With my feet in the stirrups and the doctor buried under the sheet covering my legs, I stared out the window and tried to conjure an image of me holding a cherub-faced baby in my arms. I could almost hear the baby’s soft cooing.

“Ouch!” I involuntarily cried, jolted back to reality by the doctor’s less than gentle insertion of the speculum.

Dr. Jackson tried to soothe my nerves with his deep, melodic voice. “Just relax, Lauren. This should only take a minute.”

Right. How’d you like a cold metal stick shoved up your— I breathed deeply and tried to sink back into my daydream.

Dr. Jackson removed the speculum, inserted what must have been his entire hand up to the elbow and started poking and prodding my lower abdomen. “Everything feels normal. Nothing enlarged or out of place.”

I would have responded, but I could barely breathe. Who knew a doctor could adjust your voice box via the vagina?

Dr. Jackson disengaged himself from my insides. “Go ahead and get dressed, Lauren. I’ll be back in a few minutes to talk about what your next steps should be.”

Waiting to hear Dr. Jackson’s sage advice, I thought about how much I loved my GYN. He’d introduced himself at my first appointment eight years ago by saying, “Welcome. Welcome. I’m DOC-tor EUUUU-gene JACK-son at your service.” His unique emphasis on the first syllable had made me smile inside.

His booming laugh had captured my trust, but as I looked at the poster hanging on the exam room wall, I thought it must be one of his jokes. It showed a picture of a developing fetus as it grew bigger and bigger inside a woman. And then it showed a picture of this little hole which, according to the poster, would become the size of a coffee can. You have GOT to be kidding me! Dr. Jackson and whoever else had thought up this baby-making business had some sense of humor.

My musings were interrupted when he knocked and opened the door simultaneously. “Nothing to worry about here. Your examination didn’t turn up anything unusual. You appear to be perfectly healthy. Sometimes it can take over a year for the body to get back to a normal cycle after getting off the pill.”

A whole year! But I want to have a baby this year! That’s what we planned. Mack and I made plans and stuck with them. Vacations, finances, TV schedules. We worked out conflicts and stayed the course. Waiting a whole year just wasn’t going to work for us. Dr. Jackson needed to figure out something else.

When I explained that to him, he raised one eyebrow. “Hmmm, I see.”

He wrote me a prescription for Prevara, then rattled through some directions and warnings. I only partially listened as I mentally patted myself on the back for persuading him off of his “let’s wait and see” stance. Mack would be so proud of me. He often failed to speak up when he wanted something, so he always seemed pleased when I did.

As I understood it, I would take the drug for five days and then within a week I’d start my period. Ten days after that I should be ovulating, so when Mack and I had sex, bingo! I’d get pregnant. So by mid to late February I should be with child, as they say. Well, practice makes perfect. I’m thinking a little practice might be in order for tonight.