Hacking my fertility

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before TTC

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before TTC

On average, 84 out of 100 women trying to conceive will be successful within one year. Up to one year!? That’s a long time, especially when you consider that it could take up to 11-12 cycles, or more. As I became more familiar with the trying to conceive process, I realized there were a whole lot of details I wished someone had shared with me before I began my journey.

It's not always glamorous

Baby making can be hard work! Let’s face it. We aren’t always in the mood. After a long day at work with many things on the to-do list, maybe “the deed” doesn’t sound appealing. Maybe your partner isn’t feeling up to it. When that fertile window hits though you may feel pressure to be intimate and it might feel like chore.

It's okay to take a break

Once you and your partner have decided to try to conceive, it can feel all consuming. Tracking your cycles, keeping up with your health and prenatal vitamins, and timing intimacy during that fertile valley…it is an effort, and if you need a break, you can absolutely jump back in when the timing feels right. Maybe you want to relax over the holidays or focus your efforts on other pressing matters, like work, family, or travel. Whatever your reason, if you want to take a cycle (or more!) off from the baby making journey, do it! After all, you and your partner are in charge.

You'll get a lot of advice

When friends, family, or the internet learn you are trying to conceive, brace yourself for advice, whether it be wanted or not! While most mean well, it can be uncomfortable and even annoying to be told how to go about making your baby. Your sister-in-law swears eating raw oysters helped her, while your friend says spotting in your luteal phase is a sure sign of implantation. While some information may be useful, know you can set a boundary with friends and family if you don’t wish to receive unsolicited advice.

You don't need to be perfect

When I set out trying to conceive, I wanted to perfect my diet, exercise regimen, and social calendar to best suit me while trying to conceive. While it is important to adapt your lifestyle to support a healthy pregnancy, know that you don’t need to completely rearrange your life! I recall not wanting to hang out with friends past 9 PM because I was insistent on sticking to my sleep routine. What I didn’t realize was being so regimented with everything was driving up my stress. Having fun and socializing are vital to keeping your stress at bay if you ask me!

You'll over analyze everything

It’s nearly impossible to not overanalyze every detail when you’re trying to conceive especially during the two-week wait. That twinge…was that implantation? Did my boobs hurt this much last cycle? Is this more cervical mucus than I usually see on cycle day 28? Did I ovulate? Did my kegg chart look just like this last cycle? What does it mean if my luteal phase kegg values look different this cycle compared to last? Maybe you will find yourself perusing pregnancy kegg charts for concern.

The good news

You’re not alone. These all-consuming thoughts are perfectly normal and so many other women are on similar journeys at this same moment. While it can feel difficult to feel in control of your trying to conceive a journey when there are so many variables and unknowns involved, it is important to try your best to not let the journey become an unhappy one. To help navigate some of the more challenging days, consider:

  • Finding your perfect online community 
  • Journaling
  • Speaking openly with your partner about your feelings
  • Counseling
  • Speaking with your doctor if you feel your journey is not heading in the right direction, even if it hasn’t been a full year of trying. 

Every journey to a baby is different but many women face the same challenges. I hope wherever your journey leads you find peace and enjoyment along the way.

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