If you know that the abbreviation TTC stands for “trying to conceive” then you might be in need of my handy dandy life hacks for remaining sane while trying to conceive and during your first pregnancy. It isn’t easy. I just came out that I am 13 weeks along and I have been tested in every way possible. We all know I’m half way to crazy town as it is.
#1 Don’t tell ANYONE you are trying to conceive. This goes for both family and friends. I told a handful in this blog, my mother, and a few friends. I regretted that almost immediately. It came with a lot of judgy feedback on my love and I being married, questions on whether or not we should make such a serious move just yet, infertility fears, and tons of unsolicited advice on a topic he and I had been researching for nearly two years. They mean well. My mother, God rest her soul, finally admitted that she didn’t know everything. For her it “just happened”.
#2 Brace for impact. Whether trying to conceive or becoming pregnant, no one, or rather hardly anyone gets it right out the gate. True, some of us take longer than others to get that positive pee stick. Some take months, some take years, and some even longer or not at all. Our journeys are all different. Try not to stress. It doesn’t help the journey. Don’t compare yourself to the next woman. Have a good support system that you may or may not leave in the dark but that will help you when you get low.
#3 Discuss early on alternatives. This was important to us because I felt it was a major obstacle in my stress and why it took us so many failed missions to get pregnant. My love is older than me and let me know out of the gate he wanted children. He was happy I was younger because God had given him a chance for his dream to come true finally. Talk about pressure! When my mother became very ill and went through open heart surgery I wanted to give it a break with trying to conceive until he was here to help. My mother was just not of the health. Despite her will to fight, she was, in fact, a major factor to consider. How would I manage being a full time care giver and pregnancy? I had this talk with him in August and blubbered like a baby myself. I found out that even if we couldn’t have our own kids he wanted to be with only me and we would consider adopting once he was on U. S. soil but only after we saw a fertility specialist.
#4 This is your pregnancy. Own it. That doesn’t mean exclude the father of your child or anyone really but this is your body woman! When you do finally get the positive result go see a OB-GYN early on. I went at six weeks for a confirmation of pregnancy. I have dedicated just about every Tuesday and Thursday to appointments regarding this pregnancy. Build your knowledge with pregnancy books, questions with your MD, and if you must, sound advice from matriarchs that know what you’re talking about. In the end though, this is your body, your embryo, your health. You and your baby are the center of your new universe and the rest of the planets need to stay in their gravitational lane. If someone forgets the rules of gravity don’t feel bad to remind them. You don’t need the stress and neither does baby.
#5 Take one day at a time. You may have loss. You may have setbacks and new obstacles. Not all stories end happily unfortunately. You can not dwell on this fear, it will eat you alive. At the same time, you have to know family history…a lot of it. You have to do genetic blood testing. Mine was done at 6 weeks. You also have to keep your head out of the clouds. I know it is easy dreaming of your nursery but you’re a long way off from that day so early on. Right now stick to fetal development stages, potential dangers and risks, your and your loves health history, and what you can and can’t do to change that. Whatever you do, don’t talk to people about miscarriage. It is a lot more common than women are willing to talk about and you will make yourself miserable trying to weigh the information on whether or not you will have one. I had rust colored discharge for a month straight, that no one had prior to me (not true) in my family or circle of friends and that my Midwife could not explain. I was still having it at my first ultrasound when I saw my baby for the first time and heard the heartbeat at 159 bpm (normal range). It’s now stopped and baby is good at the end of my first trimester but remember: One day at a time.
I plan these survival tips to be ongoing as I take this journey. I’ll post another five at the end of my second trimester. I hope you enjoyed this and that someone somewhere is reading it that needed it to be written.