Everyone’s pregnancy journey is so personal and unique. I’ve had friends who got pregnant immediately, others where it’s taken them months, some around a year or more. While getting pregnant is one thing, having a healthy pregnancy is another. Conceiving and giving birth to a healthy baby is truly a miracle. Hearing about all the different stories women experienced to start a family gave me a realistic perspective on pregnancy.
In terms of our pregnancy journey, from the moment we started “trying” it took us a year to get pregnant. I talk more about my pregnancy journey in my other blog post, but for this post I wanted to focus it around things I learned along the process and tips I believe contributed to me conceiving. I’m sharing them to bring insight into the reality of getting pregnant and how it’s not always easy and to bring comfort and support to those having a hard time conceiving. If you’re “trying” and feeling stressed or discouraged I hope this helps and know that you’re not alone!
My personal tips on getting pregnant
- Start tracking your ovulation early: When I first started tracking my ovulation I wasn’t consistent (in example you should test at the same time everyday), plus I wasn’t sure if I was even interpreting the ovulation strips correctly. It took me 4-months to understand my cycle and the pattern with my LH surge. Even then, the ovulation strips still confused me so I bought 2 other types of ovulation tests (Clearblue & a basal thermometer) to validate my cycle. By the time I finally got pregnant I had tracked my ovulation for months that I understood my cycle and was able to predict when I’d ovulate next. If I were to do this process again though, I’d just do the basal thermometer because it was easier for me to be consistent with it and was cleaner since it didn’t require my urine.
- Space out the days ya’ll get intimate, starting 5-days before ovulation: My biggest mistake when I found out I was ovulating, was that we’d wait to get intimate later or even the next day. I had no idea how short your ovulation window actually is (an egg is viable for only ~24 hours after ovulation). So it’s actually optimal to have sex BEFORE you ovulate. Sperm can live in a women’s reproductive cycle for 3-5 days, so its better to have the sperm waiting in you before ovulation so when the egg releases from your ovary it gets there faster. Since the ovulation sticks verify when you’re ovulating, I had no idea when I was about to ovulate. After several months of tracking I was able to predict when I’d ovulate next. The month I got pregnant was the month I strategically timed to be intimate every 3-days leading up to the week of ovulation. This is also why it’s important to track and understand your ovulation cycle early.
- Don’t tell him when you’re ovulating: If time goes by and you two get stressed about not conceiving or it becomes less fun, the last thing you need is more pressure. Although Josh wasn’t worried, I didn’t think it helped telling him when I was ovulating nor that it mattered. Plus, whenever I previously told him “I’m ovulating” it sounded like we had to pencil in our intimacy time like some procedure lol. When I finally got pregnant Josh was SO surprised because he had no idea I was still tracking my cycle and that I secretly timed when to be intimate.
- Try not to stress & if gets stressful take breaks: it’s ironic how a lot of people think it’s easy to get pregnant (and for some it is) but the reality is it’s not that easy especially as you get older. For most of my friends it either happened right away (like literally first month of trying) or after several months to a year. They say stress plays a huge factor and I think my friends who got pregnant immediately did because they got lucky with timing plus were stress-free. On the other hand, after many failed pregnancy attempts the feeling of anxiety and stress can grow harming your chance of fertility. So it’s good to take breaks in attempts to restart your stress level. After 6-months of trying and not getting pregnant we decided to take a break. The month I got pregnant was when I was in the most carefree/stress-free state ever partying nonstop from back-to-back bachelorettes.
- Be ok with a back-up plan: If it came down to it I knew I’d be ok with IVF and accepted it as an option. One perk about IVF is that you can pick the gender. Fortunately we got blessed with a natural pregnancy but having it as a back-up option alleviated some pressure and provided some reassurance. If you’ve been trying for more then a year and it’s still not happening, I would consider being open to a back-up plan. I’ve had friends who coincidentally got pregnant the month they were planning or looking into IVF too so who knows!
A women’s reproductive cycle is so crazy, complex, and magical. I had no idea how sophisticated making a baby was until I started the pregnancy journey and had friends share their journey with me. Although it took me about a year, looking back I’m grateful that I got pregnant when I did. I got to enjoy my “hot-vax-summer”, celebrate my best friends milestones, and travel a ton. My 2021 would have looked a lot different if I got pregnant when I first started trying. I truly believe that those meant to be parents will become parents so if you’re trying and it hasn’t happened yet, be patient, trust in the timing, and know you’re not alone. Thanks for reading!