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Friday Blog Roundup

Aaah, surely you have heard the news by now. Michelle Duggar has had her 17th child, a little girl named Jennifer (just like her 16 “J” named siblings). Which brings me to the pressing question I know we’re all wondering…

Does she prop up her hips after sex?

We were debating this last night–probably about the time Michelle Duggar was squeezing out young Jennifer VBAC-style. It’s an old habit that is hard to break. It doesn’t even matter if we’re doing treatments–if it’s pre-ovulation, it holds the possibility for conception. So…

But it seems like a big waste that only serves to give me a headache. It’s sort of like temping during IVF–what’s the point and yet you can’t stop. I am just trying to picture Nicole Richie’s skinny tush accidentally propped up on a mountain of pillows. How else would she get pregnant? Unless it was just one of those times that she was having sex in gravity boots.

Or is it all just bunk that we buy into because we don’t want to overlook any possibility–even the smallest one? We are attempting to take back the supine. But before we do, I wanted to conduct an informal poll–does anyone prop up their hips with pre-o sex? Do you only prop if you’re not doing treatments or do you prop regardless?

Of course, once I have this piece of information, I will be as fertile as the Duggars. Aunt Janes have asked me loads of times if I know if I’m doing it right. Because…you know…it’s a complicated process and I’m fairly certain that once I learn the inside secrets, I too will be spending 10.5 years of my life pregnant.

And now the bloggaful blogs…

Meghan at Perpetually Waiting is having the crappy sort of week that includes the accidental deletion of her entire blog. She is still working to get it back (and if people have ideas on getting it back, please email me or her and let her know. Also, if you can find her blog via google or yahoo please let me know the search words so I can find it too), but in the meantime, she has created a new blog, also called Perpetually Waiting. Even if you’re not a regular Perpetually Waiting reader, please head over there and give her some love. This just really really sucks.

Other news is that in case you were missing Gravida Zero who closed her blog last year, she has adopted a son! I’ve seen pictures and he is absolutely delicious. Congratulations!

Caro at Third Time Lucky and Heather at Big P and Me both asked great blogging questions this week. And I’m a sucker for great blogging debates:

  • In this post at Third Time Lucky, Caro questions about what happens between partners/spouses when a person is blogging about infertility. Does it relieve tension and solve the need for incessant discussion? Does your partner/spouse read your blog? It’s a cool discussion–go jump into the comments section and read along.
  • In this post at Big P and Me, Heather muses on the two sides of infertility: “It just seems like there is no middle ground. Either it is amazingly great news or completely devastating news. The only thing we can probably even call middle ground is the waiting and worry period before you know either. And that isn’t fun. Maybe the middle ground is the ground where people are when they are on a break…when they can actually enjoy life.” I was so interested in this thought and would love others to weigh in with a comment over there: do you think the waiting is the middle ground? How do you consider the two extremes of IF?

Grad3 at Motherhood has a wonderful post this week called “Houston, We Have Found Another Problem” where she learns that she also has immunity issues that may have caused her 5 losses. First of all, even amidst all of this shit, Grad3 still has her sense of humour: “So we may have found our ‘why can’t I keep a pregnancy?’ answer… or maybe just another answer to the ones I already have because 3 aren’t enough [insert bitter tone and fake smile]“–which is important. I think these posts, these pieces to the puzzle, are both a huge sigh of relief to have an answer in hand and tear-inducing because it is so frustrating to find these problems after the fact. After she already had to go through five losses. I hope this is it, Grad3, the piece to the puzzle you needed to find and treat in order to move ahead.

Samantha at Southern Infertility also had a really frustrating week where they lost her biopsy sample. How does a lab lose a biopsy sample? Where does it go? Do they find it weeks later in the technician’s lounge between two sofa cushions and shake their heads slowly while a laugh track plays in the background? I know the labs are juggling hundreds of thousands of samples each day, but aren’t they all kept in sound conditions so that even if one does get misplaced inside the lab, it is easily found again? I assume that samples are refrigerated until use, wouldn’t its location be somewhere inside the refrigerator? How did I never lose a student’s paper in all of my years of teaching (paper! Which could blend in easily with lesson plans or get lost at the bottom of a backpack or accidentally tossed in the recycling bin?) but I’ve had blood lost three times by the lab? I’m sorry, I forgot one. Four times. Four times I have had to have blood redrawn after waiting several weeks for results because they’ve lost my blood. Go over to Samantha and give her a virtual hug.

Schatzi at From the Peanut Gallery (which is another changed blog and you can probably guess Schatzi’s origins if you read the sidebar…) has a post that is a rallying cry of sisterhood and brotherhood (hint: there is a lot of sarcasm before you get to the heart of the message that comes in the final paragraph). It’s a nice, gooey note to end on this week: “Infertility heartaches cannot be quantified. They cannot be wrapped up into tidy little packages to be placed on a shelf and measured against surrounding ones. They cannot be placed into bar graphs to neatly be compared with the heartaches of others. However tempting that may be. They are, instead, woven into the fabric of our individual lives—framed by past experiences, beliefs, hopes and dreams.”

