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After battling infertility for three years, Patty Doyle Debano just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She lives in Connecticut with her husband Scott and their slightly overweight golden retriever.
Courtney Edgerton Menzel is the mother of a daughter, five and a son, three. She lives in Chicago with her husband Dan and manages to balance the demands of motherhood and a full time career - thanks to a variety of take-out menus.
Shelly Dicken Sutphen is the mother of a "spirited" three year old daughter. She lives in San Diego with her husband Bruce and surprisingly has the energy to try for number two.
When you first started down the baby-making road, you were in a dead sprint and filled with optimism. Not realizing you were getting a bit ahead of yourself, you started making elaborate plans as to how you would announce your husbandÆs pending fatherhood. Trips to the mall included a special detour to check out the latest maternity fashions, and you secretly started making a list of the must-have items for spring for those sporting a bulging belly.
Now that youÆve dipped into the bag of ovulation tricks and are actively using your tool of choice but still have nothing to show for it, you are starting to feel winded. How much longer is this going to take? You flash back to ninth grade and hear the droning voice of your algebra teacher, ôIf you are thirty-five years old and ovulate once a month, what is the probability you will have a child by age thirty-seven?ö As if thatÆs not enough, you take your calculations to the next level to determine how quickly youÆll have to get pregnant again to have your second child before you hit forty.
The frazzled frenzy of age versus fertility can leave anyone feeling a bit overwhelmed. ItÆs time for a reality check. No, it doesnÆt look like youÆll be one of those lucky women whose pregnancy is a ôsurprise,ö but you are also a far cry from birthing the first human clone. From all your research, you know most doctors recommend a woman consult her physician after trying to conceive for a year (if sheÆs under thirty-five) or after six months (if sheÆs over thirtyfive). YouÆre not there yet, so donÆt panic. Dust yourself off, shake off the past monthsÆ disappointments and get back to businessùitÆs time for Operation Ovulation!
Preoperative Work: Getting the Goods
Operation Ovulation begins the minute the red flag of failure arrives. Once again, itÆs time for a trip to the pharmacy to pick up the monthly care package: one large box of tampons, two boxes of ovulation kits, two boxes of pregnancy tests.
In the early days of Operation Ovulation, you probably approached the checkout register rather sheepishly and tried to camouflage your conception care package by piling on all sorts of unnecessary merchandiseùPringles variety pack, every possible flavor of Twizzlers, mango body scrub and a veritable collection of celebrity rags. Buying junk food and junk journalism is probably no less embarrassing, but somehow it manages to mask the awkwardness.
Now that you are a more seasoned veteran, you have mapped out a strategy for each month. Selecting the proper retail outlet is the crucial first step. In the old days, you loved the small local pharmacy because everyone knew your name, and more than once the pharmacist questioned your choice of over-the-counter cough medicine. When it comes to Operation Ovulation, however, anonymity is key! YouÆve scouted out the county and found one of those superstores that could double as an airport terminal with the most apathetic, disinterested, least customer-friendly pharmacy within a twenty-mile radius. Perfect!
Once all the goods are collected, itÆs time to check out. Not too fast! Take a moment to scan all the cashiers. YouÆre looking for the most disgruntled (preferably male) cashier. Your ideal checker will have a dirty, rumpled uniformùa sure sign his probation officer made him take the job. Jackpot! Now just slink through the line without making eye contact or starting any small talk, and youÆre home free, at least for another month.
There was a month Patty was certain she was pregnant. Unfortunately, this happened almost every month, but this one month in particular she was really convinced, so she decided it was time to take a pregnancy test. She didnÆt have any in the house, so she ran out to the local pharmacy. Patty grabbed a pregnancy test and headed straight for the checkout line without any thought. Ironically, there was a five-foot poster declaring the storeÆs commitment to the ôPrivacy Actö posted at the register. It turned out her cashier was a sweet older immigrant woman. With a thick Polish accent, she screamed, "CongratulationsùBaby!ö Humiliated and terrified that she may actually know someone in the long line behind her, Patty tried to explain she wasnÆt sure if she was pregnant, which is why she needed the test. Unfortunately, her explanation was lost in translation, and the cashier sadly replied, ôYou no happy with baby?ö Patty didnÆt have the energy to explain she would be out of her mind with happiness if she were in fact pregnant, but she had been taking these tests for months and not one had been positive. Instead, she just said, ôYes, IÆm very happy to be pregnant,ö and never went back to that store again.
¬ 2005. All rights reserved. Reprinted from The Conception Chronicles: The Uncensored Truth About Sex, Love & Marriage When YouÆre Trying to Get Pregnant Patty Doyle Debano, Courtney Edgerton Menzel, Shelly Dicken Sutphen. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.