I think there are many of us who head into the journey of trying to conceive pretty naive. And there’s nothing wrong with that, but so many of us end up with a rude awakening to our fertility (but there are plenty who are lucky and conceive right away).
I’m not here to claim I know everything or that I had the same experience that someone who’s been trying to conceive for several years has had. So if you’ve been at this for two years and I offend you by any of my suggestions or anything I say, I apologize. I can only speak from my experience.
Let me start by sharing two previous blog posts if you missed them:
+ My Journey to Pregnancy
+ My D+C Experience After a Blighted Ovum
So, long story short, it took us 11 months of trying, one blighted ovum miscarriage and D+C to get to our little nugget we have now cooking in my belly.
But today I want to talk about those months of trying, the doubts and fears and things I tried to stay sane and carry on with normal life.
Trying to get pregnant is just a lot of waiting. Like, a lot.
Waiting at the beginning of your cycle for your period to end, for your fertile phase, and then waiting to see if you were successful that cycle.
And I quickly came to realize I needed something to distract myself from obsessing over it all.
So, this is just a brain vomit list of all the things that came to mind as I thought back over our journey of trying to get pregnant. But to reiterate, we didn’t have any fertility issues (that we know of) it just took us time. But if you’re struggling with infertility, treatments and all that, feel free to disregard this list.
But, in no particular order:
+ Reading books — I just love reading books in general, but reading was super helpful. When I was in the mood to think about babies and pregnancy I would pick up a book on that topic. When I needed to distract myself and think about something else I was able to find so many great books to just escape into.
+ Hanging out with friends and family — This has been something important for me over the past several years, but you can’t coop yourself up during this process. You need to get out and be social. To talk and think about stuff besides getting pregnant. But it’s also OK to have conversations about it too.
+ Don’t forget about relationship with partner — TTC is always exciting at first. You kind of feel like a rebel, like ooh mom I’m 26 and gonna get knocked up. But it can wear you down real fast. Make sure you’re making time for each other outside of the whole baby making universe. Keep the romance alive, and pay attention to their feelings on the situation.
+ Self-care — Pamper yourself. This means something different to everyone, but paint your nails, give yourself a facial, soak in the bath tub. Set aside some you time. When you’re trying and not getting pregnant you can start to get upset with your body and feel like it’s letting you down. Be kind to your body and mind.
+ Journal — I can’t recommend this enough. Grab a random school notebook with no pressure to be poetic or have good writing. Just sit down and get whatever is inside your head out and onto paper. I promise it helps, so much. Even if you’re not you can feel like pregnancy is all you think about and talk about and people are sick of it. Get all of that out of your head and into your notebook.
+ Meditation — Not everyone’s cup of tea. And even I’m not consistent at it. But when I get really anxious about something (and I was getting anxiety about oh my god what if I can’t ever get pregnant or have a baby of my own?) meditation is so beneficial to just bring you back down to earth and calm your mind and thought process.
+ Create a “registry” — I’ve been working on my baby wish list long before I was pregnant or we were trying to conceive. But there was something soothing about working on my wish list that made me feel good. Like researching the perfect stroller or cloth diaper system made me feel like I was doing something to aid the process. And I would tell myself like when you are pregnant you’re not going to have to worry about all this because it’ll be ready to go.
+ Choose a few things to try out to boost cycle — There is an overwhelming number of recommendations when it comes to what you should be doing TTC. But taking a supplement, cutting something out, etc. can give you that feeling that you’re “doing” something. And it really can’t hurt. I focused on boosting my cervical fluid or healing my luteal phase.
+ Drink your coffee, have your wine, etc. — When we first starting trying I stopped drinking alcohol, coffee, and was kind of anal honestly about being “perfect”. Well that only lasted a few months before I was like Girl calm the fuck down and drink some wine. So, I kept my coffee to the recommended 2 cups of coffee or less a day. And I would let myself drink up until ovulation and then I would take a “just in case” break until my period came again
+ Stop charting — controversial coming from me, I know. But sometimes you have to realize what’s helping the process, and what’s making you crazy. We (I mean, I) was so focused on my chart, when I was fertile and when we were supposed to be having sex that it took all the fun out of it. Michael felt like a stud horse and that I only wanted to be physical with him to get a baby out of the deal. Taking a break from charting was one of the best things we did while TTC, but I still knew when I was most fertile because of my cervical fluid.
+ Creating content ideas list of videos I wanted to make — Ok, this one is specific to content creators. But the whole time we were trying I had all these ideas for blogs, videos, vlogs that I wanted to create and share with you guys. But I couldn’t because I didn’t want to open up about TTC yet. So I just made a killer list of content ideas that has come in super handy now.
+ Avoid forums — Or at least limit yourself to how much time you’re spending on them. There is literally always going to be someone out there with the same exact symptoms as you who is pregnant or not pregnant.
+ Try not to test — This isn’t for everyone, but don’t start testing 8 DPO. You’re going to drive yourself mad cycle after cycle squinting and stressing about tests. For some reason I was always more upset to see a negative test than I was to get my period. So I just made it a rule that I had to wait until I was supposed to get my period before I could take a test. Unless there was some sort of event that I would want to know I was pregnant before (aka thanksgiving day race). But testing gave me so much anxiety and was always such a let down that I just had to not do it.
+ Watch birthing videos — Why not start prepping for labor and birth now? I would have to limit these to when I was in the hopeful mood, and not the crap, my period just came mood. But watching birth vlogs has been something I’ve enjoyed for years. I think it’s great to see a variety of birth stories, styles, options, you name it. Even if you can’t see a live birth before you give birth it’s good to get an idea of what can happen before you’re in that position.
+ Declutter and deep clean house — Maybe I’m just a weirdo but I find deep cleaning and decluttering really soothing. And I always feel really accomplished after it. It’s just another area that you can feel you have control over, when you kind of just feel like you don’t have any control over your TTC journey.
+ Exercise — As much for your mental health as for your physical health. There’s all sorts of benefits both ways, but when you’re feeling upset or frustrated there’s nothing better than going on a hike, run or pumping some weights.
Control what you can, and try your best to let go what you have no control over. There are so many emotions and thoughts wrapped up in the TTC journey. You have to do what’s best for you and your mental well-being because it can be a very stressful and draining experience.
Now that I’m pregnant I try to routinely step back and remind myself of how I felt trying to get pregnant, my worries and fears, and to just tell myself see, you did it, remember this next time something is difficult.