First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage.
The old rhyme makes it sound so straightforward, doesn’t it? You decide you want a baby so you stop your birth control, maybe drink a little wine, one things leads to another, and boom! Pregnant.
But sometimes it’s not that easy. Sometimes it takes a while. Sometimes you become so desperate you start doing things that you would have found ridiculous before baby fever took over your brain. Spend enough time unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant and you’ll likely join the TTC (Trying to Conceive) Club, where you’ll do things like…
1. Speak in acronyms.
Women who are trying to get pregnant have their very own language, and it’s all about the acronyms. Confusing at first, eventually you’ll start to pick up on them until you’re writing, speaking, and even thinking in the shorthand. For example:
DH and I have been TTC for five months. I’m pretty sure I O’d on CD12 b/c I had EWCM so we DTD and now I’m 9DPO and I really want to POAS and see that BFP!!!
Dear Husband and I have been trying to conceive for five months. I’m pretty sure I ovulated on cycle day 12 because I had egg white cervical mucus so we “did the deed” and now I’m 9 days past ovulation and I really want to pee on a stick and see that big fat positive!
Yes, there’s an acronym for cervical mucus. Who knew?
2. Take your temperature. Every day. Vaginally.
When I was trying to get pregnant, I was amazed at the things I didn’t know I didn’t know. Like the fact that your resting body temperature rises and falls throughout your cycle and you can use this to track your fertility. After a few months you can actually pinpoint the day you’ll ovulate based on slight temperature changes. You have to do it consistently, first thing when you wake up, because your morning movements affect your body temperature. And because it’s argued that vaginal temping is more accurate than oral, you could very well find yourself spending your first waking moments sticking a thermometer in your vagina. Science!
3. Obsess over peeing on sticks.
Before trying to conceive I could not understand the women who tested before their period was due. If you’re pregnant then you’re pregnant, and waiting until you miss your period to confirm with a test only makes sense, right?
Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong.
The (roughly) two weeks between conception and your missed period last about a thousand years, and if you can wait that long to take a pregnancy test then you have the patience of a saint. Sometimes the only thing that can make you stop thinking about that “big fat positive” is to see a “big fat negative” so you go ahead and take a test six days after ovulation, even though you know it’s way too early. Then you take one the next day and the day after that and on and on until a couple days into your period because that one woman on your TTC board got her period and still turned out to be pregnant. It’s especially easy to get addicted to POAS when you discover you can buy 50 tests for 20 bucks on the internet. And when you’re not peeing on home pregnancy tests, you can pee on ovulation tests! All month long, there’s something to pee on.
4. Dissect your pregnancy tests. Literally.
Whether or not your home pregnancy test is actually negative is open to interpretation. Sometimes the early positive lines are so faint you can only see them if you hold them up to the light at a certain angle. Or tear them apart, shine a flashlight on them and squint very very hard. Or take a picture of them and then use photo editing software to adjust the color levels until the hidden positive you know is there is revealed. It’s called “tweaking” and there are apps for it and entire websites where you can post your test and have other people weigh in on its results. It’s serious business and I devoted several hours a month to it.
5. Take ALL the supplements!
My whole life I never took more than a generic multivitamin, but six months into trying to get pregnant I would have made tea out of lawn clippings if you told me it would boost my fertility. There are dozens of herbs and supplements in endless combinations: chasteberry to stimulate progesterone production, stinging nettle to tone your uterus, maca root for hormone balance. While you’re at it you may as well take some guaifenesin to thin your cervical mucus and don’t forget to feed your partner his Ginkgo biloba and horny goat weed!
These are just the tip of the iceberg. Some of our contributors shared their own stories. (Names changed to protect the bonkers.)
There are some wack-a-doodle things out there (that I’ve tried). Pineapple cores, seed cycling, mucus thinner, pregnancy prep, all the vitamins in the world (maca), acupuncture, yoga, liver, bone broth, temp testing craziness.
One time my husband was super sick with a gross cold. But I was ovulating. So we had sex while wearing surgical masks. If that sounds even a little bit sexy, I can assure you it was not.
I rearranged our bedroom using Feng shui when were TTC and doing all the fertility stuff. Like read books and completely rearranged and bought all new bedding and curtains because the feng shui book said to use neutral colors to enhance energy.
If you’re trying to get pregnant, I hope it doesn’t come to this for you. If it already has, remember you’re not alone! Somewhere out there right now, a woman is stretching her cervical mucus between her fingers and noting the consistency. And we wish her baby dust.
What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve done to try to get pregnant?