Trying to Conceive · TTC · Two Week Wait · TWW

The Do and Don’t of the TWW

Ah, so we meet again, Two Week Wait.  I never knew that two weeks actually consisted of 4,398 days and yet, here we are.  This is the time when I lose the last bits of my sanity and my mind can only focus on two things: reasons why I’m definitely pregnant, and reasons why I’m definitely not.  Sprinkle in talking about TTC with my husband every five minutes, add a dash of symptom spotting, and that pretty much sums up my TWW.  I’ve started to develop a “it doesn’t matter, what’s done is done” attitude about the TWW, but that doesn’t help much when your end goal is to try to find out what exactly was done (ie. did we figure it out this time or not?!).  I still marvel at the women who say, “Realized I was 3 weeks late –  just got my BFP!” as I’m sitting here constantly re-checking the calendar to see how many days I have until I can test.  What’s their secret?  How do they just “forget” when the day of reckoning is upon them?!  I’m going to be real with you, I have very little advice for how to get through these weeks (hence the singular use of ‘do’ and ‘don’t’).  I’m just an impatient woman trying to get through one of the worst parts about TTC.

The Do: Always Be Prepared

That’s right, I stole a Boy Scout motto.  It’s no use pretending I’m not thinking about if I’m pregnant (which, no technically I’m not because implantation occurs 7 DPO, so chill TF out self!), so instead I find a better way to direct my thoughts.  I make plans.  Plans about when I’ll take my HPT, how I’ll announce to my husband, what I’ll do to keep friends and family from finding out too early.  The announcement plans led me to purchase the below onesie (after my husband and I have both boldly stated we “feel good about this month” – so I’m officially a jinx-aholic).

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Is it completely adorable and will my husband (who casually asked if I was “thinking of ways to announce to him” – uh, well now I am!) love it?  Of course.  Do I now have my mind filled with images of me sobbing over said onesie every month for the next year?  Yep.

I make plans for if AF shows up what I’ll try for the next month (yes – I have a running list, including Month 7 where it just says “call sister”), and begin finding reasons why it’ll be okay if I’m not pregnant (you do have that Bachelorette party in two weeks…and think of all the deli meat you can still eat)!  This may come as a shock to you, but I’m a strong believer in the “Drink Till It’s Pink” philosophy, mostly because it keeps me living life as normal as possible and it’s a helpful distraction (in moderation, of course).  

I even check my TTC app to see what my symptoms were the previous months so that I can begin to ignore nausea, fatigue, and cramps as anything but that: symptoms.  There’s no guarantee that anything means pregnancy, so I just keep preparing for either outcome.  This all might sound crazy and not helpful, as you’re trying to avoid thinking about pregnancy all day long but…YOU’RE GOING TO THINK ABOUT IT ALL DAY LONG.  Might as well take a note from this Type-Aer and put those thoughts towards something that feels way more productive than symptom spotting for two straight weeks.

The Don’t: Google Every Symptom

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Google was my BFF for the first three months of TTC, because every time I searched something I immediately discovered that I was 100% pregnant and I should run around celebrating that cramp I briefly felt in the morning.  Google is the gateway drug to symptom spotting.  You want people to say that you’re pregnant because you woke up in the middle of the night and had to pee?  BOOM – three articles and several chat sites where everyone says that’s how they first knew that they were pregnant.  What about the other thousands of articles saying that you don’t have increased urination until later in pregnancy?  Nah, they’re probably wrong.

The best and worst thing about the Internet is that you can always find what you’re looking for – which can be dangerous when we’re talking about getting hopes up that you’re pregnant.  I used to search every little symptom (like: what does morning sickness actually feel like – because an apple and peanut butter sounded disgusting and I NEED TO KNOW IF THAT MEANS I’M PREGNANT) to the point where it started to autofill “early sign of pregnancy” for me.  For instance, I’m a grown woman who still gets bloody noses (super fun) and after I recently typed in “frequent bloody noses” Google once again autofilled “early sign of pregnancy”, and I thought, go on…

The Entire Internet: Bloody noses during pregnancy don’t occur until much later – like, third trimester later.  Get off the Internet and stop acting like a mad woman.

So, I don’t search things anymore.  As a semi-veteran TTConceiver, I’ve learned that it causes more harm than good to read into every little twinge and stomach ache.  Just keep yourself busy in other ways (even if it’s baby-related distractions) and find a way to reward yourself for all the hard work you did the previous week.

Of course, none of this applies when AF actually shows up.  You have my full permission to lose your damn mind and wallow in self pity for her entire visit.

Trying to Conceive · TTC

Are We Doing it Wrong?

