Post # 1
My husband and I are planning on starting our family sometime early next year. I’m a major planner, so I’ve been a little anxious about it all. I’ve read a ridiculous amount of literature on how to prepare for this, but I’m really curious about everyone’s personal experience.
In your personal experience, how did you prepare, both physically and mentally, to begin ttc?
Post # 3
@missfrillycoat: Oh man…lol. I don’t think there is ever a way to mentally prepare yourself, but I will get to that. Physically I was overweight, so in February, knowing we wanted to try in Fall 2013, I started counting calories to get healthier. I lost 28 pounds in a few months. I went off BC in May because my BC was switched from one generic form to another, and it was sucking the life out of me. I had also started a prenatal vitamin.
I think late May when we were both like, “What are we waiting for?” We had a house and dog, which were the two things we wanted to accomplish. It was very tough preparing my mindset with the fact that I would possibly be pregnant, but you just kind of have to go into it not really thinking about it so you don’t ruin the mood. I figured June I wouldn’t be pregnant and didn’t experience any symptoms out of the ordinary. I had been using Fertility Friend to track my period and see where my O days were.
Come July, we did the dance on my O days or whenever the mood struck. I did look when those days were, but we tried not to stress ourselves out by considering it TTC, if that makes sense.
End of July I took a blue dye test for fun, lol, and it was negative on the 28th of July. I wasn’t due for my period until that Friday, August 2. I started feeling dizzy, nauseous, and very tired. No cramps or bleeding, so on July 31 I decided to test again to make sure it wasn’t pregnancy (I have a vitamin D deficieny) and I was surprised when my First Response came up with a line.
It’s been a roller coaster ride of emotions, but the less you think of it the better off you are. It’s tough not to think of it as “making a baby” but you will only stress yourself out and drive yourself nuts with symptom spotting in the end.
Good luck and RELAX and HAVE FUN!
Post # 4
@missfrillycoat: I agree that @megz06: has a phenomenal approach, and it sounds like it worked out perfectly for her. Perhaps I should have gotten her advice before we started a few months ago!
We didn’t get our BFP yet, but I guess my biggest advice from one planner to another is to try to get out of that mindset – you can NOT control this the same way you can control other big decisions like when you are getting married, buying a house, new car, etc. You may get pregnant in the first month, you may have to wait 6+ months and there is absolutely nothing (beyond charting, timing, etc.) that you can do about it. Do try to have fun with it, and make sure you both are on the same page with it. I chart with Fertility Friend, for no reason other than to know my body and give us the best chance we can (by that I mean we have no known issues that would affect our ability to conceive).
During my FW, we have been having sex every day, whether or not it was something we would have done normally (been in the mood so to speak), and it worked for us for these past two months TTC (we aren’t pregnant yet). We joke about it being a “chore” (really it’s not, but it kind of does put pressure on him, remember that!). The rest of the month we have fun with sex and do it whenever the mood strikes.
In terms of physical prep, eat healthy, work out, drink a lot of water, get good quality sleep, try to reduce the stress in your life. For the sexual side of the physical, I got a new vibrator (sorry if TMI) so that adds some additional fun to the sex part when we use it together.
Not sure how much you’ve read on these boards, but there’s a wealth of knowledge here and tons of women going through what you are. Good luck!
Post # 5
@missfrillycoat: I will also add to @kate02121:post where she said that We joke about it being a “chore” (really it’s not, but it kind of does put pressure on him, remember that!).
She is absolutely right. Some guys get really nervous if they feel like they have to perform on certain days. If you guys are really serious about making this work out, and you have to have sex on your fertile days, do so, but make it different and sexy. Perhaps try roleplaying (again, get out of the making a baby mindset), wear some new lingerie, or throughout the day amp each other up with texts so that it feels less like a chore or less like something you know you have to do and more about something you’re excited to look forward to.
I also really liked her advice about controlling only what you can control. You can read as much as you want or as little, and the outcome may still be the same. Try not to let symptom spotting get to you and make sure you join the TTC boards here as you will find a helpful community of women in the same boat as you. I didn’t stay very long on the TTC boards thankfully (even though I liked all the ladies there) 🙂
Post # 6
Thank you two so much for putting so much thought into your responses.
