An Essay For Gishwhes

This year’s Gishwhes (Greatest Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen) has just ended. It was another week of crazy scavenger hunting fun. With over 200 items, it was a packed week of finding things, creating things, donating to charities and causes, and spending time with your team of friends and newcomers.

I’ve shared about past hunts and if you check my Facebook and twitter accounts in the next few days, you will see what our team has accomplished this year. My goal here now, is to share one specific item. An item that took me time to finish and then way less time to post on twitter in the first ever tweet storm on my twitter account.

One of the items was to write a 2,000 word essay about the best way to get pregnant for the 10th time. Yes, the 10th time. That was it, the only instructions and no other information was provided. Being a writer, of course I jumped on this item straight away and starting brain storming ideas for this essay. I hadn’t written an essay since my early college days, so I knew I was going to be a bit rusty. But once I settled on what I was going to write, I researched some sources and set to work, writing and formatting. I even used citations to give credit to every borrowed quote, fact, and statistic. This was going to be the best essay about getting pregnant for the 20th time the world had ever seen.

There was a catch though. Once I was finished writing all 2,000 words, I had to post the whole thing on twitter. Now for those who don’t know, you send tweets on twitter, tweets that are usually short statements of whatever you want. Short statements consisting of 140 characters. So after I was finished, I went through and split the whole thing up into 140 character chunks and then set about blowing up my twitter feed with a gishwhes-related tweet storm.

I had to submit a picture of the tweet as part of the scavenger hunt, along with a link to the tweet, so that there was proof I had completed the task in order to gain points. Every item is worth points and once you complete them, you submit a photo or a video, in the hopes of gaining the allotted points and maybe even bonus points. So, it was well worth the effort to earn 80-something points.

Now, for those who don’t want to spend time scrolling through my twitter feed, here is the essay in it’s entirety.

How To Get Pregnant for the 10th Time
Essay by Stefanie Muniz

If someone would come to me to ask about the best way to have a child,my initial reaction would be that they were hitching their horse to the wrong wagon. As a woman who is on the fence about whether to have even one child, I would imagine I am not the right person to ask. But that’s not the question. The question is not about the best way to have a child, and is in fact more along the lines of the best way to get pregnant. This of course triggers my next reaction, which is to quote Prissy, played by Butterfly McQueen, who once said, “I don’t know nothin’ about birthin’ babies” (Gone with the Wind, 1939). I feel I can relate to that line. Now, I do know a certain extent about child birth and getting pregnant, despite never having been pregnant or being witness to anyone else’s birth. Most people, and certainly most adults, know the basics of pregnancy and giving birth. We have learned about these things throughout our adolescence, from our parents or in school health classes.

So, even though I don’t have any experience with this topic myself, I do have some personal experience from being around friends and family who have been pregnant and have given birth. I am sure I am not alone in that regard. With that in mind, I do not think I would be completely out of the realm for offering advice to someone who is interesting in learning the best way to get pregnant for the 10th time. Yes, getting pregnant for the 10th time and the best way to do so, is indeed the question here today. A third reaction would be expected here, possibly along the lines of, “why would someone with 9 kids want to get pregnant for the 10th time”?! But that’s not my next reaction. I’ve learned not to judge something or someone based on initial gut reactions, in the way we all learn things, by making the mistake of judging people based on a gut reaction or my own preexisting prejudices.
People often make assumptions of people, based on learned behavior from our parents or social settings, which leads us to draw comparisons between ourselves and others. It’s a habit, I myself have been guilty of, which we often must work towards overcoming as part of becoming an adult. If you have a prejudice, it does not automatically make you a bad person. Most people have them and may not even be aware they do, subconscious prejudice, which can seem harmless but lend well to making assumptions. For example, someone chooses not to shop at secondhand stores because they believe secondhand stores have lower quality used items. When in actuality, secondhand stores are great for finding unique items that most of time have only been used/worn once or not at all and are in new condition.


So, what is my point here? It’s simple.Who am I to judge why someone would like to have a 10th child? We do not know their personal life. Even if the person asking is a friend of yours, who are we to judge that 10 is one to many? Furthermore, unless this friend is someone who would share their deepest secrets with you, you may not entirely be aware of what is going on in their lives. It is for that reason, you cannot assume that someone who is looking to get pregnant for the 10th time has 9 children at home, or even if they do that they are not capable of having a 10th one or shouldn’t have a 10th one. It is not up to you to make that decision, the decision is up to the person looking to get pregnant. If they are asking for your help or advice with the matter, they obviously trust your opinion. The best thing to do is not try to convince them otherwise, because you don’t think it’s right, but instead do try and lend them a hand. Even if you don’t know where to start, the helpful effort would be appreciated,and that is the intent here as well.
I am going to offer different suggestions for practices that could help someone get pregnant for the 10th time, along with the pros and cons so someone can determine what the best way is for them. First, there is what can be referred to as the “good old fashioned” way by some, but is technically speaking the act of conception through intercourse. Secondly, there is the choice to use a surrogate for carrying the child. And lastly there is the process of artificial insemination.