Check back a little later today or this weekend for the next bloggy idea that I thought up this morning…

And please leave your proppage situation in the comments below. Feel free to go anonymous if you don’t want everyone to know your post-coital position.


1 Carlynn { 08.03.07 at 12:30 pm }

I unfortunately don’t have much to add on the proppage question. I only ever used it with a boyfriend who liked it like that I guess, never asked, I was young and malleable in those days and went along with everything (almost but not quite). Maybe that’s where I am going wrong. A simple use of proppage and voila! I would be !pregnant!

I liked your human harbour post, it was lovely. I’d be interested to hear about your graduate school days if you ever feel like writing about them.

2 Ann { 08.03.07 at 12:35 pm }

About a month or so ago, I asked my RE about whether the hip-propping helped. He gave me a scornful look before shaking his head. “Sperm swim,” he said.

3 Samantha { 08.03.07 at 1:03 pm }

I gotta say, while I am totally addicted to temping, I’ve never bothered with the hip-propping. Maybe it’s because I never ovulate 🙂

4 Meg { 08.03.07 at 1:06 pm }

I never propped my hips either. I figure his boys can barely swim as it is I would hate to confuse them any more than need be….oh no I didnt 🙂

5 EGG and Wiggler { 08.03.07 at 1:25 pm }

I’ve gone both ways on the propping vs not propping. It often depends on what kind of a mood I’m in-I mean, there’s a lot of obligatory sex (sometimes called “wifely duties”) with the whole treatment thing, and if I’m cranky and just want to get it over with, I often won’t bother. If I can convince Wiggler to bring me a book/my laptop, and I don’t want to just go to sleep, I’ll do it. I don’t really think it matters, but my rather fertile sister in law is convinced that it does.

6 Mrs. B { 08.03.07 at 1:30 pm }

I am a propper. Well, more specifially I am a Proper Propper. What that means is that I prop when it is proper propping time i.e. only during the week before O.

Oh and Ann: my RE said the same exact thing, they must teach them that in Sperm 101 or something!

7 FattyPants { 08.03.07 at 1:56 pm }

I’m a propper too. Most of the time I do it without even knowing it. My dr said it was pointless too, but whatever made me feel like I did all I could was fine.

Just to add I’m really tempted to sneak in that womans house and steal one of her ovaries. I figure even with one we could pass it around and all have babies by next year.

8 sharah { 08.03.07 at 3:04 pm }

We only prop during the dr-ordered sexy times around trigger. Otherwise, it’s too much of a bother — too much work for too little payoff.

9 Inconceivable { 08.03.07 at 3:09 pm }

my RE insists that it does not help at all – I was really anal about it in the beginning, now i just figured why bother ? Yeah fantastic attitude I have don’cha think

10 PCOSMama { 08.03.07 at 3:09 pm }

I don’t prop, but I will stay on my back for a while during the properly-timed events. I figure it can’t hurt to give the spermies some extra time without me getting them all confused by moving around and having gravity tug at them (sure they swim, but gravity must affect them right?). My doctors have always told me to stay on the table for 15-20 minutes after each IUI too, not sure if it’s related or not!

Just for the record, I’m pretty sure this Michelle lady is one of those whose husband just has to look at her and she gets pregnant. Seriously, with 16 kids in the house, how do you find time (and energy) for sex?!

11 Karen { 08.03.07 at 3:31 pm }

Gosh, I’m trying to think back to the days of actual sex… nope, it’s a distant memory. Just kidding. I was never a propper. It irritated me way back when and I’m sure if I were not on doctor-mandated pelvic rest it would irritate me now too.

Then again, I don’t temp either, and hated it when I did, so was never so grateful as the day that my doctor told me to throw away my thermometer.

12 SarahSews { 08.03.07 at 3:39 pm }

I think I’ve propped my hips up half a dozen times in 2.5 years of TTC. I just hate it. It makes me feel like a desperate fool. And I may be desperate but I’m not a fool. 😉

The only real live person who ever suggested it was my SIL who got pg on her second try when she was 38. She is way more fertile than me so maybe I should listen to her.

My RE and three NPs all said it was useless. One NP inclined the table after IUI. Who the heck knows.

Having said all that, I usually roll to the side where I know I have follies when doing treatment.

13 Road Blocks and Rollercoasters { 08.03.07 at 4:26 pm }

Hi, I’m novice blogger and lurker, but wanted to comment…I love your blog. Thank you for sharing all of the information that you do! It makes this IF journey a bit easier knowing there are other people going through all of this. 🙂

About the propping…I, too, and a proper propper. I only prop when it is around “O” and I swear the one time I actually got pregnant that was the reason why. Granted, it didn’t last very long, but I swear it worked because my consistent proppage. I’m silly, I know, but I’m a creature of habit. 🙂


14 Kami { 08.03.07 at 5:31 pm }

I propped before our diagnosis – even tried standing on my head once like the daughter did in Antonia’s Line. I quickly decided I was too old for headstands.

The crazy thing is that we still try to catch that egg the old fashioned way whenever we are not in a cycle. The chance of success has got to be near zero, but we just can’t let it go.