@megz06: Thank you for stressing the part of just having to not think about it. I am a classic type A planner/worrier and I know there is a chance of it getting the best of me if I don’t keep advice like yours. I guess the biggest issue mentally for me is that we’re creating a human being? A full fledged person that is going to grow up and have their own life, full of experiences only they will have, influence other people, be happy, be sad- all of it. And to know that you have such a huge influence on the beginning of a persons life is just overwhelming to a degree. Anyhow. Wow. Sorry.But yes, see how much I needed you to say that? hah!
I also need to lose a good 20-30 pounds, so thank you for sharing that. I’m starting to count my calories and I have to say- knowing that I’m preparing my body for a child is much more of a push than looking think in a wedding dress. I hope I follow a path similar to yours.
@kate02121: Gosh, I know that we can’t plan for it- but damned if it doesn’t keep me from trying :). I have looked at SO MANY boards on here, I was just hoping to get a more personal approach. Thank you for sharing yours (also- totally not TMI). Also- good luck! I hope you have a sweet little baby soon!
Post # 7
@missfrillycoat: All those thoughts of growing and raising a human being don’t stop, and never feel ashamed of what you think. TTC is fun and stressful. Then you end up pregnant and you are excited again. Then if you are unlucky you get MS and hate everything (I didnt get morning sickness thank God). However, one day I am like, “Yes! I am so pumped.” And other days I am like, “WTF did we do? I can’t care for a child.” My worst thoughts? That I won’t love my child as much as I see other mom’s love their kids. Can I really make a human my whole world? My everything? Somedays I think absolutely. And other’s I think I can’t.
You go through a huge range of emotions from the time you try until the time the baby is born (I assume). I am 17 weeks, and each day is different because of the different symptoms I have or what my hormones tell me. It is hard to wrap my mind around the fact that day in and day out I am responsible for keeping this little thing alive and happy, but I know once the baby is born I will just “get it.” I already find myself more guarded and protective and I don’t even know the gender yet.
You will do fine. Getting over that first time you have sex to make a baby is hard, but after that it gets easier if you put yourself into the right mindset. Eating healthy and exercising will also help destress you and let you know you are doing what is best to help your chances.
Post # 8
PHysically I was already fit and in good health so I didn’t have to change anything there, although I did make sure I kept up on it because I wanted to be as fit as possible when I got pg. I started taking prenatals far before I knew we’d be trying and we kind of set a timeline. Any time I got freaked about that coming pu I reminded myself that it’s not like you have sex and boom a baby comes out. You have another 9 months to mentally prepare yourself for what you are doing.
We were supposed to wait until October as I had a trip scheduled with my mom to go to Europe in Sept and was waiting for after that. When our trip got postponed to early October and I was home for Sept ovulation, we had sex once that week but I figured we missed ov. I let it happen knowing that if I did get pg, I wouldn’ tknow until after my trip anyway.
Well, it worked. We were very fortunate that we didn’t really have to TRY or chart or temp etc, even though I am almost 32 and he is almost 34.
Post # 9
@missfrillycoat: I am in the same boat as you!! We’re *thinking* of trying in March or sometime after that… Right now, I started the prenatals. (Too soon?) and am trying to wean myself off of certain things. I’m on a medication I can’t take while pregnant and I gave up drinking pop. We are also working out more and eating better.
Post # 10
@megz06: THIS helps so much! As a chronic over thinker, it’s nice to know I don’t have to over think!
Post # 11
We REALLY enjoyed ourselves pre-TTC! Staying out late, going dancing and drinking, taking LOTS of trips, visiting all our friends! We wanted to make sure I didn’t feel bummed out when I couldn’t do any of those things!
Physically I was already in great shape, but I was missing periods because of overexercising! So I toned it WAY down.
Then during TTC, we made sure sex was always fun! And we always talked about “Well, if it doesn’t happen for 6 months we can go on another big vacation!”
We got KU first cycle!
Post # 12
@missfrillycoat: I’m a planner as well. DH is…not. He is more of a “let’s not talk about it until I’m ready” type of person. I wanted to talk about it ad nauseum and he didn’t want to talk about it at all until pretty much the day he was ready to start TTC.
The way I coped was to start taking prenatals as a way to feel that I was doing “something” in preparation to TTC, as well as borderline obsessive research. One thing I really wish I had been able to do is stop BCP. I did mention it to DH and we tried using a condom once but we were so used to not using them that it was really terrible and I agreed to stay on BCP until the absolute second we were going to TTC. Now I have no idea how long my cycles are, I’m on CD25 of my first cycle off the pill with no idea of when to expect AF. It does not help with my feelings of loss of control over this process.
