Conception Journey…Trials and Tribulations

This post continues from here.

The first ovulation test was done. Errrrr, what do these lines mean exactly? OK, so they should be the EXACT SAME colour, right? One shouldn’t be paler than the other. Oh, one’s a test line, I see. How confusing. I have a test line and another line, but they aren’t the same shade of pink. Ovulation ain’t happening in the next 48 hours. Cool, I’ll try again tomorrow.

Tomorrow comes, same results. And the next day, and the day after that. You get the picture. So does this mean I’m not ovulating? Bugger. Not what I was expecting, but this was the first cycle I was trying this, and we were still trying to get pregnant nonetheless. Maybe I just hadn’t done the test right.

Needless to say, this continued for a good few cycles. The tests were never really conclusive, I was not sure I was doing them properly, either at the right time in my cycle, or at the right time in the day. Some days the lines were close in colour, others they were complete opposites. I’d take pictures of the lines and send them to Bobby to see what he thought. He couldn’t tell either.

I look back at this now and I realise how much unnecessary stress I was putting on myself! I really thought the tests would guide us a bit more, help us pinpoint the days I was ovulating but they seemed to be doing anything but. I swapped brands, trying the Tesco ones instead. I had a bit more luck with these, the two lines very often seemed more similar, and I’d convinced myself I must be ovulating. But still no pregnancy.

Bobby showed a massive amount of interest in this part of the process. I’m lucky, he wanted to be involved, he wanted to know what was going on with my cycle, to know when we should start trying etc. He asked me question after question, and I have to admit, it made me feel more pressured. Not because he made me feel bad, or that he put that pressure on me. I pressured myself.  I felt like I should be the expert on this, I’d done the research, I’d read the guidance out there, I should know what’s what. But I didn’t know. I wasn’t an expert. I’m just me, and I just want us to get pregnant, and I was failing.

By now we were approaching Summer 2012, and it was over a year since we’d started trying. I kept repeating ‘It can take up to two years to get pregnant, don’t worry’, but I never really believed it. Not really. I’d started imagining something was wrong, that there was a reason I couldn’t get pregnant, and it scared me. It really did. Obsessed is not the word I would use to describe how I was feeling, because I’m not that kind of person. But it was on my mind, all the time, and I knew that wasn’t healthy. I needed to change my outlook on this whole situation, and my behaviour.

I ditched the ovulation tests. They’d never given me any confidence anyway, and all it felt like I was doing was staring at stick for answers. What I should be doing, is stop the worrying, and start enjoying the journey again. So I let it go, and it was a wonderfully easy thing to do, and it lifted both me and Bobby in spirits. I started thinking positively about the whole thing, and took a lot of inspiration from my older sister Yvette, who at 37 had just had her second child. It gave me hope that time wasn’t running out for me, that all I needed was to focus on my health and happiness, and let this happen on it’s own timetable.

Suzy Signature

Conception Journey…The first stages

This post follows on from here .

The first stages of baby making are easy peasy. A doddle. The sex is fun, you are both so incredibly excited about the possibility of getting pregnant, it’s just such a wonderful time. Other than the restrictions of your monthly period, there’s no stress, worries or even calendar consulting. We were so pleased with the decision we’d made to step forward with our plans for a family, it buoyed us through a good many months of trying.

And that’s how it should be, right? A promising, exciting time. When you should let Mother Nature do her work, while having loads of incredible sex along the way. It’s one of the most natural things in the world, a primal instinct to bring another life into the world, to create a family. And should you be lucky, you will be blessed with a baby, in due course. And that’s what we believed, we hoped and we wanted. It will happen, give it time. Don’t worry darling, we’ve only been trying for six months!

I’m a doer in life. Once I’ve made a decision on something, I crack straight on with it. No messing around, let’s get it done. So once we were at the winter of late 2012, I thought maybe I should do a bit of research on ovulation, and the best time in your cycle to get pregnant. I’d already got a great app on my phone which I always tracked my cycles with, but Clare recommended trying the iPeriod app as this also predicted your ovulation dates, and also had a monthly breast checker reminder. So I put in my data, and was intrigued by the dates it was suggesting would be the best time to get pregnant. I still use this app now.  I also read about your body temperature changing after ovulation, so I went a bought a little thermometer, and religiously took my temp at the same time every day, noting it my app.

