As a parent, you become more familiar with terms like “parent burnout,” “terrible twos,” and “childproofing.” You’ll forget about selfish indulgences like shopping for stilettos and getting a manicure, and be more appreciative of long-gone things you used to take for granted like silence, a clean table surface, and long hours of sleep. At the same time, you realize that although you feel a sense of personal loss, you don’t feel complete without the bedtime battles, temper tantrums, and picky eating —daily but manageable ordeals that come with embracing your new identity.
As author Ann Douglas advises, “Don’t allow your parenting responsibilities to take over your entire life.” Setting some “me-time” will give you time to unwind and do the things you enjoy. Believe us, you’ll need to take that deep breath before diving into the next grueling wave with your hyperactive tot.
You’ll have to work doubly hard to parade in public like a shimmering, size-zero Hollywood mom with her designer-clad tots. But for the average woman, being a mother oftentimes means donning the necessary battle scars—dark circles under your droopy eyes, wrinkly stretch marks permanently etched on your full-figured thighs and puson, unkempt hair, and unmanicured nails. You can’t even call yourself a bona fide mother unless you’ve been vomited, peed, and pooped on by your helpless little infant. Starting to think you’re not cut out to be a mom? Read on to clue yourself in on the bare realities of motherhood and brace yourself for the trials that lie ahead.
Misconceptions about conception
When my husband and I made the decision to have a baby, we thought it would just be a matter of freeing up our nights and buying the necessary mood enhancers—candles, chocolates, and red wine. But when I still got my menstrual period a couple of weeks later, despite innumerable nights of backbreaking romance, we realized that getting pregnant was a tricky, complicated process indeed.
First, we discovered from my ob-gyn that timing is a major factor. Research found that when it comes to conceiving, one major miscalculation couples make is to time their intercourse during the woman’s ovulation. Conception can only happen during the five days before a woman ovulates, according to The Mother of All Parenting Books by Ann Douglas. Ovulation occurs 10 to 14 days prior to the first day of a woman’s menstrual period, and once it takes place, this small window in the cycle closes within 12 hours.
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Second, “doing it” every day might not have been the best course of action, as hubby and I assumed. Certified nurse-midwife Peg Plumbo from Minnesota suggests having intercourse every other day because a man needs around 48 hours to achieve maximum sperm count, especially if his numbers are lower than average. Waiting longer than two days to have intercourse isn’t advisable either since sperm counts decrease if he doesn’t ejaculate for more than a week.
Last, and don’t be scandalized: certain sexual positions do increase your chances of conceiving. Aside from the fun experimenting you’ll be doing, the key is to deposit the sperm as close to the cervix as possible. Good ol’ missionary, or the man-on-top position, is ideal. If you have a “low” or tipped uterus, try intercourse from behind (woman on hands and knees). Position no-no’s are sitting, standing, and woman on top since these can cause semen to leak.
Needless to say, after following these recommendations to the book (and spending thousands of pesos on racy lingerie), we finally saw those two lines on the pregnancy test kit.
Click here to read about embarrassing preggy discomforts and physical changes in your preggy body.