Post # 13
@missfrillycoat: I’ll share my experience so far and probably echo was PPs have said, there’s been some great advice/insight from them! We’re on our fourth or fifth month trying (I had one weird 19 day cycle which totally confused me so I don;t know whether to count that month or not). Anyway, my advice is to not tell too many people (if anyone) that you’re trying. I felt like i HAD to tell a few people, for good reasons, and now I kinda wish that no one knew. I had planned a trip to Europe with a girlfriend a few months after we started trying. I bought trip insurance in case I didn’t feel like going for any reason and I felt I should let her know that there was a possibility I’d cancel on her! Then one of my best friends called to tell me that she would only be having one bridesmaid for her wedding and it wasn’t going to be me. She felt so, so, bad about it and to make her feel better I told her we were trying and that if it “worked” that month I’d probably miss her wedding because it would be so close to my potential due date. She got super excited and now asks for updates and she is so nice about it but I just wish she wouldn’t ask. I feel like she just doesn’t “get” the whole process and she seemed shocked that I hadn’t gotten pregnant yet, even though we’d only tried two cycles at that point. I swore everyone to secrecy but now when I DO get pregnant I feel like it will be harder to hide it from people if I’m not ready to tell them yet, and if there IS something wrong with either my husband or I it’s not something that I want people knowing unless I choose to tell them.
Ok, one last thing, something that was really fun for my husband and I was to go somewhere different during my fertile window, We went backpacking the first cycle and it was romantic and funny to not bring any condoms and to have a sexytime in the tent! One cycle we just (TMI alert) did it on the couch in our living room, haha! Oh, one more thing (this is the last one for real this time): I KNEW that it can take six months or more of to get pregnant, and that is normal and doesn’t mean there is anything wrong, but actually experiencing it is different. I cried when I had that weird 19 day cycle, I was so confused and worried. I even went to my gynecologist to make sure that something wasn’t wrong. She reassured me that it was probably just a weird cycle and that I had nothing to worry about. It’s just kinda hard sometimes to process the fact that you did it like bunnies all month and you’re still not pregnant. I feel a little bummed while I’m having my period but then once it’s over I feel hopeful and optimistic again. Ok, this book I wrote is over 😉
ok, edit because did I even answer your question lol. My advice is, once you’ve decided to TTC, don’t think too hard about it and just have the sex. You can really focus on it once you’re actually KU, in my opinion. I’ve just been trying to keep living my life and focusing on other things and, like someone else said, enjoying things about NOT being pregnant. (fancy wine tasting dinner? spontaneous trip to Europe? yes, please!)
Post # 14
@BrandNewBride: i’ve already decided that should there be no baby bean after 6 months another trip it will be!
@MrsAKSkier: Love the idea of going somehwere different during the FW – hopefully it will only be once though!
Post # 15
@missfrillycoat: Mentally, I went into it completely unprepared. I had NO IDEA how taxing having sex could be, hah. I didn’t know anything about charting, CM, or ANYTHING related to trying. I just kinda thought that you had sex and you’d get pregnant. I had a friend who recommended these boards to me, and I learned SO MUCH. Which I’m glad I did, since TTC is so much more than just having sex.
I wish I would have prepared myself for the let down every month. I didn’t realize that it can take months and months of disappointment. My hardest months were the first three. You read so much literature on how “most” couples get pregnant within the first three months. That time passed, and I was better. Now that we’re at the six month mark, though, I feel that same pressure. The pressure that “MOST” couples are pregnant by this point. After six months, you don’t hear many stories about seven, eight, nine, ten, or eleven months. It jumps to, “we tried for two years and finally got it!” So yeh, I wish I would have prepared myself for THIS aspect of it.
But physically? I asked my doctor at my annual what I should do. She just told me to take prenatals and to get off the pill. I didn’t have to do any pre-TTC testing or any of that stuff. So, I take prenatals, and I *try* to eat a little better and drink a little more water. Other than that, I didn’t do anything drastic.
PS>>I love the advice that PPs have given you. I’m a SUPER planner, too, which I think makes it that much harder. Just gotta keep remembering that there isn’t all that much we can do to control it. (Ugh, so much easier said than done!)
Post # 16
Ladies I just want to thank you again for sharing all of your experiences. I had written a response, but it must have gliched because I don’t see it on here. But I have read them all a few times and appreciate you taking the time to go over your experiences. The plan is set for March still and it seems to be coming so soon!