right now..At any rate you get the point..

  35. Ditch all the tests and strips and time-of-the-month-watching and just live, make love, laugh, and Stephanie-Phil Junior will make its appearance when its right.

  36. Hi Stephanie,

    I am so psyched for you – I am sure there will be highs and lows, but good for you for taking these leaps of faith.

    Managed to get to your Jane forum, though a bit too late. In regards to your book tour – please come to Boston! Or if you extend it to autumn, please come find me in the UK (cause I am taking a risk too!).

    Thank you so much for sharing.

  37. Texas… ok. Good Luck, I hope you keep on writing New Yorkish ;-)

    But 'The Soup Nazi' – from Seinfeld, right?

  38. So Jealous! I've lived all over the world, including Manhattan, but Austin will always have my heart. You are sooo very lucky, and it sounds like you have the right attitude going in, although moving in their warm season is brave…Currently I'm living with my "BEST" husband in Halifax, Nova Scotia, but we visit Texas as often as possible. We met in Vancouver, Canada, but his job moved us out here…Anyway, enjoy one of the most gorgeous spots on earth!

  39. If you get a positive result, it is clear you are pregnant. These days many women decide to have an abortion, especially young mothers

  40. Perhaps someone asks this because you’re not in your 20s anymore. Or because they know you’re having twins. Whatever the motivation behind their curiosity, this is one of those instances in which it’s perfectly fine to say, “That’s a really personal question.”

  41. I knew it was only a matter of time before we’d see this happen; I just didn’t think we’d see…

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