Title: Ms. Conception
Author: Jen Cumming
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Fiction
Publish Date: May 4, 2015
Publisher: Tryst Books
Ms. Conception Synopsis:
Abigail Nichols has tried everything from rash-inducing herbal creams to acupuncture in a desperate, last-ditch effort to get pregnant. Wedged into her iPhone schedule among new business pitches and rebranding design meetings is Abby’s ovulation cycle, along with potential opportunities for illicit afternoon quickies. With all of their hopes and savings on the table, Abby and her husband Jack enter the whispered world of fertility clinics.
Along with a meddling mother-in-law, competitive pregnancies, and constant obligatory sex, Abby’s baby-track mind conspires to ravage her career, her marriage, and her sanity. One thing she knows for sure: a healthy sense of humor (and the occasional glass of red wine) is the best coping strategy. One thing she wishes she knew: whether it will be enough.
Ms. Conception is an honest but light-hearted novel inspired by the ups and downs of fertility treatments and the emotional burden that rests on those trying to conceive.
From Chapter 1
To Jack: C u in 20 mins. Xo Abbs
To Abby: 2day not good. 2nite work? Xo Jack
To Jack: ovul8ing – NOW.
To Jack: Just wham bam thank u ma’am – no 4play, quick, I promise. x
To Abby: fine. 30 mins.
Great. I need a willing partner in this venture and he’s already grumbling. Jack has been having trouble with our baby-making plan. I know he desperately wants to be a dad, but he finds the pressure of trying to get pregnant seriously affects his performance. Truthfully, turning forty hasn’t helped in that department either. He worries about being an old dad. That’s why racy lingerie and illicit “nooners” were high on the list of ways to spice up our sex life. The challenge, he tells me, is that he still knows it’s a command performance. My ovulation window is only open for so long, so it’s do-or-die time. This quickie is going to take a little extra effort on my part.
I jog to the subway station, which is quite a feat in my heels. I’m slightly ahead of schedule, but I’ll need to take a little extra time primping, to help Jack along. Good thing there is all that newly acquired lingerie in my closet. The chime sounds to warn of the subway’s imminent departure just as I dash on board. I plop into a seat and notice a young woman with a stroller. My uterus instantly contracts. Gasping, I close my eyes. I don’t hear any actual ticking from a biological clock, but my body reminds me of my childless state every time I see a baby.
I open my eyes as the subway lurches forward and watch as a little bootie drops from the stroller. Balancing myself against the swaying of the cars, I scoop up the boot and hand it back to the young mother.
“Oh, thank you, she’s always kicking them off,” she says with a mix of exasperation and pride.
I smile and sneak a look into the depths of the stroller. My breath catches and my uterus throbs. “She’s gorgeous. How old is she?” My voice sounds breathy.
“Six months,” she answers as she gathers up her things, preparing to leave at the next station. She waves good-bye as the doors slide open, and I slump back into my seat, close my eyes again, and cup my belly protectively with my hands. I picture myself as a mom; pushing a stroller through Toronto, playing in the park, coming home from work and seeing the joy that “Mommy’s home.” I want all of that. Taking a deep breath, I mentally chant my mantra, as my hippie mother has suggested.
“I will get pregnant, I will have a baby, I will be a mom.” I continue to repeat this as the subway rumbles across the Bloor Viaduct, and by the time we pull into Broadview Station, I am feeling calm. I am feeling fertile. I know this will work.
Jen Cumming Bio
Jen’s latest dream is to live in a small village in France and eat croissants. Being allergic to wheat might hamper that dream, so in the meantime she does her best to balance life with two young children and run a business with her husband in Toronto. She loves to spend time at the cottage in the summer, ski in the winter, and travel whenever she can.
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