Membership to the Infertility Club

My period started today.

That makes 12 months in a row of being acutely aware of each time my period begins.

My husband and I have hit the “one-year-of-trying-to-conceive” milestone, which also means we get the consolation prize of getting to join the infertility club.

Infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant after one year of trying (depending on your age, the timeframe for qualifying as “infertile” may differ a bit.)

I never imagined I would be here. With my first child, we got pregnant in the second month of trying. Afterwards I literally said out loud, “I can’t imagine having to try over and over, month after month…”

Maybe I jinxed myself.

It’s weird to hit the point where you’ve been trying to have a baby longer than it actually takes to have a baby.

Around the 10-month mark of trying for a second child, I went to my annual gynecologist appointment. I mentioned that I wanted to start looking into why we weren’t getting pregnant. This meant doing some testing on my husband and I, and coming back in a month to have the doctor review the results.

A month later we found out there was a reason why it wasn’t happening quickly. We also found out it was something that (at this point) we couldn’t really do much about (we have some more follow up appointments, so we will see). Basically we were told we were doing everything right, but that there was an extenuating circumstance that made our chances of conceiving much less.

In some ways this was validating – I had been doing stuff right. The timing of intercourse, the charting of my cycles… I understood how my body worked, and in *most couples, it probably would have meant a pregnancy by now.

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5 Ways I’m Coping While Waiting for Pregnancy

2020 has been a year that has given us so many reminders of how little control we really have in any situation. We like to pretend that we have our lives totally planned out, that we will be able to do what we want to do when we want to do it.

But then, SURPRISE! Life never works out that way.

Over a year ago, I really thought it was the right time to try for child #2. Literally last December I wrote a post about my decision to try to get pregnant again, and the emotional roller coaster that it had been. I never expected a year later that I would still be writing about attempting to get pregnant – and I really hope a year from now I’m not going to be writing about it anymore!

Each time that you see only a single line on a pregnancy test (or your period starts) is obviously disappointing. Some months it hits me really hard, and others I experience only a mild emotional reaction. I’m intentionally trying to make sure I stay in a healthy mental state as I continue to go through this process.

What does that look like for me? Below I’ll share five ways I’m coping with the waiting and monthly disappointment:

1. Pour my energy into Areas where I am making definitive progress

Every month that you don’t get pregnant can feel like a failure. Maybe you didn’t get the timing right… maybe if you were eating better or exercising more… or taking this or that vitamin… You need to have areas in your life where you’re feeling successful and can be proud of what you’re accomplishing. I have two things that I am investing in right now: exercising and writing. After my foot surgery, I wasn’t sure if or when I would be able to run again, but I have been slowly working up to running over the past several months. And it has felt wonderful to watch my body make progress and get stronger! My other activity has been writing – writing daily. Writing is something I easily get lost in, and achieve “flow,” as some would call it. I’ve been waking up early to write every day, and have found a lot of joy in being more disciplined with my writing process.

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Trying To Conceive: An Endless Loop

TTC | TWW | DPO | BBT | BFN | BFP

If any of those acronyms look familiar to you, you may have recently been in the process of trying to conceive (TTC). Being on this journey myself, I will just say hang in there! It can be a difficult and emotionally wrought experience.

Back in summer of 2019, it felt like the right time to start trying for kid #2 (my son had just turned 3). We ended up only trying for three months before we decided to stop since there was a chance I would need foot surgery (I did end up having surgery the following February.)

Fast forward to summer of 2020 – I had mostly recovered from surgery and thought I would be in good enough physical health to begin trying to get pregnant again.

The first month: nothing
Second month: negative pregnancy test
Third month: nope
Fourth month: I really think I’m pregnant, but it turns out I’m not
Fifth month: I’m going to stop wasting money on tests, which was smart because my period came
Sixth month: I caved in and took a test – NEGATIVE

I’m now in my seventh consecutive month of trying to get pregnant, in the middle of the two-week wait (TWW). I’m at the point where I really don’t expect to be pregnant anymore, which is honestly better than when I convinced myself I was pregnant every single cycle. With my first child, it only took two months, and so I guess I assumed it would similarly happen that fast the second time around.

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