We focussed our baby making time around the ‘green week’ as it’s called on the app, making sure we were trying at least every other day. I was taking my temp, but wasn’t really noticing a spike around my so called ovulation days. I did a bit of research online and boy, did I get scared. Not a good idea, FYI. The forums I found were filled with so called experts on ovulation spouting facts and tips like they were gospel. Luckily, I have a pretty sensible head on my shoulders, so I avoided the forums and went to professional sites to see if I could get any advice. The temperature recording was something they recommended doing, although they all talked about the Body Basal Temperature, which I wasn’t convinced I was doing properly with mine. A lot of them recommended trying ovulation kits as well as the temperature charting.

Off to Boots I went, and found they offered two ovulation kits, the Boots own brand (£10 approx) and the Clearblue one (£16 approx). I opted for the Boots own brand, it contained around 7 tests, thinking I’d only need them for a couple of months, and then I could always try the more expensive one if I wanted.  I read the instructions, understood what I needed to do, and when I needed to do it, and waited for the right time in my cycle to start the test.

Around 11 days into my cycle, I decided to do the test. Of COURSE it fell on a work day. The test involves peeing on a stick, leaving it 5 minutes and then going to see what the results say. I work in an incredibly small office, and not only was it difficult to smuggle the test into the loo without anyone seeing, I then had to go back in the loo five minutes later to see what the score was. I felt SO self concious. In all honesty, the guys who I work with were paying zero attention to me, and even if they were, wouldn’t have a clue what was going on anyway.

So there you have it, my first ovulation test was done. How had I gotten to this point? I was so convinced it would just happen for us, it was a struggle for me to think that maybe we needed a bit of help. Oh, how little I knew.

Suzy Signature

Conception Journey – A Perfect Time To Start?

Our journey started in February 2011, when during a meal out, Bobby and I once again got on to the subject of children. We had just been at a wedding fair, and were talking through all of the ideas and plans for the wedding, as well as possible dates. All this discussion of our future inevitably led to us talking about the possibility of starting a family. Of course we’d discussed wanting children in our lives a number of times since we’d got together, and knew it was what we both wanted and hoped for, but it honestly had never felt like the right time to start trying for a baby.
Over lunch, we came to the conclusion that we had been putting our future and our plans on hold, waiting for everything to be right before starting a family. We realised that day there is no perfect time to start, if we waited for all conditions to be right, we could very well be waiting a long time, and that is not what we wanted!
I suppose in the back of my mind, I was concerned about my age, I was 32 at the time and I didn’t want to leave it any longer to start a family either. My mum was 31 when she had me, and I am the youngest, so in my mind I’d always thought I’d never leave it any later than that. But you never know what life is gonna throw at you along the way, and with a failed relationship behind me, I was already 28 before I met Bobby.
We talked it over and asked ourselves some questions – were we mad to invest in a wedding and start trying for a family at the same time? What was the worse that could happen? What could be the best that could happen? The wedding was still at least another 18 months away, did we really want to wait that long before even trying for a family? No!
I always wanted to be married before I started a family, but in all seriousness, as I’d gotten older I’d very much accepted that it might not be that way for me. At the very least we were engaged and planning the wedding, so what if I got pregnant in amongst all that? Maybe we’d have to change the date, or pay a bit extra or change certain things, or lose a deposit or two, but would that matter if we wanted a family? Of course, the answer was no, it wouldn’t matter, and should we try for a baby and be successful along the way, then we would just work it out in terms of the wedding.
The other consideration was our living arrangements. We had been in rented accommodation since we got back from travelling, and we didn’t have a deposit for a house. Could we afford a baby? Could we cope lugging the pushchair up the stairs every time we wanted to go out? Was the apartment big enough? These had all been things that had made us delay in starting, but it became very clear to the both of us that no matter how much of a struggle things might become, we would be realising a dream of ours and we would, and more importantly could, make it work no matter what. Plenty of other people in worse circumstances than us were parents, and they coped fine.
Having a family had always been one of the most important things to me in life, and I know it became that way for Bobby too.  As the conversation progressed, I could see the excitement growing between us. We were grinning from ear to ear, I could see Bobby’s eyes shining with happiness, and I knew whole heartedly this was the right decision to make. What an adventure! And we started trying that very day.
To be continued…
Suzy xx

Continue reading