15 Waiting Amy { 08.03.07 at 6:17 pm }

I’m not really a propper. Okay, I have once or twice, but not religiously. My RE also has you stay on the table with incline after IUI, so I guess I consider doing it around O-time on occasion. Like PCOSmama, I do try to stay horizontal for a bit after.

Ready? TMI coming … when I was younger I got lots of UTIs after sex, so I used to do the “go pee” thing afterward all the time. Then I got it in my head that that was our problem. So I guess now I’m a partial propper of sorts with the whole horizontal thing. Oh, and I don’t temp either.

16 ~r { 08.03.07 at 7:32 pm }

I’m not a propper. Tried it once or twice, but it was uncomfortable AND it didn’t make a difference, so…

I will admit, tho, that when I stand up afterwards and get that inevitable.. uh.. leakage.. I do think “gosh, I hope the good ones didn’t get away”. My mind may know that propping isn’t going to give his swimmers a sense of direction (or the ability to swim better), but that Hope, she is superstitious.

17 amy { 08.03.07 at 7:56 pm }

Admittedly I have propped a time or two. I also read somewhere something about not even getting back up after you have sex….and we tried that for several months but it didn’t help.
The RE does make you lay down for 15 minutes and they even reclined the table my OB/GYN’s office when we did the IUI there….so who knows??
I love PCOSmama’s comment that the Duggars just look at each other and get PG….that cracked me up. I was thinking the same thing though “When do they have time/energy to have sex with 16 kids in the house??”


18 Geohde { 08.03.07 at 8:35 pm }

I don’t prop. I don’t think there’s any reliable evidence that it helps, although having said that it is hard to resist the urge ‘just in case’.

Some fertile myrtles have been known to get pregnant from sperm ‘deposited’ on the vulva. I’ve seen a girl who was still a technical virgin who got pregnant that way. I guess my point is that sperm are like homing pigeons, pillow or no pillow. Besides after 20-30 minutes any left in the vagina die off, it’s pretty hostile in there!

As for 17 children, don’t get me started…….

19 Elizabeth { 08.03.07 at 8:40 pm }

Always learning something new… hostile vaginas, wow! I’ve only propped once or twice, and it felt akin to throwing a penny in a well or wishing on a star.

20 Zee { 08.03.07 at 8:45 pm }

Embarrassingly, yes, I am a shameless propper. Sometimes I’m even a yoga shoulder-stand or “legs up the wall” pose propper. (Good lord, don’t picture that!) I’m also a wad-a-pillow-up-under-my-ass propper. And, when VB can be coerced into lying still long enough (a discreetly placed book about airplanes on the bedside table works wonders) I’m a legs-draped-over-the-main-man propper. (And here’s a little TMI: At the right time of the month I insist not only on propping but also on…how to put it politely?…finishing…after VB, WHILE PROPPING.)

Demented and sad, perhaps. But, because of VB’s aversion to medical intervention, we only go au naturale, so I need to give those swimmers as much help as I can. And even though I know it probably does nothing, in the spirit of “can’t hurt, might help” I’ll probably keep propping away until I either have the baby or hit menopause.

21 Caro { 08.04.07 at 7:07 am }

I’ve propped a few few times it seems a bit artificial. I do try not to rush straight to the toilet though so I can keep those guys in as long as possible.

I’ve also never temped, me and S talked about it but he would be uncomfortable with the daily reminder of our fertility, or lack of, first thing in the morning.

22 Chili { 08.04.07 at 11:49 am }

No propping here. I do try to not get up for 10 minutes or so.

23 Mary { 08.04.07 at 7:28 pm }

When we were still trying using my eggs I used to prop (even fell asleep once in the shoulder stand/legs on wall position.) Now, I see no use in propping.

As for why the RE tilts the table after IUI, I was told that anytime something passes the cervix it can cause your blood pressure to drop, so they tilt you back to stabalize your BP so you don’t pass out when you get up. Who knew?

24 Anonymous { 08.04.07 at 7:40 pm }

I propped for a year and a half, before, during, and even close after ovulation. I was taking no chances. It was awkward, though, not physically but my husband didn’t like the pillow, it reminded him of our infertility. On the night I did get pregnant, I hadn’t propped, and what is more I was ON TOP. I’m not trying to sound like an urban legend but that’s what happened to me.

25 topcat { 08.04.07 at 11:52 pm }

I knew things had gone beyond babylust when I started to hip prop at the beginning of this year …. my husband had a vasectomy 5 years ago.

26 Trish { 08.05.07 at 5:36 am }

Yep. I always prop. Even after O, I have a tendency to roll and at least bend my legs for a few minutes, just in case my O date was wrong.. and you know, maybe some sperm will hang out for next month and point directions for the fresh recruits. 😉

I usually stuff a pillow under my butt and hang out for 15 minutes. Then I run to pee before I get a UTI.

I once had a lovely tennis match between two fertiles. One saying smugly “Are you PROPPING your legs up after sex?” and before I could even answer another person scolded “You have to go pee right away!”

You just can’t win.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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