Remember the simpler times, before babies, when the fun was all in making the kids? I mean, don't get me wrong, I love every chubby inch of my toddler, but sometimes it'd hard not to think back on the days of trying to get pregnant. Or, TTC (trying to conceive), as all of those mom message boards and books have taught us to refer to that magical (annoying, heartbreaking, will-breaking, lesson-teaching) journey to creating a baby. It sounds so freaking bizarre, but despite the stress that accompanies trying to conceive a baby (and please believe, whether you're blessed with a total dearth of reproductive challenges, or a boatload, it's stressful), there is almost a nostalgic factor when I think about the excitement of the first pee of the day and the small fortune spent on pregnancy tests.
The whole "process" makes for an exciting time in general. You don't know when that sperm will finally make contact with an egg and even though you have to wait weeks to find out, it becomes something of a game. When you're trying to get pregnant in the conventional, man/woman, penis/vagina way, you're also letting everyone in your world know that you're having more sex than all of them combined, which probably isn't a feeling you particularly miss, but the sex itself at any random time wasn't the worst thing in the world.
Looking back, you probably can't believe you took all those afternoon romps for granted and almost abandoned some of the scheduled sex. Even though the end goal is a baby, the journey to that kid is what I find myself thinking about sometimes. It's the legs up in the air and peeing on a stick that stand out as some of the weirdest things you didn't realize you'd actually miss about trying to get pregnant. Who knew that the messiness and sometimes scientific aspects of trying to get pregnant would be things to look back on with heavy sighs of nostalgia?
Nesting is what happens when a pregnant, or prospective pregnant, woman gets the instinctive feeling of wanting to prepare her home for a baby. But mostly, for me, it was about wanting to rearrange the whole freaking house to be a thousand other versions of perfect. Hey, there are many less productive things you could do to pass the time waiting to see two lines show up.
2. Mommy Forums
I was never one to partake in the back-and-forth sort of arguments that moms tend to engage with in those internet forums, but it was always nice to gain some support or kind words of encouragement.
3. Peeing On A Stick
Yeah, I know, sounds gross. But the feeling of taking pregnancy tests throughout the day meant that at any given moment, you could find out you were pregnant... It was kinda the best.
4. Keeping Those Legs In The Air
One of the "tricks" of trying to get pregnant is to raise your legs in the air right after sex and hold them there, keeping that semen inside of you. Who knows if it actually works, but doing it always had my husband and I giggling together at how silly it was, and those are very worthwhile memories.
5. Exercising More
I don't know if I exercised harder when I was trying to get pregnant, but sometimes it feels like I worked out more, since I knew that once I was pregnant and really pregnant, it wouldn't be so easy. And those long nature hikes and walks were strangely soothing during the times when it felt like I might not ever get pregnant.
6. Planning A Baby Shower
OK, yes, it was a pretty premature thing to be doing when I wasn't even technically pregnant yet. But looking up all of the different themes and decor and baby stuff was a pretty natural part of having baby brain all the time, and again, amid ovulation calendars and scheduled sex, it was definitely a nice break to focus on something less rigid and more romantic.
7. Baby Name Books
Be honest. What woman trying to get pregnant hasn't perused a nice, fat baby name book?
8. Wasting The Day Away With Sleep
The availability of all kinds of naps were never as present as when you were trying to get pregnant. And — bonus — you weren't even suffering from pregnant exhaustion yet.
9. Having People Ask When You're Going To Have A Baby
In a way, this totally sucked, especially if trying to have a baby was getting increasingly hard for you. And hey, maybe you kept your baby plans all to yourself, and didn't have to deal with this. But for those of us who shared our journey to babydom with our loved ones, it was also nice to finally be able to tell people that yes, you were trying, and knowing they were in your corner, cheering you on.
10. Random DIY At-Home Pregnancy Test Experiments
OK, I have no idea how true any of this is, and I don't care because it was fun. I'll never forget mixing up some weird vinegar concoction in my toilet with my urine in order to see if I was pregnant, but without using one of the many drugstore tests I had on hand. It was just another way to (hopefully) get a positive result.
11. The Abbreviations, And How They Made You Feel Like An Expert In Some Esoteric Field Of Science
Those would be TTC (trying to conceive), BFP (big fat positive), BFN (big fat negative), AF (Aunt Flo), and PnV (penis-in-vagina, aka, "doin' it to hopefully get a fetus-friend onboard"), among too many others. Just some more ways to feel like you were a part of that online mom community I was talking about.
12. The Intimacy That No One Else Is A Part Of
While you can tell everyone and their mom that you're trying to get pregnant, there is still an intimacy reserved for you and your partner, as you try to have a baby together, hover over the pee sticks together, and count those ovulation days on the calendar together.