When hubby and I were in the process of trying to get pregnant I knew I wanted to write this blog post. I felt it would be great for me to reflect on the process, as well as help others so they aren’t as blind sided by all the things you don’t know (or at least, I didn’t know) about trying to get pregnant. So, here we go…
Is there ever a “right time”?
Hubby and I have been married 6 ½ years, so you would think that we have been harped on about having kids. We haven’t. We have an amazing family that knew it would happen…eventually. We decided over the summer that I would go off the pill on January 1, 2013. Clearly, we are planners, but planning only gets you so far…
One night, to be specific, on October 27th, after attending an event and having enough drinks to feel good, hubby and I were talking and after many “Are you sure?” “Is it the right time?” “Why wait?” “It’ll take time and won’t happen right away.”…we decided to go off the pill the next day.
Enter Friday, October 28th.
Hubby: “Did you take your pill today?”
Hubby: “Are we sure this is the right time?”
Me: “We gotta do this sometime…”
Hubby: “Ok (sigh) let’s do this”
Later in the day on October 28th, enter my first freakout…. frantically texting a friend, “Did you freak out when you stopped taking the pill?” Her response: “Oh my god yes!!!” (insert huge sigh of relief that I am not the only one who freaked out when they pulled the goalie)
And so began the task of trying to create a tiny human being…
We are at a good age and healthy so this should be easy, after all teenagers get pregnant all the time and people get pregnant from one night stands… Then you start to do research and you realize that it isn’t so easy. You find out things like sperm only stays alive inside the female for up to 72 hours…and that the female egg only lives for 12-24 HOURS once it released. So basically every month there is a 12-24 hour window to get pregnant…. yeah, that isn’t depressing to think about at all!
Then you find out that they don’t even consider talking about fertility treatments until you have been trying for a whole year! A year! Damn it, I want to have kids now! You inevitability start reading about the people who have had multiple miscarriages, multiple chemical pregnancies (which I had never even heard of before), have been trying for years (plural!) and the emotional rollercoaster begins. Welcome to the ride.
The sex factor…
Basically your month breaks down like this:
Period: No sex
Next week: Sex
Fertile week: Lots of sex
Two weeks of waiting to take a pregnancy test (while still having sex…but mainly for stress relief/fun/distraction)
Those last two weeks are like nothing I have experienced before in my life. It is the ultimate emotional rollercoaster – wondering if you’re pregnant, trying not to get your hopes up and be realistic, but wanting to get excited in case you are… trying not to read too much into your (insert symptom here – headache, nausea, boobs hurting and so on), being excited and dreading taking your pregnancy tests all at the same. Excited for a yes, terrified for a no.
On an island… (yep, by yourself)
You really don’t want to tell people you are trying because you don’t want to take them on the emotional rollercoaster with you. It’s hard enough to be let down when you get a “no,” let alone have to tell others that you got a big fat no that month as well. This is when I started my journal (which I have gotten horrible about writing in now that I am pregnant…) to help me download everything I was feeling and going through.
Don’t get me wrong, hubby was great…but the emotional rollercoaster isn’t the same for them. It isn’t their body psyching them out with symptoms, or what they think are symptoms. It isn’t them waiting every day to bring them one day closer to peeing on a stick.
What shocked me more than anything about this process is how easy you think it is going in – emotionally, physically and all the way around. You start the process and you quickly realize that it is one of the most emotional and frustrating things you have done and NO ONE talks about it – at least no one I’ve been around. I felt completely blind sided by how this “easy” task became so emotionally Herculean.
The first month I was off the pill we weren’t really “trying”… mainly because I think we both thought that if you have sex with no protection – BAM! – you get knocked up. Then, after not getting pregnant that first month (while thinking I had all the “symptoms” and I totally must be knocked up), I started to do all the research I referred to above. I found out that this process – while it should be enjoyable, actually kind of sucks. It isn’t as simple as “Put Part A into Part B and baby is made”.
Then, begins month two of trying…
This month, we were more dedicated to the timing of our polka dances, tried to be relaxed about it all, I kept myself (somewhat) sane with my journal and learned some things from some message boards. I didn’t think I was pregnant. I had no symptoms and figured we were definitely in for a third month of trying to conceive a little alien – I mean, human being.
Because I have no patience, I started taking pregnancy tests five days before my missed period. I knew the chances were slim, but what can I say, I am glutton for punishment.
Friday, December 23rd … the day I refer to as “Holy S#!* I’m pregnant.”
Hubby was (literally) on the other side of the world on “Holy S#!* I’m pregnant” day… I had all these grandiose plans of telling him in some elaborate way when he got home, but those flew out the window. I told him over the phone. His response: “Awesome.” (insert another huge sigh of relief that the response wasn’t… “Really? Oh.”**)
**Note: For the males reading this, yes, we do worry about that kind of response. Be excited – even if you are terrified. Because we are T. E. R. R. I. F. I. E. D. We have just learned that we have a human being growing inside of us. Act excited, no matter how terrified you are. I guarantee we are more terrified than you. (This may not apply to those on their second, third or twentieth child…but it definitely does to the first one.)
So, when I say we were blessed – I mean it! We were VERY blessed that it only took us two months to get pregnant and I give the women (and their dedicated spouses) who go through this process for years so many kudos for sticking with that rollercoaster ride…. If I thought it was bad after two months, it must be complete hell after years of being on it.
I am going to wrap up this insanely long post (that could have easily been even longer) with some recommendations for those trying, or soon to be trying, so you aren’t blind sided like I was.
1. Be emotionally prepared. It is hard, but so worth it. But know going in, it isn’t a cake walk…
2. Don’t read too many stories. They will just psyche you out. Make your own story and enjoy the process.
3. Pregnancy tests are damn expensive! I learned of Wondfo pregnancy tests through one of the message boards. They are way cheap on Amazon and highly sensitive. I got a faint positive line five days before my missed period (I just wasn’t sure if my eyes were playing tricks on me so I waited to really believe it). Then once you have a line on one of the Wondfo tests… I would go for First Response. After that, I made sure I wasn’t totally losing it with a Clear Blue Easy Digital test. From what I have read, Clear Blue is the least sensitive, so if that says yes – it is a sure deal.
Believe me, you will peeing on at least a dozen sticks a month… then when you are knocked up (or think you are) triple that number. Every day you feel to have to take a pregnancy test to make sure something didn’t change over night. Call me crazy, but wait and see… you will become an expert at peeing in a cup or on sticks.
4. Journal. Even if it is just writing a line a day about how you are feeling. It helps – greatly.
Well girls, I feel like I crammed what could have been a 100 page novel into a blog post, I hope it is helpful. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate. I am happy to talk about our process and help others deal with the emotional rollercoaster ride of trying to propagate the species.