When you are trying to conceive (TTC), it's not unusual to feel some pretty intense emotions. It's exciting and fun, but it can also be nerve-wracking and scary, and sometimes all of those things simultaneously. So many parts of TTC are completely out of your control, and as much as you try to prepare and plan, there's bound to be more than a few surprises. I thought I was ready to get pregnant, but there were so many intense things I wasn't ready for when I started TTC.
For me, the hardest part was not knowing what would happen and when. I was totally not prepared for feeling like I was completely out of control. I quickly discovered that the phrase "family planning" is not accurate at all. You can't really "plan" your pregnancy, not entirely anyway, because so many things are uncertain. Sure, I stopped taking birth control, started tracking my cycle, and we started having unprotected sex, but I had no idea if or when I'd get pregnant or if I even could get pregnant.
Then there was the waiting, like waiting to have sex (according to the optimal schedule I had found on the internet), waiting to see if I would get my period, waiting to take a pregnancy test, waiting to see the results, and waiting to take another test the next day. In the end, though, the waiting was nothing compared to the joy I felt when I saw a second line appear on a pregnancy test. Until then, there were so many moments I just couldn't prepare for, no matter how hard I tried.
Not Being In Control
To say that I was a control freak prior to becoming a parent is putting things mildly. I was so not prepared to not be in control of my fertility. In order to create some semblance of control through the process, I created a schedule for sex (it was so romantic) and tried every tip and trick I read on internet message boards, from taking Mucinex to thin my cervical mucus, to checking my temperature, to placing my hips on a pillow with my legs up in the air after sex.
Not Knowing When It Might Happen
So much was unknown about TTC. Would I get pregnant right away, or would it take years, like some of my friends? At the time, my job was in the middle of a busy season, and I mean a really busy season. There didn't seem like an ideal time for me to take three months off, but my partner and I decided to plan my pregnancy so my baby would be born in April or May, and I would have the summer off.
Not Knowing If I Could Get Pregnant
We had waited a few years after getting married to start trying right after my 30th birthday. I was so worried that we had waited to long, and I wouldn't be able to get pregnant.
How It Changed The Way I Felt About Sex
Sex is so different when you are trying to conceive (and not trying to prevent pregnancy), in both good and bad ways. The good: not having to worry about getting pregnant and the excitement of trying to make a baby. The bad: feeling like we had to have sex on our schedule, no more, no less. It was decidedly not sexy.
The Excitement Of Taking A Test
I must have gone through a case of pregnancy tests in one week the first month I tried to get pregnant. I was so excited.
Feeling Weird In My Own Body
My body felt so foreign to me. After using birth control for half my life, my cycle was totally different after I stopped taking the pill. The PMS before my first period off of birth control was really intense, and when I got my period I felt, for the first time, heartbroken instead of relieved. Then, a month later, I actually knew I was pregnant before a second line appeared on a pregnancy test. I felt so weird, my breasts hurt, and I got stereotypically emotional.
The Frustration When I Started Spotting
I thought I felt pregnant, long before it was time to take a test, but then I saw blood on the inside of my underwear. My heart felt heavy, and I couldn't hold back tears for an imagined baby I thought I would never get to meet. As it turned out, I was pregnant. The blood I saw was implantation bleeding (which would happen again with my next two pregnancies).
The Disappointment When A Test Was Negative
When you are trying to conceive, taking a pregnancy test can feel so intense. It was also totally different from taking a test when I was trying to prevent a pregnancy.
I remember peeing on the stick (and my hand), and then staring at the test, willing a line to appear. When it didn't, my mind played tricks on me and I was sure there was a faint line I just couldn't see. There's only so many times you can give yourself the "maybe next time" pep talk, until you stop believing yourself.
Not Knowing If I Should Tell Anyone I Was Trying To Get Pregnant
I wrestled with the decision to tell someone my partner and I were trying to make a baby. . What if I couldn't get pregnant? Would I want someone to support me through the heartbreak, or would I not want anyone to know. How would I deal with questions about whether or not I was pregnant?
That Feeling When The Test Was Positive
Then it happened. I had taken 10 pregnancy tests in four days, and they were all negative. I had reached a point where I decided I would take one last test, and that would be it. I didn't want to put myself through more stress and disappointment. I peed in a cup and dipped the last test I was willing to take.
When the second line appeared, I honestly thought I was imagining it. I had my husband verify the result. It was positive. I was excited, happy, relieved, and scared out of my mind, all at the same time.