A look at the unconventional methods we try to getting pregnant
This post is rated R for content and language.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. When I was trying to get pregnant, I would have tried or done almost anything to succeed.
And there is no shortage of unconventional ideas and methods. Some may call them spiritual, Eastern, voodoo, or flat out bat-s*** crazy.
By the time I’d hit my tenth round of IVF, I had quite a robust list of all the things other people had done to get pregnant. My sister gave me a fertility stone, I’d been given chains of multiple Saints, a friend gave me her guardian angel, which had been passed down from her grandmother to her mother to her.
Another friend insisted that I say the St. Jude prayer nine times for nine days and drop off nine copies of the prayer to a church (I never did).
My acupuncturist suggested a vaginal facial. I had acupuncture, I did yoga, visited a reiki master, I drank herbal teas, I prayed every night for a "mentally and physically healthy baby with normal genetics and organ formation."
I was tired of it all and had no desire to do any of it anymore.
But then I’d have this nagging feeling, “What if it worked?” So, I kept trying.
A couple of weeks before I left for my egg retrieval in Lone Tree, CO at CCRM, my friend had an "Angel Party." She invited a spiritual healer, Isabelle, to her house and everyone got a 15-minute reading. I, of course, asked Isabelle if I was going to have another baby. She immediately said yes and explained why it wasn't working.
Isabelle: "You are taking too much of a project based, scientific approach to IVF."
Interesting because she didn’t know I had been a biology teacher for seven years.
Me: "What do you mean by that?"
Isabelle: "You need to think more outside the box. Participate in things that scientifically don’t make sense to get pregnant."
I immediately thought of how I didn’t do that St. Jude prayer. Damn it!
She continued, "Do yoga, acupuncture, and have sex to have a baby."
Me: "Ok, I do all of those things already, and more. But I don’t have sex to have a baby. I just have sex. It’s medically impossible for us to have a baby."
Isabelle: "Exactly! You're too scientific about it. You need to think outside the box."
I left confused because I couldn’t think of anything else I should be doing.
As soon as I got into the room with the other women, my friend Emily, who’d gave me the guardian angel, asked me what the psychic had said. I said, “Well, of course, I asked if I was going to have another baby..."
And that’s all I had said before I was interrupted by a woman I’d just met. Her name was also Emily.
Emily, the Stranger: "I know what you have to do to have another baby."
Oh boy, here we go I thought. Another prayer I’m going to have to do, or, my favorite, "Just stop trying so hard and you’ll get pregnant right away like my friend did. She gave up trying, put in her adoption papers, and got pregnant the next day!” How many time am I going to have to hear that story?!
So, I put on my polite face. You know, the one where you are thinking, "I don’t have the balls to tell you to please shut up, and I’m too polite to grab that bottle of wine in front of me and just walk away so please make this fast."
She starts, "You need watermelon, molasses, and a yellow cloth. Cut the watermelon up into seven pieces. Rub molasses all over your stomach and use one of the watermelon pieces to scrape it off. Then put that piece of watermelon, covered in molasses, in the yellow cloth. Do this for seven days. And the end of seven days, wrap up the yellow cloth and throw it into the ocean. Then you’ll get pregnant."
Silence from everyone.
As she described each step in the process my thoughts would switch between, "She is bat s*** crazy" and "Oh no, I was just told I’m supposed to be thinking outside of the box!" Which lead me to my conclusion: "F*** me!
It gets better.
My friend Emily asked, "Oh, so where did you hear about this? Have you tried this or...."
Emily the stranger: "No, she told me."
“She,” we learned, was a spirit that followed Emily the Stranger around and talked to her.
My friend Emily asked, "Ok, well, Tasha, what did the psychic say you need to do?"
And I admitted, "To not be so scientific about things and think outside of the box."
My friend Emily gave me a, "You’ve got to me kidding me" look and Emily the Stranger gave me an "I told you so look."
So, I did what any other good woman would do and tried to negotiate the terms.
ME: "You mentioned ocean, there’s a creek behind my house."
Emily the Stranger: "Nope. Has to be the ocean."
ME: "What about the Hudson River."
Emily the Stranger: No, only the ocean.
ME: "Can I do it after the egg retrieval? I can’t get to the ocean before my trip."
Emily the Stranger: No, it has to be before.
I’m now officially pissed and annoyed.
The next day I mention this to a handful of friends. Most of them had the same reaction, "You’re not actually going to do that, are you?"
And I’d respond, "How can I not do this? I just had a session with a psychic who told me I need to think outside the box and this was the first thing someone said to me."
My friend Kim immediately said, "Road trip. I’m in!"
I got the supplies. It was fun to go into a fabric store. I hadn't been in one since sewing class in middle school.
Night #1, I showed my husband what I had to do. He smiled and said good luck, and I'm sorry.
Hindsight, I should’ve said, “Get your ass in this shower with me and do it too. Show some unity and equality for once it this IVF ordeal!” But I didn't think of that until right now. That would’ve been good though, right?
I got into the shower and made a huge mess. There was molasses everywhere: the floor, walls, the temperature handles, the shower door handle. Then I have to walk out of the shower, half covered in molasses to put the piece of watermelon in the cloth.
I had a great idea though. I put the yellow cloth in a tupperware so that I could cleanly store my molasses covered watermelon. I hid that tupperware under my sink under a towel. There was no way I was explaining this to the babysitter who would otherwise see it in the fridge.
About night 3, I got a system going and noticed something weird.
When I sat down on the bench, in the shower, and rubbed molasses all over, my stomach looked round and protruding.
I actually looked really pregnant. Now something about me is that I have a naturally flat stomach. Sloppy ass, but a flat stomach. So it was especially weird.
The next thing I started to notice was that when the molasses dripped to the wet ground, it looked like iodine which always reminds me of my first c-section.
Trust me; I wasn’t looking for any symbolism. I was just trying to get through the messy process, but those two things were too clear not to notice.
Still, those signs didn’t stop me from trying to get out of the time-consuming part: going to the ocean. I called my friend, Coleen, who hosted the party.
"Listen, I can’t go to the ocean this weekend. I’m swamped and it is supposed to rain. Please call your friend and see if I can dump this anywhere else."
She called back, "Emily says it has to be the ocean because "she" creates life. “She” being the ocean. The molasses covered watermelon is an offering to her, like a gift, and in return, she will help you create life. The river does something else. She brings people together, so if you dump it there, you will have a reunion or marriage proposal but not a baby."
I called Kim and urged her to agree that we should cancel.
Kim: "No way! We’re going!"
Me: "But it’s supposed to rain. And I am so behind..."
Kim: "Who cares? You have to do this."
Ok, fine. It was on. At the beach, I was nervous because oh, well, dumping stuff into the ocean is illegal and this isn’t a little something. It’s big and yellow. It turned out that the beach we had chosen had sections of large black rocks going into the ocean. Perfect.
So I slowly walked to the end of the rocks, dumped the "gift," said my usual prayer for a "mentally and physically healthy baby with normal genetics and organ formation," and started to walk back.
Kim yelled for a picture.
I posed, all happy and proud, mostly that the annoying process was over and that I went through with it. And I forgot where I was for a second too long. A wave came up and slaped me right on the butt.
Nothing else got wet.
I got a "Good job!" ass slap from "her." “Her” being the ocean. And now you could clearly see my bare butt from my white shorts and thong (pictured below).
We had to go shopping so I didn't sit in wet underwear and so no one would have to look at my bare ass.
I bought a dress and, without realizing it right away, it was watermelon color.
I got pregnant that round. I had many other variables during that round, too, but I can’t discount the watermelon technique.