I was watching telly with my girls recently and there was one of those toe-curling moments. It was an ad for a pregancy test, and said more or less you could get a result before you’d even missed a period. ‘You could find out you’re pregnant even before you meet the man, at this rate,’ I burbled – then wished I hadn’t. Though the girls have been having seemingly endless sex education since we got back to the UK four years ago, and they know more about fallopian tubes than I do, I doubt they want to be discussing casual sex with their mother. Though I suppose, in these enlightened times, it’s exactly the sort of thing we should be talking about over dinner. Sigh.
It’s all a far cry from the way things were when I was starting to ponder a family. I remember going off to the doctors when we’d been trying for a while and nothing was happening, and the doctor saying sagely, ‘ah well, we can put a man on the moon, but we can’t tell when a woman’s ovulating.’ I did think at the time that, if it was the man doing the ovulating, we’d have spent the billions that went into the space programme on pinning down the exact time of each ovulation, so men could go down the pub and boast about the length of their tubes with their mates. But naturally I didn’t say a word.
Now, though, you actually can work out when you’re ovulating. Or as near as dammit. Those clever folk at Bounty have come up with an ovulation calculator thingy for you to play with. And, when you’ve got that right and are actually pregnant, you can work out when the baby will arrive with their due date calculator. Of course, the babies themselves won’t take a blind bit of notice of the lovely due date you have circled on your calendar, but that’s a whole other story.