I want to begin by stating that I am not a medical professional, I have not studied in the medical field, and I am not certified in any medical sense. What is listed from hereon out are strictly suggestions based on researched facts and figures, and nothing more. The advice provided in this essay should not be taken above the advice of a licensed medical professional.


The easiest starting point for having a child, be it the 1st or the 10th, would of course be to decide to have a child. It would be a good idea to find a partner who is also willing or that your current partner is in agreement on the subject. It takes two to tango, that’s a line I’m sure we have all heard and know is not limited to just dancing. But, I digress. The same can be said about having a child. Both parties have to be willing and able. It is at this point where both adults have consenual intercourse with the hopes of conceiving a child. Now if you have successfully conceived 9 healthy children, chances are this is the way to go when trying for kid number 10. It’s worked out for you well so far, so more power to you.


However, it would be remiss of me to not take into account the negatives that could effect the success of conception with this method. Taking into account the scenario where you have successfully conceived 9 nine times, but for one reason or another have not carried to term all 9 times, then you may need to seek an alternate method of conceiving or having a child. There are many reasons that a pregnancy doesn’t go to term and results in an early termination of the pregnancy. The frequently asked questions of a medical website suggest that common causes can be smoking and alcohol, “Smoking, alcohol, and caffeine also have been studied as causes of early pregnancy loss.” (FAQ090. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. August 2015. Despite these things having been studied the research is not entirely conclusive, but the general thought is to avoid these things in excess. Some woman believe that the early termination of their pregnancy is due to something that they may have done, but that is not actually the case in most early pregnancy occurrences. The same aforementioned frequently asked questions section of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website states, “About one half of cases of early pregnancy loss are caused by a random event in which the embryo received an abnormal number of chromosomes.” These specific things also do not take into account the age of the woman who is attempting to get pregnant, which can cause issues or problems as well, especially if the woman is over the age of 40.


So what can you do if you come across this issue or another that keeps you from naturally and safely conceiving a child? There is always the option of finding or using a surrogate mother to carry your child. This is of course the process of another woman being impregnated with your egg through an implantation process or the surrogate mother’s own egg being fertilized by the your partner. If you do not have the fortune of knowing someone who would be willing to carry your child, such as a good friend or family member, there are companies that help hopeful parents-to-be with finding a stranger to have their child. I don’t know about you, but I would personally go with a stranger that was artificially implanted with the egg fertilized by my spouse or significant other. It could get a bit awkward with using a friend or family member, especially if you don’t go the artificial insemination route with the surrogate mother. But if you do and there is a willing family member, I have heard of cases where this has worked out just fine.
Surrogacy is also a safer alternative for women who have been identified as having a chance for a high risk pregnancy or unable to conceive. A surrogacy website online shared that health is certainly a factor for a surrogate pregnancy and how it related to success, not just for the contributing parents but also for the surrogate mother as well. They stated, “The greatest success will always come from an IVF procedure where the sperm donor has had thorough medical evaluations, the egg donor is young and has a positive fertility history, and where the surrogate is also young and has met rigorous fertility criteria. In general, success rates in cases similar to this will be between 55% and 75% for a fresh embryo transfer using two high-quality embryos.” (Surrogacy Success Rates. Sensible Surrogacy. 2014.


So let’s say you don’t want to go with a surrogate mother and you just need a little help with getting a pregnancy to take. In Vitro Fertilization or IVF, could be the solution for you in order to conceive. A medical website provided a few reasons for needing IVF, “IVF is usually the treatment of choice for a woman with blocked, severely damaged, or no Fallopian tubes. IVF is also used to overcome infertility caused by endometriosis or problems with the man’s sperm (such as low sperm count). Couples who simply can’t conceive and have tried other infertility methods (such as intrauterine insemination) that have not worked for them can also try IVF.” (Conrad Stöppler, Melissa, In Vitro Fertilization IVF Introduction. E Medicine Health. 2017.
Whatever the reason, IVF, would allow a couple having difficulty, to not only conceive a child, but also carry a child naturally without the need for a surrogate. For those not familiar with the process, with IVF, the egg is fertilized by the sperm in a laboratory dish and once fertilization has successfully taken place the egg is implanted into the woman. The woman will then be assisted with the pregnancy by various aids and medications to ensure a successful pregnancy carried out to full term. IVF can be a costly solution, but if you have no other choice, it would be a worthwhile investment for the end result of having a child.


Now, with all that said, there is still one other option. I will not go into great detail with this option, as it is not really a way to have a child, but it would result in getting a child. This option is of course adoption. You use an adoption agency to adopt a child from another country or from foster care or a similar child adoption agency in your country. If you do not wish to have a child of your own or cannot have a child of your own, it would certainly be a viable option for becoming a parent. It isn’t too difficult to look up adoption agencies online and contact them for more information regarding adoption.


So there you have it, three ways to have a 10th child. I will leave it up to you to pick the way that is best for you, because only you will know.
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