Redefining PDA

iphone.gifI have an iPhone. It’s a calendar, note pad, map, camera; I can use it to get my email, listen to music, or play games (or I could, except that I refuse to download them, much to my children’s chagrin). It’s actually not that great a phone but I love it anyway, my little palm-sized PDA.

And now, thanks to the folks at babycenter.com, these new-fangled PDAs can tell you when to get yourself some old-fashioned PDA: you can now sign up for a service that will send you text messages telling you when you’re ovulating. Yep, that’s right. Now your phone can be a bonk-alarm – or, as babycenter.com calls it, a “booty caller.”

Once you sign up for this service and plug in the salient information, you can expect a series of three messages per month offering you such brilliant tips as “stress gets in the way of conception so relax and get a massage, meditate, or take a yoga class.” Well that’s just great. So now in addition to everything else I might be worried about (like getting or not getting pregnant), I have to listen to my freakin’ phone nagging me to relax?

Why such faux-friendly advice? Why not cut straight to the chase: “Your eggs are hot, lady, so get busy!” Given this level of mechanical intimacy, one wonders what other services one’s phone could provide? Are there downloadable apps for those services? 

When I wanted to get pregnant with Caleb, after one preemie birth and one miscarriage, I borrowed a friend’s copy of Take Charge of Your Fertility, although initially I wasn’t interested in following the book’s method, which primarily involves daily temperature taking.  I balked: who wants to be sticking a thermometer “down there” every morning? After my friend recovered from her fit of hysterical laughter, she gently pointed out that I wasn’t cooking a turkey. All I had to do was take my temperature orally and plot the measurement on a graph.

Even so, however, the process was more work than I wanted it to be. All those charts and graphs and timed intervals – reminded me of story problems from math class: if an ovulation cycle lasts three days but the partners in question are too busy to have sex more than twice in that three-day window, how many times do they have to have sex and at what time, in order to conceive? Or, for those of you in an advanced class: if a woman is trying to have a baby without a partner, how many times does she have to visit the clinic in order to conceive and how much will it cost?

Maybe this sex-text service would have been just right for me, were I still in the baby-conceiving business (which I’m not). But somehow, I find this family planning via text-message both hysterically funny and a little bit … invasive. Do I want information about my fertility floating around in the ether alongside sports scores, CNN headlines, and Perez Hilton?

How P do we want our PDAs to be, anyway?


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