- First off, DO plan parties and events while TTC. The process of charting, timing intercourse, medications, blood draws, doctor's appointments, and other interventions can be overwhelming and time-consuming. It is far too easy to let TTC consume the entirety of your life. Don't let it. (If you can follow this advice, you will thank me. Even trying to follow this advice can have life-changing effects.)
- DO NOT under any circumstances plan to host two parties during the fertile window, especially not during fertile window weekend (FWW). Let's face it, hosting gatherings, even intimate dinner parties, requires effort. The house must be cleaned; the menu planned; everything must be purchased; you have to make that last minute trip to the grocery store because you forgot eggs (or sugar/flour/milk...) the first time. Then there's all the clean up afterwards, as well the dramatic increase in the amount of dishes that must be done. Trying to squeeze intimacy in between party prep and post-party exhaustion makes it very difficult to see the act as a genuine expression of love between spouses instead of "Please, can we just get this over with so I can go to sleep?"
- If by some unfortunate circumstance, you should end up hosting two events during FWW, DO make sure the first event is the one less likely to make a big mess and leave you utterly exhausted. For example, it is far better to host the dinner party for a few couples on Saturday and the giant family party with 8 kids on Sunday than it is to do the opposite. (The exception might be if the adults only event was a very low-key event, like a movie night with takeout.)
- If you should end up hosting events during the fertile window, DO NOT unsubtly shove guests out the door. Yes, you need time to unwind and reconnect with your spouse, but that is absolutely not an excuse for rudeness. A subtle (covered) yawn or plausible expression of concern about the road conditions is certainly acceptable. However, should your guests offer reasons for why they should get going, DO accept them. (For all you know, they may need to get home to take advantage of that brief window of fertility, too.) Above all, be gracious.
- Though it should be self-evident, DO NOT, if at all possible, plan to host a baby shower near the time AF is expected to arrive. Just don't do this to yourself. Besides, as a host/hostess you always desire to put your best foot forward, which disappointment and pain can severely hinder. Should the scheduling unfortunately work out this way, DO know yourself well enough to tell whether being busy and focused on hosting will help or hurt your emotional state. For some people, being busy and focused on making sure all the guests are having a good time can help them not dwell on their pain and loss. Others may need to focus on delegating so that they can take brief breaks from the festivities.
- DO be aware that young children will want the attention of their aunt/uncle/family friend. If, however, you invite a critical mass of children of a similar age (and sometimes gender), they will happily play together and not be as insistent about monopolizing your attention. This is especially important when feeling the sting caused by not having children of your own; a few minutes of breathing room can be priceless.
- Do be aware that being around children can lead to discussions and reconsiderations of your plans and expectations. If, for example, the children are behaving atrociously, that may lead to "Do we really want kids?" Or it could give you a better perspective on what children of a given age are like, such as "Hmmm... five is younger than I was picturing previously; I might be okay with adopting a five year old." If you already have a child or children, you could end up asking yourself if a given treatment keeps you from being able to be really present with the child/children you already have (such as due to fatigue/nausea/other side effects).
- Lastly, DO make sure that you are on the page as your spouse. He or she may be far more affected by the stress and effort of hosting than you are. The last thing you want when TTC is more stress, strain, and arguments. (Yes, I've heard the argument that make-up sex is explosive, but you do NOT want to be counting on getting to that point where you are ready to be intimate when TTC.)
Questions? Yes, in the back?