Try, Try Again by Sarah Colby
Knowing you want to have a child and conceiving a child can feel like they are worlds apart.
When deciding we were going to start trying, my family practitioner wanted to ensure my inoculations were up to date. Unfortunately for us, I wasn’t immune to a strand of the measles. This meant that after receiving the shot, we had to wait 3 months before we could try. The Doctor informed us that if we didn’t wait the 3 months, there was a chance of miscarriage, stillbirth or genetic abnormalities. Therefore, we had to use extra precautions to NOT get pregnant during a time when we so badly wanted to. For 3 months, I went back on the pill, we used condoms and being the anxious person I am, decided to wait 5 months before trying to make sure the side effects of the inoculation were out of me. Just to be extra sure.
Due to this bump in the road, once we were able to freely try, it felt like we had already been on the Trying To Conceive “TTC” Journey for quite some time without ever actually trying.
Everything you read, because that’s all you really do when trying to conceive, says that stress can affect conception. We decided the first few months we would be lackadaisical and not, not try and we were not getting pregnant. We were feeling whimsical that we would just be given the gift of a child. Welp, it didn’t just happen and those stress levels they say to keep down, went through the roof!
At this point, I felt being relaxed and letting it happen was causing me more stress because my Type A personality means I don’t let anything happen without planning every angle of it.
So, I downloaded as many apps as I could find that would help track everything possible under the sun, bodily fluids, temperature, ovulation, emotions, physical activity etc. I started to read everything I could get my hands on. I used all my Indigo gift cards from student Christmas gifts to buy books. I drank a ridiculous amount of water, ate more fruits and vegetables than I’ve ever eaten before, and I probably talked about “trying” too much.
It took some major time and effort, waking up everyday at 6:30 a.m., month after month, and barely moving before immediately taking my basil body temperature in order to find out when I would ovulate. I even shelled it out for the yearly membership on some apps. It helped calm me down and by the third month of this, I knew that I ovulated significantly later than expected/is normal. So again, that relaxed me knowing how it actually works but did emotionally drain me, knowing all those months I had my hopes up for no reason.
Let’s throw in another painful obstacle, a friend who wasn’t trying, announced her pregnancy. As happy as you are for them, you can’t help but be jealous, frustrated and sad.
Approaching our 1 year mark of TTC, we had all the information we needed to make it happen. We were staying calm, knew when I ovulated and we felt like this was our month. Boom, reality slapped us again and my period arrived on day 14 instead of on day 32. It lasted for 3 days, so did my month reset, or should I carry on normally?
Turns out, the doctors aren’t sure either because my family practitioner is using my original menstrual period to date my pregnancy, and my ob-gyn is using the second one.
So, 5 months for the measles shot, 3 of feeling whimsical, 4 months of strict record keeping and finally, after 2 periods in one month, we were given the gift of pregnancy confirmed with a positive blood test.
It may feel hopeless, like you are powerless, but eventually, that moment when you see the faint pink line, it all becomes worth it.
Sarah Colby lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband, their Labradoodle Penny and soon to arrive baby girl. Sarah is a certified teacher who facilitates the inclusion of Deaf and blind students into mainstream classrooms. She is looking forward to motherhood, the challenges that are ahead of her and all the joy a child can bring.