It’s Month Five.  I’m technically still in the “early stage”, but when you’re surrounded by first-triers and oops-we-did-it-againers, four months of, “Are we doing it wrong?” can put a bad taste in your mouth.  ‘They’ say you can’t worry about wasting your life savings on OPKs and HPTs until you’ve been trying for a year; but in reality, I can’t think of a time that I failed at something consistently for a year and did nothing about it.  (I can also assume that whoever came up with the Twelve Month Rule never experienced the absolute agony that is the Two Week Wait).  I suppose I’m exaggerating (who? me? never!), I’m not doing nothing which is a fancy double negative way of saying that I’m doing everything.  I’ve developed an unhealthy obsession for posts about raspberry tea and primrose oil and did someone say baby aspirin?!  

Maybe TTC is nature’s new form of Darwinism: survival of the sanest!

“Failure” might not be a fair word to use after just four months, but it’s the correct feeling.  TTC is like taking a test where you get all the right answers (you’re healthy, regular cycles, positive OPKs, BD on all the right days), and yet the teacher still gives you an F, along with a handwritten note saying, “Maybe you’d get an A if you stopped trying”.  

No amount of, “Relax!” or, “It can take up to a year!” or “It’ll happen when the time’s right!” is going to make my glass half full (unless you say those things while pouring wine).   I’m too busy being surrounded by pregnancy announcements and statistics and this-worked-for-us-after-two-years-of-trying stories that I’ve started letting my glass drain.

Month 1 (Full Glass): We’re not pregnant.  That’s okay!  We didn’t expect to be first-triers  anyway.  Husband is happy, I’m happy, uterus is performing on schedule after 13 years of pills.  We’re pretty excited for two people who didn’t get exactly what we were hoping for.

Month 2 (¾ Full): Oh…that’s okay.  Sure, the positive OPK  got my hopes up a bit, but whatever, something was probably just a little off.  Month 3 will be our month!

Month 3 (Half Empty): What..the…fuck.  But I was nauseous and exhausted for a week!  Sobbing into my glass of I’m-not-pregnant-so-I-might-as-well-drink-this wine as I furiously re-check the statistics.  SIXTY PERCENT of couples are already pregnant by now, what is wrong with us?!  

Month 4 (I think there are a few drops left): Despair, heartache, more wine, more sobbing in the dark over my empty uterus (and my empty wine bottle) – which is so symbolic and beautifully poetic but I don’t care because I’M NOT PREGNANT!

Month 5 (can I get a refill?): So what should we try for Month 6….?

Trying to Conceive · TTC

Upgrading from Food Baby to Real Baby

My late twenties (umm, when did THAT happen?!) mean one thing to me: babies.  I’ve had “The Fever” since before I even knew how babies were made.  Unfortunately, as I found out in 5th grade: it takes two – and my husband just recently joined the craze.  Once we decided, “We are READY!”, we basically spent a few weeks holding hands and skipping in the sunshine while debating baby names (or, at least that’s how I remember it now).  We were so beautifully naive back then.  Now, five months later, any time we start discussing anything baby-related, I declare it bad juju and run around our apartment knocking on wood.  I mean come on, he suggested I ACTUALLY BUY the shirt I want as an announcement when we aren’t even pregnant (at least, not yet, FINGERS CROSSED, BABY DUST, TRY NOT TO LOSE YOUR MIND, FA A LA LA LA LA LA LA LA).

Alright, here’s the real issue: we ARE ready to have a baby, but I wasn’t ready for the anxiety and heartache that would follow me around like a shadow each month.  No one prepares you for this, because no one talks about it.  We chose to keep our decision of TTC (trying to conceive for your newbies!) to ourselves, and now at this point I think I’d become an over-sharer if I had told anyone.

Co-Worker: “Morning!  How are you?”

Me: “Still not pregnant!  Cycle Day 15, and I think my ovulation app might be plotting against me.  Did you know that pineapple core can help with implantation?!”

*Chews on pineapple as co-worker backs away slowly*

The ovulation app is a real thing by the way (how did anyone ever get pregnant before technology?!).  Besides the app telling me that I “drink too much alcohol” *rolls eyes while sipping wine*, it’s been one of my most useful TTC tools.  I posted this blurb out of pure frustration with “the process” and was amazed at the response it received.  I discovered that there are actually a lot of women in my same position, and whether they’re three or thirteen months in, the struggle is still very real.  We’re in a niche group that no one wants to be a part of – the “I can’t  get pregnant (yet)” group – and sometimes positivity can be hard to find.  I’ve learned that, “You are not alone.” are the four most soothing words you can hear, and that’s the message that I’m trying to spread.  

Do I hope that one day this will turn into a pregnancy blog?  Abso-freaking-lutely!  But for now, I’d like to officially invite you along for my journey, while simultaneously promising to never call it a journey again – this isn’t The Bachelorette.  Unless The Bachelorette involves more peeing on sticks than I’m aware of…?